Thursday, 20 November 2008

a problem like Nominet

The bitter infighting on and off the board of Nominet has now got to the point where it is not just being reported on The Register but in the Gruaniad.

I am am going to make two things clear before I carry on:
  1. I work in the industry, in fact the company I work for is a member of Nominet, but everything written here is my opinion alone; and 
  2. I have nothing personally against there being a secondary market in domains and people making money from it.

However it isn't about what I think, the reason BERR are involved is that they of course represent 'Business'[1] as much as they represent 'Government' and 'Business' doesn't want to have to deal with domainers. You don't see a large company with millions or more in turnover going to Frank's second hand cars of Walford when they need a hundred more vehicles for the fleet.

It can be very hard to explain to a client that they are going to have to pay significantly more for the domain that they consider should belong to them, right or wrong under IP laws and the DRS because someone else is sat on it and even then they often feel that domains that have been parked with adverts on are tainted.

So it may seem that the domainers will have a choice, if they keep having this temper tantrum in public then Daddy Mandelson may take the toybox away (which I am sure no-one really wants) and then they will almost certainly lose their business model. Where as if they let Nominet make the governance changes it wants to make the industry they have created will probably still be there even if it has to do things in a slightly different way.

[1]In my head I hear that being said in the tone it is by Sam the Eagle in the Muppet's Christmas Carol.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Early voluntary ID Cards

John Lettice writing in El Reg has some more info about the pre registration for ID cards that was announced earlier this month.

One trusts that Smith will be making sure that all of the New Labour MPs who voted for the scheme will be putting their names down for a personal (as if...) Identity Donor Card in Q1 2009.

I will certainly be asking Angela Smith MP if she applied, will you be asking your MP?

I am especially interested in the answer any of David Blunkett's constituents get as a) after boundary changes at the next general election he will be my MP b) he has been a vociferous campaigner for the cards.

Talking of David Blunkett, while checking if he was still advising Entrust I spotted something. If his page on "they work for you" is correct his entry in the register of members interests changed in 2002 to say

Second home in London, from which I temporarily receive rental income.

and it still says that on the current listing six years later, not what I call 'temporarily'. Also over five of those years (the sixth isn't available yet) he got £104,407 in Additional Costs Allowance, which is supposed to cover the cost of staying away from home, including claiming the maximum for the last two years.
As I read that means he is collecting money from the state to live in London and rent from the property concerned. That doesn't sound like a good use of taxpayers money in these lean times, even more so given he declares well over a hundred thousand pounds of paid work this year to his production company and it doesn't even seem like this was a particularly good year for HADAW.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Want a job?

With Barack Obama's election there will be thousands of people changing jobs in America during the transition and after his inauguration. Some will be directly appointed by him, some will be appointed by those appointees and so on and so forth. The list of all these 'noncompetitive appointments' within the US Federal civil service is called The Plum Book and is[1] an enlightening read as it tells you things like term lengths, locations and whether the post requires a senate confirmation hearing.

I would love to see what the equivalent manual for the UK government would look like.

[1]for a political geek

Monday, 10 November 2008

A load of sanctimonious rubbish

Paul Dacre has told the Society of Editors that the News of the World breaking the Max Mosley story was a moral act and that Mr Justice Eady's judgement was restricting the actions of moralising newspapers such as his own (the Daily Mail).

I have two problems with this:

  1. I don't believe we need 'protecting' from people like MM, I completely agree with the judge's point that Mr Mosley could expect privacy for consensual "sexual activities" no matter how unconventional. Just think back to the age when the activities that MM could have been persecuted by the media included such things as gay sex, was that right? No and now we should move forward and get people to understand that no matter how distasteful they might find a sexual practice that if the people involved are happy to do so it is none of their business and not a reason to persecute a public figure.
  2. The other thing that I can't bring myself to buy into is that the reporters and editors at the News of the World got this story and thought "this is terrible, we should make an example of this man for moral reasons". I find it more credible that they got the story and thought something along the lines of, what a fantastically embarrassing story, get it out there and watch MM squirm.
The other part of his reported remarks on the subject that caught my eye was "It is the others I care about - the crooks, the liars, the cheats, the rich and the corrupt sheltering behind a law of privacy being created by an unaccountable judge." as I think it re-enforces my second point above. While I think the media should do their best to report on crooks, liars, cheats and the corrupt, why should the rich be a target just because they are rich, when did that become a crime? Does this suggest that what Max Mosley was target for was having more money than the people who were 'reporting' on him?

Friday, 7 November 2008

Nick Robinson reporting Brown created global economic crisis.

According to this mornings blog post by Nick:

Gordon Brown has re-written the textbooks for leaders in crisis. It was never before thought helpful for leaders in trouble to organise a global economic crisis.

So more and more of the mainstream media are taking the line that this is all Gordon Brown's fault, good good. It is quite amazing that is worked though.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

This is beginning to feel like a concerted attack

First Burnham and Carter and now Hazel Blears. It does seem that labour have decided that the bloggers are a threat. There do seem to be some distinct problems with their attacks. Firstly the idea that blogs are not adding any value and are making people cynical; er, I don't think so, I think people writing about political topics on the Internet are the people most engaged in the process and those that want to spread their views and get people round to viewpoint. Even Guido Fawkes picked out as a for the poster child for the worst on the net isn't promoting nihilism, he is just putting the ruling class on all sides under a microscope. He will probably hate the comparison, but he is just the Private Eye of the blogosphere.

Secondly they use the argument that this is a tool of the right to attack labour, I'll not do a full breakdown of just how wrong that argument is, there is already on Liberal Conspiracy. They just think that everyone is against them because they are currently the entrenched establishment.

As for "Blogs have only existed under a Labour government" what a hoot, the word and the accessibility is new but keeping a diary or journal online outdates the mass availability and popularity of the internet and the world wide web[1] itself.

As the momentum on this grows it makes my paranoia worry if there is any connection with the news that BERR are looking closely at the independence of Nominet.

[1]Mostly this was on Usenet, but it happened across other protocols as well, such as getting id Software news by fingering John Carmack.