All posts filed under “Bureaucracy

Salt licked?

Salt licked?

UPDATE: See the detailed response below from Peter of Gateshead Council, which clarifies, corrects and expands upon some of the spin given by the Mail articles. The new shakers were supplied to the chip shop staff for use behind the counter: “Our main concern was […]

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Paper Rights Management

Paper Rights Management

This delivery note from Springer informs me that the book I’ve bought “must not be resold”. Good luck with that. So have I bought it or not? Or have I bought a licence to read it? What if I give it away? Many companies would […]

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(Anti-)public seating roundup

(Anti-)public seating roundup

Single-occupancy benches in Helsinki. Photo by Ville Tikkanen Ville Tikkanen of Salient Feature points us to the “asocial design” of these single-person benches installed in Helsinki, Finland. In true Jan Chipchase style, he invites us to think about the affordances offered: As you can see, […]

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The right to click

The right to click

English Heritage, officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, and funded by the taxpayer and by visitors to some of its properties, does a great deal of very good work in widening public appreciation of, and engagement with, history and the country’s heritage. […]

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Ticket off (reprise)

Ticket off (reprise)

Last year we looked at the way that the pricing structure of no-change-given ticket machines is often – apparently – designed to lead to overpayment, and I posed the question of whether councils/car park operators actually draw up their budget based on a significant proportion […]

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Anti-user seating in Oxford

Anti-user seating in Oxford

Top two photos: A bench on Cornmarket Street, Oxford; Lower two photos: A bus stop seat perch on Castle Street. While from a very narrow specification point-of-view ‘they do their job’, what utter contempt for users these two seating examples demonstrate! The benches on Cornmarket […]

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West Coast code meets Far East code

West Coast code meets Far East code

Thanks to Mr Person at Text Savvy, I’ve just learned that this blog is blocked in China: Images from the Great Firewall of China test. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. From a censorship point of view, it’s bad, but it’s certainly interesting […]

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37signals: Control vs Communication

37signals: Control vs Communication

Johan Strandell kindly lets me know about a discussion of ‘Control vs Communication‘ at 37signals’ Signal vs Noise: Every once in a while we get an email from a customer asking about how permissions work with our products. They’re almost always asking how to prevent […]

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Friday quote: Fashion & convention

Friday quote: Fashion & convention

L.J.K. Setright, the late motoring writer and commentator, self-taught mechanical engineer and all-round Renaissance Man, once wrote: Fashion is a terrible fetter; convention, since it lasts longer, is even worse. This was in an issue of Car, when it was still any good. Setright wrote […]

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A couple of stories from the Consumerist

A couple of stories from the Consumerist

“Is Sylvester Stallone Taking Over Your TV?” – anecdotal suggestion that some digital video recorders may be attempting to ‘push’ certain movie franchises in the run-up to release by recording (unrequested) previous titles in a series, or with the same actors. Well, this is totally […]

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BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

BBC: Surveillance drones in Merseyside

From the BBC: ‘Police play down spy planes idea’: “Merseyside Police’s new anti-social behaviour (ASB) task force is exploring a number of technology-driven ideas. But while the use of surveillance drones is among them, they would be a “long way off”, police said. … “The […]

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Ticket off

Ticket off

Henry e-mails: “Perhaps this is too obvious: parking meters; and I mean modern digital ones, enforce arbitrary limits on how much you can pay for at a time (4 hours). Is this to share the enjoyment of democratic parking (at a dollar an hour), or […]

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Review: Made to Break by Giles Slade

Review: Made to Break by Giles Slade

Last month I mentioned some fascinating details on planned obsolescence gleaned from a review of Giles Slade‘s Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America. Having now read the book for myself, here’s my review, including noteworthy ‘architectures of control’ examples and pertinent commentary. Slade […]

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