Skip to main content

Nott Tuesday 09-02-2010

I went to the Nott Tuesday event last night. There were some interesting points raised about who owns data about you and how it is used. It's a difficult subject for me because I find it a little tiring. In fact I find it very hard to write about, so I will make it brief.




The presentation was about the "man" coming down on you and taking all the data they record about you and using it for purposes that you may not want / agree to. Ah ok, I don't like the sound of that. Mmm ok so there is a problem there but surely the best way to sort it is to just firm up the Data Protection act and legislate in favour of the people whose digital information is stored. In addition to this, if you are collecting certain data they could insist that you sign up with a register (list of companies) that do collect data, or it could be a voluntary thing but people would lean towards sites and services that are members of DatSecure (my new name for it). Once we had this then these companies could be audited. Obviously the web can be border-less so there would need to be a little bit more thought put into it then that. I'm an ideas man not a details man so best to leave the legal discussions and details to others (some sort of slithering administrator creature with no technical / artistic skills).

He did make some good points though about collective movement. That was really interesting. I think they already use some technology like this in large shopping centres where they track mobile phone movements (they don't record all the details they say). However people were not overly keen on this. But if there were assurances such as audits on the data collection then that could possibly give people the confidence to accept it. The idea would be that if a group of people were moving down the street in one collection, clever software would know that about that time and on that street the number 36 bus was supposed to be there. This would be achieved by collecting live information on how the bus was progressing from individuals phones on the bus.


Like I said, it was interesting.. I don't think it is the best idea though. I would just prefer to see trackers on the bus enforced by legislation so they had to do it. If I was using the buses every day I would even probably pay a small fee for the live information.


Ultimately the argument is purely academic because as we all know, Robots will inherit the Earth about the year 2020 anyway.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My home office upgrade wish list.

My home office is almost due an upgrade. I have been holding off until my youngest daughter is out of her cot as then we can finally dispatch the enormous monstrosity of a cot out from the kids bedroom and the drawers that are in my office can be banished giving me better access to my wonderful whiteboard. My other improvements will be purchasing a new, larger monitor. I currently work from a single 22ich Samsung which just doesn't cut it anymore, I did have two at some point but I can't recall what I did with it. I really enjoy using a touch screen so I think I will go for one of these 27inch Hannspree models that I have used before. I put a lot of hours in at home and whilst I have a reasonable chair I still tend to suffer with some back problems, so my next port of call will be to get a Varidesk for home. It works an absolute treat at work and just lets me switch stuff up when I feel like it. they take a reasonable amount of desk space up but I tend to leave my desk fairly

Arduino ethernet shield

My ethernet shield arrived this morning from Hong Kong. Looking forward to making a little Arduino based Web server! The price for the shield was only ?5 on ebay including delivery :-) super cheap considering how much they cost a couple of years ago.

Specflow

After listening to .Net Rocks with Scott Millett this week I felt a renewed enthusiasm for trying out some BDD. I downloaded Specflow and got straight on with the screen cast they have on their website. The video acts as a good introduction into how to get up and running in Specflow. Interestingly it also gave me a better insight into how bowling works. I have never really thought about it. I normally just wang the balls down the lane until the game is over! Specflow introduces the idea of writing the specification first. It uses a specific language called Gherkin which comes from Ruby land. You will need NUnit installed as well. An example of it is:  [edit: NUnit is what I have used up to now but Specflow is compatible with other testing frameworks aswell. See the comments section below.] Feature : Passwords In order to have a strong password As a new user or existing user changing my password I need to check if my password is alphanumeric and is greater than 6 characters Scenario