Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forNovember, 2006 | back to home

27 November 2006

The exemplary chaps at MySociety.org, a group of mostly volunteer developers producing e-democracy-related web apps has managed to get the prime minister to support (or at least host) an online petition system (see BBC news coverage). Among the petitions launched so far is one which asks him not to replace the Trident nuclear weapons system. I encourage you to sign it – though note that these petitions are for UK residents only.

I oppose the replacement of Trident both on economic grounds and in the interests of encouraging others to abandon their own nuclear arsenals. Nation states who would use nukes against us would surely be deterred by the US and the international consequences of their use, while terrorists are not deterred by nuclear weapons and couldn’t in any case be targetted by them.

It seems to me that this decision comes at a crucial point in history where by deciding to turn away from nuclear weapons we could help turn the rest of the world in a new direction (and save billions that could be used to tackle important issues like climate change).

If you have some more time after signing that petition, please also sign this petition asking for a free vote and a full debate in parliament or visit The Big Trident Debate which has its own similar petition and discussion spaces.

25 November 2006

At my local toy shop I noticed a new series of wooden toys – the BRIO Network Toys. They look cute but not exactly technically accurate… The website has flash animations and even some video clips but alas is Flash-based so no deep linking- you’ll have to explore it yourselves. Yes, the Internet really is everywhere these days!


23 November 2006
Filed under:Current Affairs (UK) at6:05 pm

I just read via the BBC about niceness tokens that are being handed around when someone is nice to someone else around London (probably eventually around the world as the tokens circulate). The other linked stories from the BBC site tell of other similar attempts to encourage us all to be nice to one another.

Awww. And in the spirit of niceness, a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers…

PS I’m back on broadband now – hurrah!

11 November 2006

Thanks to a house move I have been trapped on dialup at home – at least for the next week or so – and I have been reminded about just how painful using the Internet is when you have to do it at less than 10Kb/s. All Internet users are definitely not equal in their ability to get things done. It has taken me 20 minutes just to check my email and read a minimal number of pages very slowly. By contrast once my broadband is installed, £5/$10 a month will get me a scorching fast (up to) 8Mbps (because it is bundled with my satellite TV). I can hardly wait!