Social media is innovating software and systems architecture

Twitter bought Blacktype in July 2011 and as part of that acquisition got hold of Storm. This is a press release detailing the publication of Storm’s code on Github.

They position Storm as a parallel messaging, disk less system.

M Davey asks if this has much use in Capital Markets here.

I wonder if ‘Time Series Order’ might not be a serious inhibitor to its adoption, but Chief Engineer, Nathan Marz on his blog seems to think it could be part of the answer to a large number of problems. …

Turd Polishing, the Coalition and executive pay and accountability

While Labour turning it’s back on Keynes is a bigger story, the coalition’s attempt to act as ‘responsible capitalists’ is easier to write about.

A coalition government appointed commission reports that executive pay is out of control (really?) and that there should be trade union and/or workers representatives  on board pay committees, and that shareholder votes on pay should be binding. (You mean they’re not!) However the government decides that allowing workers to vote on the bosses pay would be ‘tokenism’. Hardly! Shareholders can sell up, Trade Unionists might actually fuck things up! Since Labour introduced the shareholder advisory vote in 2003, only 18 companies have rejected board pay agreements. Assuming that, its FTSE 250, over 9 years, that’s under 1% of company AGM’s have rejected a pay committee recommendation. Shareholders that think a company is badly run, sell up,  they do not hang on for the AGM and vote against the pay board recommendation, they don’t even hang on and replace the board. They sell up; that’s what Equity Liquidity means.

This’ll make a huge difference. Not!

In case you hadn’t noticed, there was a banking crisis four years ago, and in the UK two failing banks were nationalised and a third was merged with a successful bank to prove the old adage, “What happens when you hit a duck with a failing bank?”, “You get two dead ducks!”. Despite, that anyone saving with Nat. West., Halifax, Northern Rock and the Royal Bank of Scotland, or whose savings banks and pension funds had been lent to them should be bloody grateful to Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and the Labour Government; they saved the UK banking system and everyone’s savings! Despite the catastrophe, no one has been prosecuted, no-one’s in gaol and all the current government is talking about is taking Fred “the Shred” Goodwin’s knighthood away from him. I bet he’s worried about that. Ed Balls took Sharon Shoesmith’s pension from her; not that I approve of that really, but allowing the government to focus on the Fred’s gong is taking the piss. Who’s going to gaol?

The coalition’s campaign for responsible capitalism is all camouflage.

And while I don’t really believe there can be a responsible capitalism, the right are running scared of Ed Miliband who first reminded us of the idea that the corporate private sector was ripping us off; it’s just a surprise that people needed reminding.

No government with the Tories in it are going to help. …

Yankee Law, freedom and the internet!

The White House, in a reply to a petition on its e-petitions site calling for them to oppose the current legislative attempts to censor the internet in the name of anti-piracy says, among other things,

Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small. Across the globe, the openness of the Internet is increasingly central to innovation in business, government, and society and it must be protected. To minimize this risk, new legislation must be narrowly targeted only at sites beyond the reach of current U.S. law, cover activity clearly prohibited under existing U.S. laws, and be effectively tailored, with strong due process and focused on criminal activity…..”

It adds,

We must avoid creating new cybersecurity risks or disrupting the underlying architecture of the Internet. Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security. Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online. We must avoid legislation that drives users to dangerous, unreliable DNS servers and puts next-generation security policies, such as the deployment of DNSSEC, at risk.”

It’s a shame they didn’t come to this conclusion earlier and continued to permit the US Trade Representative and the US’s Embassies the world over to lobby and bully for Hollywood’s laws and to seek extradition clearly non-criminal behaviour.

I demand that the US Government withdraw their extradition request for Richard O’Dwyer; its not in-line with the policy above. O’Dwyer is not a criminal; links are legal in the UK. (So actually, it is my view that foreign nationals should not lobby the US Government, just as I do not expect foreign nationals, or tax non-domiciles to finance politics in the UK . I have,however, signed one anti-SOPA petition; it was clearly labelled as a global initiative, so I would ask my US friends and comrades to take up O’Dwyer’s case. )

It is a disgrace that the White House can grandstand for its own fundamental rights and laws and its own business innovation while funding an oppressive lobbying regime and the legal pursuit of hobbyists.

It is a disgrace that British politicians and Judges, spinelessly permit this abuse to occur.

It is a disgrace that American legislators are prepared to attack the freedom of speech for the rest of the world in order to protect the super-profits of billionaires. …

ICT in Schools

Last month, I reflected on the debate about the school curriculum for Information Technology, it seems that even the government are listening. Michael Gove the Secretary of State is making a speech later today, in which it seems that he plans to “abolish the national curriculum” for ICT and “set teachers free”.

I don’t think this’ll be enough. If the exam boards don’t change their exams, and we don’t make/train better skilled teachers, it won’t change. …

On Triangulation and the Aircraft Carrier view of Labour’s policy

The Green Benches blog asks ex-Labour voters why they stopped. It’s one of the most popular threads he’s run with 73 comments in under 36 hours. Not one of them says it’s because of increases in public debt, or that they didn’t privatise more, or they introduced a bankers bonus tax or introduced the 50% super tax rate or the minimum wage was too high. Every single comment is based on a left criticism of the Labour Party and its leadership, both past and current.

In the “Refounding Labour” discussion document, published by the Labour Party in 2010, the point is made that Labour lost 5m voters between 1997 and 2010, 60% of these had deserted us by 2001. It’s hard to see what left wing policies would have scared off the New Labour voters before 2001, and while the UK’s interventions in the Balkans started during this time, the drive to war in Iraq had not, neither had the Labour Government set their top up fees to £3,000 p.a.

Some in the Labour Party leadership accuse Ed Milliband of seeking to “retreat to a core vote” and that Labour needs to retain its “Aircraft Carrier” policy straight jacket, where turns to the left or right lead to disaster. Others of course, including many of Eion Clarke’s correspondents reckon that he’s not fulfilling his Red Ed promises. I reckon our 2010 vote is our core and that attacks on trade unionists, the unemployed, the young and the disabled will only weaken us. Standing up for them might begin to win back that decent majority that have left Labour.

The problem with “Triangulation” is that your enemies define your politics. (Look what’s happening in the USA, and that’s what happened in the 1990’s to Labour, and its where some in the right of the Labour Party still are). Labour has a huge left wing hinterland that wants a fairer society built to serve the interests of the majority. We should stand by or return to that vision.

One of the most important tasks for a political party is to persuade people that your ideas are right, not to merely adopt popular ones.

End Triangulation ; people do change their minds… our strategy should be to tell the truth.


I wrote this early in 2012 and for some reason failed to publish it. Obviously some of the thoughts here went into the “If Only” article on this blog. I am tidying up the blog drafts list and decided to publish this, but have back dated it to the time I started it since that’s my usual policy to make the blog a diary. …

Fixing this blog, judicial review, Digital Economy Act

Just before the turn of the year, I published a back dated personal review of the BT/TalkTalk vs Secretary of State for BIS seeking judicial review of the DE Act and a summary. The longer review was accidentally deleted, I have reposted it, dated 21st April 2011, and amended the hyper-link in the article of 30th Dec 2011. The old URL and it’s SURL no longer work. This is a new SURL if you want one. …