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Saturday, November 10, 2007


Testing, Testing...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Speccy is 25 today

Who remembered? Not me.
Until I read this link here...

Like many blokes, I do remember even now, the excitement of unpacking my 48K ZX Spectrum.
The slim black case. The rubbery grey keys. The multi-coloured "go-faster" stripe. The promise of mastering those geeky programming commands.

It was on this humble machine (Retailed at £175 - but I think I bought it direct for c. £125) that I first learned to program something more useful than the usual "Hello World" in Basic.

But I also learned how to program at machine code level with those magic "pokes" and "peeks" to make the Speccy do even more. I even learned to write my own code to design 3D wire-frame drawings of geometric shapes and fill-in to make solid bottle-shaped models. Then, to rotate these "bottles" and calculate internal volumes of each design for some course work, as I recall.

Who knew then, how far personal computer technology and the global reach of the internet would travel in those 25 years.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007


Blogger seems to have swallowed my comments option on last post!
Settings are unchanged. Except I posted by email to the blog.
Why has this happened?
Will the comments option appear on this post?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fantastic News!

OK. I'm being slightly ironic here. Did anyone think we wouldn't get our Sailors and Marines back soon? But it is "Very Good News".
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has just announced that our 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf will be freed - "...as a gift to Britain."
Britain is very grateful. Personally, I think we should send Mr. Blair as a gift to Iran.
He can then spend some time reflecting on his real motives for sending our troups to wage War in Iraq.
Read more here...
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Are you dying to meet a fit young doctor?

Wanted: Male/female with GSOH, age/looks irrelevant. Must be dead.
Royal College of Surgeons hopes to meet responsible and civic-minded people prepared to donate their bodies to science.

The College, is training the next generation of surgeons, but an acute shortage of corpses is threatening their ability to teach anatomy properly.

Each year, about 700 people will die having donated their bodies be dissected after death. But the College needs 1,000 cadavers every year for each medical student to get proper dissection and anatomy experience.

Read more here....

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

R.I.P. Chris Lightfoot 1978 - 2007

Well, blog. It's true I've been neglecting you for a while.
And this really isn't the post I want to be making today. But......

Today, I heard the sad news that Chris Lightfoot passed away unexpectedly on 11th. Feb. 2007. I can't believe that such a bright star in the blogosphere has suddenly ebbed and disappeared.

I didn't know Chris personally; yet through his sterling work on blogs such as mySociety and at NO2ID I came to appreciate the serious and ethical side of this talented Developer and programmer.

Chris's own blog gives a glimpse of his humour, whimsy and code-writing skills too. This is such a loss to his family, friends and the many web campaigns he helped to fuel and sustain with his energy, vision and sheer insight into the digital citizen and citizen rights.

One of the many tributes to Chris is here on his own team blog

This is yet another untimely death (three in three months) of a key blogger cut down at the top of their powers.

Chris's inspirational vision and memory will live on.... as will our memories of his fine work.
R.I.P. Chris Lightfoot 1978 - 2007.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Cold War returns... cause and effect

Possible Outcome:
A new Cold War develops......   as Mr Putin orders the gas supply pipes to UK (via Europe) to be turned off. ???
All highly theoretical, of course... ...but it could happen!
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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Good News and Bad News.

Arachnophobes can relax.  There are no spider pictures shown here.

The Good news:

If you are a Male African golden web orb spider - you have two penises.

The Bad news:

Both penises drop off during sex!

Who knew that?
More to the point, what were they doing spying on these tiny mating spiders - which can take up to 14 hours!
All this peeping activity on a tiny male spider 5-6mm. long.  The female of the species is 10 - 20 times larger!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

"So, what music do you like?"

I'm a musical polyglot in that I find it difficult to answer the question -  "So, what music do you like?"
Truth is, if it's Classical music, I like listening to piano or 'cello pieces, like Baroque music for example.
But, for modern stuff, I like H.Metal, Rock, Blues, high energy bands, Indie stuff, etc.

I do like songs with guitar and piano/keyboard, especially with lyrics that tell a story or paint a mood.
I really listen to lyrics. So, if the music moves me and the lyrics capture a mood, then I like it.

An example:
I keep hearing this plaintive track recently which is playing a lot on several radio stations.
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow"; but not like Judy Garland.  More Eva Cassidy, but less pure.

A man sings it.....  mellow, plaintive, almost raw voicing.... 
And, here's the strange thing; it's accompanied by a ukelele!
Not the most obvious pairing.  But for this track, it really works.

But who is it?  No idea.  Can't find it in iTunes search. 
Google not immediately helpful, but after a few amended searches.
Got it.  The singer is called - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

The back story to this singer is almost a repeat of the Eva Cassidy story.
An Hawaiian guy.  He released this record back in 1993 called "Facing  Future". 
Sadly, he died in 1997 at the early age of 38 yrs.
You can read more about his life here on Wikipedia

So, I listen again to this compelling rendition. 
Strange, but this week, I really like this version of  - Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Makes me go to my own guitar and noodle a few chords. 
Seems to work in G. D. Em. and C. but barred up the keyboard at 5th. fret.

And I wonder - why the sudden airtime for Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - who died nearly 9 years ago?
But, what a great track.
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Thought for the day - #9. Plus a Pelican in the news

A countdown of Thoughts for the Day:  (who wrote these anyway?)

#9 - "Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die."

Not sure who wrote that, but doesn't resonate with me and wouldn't be in my personal Top 10 quotes du jour.

I prefer the less jaundiced (ha, ha) view and more upbeat quote below ...

"One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick" - Rabbi Harold Kushner.

How true is that! 
Whether recovery from "the morning after the night before" feeling....
Or to really be ill and be thankful to be returned to good health.

On another topic; who knew  that Pelicans can swallow  a pigeon whole?
At least, a resident pelican in St. James' Park in London did just that a few days ago.  There was even a photo shown on TV of the pigeon gazing mournfully out of the gaping beak, before being swallowed alive in one gulp.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Thought for the day - #10.

A countdown of Thoughts for the Day:

#10 - Life is sexually transmitted. - RD Laing.

Whereas, John Lennon (in Beautiful Boy) said:
"Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans."

As an insomniac, I'm often making plans that LIFE rudely interrupts the next day or so.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Punc·tu·a·tion: what's the point?

An English professor wrote the words :
"A woman without her man is nothing"
on the chalkboard and asked his students to punctuate it correctly.

All of the males in the class wrote:
"A woman, without her man, is nothing"

All the females in the class wrote:
"A woman: without her, man is nothing."

Punctuation is powerful, eh?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pink for October

I didn't know about the "Go Pink for October" campaign until reading about it here on Pix's site

Like a prat, I made a flippant comment about shades of pink on her site before following the link to the Pink for October site.
Do go and visit the site.  The stories are both humbling and poignant.

Unlike some people, I have the luxury of time to learn from my mistakes.
Note to Self:  Look once, look twice, then post comments afterwards!

Mea Culpa.  PDQ.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Summer hols...

So, Tony Blair's off on his Summer hols to Barbados today.
John Prescott's not fit to run a Dept, but is in charge of the country till TB returns.

In other news.... The Scottish Parliament is back on Sept. 4th.
The Welsh Assembly returns on Sept 18th.
The Northern Ireland Assembly is back on Sept 4th.
The European Parliament is also back on Sept. 4th.

The English Parliament?
O, the Houses of Commons and Lords is in leisurely recess till October 9th.

We will be sunning ourselves somewhere (note to self: hurry up and book somewhere) between Aug 24th. and Sept 7th.

There may be updates before then....

Monday, July 31, 2006

There comes a time...

Quote to Self:
"If we wait for the moment when everything,
absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin."
- Ivan Turgenev

Monday, July 17, 2006

Gun cops may need more Health and Safety training. ...whoops!

Here is an official announcement regarding the unfortunate shooting of  Mr. Jean Charles de Menezes - in Orwell's 1984speak.

Today the CPS announced it had reach its conclusion over the IPCC report issued to them in January this year.
Earlier this month, lawyers at the CPS reached a decision, approved by the DPP, that Police officers who shot Mr. Jean Charles de Menezes 7 times in the head at close range were not to be prosecuted over Mr. de Menezes' death.
But the Met Police will be charged with breaching health and safety laws.

So, armed police were called in to despatch (kill) a man their police colleagues had followed from his house, through the streets, onto a bus, off the bus, into a tube station, down the escalators, onto an underground train; and then fatally shot him 7 times in the head at very close range. 

The summary execution last year was followed by an official decision today by the Crown Prosecution Service (and approved by the Director of Public Prosecutions) that   "...there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any individual police officer    But...there is sufficient evidence to prosecute the Office of Commissioner of Police for an offence under sections 3 and 33 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 of failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Jean Charles de Menezes on 22 July 2005."

 So, that's all right then. 
Mr. Menezes was deliberately killed, but this was an unfortunate breach of health and safety regulations.
Of course, I don't blame the police officers concerned; they were only following orders. 
I know, he could have been a terrorist; but he wasn't.
But, do take care out there folks, accidents happen.

Remember, in George Orwell's 1984....
Ministry of Truth (re-writes the news, history, education, etc)
Ministry of Peace (in charge of War)
Ministry of Plenty (economic affairs, production of goods, etc)
Ministry of Love (in charge of Law and Order)


Does this ring any bells in the year 2006?

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

So much for Data Protection, then.

It appears the DVLA made nearly £6.5 million last year by selling driver's addresses for £2.50  each.
That's about 2.5 million people whose personal contact data was sold to commercial organisations without the knowledge or permisson of the citizens (?) involved.

It appears that anyone with a "valid" reason can request personal contact details by quoting a vehicle numberplate.  So far, more than 160 UK companies from clampers to credit agencies have been authorised for multiple applications for personal data. 
Apparently the DVLA do not check the requester's credentials; they happily sell data for dosh!    At least one clamping company, whose two directors  were actually serving prison sentences for fraud ,were still able to collect personal contact data. 
That's it then, game over.  We citizens are just cash cows to our Govt.

No doubt we can expect much the same from the ID card scheme when it is up and running.
So then we are both mugs and cash cows since we have to pay for the "privilege" of a compulsory ID registration scheme - and then expect our personal data to be sold to any Tom Associates, Dick Brothers or Harry Ltd companies who request our personal data.

Although, on current reporting, the ID card scheme has just hit the buffers, since politicians cannot agree on a detailed specification on which tender documents can be drawn up.
Expect Tony Blair to order compulsory tattooing from 2008 instead.
Me jaundiced ?  Nooooooo.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd is no more

The sad news of the death of Syd Barrett (aged 60) was announced today.
 Hugely influential member and songwriter of the original Pink Floyd line-up in 1965.
He was deposed by the arrival of Dave Gilmour in 1968 when Syd was no longer capable of performing onstage.

Syd was acknowledged as the creative force in Pink Floyd's early hits. 
Sadly, too many hallucinagenic drugs and a fragile psyche proved too much and Syd suffered a mental breakdown.
Dave Gilmour replaced Syd Barret on tour and the plan was for Syd to carry on songwriting and recording for the group.
When that plan failed to work, Syd withdrew from any active role for some years; becoming a recluse for some 20 years.

Syd Barrett was an influential musician and songwriter for a number of bands in the '60's.
His original contribution to R&B and psychedelic music development in the '60's  will surely be remembered.
Syd Barrett 1946 - 2006.  R.I.P.

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Friday, July 07, 2006

7/7. R.I.P.

For all those Lost Souls.
May you Rest In Peace on this sad day of Remembrance.

We will mourn you through all our tomorrows.
Until Peace begins within us.

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

This is what the global village really looks like.

 If all the Earth's population was shrunk into a village of just 100 people - with all the human ratios existing in the world still remaining - what would this tiny, diverse village look like? That's exactly what Phillip M. Harter, a medical doctor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, attempted to figure out. This is what he found...
Think of it this way. If you live in a good home, have plenty to eat and can read, you are a member of a very select group. And if you have a good house, food, can read and have a computer, you are among the very elite.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness... you are more fortunate than the million who will not survive this week. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation... you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death...you are fortunate, more than three billion people in the world can't.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep...you are richer than 75% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace ...you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.
If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

I found the above information here and quoted most of the salient points for its full impact.
It made me think anyway...

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Monday, June 12, 2006

Crowdsourcing is the new Outsourcing.

There's been an interesting aggregation of articles on crowdsourcing I have been reading over last few weeks.  
There is no doubt that the term "crowdsourcing" resonates with a lot of people. From gestation to 500,000 google hits in 2+ weeks is a pretty good birth rate for a new term.  But it is a viable economic model; not a web 2.0 dot com without revenue.

In terms of the uptake of this as a viable business model; there are a number of commercial sites (some cited in Wired's original article - authored by Jeff Howe) already listed on Jeff's website at www.crowdsourcing.com.  These include many established sites, such as: Innocentive for pharma industry, NineSigma for scientists and technicians, RentaCoder for programmers, YourEncore for retirees, iStockphoto for photographs, Mechanical Turk and many others.

The *upside* of crowdsourcing is the ability of big corporates to drive down the internal business costs of R&D.   More beneficially, it offers a model for small businesses (SME's) to replicate the size and scale of a big company's R&D Dept.

The *downside* of crowdsourcing is the ability of big corporates to harness the global reach of the internet to recruit the masses who are willing to perform "task slices" or even complete project solutions for miniscule reward. This is more an ethical issue for those likely to mis-use this potential to create an army of data miners digging the dirt to mine nuggets of valuable data at peanut rates.

Amazon's Mechanical Turk is a good (bad?) example of the potential for, in effect, auctioning off people's honest labour (labor) for exploitative low rates of pay.

Who knows where it will all end.  There is the positive and creative side where an army of retirees, scientists, technicians, artists and amateur boffins are paid to provide innovative solutions for problems that big companies cannot solve from within their own work-force resources.  This is a valid commercial process where the price of hire and reward is determined by the value of a solution to the "problem owner".

But the term " backroom sweatshops " takes on a new meaning as crowdsourcing also defines a cheap remote labour pool for people with time on their hands to offer time-slices for hire across the internet.  Such tasks include, mining computer data lists, make telephone calls to extract company contact details, review restaurant services, proof-reading input/output data entries, etc.  Any repetitive data screening process that a software robot or computer program cannot solve or infer the correct answer is potentially a project for crowdsourcing.  And there's the rub, some sites are offering such iterative tasks to remote workers for as little as a few cents to $1.10 per hour for their completion.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Friendly Bank plc are very helpful to "phishers of men" (clue - it's a biblical pun)

So, I've been busy.......

Meanwhile, I get an email from my Friendly Bank plc about their internet banking security protection for ME.
They send me an official Friendly Bank plc email (unencrypted, naturally) telling me to be careful about giving away my account details to any Tom, Dick or Harry Phisher, who might ask me for my account details.

For my added security(gulp!!!), Friendly Bank plc, informs me that all official emails (unencrypted, naturally) from them will always include my Title and Full Name, PLUS the last 4 digits of my account number.  Sweet!

Do they not know:
 - How many email internet gateways each email passes through to reach their end user ?
- That  each host system keeps a copy of all transmitted emails on their systems for xxx time?
- That determined hackers can easily intercept email files and read the plain text contents?

How hard can it be for a simple loop algorithm to test for two unknown digits from an account number that always starts with 00 - and ends in 4 disclosed digits!!!!!

Now I know, this of itself does not gain access to my account, BUT, it sure makes life easy for hackers -when they have a list of Full Names plus email address, plus significant digits of the matching bank account number.   Peachy Sweet!

I am contemplating how to inform Friendly Bank plc of my appreciation for their tight security systems.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Teen Buzz - another Urban myth, or not ?

Well, it had to happen. Kids turn "teen repellent" sound into "teacher-proof" ringtones. Teen Buzz is outed.
Or, is it a new technology based Urban myth.
It's reported that Teenagers here in UK have cleverly become early adopters of a technology based science to communicate silently in class by text messages etc.
Apparently, school children are now downloading a high pitched MP3 ringtone called Teen Buzz to their mobile (cell) phones and using them in class to ring each other without Teacher hearing anything. Youngsters are able to share these Teen Buzz ringtones with each other by text or blue-tooth.
A great wheeze for the kids, if it actually works. More on the feasibility of this later.

This story started several months ago when a UK amateur inventor used physics to adapt an "anti-mosquito" device and invented a new electronics box to be placed outside local shops or buildings where teenagers hang out. When the youngsters (or feral youths !) become anti-social, shopkeepers can turn on a device which sends a high pitched tone (+15kHz.) out. This is a loud irritating whine to teen ears, but totally inaudable to most adults who can't hear sounds at this high frequency.

Thanks to my brother Alan in Chicago for the " Heads Up " from Boingboing.

You can read more here as to whether 15kHz. compressed MP3 ringtones can actually be audible to teens and not to adults.
Very helpfully, the kind Dan Lockton has created a range of 15 - 20kHz. mp3 and .wav ringtones for you to hear (or not, if you are 20 yrs.+) for yourself.

So, is this a real story, or another Urban Myth? What do you think?

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'Twas a Dark and Stormy night - part II

Remember the Bulwer-Lytton contest, aka "Dark and Stormy Night Contest" I posted about last week?
I did say I would deliver up the rest of the count-down to the San Jose's State University Top 10 contest to write
...only the first line of a bad novel:
So, here goes....... Enjoy! (that's a post ironic suggestion).

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as
he crept along the East wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of
narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back alley
sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not
keep her from eeking out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then
penguins often do."

3) "Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage
cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know
the meaning of the word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of
danger and spit in the eye of death -- in short, a moron with suicidal


1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along
the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle
window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder,
gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden
amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's
deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!"

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I spy... in my little eye.

I like to find medical or biochemical limericks on the web; so with E.coli (in children) and Fusarium (in contact lens wearers) in the spotlight again this week, it was topical to find this example at Quote Me!

Acanthamoeba - by BobfromThirsk

It's an Acanthamoeba! My soul! I
Would never want that in my whole eye.
This evil wee beast
Will soon make a feast
Of your vision, 'tween snacks of E. coli.

For info: Acanthamoeba is a free living organism, abundant in both soil and water. It will thrive between the eyeball and the rear surface of poorly maintained contact lenses, particularly soft lenses, causing dangerous eye infections. The standard test for acanthamoeba is to place a suspect lens on a "lawn" of E.coli bacteria (lawn is a term used to describe a cultivation of E.coli on agar jelly). If the organism is present a clear area will appear around the lens where acanthamoeba has ingested the bacteria.

Health Warning:
contact your pharmacist or optician if you are worried by the following product recall.
Bausch & Lomb's *ReNu with MoistureLoc* contact lens solution has been strongly implicated as the source of Fusarium keratitis (a fungal eye infection) in at least 109 USA contact lens wearers.
So following discussions with the FDA, B&L had recently withdrawn their lens solution from sale in USA.
click here for more detailed info.

Thankfully, the MHRA (our own Regulatory body in UK) has now followed suit with their own warning, although it is important to stress that there has not been any similar increases of Fusarium reported in UK contact lens wearers.
So Bausch and Lomb have this week had to announce a global product recall.click here for more detailed info.

Anyone wearing re-usable contact lens might want to check alternative lens solutions to avoid this rare but unpleasant possibility of a Fusarium fungal eye infection.

Twas a Dark and Stormy night...

My man Alan in Chicago pointed me to this writer's contest in USA.
Each year, there are 10 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton contest, aka "Dark and Stormy Night Contest" (run by the English Dept. of San Jose State University), wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel:

Today, I am privileged (?) to bring you the winning entries placed at number 10, 9 and 8.
This year, No.8 has the ....um.... sort of thick treacly prose that strikes shame into any writer's heart.
10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it."
9) "Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."
8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose; Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

Tomorrow, the better (?) winning entries and the source of these pearly gems....

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A plague on all you plagiarists.

More and more we are reading about bloggers having their blog posts ripped and re-posted on other blogs without any attribution or linking to the rightful owner.  Luckily I have no posts clever or funny to be worth plagiarising, but I have had some of my digital images copied and re-posted elsewhere without attribution.

We all struggle to find original or amusing things to write about, but when we succeed, copyright is automatically owned by us.  However, to set up a creative commons licence or assert our copyright by means of a simple statement on our written material or digital form (such as blogs) does warn others not to copy or infringe our copyright without permission and/or attribution.

Plagiarism is not cool, is illegal (without permission) and is disrespectful to the owner whose copyright has been infringed.  Once digital (web or blog) plagiarism has been discovered, it should be relatively easy to identify the ISP hosting the offending website and request them to remove any copyrighted material. 

Failure to comply with such requests to remove stolen material is theft, a breach of intellectual property rights (IPR) and could be construed as *passing off* if the plagiarist purports to be the person who authored the material.
The claim of *passing off* is especially relevant to established bloggers who write in a particular genre or style.

Any breaches of copyright are a serious legal issue and once the theft has  been established, can lead to the plagiarist being sued for damages, compensation and legal costs, etc.  Enough to make all but the most hard-nosed plagiarist back off and cease and desist from repeating the act.  This applies equally to ISP's who are well aware of the laws of digital or electronic copyright infringement.  Many ISP's when asked, will simply take down offending sites if they are blatently plagiarising other peoples digital copyrights.

Many ISP's in USA have signed up to the Digital Milllennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which amends secton 104 of the Copyright Act.   ISP's in the UK are also sensitive to copyright issues (and easier to get at since they are in the same legal jurisdiction as UK bloggers) as our UK Copyright laws also clearly protect our digital words and images.

There is a very good blog at:  http://www.plagiarismtoday.com
This guy (Jonathan Bailey) really seems to know his stuff in the USA and offers straightforward *how-to* action points on tracking down the ultimate responsible person or ISP in the USA.  His helpful advice also shows how to send a DMCA notice to ISP's hosting websites who are plagiarising other author's works.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A statement of universal values.

I was interested to read about a man in Powys, South Wales who was visited by the police last week.
Seems he sent an email to his local council protesting about plans to site a waste re-cycling facility near his house.
At the end of his email he included an historic quotation by a protestant pastor who was a peace activist and pacifist.
The point he was making was "...who will speak up for the ordinary man in the street". 

Too subtle, maybe. Someone in the council took umbrage at his quote and complained to the police, who then paid an early morning visit to this chap and officially warned him of possible harassment charges if he repeated this "offence".

Just another tale of official heavy handed political correctness gone mad, you might think.
But, it seems to me, the quote he used (reproduced below) is entirely appropriate for these oppressive times.
Wake up people.  We are sleep-walking into Orwell's 1984 as the Thought Police seek to control our precious civic freedoms.

A statement of universal values.
"In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me."

written by Reverend Niemoeller, a German Lutheran pastor, was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau in 1938.
He was freed by the allied forces in 1945.  Rev. Niemoeller died in Wiesbaden on March 6, 1984.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Abominable Rain man.

The Easter weather was typically british - abominably rubbish.
True to pattern (typical!), Tuesday dawned bright and sunny and remained so ALL the fcuking working day.
Otherwise, the world in microcosm is peaceful.

The bigger picture is not so peaceful.
Politicians are plotting and wars will be waged.
Iran, better watch out. Bush is coming to getcha!
Blair, watch out. The Truth is coming to getcha too!
Cameron, wake up. The colour make-over thing isn't working.
Menzies Campbell, just wake up ...up ...up.
Is this all a dream? ....Nurse! More tablets please.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It will be less busy soon. I'll post at Easter. (!)

So anyway... There was I, thinking "...it will soon be Easter".
And it came to pass that indeed Easter had just passed by.
Time to put blog in gear again.
Right... just time for a mocha coffee.

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