Blog Posts

A very British Brexit

David vs Goliath Bot

Well, Brexit has begun. Two years of interesting negotiations, debates and edicts I am sure we’ll be left with on not-so-silver platters. Maybe we have aces hidden up our sleeves with other global powers, but the neighbours are getting restless. The day after the referendum vote, I woke up with a dream rattling round my head. It was something of a dystopian future. A drone camera followed a lone Trabant along the A316 along the section next to Twickenham Rugby

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Advice for Coping with Online Trolls

Troll Hunter

I read a letter from Tucker Max in the book Choose Yourself! which I thought totally on point about dealing with negative online trolls. It was written to James Altucher about his blog, but can equally apply to any field where you get public feedback. Here is the letter, and I also recommend the book (link above). “I assume your blog post was mostly tongue in cheek about the feedback affecting you in a negative way. But if not, then please

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Cyberwar 1: 2007-?

The Matrix

The job of the historian is often to pull together broad themes and trends, then give them a snappy title that people will easily recognise and understand. That’s how we end up with labels like “The decline and fall of the Roman Empire” or “The Rise of Hitler and the Third Reich”. The article We’re living through the first world cyberwar – but just haven’t called it that appeared in the Guardian on 30 Dec 2016. TL;DR: Essentially the piece

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Should TripAdvisor be regulated?

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has its good points, but also its bad. It has grown so large that it has absolute decree on everything it does with no checks or balances. Here are a few examples that my business has fallen foul of over the past couple of years. Guilty, because they say so In January 2015, I received an email from TripAdvisor. We were number 1 in Weybridge at the time and the email read: It has come to our attention that

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Cut

Donkeys

SYNOPSIS The opening of Karl’s petting zoo promises to be the start of a new, brighter chapter in his life, but an unexpected meeting threatens to destroy everything he has worked for. This is actually a follow-on piece to FTW. STORY It was a little after three in the afternoon. Sam, the lead zoologist, was enthralling a group of children with his extensive knowledge of goats. Karl was looking on, making sure everything was running smoothly. “Karl Goodwin?” interrupted an

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F.T.W.

Back Alley

SYNOPSIS Carlos is given a life-or-death task by his boss and while pondering the gravity of it, he is distracted by a dog that wanders into a derelict boxing gym. Driven by compassion, he seeks to rescue the dog and confronts his own demons, making a choice between good and evil. STORY Carlos had been late and Mike was very unhappy. The meeting had gone badly. Carlos had been left alone in the deserted street next to Goodwin’s, the derelict

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The Restaurant Delivery Market 2016Q3

Three Horses

Since my last post on restaurant delivery services in London (2016Q1), uberEATS have launched. There are still a plethora of players in the market (including Quiqup and Henchman clones like Bring It), but it’s really becoming a three-horse race now. uberEATS The 800-pound gorilla just entered the room. Deliveroo has long been fearful of UBER launching the UK and now they have. Although they are not as ubiquitous as Deliveroo (yet) they offer a very efficient iPad-based ordering system and

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A New Approach to the Fermi Paradox

The Algebraist

We, the Aliens What is the problem? The Fermi paradox (or Fermi’s paradox), named after physicist Enrico Fermi, is the apparent contradiction between the lack of evidence and high probability estimates, e.g. those given by the Drake equation, for the existence of extraterrestrial civilisations. The basic points of the argument, made by physicists Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) and Michael H. Hart (born 1932), are: There are billions of stars in the galaxy that are similar to the Sun, many of which

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