Many countries are in the throes of a debate about the amount of surveillance a government should be allowed to carry out on its own people. But in other countries, where there are few, if any, checks on the state's powers, a potential dictatorship of data is already on the horizon. The grey, drab former headquarters of the Stasi - East Germany's Security Service - is famous for its miles of paper files. Those files recorded the detailed information kept on the citizens of the former Communist state, drawn from a wealth of human informers and bugging devices. Parts of the former office complex are now a museum open to the public, but in one corridor normally closed to the public there is a jumble of dated-looking equipment - a primitive computer looking more like a spin-dryer for clothes and old magnetic discs the size of a football, which held a fraction of what you can now fit on a USB stick. This is all that remains of the Stasi's dreams of what computers could do for them. "I think … [Read more...] about Will Big Data lead to Big Brother?
Selling goods and services
In agreeing a deal to guarantee the Irish border remains invisible, with no checks fuelling inter-community tensions, the UK is moving the border to the Irish Sea. But the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) fears it will create an unwelcome new Brexit burden in Great Britain, forcing manufacturers to take on a mountain of paperwork and breaching Theresa May’s promise that east-west trade would remain unfettered. While the DUP softened its previous opposition to such an outcome, Sammy Wilson, the MP for East Antrim, raised concerns about the impact facilitating Boris Johnson’s new deal would have on businesses exporting from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. Why is a barrier in the Irish Sea being discussed? If all goods entering the island of Ireland are checked before arrival for standards and tariffs, then cross-border trade can continue to flow unimpeded. It will also protect the single market and reduce the chance of suspect goods making their way to the continent via … [Read more...] about The ‘Irish Sea border’: what does it mean for GB business?
Aumbry is not the kind of place you'd expect to find in Prestwich, the suburb's suburb in Manchester. Then again, Prestwich has always been full of things you wouldn't expect to find in Prestwich. "What's the legendary chanteuse and femme fatale Nico doing in Kosher Foods?" was a common cry in 1980s Prestwich. Then there was the regular sight of punk curmudgeon Mark E Smith haggling over the price of post-sell-by-date beers at the local off-licence. And now there's Aumbry. In times gone by, an aumbry was the cabinet in a church wall that held the consecrated bread and wine (the cottage-turned-restaurant is on Church Lane, and aumbry pretty much sums up its size). It's like walking into somebody's very modest living room. The open galley kitchen is a miracle of Lilliputian industry. "Three minutes, two minutes, one minute – service," the chefs urgently tell each other. It could so easily be claustrophobic, with kitchen staff sat on your lap. But it isn't like that at … [Read more...] about Restaurant: Aumbry, Prestwich, Greater Manchester
'The best way to make an impact in this market is by focusing on three things: Unmet customer need, unarticulated customer need, and emerging customer need,' Metro's Arvind Mediratta tells Sangeeta Tanwar and Alokananda Chakraborty.Rediff.com When we go back and listen to the recording of our conversation with Arvind Mediratta, we can hear ourselves launching into loud guffaws every now and then; quite often we are trying to stop the laugh short because we are not sure if an episode he has just narrated is entirely true or if he is just pulling a fast one. Take his response to this question about whether he believes an average Indian can intellectually corner the American or the European in a flash. He says when he landed up in the US during an earlier assignment -- and that would be barely five years ago -- one of the questions he was often asked by colleagues was how many elephants do Indians keep in their homes. We laugh and then stop and wonder if he is really serious. The MD & … [Read more...] about Metro Man wants to change how we shop