- Vulnerable man starved to death after benefits were cut
44-year-old died months after sickness and housing benefits were stopped following Atos fitness-for-work assessment.
According to Atos, Mark Wood’s ‘mental state was “normal”’. According to his GP, Wood ‘was “extremely unwell and absolutely unfit for any work whatsoever”’.
An Atos spokeswoman said, ‘Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Wood at this difficult time’.
- Are Windows 8 tablets too expensive?
I have bought four Android tablets – a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 (Wi-Fi/3g) in 2011 and three Google Nexus 7 tablets, including new and old models – and they have all had problems. This year I tried another 2012 Nexus 7. All was well for a few days until Android updated to KitKat (4.4.2 KOT49H), when I started having exactly the same touch screen problems as I had had with both 2013 units.
Four crappy devices, but the iPad is barely worth a look because it’s ‘closed’ and, er, a man in John Lewis said they can’t play BBC videos. Jesus.
- The Popcorn Oldies Story
- A short documentary on the Belgian Popcorn scene.
- Belgium’s ‘Popcorn’: the last underground music scene in Europe
- Parallell universe Northern Soul!
- PLOS’ New Data Policy: Public Access to Data
…we are now revising our data-sharing policy for all PLOS journals: authors must make all data publicly available, without restriction, immediately upon publication of the article.
- Tainted Love played by Floppy Disc Drives - now with vocals!
- Added my Marc Almond himself! Lovely.
- A Long Lost Arthur Russell Interview
- From Melody Maker, 1987.
- Politics doesn’t change anything
There’s a lot of geeks I talk to who tell me that politics doesn’t change anything, and that the “disruptive” changes comes from individuals and businesses building things in the marketplace.
The worst thing about being interested in technology is the constant exposure to this brand of right-wing individualist bollocks from Ayn Rand-licking bellends.
- American Promise
American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan’s Dalton School, this provocative, intimate documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class and opportunity.
- The Pelican Project
- A compendium of Pelican covers.
- Github: Rendered Prose Diffs
- In the future, a Github user will be shocked to learn that the site started out as a platform for programmers to collaborate on code.
- Orwell was hailed a hero for fighting in Spain. Today he’d be guilty of terrorism
If George Orwell and Laurie Lee were to return from the Spanish civil war today, they would be arrested under section five of the Terrorism Act 2006. If convicted of fighting abroad with a “political, ideological, religious or racial motive” – a charge they would find hard to contest – they would face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
- How Iowa Flattened Literature
With CIA help, writers were enlisted to battle both Communism and eggheaded abstraction. The damage to writing lingers.
See also the creative writing post-grad course at UEA (in terms of flattening, not CIA involvement!)
- Mark Steel’s in Town
Mark visits Birkenhead, Wirral, where the local life has included monks and a Bantam Army.
The ‘mobility scooter strip-tease in Moodz’ anecdote is just sublime. On the downside, half the audience seem to think it’s acceptable to refer to the Wirral as ‘Wirral’. Dickheads.
- You’re not going to read this
Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, which measures real-time traffic for sites like Upworthy, dropped a bomb: “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading”.
- Losing graciously
- Ubuntu in squabble-free systemd adoption shocker!
- The Public Voice of Women
- Mary Beard on the ‘well-known deafness that’s nicely parodied in the old Punch cartoon: “That’s an excellent suggestion, Miss Triggs. Perhaps one of the men here would like to make it.”’
- Facebook Diversity
When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just “male” or female.” So today, we’re proud to offer a new custom gender option to help you better express your own identity on Facebook.
MetaFilter got this right a decade or so ago: no options to choose from, just a text field labelled ‘this is free-form, go nuts’.
- The incredible hulks: Jonathan Meades’ A-Z of brutalism
It was mocked and misunderstood. But it produced some of the most sublime, awe-inspiring buildings on the planet. Jonathan Meades, maker of a new TV series about brutalism, gives his A-Z
- How do vaccines cause autism?
- I’ll never tire of sarcastic single serving sites.
- Hawala: The Working Man’s Bitcoin
A cautious World Bank paper cites a rigorous study that found that hawala payments “account for up to 15 percent of small-scale trade between India and Bangladesh.” A less conservative academic paper cites a 2003 study finding that informal transfer systems like hawala account for $100-$300 billion in annual flows, an Interpol estimate from the same year that almost 40% of India’s GDP moves through the hawala system, and the Pakistani finance minister claiming in 2000 that only one sixth of Pakistani money transfers went through traditional banks.
- Papers on hawala from the Centre for Applied South Asian Studies.
- The Restart Page
Free unlimited rebooting experience from vintage operating systems
Extreme operating system nostalgia!
- I am excited for what 2014 could mean for brands and people!
- David “Shingy” Shing works as a Digital Prophet at AOL. He is a real man, who really believes the things he says.
- Immigration minister Mark Harper quits over cleaner’s visa
Immigration minister Mark Harper has resigned from the government after it emerged his cleaner did not have permission to work in the UK.
Hilarious! Unless you’re the cleaner in question, obviously.
- In Defense of Twitter Feminism
- Good piece. Though whenever I read stuff about the US left on the web it comes across as a historical re-enactment full of anachronisms, especially when it comes to intersectionality type stuff–however will we cope with these shocking new ideas from The Guardian’s letters page circa 1990?
- Deposing the chairman of the Technical Committee
- My top three fave soap operas:
- Coronation Street
- Occupy Wall Street leader now works for Google, wants to crowdfund a private militia
- Why am I not surprised by this?
- You Know We’re Living in the Computer Age? Computer History According to Law & Order
Artist Jeff Thompson received a Rhizome commission in 2012 for his project Computers on Law & Order, for which he watched every episode of the long-running television series and took screenshots of all the computers. Thompson will present an illustrated lecture based on the project this Saturday, Feb 1 at 4pm at the Museum of the Moving Image, followed by a discussion with Law & Order graphic designer Kevin Raper. In this article, he shares some of his findings.
- Fela Kuti
- 48 albums, $9 a pop.
- DevArt. Art made with code.
DevArt is a new type of art. It is made with code, by developers that push the possibilities of creativity and technology.
Er, artists have been making work with code since the early 1960s. Still, this looks good.
- Desmond Paul Henry (1921–2004)
- Talking of making art with code, Desmond Paul Henry’s work probably doesn’t count–he built drawing machines out of analogue bombsight computers–but it is very lovely:
- 22 Messages From Creationists To People Who Believe In Evolution
I asked 22 self-identifying creationists at the Bill Nye/Ken Ham debate to write a message/question/note to the other side…
Your usual ‘creationists in glassy-eyed idiocy shocker’ until Creationist #7 asks, ‘What about Noetics?’!
After a spot of Googling I suspect #7 isn’t a fan of Aristotelian metaphysics, instead referring to The Institute of Noetic Sciences (an outfit founded by a former astronaut to ‘research’ stuff like ‘alternative healing practices, consciousness-based healthcare, spirituality, human potential, psychic abilities, psychokenesis and survival of consciousness after bodily death’).
Drapetomania was a supposed mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused black slaves to flee captivity.
- The Year of Code’s neoliberal agenda
- Too poor for pop culture
The idea of information being class-based as well became evident to me when I watched my friends talk about a weeks-old story as if it happened yesterday.
- A Linguist Explains the Grammar of Doge. Wow.
But what is it about shiba inus that makes them violate the selectional restrictions of certain English modifiers?
Bonus points for featuring my fave doge meme:
- The blog turns 20: a conversation with three internet pioneers
Dave Winer, Megan Hourihan and Justin Hall on the web’s transformation from ‘small village’ to ‘megalopolis’
- Inside the Mind of a Fanboy
- Specifically mobile ‘phone fanboys, supposedly the most bonkers of all fanpeple (a quick skim of Fandom Wank suggests otherwise).
- Kwame Kwei-Armah: ‘I was constantly moaning in London’
When actor and playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah left the UK to become artistic director of Baltimore’s Center Stage theatre in 2011 he jumped headfirst into America’s racial politics…
- Typeset in the Future - 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi masterpiece – seems an appropriate place to start a blog about typography in sci-fi. Amongst other delights, it offers a zero-gravity toilet, emergency resuscitations, exploding bolts, and product placement aplenty. It’s also the Ur Example of Eurostile Bold Extended’s regular appearance in spacecraft user interfaces.
- Academic Torrents
Sharing data is hard. Emails have size limits, and setting up servers is too much work. We’ve designed a distributed system for sharing enormous datasets - for researchers, by researchers.
- Scarlett Johansson quits Oxfam role over SodaStream row
Actress Scarlett Johansson has quit as an ambassador for Oxfam amid a row over her support for an Israeli company that operates in the occupied West Bank.
- The botmaker who sees through the Internet
Darius Kazemi’s little creations are funny, poignant, popular—and a sly commentary on how the Web is organizing our lives
- Harafin So - Bollywood Inspired Film Music from Hausa Nigeria
In the North of Nigeria, people like Bollywood films so much that 20 years ago, they started making their own local productions. The films of Kannywood feature song and dance - and the incredible music that defines Northern Nigeria: Autotuned robotic vocals combined with frenetic drum machines and pitch bending synths for a hybrid of local styles and Indian influence.
- Three charged with stealing food from skip behind Iceland supermarket
Crown Prosecution Service claims there is ‘significant public interest’ in prosecuting men arrested for taking discarded food.
Jolly good. Like most members of the public, I’ve long been incensed by CPS’ failure to prosecute people who eat food out of bins.
- Steve McQueen interviews Kanye West
- I ❤ Kanye even more after reading this.
- Dogecoin Foundation Collects Over 4 Million Dogecoins in Order to Send India’s Luge Contender to The Olympics
- Shiva Keshavan joins the Jamaican bobsledders on Team Dogecoin.
- Flyer by Glasgow UKIP candidate
- Accuses the BBC of mass murder, NATO police of kidnapping tens of thousands of children for sale to brothels. Just your usual UKIP stuff, really.
- init system discussion - the highlights
- High drama on the Debian lists!
- Good Postcard Club
Postcard club is for people who like to send and receive postcards.
If you’d like to join, send your name and address on a postcard [to the club].
Someone who’s already in the Club will send you a postcard back.
The business of the Club is conducted via postcards. You will never get any email about it, or have to remember any passwords.
- Bittylicious | Buy UK Bitcoins Quickly
- Quickly and expensively, but you can buy small amounts via bank transfer without verifying your identity–worth a look if you live in the UK and want a passel of mBTC to muck about with.
- A Raspberry Pi-powered radio that streams Radio 4 with a time delay, so that a listener can wake up to Today, no matter what time zone they’re in.
…it operates a slightly-illicit transatlantic SSH SOCKS tunnel, with the faintly-dodgy get_iplayer and rtmpdump grabbing the radio stream, piping data to ffmpeg for remuxing the AAC-compressed audio from FLV into ADTS. This gets stored on the Pi’s SD card as timestamped .aac files, with the basically-ubiquitous mplayer used for playback, started with an appropriate delay.
- Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail: The man who hates liberal Britain
This year, the Mail reported that disabled people are exempt from the bedroom tax; that asylum-seekers had “targeted” Scotland; that disabled babies were being euthanised under the Liverpool Care Pathway; that a Kenyan asylum-seeker had committed murders in his home country; that 878,000 recipients of Employment Support Allowance had stopped claiming “rather than face a fresh medical”; that a Portsmouth primary school had denied pupils water on the hottest day of the year because it was Ramadan; that wolves would soon return to Britain; that nearly half the electricity produced by windfarms was discarded. All these reports were false.
- 13 reasons why I am taking the Daily Mail to the Press Complaints Commission
- Jon Danzig takes a look at the claims made by the Mail in an 890 word piece, finds lies, invented quotes and invented people.
- PERSONAL COMPUTERS: HARDWARE REVIEW: APPLE WEIGHS IN WITH MACINTOSH
- The New York Times review of the original Macintosh.
- Prince Targets Facebook Users in $22m Live Concert Piracy Lawsuit
International superstar Prince is back on the copyright warpath, yet again targeting individuals who are quite possibly some of his biggest fans. In a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California, Prince is chasing down fans who found links to his live concerts and posted them on Facebook and blogs. The unlucky 22 individuals, 20 of whom are yet to be identified, face a damages claim of $22 million.
- The 5 Best Punctuation Marks in Literature
George Eliot’s em-dash — plus, T.S. Eliot’s ellipses … (not to mention Vladimir Nabokov’s parentheses).
- The search for the lost Cray supercomputer OS
Chris Fenton and Andras Tantos decided they wanted a model of the famed supercomputer for their desk. It turned out to be a more complicated project than expected.
- Frere-Jones vs. Hoefler
However, in the most profound treachery and sustained exploitation of friendship, trust and confidence, Hoefler accepted all of the benefits provided by Frere- Jones while repeatedly promising Frere-Jones that he would give him the agreed equity, only to refuse to do so when finally demanded.
The curse of the double-barrelled type designer strikes again.
- Craig Kee Strete
- Free ebooks of work by Native American sci-fi author Craign Kee Strete (Borges was a fan).
- The Suda On Line
The Suda is a massive 10th century Byzantine Greek historical encyclopedia of the ancient Mediterranean world, derived from the scholia to critical editions of canonical works and from compilations by yet earlier authors. The purpose of the Suda On Line is to open up this stronghold of information by means of a freely accessible, keyword-searchable, XML-encoded database with translations, annotations, bibliography, and automatically generated links to a number of other important electronic resources. To date over 170 scholars have contributed to the project from eighteen countries and four continents. Of the 30,000-odd entries in the lexicon, over 25,000 have been translated as of this date, and more translations are submitted every day.
- 2013 According To The Daily Express Front Page
We looked at the front page headline of all 364 editions of the Daily and Sunday Express in 2013 to find out just which topics really dominated Express-world this year.
- How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
- The story of the streaming service’s micro-genres.
- Iron Maiden Tracks Down Pirates…. And Gives Them Concerts?
For more than a decade piracy has been a hot topic in the music industry. While some of the major labels have tried to eliminate the problem by taking pirates to court, English heavy metal band Iron Maiden has taken a more positive approach to the phenomenon. Instead of hunting down pirates for lawsuits, the band is reportedly using file-sharing data to plan their tour locations, and not without success.
- A discussion of the Federation’s not-quite-post-scarcity economy, cybernetic communism, The Eugenics Wars, &c..
- This charming charlie
- Peanuts vs. The Smiths.
- Government delays EU immigration report because it is too positive
The latest part of Whitehall’s Balance of Competences study, which looked specifically at freedom of movement, had been due to be released yesterday. But, according to reports, it has now been shelved until next year because Theresa May, the Home Secretary, takes issues with its findings.
- The best and worst media errors and corrections in 2013 | Poynter.
It’s always notable when a paper misspells its own name. It’s even more notable when a paper misspells its own name in an article celebrating recent awards for journalistic excellence…
- Artificial leg sparks ‘paedophile panic’ at pool
- THIS IS THE NEWS.
- How I introduced a 27-year-old computer to the Web
- Browsing with MacWeb 2.0 on a Mac Plus running System 7.0, via a Raspberry Pi running a PPP server and a custom proxy.
- People of Color in European Art History
- Cracking weblog, this–packed with wonderful images, hefty reading lists and mini-essays, and author has a wonderful knack for slapping down racists with facts.
- Ripple Labs WCG XRP Giveaway
Donate computing power for scientific research and get rewarded in XRP!
- Twitter / alexjgoldstein: And the Iranian President just …
And the Iranian President just retweeted Secretary of State John Kerry. Welcome to Twitter diplomacy in 2013.
- My Man Jeremy, by Michael Cera
Whenever a friend asks me if I have any interesting tales involving text-messaging, I think of Jeremy. Jeremy, a man I am no longer in touch with, was someone I once considered a friend. It started out very simply: one day I received a text message from a phone number I did not recognize. Intrigued, I replied, and thus began an intimate and illuminating correspondence…
- How did Flowers bloom at Co-op Bank?
- Robert Peston on the erstwhile chairman of the Co-operative Bank–now best known for scoring coke in Leeds, then best known for, er, being a Methodist minister and ‘serial local councillor’ with no banking experience whatsoever.
- Over 3,000 US prisoners serving life without parole for non-violent crimes
ACLU report chronicles thousands of lives ruined by life sentences for crimes such as shoplifting or possession of a crack pipe
- Women and the Internet
- A four-part series by Quinn Norton.
- Dwarf Fortress: A Marxist Analysis
…the game Dwarf Fortress is amenable to a Marxist analysis precisely by understanding its relationship to the central characteristics of the feudal mode of production. This can be grasped by looking at the main dynamics of the game: the division of labor, the reproduction of dwarven society, the economic system and trade, and their integration.
- This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time
Over the last 10 years the sepia tone of November has become blood-soaked with paper poppies festooning the lapels of our politicians, newsreaders and business leaders. The most fortunate in our society have turned the solemnity of remembrance for fallen soldiers in ancient wars into a justification for our most recent armed conflicts.
- The Day The Barges Opened
- A lovely bit of dystopian near future sci-fi twitfic.
- Ooh! My naughty SKIRT keeps riding UP!
Inori’s design is typical of many young female anime icons. She has big blue eyes, lots of curly hair, and she wears a suspiciously short blue dress. But the main difference between Inori and all of the other Sailor-Moon-alikes is that Inori’s outfit includes conspicuously placed Microsoft and Internet Explorer logos, because Inori is, we are told, “an anime personification for Internet Explorer.”
Here we present the metadata for around 70,000 artworks that Tate owns or jointly owns with the National Galleries of Scotland as part of ARTIST ROOMS. Metadata for around 3,500 associated artists is also included.
See also the Cooper-Hewitt’s Collection Database.
- iOS 7 and the Iconography of ‘Alien’
For my part, I have a very positive feeling towards iOS 7, for one main reason: it brings computer iconography firmly back around to concentrating on communication rather than illustration–function over form.
- The Slow Web
Timely not real-time. Rhythm not random. Moderation not excess. Knowledge not information.