Gadget envy

I shouldn’t rise to the Taxpayers’ Alliance. I really shouldn’t. Ok, perhaps just this once. We see outrage this week that a Council–a publicly-funded service commissioner and provider, mark you–has taken the desperate and profligate step of installing iPads into…

The opposite of outrage?

“Elderly war-hero imprisoned for six months for making a recording of an event.” Here’s the protest site. There’s enough in there to trigger outrage on so many levels! Where’s our respect for someone who fought for our freedoms? We thought…

Getting personal

For a long time, I’ve shied away from writing here about personal data. Or even thinking that deeply about it. The nature of identity, yes. The usefulnesss of data, yes. Personal data, no. Why? Not because it isn’t fascinating, or…

Inconvenience

I’ve written before about something that would really set a rocket under the opening up of data: the vigorous pursuit of the useful stuff. When we’ve been given access to transport data, wonderful things have happened. When we get real-time…

A question of trust

In seeking an antidote to the selfish ravings of Somalia-bound Liz Jones (I’m not linking. You’ll work it out, but I don’t suggest you try too hard), a kind soul pointed me towards the wise words of Barry Schwartz on…

If you care about your customers

This is just a little thing. It’s not even a digital thing. It’s a real-life thing. You want your customer to send you something. Payment maybe? Or a returned product? Or a nice, complimentary letter about how customer-focused you are?…

Google Plus Ungood

I know many people have managed to get up and running with Google+ fairly easily. The usual snags have been reported, of course, as users get used to the idiosyncrasies of the network, and as new etiquette and conventions emerge.…

A little local difficulty

Summary–this post describes: I spotted a question within the LocalGovCamp tweets at the weekend: Who are local directgov & what do they do does anyone know? There’s a pretty dry and factual explanation quickly visible at the top of a…

De devil tail

I saw a statistical tweet this morning: the sort that makes me pause and think. What is it really saying, and what is the story that could be told? The average local government public sector pension is £4200 a year.…

Golgafrincham College

A wave of wailing has greeted the announcement of this new New College of the Humanities thing. “It’s creating a new elite, it’s a cash-in by academics who’ve been supported by the state for most of their careers, and it’s…