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Owen Bennett-Jones · Can’t Afford to Tell the Truth: Trouble at the BBC · LRB 20 December 2018
"
The most important moment in the recent history of BBC news was the publication of the Hutton Inquiry report into the circumstances surrounding the death of the scientist David Kelly. The report was highly critical of the BBC and, ever since, editorial controls on output have become stifling. Most editors are less concerned about what should be in a programme than with what should be left out for fear of – and this language is actually used in New Broadcasting House – being non-compliant. For all the talk of how much the BBC values original journalism, it is in fact very nervous of it. The vast bulk of its output merely turns around sanctioned news from officials, corporations and NGOs, or curates stories generated by other news organisations. Most BBC journalists neither break stories nor see it as their job to do so. It is not unknown for BBC journalists who do want to break new ground to leak their stories to the Times or the Guardian. Once editors see it in print they will be more comfortable broadcasting it."

...

"The licence fee creates similar incentives not to upset those in power or those who might acquire it, as the Today programme’s dogged failure to challenge the false claims of Brexiteers has shown. The BBC has papered over its failure to challenge authority by developing a house style of aggressive interviewing which gives the impression of holding power to account without actually doing so. Having conducted more than my fair share of these exchanges, I eventually reached the conclusion that they were essentially false. Yes, BBC presenters seek the truth, but do so certain in the knowledge that it won’t be forthcoming. The politician plays along, pretending to have been given a hard time."
bbc  media  news  uk  sad  future  politics 
20 hours ago
Are we city dwellers or hunter-gatherers? | New Humanist
"One can imagine overthrowing capitalism or breaking the power of the state, but it’s very difficult to imagine eliminating “inequality”. In fact, it’s not obvious what doing so would even mean, since people are not all the same and nobody would particularly want them to be."

...

"Most of the Palaeolithic sites discussed so far are associated with evidence for annual or biennial periods of aggregation, linked to the migrations of game herds – whether woolly mammoth, steppe bison, reindeer or (in the case of Göbekli Tepe) gazelle – as well as cyclical fish-runs and nut harvests. At less favourable times of year, at least some of our Ice Age ancestors no doubt really did live and forage in tiny bands. But there is overwhelming evidence to show that at others they congregated en masse within the kind of “micro-cities” found at Dolní Věstonice, in the Moravian basin south of Brno, Czech Republic, feasting on a superabundance of wild resources, engaging in complex rituals and ambitious artistic enterprises, and trading minerals, marine shells and animal pelts over striking distances. Western European equivalents of these seasonal aggregation sites would be the great rock shelters of the French Périgord and Spain’s Cantabrian coast, with their famous paintings and carvings, which similarly formed part of an annual round of congregation and dispersal."

...

"The pieces are all there to create an entirely different world history. For the most part, we’re just too blinded by our prejudices to see the implications. For instance, almost everyone nowadays insists that participatory democracy, or social equality, can work in a small community or activist group, but cannot possibly “scale up” to anything like a city, a region or a nation-state. But the evidence before our eyes, if we choose to look at it, suggests the opposite. Egalitarian cities, even regional confederacies, are historically quite commonplace. Egalitarian families and households are not."
equality  philosophy  history  people  life  civilisation  world  europe  spain 
yesterday
No-confidence fails: Now Corbyn faces his Brexit judgement day
"Corbyn fears this option, because he would suddenly be involved in delivering Brexit. He fears being penalised by the Remainers in his party. He fears being tainted by the consequences of what is happening in the eyes of the general public. He fears he'll no longer be able to blame it all on the government.

The third option is a People's Vote. Everything is primed for this. Europe has made it clear it would extend Article 50 to hold it and that it would offer a window that went beyond the elections in the summer, allowing enough time to do it properly. Morally, the case is watertight. With no mandate for May's deal or anything else, and parliament in deadlock, we need public support for whichever option takes place. If that requires people to get up one day and go vote again, then so be it.

Corbyn's emissaries on earth cast these arguments aside. They hate talking about a second referendum. Even getting them to say the words is like taking a child to the dentist. He's scared that grasping that nettle would cost him his Leave voters."
labour  brexit  news  politics  uk 
2 days ago
BBC qt
"During the debate, the Shadow Home Secretary was interrupted by Fiona Bruce more times in three minutes that the others were in twenty. Audience members barracked and abused her, questioned her legitimacy and jeered, empowered by the licence they felt they had been granted by the BBC to do so. Sympathisers such as myself were simply ignored. At one-point Fiona Bruce and Isabel Oakeshott ganged up like playground bullies to ridicule Diane Abbott over Labour’s polling, both making statements later proven to be false.
BBC’s Question time is portrayed as a truly democratic spectacle, where the public can engage members of the Government and Opposition, as well as leaders of their field. In reality, it is far from it. It is a farcical stage-managed state propaganda tool in which the BBC use and legitimise institutional racism, misogyny and bigotry to stoke up reactionary sentiment amongst the general population."
bbc  news  labour  propaganda  uk 
2 days ago
Twitter
Ursula K. Le Guin’s writing routine is the ideal writing routine.
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3 days ago
Twitter
Added support this evening to highlight filename:line:column patterns in terminal and open them with ctrl+click.
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3 days ago
Twitter
When they don't let dogs on bus
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3 days ago
Twitter
RT : We’re turning the past pronouncements of our Brexit leaders into giant billboards. Number 3 is Michael Gove in Romf…
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4 days ago
Twitter
Insider info you probably already know: to get on the radio you need to adhere to very specific songwriting convent…
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5 days ago
Twitter
RT : Knew Manchester was famous for its music scene, but I never realized quite how special it is...
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5 days ago
Twitter
RT : How did we get here? Blame Cameron, blame May, blame Corbyn, blame the brexiteer fraudsters, sure.

But also reca…
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5 days ago
Twitter
Theresa May deal was decent really. We'd have no more votes in the EU parliament (so we could finally stop…
brexit  from twitter
5 days ago
Twitter
Let's say you wanted to train a facial recognition algorithm on aging. What would do? Maybe start a meme like…
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5 days ago
Twitter
Clinton trying to sound relatable by saying she sees gas prices while riding in the motorcade would absolutely have…
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6 days ago
Twitter
RT : Work in Tech? You can help refugees and other disadvantaged coding students by becoming a mentor. Watch the video a…
from twitter
7 days ago
The more valuable your work is to society, the less you’ll be paid for it | LinkedIn
"One of the most frequently heard complaints from supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement—particularly the ones working too much to spend much time in the camps, but who could only show up for marches or to express support on the Web—ran along the lines of: “I wanted to do something useful with my life; work that had a positive effect on other people or, at the very least, wasn’t hurting anyone. But the way this economy works, if you spend your working life caring for others, you’ll end up so underpaid and so deeply in debt you won’t be able to care for your own family.” There was a deep and abiding sense of rage at the injustice of such arrangements. I began to refer to it, mostly to myself, as the “revolt of the caring classes.” At the same time, occupiers in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park regularly reported conversations with young Wall Street traders who’d drop by and say things to the effect of: “Look, I know you guys are right; I’m not contributing anything positive to the world, the system is corrupt, and I’m probably part of the problem. I’d quit tomorrow if you could show me how to live in New York on a less-than-six-figure salary.”"
work  i-wish-i-could-show-this-to-everybody  life  unfair  world  teaching  programming  career  stupid  money  business 
7 days ago
IMMS
IMMS is an adaptive playlist framework that tracks your listening patterns and dynamically adapts to your taste.
Currently plug-ins for XMMS, Beep Media Player, Quod Libet and Audacious are available.

Its major features include:

IMMS is easy to install. It is purely a plugin - no XMMS patch required.
A very lightweight embedded SQL database is used, so there's no need to setup a RDBMS.
IMMS is easy to use. Song rating is done completely transparently to the user. It does not get in your way.
IMMS does a much better job of shuffling than most players. It keeps track of when a song was last played, and makes sure same songs are not repeated too often. It is even able to recognise different versions of the same song (eg. remixes) and treat them as one song!
IMMS uses a variety of techniques to figure out which songs should be played together, and which should not. It studies your listening habits, as well as using acoustic properties of the songs themselves, such as BPM and frequency spectrum.
IMMS is fair. Even unfavoured songs have a (small) chance of being played
calliope  to:investigate  to:use  music 
7 days ago
Precious Plastic
"We create tools that make it easier to start recycling plastic."
plastic  video  environment  education  recycling  to:keep-an-eye-on  to:share 
7 days ago
Twitter
Evidence based homework policy.
from twitter_favs
7 days ago
Ircam-RnD/rta-lib: a library of algorithms for real-time applications in audio and gesture processing
I wanna use this to make a tool but i think latency would make it pointless at the moment
concatenative  synthesis  music 
7 days ago
Twitter
Controlling Dotgrid visuals with , via Λ.
I think I got all the parts for the upcoming live shows.…
livecoding  ORC  from twitter_favs
8 days ago
Twitter
If there are not enough hours in the day to do the things my employer wants me to do, that is not my problem, it is…
from twitter_favs
9 days ago
Twitter
The sound of machine learning that is just logistic regression
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9 days ago
Hate Open-Plan Offices? Here's What's Coming Next | Inc.com
"Quick recap: There's a near-total lack of scientific evidence that open-plan offices increase productivity. Quite the contrary. Multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies show that open-plan offices increase stress and illness, reduce workers' ability to concentrate, and substantially reduce worker productivity."
work  office  programming  management  people 
10 days ago
Issue handling automation for GNOME
"There are a set of tasks that are quite repetitive, such as closing issues that were left with the “need information” label. Or old feature requests. Or crashes that were reported years ago with an old version of the software…

This is something I really wanted to get done with, so I’ve been working in the past weeks to make a set up where repetitive tasks are automated by a GitLab CI “bot”, and this is what I’m gonna share with you today!

The tool that performs the task is used by GitLab CE itself for their own issue triage automation and it’s called gitlab-triage. This tool takes a set of rules and process them with a CI job, then you can set to be run periodically in schedules."
gitlab  automated  bug  tracker  maintenance  gnome 
10 days ago
Twitter
You NEED multi colorized brackets in your IDE, it will change your life!
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11 days ago
Twitter
"Dude, if your ancestors can take our land, then why can't you take a joke? At least the joke was given willingly."…
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11 days ago
Twitter
What the fresh hell. This is REAL. Filmed in 1958- about a conman who grifts a small town of suckers into building…
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11 days ago
Twitter
ME: I want to finish writing this annoying graphics-engine programming so I can actually make something

ME, TWO WE…
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11 days ago
Twitter
Someone's finally going to jail over the Panama Papers: a Turkish journalist who reported true facts from them…
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11 days ago
Twitter
It really baffles me how people who call themselves progressive seem more interested in fighting the Labour-Left th…
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12 days ago
Twitter
RT : Very occasionally I get to bring together my love of privacy advocacy with my love for designing fabrics, and my in…
from twitter
12 days ago
Daily Express accused of "whitening" picture of Tory Home Secretary Sajid Javid for anti-immigrant story | Evolve Politics
"In an alleged attempt to ‘hide Javid’s own immigrant status and ethnicity’ from their own readers, the Express’s Editors have been accused of “whitening” a front page picture of the Tory Home Secretary."
you-couldn't-make-it-up  racism  journalism  immigration  uk  politics  crazy 
12 days ago
Fortnite was 2018’s most important social network - The Verge
"It’s focused on casual players; the whole thing is self-consciously silly. Fortnite is the first-person shooter reinvented as a place to stomp around, as a place for friends to chill and talk about whatever’s on their minds.

The game is mostly played by teenagers, but even I’m not immune. I have a small group of friends I play with regularly, who are scattered around New York City — they’re all busy with their creative, interesting lives, and we don’t see each other enough because we all have shit to do. But we talk fairly often, the rotating four or five of us. About our days, about our feelings, about what’s really going on. For us, Fortnite is an excuse to talk on the phone. It’s an excuse to stay connected. "
society  communication  computer  games  2018 
13 days ago
Twitter
This is Jeremiah. Jeremiah wore safety goggles while angle grinding. Jeremiah still has his right eye. Be like Jere…
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14 days ago
Twitter
“My mother is a Munich-area commuter and enthusiastic knitter. In 2018 she knitted a "train delay scarf." Two rows…
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14 days ago
Twitter
Water turning into ice even before it reaches ground
Freezing in Siberia today
from twitter_favs
15 days ago
Sergio López on Twitter: "¿Sabéis por qué vuestros hijos beben alcohol cuando salen? Pues entre otras cosas, en las sociedades occidentales ser abstemio es más complicado de lo que parece. Dentro mini-hilo 👇" / Twitter
"¿Sabéis por qué vuestros hijos beben alcohol cuando salen? Pues entre otras cosas, en las sociedades occidentales ser abstemio es más complicado de lo que parece."
drinking  culture  life 
15 days ago
Difficulties of running a software consultancy
"A consultancy model at first glance appears to fit well with FLOSS development, and indeed there are several successful FLOSS consultancies in the market (of which Collabora is one). However there are a number of significant problems with the consultancy business model:

Investment & Scaling – the creation and scaling of new consultancies is extremely tricky and risky, which has an impact on investment. Try to find a Venture Capitalist who wants to start a new, risky, low-margin consultancy.
Margins – typical margins on consultancy are low with net margins in the region of 15-20% (cf. 2018 Professional Services Maturity Benchmark). This makes re-investment, and future investment problematic. Margins are significantly smaller when tendering – good for the purchaser, but providing less money for LibreOffice.
Estimation - the literature on the trials of estimation, project management and so on is extremely extensive. Newspapers are littered with examples of projects overruns and failures by vast blue-chip consultancies. Even an excellent consultancy that delivers on time & to budget, has a challenging task - particularly when considering the previous point on margin. Can you estimate to within 20% how much resource a software project takes ? how about 50% ?
Timelines – a typical consultancy timeline is outlined below. Frequently a very small amount of work takes an inordinate amount of sales, business development, and contractual time compared with the amount of work done. This is particularly true for smaller contracts of a few weeks of work.
Overruns – Fixed Cost projects even those estimated and managed by extremely experienced consultants have a very significant risk of over-running (costing more than expected to deliver on time), eating into already thin margins.
Pipelining – due to the long sales cycle, it is necessary to have a large number of consultancy projects on the go at once to fill gaps. This is familiar to many people who have ever hired a builder."
codethink  software  business  work  programming  money  free 
16 days ago
Twitter
RT : Blue = areas where more people commute by car than by all forms of public transport put together (plus walking). Ye…
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16 days ago
Twitter
Here is a great summary of the difficulty in running a free software consultancy business (…
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16 days ago
Twitter
Some works didn't make it to the public domain this week. When necessary to prevent culture from being lost forever…
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17 days ago
Twitter
Are you someone who gets up late and is successful? I'm writing a feature on it because I CANNOT BELIEVE it's only…
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17 days ago
Twitter
Medieval browser tabs — how scholars jumped between multiple texts at Mexico’s first…
notametaphor  desktopmetaphor  from twitter_favs
17 days ago
Profet
" »I’m afraid of the power that people can have over you, once you are known. I’m afraid of what people might do with their knowledge of me. I present, in my show, some of me, but I do it in a way that is quite controlling. I go ‘Have a look at this. Behold how much of me I’m prepared to share with you’. I am still controlling how much of me is known, but if someone else can have knowledge of me that I have not designed, that I haven’t chosen to present – that’s frightening to me.« "
life  art  philosophy  music  performance  interview 
18 days ago
Twitter
Appalling Radio1 Newsbeat coverage of the refugee situation. ‘Their own government should take care of them, not u…
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18 days ago
Twitter
This projet defeat ReCaptcha with 91% accuracy 🤩. How? You might ask. They ask for the audio challenge, dl the mp3,…
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18 days ago
Twitter
How come Github doesn't have a little toggle saying whether the next step on a PR is attention from the reviewer or…
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19 days ago
Twitter
My grandmother gave me this book for my birthday in 1986.

The predictions are ... interesting.
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20 days ago
‘For 30 years I’ve been obsessed by why children get leukaemia. Now we have an answer’ | Science | The Guardian
"“For an immune system to work properly, it needs to be confronted by an infection in the first year of life,” says Greaves. Without that confrontation with an infection, the system is left unprimed and will not work properly.”

And this issue is becoming an increasingly worrying problem. Parents, for laudable reasons, are raising children in homes where antiseptic wipes, antibacterial soaps and disinfected floorwashes are the norm. Dirt is banished for the good of the household."
medicine  health  news  life 
20 days ago
Tory MP makes miraculous u-turn after losing life savings due to Tory policy he personally supported | Evolve Politics
"Prior to Laspo, acquitted defendants were allowed to recoup for ‘reasonable costs’ towards their legal defence – rules which usually ensured that those who had been wrongly accused did not endure any financial losses. However, the 2012 Tory-led legislation changed the rules so that defendants found innocent of charges could only claim for ‘modest contributions’ towards their legal defence – changes which resulted in people who had been found innocent being left severely out of pocket."
law  conservatives  uk 
24 days ago
Twitter
RT : Clown offended by comparison to British politicians. Letter in
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24 days ago
Twitter
These 6 days between Christmas and New Year's is the only time of year you should strive to do absolutely fucking n…
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24 days ago
aubio, a library for audio labelling
"aubio currently provides the following features:

digital filters
phase vocoder
onset detection (several methods)
pitch tracking (several methods)
beat and tempo tracking
mel frequency cepstrum coefficients (MFCC)
transient / steady-state separation
"
audio  music  analysis  open  source  library 
25 days ago
Folk music much worse than previously thought
"“I wish I could love the songs of my forefathers but it’s all so po-faced and earnest. Also no one should have to hear a recorder again once they’ve left primary school."
music  uk  england  history 
26 days ago
holman/spark: ▁▂▃▅▂▇ in your shell.
"See? Here's a graph of your productivity gains after using spark: ▁▂▃▅▇"
shell  programming  tool  visualization 
26 days ago
Twitter
So yeah, um, this is not okay. It is not discoverable and could easily leak sensitive information. Auth credentials…
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26 days ago
Twitter
Oxford Road, Manchester, Christmas Day 2018 🎄
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27 days ago
Twitter
Key features to steal from spreadsheets:

☑️ show data, no hidden state
☑️ no control flow (only expressions, no st…
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28 days ago
‘We are becoming a joke’: Germans turn on Deutsche Bahn | World news | The Guardian
"Transport economists have advised DB to sell off DB Schenker, as well as Arriva, the British operator of buses and regional trains, which it also owns.

“It would make sense for DB to concentrate on its main business instead: transporting people in Germany reliably and at a reasonable price, and the sale could free up a lot of money that could be used for necessary investments in tracks and trains,” said Sören Götz in a recent analysis for Die Zeit."
irony  germany  uk  transport  public 
4 weeks ago
passive voice | language: a feminist guide
"In 2014, someone set up a Twitter account called ‘Name the Agent’ as part of a feminist campaign challenging the way the media reported violence against women. Specifically, the campaign criticized the use of the passive voice in news headlines like ‘Woman raped while walking her dog’. This headline fails to mention that a man committed the crime. It presents rape either as something that ‘just happens’ to women, or as something for which women are indirectly responsible–as if the woman was raped because she was walking her dog, and not because a man decided to rape her. The campaign called on the media to abandon the passive in favour of active-voice headlines like ‘Man rapes woman dog-walker’."
grammar  sexism  journalism  language 
4 weeks ago
The weasel voice in journalism - Johnson
"ON MAY 14th, as Palestinians massed at the Gaza Strip’s border, Israeli soldiers fired on them, killing around 60 people. Shortly afterwards, the New York Times tweeted: “Dozens of Palestinians have died in protests as the US prepares to open its Jerusalem embassy.” Social media went ballistic. “From old age?” was one incredulous reply. #HaveDied quickly became a hashtag campaign.
...
The problem is that the Times’s tweet was not passive. “Have died” is the verb “to die” in the active voice and the perfect tense. Ironically, many people, in “correcting” the Times’s supposed passive, replaced the active “have died” with a passive alternative, such as “Dozens were shot by Israeli troops.”"
grammar  language  journalism  israel  middle  east 
4 weeks ago
'We Are Buying Them Coats On A Scale Never Seen Before': Teachers Share 'Dickensian' Instances Of Child Poverty | HuffPost UK
"He said: “Teachers shouldn’t have to step in to tackle the issues highlighted by this survey, and we’re already taking action to make sure that they don’t have to. Since 2010 there are 300,000 fewer children living in absolute poverty, employment is at a record high and we’re committed to ensuring that every child gets the very best chances in life."

Who to believe... the teacher or the tory ...
lies  conservatives  uk  poverty  children  future  crazy  sad  teaching 
4 weeks ago
May's cabinet split over £30,000 immigrant salary threshold | UK news | The Guardian
"The chancellor and other ministers, such as the business secretary, Greg Clark, successfully raised concerns that setting the threshold at £30,000 would severely restrict the NHS, the wider public sector and businesses from recruiting staff after Brexit."

There are a few brain cells still operating inside the Tory party. A £30k a year limit would keep out nearly everyone.

"The white paper only refers indirectly to May’s long-held target of reducing annual net migration to the tens of thousands. It says the government is still committed to “reduce annual net migration to sustainable levels as set out in the Conservative party manifesto”."

Sustainable migration in an unsustainable world. Genius.
brexit  stupid  conservatives  immigration  population  crisis 
4 weeks ago
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