Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Book Release and Competition

The Author copies of my newly published book Surveillance and Identity: Discourse, Subjectivity and the State arrived at the house yesterday to much celebration. There's a copy sitting on my desk now, and I'm rather pleased with how it looks. You can read the introduction here.

So, not being sure what to do with six identical copies of the book, I've decided to give one of these copies away to a blog reader or twitter follower. So if you want a chance for a free copy you'll need to do the following:

  1. Send me a message telling me why you're interested in the book. This is a test to make sure that you're not a robot, and give me subtle ideas about what to write the next one on.  You can do this on twitter (@dbarnardwills) or in the comments of this post.
  2. Some time in February, I'll put all the entries in a hat, and draw one at random. I'll contact the winner and arrange to send them the book. If I can't get in touch with them, then I'll pick another winner, and so on, until somebody takes the book off my hands.*
  3. I'll announce the winner on this blog and twitter.
  4. If you win, and you'd like it, I can write something in the inside cover. Or if you're an undergraduate student, I can underline all the significant passages in highligher pen.**
You can also buy a copy of the book through the usual major places: Amazon, Book Depository or direct from the publisher Ashgate.

* If you're going to then put it on ebay, at least give it a read first.
** I will never do this

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Smart Meters

The UK Parliament yesterday published the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts report on Preperations for the roll-out of smart meters. (pdf)

The report suggests that many of the benefits of the installation of smart meters will acrue to the energy suppliers, and that it needs to be carefully managed to ensure that customers gain benefits. There are a few mentions of privacy, but more about cybersecurity. Privacy is a concern for consumers (represented by Consumer Focus' expert witness - with the concern than there are 'a huge number of unknowns in terms of how consumers are going to respond'. The energy companies themselves are wary of being see to have abused consumers' privacy. There are several references to the experience of the Netherlands, where, according to the report, privacy was not taken seriously enough and this resulted in a consumer backlash.