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David Moss
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I clicked on the link to read the NFCNews article. You have to register. It says: "For just $49, you receive unlimited password-protected access to content on all of AVISIAN’s sites for an entire year. Your subscription helps fund the continued creation of independent, insightful content. Find out more" I suppose it's a bit like Mr Henson having to watch Palmerston send his declaration of war on China by ship. (Incidentally, the voyage was so long that the ever practical Palmerston sent the peace treaty at the same time.) Anyway, be that as it may, I haven't managed to read the NFCNews article so I don't know what it says about biometrics. But what it had better say is don't hold your breath. It would be terribly useful if mass consumer biometrics were reliable but, according to (the?) three leading academics in the field, they're not, please see 'Fundamental issues in biometric performance testing: A modern statistical and philosophical framework for uncertainty assessment', The lack of statistical control in biometrics, they say, is such that technology tests, scenario tests and operational tests of biometric technology tell you nothing, the results cannot be used to construct a valid argument in favour of investment in biometrics. Maybe one day biometrics will come under statistical control. For the moment, we're going to have to digitally transact as best we can without them.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2011 on Anywhere, anyone at Digital Identity
Do you seriously imagine, Mr Hewitt, that economic stability would have returned to Europe with Messrs brown and Mandelson's efforts?
The Labour election campaign was an unmitigated triumph. The hated heir to the hated Blair won a paltry 10.7 million votes and 97 new seats. The Lib Dems have been converted to the cause of 90-day detention without charge. And Labour look like being led by a man who condones torture but prefers to keep that fact secret*. The outcome has the ringing endorsement of Jack Straw and David "Beelzebub" Blunkett. Not to mention John "Dr Demento" Reid. Only Norman Tebbit is angry and that, in the galaxy inhabited by Brown and Mandelson, is the laurel crown on the emperor Caesar's head. ---------- *
Several hundred first-time MPs were voted in last Thursday. Only to be voted out again, in many cases, when the next election is held. Could you tell us please what is the record for the shortest tenure in the Commons. And could you predict, accuarte to the nearest Thursday, when the next election will be held.
Last week the electorate gave a majority of votes to no party. All parties have a majority of the electorate against them. Synthesising majorities out of the figures is not a politically credible pursuit. It follows that any government that is formed has a mandate to pursue only those policies advocated by all three main parties. Their mandate is the highest common factor, HCF, which, everyone will remember from school, tends to be a small number. The result must be a limited government, with little room for manoeuvre, a small government hedged about with constraints on all sides. Would you agree that the UK, it seems, has voted for a small state and, perhaps, to coin a phrase, a big society.
In the privacy of my own home, I must confess, I am in the habit of reading political comment in the Guardian. For the past few days, they have been talking there of a "progressive majority" which won the election last week. This extra-terrestrial journalism seems to have its roots in Polly Toynbee. And the Pro-Maj drug has been used to spike the drinks of many of her colleagues, e.g. Jackie Ashley, who wrote*: "Today, Gordon Brown acted like the statesman we all hoped he would be. He has given the country a chance for a progressive alliance -- which more than 50% of the country voted for in last week's election." The effect of Pro-Maj is, of course, to make you look as though you don't know what you're talking about, as though there is egg permanently on your face. Gordon Brown's head will roll. But he will not be alone. Could this also be the end for Polly Toynbee? ---------- *
The turnout last week was 65 percent. Much imaginative work has been done, without success, trying to demonstrate that although they lost, this or that party actually won. These attemps all suffer from ignoring the people who didn't vote. Taking them into account, in your opinion, could we argue that the Greens, with their 1 percent of the vote, actually tied with the Conservatives, the two of them in coalition therefore have a mandate to govern?
Even the suggestion of a deal with the Lib Dems seems to have caused friction in the Labour party with words like "obscene" being bandied about. The deal is being master-minded by Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson, always acknowledged as the greatest political strategists of our age. "Where there is discord", is their motto, "let there be nuclear melt-down". In your view, have they triumphed again?
The LibDems are a liberal party and have taken the trouble to draft a Freedom Bill* designed to repeal all the authoritarian legislation of the past 13 years enacted by the Labour party, which is not liberal. I believe also that one of these parties was mildly against the Iraq War whilst the other was mildly in favour. Could you please explain how these people could sit round the same Cabinet table in the event of a coalition. Would it lead perhaps to a truth and reconciliation parliament? ---------- *
Toggle Commented Feb 27, 2009 on At whose fingerprints? at Digital Identity
A monologue concerning storks and 5-year plans – part I In her Times article on 27 November 2007, Calamity Jacqui Smith is trapped in an identity crisis, Ann Treneman expresses bemusement at the status of the Home Secretary. There seem to be things she doesn't know which she should know, but instead she has to ask junior ministers to answer questions for her: "As [Keith Vaz's] words oozed over us, like treacle over sponge, Ms Smith just sat there. She did not jump up, eager to inform. Instead she looked over at her Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne". For later parts of this monologue, please note two further passages from Ms Treneman's article. Firstly: QUOTE David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, knows exactly who he is. He is her tormentor. He can smell weakness but he asked a simple enough question. “If the Government gives away your bank account details, that is a disaster but you can change your bank account,” he noted. “What precisely do you do if the Government gives away your biometric details?” Here was another chance for Ms Smith to tell us of her strategy or, at least, to pretend to have one. Instead she said: “Biometrics will link a person securely and reliably to his or her unique identity.” No one looked reassured. UNQUOTE And second: QUOTE Mr Davis, looking like a shark who had just had a tasty snack, asked her about a European information-sharing scheme called Project Stork. “How are we going to prevent a repetition of the disaster of the last few weeks when sensitive personal data is held not by one government but by 27?” Ms Smith looked flummoxed. I don’t think she knew about Project Stork. Again, this was worrying. Wouldn’t a real Home Secretary have a clue about this? UNQUOTE This first part of the monologue is concerned only with allaying Ms Treneman's bemusement. What she may not know is that, in September of this year, the Police Superintendents' Association of England and Wales held a conference entitled The New Normality. I did not make that up. I couldn't. At the conference, the Home Secretary said: "For the future, exciting ideas for the use of mobile data and virtual courts show how we can push the boundaries of 21st century crime fighting even further". Virtual courts? Virtual justice. Virtual justice? Virtual Home Secretary. This monologue is going to be a long haul. It is a pleasure to be able to start by allaying at least one person's bemusement. Everyone else's bemusement, be warned, is going to multiply. On, next, to the stork.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2007 on Thursday 29th November 2007 at ConservativeHome
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