Rupert Goodwins' Diary -- Guaranteed MS Free!

Tuesday 23/10/01While I slept, someone replaced the world with another model, somewhat weirder but with a few of the bugs out. Cannabis possession no longer an arrestable offence, the IRA busy turning their weapons into patios and the UK government considering letting us all run public wireless data services on unlicensed bands: all we need now is open days at MI5, less institutionalised corruption in government contracts and beer that doesn't make you fat and the place will be perfect.

Tuesday 23/10/01

While I slept, someone replaced the world with another model, somewhat weirder but with a few of the bugs out. Cannabis possession no longer an arrestable offence, the IRA busy turning their weapons into patios and the UK government considering letting us all run public wireless data services on unlicensed bands: all we need now is open days at MI5, less institutionalised corruption in government contracts and beer that doesn't make you fat and the place will be perfect.

But the wireless stuff will do for now. It's only a consultation, but it looks as if the Radiocommunication Agency is keen to let people deal with other people's wireless signals without having to get permission first. That means we can build wireless networks and let passers-by use them: when there are enough of these things, they can relay packets one to the other. Eventually, we might be able to do without ISPs altogether -- but that's a way away.

Curiously, this is taking place at the same time as it's becoming much easier to be a radio amateur. The need to do Morse Code is going away, and the exams are getting simpler. And radio amateurs get to use satellites, and all manner of high power and digital flummery; just the sort of thing to link small areas of free wireless networking together across cities, countries and continents. Of course, big companies charge big prices for this sort of thing, because they can.

On the way to the pub this evening with friend Cosgrove (she took a year off to get an MA in interactive technology, and came out with her newly minted post-grad qualification to find someone had turned off the jobs market in her absence. Fab employment offers more than welcome), we talk about the way things seem to be getting odder and odder. We passed four police bikes parked in a tight square at the top of Camden Road, with riders, lights but no sign of motion. "What's that for?" I wondered. "They're escorting a mouse on a tiny tricycle" she said. Perfectly seriously.

You need this woman in a senior position on a Web project. Honest.