Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Champion of Democracy

Owen Jones :
Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive regimes on earth and bans political parties, trade unions and all forms of dissent; deprives women of many of their most basic rights; kills "witches"; has recently declared atheists to be terrorists; and persecutes LGBT people. It should surely be an ostracised regime. And yet this is the biggest market for British arms, with our government approving £1.6bn worth of exports, ranging from equipment for machine guns to "components for military equipment for initiating explosives."

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Cameron and Antibiotic Resistance

Cameron does something important and starts to look into the threat of antibiotic resistance.

But he puts an economist in charge of the project with an explicit assumption its an economic problem that industry has failed to invent more antibiotics.

So lets see if the committee starts recommending the banning of antibiotics in intensive farming practices or if they just come with recommendations to extend "intellectual property" rights or other incentives for big pharma companies.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Facebook Caught Experimenting on Users

Social Network Analysis research gets icky.

I have to admit that I see how this happened, and I would probably have signed off on the ethics of it myself (or been willing to be part of this). But I can see how it looks pretty bad to be caught doing it. And frankly, maybe it is pretty bad.

OTOH : I think what they found out knowledge worth having. But it's largely worth having in order to know the danger that corporations having this power present. You wouldn't want the academic study of this to be banned, and for the research to disappear into internal surreptitious tinkerings where no-one else ever sees the results except in private reports to the marketing department and advertisers.

PayPal Police

Do you have government permission for your privacy?.