wg at the Guardian...
The most recent contributions should always be linked from my contributor page on the Guardian.
This page has sections: features and other articles from the the main paper; Technobile; Comment is Free; Technology Blog; obits.
Note: Most of these articles are readily accessible; however some of the Technobiles are on the media pages, which are behind registration. The Guardian made the Technology section online-only in early 2010.
- Computer science: still a male domain? (7/18/12) - Marissa Mayer's appointment as the high-profile CEO of Yahoo! doesn't change the gender imbalance in the upper levels of the IT industry.
- AI scientists want to make gods. Should that worry us? (11/2/11) - some thoughts following the 2011 Singularity Summit. Update (1/12/13): It was brought to my attention before the 2012 Singularity Summit that there was some unhappiness among the organizers about this piece. There were a few inaccuracies that were my own fault; the one pointed out to me, that I had Vernor Vinge's discpline as physics rather than mathematics, has been corrected. A couple of clarifications: 1) I did not write or approve the headline, which was contributed by the Guardian staff; 2) this piece is for the *Belief* section, not the technology section. For more factual write-ups of the 2012 summit see the pieces I wrote for The Inquirer.
- Did the use of psychedelics lead to a computer revolution? (9/6/11) - many people tried acid; only one became Steve Jobs.
- After Steve Jobs, what next for Apple? (8/25/11).
- So why did Microsoft buy Skype? (5/12/11) - Because it was reassuringly expensive?
- The flowering of strong atheism (4/12/11) - write-up of a lecture by John Lanman
- I've no faith in this idea that religion is dying out (3/23/11) - Dying out or being replaced?
- Nokia can still escape from its burning platform (2/11/11) - Sure, if it can make feature-rich phones that are simple to use.
- Astrologers should look to the cloud, not the stars (2/11/11) - David McCandless's word cloud visualizations show that banalities work.
- Modern 'hackers' are not worthy of the name (12/10/10) - "Hacker" used to be a term of art, applied to those who made clever things.
- No, we don't 'understand' surveillance reversal (10/24/10) - The £2 billion interception modernization program may be back.
- The US can run on Google-power (10/14/10) - Google drops some pocket change on a wind farms.
- A fond farewell to the floppy disk (4/27/10) - But it seems like only yesterday we were hailing its wonders.
- A good case doesn't need spin (3/4/10) - Is a lie still a lie when it's in a good cause?
- Strong-armed into compassion (11/16/09) - Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion focuses on religion. This may be a good thing.
- Being green is no religion (11/5/09) - And science is a process for discovering reality, not a belief system.
- Virtually quite useful (3/22/09) - Always fun to trash government departments for wasting money, but the Department of Work and Pensions' experiment with Second Life isn't so dumb.
- Technobile: My memorable data is so unmemorable that I can't remember it (7/19/07) - And neither can American Express. Reader comments
- Technobile: Hey PayPal, forget about the FAQs, just give me some help" (7/5/07) - FAQs are not help, dammit.
- Technobile: Remember the simpler days when we all had just one phone? (6/7/07) - And just one phone bill. Convergence, where art thou?
- Technobile: It's time for Amazon to turn over a new leaf... (5/3/07) - Why is it easier to search Amazon using Google?
- Technobile: Wake up and smell the coffee, Flavia, or your company could land itself in hot water (4/5/07) - The coffee machine in the US Airways Gatwick lounge needs network neutrality.
- Technobile: Bring back Cello, a pre-Netscape browser, because Firefox 2 is a bloated, slow resource hog (3/1/07) - For a quiet life, never say anything bad about Firefox: reader comments.
Note: this is the one piece I ever wrote where I chickened out of looking at the reader email. There was a lot of it. Sorry, folks.
- Technobile: When something breaks the Internet, there's no way of telling anybody (1/18/07) - Internet weather.
- Technobile: For that seamless finish, forget Word and WYSIWYG - try scissors and Sellotape (9/21/06) - The uselessness of word processors for arranging thoughts. Reader comments.
- Technobile: TV scheduling software
(9/6/06) - every time I try to use the Hauppauge scheduling software to
record anything, it crashes the entire computer it's running on. I am a fan of Hauppauge generally, and they are trying to help get to the source of the problem. Check back for updates. Reader comments: I should get a Mac, a Nebula, a DigiTV, a VCR, and a life.
- Technobile: music on hold (6/8/06) - If you must play something, make it talk radio. *Quiet* talk radio. Letters says I missed the worst thing about music on hold, namely not knowing how far up the queue you are.
- Technobile: online surveys (6/1/06) - Get away from me with those questionnaires. You really want to know what I think? Do you?
- Technobile: password overdose (5/18/06) - Passwords, passwords, passwords, and passwords. Spam on the side, sir?
- Technobile: Business Week's electronic edition (5/11/06) - Print definitely has an electronic future, but this sure isn't it. Letters agreed: Business Week's chosen Zinio format is dreadful; try Fortune instead.
- Technobile: intermittent messaging (4/20/06) - Look, folks, it's instant messaging, not instant response...
- Technobile: Die, Telewest set-top box, DIE!
(4/6/06) - Says it all, really. What is less comprehensible is that Telewest has never reacted to this story. Like, you know, by groveling.
Letters complained about different but equally annoying trouble trying to use a TiVo to record Sky radio channels.
- Is UK college's RFID chip tracking of pupils an invasion of privacy? (2013-11-19) - not just any RFID, but stuff that sees through walls.
- Google's Peter Norvig: 'I have the best job in the world' (11/23/12) - an interview with Peter Norvig, Google's director of research.
- An £8,000 projector ushers in future for independent cinema (7/8/09) - Leica projector allows cinemas to show digital films cheaply.
- You've got to hand it to them (5/14/09) - No one ever leaves the Shadow Robot Project.
- Why machines are bad at counting votes (4/30/09) - Problems with electronic voting machines.
- Virtually quite useful (3/22/09) - The Department of Work and Pensions' Second Life experiment.
- A new jewel in dentistry's crowns (3/12/09) - New high-tech manufacturing methods for crowns.
- Why you can't find a library book in your search engine (1/22/09) - Bringing book cataloguing into the internet age.
- Wikipedia falls foul of British censors (12/8/08) - (by Bobbie Johnson; additional reporting by Wendy Grossman).
- Is a picture really worth £1,000? (11/27/08) - Picture agency bullying tactics.
- Will machines outsmart man? (11/5/08) - Or is the question when will they?
- Should we take cheap-as-chips RFID on trust? (9/11/08) - More security needed....
- Pointing the internet in a new direction (7/31/08) - URL redirection services.
- Digital thieves swipe your photos - and profit from them (6/19/08) - Thieves who copy photos from Flickr and sell them on eBay.
- Licensed to be confusing, restrictive and obtuse (4/24/08) - Software licences are becoming more important and more absurd.
- Is it possible for geeks to fix the United Nations? (3/13/08) - Making the proceedings more accessible may be a first step.
- Why are Google and Microsoft both so interested in health? (2/28/08) - Both companies hope to offer individuals a way to manage their own health records.
- Patients who are frozen in time (2/14/08) - Is cryonics becoming less of a long shot?
- How can one pupil shut down an entire school's IT system? (1/3/08) - Thanks to news aggregators....
- How secure are your online passwords? (12/6/07) - Not very. Google makes a fine password cracker, as the Cambridge University Computer Lab's security group recently discovered.
- Linux community faces new uncertainty (10/18/07) - IP Innovation LLC files a patent claim against Novell and Red Hat.
- Does antivirus have a future? (9/20/07) - Floppy disks, Word, email...now infected Web sites. Be careful out there. Some reader comments:
it's Windows, not Mac, Linux, or Unix, that's insecure. My reply: it's
people who make computers insecure, no matter what the operating
system. I say it's PEBKAC, and I say to hell with it.
- Why small online fraudsters get away with it (9/6/07) - Sad, but true.
- Ruling a further blow to SCO as it faces an increasingly bleak future (8/16/07) - It takes a big company to admit defeat - and SCO is an increasingly small one.
- Newly asked question: How big a threat to privacy is Google really? (7/26/07) - Gmail, Gmaps, Gnews, Gearth, and all under a single helpful user ID.
- Will Galileo ever achieve orbit? (6/21/07) - So much for the "private" in "public-private partnership". It's hard to compete with free.
- Inside IT: The art of reducing your computer's noise (6/14/07) Build your own PC, listen to how loud your keyboard is.
- Freedom of rights management (4/26/07) - Apple's change of heart re DRM in iTunes could have come quicker for independent musicians.
- Will the EU ruling against Microsoft have unintended consequences? (3/8/07) - Maybe, says Gary Barnett, if the European Commission undermines the patent system.
- Newly Asked Question: How can I vote on the Oscars? (2/15/07) - Well, too late now. But OscarTorrents is what the Academy should be doing.
- A Dickens of a copyright case at last approaches its endgame (2/8/07) - SCO is doomed. Reader comments: there is a slight factual error in explaining the historical ownership background regarding AT&T and BSD.
- A picture paints a thousand invoices (2/1/07) - Corbis cracks down on online copyright infringement by small businesses while photographers get squeezed.
have image spam and Captchas got in common? (1/11/07) - Crack
identifying image spam, and you've helped the spammers by cracking
- Computers transform the cutting edge of sculpture (12/7/06) - Laser scanning and sculpture.
- Preserving a copy of the future (10/19/06) - Copyright and preservation.
- Do robots dream of copyright? (9/14/06) - Personality and publicity rights.
- Galileo satellite's secure codes cracked
(8/31/06) - it's the intellectual property claim that Americans are
worried about in Galileo's prospective free global satellite navigation
service. Sidebar: Codebusters: What the research team cracked.
- Spam is on the move from email to phone lines (8/10/06) - be careful of the cheap phone calls you wish for; you may get them.
- Big Brother takes a controlling interest in chips (6/29/06) - Vernor Vinge's vision of the all-surveillance future. He says it's optimistic.
- Will licensing kill the radio star?
(5/4/06) - UK Internet radio stations' international streams are being
switched off under the costs of international performing rights
- Is school fingerprinting out of bounds? (3/30/06) - Fingerprinting kids so they can take books out of school libraries. Really.
- Will logging your email combat terrorism in Europe? (1/12/06) - The EU passes the data retention directive. And you thought that was in 2002.
- Honey, I shrunk the movie collection (12/15/05) - My day job: digitizing the videos everyone feels they have to comment on when they enter my living room. Letters
raised the issue of the durability of home-burned DVD media. This writer is correct that it's a concern. My assumption is that I will be able to build a large hard-drive array that will hold the entire collection as a networked server within the next couple of years. As of 6/30/06, six months after this article appeared, you can buy a 320Gb
hard drive for about £65 plus VAT. I figure I will start buying 500Gb drives in about December, pretty much on the schedule I imagined.
- A new blow to our privacy (6/6/02) - European Parliament votes for data retention.
- A hands-on approach to synthesisers (4/25/96). Text version here. An interview with Robert Moog at his workshop in Asheville, North Carolina.
- Me and my gizmo: John Perry Barlow (1/11/96). Text version here.
- Two British teams led the list of winners of the 1995 Ig Nobel prizes (10/12/95)
- Raid on Arnaldo Lerma (8/17/95)
This page maintained by wendyg at skeptic.demon.co.uk. Unsolicited commercial email unwelcome.
Back to main articles page
Back to front
- John Perry Barlow (2018-02-20), Grateful Dead lyricist, EFF co-founder, and inspirational pundit.
- Caspar Bowden (2015-07-15), privacy leader.
- David Blomfield (2016-08-22), self-effacing local Kew hero.
- John McCarthy (10/25/11), pioneer in artificial intelligence.
- Hilary Evans (2011-08-16), co-founder of the Mary Evans Picture Library and the best friend a magazine ever had.
- Martin Gardner (2010-05-27), mathematician, magician, and skeptic extraordinaire.