Another SLA-Europe Social Event, Anonymous Searching, and the Anti-Social Network

July 13, 2012

Hello again. Another blog, and another great social event thanks to SLA-Europe. I’m on the Board, so I would say that. However, it was a very good way to spend a Summer evening (raining of course!) look at the cloud formation surrounding my photo of the Shard.

This was taken from the Roof Terrace of the offices of Nomura International Plc, Angel Lane EC4.

I met many old faces and many new ones at this event and spoke with people on a wide range of topics which included Client ID and Know-Your-Customer (KYC); SharePoint; Barclays; SharePoint; working in the Inner Temple as a Librarian when you trained as a Barrister; SharePoint and why it is such a great product; redundancies; SharePoint and why you wanted to lose it instead of use it; SCIP (Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals) raised twice by others with negative/positive commentary; SharePoint…etc. I’m sure you get my drift by now. I also work with SharePoint, so it was totally mesmerising to see this as the buzzword for the evening, with everyone I spoke to. People clearly have a certain ambivalent relationship with this particular piece of software. The event was sponsored by the Financial Times, Integreon and 7Side.

Given the negative publicity that Google has received recently surrounding its’ latest privacy policy, it’s hardly surprising that new search tools are being produced by so many new start-ups – and are having a pop at Google at the same time. Try and run a search for engines that protect your privacy and you’ll see what I mean.

I’m heading back to the KYC topic. After following Transparency International (TI) for many years now for its amazing corruption reports, I’d like to introduce you to Privacy International (PI) as well. I wrote about TI and focussed on PI in my book on pages 161-165 and highlighted that at that time of writing, Privacy Internationals’ view was that they had “found numerous deficiences and hostilities in Google’s approach to privacy that go well beyond those of other organisations”. (Privacy International, A Race to the Bottom: Privacy Ranking of Internet Companies 2007. So, has anything changed for the better since then? You know how to look this up…….

Privacy International

And so we move on to the Anti-Social Network. I thought that the Murdoch/News International scandal into privacy was the fat end of the wedge in privacy abuse, but it’s (almost) the opposite if compared to other means that are being used to upset and hurt people. On 21st March, Richard Bacon reported on BBC 3 about the Anti-Social Network. While I was aware that the Internet has been used for abusive purposes for a long time now, the full extent of the abuse was brought sharply into focus with this hard-hitting documentary. Richard described how not only has he and his family been a target of abuse – known as Trolling – but  he highlighted how Trolls also target RIP sites and launch a tirade of abuse at the recently deceased and their families. It’s a sick world when that’s the best that people can manage when harnessing the power of the Internet and all the fabulous technology that surrounds it.

It would seem fitting to leave this post on a lighter note, and so I give you Andy Murray on Centre Court at Wimbledon! What an amazing player. I was upset when he lost the Championships, but await his strong performance in the Games. Gold would be brilliant.

I was there!

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Miss Demeanour, the elevator Twitter that’s irritating Goldman Sachs, and anarchy in the UK

September 1, 2011

Hello again! I hope you are having a good Summer! Mine’s been extremely good since I had the pleasure of the company of Miss Demeanour last Monday Bank Holiday at Wheels and Wings on Dunsfold Aerodrome, where they film Top Gear. It’s a fabulous day out if you love aeroplanes, racing cars, classics, motorbikes and anything with a wheel or a wing.  Here she is:

Miss Demeanour

What a babe!

I was so hoping to see the Avro Vulcan XH558 fly again, but hydraulics problems grounded her for the entire event. Miss Demeanour filled that gap with her amazing display with the Hawker. Thanks to the pilots for the Hunter-Hawker air display. It was truly awesome! Miss Demeanour is owned by Jonathan Whaley, and – apparently – he packs the (replicant coloured) parachute himself for the final landing. See above. Most girls dream of having a man who colour co-ordinates this well…………

The Hunter-Hawker display above and below we have – A DeLorean! Apparently there’s 6,500 DeLoreans still around somewhere!

Back to the Future. Check out the Seagull doors!

I always look for the darker side of social networking, and the uses that it can be put to – only from a researchers’ perspective – I hasten to add, especially in this day and age. Did you hear on the vine that Goldman Sachs have a rogue Tweeter in their midst, who may be riding the lifts/elevators in order to eavesdrop on conversations and tweet them? The New York Post reports that Goldmans are trying to find out who is twittering on Twitter feed @gselevator, and they have even unsuccessfully attempted to force Twitter to freeze the account. Is Goldmans being a total twit (as in twit/twitter – oh forget it…) to worry about this in the first instance? Hey – what’s a bit of reputational risk banter in the elevator amongst the heavily-wedged few?  Maybe the ones who boast of their privileged excess in times of hardship for the benefit of the rest of us should learn to keep their mouths shut instead. The diversity of social networking just never fails to amaze.

Around where I live, we’ve had a spot of bother from rioters, who have totally destroyed Croydon and then attempted to trash Sutton a week or so later. I was sent the Looter’s Prayer, which is indicative of our times and was posted on Facebook by my colleague, Arthur Weiss.

“Our father, who art in prison, my mum knows not his name, thy Riots come, read it in “The Sun” in Birmingham , as it is in London , give us this day our Welfare bread and forgive us our looting, as we are happy to loot those who defend stuff against us. Lead us not into employment but deliver us free housing, for thine is the Facebook the Blackberry & the Twitter, forever and ever… Innit !!!! ”

Apparently, the manager at Waterstones Bookshop in Sutton commented on the rioting that was attempting to break out in Sutton with: “I’m going to keep my shop open. At least if they loot my store, the bu**ers might learn something”.  Very well said! 

One of my sons came home a couple of weeks ago and told me that one of his friends had visited his doctor because of teenage spots. The doctor went online, Googled “spots and teenagers” and printed off a page from Wikipedia and handed it to him. I understand that doctors earn circa £100k p.a. and if that’s the best they can do for their over-inflated salary then I’m at a loss for words.  Actually, I’m rarely at a loss for words, but that’s irrelevant. Anyone who is anyone knows that Wikipedia is fundamentally flawed data because anybody can update it.  It is proved that people purposely update Wikipedia with utter rubbish. Do our GPs need educating? It surely looks that way. I suggest this doctor takes a look at Mumsnet.com or the BBC or even the NHSDirect web site where information is somewhat more reliable.

TTFN, as my Grandfather used to say. I’ll be back again, sooner than usual with some more commentary when school starts.