• Orphans, giants, and your disappearing digital rights

    Orphans, giants, and your disappearing digital rights

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    They’re at it again. Who? Take a guess: if it’s not the Daily Mail, then it’s probably the BBC. The corporation has once again been caught pinching photos, wrongly attributing them, and pretending nothing ever happened – in a triumph of crowd-sourced “citizen journalism”.

    But this incident of photo-lifting is slightly more noteworthy than most: the BBC used a photograph taken nine years ago in Iraq to illustrate its story about the massacre at the weekend in Syria.… Read More

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  • Shoreditch’s sparkle leaves BBC presenter ‘tech-struck’

    Shoreditch’s sparkle leaves BBC presenter ‘tech-struck’

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    “I haven’t felt so good having spoken to a businessman for ten minutes in about 25 years. That’s not normally how I feel! So thanks very much!”

    And thanks to you, BBC presenter Fi Glover, for sharing the feel-good factor with us.

    Glover was bringing the miracle of Shoreditch’s internet companies into the nation’s living rooms as part of a mission for Radio 4’s One to One slot. She had vowed to find out, in her words, “what do these … Read More

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  • Popper, Soros, and Pseudo-Masochism

    Popper, Soros, and Pseudo-Masochism

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    A new report by intellectual property campaigners has again put the UK on the naughty step.

    This year, as last year, activists list the UK alongside Brazil and Thailand as having the most “oppressive” copyright laws in the world. The report was published by an international NGO called Consumer International, but this delegates the work out to a Soros-funded group called A2K.

    It’s certainly a bold point of view. How does it arrive at this conclusion? Helpfully, we have the … Read More

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  • Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism
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    Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism

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    The writer Toby Young tells a story about how the modern 100m race is run in primary schools. At the starting pistol, everyone runs like mad. At the 50m point, the fastest children stop and wait for the fatties to catch up. Then all the youngsters walk across the finishing line together, holding hands.

    I have no idea if this is true – it may well be an urban myth. But the media class’s newly acquired enthusiasm for teaching all … Read More

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  • Copyright on languages and APIs: why it’s a bad thing

    Copyright on languages and APIs: why it’s a bad thing

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    Computer languages and software interfaces may fall under copyright protection if Oracle succeeds in its Java lawsuit against Google. Amazingly, “copyfighters” appear to have paid little or no notice to this rare extension of copyright into new realms. But the consequences and costs for the software industry could be enormous.… Read More

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  • A short history of “Breaking the Internet”

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    “I am the head of IT and I have it on good authority that if you type ‘Google’ into Google, you can break the Internet. So please, no one try it, even for a joke. It’s not a laughing matter. You can break the Internet”
    – Jen, The IT Crowd

    For 15 years internet companies have been waging a war against any kind of laws that establish properties and permissions for digital things. Every attempt to do so has been … Read More

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