Tag Archives: Met Office

Government data to become available online

Professor Tim Berners-Lee, who is one of the prime movers behind the creation of the internet itself, has just launched a new website for the government in order to give UK citizens better access to the data dealt with by those in power.

Now anyone can head over to data.gov.uk and browse through a vast amount of data compiled and used by the authorities. This includes lists of all of the schools in the UK and also holds useful information relating to traffic densities on the nation’s road networks.

The government is planning to make increasingly large amounts of data available online, with access to figures and information about public sector bodies including the NHS and the Ministry for Transport, along with meteorological data from the Met Office.

Professor Berners-Lee believes that the increased availability and flow of information between the authorities and the public will not only provide a greater sense of transparency, but will also help to boost the economy over time.

He was approached by the government to supervise the data project and said in a recent interview with the BBC reported by Computer Weekly that unlocking the data currently in the public domain but inaccessible to many would open up new avenues for commerce.

What the project aims to ultimately achieve is better communication between the government and the voting public. The data contained on the new site has been stored in such a way that made it difficult for people to access it, despite the fact that public money was funding its creation and this new website has opened the flood gates.

The website went into beta launch back in September 2009 and nearly two and a half thousand developers registered in order to take part in testing and provide feedback as to whether the system worked.

At the moment there are 2500 individual public sector organisations contributing data to the site and as well as being a dedicated search service, there are a number of useful applications which provide free alerts. For example, the PlanningAlerts app lets users know when planning permission is being sought in their area.

Using online data backups is essential for securing vital data

You would think that after reading about the numerous incidents of data loss, people would make better provisions for safeguarding vital information. But it seems like nobody wants to learn from anyone’s mistakes. It was recently made known that the details of about 150 staff from the Ministry of Defence and Met Office were lost after computer equipment was stolen from a locked car.

The office confirmed that the USB drive, personal digital assistant and laptop which were stolen contained many documents and data related to work and was not encrypted. However the MoD insists that the theft will not compromise national security. A spokesperson also said that there was no public personal information on any of the devices.

This is one of many incidents of data loss. Data loss can be disastrous and measures should be taken to secure important data. This can easily be done through online data backup, which is easy and does not take much time. It is necessary for people to realise that data loss can land many innocent people in problems. Whether the data belongs to the public or the staff, creating an online data backup and encrypting it is important. This can help as a disaster recovery solution in cases of data loss or theft.

MoD should try online data backup

The personal details of almost 150 staff of the Met Office and the Ministry of Defence are feared lost after the laptop that they were stored on was stolen from a locked car. The data was stored on the laptop, personal digital assistant and the USB drive and since all of this was unencrypted, it is feared to be lost. This incident is hot on the heels of the data loss incidents that took place last November and is similar to numerous data loss incidents happening in the UK almost every day.

This just goes to show how easy it is for data to be lost. With the advantages of technology comes this disadvantage, where years of work could be lost within a matter of seconds. Conventional storage devices like CDs and DVDs can be broken and scratched, rendering them useless. Other storage devices like hard disks and pen drives are also not damage proof and can be broken easily.

In such a case, the internet provides a backup solution. Now you can back up on the internet in ‘online vaults’. This is a simple procedure and requires you to only have a computer and an internet connection. As your data is backed up every day, in case of an unfortunate incident of data loss, all you need is to download the data and you can start again, without losing any data or time.

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