IT Posts

Theodore Kaczynski, Unabomber, and Bill Joy

Tidings of Joy (NOT)

Published 10 January 2018

Today’s excellent Netflix drama series Manhunt: Unabomber highlights the issues in this article from 2000.

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AI Machine Learning for business

What AI and Machine Learning mean for business

Published 15 December 2017

First things first. There’s no such thing as genuine Artificial Intelligence.

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Wannacry ransomware

Why we shouldn’t weep over WannaCry

Published 16 May 2017

The hacking of the NHS was bad, but not that bad

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AI: racist or sexist?

The psychobabble behind the ‘AI is racist’ claim

Published 21 April 2017

Astonishing news is in. Apparently, artificial intelligence can be bigoted, too.

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Augmented and Virtual Reality

Let’s get real about Augmented and Virtual Reality

Published 22 March 2017

In the medium term the real deal looks like being AR, more than VR

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WiFi kettle

No, your home won’t be hacked

Published 31 October 2016

The panic about every household gadget being hit by computer hackers is overdone

On Friday 21 October an unprecedented cyber-attack hit many important websites, including Twitter, eBay and the New York Times.

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Galaxy Note 7 explodes

Samsung’s critics: recalling the future

Published 17 October 2016

Three dozen melted-down batteries among 2.5m new mobile phones is no reason to slow down innovation

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Financial services: is a robot stealing your job?

Published 11 June 2016

This keynote speech, delivered for the financial IT platform Intelliflo, looked at technology advances from both a consumer and business point of view

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Automation anxiety

Automation anxiety and the future of IT

Published 17 May 2016

Every new day finds a fresh, still more breathless report about how robots, Artificial Intelligence and IT generally are poised to take up to half of all jobs in the West.

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Facebook is not the British Raj

No, Facebook isn’t the British Raj

Published 18 February 2016

The row about India’s access to the internet is a storm in a chai cup.

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Dido Harding, CEO Talk Talk

Navigating the new landscape in cybersecurity

Published 16 February 2016

Martin Sorrell, CEO of the giant marketing services firm WPP, usually has a handle on the global zeitgeist in business – as an advertising man, it’s his job.

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Invasion of the sexbots? Get a grip

Published 23 September 2015

In 1988, before the internet arrived in anybody’s house, I helped lead Britain’s first study of e-commerce – what was then known as ‘teleshopping’.

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Molten man

What agility means for business

Published 17 September 2015

With the new digital tools that are now available, organisations of every size can trade ideas and collaborate more easily than ever before.

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Mobility trends in aviation

Mobility trends and the professional use of IT in European aviation, 2015-2025

Published 18 July 2015

In 2012, the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development said that air passenger traffic could double in 15 years; airfreight could treble in 20 years.(1)

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The future of media and the relevance of Content

Published 4 December 2014

James Woudhuysen opened the Content, Customers & Communities in the Media Landscape conference, held at London’s Digital Catapult Centre, Dec 2014.

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Digital Native

Digital native? There’s no such thing

Published 13 August 2014

It’s a myth that children are better at IT than adults

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Machine Age

IT’s not the future

Published 11 July 2014

The Second Machine Age sacrifices sense at the altar of technology

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Telcos terrible at communication

When telcos are terrible at communication

Published 11 April 2014

It’s time mobile operators fixed their networks – and their prose.

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Chinese supercomputers

Published 15 November 2013

If only briefly, China’s Milky Way 2 has taken the lead in the kind of machine that will be a vital to tomorrow’s heavy lifting in security, science and manufacturing

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A Seminal Panic about Defence IT: The Marconi Scam, 1913

Published 9 August 2013

100 years on, corruption at a UK telco contains lessons on Snowden, Huawei and globalisation.

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What London needs in terms of IT

Published 25 May 2013

Just three minutes on how the UK capital should apply IT for everyone’s benefit.

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Creative Destruction Medicine by Eric Topol

Next killer app for smartphone: personalised healthcare

Published 26 April 2013

Will our smartphones one day tell us if a heart attack is on its way, and nanosensors in our bodies dispense the medicine to deal with it? Eric Topol thinks so.

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Now is not the time to lose faith in R&D

Published 26 March 2009

Just a few years ago, Sun Microsystems sold a gadget that would make your business compliant with the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002.

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New dawn rising for Eastern IT

Published 23 October 2008

The financial crisis in the West will strengthen the position of IT firms in the East.

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Is man’s best friend a robot’s worst enemy?

Published 11 September 2008

Last month, Gartner vice president Jackie Fenn suggested that mobile robots are among the technologies that have “begun to be interesting to business”. So what’s happening in mobile and general robotics?

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Will insight lose out to inanity on the mobile web?

Published 11 June 2008

On the bus above my head, the new Vodafone ads tease me about Facebook on the move. I fight back despair and disapproval, and, instead, go on to learn more from conferences on mobile phones and new kinds of broadcasting.

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Experience trumps youthful exuberance

Published 28 April 2008

Back in October 2001, the American educationalist Marc Prensky suggested that there was a fundamental difference between people who had been born with IT and those who had not.

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Whatever happened to self-reliance?

Published 18 December 2007

Invited to present some ideas to a very familiar UK service provider last week, I found few besuited representatives of the client at its head office.

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Lara Croft gets down to business

Published 19 November 2007

It had to happen. IBM, still a venerable name in the computer industry, has taken yet another step to get down there with the kids.

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Compulsive computer use

Published 16 October 2007

Can’t kick the IT habit? It’s time to stop worrying and state the case for free will.

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Innovation is more than combination

Published 7 September 2007

New technological breakthroughs are often a clever mix of old ones. But they also mark a leap named Progress.

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HDTV shows the way for online comms

Published 3 August 2007

Directed at entertainment, high-definition TV could also prove the turning point for video conferencing.

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Youth worship will put economy on its knees

Published 9 July 2007

The reasons given for venerating ‘tech-savvy’ Generation Y are not new and yet again fail to convince.

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B2B e-merchants must raise their game

Published 25 June 2007

In the literature of innovation, 3M’s Post-it notes are regularly cited as an example of a great company making the most of a serendipitous innovation.

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Green issues need blue-skies thinking

Published 30 May 2007

Recently I was at a conference on the state of London. Mayor Ken Livingstone made the opening address. One of his chief slogans concerned human waste: “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down”.

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Don’t let the e-waste tail wag the innovation dog

Published 23 May 2007

Killer applications, not regulatory labyrinths about waste, are the way forward in IT

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E-science creates another dimension

Published 11 May 2007

Remote teamworking is set to have a growing role in scientific research and experimentation.

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Broadband goes with the flow

Published 27 April 2007

Enthusiasm for broadband appears particularly strong in wealthy countries with a rich maritime heritage.

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Happy birthday, Apple II

Published 16 April 2007

Thirty years ago, product design and graphics helped the Apple II outsell Commodore’s PET, and paved the way for today’s obsession with computer games.

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Call centres should move with the times

Published 3 April 2007

Poor service from providers makes getting basic IT services into a new home the bane of modern life.

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Is transport IT on the right road?

Published 19 March 2007

The focus of transport technology policy should be on improving efficiency, not monitoring journeys.

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IT is our best bet for urban renewal

Published 15 February 2007

New Labour’s enthusiasm for supercasinos betrays a lack of faith in the transformative power of IT.

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Wave goodbye to gesture-free PCs

Published 22 January 2007

In 2017, when you spot members of staff gesticulating at their PCs, it will be more likely that they are hard at work than losing at poker.

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Seamless red pattern

Making a tidy sum from all fears

Published 12 December 2006

Environmental concerns and contamination fears are likely to generate big business for technology firms.

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How to tackle blogger critics

Published 23 November 2006

Companies are being advised to use in-house bloggers to appease their online detractors.

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Will eco-fear stifle innovation?

Published 3 November 2006

Knee-jerk IT choices made in the face of imaginary meltdowns could stymie technological innovation.

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How IT will cook up a feast for the eyes

Published 27 October 2006

Trends in computing mean developers will soon have to add visual literacy to their skills.

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The fear behind the IT disasters

Published 20 October 2006

Anxiety over risk is prompting government to outsource more than just contracts, but the policy process itself

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NHS puts IT in the casualty ward

Published 9 October 2006

The broad goals of the NHS Connecting for Health programme are laudable, so what is going wrong?

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Smarty-pants ideas to make work better

Published 22 September 2006

Wearable IT is starting to have an impact in sport and may soon make a significant improvement to the lives of thousands of workers.

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Dress smarter for a better life

Published 11 September 2006

Fashionistas and technologists are starting to develop off-the-peg solutions to everyday problems.

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Why people feel aggrieved about public Wifi

Published 24 July 2006

More urban WiFi hotspots are not a human right – but they would aid mobility

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Unhappy? Don’t blame IT gadgets

Published 3 July 2006

If you’re feeling sad and lonely, cutting back on IT gadgets won’t help

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Banking on IT

Published 13 June 2006

Banks are pioneers in IT, but oh, so backward in it, too

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RFID wireless tags face hurdles

Published 12 June 2006

Privacy concerns and high costs may delay the widespread adoption of RFID technology

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Hardware design isn’t old hat

Published 30 May 2006

Engineering should come before the user’s experience of IT

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Chasing the green pound

Published 9 May 2006

Will plans for eco-friendly homes fitted with high-tech energy meters be a money-spinner for IT firms?

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Thames Gateway: when IT really matters

Published 1 May 2006

If the communications of the government are to be believed, a large-scale residential community such as Thames Gateway can be sustainable, yet devoid of IT

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Is being green a turn-off?

Published 27 April 2006

Teleworkers who neglect to switch off their kit may not be the eco-vandals some would have us believe.

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IT holds key to East London regeneration

Published 13 April 2006

Everywhere you go in an office, regulators want to control your life.

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IT makes staff struggle in isolation

Published 24 March 2006

Staff development suffers in offices where technology takes precedence over human interaction

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Voice-operated: a word-of-mouth success

Published 13 March 2006

Speech-to-text tools are improving and can be a real boon for people who find typing difficult

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ID cards yes, mobile government no

Published 20 February 2006

The government’s enthusiasm for ID cards is in stark contrast to its lukewarm attitude to mobile IT

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Big-headed ideas for mobile systems

Published 3 February 2006

It is time to think large and ambitious, not small and niche, for mobile enterprise applications.

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Cool heads needed for RFID debate

Published 24 January 2006

Trade unions, lawyers and privacy campaigners worried about “Big Brother spychips” should not be allowed to dictate the RFID agenda.

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Power and responsibility go together

Published 10 January 2006

You’ve heard about business continuity. In 2006, you’ll be hearing about energy continuity.

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IT hosts help airlines to soar again

Published 17 October 2005

Disputes between Boeing and Airbus spiral. In the US, Delta and Northwest are in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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Airlines: it makes sense to share

Airlines: It makes sense to share

Published 12 October 2005

A breakthrough new approach to outsourcing is now available to the airline industry which has the potential to transform performance in this sector, and also act as a leading example to other industries.

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Time to switch on to mobile television

Published 30 September 2005

Media scares about mobile TV’s potential to corrupt kids obscure the technology’s many advantages for business

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IT must address grey matters

Published 16 September 2005

Technology must be harnessed to ensure businesses get the best out of the UK’s ageing workforce

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The new service design

Published 7 August 2005

The design critic John Thackara’s new book highlights much of the coming agenda for IT in services.

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The government IT club wants you

Published 27 May 2005

Government IT may be changing but it still encroaches where it is not needed

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Tying WiFi down

Published 15 April 2005

Wireless broadband is the latest casualty of burgeoning regulation in the workplace.

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Staff may be happier at home

Published 20 January 2005

Once, only BT really tried to turn telework to its advantage. Now Sun and Brother have adopted similar tactics.

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Building on the desktop

Published 30 November 2004

In the august British Library, you can turn the pages of a digital version of the Leonardo Notebook by hand.

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IT gets behind the wheel of a car

Published 25 November 2004

IT in cars may not create mobile offices, but there will be productivity benefits

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Time to put the C into ICT

Published 7 October 2004

The illustrious Royal Society of Arts recently held a European Technology Forum on leadership in telecoms.

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Distant dangers for staff

Published 31 August 2004

I was at the Henley Management College recently for a seminar on Managing Tomorrow’s Worker.

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Give them good reason to comply

Published 29 July 2004

To see what the world of IT security has come to, let’s consider the University of California’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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IT suffers brand identity crisis

Published 21 July 2004

As long as the brand is king, no high-profile firm can afford to be truly adventurous

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Housing crisis will hit IT

Published 1 June 2004

Last week the Institution of Electrical Engineers hosted a Guardian conference titled Key worker housing: building on foundations to crack the crisis.

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Broadband brings broad benefits

Published 30 May 2004

The best thing about broadband is that it looks set to become part of the furniture.

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Will the world find salvation or apocalypse in IT?

Published 20 May 2004

Why do pundits so often ignore the possibility that IT might improve life?

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In praise of strong leadership

Published 5 May 2004

Bill Gates and Sun’s Scott McNealy have kissed and made up. Intel’s Craig Barrett has defied the company’s critics. And at Apple, Steve Jobs is riding high on the success of the iPod.

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How IT can make city life better

Published 27 April 2004

If councils want to use the web to assist urban revival, they should spend less time on waffle and more on building useful services.

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Wireless is nothing without The Face

Published 9 April 2004

Do a Google search for ‘Productivity benefits of videoconferencing’, and you’ll find precisely three entries. So if the Voice over IP community has been slow to explain the productivity benefits of VoIP, it has been slower still to foresee the coming revolution in PC-based videoconferencing.

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New players on the IT stage

Published 5 April 2004

Recent moves by a Chinese PC maker and an Indian teleco highlight the global forces reshaping IT

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Beware smotherers of invention

Published 15 January 2004

Few newspapers covered Lord Sainsbury’s December report for the Department of Trade and Industry, Competing in the Global Economy: the Innovation Challenge.

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Brussels outlaws skipping

Published 2 January 2004

By 13 August 2005, under the EU Directive 2002/96/EC on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), manufacturers and importers of IT hardware must arrange and fund the recovery, reuse and recycling of discarded kit.

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Developing IT

Published 17 December 2003

For all the concern about the ‘digital divide’, there is little sense of the real difference IT could make to the developing world.

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Let IT be a force for good

Published 24 November 2003

On 10 December, the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) opens its World Summit on the Information Society, in Geneva.

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Is military IT power waning?

Published 21 November 2003

Military IT was once a seedbed for innovation, but today it appears business IT is calling the shots

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When offices go PC

Published 29 October 2003

As offices have got more complex, salaried posts in facilities management (FM) have multiplied. Yet many firms have also been persuaded that their own staff are not the best people to handle tasks as varied as leaky plumbing and the provision of furniture.

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Is it RIP for R&D?

Published 24 September 2003

Henry Chesbrough’s Open innovation suggests that most firms should leave R&D to the specialists.

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The future in 3G

Published 5 September 2003

Third-generation mobiles could boost production as well as consumption – if only network developers would develop them.

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Putting the IT into politics

Published 7 August 2003

A little more conviction and a little less ‘compulsion’ might get people interested in e-government.

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Dangers of information abuse

Published 15 June 2003

So now we know. In the fog of Gulf War 2, terabytes of data about Iraq were sent back from GPS satellites and robot spyplanes and displayed on perhaps 100,000 giant flat screens and laptops.

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Review of ‘Calculated Risks’

Published 1 June 2003

Kevin Maney’s biography of IBM founder Thomas Watson does justice to his daring personality.

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Things to come … Big Brother for bugs

Published 1 June 2003

Creepy-crawlies account for more than half the known species on the planet.

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IT must keep its head in a crisis

Published 28 May 2003

The scale and ease of transmission of Sars have been exaggerated by the media, with the result that stock market analysts have marked down growth prospects for tourism, airlines, Thailand and even Japan.

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Lack of IT cements housing crisis

Published 17 May 2003

In his Budget speech, Gordon Brown blamed the housing market for most of the past 50 years of “stop-go” problems in the British economy.

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IT blurs business and pleasure

Published 28 April 2003

It is not desktop applications that will drive mobile ones, I believe, but rather the reverse. So what will those mobile apps be?

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Does democracy need an ‘e’?

Published 22 April 2003

Next month’s local government elections promise to be the usual snooze.

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Things to come … Self-healing PCBs

Published 1 March 2003

A dead PC is as often caused by a cracked printed circuit board – but not for much longer, if Fred Wudl has his way.

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Will work-life balance upset IT?

Published 25 February 2003

IT managers might feel little connection with the human resources issues that preoccupy so many business leaders, but it would pay to pay attention

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Keep an eye on democracy

Published 3 February 2003

The recent raids on Pete Townshend and others for using their credit cards to view child pornography on the Internet have heightened public interest in surveillance.

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Will three-card trick fool public?

Published 27 January 2003

As a professor, passing through the post-modern groves of academe, I often run into obscure discussions concerning personal identity.

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My recipe for kitchen IT

Published 13 December 2002

I’ve just had a new kitchen installed. In the process I learnt that Britain’s best-known kitchen supplier is really a financial services company with a sideline in the joinery business.

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Management speak in IT

Management speak in IT

Published 5 December 2002

The contribution of IT to management speak does not just consist of technical jargon. That has its place. The contribution explored here is different: IT-speak.

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Think-tanks turn their sights on IT

Published 15 November 2002

I’m at the Beyond the Backlash conference for young, influential Blairite policy wonks, listening to IT experts and representatives of the establishment all sharing their views on the future of technology.

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Beware the bean counters

Published 18 October 2002

If it gets measured, it gets managed is one of the enduring myths of our time.

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The guff of greatness

Published 20 September 2002

In the management of IT, is leadership all about charisma? Bill Gates might, perhaps, suggest not.

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Hooray for Hutchison’s 3G plan

Published 16 September 2002

Everywhere you turn, people attack 3G. Nicholas Negroponte, director of the Media Lab at MIT, dismisses it as a “top-down” affair compared with the bottom-up prospect of 802.11b wireless LANs.

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Brave new world of work

Published 23 August 2002

Richard Donkin’s Blood, sweat and tears: the evolution of work is an excellent history.

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Converging on risk aversion

Published 2 August 2002

It’s short-termism in the IT world that means mergers are thought to be Bad News.

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Mergers are a force for good

Published 26 July 2002

Some months back, when the Hewlett-Packard deal with Compaq first ran into flak, I defended it.

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The real con in WorldCon

Published 19 July 2002

WorldCom replaced engineering with financial engineering, and paid the price.

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Space men invade UK offices

Published 8 July 2002

To a Work Foundation conference to consider how office environments affect the efficiency and effectiveness of computer users.

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Design of the times

Published 2 July 2002

About 80 of the US’s top Web designers who specialise in what they call “experience design” will gather shortly in Las Vegas.

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Why is government IT jinxed?

Published 7 June 2002

The suspension of the Inland Revenue’s flagship Internet self-assessment service, for security reasons, is only the latest piece of bad news about government IT projects.

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Usability cult sacrifices innovation

Published 31 May 2002

Last week I visited the Usability Professionals Association, to hear a youthful but stern Web designer named Martyn Perks mount a refreshing attack on user-centred Web design.

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Don’t let them grind you down

Published 8 May 2002

Company boards say that they want IT directors to be more skilful with their strategies. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But there’s a problem.

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Don’t believe e-procurement hype

Published 14 March 2002

What much of the public understands by procurement seems to surround BBC chairman Gavyn Davies.

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E-learning joins the class struggle

Published 8 March 2002

To a conference on e-learning organised by VNU, publisher of IT Week, I go as a natural sympathiser; but I know that many educationists are not sympathetic at all.

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Corrosive clairvoyants hinder progress

Published 1 February 2002

For Morgan Stanley, the market for global business-to-business ecommerce in 2000 was $200bn. For Forrester Research it was $600bn.

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Rebranding America

Published 26 October 2001

Outside the land of the free, America’s IT suppliers are admired more than America’s political values. So why doesn’t the American establishment promote American IT more?

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Let happiness prevail

Published 15 October 2001

In the second month after 11 September, stocks of network monitoring firms, face-recognition specialists and iris-matching suppliers have enjoyed a boom.

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The magic of mobile

Published 9 May 2001

It is not wireless gizmos that make us stupid at work, but the kind of Hey Presto management thinking that prefers rabbits out of hats to real insights.

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The battle for the living room

The Battle for the Living Room

Published 10 October 1996

Where many see excitement and promise, the reality of consumer electronics is confusion and a focus on digital minutiae

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Making IT work for London

Published 1 March 1992

London’s cultural trade alone cannot restore its self-respect. What the capital needs is to exploit the wider “culture” of IT.

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Danger: pods at work

Danger: pods at work

Published 13 November 1986

IT is a wonderful thing – but in certain conditions, it can desensitise

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