Where to WiFi?

Following G2's lead working from Brighton beach, Demos are up for a day working away from the office (well I am anyway). All we need is a free WiFi network to tap into and some beautiful surroundings. So, where should we head to find the best hotspot in the land?

Posted by Paul Miller on 25 Jul 2003
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A mercenary business

The FT has an interesting story about the company who've offered to go in and keep peace in Liberia instead of the US having to commit troops.They also do a line in tricky arrests: "In June the company offered to provide the UN-backed court with a "special constabulary force" of some 60 armed men that would arrest Mr Taylor and bring him to trial at a cost of around $4m."Read the full story here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 24 Jul 2003
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THINK TANKS THINK AGAIN

The following rather entertaining piece is in August's edition of Prospect:"It's summer musical chairs for London's think tanks. Sunder Katwala replaces Michael Jacobs after a farcical selection procedure. Money is a problem there because of the Fabians' direct Labour links and new corporate rules on declaration. The Foreign Policy Centre is also struggling financially. And now Ed Mayo has left the New Economics Foundation for the National Consumer Council. There are fear...

Posted by on 24 Jul 2003
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Future bodies

Sculpturing the body is the ultimate, if ephemeral, empowerment. From the lure of Atkins to Jade, botox to the designer-vagina, the possiblity of restructuring the body as a product is big business. Performance artist Stelarc, who aims to make his body architecture more machinelike so that he will eventually to able to walk in space without a spacesuit, takes our obsession with bodyworks one step further. Heralding the death of the corporal as we know it, man truly meets machine in Stelarc...

Posted by on 23 Jul 2003
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Peace of the action

Interesting article in the NY Times calling for the Peace Corps to be given a much more prominent humanitarian role in conflict zones. Not only might they be more effective than combat troops forced to adapt to peace-keeping duties, but they might also help to project a more positive image of America:"From North Africa to the Persian Gulf, the sole face of America is too often the face of a soldier. American citizens deserve the chance to change that image ' for their own good and f...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 23 Jul 2003
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Bonding with Tony

Whatever his troubles at home, the Yanks can't get enough of Tony Blair. Here are Ray Boshara and Michael Sherraden praising the merits of "baby bonds", and calling for a similar version for US children.If it takes off, this would be quite an interesting case-study in the nature of policy transfer...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 23 Jul 2003
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The Karass and the Granfalloon

Just spotted this piece by Steven Johnson (author of Emergence) about software that you can use to develop social network maps of organisations. It basically uses email data to work out who emails who and how often. "In his classic novel Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut explains how the world is divided into two types of social organizations: the karass and the granfalloon..."Read on here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 21 Jul 2003
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Neuromancing

GBN founder Stewart Brand famously wrote that "information wants to be free." Now GBN member and author William Gibson offers this essay on connexity and Orwell's 1984, suggesting a future of informational transparency that will be "shot through with misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories and a quotidian degree of madness." He writies "We may be able to see what's going on more quickly, but that doesn't mean we'll agree about it any more r...

Posted by on 18 Jul 2003
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Are you looking at me?

A lot of people are getting hot under the collar about moves afoot in the US for 'total information awareness' but John Naughton (who will be speaking at a Demos event next week) points to a project taking place at MIT's Media lab that attempts to turn it on its head and create 'Government Information Awareness'He goes on to say: "We could do the same for the UK. Imagine a site that would automatically collate information about MPs' financial interests, voting beh...

Posted by Paul Miller on 17 Jul 2003
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Europe's still a wimp

Giscard's draft constitution has failed to give the EU the platform it needs to flex its muscles on the world stage, says Robert Lane Greene, and the US remains the world's only superpower. He may be right that the convention has been a largely inward-looking exercise, and that the constitution does not really address Europe's role in the world. But as both Robert Cooper and Theo Veenkamp et al have argued, Europe is unlikely to project its power and influence in conventional ways...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 17 Jul 2003
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