Ed’s Weblog

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Archive for October, 2003

Government Information Awareness

Posted by Ed on October 22, 2003

In response to Terrorism Information Awareness (formerly Total Information Awareness, Open Government Information Awareness has been launched:

The Open Government Information Awareness suite of software tools acts as a framework for US citizens to construct and analyze a comprehensive database on our government. Modeled on recent government programs designed to consolidate information on individuals into massive databases, our system does the opposite, allowing you to scrutinize those in government. Citizens are able to explore data, track events, find patterns, and build risk profiles, all in an effort to encourage and motivate action. We like to think of it as a Citizen’s Intelligence Agency, giving people similar tools and technologies to those held by their government.

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Public Whipping

Posted by Ed on October 13, 2003

Ever wondered how your MP voted on fox hunting, bombing far-away places or the price of fish? Well, now you can find out, thanks to The Public Whip.

All the House of Commons debate transcripts (Hansard) back to 1988 are published electronically on the World Wide Web. We’ve written a program to read it for you and separate out all the records of voting. This information has been added into an online database which you can access.

The site also compiles stats such as who has the best attendance and who’s the most rebellious. Tom Watson, on whose blog I saw this, is quite a good boy, having only rebelled in 4 out of 515 divisions.

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Pope doesn’t trust condoms!

Posted by Ed on October 10, 2003

According to Blogdex, just about every man and his dog is blogging this, but I just thought I’d give it a quick mention too as its so unbelievable.

Apparently the Vatican is telling developing countries that are being decimated by Aids not to bother using condoms because they all leak anyway.

The Pope has long been telling people that the use of condoms is morally wrong – as he’s entitled to do, no matter how irresponsible I or anybody else may find this – but to spread this sort of nonsense is simply criminal.

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California Recall

Posted by Ed on October 8, 2003

Douglas E. Schoen, a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton, sums up the outcome of the California fiasco quite nicely:

“Usually we have debates about issues and try to build a consensus. Now it is basically slash and burn.”

From The New York Times.

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Labour Party Conference

Posted by Ed on October 2, 2003

Labour will this year sing “The Red Flag” at its party conference, for the first time in four years. This spectacle, as the Guardian charmingly points out, “will go down like a plate of cold sick” amongst New Labour’s Middle England supporters.

For those who don’t know it, here are the first verse and chorus:

The people’s flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyred dead,
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts’ blood dyed its every fold.
Chorus:
Then raise the scarlet standard high.
Within its shade we’ll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer,
We’ll keep the red flag flying here.

The rest you can find here, or here.

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OpenOffice.org1.1

Posted by Ed on October 2, 2003

Version 1.1 of the Micro$oft trouncing, Open Source office app OpenOffice.org has been released. New features include direct PDF export, Flash export for graphics and improved M$ Office compatability.

Download it here or order a CD here.

Posted in Web/Tech | 3 Comments »