Internet of things: the greatest mass surveillance infrastructure ever?

Does the expanding network of connected devices herald a brave new compact for our digital lives – or the end of politics?

The word “thing”, in Old English, means a meeting or assembly. In the epic poem Beowulf, the eponymous hero declares he’ll “alone hold a thing” with the monster Grendel, who is terrorising the Danes in the great hall of Heorot. Beowulf uses “thing” euphemistically – it is a meeting that immediately descends into a fight.

The Icelandic parliament is still called Althing (Alþingi). But over the ages, “things” have gradually evolved from meetings to matter. Today, we primarily use the term “thing” to refer to objects. Even in this sense, however, things are still core to our political and social lives.

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Ed Vaizey – video games are as important to British culture as cinema

The culture minister has spoken at the Develop conference in Brighton about games industry tax credits and the vital cultural role of the sector

Video games are as important to British culture as film, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has claimed during a keynote speech at the Develop conference in Brighton.

Speaking to an audience of developers, publishers and investors, Vaizey, who has backed the games industry since becoming Shadow Culture Minister in 2006, also highlighted the success of video game tax credits, which were introduced last year, allowing studios based in the UK to claim relief on up to 25% of their production costs.

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