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Our favourite story today comes from Reuters under the headline "banks scramble to fix old systems as IT "cowboys" ride into the sunset." The cowboys call themselves that, after the film "Space Cowboys" - one of the clutch of films were old age and experience are recognised above all else. It was getting on for 20 years ago when the banking IT industry got really angry with our boss for standing in large banking IT event in the Middle East and telling hundreds of senior bank execs to avoid proprietary software and migrate everything to LAMP and extract data using XML. The problem of so-called "legacy" systems was already becoming obvious and banks, amongst others, would need to future proof applications and data and that meant telling companies they could not sell products that work in a silo and have no clear upgrade, cross-grade or replacement path. Of course, the banks didn't listen and continued to buy and use software that doesn't play well, or at all, with others and is an absolute horror to migrate to anything else. That's now come home to roost as this story shows:



This is embarrassing: in Hong Kong there is a "suspected theft" of computers from the Registration and Electoral Office. As if that's not bad enough, the missing computers contain personal data of Registered Electors. The Privacy Commissioner's office has released two statements. They are in Chinese. Only.


Malaysian state Selangor which once tried to ban the sale of condoms using the argument that they promote promiscuity, and has taken action to prevent the display of alcohol in convenience stores, has issued new guidelines on the building of religious premises by non-Muslims.

The rules are

1 New non-Muslim places of worship must not be built within 50 metres of a home owned by a Muslim;

2 Planned non-Muslim places of worship in areas with a multi-racial community require the consent of residents within a 200-metre radius before it is built;

3 New non-Muslim places of worship cannot be built in commercial areas; and

4 New non-Muslim places of worship must be lower in height than the mosque nearest to it.



The train now leaving Stanford le Hope in Essex, UK is heading for China. 7,500 miles are ahead with 30 containers with, amongst other things Whisky, soft drinks, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and baby products . We hope they pre-cleared Chinese customs while still in Essex. It would be massively embarrassing if they got turned away at the Chinese border.