Tag Archives: UK

The collaborative economy involves using internet technologies to connect distributed groups of people make better use of goods, skills and other useful things. It is going through a period of growth and experimentation and in order to gauge where the collaborative economy is headed, we need to start by getting a better grasp of its current state. The report identifies five defining traits, some or all of which can be found in the collaborative economy ventures studied. Four pillars of activity, collaborative consumption, production, learning and finance are also identified.

The video games industry is an integral part of the UK creative economy, but hard data about its economic performance and geography are difficult to come by. In this report, done in partnership with Ukie (a trade body supporting the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry), we adopt an experimental ‘big data’ approach to measure the sector, identifying games companies through their digital footprint in product directories, wikis and games reviews sites instead of using official industrial (SIC) codes or surveys.

“Above-top-secret details of Britain’s covert surveillance programme - including the location of a clandestine British base tapping undersea cables in the Middle East - have so far remained secret, despite being leaked by fugitive NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden. Government pressure has meant that some media organisations, despite being in possession of these facts, have declined to reveal them. Today, however, the Register publishes them in full.

The secret British spy base is part of a programme codenamed “CIRCUIT” and also referred to as Overseas Processing Centre 1 (OPC-1). It is located at Seeb, on the northern coast of Oman, where it taps in to various undersea cables passing through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Seeb is one of a three site GCHQ network in Oman, at locations codenamed “TIMPANI”, “GUITAR” and “CLARINET”. TIMPANI, near the Strait of Hormuz, can monitor Iraqi communications. CLARINET, in the south of Oman, is strategically close to Yemen.

British national telco BT, referred to within GCHQ and the American NSA under the ultra-classified codename “REMEDY”, and Vodafone Cable (which owns the former Cable & Wireless company, aka “GERONTIC”) are the two top earners of secret GCHQ payments running into tens of millions of pounds annually.” (via REVEALED: GCHQ’s BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE • The Register)

The Pathé News company produced newsreels on events and places both important and strange for the greater part of the 20th century. That footage is now housed in the British Pathé archive, a collection of 85,000 historic films spanning the years 1896 to 1976. [A couple of weeks ago], British Pathé announced that it had uploaded its entire collection to YouTube, making for a widely available trove of historic footage and a fascinatingly nerdy way to spend Friday afternoon.

Despite the government’s reforms, NGO figures show that threats and violence against HRDs in Colombia in 2013 remained at similar levels to 2012. Somos Defensores (“We are Defenders”) is a Colombian NGO alliance. Provisional figures for their 2013 report show that whilst attacks went down 4% in 2013, the number of assassinations was 76: a 10% increase on the previous year. They also claim that in most cases the perpetrators are not found, increasing perceptions of impunity, and that there was a significant increase in the number of judicial cases brought against HRDs, mainly as a result of the social protests which took place in August. The British Embassy has continued to urge the government not to link the work of HRDs, including peaceful protesters, with the guerrillas or other illegal armed groups, as stigmatisation can lead to violence against them. The British Embassy has also continued to highlight the work of HRDs and their organisations in a bi-monthly human rights bulletin and, through its presidency of the G24 human rights group, has met human rights organisations, and encouraged dialogue between them and the government.