Bruce’s photo-blog


This website is a continuation of Digital evidence that Bruce has a life (my CSS/HTML photoblog) and Just another bipedal sack of DNA and neuroses, because that’s what humans are (my original blog). Posts from Just another… have now been copied to this blog, so that I can eventually get out of LiveJournal altogether.


Never mind Brexit, it’s legsit! #firstworldproblems

So I felt fine after doing a wee ride on 1st JuneJuly, but when I went to bed my left buttock and thigh went into really painful contracted spasm, and stayed that way so I hardly slept. When I got up on Monday morning, the spasms went away but my left shin was very painful. It took me over 15 minutes to limp from the flat to the taxi-rank outside the Rutland – around a quarter of a mile, involving several stops and much swearing. Continue reading

More thoughts about Online Identity Assurance and e-voting

(With thanks to Peter Cruickshank for raising the public money issue, and for suggestions on reading)

On Tuesday 19 June, I was at two events. The first was a meeting of the Scottish Government’s Online Identity Assurance stakeholder group. The second was a seminar on Vote.Scot: Shaping the future of online voting in Scotland. They provided a very interesting set of information and questions. Continue reading

More thoughts about e-voting – and participatory budgeting

(with thanks to Liam Bell for feedback on the first draft.)

On Tuesday 12 June, I was at a workshop organised by the Scottish Government (SG) to consider how lessons from e-voting, as used in participatory budgeting (PB), can inform SG’s investigations of how e-voting might be used in Scottish elections. A key theme of the discussion was how a system that would initially be used for PB voting could be set up so that it would ‘naturally’ evolve to be used for other voting ‘use-cases’.

It’s not my aim to describe what others said at the meeting: a scribe took detailed notes and I hope that a transcript will be published soon. However, I hope this post will describe my thinking, and how it’s evolved a bit since I last wrote about e-voting. Continue reading

Extending the range

The jaunts from North Berwick to Edinburgh last weekend and the weekend before that were fairly flat. We both wanted to see if we could go further, on more undulating terrain. So Elly suggested cycling via Kirkliston to Linlithgow and back. We’re just back, and despite a few grumbles, my legs kept going. The Rose SPD sandals worked well too. Here’s the inevitable cyclemeter map:

cycle-route from Edinburgh to Linlithgow and back

click he graphic to see ride details

Continue reading

Pack up your troubles?

So this weekend’s jaunt was a repeat of last weekend’s run from North Berwick to home, but this time carrying luggage. Lev’s panniers weighed 1 stone 8 lbs (9.8kg), and contained most of the things I think I’ll take in August. I have no idea how much Fidel’s panniers weighed, but rather than faff with packing lists, Elly quickly filled them with old copies of the London Review of Books.

Here’s the inevitable cyclemeter map, and below is Lev’s panniers’ contents. There’s a PDF of my packing list here just in case you’re really interested.

Continue reading

Slow progress

It’s been fairly challenging recently. I won’t go into why here – let’s just say that a combination of issues has led to full nights of sleep being conspicuously absent. I’d not been spinning for at least two weeks, so endorphins have been in very short supply. This culminated yesterday in a spinning session that was an exercise in fighting myself, followed by a painful cycle home and a ‘cultural’ event that I should have body-swerved.

Elly has also not been having a good time recently, and we’ve both missed burning up the miles together. So I’m pleased that we were both able to cycle from North Berwick to Servants’ Quarters, taking a longer route than strictly necessary. Here’s the obligatory cyclometer map:

map of cycling route from North Berwick to Edinburgh

Click to see full-size map on cyclometer website

Continue reading

Have your say on Scotland’s Open Government Action Plan

(This is a copy of a post on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development blog.)

Do you want to help transform government?

Imagine a country where citizens and governments come together to solve the most pressing challenges we face; where the decision making process is transparent and accountable, and where you have a real say in the policies and services that shape your life.

Whether you would like more opportunities to be involved in public service decision making; to see more information or data released in areas such as transport or education; or want more information on how public money is spent, open government is for you!

What is open government?

Governments use public money to shape the society we live in. The decisions they take impact on the day to day quality of life that we enjoy. Open governments do not just allow us to see what decisions are made, they allow us to take part in shaping them and provide us with the information we need to examine and challenge their choices.

An open government is one that shares information, empowers people to hold their actions to account and supports people to take part in the decisions over public policies and services that affect them.

A good example is participatory budgeting (a way for people to make decisions on how public money is spent), which was one of Scotland’s first commitments to Open Government. It has been hugely successful in both uptake and impact, being widely implemented all across Scotland, with thousands of people taking part and having their say on how public money should be spent. This progress on participatory budgeting demonstrates the impact it has had on opening up public budgets and encouraging public participation in decision making.

Let's make Scotland work for you!

Have your say!

Do you have an idea for how government could be done differently in Scotland? Perhaps more participatory budgeting, more information on public finances or greater understanding of how policy decisions are made? If so, we need your help to make open government the new normal in Scotland.

What’s in store?

In June and July 2018 the Scottish Government and Open Government Network will be inviting the public and civil society organisations to share their ideas that can help make government in Scotland work better for its people.

There are a number of ways to get involved.


From Tuesday 29th May, you will be able to submit your own ideas online and browse the ideas that people are discussing.


 Join us at locations across Scotland for a series of events where you can tell us in person your ideas for change. Find out more and register.

Help us spread the word

We need your help to get the message out about our plans to develop Scotland’s next Open Government Action Plan. Can you share via your newsletters, repost this blog on your website or pass on our leaflet to your networks and peers?

Events list

What happens with your input?

Once the crowdsourcing of ideas has finished the team will analyse all the input ahead of a meeting of the OGP Steering Group, which consists of eight network members and eight government officials.

The OGP Steering Group will use your input to develop between three and five commitments that will make up Scotland’s second Open Government Action Plan, which must be ready by the end of July 2018.

Behind the scenes – the process

Since the turn of the year work has been underway to develop improved processes and a project plan ahead of creating Scotland’s 2018/20 open government action plan. We’re now all set to press ahead.

You can find out more about the planning process and Scotland’s OGP Steering Group here.

Keeping the rubber side down

It being sunny and all that, and the ever-wonderful Elly both not being at work, and us needing to get some miles under our belts in preparation for this summer’s wee jaunt, we took to Edinburgh’s somewhat patchy cycle-paths. Because this was our first cycle together in far too long, we didn’t push hard, and we had a wee pause at the Beach House after fighting through the crows on Portobello promenade. So I’ve just had my first doppelespresso of the year. You have been warned!

graphic of our route around Edinburgh, with hyperlink to cyclometer data

Click the graphic to see the cyclometer data.

I’d forgotten how much I enjoy being out with Elly, Fidel and Lev!

Online Identity Assurance – approaching the next phase #identityassurance @digitalscots

5 useful facts about the OLA programme

Illustration credit: original vertical version by Scottish Government (tweaked by me to horizontal format)

It appears that the Scottish Government is moving ahead with its Online Identity Assurance programme. I like the ‘facts’ in their graphic above:

However, I still want assurance that my concerns in my blog post about the March ‘show and tell’ are handled. In short, I want to be sure that this work will benefit (at the very minimum, not become a barrier) to access to government services by those who need it the most.

People such as me (white, middle-class, UK origin, university educated, technophilic, etc) are likely to be able to to navigate digital doings pretty well. But what about those who don’t have the time, the technology and the understanding to do this?

So, just like SG says in its latest blog post, I’m looking forward to [the] next National Stakeholder Group meeting on Tuesday 19 June, where the project team will summarise what has happened since the group last met in February, before holding a discussion on next steps. In addition to members of the Stakeholder Group being invited, [SG] will again be making places available for anyone who wants to come along and participate, or simply observe.