Information | Process | Technology

EU e-Privacy Directive

This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

You have declined cookies. This decision can be reversed.

You have allowed cookies to be placed on your computer. This decision can be reversed.


We think (perhaps too much) about Organisations, the Functions they perform, the Information needed to execute those functions, and the Technologies used to implement them. We capture some of our thoughts in writing to share them, please choose a particular category from the menu above.

Last Chance

This article probably isn’t for you. Well it might be, we’ll come to that, but more likely it’s for your offspring. Have a gander then pass the paper over to the younger generation and tell them to get in quick …

For those leaving school, or university, this is a strange time of year. Decisions made recently, or about to be made, may influence the rest of your lives. Careers beckon, entry into the world of adult work. In a previous article I mused about the impacts of the next wave of industrial automation and the frightening forecasts that around a third of current jobs in the UK are highly susceptible to computerisation over the next twenty years. Where then can reliable long-term employment be found? 

Read more: Last Chance

Do You DDoS?

Out there in CyberSpace a common technique for preventing people accessing a website or using an Internet service is the “Denial of Service” cyber attack. The rules of the game are simple, pick on a website (or email service or cloud storage provider etc.) and give them so many requests or so much web traffic that their servers or Internet  connections can’t cope. The result is that their servers will either become so overloaded and unresponsive that for all intents and purposes they cease working, or they will actually crash. Either way the Denial of Service attack has succeeded because nobody can use the website, frustrating both the website operator and his customers.

Read more: Do You DDoS?

UK follows Manx example …

… and shoots itself in the feet with both barrels.

More of that later, but let’s start with a little characterisation of IT workers. They generally fall into four categories - employees, contractors, freelancers and consultants.

Employees are the permanent “on payroll” workers who provide continuity of service and knowledge, handling most of the business as usual (“BAU”) workload of providing and maintaining IT. Most employers aim to keep these folks long term.

Read more: UK follows Manx example …

That Database


The Government wants a centralised, comprehensive, database of citizens. They tell us that they currently have around sixty databases which are used by a couple of hundred IT systems. Unsurprisingly the Government has difficulty keeping all these databases complete and up to date, so they hold bad data about citizens - out of date address, occupation, marital status, duplicate records, missing records etc. Failing to ensure that personal data is accurate is a breach of data protection. It’s a common problem, many larger organisations used to have multiple databases which were supposed to hold the same, up to date, data, but didn’t. It’s easy to see why the government would want to fix this problem, it must hinder government efficiency, and it is a previously solved problem.

Read more: That Database

IT’s The Future

So, welcome, Dear Reader, to my one-hundredth and final fortnightly IT Matters article. If you’ve read any of my previous mutterings - thank you for being there for me. If you’ve read lots of my IT Matters articles then I thank you most profusely, but you probably need counselling and should seek professional help. 

If you do seek help you won’t be alone. Tech and the digital world is enough to drive anyone nuts; ever-changing; as soon as you feel that you’re standing on solid ground some geek will jerk the rug from under your feet and flip you up into the clouds again with a new advance which renders yesterday’s assumptions and your associated strategy obsolete.

Read more: IT’s The Future

A Manx GDPR Muddle

The ten most valuable businesses in the world today are, in order: Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Tencent, Berkshire Hathaway, Alibaba, Facebook, JP Morgan Chase, and Johnson & Johnson. Seven of the ten are tech businesses for whom the exploitation of our personal data is a core activity - including all of the top five (it would have been the top six but for Facebook’s recent data troubles).

Read more: A Manx GDPR Muddle

IT Matters 101

Last year I promised myself I would stop writing IT Matters when I had written one hundred of these articles. I’ve been wittering on fortnightly for the past four years and the Examiner has been kind enough to give me a page to myself - which I have filled for them free of charge - but why?

Read more: IT Matters 101

The End Of The Telephone Line

In 1984 I joined a team of engineers working for ITT (International Telephone & Telegraph) and its subsidiary STC (Standard Telephone & Cable) in designing a “Digital Switching” system to migrate British Telecom from analogue to digital telephony. For those of you old enough to remember when the delay between dialling the telephone number and getting a ringing tone (or engaged) suddenly dropped from half a minute or more to down to a couple of seconds - that was the start of the switchover from analogue to digital telephony in the UK and Isle of Man. 

Read more: The End Of The Telephone Line

We have never had anything like this before

So said Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, last week, following an IT outage in the Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System (ETFMS) that affected around fifteen thousand flights across Europe last Tuesday afternoon and evening - around half of all the flights scheduled . Media commentators estimated that half a million passengers were affected by flight delays or cancellations. Following restoration of the ETFMS system, around eight hours after the failure, airlines were asked to re-load flight plan data loaded before the outage.

Read more: We have never had anything like this before

Uncertain Times

Jim Mellon, in his recent article for Master Investor which was summarised in the IoM Examiner, said:


 “My call – until very recently an appalling one – that the big internet platforms of Google (Alphabet) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) would soon be getting some comeuppance seems to be coming modestly right”. 

Read more: Uncertain Times


In March last year I wrote a couple of IT Matters articles, one about the progress in developing Quantum Computing and the other discussing the probability of a “Technological Unemployment Bomb” which has been forecast by some very credible academics due to the rapid rise of Artificial Intelligence technologies. The two technologies combined - Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) might be the catalyst for the displacement, by the year 2025, of around one-third of the jobs currently performed by people.

Read more: IT’s NOW

You are here: Home Thinking(s)