guardian online second sight

From 1999 until 2005 I wrote for the Second Sight column in The Guardian newspaper's weekly "Online" supplement.


"I have waited six years for the nail to be hit on the head as accurately as did Dave Birch" -- Guardian Online letters page, 9th August 2001.


Emergent behaviour (1st September 2005).
Out of Africa (18th August 2005).
iPod as threat to civilisation (4th August 2005).
Big Brother is Us (14th July 2005).
Unreality TV (9th June 2005).
I never forget my iPod (19th May 2005).
The Scale of Virtual Trading (28th April 2005).
Broadband Content (7th April 2005).
Quantum Leap (17th March 2005).
Britain's Paypal from 1881 (24th February 2005).
Clever Telephony (10th February 2005).
Secure E-Mail (28th January 2005).
E-mail and archives (16th January 2005).


Reputation is coming back (16th December 2004).
Smart paper (25th November 2004).
Big Brother and Little Sister (4th November 2004).
Distributed problem, distributed solution (21st October 2004).
Insiders and hackers (30th September 2004).
Death and data (16th September 2004).
National identity computers (26th August 2004).
Analogue switch-off (12th August 2004).
Near field is nearly here (22nd July 2004).
The iTunes/iPod combination really does change things (1st July 2004).
Phishers have had their chips (3rd June 2004).
Who will use picturephones? (7th May 2004).
"Paying" for spam (22nd April 2004).
Paying for Online Shopping (25th March 2004).
Batteries have become the limiting factor (12th March 2004).
When chips replace cash (12th February 2004).
I miss Napster (15th January 2004).


A plan to end spam? (5th December 2003).
Supercomputer uses (28th November 2003).
The real spam menace (13th November 2003).
Fixing the "chat" problem (2nd October 2003).
Viruses are stupid (25th September 2003).
Who cares about wifi security? (14th August 2003).
Careful with that (virtual) axe (17th July 2003).
Talking pants (18th June 2003).
Rebuilding a business: digital photography (5th June 2003).
Are PDAs going out of fashion? (8th May 2003).
Electronics industry vs. content industry (10th April 2003).
What happens when you know where everyone is? (13th March 2003).
We need a security infrastructure (30th January 2003).
Paying by Interactive TV (7th January 2003).


We're not being radical enough about e-voting (28th November 2002).
Money is the key to m-commerce success (3rd October 2002).
My wire free world (3rd October 2002).
It's not who we are that counts (19th September 2002).
Privatising ID cards (5th September 2002).
Spammers have to pay (15th August 2002).
Keep control of your keys (1st August 2002).
Technology and the 'truth' (4th July 2002).
Look at adult sites for trends (6th June 2002).
Transactions can kick-start 3G (23rd May 2002).
E-Day. Mint your own digital money (25th April 2002).
The music industry's DReaM (28th March 2002).
Dumb cards outsmarted (14th March 2002).
Why not have an e-euro? (21st February 2002).
You can't think about risks in isolation (7th February 2002).
Biometric technology is not a panacea (24th January 2002).



Micropayments will change the dynamics of the Net (20th December 2001).
Law enforcement should stop trying to control the Net and starting using it instead (22nd November 2001).
Chat is the killer P2P application (25th October 2001).
E-cash will still happen without Beenz (28th September 2001).
You can't alway believe what you see (16th August 2001).
How come anyone can get drugs but not broadband? (2nd August 2001).
Digital signatures are now as valid a written ones. Really? (19th July 2001).
Let's get on with e-voting (5th July 2001).
Lessons from i-Mode (21st June 2001).
A easy way to end credit card fraud (31st May 2001).
3G licences or a base on Mars? (3rd May 2001).
The credit card fraud panic (12th April 2001).
Joing the broadband revolution (Revised PDF 8th March 2001).
Why bother with euro notes or coins? (PDF 8th February 2001).
The problems of prediction, and predictions for the coming year (PDF 4th January 2001).


Location-based services are central to the mobile proposition, but may not be the low-hanging fruit, so to speak (Extended & revised PDF, 14th December 2000).
Why is it so hard to send money around? (PDF 16th November 2000).
Reputation may turn out to be the key currency of the online economy (PDF 2nd November 2000).
Why tap out messages on a mobile phone? They were meant for talking to! (PDF 6th July 2000).
First time around, digital money schemes failed. Now they're back, but this time they're not being led by banks (PDF, 11th May 2000).
Will WAP unleash the same kind of creativity as the Sinclair Spectrum? (PDF, 13th April 2000).
Are we worrying about the Net just because it's new? (23rd March 2000)
When it comes to interactive networks, content really isn't king (3rd February 2000).


Identity is more complicated that it seems at first glance. In fact, it's a spectrum (PDF, 14th October 1999).
European electronic commerce isn't so much behind US electronic commerce as different (PDF, 8th July 1999).