LINKED: “Stretching across from Hackney Marshes to Redbridge, the M11 Link Road was completed in 1999 after the demolition of 400 houses amid dramatic and passionate protest. … Concealed along the three-mile route, 20 transmitters continually broadcast hidden voices, recorded testimonies and rekindled memories of those who once lived and worked where the motorway now runs.”

“Australia was putting its economic and security interests at risk by
backing a free trade deal with the United States, one of the nation’s
chief trade experts said today.
Professor Ross Garnaut, a former adviser to the Hawke government and now
with the Australian National University, warned there were also major
flaws in claims about the value of the deal to the Australian economy.” (The Age)

Yep, loyalty cards are evil. “It sounds good – loyalty cards entitle us to freebies or cash simply for shopping at our local superstore. Of course, retailers get something in return: a heap of information about us we might prefer them not to know. That’s before they get started on the new tags that track you and what you buy.”
Now, I’m the last person to advocate civil disobedience, but given the statements below, I think it could be fun to make the worst face I can imagine, pick up a packet of Mach 3 razors, have your photo taken and put the razors back. Let them figure that one out at the checkout.
“At the Tesco Cambridge store, reports the magazine, a camera trained on the Gillette blade shelf, and triggered by the tags, captures a photo of each customer who removes a Mach3 pack. Another photo is taken at the checkout and security staff compare the two images to ensure they always have a pair.
A spokesman for Tesco confirmed that this set-up is in operation. He says: “Generally in retailing, razorblades are stolen more than other products, but that is not why we are doing the trial. We have plenty of security measures in place to stop things being stolen. [This trial] is not to do with security or theft, it is a supply chain trial.” According to the spokesman,”there are certainly not any privacy concerns” in relation to these tags. He adds that there is plenty of in-store signage indicating the supermarket’s use of CCTV cameras.
Still, customers might not infer from this information that these cameras are being used to take a digital photo of them each time they lift a Gillette razorblade from the store’s shelf – it only takes one to prompt the camera – and again when they present the pack at the checkout. Tesco says that the photos are “temporarily stored”, but does not specify for how long. However, Smart Labels Analyst magazine explains that this system enables the store to “blacklist certain shoppers and keep an eye on them”.” Guardian
Business Week have a story on the tagged products that could be used to track your identity and location, Playing Tag with Shoppers: “New product-inventory tracking technologies have privacy advocates up in arms. Smart companies will pay close attention to their concerns”
It seems that the onus on privacy has shifted from privacy being an automatic right to the individual needing to defend their right to privacy against claims of ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong, why are you so afraid?’.

“A girls’ night out has become official policy in a small southern Spanish town after the mayor announced he would ban men from going out on a Thursday night.

Mr Checa says he expects the town’s men to stay at home on Thursdays, looking after the kids and washing up. The women, on the other hand, are to be given a free run of the town’s bars and nightclubs, which, presumably, will be free of the opposite sex.” (The Age)
Maybe they’ll get divorced and need “online dating consultants“, people who “see a potential gold mine in the niche market of providing profile makeovers for unimaginative lonely hearts”.
In other news, “He was shouting ‘wahey’ as he ran along“.

AOLers get blogging. (BBC)
I can’t imagine it’ll change the net as much as when AOLers joined the rest of the internet. It’ll certainly be more subtle but I guess it might finally bring about the publishing revolution that never quite happened.