Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BBC: Not Really Giving Away Any Secrets

Once again, this time in its 'explanation' of the Wikileaks cable leak, the BBC gets things dreadfully wrong.

They manage to decode this as:

4. Who the cable is to: Secretary of State in Washington.

5. General subject heading.

4 is right(ish) - well, not even a marxist media studies graduate could be expected to get "to" too wrong. Info, on the other hand, means, well, what? It clearly isn't what the BBC claim - a subject heading (that comes further down under, surprisingly, the 'SUBJECT:' tag!)  It is a shortening of "information" - as in 'for information'. Additional addressees, in other words.

Update: I note that this error is parroted from the Wikileaks "explanation":
The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
although that may be referring to the three-letter "Subject Indicator Codes", which are not the same as the info addressees. Doesn't exonerate the Beeb in the slightest, however.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not A Particularly Good Argument.

Well, they've been in Parliament long enough for the ridiculous ideas to come out in to the open again. This time, it is Rebecca Harris, Tory MP for somewhere in the deep South. And, yes again, it is the "let's save millions of lives by moving to Central European Time" idea. Possibly practical in Essex but, as somebody who has had a shift job in mid-North Scotland - it is a real bugger never seeing the sun except your one day off each weekend?

Enough about her - she is the cause of the problem but not the problem itself. A commenter on ConservativeHome says that, apropos of somebody pointing out that what is ideal for Canvey Island may not be suitable for Edinburgh, never mind for Lerwick, that only Portugal, Ireland and the UK, within the EU, are on GMT (although they call it 'Western European Time) and that the Danes manage on CET.

Okay, so only the 3 most westerly countries in the EU are on the most westerly time zone. Dreadful, isn't it.

But it is the bit about the Danes that annoys me. Even though Copenhagen is on roughly the same latitude as Edinburgh, it is somewhat east. Edinburgh is 3 and a bit degrees West, Copenhagen is 12 and half, ish, East. That's slightly over 15 degrees difference. And 15 degrees in longitude is 1 hour worth of solar time difference (360 / 24 = 15). So, if you assume that latitude and longitude make CET the appropriate time zone for Denmark, then GMT is the appropriate time zone for Central Scotland (and that the natural time zone for Edinburgh is only 12 minutes different from that for London!)

Also, would just have to comment that latitude has an effect - an artificial time zone which is manageable in Edinburgh at a bit less than 56 degrees North, is not automatically going to be acceptable over 4 degrees further north in Lerwick. Just to note, the whole North / South extent of Denmark, Skagen to Padborg, is less than 3 degrees of latitude.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Errm, Rabbi?

Not the Beeb's fault this time but still their reporting:

A gigantic statue of Jesus - claimed to be the world's tallest ...

Christ the King in Swiebodzin rises 33m (108ft) - one metre for every year that Jesus lived ...

51m-high (167ft), if one included a mound it sat on and the golden crown ...

Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer rises 38m (125ft).

Now, I don't feel bad about Father Zawadzki being pleased with his life's work, and I've never actually been to Rio (but I've seen it on TV lots of times!) The one thing I really remember about their statue of Christ is that it is on top of a sodding great hill.

Yes, indeed, Google says I'm right! The Corcorvado, 710m up from sea level (and as both the Ipanema and Copacabana beaches are within view, I'll feel justified about counting it from quite so low). Which would top the South American version out, what, a mere 1367% taller than the Polski one. Silly, silly "other local officials".

That "Bhoys" Remembrance Protest thingy.

No comment about the grotesque bigotry that is the scourge of Scottish football (okay, the 2nd scourge after not actually being very good at it) but about the reporting.

The only vaguely amusing thing was the horrendous spelling on the banner they'd clearly spent so much effort on.

Why did the Beeb feel the need to add the 'd' into "bloostained"? Compare and contrast:

Your deeds would shame all the devils in Hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No bloodstained poppy on our Hoops.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Why The 'Scare Quotes'?

Girl, 10, 'gives birth' in Spain

The Beeb. Is it because they haven't confirmed the story? If so, what about a bit of journalism and actually checking before they publish? Crazy.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Piss-Poor Programming

From a Yahoo email (no indication that it is phishing or anything other than legitimate but dreadful):

If you are reading this message, the delivery problem appears to
be fixed. To start receiving your groups messages by email again and turn your account back on, please visit:


(You can also copy and paste this link into your browser, and hit the
'Return' key.)

The "truncated" is mine, the rest is theirs.
HTTP Error 403: You are not authorised to access the file "\real_name_and_address.html" on this server.

(c) 'Surreptitious Evil' 2006 - 2017.