Tag Archives: Tim Berners-Lee

Hacked Knightmare

A few years ago, Sarah Rees Brennan, fantasy author and charming blogger, had her blog and email hacked the day before her first novel was due to be published:

I was very lucky. My friends all leaped into action like an army of trained tech ninjas. As such, I have decided to give them titles. Eimear the Bold, Charlotte the Gentle, Chiara the Resourceful and Bob the Extremely Tall told me exactly what to do, and soon recaptured my email and my livejournal for me.

At that point I discovered that all my emails and contacts had been deleted, along with the seven years’ worth of posts and comments on my livejournal. Not only that, but given timing and other details that I (tech savvy of a lizard!) do not understand, it looks likely that this was malicious.

I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to hurt me like this. (Why people might want to thump me in the back of the head for laughing like a hyena during a movie, well, that’s less of a mystery.) I feel crushed, dismayed and a little tottery on my feet still, but can only resolve to be brave like my ninja friends.

Some people may have wondered whether this was a joke or some strange flight of fancy of mine: let me be very clear. I love this livejournal, and respect and value those who read it, far too much to dream of ever doing such a thing. I don’t make jokes like this.

2,267,233,742 people use the Internet: 32.7% of the world population. Given the numbers, it should surprise no one that though most people are not malicious assholes, some people on the Internet suck.

On 29th July, Santiago Zabala, the ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, mused on the New Statesman blog:

Today if you are not often wired, you do not exist. Like radio and television in other times, the internet has become not only an indispensable tool but also a vital component of our life. It has become so useful, significant, and meaningful for variety of administrative, cultural, and political reasons that a life without it seems unimaginable in the twenty-first century. But the ownership of this interactive life is troubled: when you start seeing interesting advertising on your Gmail banner, personalised ads aimed just at you, your existence has begun to belong to others.

It’s not even been 22 years since Tim Berners-Lee gave the World Wide Web to all of us as the best Christmas present ever.
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Filed under Unanswerable Questions

The Opening Ceremony

Danny Boyle did great. So did all the volunteers who took part. Literally the best thing Seb Coe did for the London Olympics was ask Danny Boyle to plan the opening ceremony and give him a free creative hand.

I saw a tweet just after Michael Fish and the non-hurricane warning appeared saying to the effect that most Olympic opening ceremonies try to impress the world. This ceremony wasn’t meant for the rest of the world: it was meant for us.

(Kes. I saw Kes. And Frankie Says Relax. I remember when the BBC banned that.)

[Update, 30th July: Apparently it was so British-orientated that NBC cut the tribute to the 7/7 dead and had no idea who Tim Berners-Lee is.]

It was all really, peculiarly, brilliantly British. As if Danny Boyle had thought: we are all feeling staggeringly horrible about this, for very excellent reasons: let me do a show that will remind us of our mutual shared Britishness, before the athletic teams march. Of course that cheap Nazi knock-off Aidan Burley hated it.

Aidan Burley hates multiculturalism
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Filed under J. K. Rowling, Olympics