2020xii29, Tuesday: Day One.

Short thought: I can’t say much about Dame Elizabeth Gloster’s report on the FCA’s handling of London Capital & Finance. The FCA is a client. But suffice it to say that the grey area that is currently the perimeter – the boundary between what’s regulated financial services activity and what isn’t – is going to be a point of serious contention for the foreseeable future. Even the FCA acknowledges (perhaps implicitly, but still) that it isn’t always clear what falls on either side of the line; it now publishes an annual perimeter report setting out the current state of play. If I wanted to be optimistic, I’d say that one of the very few dividends of Brexit might be to grasp the nettle and define it more clearly, or at least make a better stab at dealing with those who deliberately blur the distinction. But my optimism only goes so far.


I really need to get round to readingBeing Mortal, by Atul Gawande. Given it several years ago, after my dad died. Haven’t yet been able to read it. (I’m not sure if that’s causative or not.) Gawande is just marvellous; I really owe it to myself to get on with this. And it’s a sign of some basic competence in the incoming Biden administration that he’s been co-opted into the US’s coronavirus taskforce.


Someone is right on the internet (with apologies to the stone-cold classic XKCD): Ars Technica with the history of the ARM architecture whose use by Apple is now overturning several decades of microprocessor orthodoxy. (I’m using an M1-powered MacBook Pro. It’s revelatory. Honestly.) Recall that this is arguably the most influential and game-changing UK tech company of the past several decades. So when you hear UK government spokespeople bloviating about national champions, or tech mastery, just recall that ARM was bought by Softbank in 2016, and Softbank agreed to sell it to Nvidia earlier this year.


Things I wrote: The Brexit deal is (nearly) done. What’s it mean for legal services, and data protection? Mostly a case of Watch This Space.


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