The Register has published my walking tour of Cambridge’s computing history from Alan Turing (King’s College) to Clive Sinclair (6a King’s Parade, just across the street). On the way, it takes in Porgy the bear, EDSAC, Acorn, Elite, Robert Maxwell and a fight in the Baron of Beef.
One nice thing about Beacon is that every article has to have a header image. So in writing the Ends of Britain series, I increasingly take photos when I visit somewhere. A selection of header photos appears above; there are links to the articles from the image pages. Continue reading “Picturing the Ends of Britain: photos for Beacon”
The UK uses surveillance cameras like a comfort blanket, with some care homes for the elderly planning to install them in bedrooms. Rather than arguing about security versus privacy, we should be more discriminating.
Originally published on Beacon. Continue reading “Britain’s CCTV cities: we need a clearer view”
If you were looking for parts of the economy to nationalise, luxury hotels would probably be low on most people’s lists – and for the last three decades, British governments have mainly privatised, not nationalised, with most of Royal Mail being privatised this week.
Having just spent a week in a different parador – Spain’s nationalised chain of hotels – every night, that’s a bit of a shame. Not because hotel accommodation urgently needs to become part of the public sector, but because it’s difficult to imagine any organisation but a government doing what Spain has done with several paradores: take a fantastic but decrepit old building and make it usable again. Continue reading “Spain’s nationalised heritage paradores: unlikely in Britain, sadly”
The north of France is a lot like the north of England. It’s a bit colder, metropolitan types think it has funny accents and food and it has suffered from a decline in industry, particularly mining. Lille should get itself twinned with Manchester – both cities have great histories and great ambitions for the future (and both are now major student and cultural centres). Continue reading “Art galleries in northern France: La Piscine Roubaix beats Louvre Lens”