Archive for January, 2010

Albert acts strangely

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 22, 2010 by Tudor Rickards

This is ridiculous. Albert had been acting very strangely for weeks. I can’t make any sense of what he’s up to. Anyway, here’s what happened this morning.

He was waiting outside the window this morning when I opened the blinds. But to my amazement, he seemed to have crawled through a pot of blue paint. His brown shell was streaked with blue as bright as a cornflower. And I could just see shimmering streaks of silver on his two tentacles, as if he had applied some shiny make-up. Looking more closely, I could see that he had borrowed another snail’s shell, which had the owner’s name painted in blue on it. Albert had come in disguise, as a snail called John.

I wanted to ask about his progress on the case, but I could see he was all of a quiver. He seemed for the first time to be interested in something inside the room. Albert was behaving in a very curious fashion. He was doing a snail dance, and singing a snail song, in those familiar grumbly rumbly tones.

Snaily baby
Don say maybe
Say you’ll slip outside with me

I’m not quttin
I’m so smitten
Smitten baby over you

“Albert! What’s going on? Why are you wearing a shell with the name John on it?”

My words gave him quite a shock. It was as if he hadn’t expected to see me on the other side of the window. His head disappeared right back into his shell.

“Albert! Where have you been? And what’s all this Snaily baby stuff.

But there was no enticing Albert out of his shell.

“I’m going to make a cup of tea” I said. “Perhaps when I can come back, you’ll be ready to answer some questions”. And with that I got up from my chair and went away to make the tea.

And do you know what I found when I got back? Only a message on the window, in Albert’s snail-mail writing.

“In disguise. Back on track, soon”

Now what is all this about?” I wondered to myself, sipping the warm green tea I had made.

I Have Been Very Foolish

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 18, 2010 by Tudor Rickards

I have been very foolish. Obsessive even. For months I have skulked in my office, fearing that I had found vital evidence of a plan with the gravest implications for the future of the planet. But my fears were turned inward. Turned to what might happen to me because of my discovery. Not to what was happening out there.

It was when I became less timerous I saw my foolishness. It’s not easy to draw attention to yourself. The internet is not so much a giant transmitter as I had assumed. Since I began this quest, I have written sixty blog posts, two hundred tags, hint after hint of real and present danger. But fewer followers have come forward than if I had rented the village hall and put adverts up in front saying ‘Meeting to Discuss the Imminent Threat of Tomato Blight at Woodford Allotments’. That would have worked better on one dry night. Al least, the allotment workers would have dropped by. The real-life detectives I contacted by e-mail never even bothered to reply. Except for Albert, nothing.

Last week, I took what I thought was a risk. I sent out a coded message. Result? Silence. In my hopes and fears I thought that the four word blog post would fly around the world. But nothing.

So let me be even bolder. It is possible that Google has come under attack by the most dangerous of enemy forces. Even Google thinks that it is the victim of a conspiracy. This is the escalation I was expecting. It fits into the pattern of attacks on Twitter and other social network sites recently. My suspicions are all confirmed.

Here’s what Google had to say:

Like many other well-known organizations, we face cyber attacks of varying degrees on a regular basis. In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident–albeit a significant one–was something quite different. First, this attack was not just on Google. As part of our investigation we have discovered that at least twenty other large companies from a wide range of businesses–including the Internet, finance, technology, media and chemical sectors–have been similarly targeted. We are currently in the process of notifying those companies, and we are also working with the relevant U.S. authorities.

That message shook me out of my foolishness. I decided to act. First it was with the four-word code, now with this open message.

There must be other people out there who have also woken up to what is happening. And if so, we must do something together. At whatever personal risk from Google’s “highly sophisticated and targeted attackers” . But what to do?

Don’t Stop Thinking about Haiti

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 16, 2010 by Tudor Rickards

The news of the week is undoubtedly from Haiti. I can’t watch the news. The images bring flash-back memories of other images of bombs and battles and bloody bits of flesh. So I try hard to be in denial. Write about something else.

Something that doesn’t matter at all.

But it’s the old conundrum. Try not to think about an elephant. Still managing to not think about that elephant? What’s that thought with its tail and its trunk and its tusks and its bigger or smaller ears, and its crinkly tough grey skin?

Still trying to not write about Haiti? What’s that elephant reminding you of now? Africa or India. Echoes of droughts and famine and…

Did I send something? Did I send something before I fired-up the computer and checked who had been in touch with me, and before I looked to see if Albert had snail mailed me? Did I send something before I blogged about Google and China.

Google and China is an important story in another way. Any other week I would have found myself writing, maybe. And I remember now. Google helped me find the Disaster Appeal fund link.

It’s such a relief. Filling in numbers. Not numbers of dead bodies. And closure with some candles-worth of penance purchased.

Can’t remember which news agency. I got the image from. Was it AP? Reuters? I must have stolen it. It belongs to the world, at this time. But the photographer and whoever owns copyright deserves more than this anonymity. Sorry.

Google, China: Don’t Stop

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 15, 2010 by Tudor Rickards

Message

Google

China

Don’t stop

Thinkin about tomorrow

A Yuletide Message: Find the Poet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 3, 2010 by Tudor Rickards

Funny how you can try as hard as you can to be original, and find you have been throughly influenced by someone else’s thoughts. I wrote this and later noticed how close it is, in rhythm and even in the final sentiment, to a poem I studied as a Schoolboy.

Hint: The original influence was a poem written as the 19th century was ending …

Half and half

Five thousand solstices ago
Among the Celtic hills
The ancients took up mistletoe
Drank mead from early Stills

Far from those times, the lore persists
and Yuletide celebrations
Which started in a land of mists
Now reach to other Nations

The ancients greet the passing year
And celebrate the light.
For half the globe, the shortest day
For half, the shortest night.

Who ever cares beyond the cave
and seeks a wider home
share this, and in its sharing hold
more hope for times to come