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Comment Re:Advice: Overuse of the Red Channel in Colors (Score 1) 285

Specifically only humans and birds have trichromatic color vision

No, this is not quite right. There are quite a few trichromatic mammals, and, well there's much more I could say, but and will set you straight.


Submission + - British ISPs ordered to block Pirate Bay (

Barence writes: "Five of Britain's biggest ISPs have been ordered to block access to The Pirate Bay. Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media have been told to block access to the site. Britain's biggest ISP, BT, has been given a few further weeks to "consider its position".

Music lobby group, the BPI, welcomed the move, saying music creators "deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else" and calling for those who use The Pirate Bay to illegally download content to "explore the many digital music services operating ethically and legally in the UK.""

Comment Finland's success is understood but not emulated (Score 1) 614 is well worth a read. Politicians running education systems often want to find out how the likes of Finland do so well, but they ask the questions (going on fact-finding missions etc) and then don't like the answers they get back.

Here in the UK the drive in schools for years now has been towards pitiless onslaughts of standardised national testing at all levels, and league tables and measurement everywhere you look. It is the exact opposite of letting children learn and grow in idiosyncratic ways without pressure for them to 'acquire key skills' and essentially tick the boxes the government wants ticking. This is all driven by the business imperative to turn education into training for jobs rather than anything about nurturing well-rounded, inquisitive, open-minded, moral human beings, and is combined with some ill-informed tabloid crap about how kids these days don't respect their elders, blah blah blah.

Politicians see that the country's schools are some way down the league tables, look across the water to Finland, refuse to believe what they hear about no high-pressure exams until the end of school, teachers being respected instead of turned into drones, and so they go ahead and implement the exact opposite.

Comment General computer illiteracy (Score 1) 247

Just as most people are unaware of widespread keyboard shortcuts, think the blue 'e' is the Internet, and confuse RAM with hard disk space (emptying the recycle bin if their computers slow down with a bazillion browser tabs open), so are most users ignorant of text files and text editors and believe that if you want to write something down, you need a word processor.

This is the mentality that leads to people sending out emails with subject lines like "PLEASE READ", body text consisting of something like "See attached" and the actual content in a bloated and superfluous .docx file. Someone very intelligent known to me who I managed to get using Kubuntu following a Windows spyware infection routinely fires up LibreOffice to jot down phone numbers, and is puzzled by "this weird text thing" that I prefer to use for everything that doesn't require presentational formatting.

The only formal education in computing I received at school consisted of things like how to make words underlined in, you guessed it, Microsoft Word, so it is no wonder the average hospital employee believes they need expensive proprietary software to perform trivial computing tasks.

Comment Re:Royal Army? (Score 1) 59

While technically correct, the recruitment posters have on them, not (which doesn't redirect to anything) or (their actual website). So if they advertising as such, I don't think they mind too much when people get it wrong. Also, a couple of individual sections are called as such, like the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Army Veterinary Corps.

Well I just pointed my browser to and it took me to the website of the Royal Artillery, which is a set of regiments in the Army, not the entire Army.

Comment Re:Honestly... (Score 3, Interesting) 59

It's been heartening to see the increased recognition the computing pioneers at Bletchley Park have received over the last few years, after being neglected for decades. Gordon Brown's posthumous apology to Alan Turing for the persecution he received for his sexuality was a great moment. Most people have never heard of Turing but he deserves recognition. They ought to put his face on a banknote or something. About three years ago when I was at university a guy visited from Bletchley Park to give a talk on the work that was done there, and he brought with him a genuine Enigma machine and demonstrated its operation. Fascinating stuff.

Comment Re:It can't be said for sure (Score 1) 283

Much as I dislike Facebook, I've been reluctant to move to Google+ because I don't really want my email and my social networking to be done by the same company. It's one thing for Google to know loads about me based on my email behaviour and Facebook to know loads about me based on my posts and friends and so on, but to have all this tied together in one account is even greater cause for concern about privacy.

Submission + - Cryptic codes in Oslo-terrorist manifest (

repvik writes: The 1500 page manifest of terrorist that killed 77 people in Oslo and on Utøya two weeks ago, contains a series of seemingly encrypted URLs. There are 46 of them, and the initial part of the URLs appear to be GPS coordinates. An effort to analyze the codes have been launched.

Submission + - UK's voicemail security flaws were (

kuiperbelt writes: Britain's long-running phone-hacking scandal could have been averted years ago, says the man who went to the papers and the police in 1999 after he became concerned about the remote access exploit that made tabloid newspapers' phone hacking possible. Salesman Steven Nott aimed to get phone companies to close the backdoor by going public, but nothing was done despite prescient warnings of the later controversy. Nott informed the phone companies, but they appeared uninterested. He went to the press, but they used the exploit themselves instead of reporting on it. Journalists and private investigators gained access to targets' voicemail messages by taking advantage of the default PINs that secured a remote access service most phone users were not even aware of.

Submission + - SPAM: External Hard Drives

subadi writes: "Offers a single source on external hard drives related issues, topics and guide. Note: It's covering great information on external hard drives."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - 10 Countries With Highest Illiteracy Rate (

Mightee writes: "The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines literacy as:

The ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.

UNESCO is being involved in providing global education to all the countries of the world. But sadly numerous developing countries are at loss in this field of education. There literacy rates show appalling condition of education which has a direct affect on infrastructure, economy and development of the country. This determines the main reason of the slow rate of progress in the Top 10 following lowest states in literacy with an increased rate of disharmony and chaos in the total administrative setup."

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