Monthly Archives: August 2013

  • FA Cup ignored by BBC

    This weekend marks the start of the competition for the FA Cup, the most prestigious trophy in English football, with the start of the preliminary round, when all the amateur teams in the local leagues around the country have their chance of a cup run for glory, i.e. it’s the round where all the Davids battle it out for a chance to challenge Goliath.

    By way of an example, Market Drayton Town, the team from the town of my birth, has a home tie today against Kidsgrove Athletic, which kicks off at 3 pm.

    The FA website has a list of fixtures for the preliminary round, which runs to many pages, a screenshot of which is shown below.

    screenshot of FA Cup fixtures page

    However, if – as many people do – you relied on the BBC as a source of sports news, you’d be completely unaware of the existence of the FA Cup preliminary round, as proven by the following screenshot taken today at the same time as the above FA screenshot.

    screenshot of BBC FA Cup fixtures page

    That’s right! According to Auntie, there are no FA Cup fixtures for the next 7 days.

    The BBC likes to base its reputation on its reliable and accurate coverage of news and events.

    Is this reputation undeserved? Answers in the comments below please.

  • Bristol Post Balls – verb conjugation

    The Bristol Post website carries an initial report today of a fire last night at Ashton Court, a 17th century mansion house in north Somerset owned by Bristol City Council.

    Allegedly penned by someone called DanielEvans1, the third paragraph of the piece reads as follows:

    A total of six Avon Fire and Rescue pumps and an aerial appliance were need to extinguish the fire in the early hours.

    An inability to conjugate the verb ‘to need’ correctly is evidently no barrier to employment as a journalist at the Temple Way Ministry of Truth. 😉

  • A message to thieves

    I’ve seen this fruit van a few times on Cumberland Road in recent weeks. At the foot of the offside door is a message to the light-fingered with a penchant for bananas.

    rear of fruit van
    Can other primates and other assorted fruit fans read?

    Only in Bristol… 🙂

  • Capita: feast or famine

    So far this blog has recorded a dearth of Capita T&I interpreters for the jobs they’re supposed to be doing in the country’s courts (posts passim).

    Now just for a change we’re pleased to report a surfeit, as shown in this tweet (screenshot below).

    Tweet screenshot

    Are Capita T&I interpreters like buses – one waits for ages and then 3 turn up at once? Or do Capita’s finest believe in safety in numbers? Is any comment on this amazing development forthcoming from Helen Grant MP, the Minister for Victims and the Courts?

    I think we should be told.

  • LibreOffice 4.1.1 released

    The Document Foundation (TDF) has announced the release of LibreOffice 4.1.1, for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. This is the first minor release of the LibreOffice 4.1 family, which features a large number of improved interoperability features with proprietary and legacy file formats.

    According to the developers, the new release is a step forward in the process of improving the overall quality and stability of LibreOffice 4.1. However, for enterprise adoptions and production environments, The Document Foundation recommends LibreOffice 4.0.5.

    LibreOffice menu screen
    LibreOffice menu screen

    LibreOffice 4.1.1 is available for immediate download from Change logs are available at the following links: (for bugs fixed in and (for bug fixes in

  • Replacement interpreter has to leave after 30 minutes

    Reposted from RPSI Linguist Lounge.

    Barbara Hecht writes:

    I represented a 52 year-old woman of good character needing an interpreter, first appearance 10 am start – she was in virtual court so she was in the police station. The interpreter was there early and promptly (and spoke the language required well) but…there was a part heard trial in another court where no interpreter had been arranged. So they took my interpreter, and my woman in the police station who had already been there from 6 pm the night before had to wait.

    When I raised this with the trial DJ and said she was diabetic, she took the view that she could wait a bit because the police would look after her and carried on hearing submissions a bit longer in the part heard trial. A replacement interpreter was booked to come at 1.45 pm. When I found the replacement interpreter at 2.15 pm because the matter was put back to 2.30, he said he had to go!

  • A letter to the Prime Minister

    The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN/IFRA) has written the letter below to the British Prime Minister following the recent spurious detention of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, at Heathrow airport under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

    WAN-IFRA is the global organisation for the world’s newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organisation groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.

    No doubt WAN/IFRA’s intervention will have absolutely no effect the surveillance of citizens by the British state revealed by Glenn Greenwald’s Guardian articles or the UK’s abuse of terrorism legislation.

    The Right Honourable David Cameron MP
    Prime Minister of Great Britain
    10 Downing Street
    United Kingdom

    23 August 2013

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our deep concern at the actions of government officials that led to the destruction of computer hard drives at the offices of the Guardian newspaper on 20 July.

    According to reports, the decision to destroy the equipment was made by Guardian staff in response to the threat of legal action by the UK government. In attempting to exercise prior-restraint, the government’s aim was to prevent the publication of reports based on the leaked files supplied by National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistle-blower, Edward Snowden.

    That your government felt the need to threaten legal action in order to block reporting into issues of public interest is deeply regrettable. Furthermore, WAN-IFRA is extremely concerned that the government’s actions were an act of intimidation that could have a chilling effect on press freedom in the UK and beyond.

    WAN-IFRA fully supports the actions of Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, who explained on numerous occasions that copies of the information stored on the hard drives were held elsewhere under foreign jurisdictions, and that physically handing them over to UK government authorities or destroying them would be a symbolic gesture only.

    In a separate but not unrelated incident, WAN-IFRA is equally concerned over the manner of the detention at Heathrow airport under Schedule 7 of the UK Terrorism Act 2000 of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald who has been instrumental in breaking the story on the NSA files. Mr Miranda had his personal electronic items confiscated and was held for an unprecedented nine-hours without charges being brought against him.

    The apparent misuse of this particular element of anti-terror legislation places journalists, and those aiding journalistic work, under suspicion of being terrorists or having involvement in terrorist activities. This is an outrageous and deeply disturbing connection to make, and we seek assurances from you and your government that the necessary inquiries will be made to ensure any inference of association between journalism and terrorism is not part of official policy and is publicly condemned as categorically misleading.

    Added to these latest incidents, WAN-IFRA is disturbed by the perceived slide in press freedom witnessed in the UK over recent months. Serious questions remain regarding the future direction of independent press regulation. Reports also suggest that since Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into press behaviour as many as 59 journalists have been arrested under three separate police investigations. None have been convicted and many have spent months on police bail.

    As a result, the United Kingdom’s commitment to international standards of freedom of expression, as outlined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), of which Great Britain is a signatory, is under intense scrutiny both domestically and around the world.

    We respectfully call on you to reaffirm the United Kingdom’s commitment to a free and independent press and to realign the various government and police authorities behind this unequivocal message. We urge the UK government to respect the rights of journalists to protect their sources and to create the conditions necessary to ensure the press can continue its crucial role in maintaining free and fair societies, without government interference or intimidation.

    We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

    Yours sincerely,

    Tomas BrunegÄrd
    World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

    Erik Bjerager
    World Editors Forum

  • UWE supplies refurbished PCs for internet cafĂ©s in Togo

    UWE's surplus office furniture and PCs off to Togo
    The container being loaded for shipping to Togo
    Bristol’s University of the West of England (UWE) has announced that a shipment of refurbished computers and office furniture has just arrived in Togo after an eight week voyage. The recycled equipment was refurbished by UWE student volunteers.

    The equipment is now being installed in 2 internet cafés in Lomé, the Togolese capital. Both internet cafés will be open to the public, although some time will be set aside each week for special user groups, such as orphanage children, who will receive computer training, and micro-finance clients. In addition, The cafés will provide a learning and employment opportunity for local people and aim to be profitable in about a year, earning income from providing internet access, printing and copying services.

    Jo Earl, from UWE Volunteering, co-ordinated students from UWE’s Department of Computer Science & Creative Technologies to make the computers ready for use.

    “Four volunteers worked as a team to assess the donated equipment, install operating systems and additional software. In total 84 PCs were shipped and the students worked really hard on a complex and time-consuming task,” said Jo.

    “After refurbishing the computers, our next big task was shipping the PCs from Frenchay campus,” continued Jo, who worked with UWE facilities manager Richard Bird on packing and loading the computers, printers, desks and chairs into a shipping container.

    Reposted from Bristol Wireless.

  • Ebook manager Calibre reaches version 1.0

    Ebook management software Calibre has now reached version 1.0, seven years after it was first released and a year since the last major release. Lots of new features have been added to calibre in the last year — a grid view of book covers, a new, faster database backend, the ability to convert Microsoft Word files, tools to make changes to ebooks without needing to do a full conversion, full support for font embedding and sub-setting, and many more, which are listed below. However, it should be pointed out that many of the features listed below were actually introduced during the lifetime of Calibre’s 0.9.x series.

    • A grid view of book covers
    • A new, faster database backend
    • Virtual Libraries
    • Conversion of Microsoft Word documents (.docx files)
    • New metadata download sources
    • Full support for font embedding
    • An easy to use tool to edit the Table of Contents in ebooks
    • Rewritten PDF output engine
    • New “Polish books” tool that allows users to carry out various automated clean-up actions on ebooks

    image of calibre interface

    The developers of Calibre also believe now is an appropriate time to express their thanks to all the developers who have contributed many of the major new features listed above. An incomplete list of contributors is available here.

    Calibre 1.0 is now available for download for Linux, MacOS and Windows.

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