Book review: A Fortunate Life, by Paddy Ashdown

Ashdown describes himself as having had a fortunate life, but he really  had several quite different and eventful lives, as a soldier, a student of Chinese, an intelligence officer and diplomat, a politician and party leader, and UN High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina. He describes all this in a lively and often funny book. Continue reading.

Free broadband? Zen and the art of internet maintenance

The Labour promise to give me free fibre broadband doesn’t fill me with joy. You know what they say about offers that sound too good to be true.

My ISP is Zen Internet. It isn’t the cheapest but its speed and stability are good given that I’m still on ADSL and live rather far from the exchange.

But probably the best thing about Zen is that you can speak to someone who is actually at Zen instead of India. A couple of weeks ago my connection slowed down dramatically in the evenings. I phoned Zen and they reset my connection, which brought things back to normal. They called back twice on different days to check that all was still OK.

Do you think Labour’s nationalised internet¬† will do the same? Do you really like the thought of your broadband being a state monopoly?

 

 

Fake rhino horn to disrupt the market

In today’s Start the Week one of the contributors, Prof. Fritz Vollrath, said that he and his colleagues have developed fake rhino horn and have published the method in the hope that this will help to disrupt the market in poached horn.

I’m delighted to hear this because the idea had occurred to me years ago and I wrote a letter about it which was published in the Independent. I’ve also blogged about it subsequently but had no idea how to publicise it further, so it’s excellent that it’s now happening.