Aug 29, 2010 at 12:18
For the last ten years or so I have been coming across the name of Barrie Trower in connection with EM radiation scares. Without having met the gentleman personally I can only recount what the press have said about him – from his own statements, presumably – in descriptions of his former employment. It is said that he is a “British scientist and former naval weapons expert” and that he “specialized in microwave stealth warfare during the Cold War.”
It is very easy to claim a past such as this. If the man has indeed worked behind the wall of silence that governments impose on so many, then any claim from him is going to be ignored by those powers: unless he goes beyond the remit of official secrets and, in his case, the dreaded Official Secrets Acts to which he would have been a signatory.
Trower’s name had kind of left my consciousness again until last week when it was announced that he was giving a free lecture in Toronto on the dreads of using Wi-Fi in the public ...
Aug 22, 2010 at 11:33
There has been a lot of press and technology pundit noise recently about net neutrality. Most people mean by that that there is no difference in the way content from any one site is handled from that from any other site. That sounds very egalitarian and in the full spirit of what the Internet has always been about. But should it be real?
Wow, people are saying, has McGoldrick lost his marbles? Is he on the side of the likes of Verizon? Maybe, and probably.
When the Internet came into being it was a means of digital communication between places of academic learning: hard wired sites that allowed the exchange of information in fairly unsophisticated formats – but in quite large volumes.
When Joe Public (the likes of me and you) came to the so-called World Wide Web it was in a form that allowed us initially to log on using dial-up facilities. We didn’t bother to go to any kind of sophisticated sites because we simply could not abide the download times that we would have had to endure; so we allowe...
Aug 16, 2010 at 12:16
Many people know, even if they don’t understand, my attitude towards electronic banking. I cannot be persuaded that any form of financial transaction over the Internet can ever be deemed totally safe and the Zeus virus, which targets – and empties – online bank accounts for those silly enough to continue using Internet Explorer first emerged three years ago and has now mutated to Zeus v3. I still, after many years, still even hesitate in passing credit card data across the web.
I am still even more hesitant about the use of debit cards. When the players involved are all so confident that their systems are totally secure it becomes an open invitation to hackers and con artists, who will use every possible gray cell they have just to prove the bankers wrong. That would be of no account to you or me as a user except that the rules of liability that exist with credit cards are turned on their head with debit transactions. Because the systems are so safe, the players say, it must mean that any ...
Aug 1, 2010 at 4:21
Governments have been involved in spying on their own citizens probably since the beginning of organized leadership. Whether it was a Lord who wanted to find the crops his tenants had hidden that he wanted to tax; the King who sensed rebellion or foreign attacks; the Church that wanted to suppress alternate beliefs – or science. Those in authority have believed that they have the right to prevent facts from being widely known, or to trap the unwary that dared to question their God-given right to lead.
Queen Elizabeth’s spymaster, Francis Walsingham, was perhaps the first thoroughly well-documented developer of the craft of spying and the use of agents provocateur. He died poor in 1590 because he spent all his efforts – and huge amounts of his own money – in protecting Elizabeth, the realm, and the Protestant faith. He cultivated a legion of intelligencers across both England and the Continent who were able to feed him commercial, military, and political secrets. The questionable downf...