Mining Data

One of the most profitable activities in the world today is data mining. Internet companies offer “free” applications for your devices to enable you to search the internet, to buy goods competitively, to arrange your transport and get advice on all sorts of matters. Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch and in return these companies harvest your personal information which they use to sell to advertisers and companies that will try to entice you to buy their particular goods and services using the most sophisticated methods known to man.

One of the better projects of the European Union was to create a directive – in effect a law – which seeks to protect personal information that you may have revealed in the course of your use of the internet. The guiding principle is that such information can only be mined under strict conditions and used for legitimate purposes.

The directive is not written in the clearest language and leaves plenty of scope for EU member states to interpret it in ways that suit themselves and the corporations that mine data the best. As yet there are many aspects of the directive which need to be completed before we can say that the law properly protects our personal information. Perhaps that will come in time.

You can read the directive at .

In the fullness of time there will be many court cases which decide the meaning of the directive and volumes of guidance and local regulations will be written, which will reveal whether the directive will really protect citizens or whether it will be watered down.



Smart Meters Being Fitted Too Slowly


It is rather odd, isn’t it, that in an age where we can speak at length on a visual phone without charge to someone on the other side of the world, and when we can have our metatdata examined by rows of spooks, have our credit information accessed and read by anyone who wants to and trace a car that has been parked on land without permission in order to levy some kind of fine, that we must treat our energy use being metered in ways set seventy years ago using very little of modern technology. Continue reading

Hey did we just kill a kid?

In one of those entertaining but reasonably shallow political debates between two leaders of minor parties here in the United Kingdom one leader, Mr Farage, claimed that the European Union was in the process of creating its own air force. Later a journalist rather sneeringly commented that the EU was not creating an air force merely combining to create some EU drones. Continue reading

Premium Phone Line Scams

Once upon a time we knew what fraud is. A scam, a con or a bit of skulduggery were easily recognised (after the event of course) and people tended to try and punish the perpetrators. Slippery Syd, a chap about whom I wrote a book, “the Master Con Man” used to spend huge amounts of time thinking up a scam, and putting it into practice, and then after having pulled off his “coup”  he usually ran away with his ill gotten gains, whether anyone was after him or not. Continue reading