A hidden jem

For expat Aussies following the Federal Election, there’s quite a good podcast I’ve come across from the News corp stable: Skynews’s Agenda 07 – an audio cast of their televised program (something I recommended SBS could get value out of some years ago).
Well worth a surf: http://www2.skynews.com.au/podcast/
On that vein, it occurs to be a top 10 may be in order. Thus, here’s my top ten podcasts I listen to:

10. BBC Newspod – news and current affairs from the home country
9. The RSA’s Public Lecture Series
8. The BBC’s In Our Time – I’ve even begun not hating Melvin Bragg’s tendency to railroad his guests
7. Resonance FM’s The Bike Show – only for bike nuts
6. Geek Muse – Provided it’s not gone into terminal hiatus
5. Clute and Edwards Out of the Past – even for those with only a passing interest in film noir
4. ABC’s The National Interest – more politics from down under
3. ABC’s The Law Report – consistently interesting
2. The Slate Political Gabfest – mostly for Tom Dickerson’s coverage of the “horse race”
1. New York Public Media’s On the Media

A bit of a mixed bag, possibly over-heavy on established public media, but what the hey.thumbnail

Peter Chen’s blog

The Security State


Careful readers – or even causal readers – will know I’m not really convinced by the super-max nanny state arguments of western governments about state security issues. Well, if you had pause for concern about the integration of government information systems as they relate to personal public information, check out this nice little headline from the UK (a big fan of centralisation):

Lost in mail: data of 25m people
wo compact discs containing bank details and addresses of 9.5 million parents and the names, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers of all 15.5 million children in the country went missing after a junior Revenue and Customs employee put them in the post.
If you thought that the UK’s welfare smartcard implementation was an example of poor public administration, this has got to vie for the top spot.

While its being presented here are an act of gross incompetence, the ability for so much data to be extracted and duplicated by a junior employee has to be give rise to questions of management competence in terms of the development, implementation and oversight of their data security and privacy policies.

The best thing that could happen for the UK government is that the disks never turn up, hopefully Brown’s government will be big enough for a real investigation of the underlying problems here, rather than simply pinning it on a junior bureaucrat.thumbnail image

This one’s worth watching.