I took place in a discussion with various notables just before Xmas for an edition of the BBC’s Digital Planet radio programme and just remembered it has now come out and you can download and listen to it from its website (although I will also stick it below for ease).
The discussion was on two things: Vista, tying in “trusted computing”, and Internet governance – and on it were host Gareth Mitchell (a lovely bloke I met in Tunisia at the World Summit), woolly mammoth and terrific IT journo Bill Thompson, the unnervingly smart John Palfrey from Berkman/Harvard, and the Iranian blogger bloke who name I have forgotten and just looked up – Hossein Derekhshan – and, well, me.
To make matters worse, the producer Colin Grant, called me up and we were discussing what I thought about Vista and Net governance and I said I’d get hold of a copy of Vista before the programme. This I failed to do because Microsoft for some peculiar reason had refused to hand them out until – well, until about now, early Jan.
On Friday, the ICANN Board approved some controversial renewal contracts for the .biz, .info and .org top-level Internet domains.
In a press conference a few hours later, chairman Vint Cerf urged the reporters to read the transcript of the discussion. That transcript isn’t up yet but I figured that Cerf was right about listening to it, so I have knocked up an MP3 of the 45-minute discussion and posted it below.
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.
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.
So far the US government has been explicitly urged by just about every speaker at the [tag]NTIA[/tag] meeting in Washington discussing [tag]ICANN[/tag] that it transition its own role on the Internet to a more international body.
Commerce assistant secretary John [tag]Kneuer[/tag] – the man that matters – was asked straight out whether the US was prepared to transition its role, especially considering the famous “principles” announced last year. (The key sentence being: “As such, the United States is committed to taking no action that would have the potential to adversely impact the effective and efficient operation of the DNS and will therefore maintain its historic role in authorizing changes or modifications to the authoritative root zone file”.)
This morning the new Home Secretary [tag]John Reid[/tag] gave his first interview since taking over the job to Radio 4’s Today programme.
It was interesting for a number of reasons not least of which was the fact that he appears to have lied about having seen a [tag]BBC[/tag] investigation which alleges that the detective in charge of the [tag]Stephen Lawrence[/tag] murder investigation was paid off by the father of one of the accused.
Yesterday lunchtime, quite by accident, I saw that at 5pm that afternoon at the [tag]Oxford[/tag] Playhouse was the annual Charles [tag]Simonyi[/tag] Lecture, to be given by Nobel-prize winning scientist Sir Harry [tag]Kroto[/tag], on the subject of: “Can the Internet save the [tag]Enlightenment[/tag]?”
So I changed my route home to go via the Playhouse and buy a ticket. I bought it and turned up at 5pm to see what one of the world’s top scientists had to say about the Internet, and why he thought the Enlightenment – by which I correctly assumed he meant the nature of religion-free search for truths – was under threat.
There was an open public meeting of Pro-Test at Oxford’s Town Hall last night from 7pm to 9.15pm. The flyers sold it as: “Come and discuss the case for animal research with leading scientists, politicians, journalists, university representatives, medical charity workers and members of the Pro-Test committee”, and it was very interesting.
I have some pictures and some notes about the meeting that I will stick up when I have a minute, but first of all, here are MP3s of each person’s speech, in the order they were given. Click on the person’s name below for the audio file. Most are around 2MB in size, so depending on the speed of your connection, it may take a short while to start playing. Or, alternatively, right-click and Save Link As to your computer.
Please note that the sound on the first person – Laurie Pycroft – is bad because firstly the PA system was playing up and secondly because he was by far in a way the furthest from the microphone, which was stuck in the middle of the table next to the meeting chairman.
If you want to hear the medical realities of animal testing, then listen to Professor Andrew McMichael. If you want to listen to Oxford University’s perspective, listen to Dr Ken Fleming. If you want to hear an impassioned personal plea, listen to Niki Shisler. And if you are interested in the wider political issue, listen to Evan Harris.
I should add as well that Evan Harris held a debate a lunchtime today in Westminster Hall about animal testing in which he suggested that pill bottles have the fact they are tested on animals printed on them, that department of health press releases feature whether drugs have been tested on animals, and that the Health Secretary should speak publicly in favour of animal testing. You can read more about it on Evan Harris’ website here.
The IGF formation meeting is over, at least in terms of formal consultations.
In the next few days, the dates of the first inaugural Internet Governance Forum in Athens will be announced. It will be either late October of middle of November. In the next 10 days, all interested parties have been asked to send their own view of how the “preparation committee” for that meeting should be formed.
The Secretariat – mostly Markus Kummer – will then decide how the meeting will be structured and the new preparation committee will decide what topics are to be covered in Athens.
That aside, I had a brief interview with the chairman, and the man chosen by Kofi Annan, to get the IGF to its first meeting, Nitin Desai. In it, he spoke of how he saw the discussions progressing, what the Forum would end up reviewing and what it’s real value may prove to be.
I have put it here as an MP3 podcast [mp3]. It’s just over 10 minutes in length. I think it neatly captures the entire two-day conference and, crucially, looks forward to what we can expect from the IGF proper.