Archive for the ‘Technology’ category

Wikipedia censorship a step too far

Monday, 8 December 2008

Today, many internet service providers in the UK have censored a page on Wikipedia due to an image used on the page. The image was blacklisted by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an “independent, self-regulatory body” that aims “to minimise the availability of… child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world and criminally obscene […]

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Wikipedia: who’s copying whom?

Monday, 26 May 2008

In July 2006, another Wikipedia user left a message on my talk page to say that he had begun an article on renowned Leicester space physicist Ken Pounds, and noting that I was a Leicester physicist, invited me to contribute to the article. Although I was reluctant to write about someone I vaguely knew, the […]

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Sounds bad for DAB digital radio

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Who would spend ages doing hard sums when you can use a calculator? Who would wash their clothes by hand when you can just put them in the washing machine? And who would listen to an old, hard-to-tune analogue radio when you could have a new DAB digital radio? That was the gist of a […]

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Thoughts on format shifting

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Copyright law in the UK allows few exceptions for fair use. People who rip their CDs to make MP3 files for their portable players are actually breaking the law, although record companies have indicated in the past that they won’t pursue people for doing so. Today, a consultation was announced on changes to copyright law […]

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Online tools bad for privacy

Sunday, 16 December 2007

For a while now, I have been using Google Reader to keep track of RSS feeds from websites, blogs and albums that I visit regularly. I had decided it was time I used feeds rather than continually visiting the sites directly in a browser to see if anything new had appeared, and rather than choosing […]

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Yahoo Photos closes, but not in China

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Yahoo’s photo service closed for good on 18 October in favour of the Flickr photo sharing site, also owned by Yahoo. Users had been given some warning, and were given the option of transferring their photos to Flickr or to another photo-sharing site, or ordering a CD with all their images on it. Many users […]

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Download DRM-free BBC content in a Flash

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The launch of the BBC’s long awaited iPlayer has been controversial due to their decision to support only Windows XP. Users of Apple Macs, Linux, or even Windows Vista are currently unable to use the service, which allows the last seven days of BBC programmes to be downloaded, and then watched at any time in […]

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Marking 10 years online

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Today marks 10 years since I was given my first e-mail address and started using the internet on a regular basis. The occasion was that I started university. The internet was only just starting to find its way into people’s homes, so the majority of people online were academic users. I kept the same university […]

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Beating the China Flickr block

Thursday, 21 June 2007

As of earlier this month, the Chinese authorities appear to have blocked access to Flickr. More specifically, Flickr images are blocked, but the rest of the site (all the text content) is still available. The reason for the ban seems to be that some photos of the Tiananmen Square massacre were posted on the site […]

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BBC website does act on readers’ comments

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Occasionally, I’ll see something in an article on the BBC News website that seems wrong, so I drop them a note via their contact form to point it out. They are actually quite good at correcting factual errors, although they seem not to write back to thank the the people who pointed them out. The […]

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