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Sunday, June 10

Bytes · Smart kids - BBC3 satirised - Satisfaction is key

Way too busy to blog much so here's some clips:

  • Tom Steinberg's 'Power of Information Review' is available in PDF here.
  • Marc Andreessen (Netscape) has popped the idea that we're in another dotcom 'bubble' on his new blog.
  • According to The Observer:
    Thousands of schoolchildren have made it their mission to break through internet filters in schools meant to stop them surfing 'social network' websites such as Bebo, MySpace and Facebook.

    More power to them.
  • Privacy International says that Google has the worst privacy policies of any Web company. They have a "comprehensive consumer surveillance and entrenched hostility to privacy," it's claimed.

    The problem I have with this is that privacy campaigners don't seem to ever realise that the foundations of all Web businesses is consumer trust. This is why banks make special efforts. If Google is ever caught out seriously it will pay in lost business.
  • Media types are apparently on the hunt for an anonymous blogger making life hell for BBC3's young Controller, Danny Cohen. Thetvcontroller is great satire.
  • ZDNet interviews Sir Tim Berner-Lee [VIDEO], the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium at the MITX (Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange) Technology Awards. He sounds terribly mid-Atlantic and talks about the (drumroll) 'semantic web'. He doesn't like APIs, he wants you to think SPARQL.
  • The LibDems put down a motion in the Commons on Friday on the 53rd Anniversary of the death of Alan Turing.

    Every programmer or web person should know Turing's name.

    I was shamefully corrected (thanks Seb) and, as I've a mo, here's Alan's lifestory from Andrew Hodges tribute website (my emphases):

    Who was Alan Turing?
    Founder of computer science, mathematician, philosopher,
    codebreaker, strange visionary and a gay man before his time:

    1912 (23 June): Birth, Paddington, London
    1926-31: Sherborne School
    1930: Death of friend Christopher Morcom
    1931-34: Undergraduate at King's College, Cambridge University
    1932-35: Quantum mechanics, probability, logic
    1935: Elected fellow of King's College, Cambridge
    1936: The Turing machine, computability, universal machine
    1936-38: Princeton University. Ph.D. Logic, algebra, number theory
    1938-39: Return to Cambridge. Introduced to German Enigma cipher machine
    1939-40: The Bombe, machine for Enigma decryption
    1939-42: Breaking of U-boat Enigma, saving battle of the Atlantic
    1943-45: Chief Anglo-American crypto consultant. Electronic work.
    1945: National Physical Laboratory, London
    1946: Computer and software design leading the world.
    1947-48: Programming, neural nets, and artificial intelligence
    1948: Manchester University
    1949: First serious mathematical use of a computer
    1950: The Turing Test for machine intelligence
    1951: Elected FRS. Non-linear theory of biological growth
    1952: Arrested as a homosexual, loss of security clearance
    1953-54: Unfinished work in biology and physics
    1954 (7 June): Death (suicide) by cyanide poisoning, Wilmslow, Cheshire.

  • Worrying statement in a report about a survey on what people want from DirectGov:
    "With 60% of respondents saying they want more government services in one place online, all of the insights we gained will be taken into consideration as we plan the future of Directgov."

    Sounds like a leading question to me. I hadn't noticed the public clamouring to have their services all just through DirectGov.
  • Customer satisfaction is now the most important issue for websites, according to new research by ForeSee Results.
    Consumers look at more factors than price, according to the study. Offering the lowest price isn't always the best strategy; it increased overall satisfaction for only 5 percent of the top 100 online retail sites. "Site experience and brand, if improved, will have the biggest payback to retailers," said [Larry] Freed, ForeSee CEO. "On the opposite side we have price, generally the lowest of any other elements."

    Retailers that don't allow consumer ratings and reviews, or editorial reviews, on their sites risk letting consumers go elsewhere for the information and transacting with another commerce site, according to Freed. "Those that get reviews are generally more satisfied and apt to purchase than those who did not," he said.

  • SpyBlog seems to be moving around the web (ahem). But it is one of only a few places watching the Government's "vague plans to try to censor the internet".
  • New York Times covers Doll Web Sites Drive Girls to Stay Home and Play

  • Newsnight ran another MSM hit-job on the Web's trustfulness [VIDEO] as a source this week.

    First up in their 'argument', Wikipedia. Listen, Newsnight, not only does the MSM NEVER admit it's mistakes but scientific study has demolished many of your arguments. Just look at this Nature story from 2005 comparing Wikipedia with Brittanica (the BBC covered it). Guess who's winning? It's not the MSM.

    BBC News job cuts
    are obviously already affecting Gavin Esler's research assistance.

  • UofC psychology researchers have found another use for Second Life: improving understanding of Schizophrenia. According to The Big Issue, they've set up a Virtual Hallucinations building which will simulate the world as a schizophrenic experiences it. Examples include: voices, changing reflections in a mirror and a bookshop which appears to have fascist literature.

  • For one week only. First (yawnsome) full-length film available on youTube.


  1. Turing didn't invent the Enigma machine - the Germans invented it. He was in the team that cracked how to decode it, which helped us win the war by then being able to decipher the Germans communications.

    "He was gay though and killed himself after being convicted for loving another man." is a slight understatement too - he was tortured and traumatised by the 'cures' he was subjected to for his sexuality.

  2. Hi seb, thanks for that. beating myself with twigs as I type. and me a big queen and everything .. changing the post .. when are we getting a film on him? and who would star??

  3. Yes, it's overdue a filmic treatment, but then so is the Babbage and Lovelace story...

    Sorry, I'm hopeless at fantasy casting.

    Did you see the PSF mauling of Tom's report?

  4. sure did. Posted a thread on their board but haven't posted here yet (shh, haven't read the report :< )