Cannabis-based medicines have been improving the health and quality of life of millions of people in many countries, for many decades, with very few harmful side effects. As a recent study noted: “Medical cannabis is increasingly used by Canadians, and patients around the world, to treat a broad range of medical conditions.”

If you live in the UK and you think that you might benefit from taking medical cannabis, you will be pleased to know that several legal pathways to obtaining this medicine have opened up since the law was changed in November of 2018. …


Within four days of receiving her prescribed cannabis-based medicine, a women in her late sixties reported feeling “like a different person,” and in a good way. In fact, at four days into the treatment regimen of capsules containing 5mg THC and 10mg CBD, she reported improvements in nine out of 14 symptoms, tabulated below (and at seven days, the results got even better).

If that sounds a bit clinical, let me put it this way: that woman is my wife and within just a few days of taking the cannabis pills prescribed by her UK doctor, she seems both different…


The general public’s awareness of problems with AI grew in 2020, yet 46% of US adults are still not aware of those problems. At least, that’s what the survey results indicated in December of last year when I asked several hundred internet-using Americans to choose which of three statements best described their awareness of problems with artificial intelligence.

As you can see from the graph, when it comes to awareness of problems with AI, twice as many respondents said they were “not aware at all” compared to the number who answered “very aware.” Most interesting to me was that close…


20 May 2020 — A recent Google survey suggests less than one in 10 adults in the US and UK trust tech firms to protect their personal information.

According to the survey’s author, UK-based independent researcher Stephen Cobb: “This could be a big problem for current efforts to recruit technology to solve a range of problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Cobb points out that some of the prime examples of how technology might help us, for example smartphone apps that track our location to let us know if we’ve been in close contact with someone who tests positive for…


In 2017, I wrote: “the digital technologies that enable much of what we think of as modern life have introduced new risks into the world and amplified some old ones. Attitudes towards risks arising from our use of both digital and non-digital technologies vary considerably, creating challenges for people who seek to manage risk.” Somewhat inevitably, this even more true today.

In order to better understand this phenomenon and the challenges it presents in my current field of employment (cybersecurity), I made a modest attempt to further our knowledge through research into risk perception in the context of digital technology…


Recently, when he was asked about Russian interference in America’s elections, the Secretary of State of the United States said: “if it’s their intention to interfere, they’re going to find ways to do that.” (Fox News interview, Bogota, Colombia, February 26, 2018).

That sounded very defeatist to some people, like the US is giving up, essentially admitting that the mighty United States of America is powerless to prevent digitally-enabled and internet-enhanced election meddling by a foreign power. Unfortunately, there is one very important sense in which Secretary Tillerson is right.

Words very similar to those of Mr. Tillerson have been…


Should the US and Russia hold talks on cybersecurity? In July of 2017, a lot of Americans shouted “No!” when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the two countries were contemplating working together “to better understand how to deal with these cyber threats.” I can understand why people are voicing objections to this idea, but it is not, in my opinion, an inherently bad idea. Indeed, I would argue it’s a case of good idea, bad timing—and/or actors.

Consider these two propositions:

A. President Trump and President Putin should, bilaterally and globally, seek ways to deter cybercrime and…


In 2017 the world experienced two very costly outbreaks of malicious code or malware: WannaCry and NotPetya. Collectively, they caused IT mayhem for thousands of organizations, imposing well over a billion US dollars in “respond and repair” costs (the impact of NotPetya on just three companies alone — Fedex, Maersk, and Merck — totaled at least US$875 million). These cyberattacks made headlines for their negative impact on several parts of the world’s critical infrastructure: the pharmaceutical supply chain, the delivery of medical services, and international shipping. …

Stephen Cobb

Independent research around risk, tech, gender, ethics, healthcare, and public policy. Long history of learning, writing, and speaking. Based in Coventry, UK.

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