Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 9/2/2005As the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas get their old wedding videos shown on telly's endless loop, there are serious implications for everyone working in the IT industry.

Wednesday 9/2/2005

As the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas get their old wedding videos shown on telly's endless loop, there are serious implications for everyone working in the IT industry. In the good old days, sanity maintenance during Royal Wedding fever was relatively easy -- unplug all televisions and radios from power and aerials, wrapping carefully in two layers of tin foil, cancel any newspaper or magazine subscription, pay the landlord of the local a hefty bribe to make sure his set is on the blink, and retire to the snug for the duration.

No such luck now. With every darn device on the planet interconnected via wireless and broadband, and business critical systems like Google doubling as news sources, the potential for regal leakage is dangerously high. We thought convergence was a business enabler: nobody said anything about its abuse as a delivery mechanism for archaic aristocratic mating rituals. And those at the cutting edge of modern technology -- those who have to make it happen and keep it running -- can't just down tools.

There is just time to develop a fix. We have antivirus, anti-spam and anti-spyware products: it's time to get anti-nuptial on their arse.

It shouldn't be difficult. Facial recognition is good enough to filter out that relatively small set of targets, especially given the high degree of familial resemblance, and a Bayesian obsequiousness filter plus some image analysis set to "bling" should provide defence in depth.

But there is another way. Revolt, comrades! The people's flag is deepest #FF0000. I said earlier that IT workers couldn't just down tools -- but why not? The nation's industry and government barely limps on with all hands at the pumps: two hours walkout by the Amalgamated Bit Monkeys And Hex Wrenchers and they'd give us anything....

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