It was galling to see the 42-day detention Bill pass a Commons vote despite significant opposition. I remain hopeful that the Lords will stall its progress and that it will fail any further attempts. Nevertheless the fact it could pass at all highlights that the worrying trend we have seen in poorly conceived “anti-terror” legislation is not stopping. Unless of course the government’s cunning plan is to make terrorists obsolete by doing their job for them.
Many bemused Americans are actually taking an opportunity to throw stones, apparently heedless of their glass house. 42 days is, after all, still better than 6+ years and counting. Admittedly that’s in a Cuban holiday resort or however it is they refer to Guantanamo these days. The truth is, of course, that this is simply another Act in the security theatre engulfing both our countries — not merely the erosion of civil liberties, but rather the erosion for high profile ideas that bear no ostensible benefits at all. If those additional days save a single life, I think everyone — including those who drafted the Bill — would be very, very surprised.
Firefox 3 has been dated for a June 17th release. I’ve been using the stable Release Candidates for a while now, and I can thoroughly recommend the new version. Improvements are less dramatic than earlier milestone releases but the focus here is under the hood like memory management, combined with a focus on smaller details. Drawing attention in the address bar to the identity information of the site you are browsing is a good example of a simple security measure that will greatly increase use. Meanwhile Firefox is also venturing into the mobile arena with a concept video of the user interface for a new mobile version of the browser, designed specifically for small touch screen devices. This is only a concept with a real product still some way off.