Monthly Archives: June 2016

  • How interpreters juggle two languages at once

    The video below comes courtesy of TED-Ed.

    Language is complex. When abstract or nuanced concepts get lost in translation, the consequences may be catastrophic. Given the complexities of language and cultural exchange, how do miscommunications not happen all the time? Ewandro Magalhaes explains how much of the answer lies with the skill and training of interpreters to overcome language barriers.

    Video animation by Andrew Foerster.

  • GNOME & KDE join TDF Advisory Board

    Yesterday The Document Foundation, the organisation behind the free and open source LibreOffice suite, announced that GNOME Foundation and KDE e.v. have joined the Advisory Board of The Document Foundation (TDF).

    TDF logo

    In a reciprocal move to consolidate their relationships, TDF also acquired seats on the boards of both the GNOME Foundation and KDE.

    These reciprocal arrangement with the GNOME Foundation is intended to create stronger ties between the two communities and to foster the integration between LibreOffice and one of the most popular desktop environments for Linux.

    Gnome logoGNOME is a desktop environment that is composed entirely of free and open source software, targeting Linux but also supported on most derivatives of the BSD operating system. Since the release of GNOME 3.0, the GNOME Project has focused on the development of a set of programs known as the GNOME Core Applications, for the adherence to the current GNOME HUD guidelines and the tight integration with underlying GNOME layers.

    The GNOME Foundation is a non-profit organisation that furthers the goals of the GNOME Project, helping it to create a free software computing platform for the general public that is designed to be elegant, efficient and easy to use.

    KDE logoKDE has been creating free software since 1996 and shares a lot of values in respect of free software and open document formats with The Document Foundation. In addition, it brings the experience of running a free software organization for almost two decades to the TDF advisory board.

    Both TDF and KDE are involved in the OASIS technical committee for the Open Document format (ODF), as well as collaborating on common aspects of development of office software, such as usability and visual design. The affiliation of KDE and The Document Foundation at an organizational level will help progress the shared goal of giving end users control of their computing needs through free software.

  • Diversifying greengrocer?

    An A-board spotted today on Redcliffe Hill, Bristol 1.

    sign reads we repair Mac's PC and laptops

    A number of questions arose in your correspondent’s head upon seeing this.

    Firstly, who is Mac and why is this exclusive service being offered to him/her in respect of computer hardware?

    Would the owner of the sign fix my broken kit if my name wasn’t Mac?

    Has a greengrocer diversified into the hardware repair business?

    I think we should be told. 🙂

  • Community litter pick tomorrow

    Apologies for the short notice, but there’s a community litter pick taking place tomorrow, 15th June, at Owen Square Park in Easton (map) from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm.

    See the poster below.

    Community litter pick poster

    Owen Square Park is having its grand re-opening on 18th June, so Tidy BS5 supporters Up Our Street were asked to get involved and support a litter pick just prior to the weekend event.

  • Postballs – Boxer dies when asked by Bristol’s Mayor

    Like many, I was saddened to hear of the death of Muhammad Ali. As a young lad growing up in the 1960s and keen on sport of all kinds, he was a large presence on the TV sports programmes and the newspaper sports pages.

    His achievements in the ring and his stand against conscription and the Vietnam War helped reinforce his reputation: he really did end up as “the greatest“.

    However, news emerges via the Bristol Post that Ali’s death may not be all it seems: Muhammad’s demise could have been at the behest of Marvin Rees, Bristol’s newly elected mayor.

    first paragraph reads The Big Screen Bristol in Millennium Square will show the memorial service of Muhammad Ali who died last week at the personal request of the city's mayor Marvin Rees

    However, as per usual, it is merely a case of the endemic bad use of English, appalling grammar and ambiguity by the Post’s semi-literate hacks.

    In contrast, Ali was renowned for his eloquence and use of the English language, something which the current crop of Post journalists will never, ever emulate.

  • Latest version of Snoopers’ Charter before Parliament this week

    This week the House of Commons is due to debate the Investigatory Powers Bill, the latest version of the Snoopers’ Charter (news passim), that will allow the United Kingdom’s police and services to regard the entire UK population as potential organised criminals, suspected terrorists and other assorted ne’er-do-wells and enable those same services to monitor the UK residents’ internet traffic and telecommunications.

    In advance of the parliamentary debate and to publicise the illiberal nature of Home Secretary Theresa May’s bill, the Open Rights Group installed a public toilet on a busy Friday afternoon in Brick Lane in east London. However, the public toilet was not all that it seemed; it was a toilet with a difference.

    The Open Rights Group has also provided a helpful, fact-packed page for MPs on the Snoopers’ Charter to brief them ahead of the debate.

    Originally posted by the author on Bristol Wireless.

  • Italian Defence Ministry on LibreOffice migration

    Italo Vignoli has written today about the Italian Defence Ministry’s migration (posts passim) from the proprietary MS Office suite to a free and open source alternative, LibreOffice.

    LibreOffice logo

    On 30th May, General Sileo of the Italian Defence Ministry gave a presentation on migrating to LibreOffice at Milan University within the scope of meetings organised by the university’s centre for innovation and organisational change in the public sector (Icona Centre), with this particular event being organised by the Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods for the public management degree course.

    General Sileo explained how the adoption of the migration procedure enabled the project to be implemented on the basis of Italian and international best practice, combining the best experience of the community – such as LibreUmbria – and making all elements common factors to avoid surprises, problems and rejection during the migration.

    At the end of the migration, which involves some 150, workstations, the Italian Defence Ministry will have saved €26-29mn., which will then be available for use on “strategic” activities.

  • Introducing The Document Liberation Project

    Document Liberation Project logoToday many people have digital content they created years ago and stored in obsolete and proprietary document formats. Very often these old file formats cannot be opened by any application on the user’s current operating system, leaving the users locked out of their own content.

    However, it is not just individuals that are affected: public and private sector organisations are similarly afflicted; and this can have huge consequences when, say, a a government is unable to read or access digital data it has created in the past.

    This is where The Document Liberation Project comes into its own.

    The Document Liberation Project was created to enable, people, private and public sector organisations to recover their data from proprietary formats and to provide a means of converting the recovered data into open and standardised file formats, such as Open Document Format, thus returning effective control over the content to the actual authors from the software computer that devised the proprietary formats.

    To achieve this, The Document Liberation Project develops software libraries that applications can use to read data in proprietary formats.

    The following video explains how this process works.

    Read more about The Document Liberation Project and the list of projects it supports.

  • Bristol Post balls – man concealed by sound

    One of the joys of the illiteracy of the Bristol Post – the city’s newspaper of warped record – is the unintentional humour the manifestations of that lack of skill inspire.

    Such an instance occurred yesterday when the Post reported, with a local angle of course, on the reopening of the inquest into the victims of the Birmingham pub bombing by the IRA on 21st November 1974.

    One of the survivors – Frank Thomas – now happens to live in Bristol and the Post’s reported duly managed to get rumble and rubble confused, as shown in the following screenshot of the article’s first paragraph.

    text in image reads For 20 minutes Frank Thomas lay hidden under rumble while emergency services struggled to rescue bodies from a Birmingham pub

    Should any passing Post hack wish to avoid future confusion, the definitions of rumble and rubble are helpfully transcribed below from Cambridge Dictionaries Online.

    Rumble (n.) – a low continuous sound.

    Rubble (n.) the piles of broken stone and bricks, etc. that are left when a building falls down or is destroyed.

  • Collabora Online 1.0 “Engine” for hosters and clouds released

    Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind putting the free and open source LibreOffice productivity suite in the cloud, has announced the release the first production grade version of Collabora Online, its flagship cloud document suite solution. Codenamed “Engine”, it is targeted specifically at hosting and cloud businesses who wish to support both commercial and consumer document viewing, creation and editing services in their portfolios.

    “Collabora Online 1.0 is the culmination of several years’ intensive work”, remarked Michael Meeks, Collabora Productivity’s General Manager. “Our objective is to enable key document suite service delivery for hosters by integrating seamlessly with their existing groupware, storage, file sharing and other customer solutions. Critically, Collabora will tailor the look and feel of the integration to complement a hoster’s identity and desired product experience.”

    Calc spreadsheet being used online
    Calc spreadsheet being used online

    For this release Collabora Productivity has also updated its demo, which now includes, amongst other things:

    • Header menus;
    • Right click menus;
    • Tables
    • Comments

    Interested potential users can request access to the demo from Collabora.

    Reposted from Bristol Wireless.