Code-breaker Turing should be pardoned

You most likely know who Alan Turing is, but did you know that wartime code-breaker Alan Turing was chemically castrated for admitting to his homosexuality and then mostly written out of history. Now, more than 26,000 people have signed a petition to the prime minister seeking a formal apology and posthumous pardon. Unfortunately the British Government is ignoring this request, at least in public.

Travel with science editor Susan Watts to World War II code-breaking centre Bletchley Park. Visit where Turing worked to find out more about the man and speak to some of his relatives.

WREN’s at Station X

If you are interested in cryptography or codebreaking, and have an interest in World War II, then you should try to get to Bletchley Park. I haven’t been… yet. It is on my list of things to achieve. There is an excellent blog post that highlights what it was like for the women of Bletchley and what it was like getting there.

 

“What is X?”... “Well, It’s not Y.”

Photographers know your rights

Have you ever taken a picture and been told by a security guard or other person to stop and delete those pictures, and did you delete those pictures? Do you know what your rights are in regards to taking pictures in public areas? If you are like me, a self proclaimed amateur photographer—after all, who isn’t these days—then you should make sure you know your rights, because sooner or later, someone will ask you to stop taking pictures or delete the pictures you have taken.

The TG DAily wrote up a nice little article about a woman who was asked to delete some photos from her camera by a security guard while at a trade show.

Here is a link to the Bert P. Krages II—attorney at law website. He has posted a ‘Photographer’s Right’ pamphlet in PDF format that is free for the downloading, printing, and putting in your purse or wallet. As the pamphlet says “Most attempts at restricting photography are done by lower-level security and law enforcement officials acting way beyond their authority. Note that neither the Patriot Act nor the Homeland Security Act have any provisions that restrict photography.”

Be prepared!

{deprecated} Apples new MacBook Air - worlds thinnest notebook / laptop

Apple just announced their new laptop or notebook. They are claiming the worlds thinnest notebook with the thinnest area at a mere 0.16 inches thick. This looks like an awesome little machine which includes a 13.3 inch wide screen. A little disappointing was the price though, at $1799 it fits in between the MacBook and the MacBook Pro.

For those that must have this machine, here are is a quick run down of the specs:

  • Pre-orders today, shipping in two weeks
  • 80 GB hard disk standard, 64 GB SSD as an option.
  • 1.6 GHz Standard, 1.8 GHz Option—Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2 GB Memory standard
  • 5 hours of Battery Life
  • No optical drive, but a Superdrive accessory is available for $99. Also, software comes with the MacBook Air that allows you to “borrow” a Mac or PCs optical drive.
  • 802.11n + Bluetooth 2.1/EDR
  • 45 Watt MagSafe
  • 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Micro-DVI
  • Audio Out

You can read more about this amazing new Apple Mac Book Air laptop / notebook here.

 

Charge carries possible life sentence

November 8th 2007-Update: For those that would like to read more about the death and passing of little Bianka Leduc, you can visit the very well done site of Gigababy. In short, why are people so afraid to show support to the family of the grieving, the family that really needs support now for a long time to come. Yet, people seem to have little trouble showing support for the ones responsible for the accident.

So, there are talks of sending the 18 year old Brandon Pardi—who killed Bianka Leduc—away for life, into a prison system that is already over crowded. Yes, he was neglegent and his stupidity caused the death of a little girl. But sending him away for life is neither going to send a real message to people nor bring back the little girl.

Why won’t it send a real message to anyone? In 6 months time virtually no one will remember who Brandon Pardi is, and hence the younger people of today won’t be affected in the least.

Perhaps what would make a bigger impact, since they are talking of taking his whole future away anyhow, is to put Brandon to work full time educating people. Keep a short leash on him, but have him work with an organization like MADD, or start a new organization. Place heavy restrictions on him, and have him do something good for society. Putting a person away into our prison system costs the Canadian people $80,000 dollars a year roughly. So take that money and use it to cover expenses for Brandon to spend the rest of his life serving out his sentence to help stop our youth from killing more people.

Brandon can be under permanent curfew, weekly visits to a parole officer, stay at home, no alcohol, never allowed to drive again, but tossing him into prison makes the courts no better than Brandon himself.

Perhaps if society had started getting people who are convicted of neglectful homicide to do community service for life, instead of adding them into the prison system, where they learn to be “prisoners”, little Bianka would still be alive today.

I know my thoughts fly in the face of what our society thinks, but I see a strong young person who could actually be put to use. Heck the police say they don’t have enough man power to patrol the streets and keep reckless drivers off the streets. So take Brandon and make him educate and help officers patrol the streets, for life.

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