Category Archives: Academia

Research into Effective Age-Gating for Online Alcohol Sales

An open request for help/consultation here.  Please get in contact if you can …

Two researchers at Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Jess Muirhead and Prof. Vic Grout, have been commissioned by Alcohol Change UK to undertake a study of the effectiveness of online ‘age-gating’ mechanism’s in preventing under 18-year olds from purchasing alcohol via the Internet.  We have limited time to complete this research and produce our report so we are looking to conduct interviews with relevant actors (finance, producers, suppliers, distributers, retailers, web-designers, local authorities, customers, etc.) as quickly as possible.  Thus, we’re hoping we can arrange an opportunity to speak with people at their earliest convenience.  We can talk on the phone, face-to-face (travel costs permitting), using any online software or any other format that suits anyone.

We’d like to stress unequivocally that anonymity will we be guaranteed throughout.  We will not record these discussions and no individual attribution will appear in our final report.  Although we might takes the roughest of notes during the interview, these will be only to remind us of points to follow up on to guide us in our ongoing research.  This is essentially a fact-finding exercise; certainly not any sort of ‘undercover operation’.  There will be no ‘blaming or shaming’: we simply want to get a clearer idea of what processes are in place; what works and what doesn’t.  We’re also naturally very interested indeed in others’ thoughts on how future processes could be improved.

So we’d be extremely grateful to anyone who could spare half an hour or so to help us with this research.  If you can, and considering the element of urgency in this, could you please get back to us quickly by any of the following means:

Thank you in advance and we look forward to talking to you.

Yours,

Jess Muirhead & Vic Grout, Department of Computing, Wrexham Glyndŵr University


New edition of ‘Conscious’

Yes, indeed, there’s a new edition of the novel!

Updated slightly to reflect changing world events (although, sadly, all the initial predictions are pretty much coming true now).  And with a swish new cover!  Just search for ‘Vic Grout Conscious’ on Amazon in your region (and choose the one with the cool blue cover) or use the direct links below.

Enjoy!


April Fools and Fair Weather Managers

Einstein’s contribution to science is elegantly précised by the equation  E = mc².  This is unfortunately the best I can offer …

But it is based on three decades of observation and experience, inside and outside of management.  This is how it works …

As a manager, what do you find hardest, makes you most uncomfortable, to be avoided at all costs, and wherever possible?  Is it …

  1. Spending time with your team: working out what they need, pitching-in, pulling together, but having to justify decisions made by higher management?  Or …
  2. Spending time with other managers, making decisions that affect your team, but ‘away’ from your team, often doing your best to keep things from your team?

In other words, whose side are you on?  (1) Your team’s, or (2) Management’s.  If you’re more comfortable spending all your time with other managers, but would rather not have to face your team with the decisions made, you know which you are!

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Sackville Gardens

A walk in a Manchester Park on a Sunday morning …

Tucked away between Manchester Piccadilly and Oxford Road train stations is a quiet – but very touching – memorial to Alan Turing.  In Sackville Park (or Sackville Gardens, depending on which map you consult), a figure sits, holding an apple, on a bench.  Both are cast in bronze.  The relief reads, ‘Alan Mathison Turing 1912-1954′ along with an ENIGMA-style coding of, ‘Founder of Computer Science’.  At the figure’s feet, a further inscription reads, ‘Father of computer science, mathematician, logician, wartime codebreaker, victim of prejudice … Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty — a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture’, the second part being a quotation from Bertrand Russell.

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