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For years, thousands of children throughout the world have been studying a poem about sunflowers believing it to be the work of the 19th-century poet William Blake.
Reading lists have included it for study, websites have included it in lesson plans and four US state school boards have recommended it to students. There is even anecdotal evidence of one of Britain’s Ofsted inspectors accepting “the fact” of Blake’s authorship of the poem when it was presented to her by a group of young students via a project on their display board.
Now though, after a 12-year misunderstanding which illustrates how effectively the internet can spread misinformation, the record could finally be put straight thanks to the diligence of a Hertfordshire librarian and blogger.
Thomas Pitchford, aka “The Library Spider”, has verified that the poem – “Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room” – was written by a 1980s US poet, Nancy Willard, and published in an anthology of hers dedicated to Blake’s work, A Visit to William Blake’s Inn.
Story from The Independent.
This week's program brings another retransmission from the Voice of America where the continuing cyber-snooping situation is discussed. Stephen tells a tale of how communications metadata can be used in a benign but contemporary way. A news miscellany is also presented.
Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Speex), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net. Matériel purchasing needs of the Air Staff can be found from time to time via Amazon where such can be purchased and sent to them.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.18:47 minutes (10.77 MB)
This special edition discusses the current news of revelations of government acquisition of Verizon cell phone customer call records and discusses some software solutions available for preserving privacy.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.8:04 minutes (7.4 MB)
"I'm not blaming Microsoft," said Cerf, who is Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist. "What I'm saying is that backward compatibility is very hard to preserve over very long periods of time."
The data objects are only meaningful if the application software is available to interpret them, Cerf said. "We won't lose the disk, but we may lose the ability to understand the disk."
And we're back. The first episode after the production suspension has a series of brief essays followed by a news miscellany.
Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis) (Free Lossless Audio Codec) (Torrent), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like gpodder.net.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.18:24 minutes (8.44 MB)
YouTube Is Said to Plan a Subscription Option
Newspapers have digital subscriptions. Record labels have iTunes and Spotify. And YouTube is about to have special programming for paying customers.
This week YouTube, the world’s largest video Web site, will announce a plan to let some video makers charge a monthly subscription to their channels. There will be paid channels for children’s programming, entertainment, music and many other topic areas, according to people with knowledge of the plan, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they had been asked by YouTube not to comment publicly yet. Some of the channels — there will be several dozen at the outset — will cost as little as $1.99 a month.
Now things have changed. First, and most obviously, mobile devices are everywhere. Second, there are now legions of interesting Web services to automate. The final ingredient is the most important: With the rise of Big Data, there is now enough information available for a software agent to actually use to perform anticipatory actions. In that context, the challenges of applying software agents and artificial intelligence to business solutions is nothing compared to the potential payoff to users.
The combination of automated agents, contextual search and a sea of data from our devices, services and the Internet of Things, search is poised to become vastly more useful and efficient than it already is. The pieces are getting there with agents like Siri and contextual search like Google Now. If it all works as promised, information we need will be delivered to us just when we need it, without our having to invest time and effort looking for it."
Is this the first ever web page? If not, CERN would like to know
Boffinry nerve-centre CERN has attempted to recreate the very first website to mark 20 years since the official launch of the World Wide Web.
It is feared the first ever web page is lost to the sands of time as it was changed daily and any backups are few and far between. However the team has pulled up a snapshot of the very first website dating from November 1992, which the eggheads say "may be the earliest copy we can find". The CERN bods are still hunting around for earlier versions.
A FEW weeks ago, a friend received a flier in the mail inviting her to an event in Manhattan for patients with multiple sclerosis.
“What’s in it for you?” said the flier from MS LifeLines, a support network for patients and their families that is financed by two drug makers, Pfizer and EMD Serono. “Strategies for managing and understanding your symptoms. Information about available treatments for relapsing M.S.”
The thing is that my friend, who requested that I keep her name out of this column, does not have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.
But last year, she did search online for information about various diseases, including M.S., on a number of consumer health sites. She also subscribed to an online recommendation engine where she looked up consumer reviews of local physicians.