Archive for the 'Oxford' Category

How to avoid learning perhaps a little too much about Kieren’s life

I mentioned about a month ago how I was considering setting up a second blog so I could more easily separate my personal and professional life. And yesterday, twice, I was reminded that there is a bit of an unusual overlap when I spoke to two people: one, the spokesman for a company I regularly report on; and the second, the CEO of a company I also follow closely.

Both of them made mention of my paella (I note with sadness that only one was interested in the actual recipe however). Now this was a tremendous paella, there’s no doubt about that, but I suspect that there may be a few people out there that don’t want to know about my lunch and so I am going to highlight here an easy solution to the problem: separate RSS feeds.

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Ha! PC World Oxford finally gets it in the neck

I have just seen an article in the Oxford Mail entitled “Watchdog criticises PC World”.

Hy heart leapt as I started reading: “Staff at a computer store in Oxford have been accused of failing to diagnose basic computer problems and overcharging for repairs.”

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Interviews with the Nominet Board candidates

There are two Board positions going at UK registry Nominet that will be decided on Wednesday (27 September) at the company’s annual general meeting in London.

Last week, Nominet announced that there were six candidates and released a statement from each. Despite the extremely tight time period (for example postal votes have to be with Nominet tomorrow (Monday)), I thought it would be a good idea to do very brief interviews with each candidate asking what I hope are the questions that Nominet members would wish to ask and then post them on the Net to help people arrive at a decision.

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The St Ebbe’s Residents’ Association and its eerie parallels with Internet governance

Last night, as I was scrabbling around by the front door in the dark with a torch and a piece of fuse wire, my letterbox started juttering away behind me. Even the postmen manage to deliver before 9pm, so I was intrigued. And sure enough it was the latest newsletter (number 6 this year) from the St Ebbe’s New Development Residents’ Association (SENDRA).

A two-page A4 printout covering what is happening locally for the 100 or so other people in my peaceful little corner of the world, hidden from central Oxford thanks to a hideous car park on the way over, but resting neatly and comfortably on the river.

Thanks to the electricity shutdown causing my modem to commit hari-kiri, and me having to do an early morning rush to PC World and rebuild my entire home network, I have only just now got around to reading SENDRA’s September 2006 newsletter.

I get the feeling that the St Ebbe’s resident’s association is rapidly running out of control.

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Speak go unheard

Speak stall on CarfaxThe animal rights protest group [tag]Speak[/tag] is still protesting although it is becoming increasingly obvious that the organisation is not much beyond one man’s bitter fury.

Speak leader Mel [tag]Broughton[/tag], who writes emotive and heavily biased accounts of the organisation’s various actions for its website, has been banned from entering Oxford after he was arrested in June for obstructing a highway. A request to lift restrictions on his movements within [tag]Oxford[/tag] was denied by Oxford Magistrates Court at a hearing.

The result has been Speak protesting in London, in Reading, in Melton Mowbray – using whatever tenuous link they can to Oxford University to justify it. Even though the courts have allowed the organisation to protest within Oxford, there is little appetite for it without Broughton’s gifted but frequently bitter and inaccurate oratory.

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Sniffy Oxford Internet Institute holds IGF meeting

I’ve just been reminded, by one of the main speakers, that the [tag]Oxford[/tag] Internet Institute is holding an evening discussion over the [tag]IGF[/tag] tomorrow evening, followed by an all-day invite-only event on the Friday.

In fact, I wasn’t even reminded. I had a vague notion of there being an [tag]OII[/tag] event on [tag]Net governance[/tag] in my home town some time before the first IGF meeting in Athens in late October, but hadn’t picked up a word of it – which is extremely odd since I am only one of about four journalists in the whole world that regularly cover Internet Governance issues.

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Hot air balloon trip

This morning, at the ungodly hour of 6am, I finally embarked on my first hot air balloon trip, flying directly over Historic Oxfordâ„¢, and landing in a field next to an army dump 10 miles west, just over the M40 near Brill.

Taking off

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Oxford Wi-Fi article in Guardian

I have an article in The Guardian today that I’ve been wanting to write for nearly a year: free Net [tag]wireless[/tag] access in coffee shops.


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Speak beginning to lose the plot

Animal rights group Speak’s behaviour is becoming increasingly bizarre. Actually, to be accurate, the pieces written on its website – almost certainly written by leader Mel Broughton – are becoming increasingly bizarre.

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Speak slammed for misleading quote

The [tag]animal rights[/tag] group [tag]Speak[/tag] has just been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for a “misleading and inaccurate” quote it attributed to the chairman of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), Sir Michael Rawlins.

The [tag]ASA[/tag] received a complaint from [tag]NICE[/tag] saying that the quote – which appears on the front of leaflets the group hands out at protests in Oxford – was taken out of context. The ASA ruled against Speak and also criticised it for its “apparent disregard” of the advertising rules (it failed to respond to the complaint).

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