Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Identity Theft In The Future?

Hot on the news that Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have managed to lose two discs containing the names, dates of birth, addresses, bank account information and children's names of up to 7 million homes around the UK, Alistair Darling sought to reassure the House of Commons that people were not at risk from ID fraud.

How he can think that gives me some concern about the lack of awareness the Government has. Basically, if you're eight and I know where you live, your date of birth and your mother happens to still have her maiden name (which she would have if she was unmarried, or had decided against taking the name of her partner), I can, in 10 years time follow your address information across the country/world and steal every piece of data known about you.

Which will be very handy for whoever has the information now. HMRC sent the discs by unregistered and unrecorded TNT post and were apparently surprised they didn't make it to the National Audit office (which is weirdly reminiscent of HBOS sending stuff through the Royal Mail).

For overseas readers, HMRC is part of the Government. The same Government who are planning on issuing a National ID Card to the country and expect us to believe they're capable of looking after our data in a secure and efficient way. Personally, I'm not entirely convinced they are.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Saudi Arabia

Despite it's recent push to look and feel more Western - possibly to attract tourists and other investment - Saudi Arabia is still medieval and barbaric in its treatment of women.

This story from the BBC's website saddened me. It should have shocked me, but it just didn't. I can imagine there'll be apologists for Muslims telling me why this sort of thing is acceptable and that I don't understand their culture.

Whipping the victim of gang rape isn't something I ever really want to understand.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's Been A Year

Yep, it's been a complete year since we first won the Mucky Pup pub quiz!

And I remember it very well. I arrived a bit later than usual, having done the Independent crossword on the train. Charlie arrived very late and ended up on a bar stool. The picture round had photos of famous people when they were kids. We thought Maggie Thatcher was either Trinny or Susannah. We thought Germaine Greer was Maggie Thatcher.

I remember it very well for another reason too. Having that total feeling of "wow" pretty much constantly over the course of the evening. A feeling that's still right here. Being totally amazed and enthralled. Awe inspired, and quite interested. For talks of angry dolphins, Adam, Stan, folding mechanisms and killing Phil Collins that were still to come.

Just wish I'd won this evening to commemorate it properly!

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Shopping Amuses Me

Was just in Morrison's getting some stuff and saw this rather enticing offer:

Being a royal pain in the arse, I had to tell Customer Services that technically, 2 for £1.50 was *worse* than BOGOF, as buy one get one free would actually be a penny better.

Surprisingly, I haven't been barred.

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