Monthly Archives: April 2009

Uncivil rights

Councils in England and Wales have used controversial spying laws 10,000 times in the past five years, figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats show. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) was designed to fight serious crime. But officials have been using it to spy on suspected dog fouling, littering and other minor offences. The […]

Queen visits Iraq

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is leading the first British business delegation to Iraq in over 20 years. Representatives from 23 companies are accompanying the business secretary on a one-day trip to Baghdad and Basra. The group will meet Iraqi government ministers to discuss how they can contribute to the economic reconstruction of the country… Lord […]

Another thing I got wrong

I misconfigured postfix, the server program that handles the delivery of emails on behalf of WordPress and some other programs. I’d done some fancy stuff to make sure SL’s avatar showed properly but didn’t test it. Consequently postfix began to accept mail into its pending queue, but stopped sending any. Today, looking at the server […]

WTF – career counselling for toddlers?

The other day, I was talking with a kinder Dad who is a fellow lawyer. My daughter piped up, “Mummy is a Big Lawyer and I will be a Little Lawyer when I grow up.” The Dad and I exchanged looks, as I ruefully grimaced. “I’d really rather she didn’t become a lawyer,” I confessed. […]

Elect a new people

Over at LP, Paul Norton outlines some more research indicating that people do best when they have more control over their own lives, with a particular emphasis on heath outcomes. Who knew? No, I’m not being nasty, but this has been one of the most solid findings in social science, and for quite some time. […]

Wisdom of a child

Conversation between my husband and my three-year-old daughter tonight: Miss 3: Mu-u-u-u-u-ummy…? Daddy: She’s gone to the moon. Miss 3: No. She’s not. She’s on the Internet. Daddy (asking just to see what the answer is): What’s the Internet? Miss 3: It helps us. It has words and stuff. It helps us see with pictures […]

Have we met?

British forces have begun their official withdrawal from Iraq after the UK’s commander in the south of the country handed over to a US general. Major General Andy Salmon has transferred authority for what will become Multi-National Division South to US Major General Michael Oates. The generals’ pennants were raised and lowered in a handover […]

‘Bollywood with Brass’

Yes, it’s a music post and… not about Metallica.  Since I’ve been at Oxford, I’ve discovered large numbers of people who study extremely interesting things. This goes without saying. As you’d expect, there’s lots of putative cures for cancer, philosophies of law, population genetics and so on to be found among the Oxford graduate community. […]

More kerfupsing

A few days ago the server went bonkers and locked up. At the time I was not sure why. I restarted the HTTP server (in our case, Lighttpd) and everything seemed to return to normal. That’s usually how you know everything is completely broken. Today the server went nuts again. For the nerds amongst you, […]

The Associate

The former High Court Justice Michael Kirby wrote a piece in The Australian the other day about the role of the judges’ associate. For the non-lawyer, a judge has one or two legally trained assistants to help him or her – these are called associates or clerks. Kirby described the job thusly: Long hours, a […]