Obiter was in exalted company last week for the launch of the Legal Services Board’s fancy new research website. (And to hear the board’s chair, David Edmonds (pictured), grumble at the inadequacy of his £250,000 research budget.) There was a buzz in the high-powered academic audience as Edmonds handed over to his technical assistant to show off the gizmo on a big screen.

That buzz turned to laughter as, with ghastly inevitability, the unfortunate whizzkid flashed up to all and sundry the giant words ‘error message, cannot be displayed’. Symbolic?