Monthly Archives: July 2016

  • 6 West Street saved

    Arts Side West and SPACE will continue to provide community arts at 6 West Street in Bristol’s Old Market area following after its online and paper petition (posts passim) gathered more than 1,000 signatures, Bristol24/7 reports today.

    Arts West Side at 6 West Street

    The venue was threatened with closure after Bristol City Council announced it wanted to rent the premises out commercially for £15,000 per year – not even petty cash in view the £60 mn. in budget savings (i.e. cuts) the council is stating it will have to find in the next few years.

    The council went back on its original decision after a series of meetings was held with deputy mayor Cllr. Estella Tincknell.

    Emma Harvey of Trinity Community Arts, which manages the venue, is quoted as follows by Bristol 24/7:

    The support we’ve received from the public has been amazing…a big thank you to those involved who have helped us to achieve this fantastic outcome for Old Market.

  • Trip Advisor under fire over Welsh reviews

    Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel site, is under fire from Welsh speakers for refusing to publish reviews in Welsh, the Daily Post reports.

    Welsh flag

    Tour guide Emrys Llewelyn had posted a bilingual review of Caernarfon‘s Blas restaurant, but was told by Trip Advisor it wouldn’t be published because it wasn’t one of the site’s current 28 languages, which include Finnish, Serbian, Slovak and Vietnamese.

    According to the Daily Post, Mr Llewelyn said: “Trip Advisor’s attitude is disgusting. They do not recognise our language nor culture.”

    In response Trip Advisor stated the company was looking at expanding the number of languages used on the site, but added the following:

    Unfortunately, the process of adding new languages to Trip Advisor is one that does take a significant amount of time and investment – it is not simply a ‘flick of the switch’ process. The reason for this is that, in order to maintain the integrity of our site, we must ensure that every language in which we operate is fully integrated into our moderation and fraud detection tools and processes.

  • Grauniad corrects itself

    Along with the majority of the press, those writing for The Guardian occasionally confuse the written and spoken word when two languages are involved; somehow the British media have great difficulty telling translators and interpreters apart (posts passim).

    Yesterday The Guardian acknowledged its errors by publishing the following correction and clarification.

    One article (Merkel backs May’s decision not to trigger Brexit until next year, 21 July, page 6) referred to the chancellor “speaking in German with an official translator”, and another (No free trade without open borders, Hollande tells May, 22 July, page 1) referred to the president “speaking in French with an official translator”. While Collins dictionary says “translator” can mean “a person or machine that translates speech or writing”, our style guide advises using “interpreter” for people who work with the spoken word, and “translator” for those who work with the written word.

    Well done Grauniad; I’m glad your style guide acknowledges the correct use of terminology.

    Hat tip: Yelena McCafferty

  • No Latin please, we’re British!

    The British government is to ban all Latin abbreviations on all its websites, allegedly to save confusion amongst users of accessibility software and non-English speakers.

    Writing in a post on the blog, Persis Howe writes that he and his colleagues have several programs that read webpages for those with visual impairment read ‘eg’ incorrectly and that while ‘e.g.’ gets read correctly by screen readers, there are better, clearer ways of introducing examples for all users.

    Howe goes on to say that:

    We promote the use of plain English on GOV.UK. We advocate simple, clear language. Terms like eg, ie and etc, while common, make reading difficult for some.

    Anyone who didn’t grow up speaking English may not be familiar with them. Even those with high literacy levels can be thrown if they are reading under stress or are in a hurry – like a lot of people are on the web.

    Those in charge of the website are therefore changing the site’s style guide and phasing out their usage, which will take some time as some 4,000 instances alone of eg have been found.

    Abbreviations such as eg and ie should be written properly with full-stops as e.g. and i.e. and the fact they are being allowed on government websites is a sign of the fall in standards of both writing and teaching English since I finished my formal education some four decades ago. The fact they these erroneously-written abbreviations are getting misinterpreted by software such as screen readers is a symptom, not the disease.

    While confusion amongst non-English speakers may be a valid reason to curtail the use of e.g. and i.e., meaning respectively exempli gratia (for the sake of an example) and id est (that is), etc. does not deserve to be lumped in with them as its use has spread around the world far from its origins in ancient Rome.

    One field in which the use of Latin phraseology abounds is the law and the administration of justice. However, it seems likely that Whitehall’s mandarins will be reluctant take on the horsehair wig and gown brigade on their use of terms from an empire that ceased to exist over 1,600 years ago.

    Commenting on the changes, the Daily Telegraph reports that campaigners said the decision was to give up Latin was “short-sighted” because they have been part of common parlance for hundreds of years.

    The Telegraph quotes Roger Wemyss Brooks of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales, who said the following:

    Latin is part of our cultural heritage and it’s part of the basis of English. It unites us with other cultures throughout Europe and the world who have a connection with the Romance languages.

    It’s a very concise language which is used specifically for its precision and I think it’s short sighted to be giving it up.

  • Defendant declines to appear without interpreter

    An Albanian man charged with two counts of murder has refused to appear in court until an Albanian interpreter is present so he can understand the proceedings, today’s East Anglian Daily Times reports.

    A man appearing on the charge sheet as Ali Qazimaj was due to appear before magistrates in Ipswich this morning in connection with the murder of elderly couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart of Mill Lane, Weybread, Suffolk.

    In the defendant’s absence, his solicitor Stephen Harris expressed his frustration with Capita which is alleged to provide courts with interpreters. Mr Harris also informed the bench that his client’s name was Vital Dapi, not Ali Qazimaj.

    Magistrates referred the case to Ipswich Crown Court for a hearing this afternoon.

    Ipswich Crown Court
    Ipswich Crown Court. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

    The defendant was subsequently brought before the Crown Court this afternoon and the case was adjourned until 19th August for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

  • Nextcloud document editing with Collabora Online Office

    Thanks to a partnership between Nextcloud and Collabora there is now a great solution for self-hosting Online Office. Nextcloud has worked with Collabora to provide an easy-to-use Online Office solution for the first time for home users which is easily integrated into Nextcloud. At the same time, Nextcloud and Collabora have announced the of enterprise standard offerings to their customers, who will be able to access a secure, easy-to-use and integrated Online Office solution in their Nextcloud installation.

    “Working with Collabora and the LibreOffice community enables us to provide a great solution for our enterprise customers”, said Frank Karlitschek, Managing Director of Nextcloud. “We’re proud to partner with Collabora, the creators of LibreOffice Online, to enable our community and customers to run their own Online Office suite.”

    Collobora Presentation running on Nextcloud

    Introducing an integrated open source office suite into Nextcloud with support for popular file formats users has been a key goal for Nextcloud since its inception.

    The result of Nextcloud’s collaboration Collabora is that Nextcloud users now have access to a free, and regularly updated LibreOffice Online docker image. Both companies are committed to providing regular updates of this image.

    At the same time, enterprise customers can now purchase support contracts for a scalable, more secure version from Collabora and Nextcloud.

  • Tidy BS5 in the Post

    At the weekend, Cllr. Marg Hickman, the cabinet councillor for neighbourhoods and a great supporter of the Tidy BS campaign, shot the video below at the junction of Perry Street and Stapleton Road – a notorious fly-tipping hotspot which your correspondent has been reporting to Bristol City Council for the best part of two and a half years.

    However, Marg also sent the video to the Bristol Post, which used it as the basis for a piece in yesterday’s online edition.

    The Post’s report states that Marg also sent the footage and photos to the city council in the hope Bristol Waste, which manages street cleansing and waste collections, will finally begin to get to grips with the problem.

    According to the Post a council spokesperson said:

    The refuse team emptied the bins this morning, and Bristol Waste Company have two men on Stapleton Road every week day, so they will clear up following attendance from the refuse crew.

    One of the street cleansing supervisors has been sent to check the area to make sure everything is clean and tidy.

    The council may have sent out a street cleansing supervisor yesterday to check, but one needs to be at that location 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since your correspondent reported another load of fly-tipping had mysteriously appeared in the same spot overnight.

    Although progress on the ground may be slow, the Tidy BS5 campaign seems to be making better headway in the corridors of power since Marg’s intervention prompted Marvin Rees, Bristol’s elected mayor and past resident of Easton, to tweet on the filthy state of Stapleton Road, voicing his commitment to get our streets tidy.

    tweet from Bristol Mayor stating clean streets are a top priority

    However, Marvin and Marg have a big problem on their hands, as dumping litter and rubbish seem to be endemic throughout the city, not just in deprived BS5. Bristol’s annual Harbour Festival ended on Sunday evening and the Post noted in a separate report that the clean-up from the event is still continuing today, Tuesday.

  • Keep SPACE & Arts West Side open for community use

    Two of Bristol’s key arts providers – Trinity Community Arts & Artspace Lifespace – have launched a petition to save SPACE & Arts West Side, both located at 6 West Street in the Old Market area. The petitioners are urging Bristol City Council to keep the property as a space for community arts.

    The two groups recently applied to the Council to keep Arts West Side for community arts use, but the city council has decided it wants to let the premises commercially, which the council estimates will generate £15,000 per year in rent – not even petty cash considering the council is facing an estimated budget deficit of £60 mn. forecast for 2019/2020.

    This decision will have a huge impact on the grass-roots community art work taking place in the Old Market area, which sits in Lawrence Hill, Bristol’s most deprived council ward.

    Arts West Side at 6 West Street

    Trinity has been running the venue since August 2011 through Bristol City Council’s Community Asset Transfer Policy (CAT). The policy seeks to make publicly owned spaces across the city available for community use.

    Emma Harvey of Trinity said: “We’re surprised by this decision, given the lack of commercial value of the premises and how it seems to conflict with the city’s vision of Bristol as an inclusive city of culture. We opened Arts West Side to support regeneration of the area. At a time when communities in Bristol are concerned that they are being left behind as other parts of the city prosper, it is sadly ironic that the Council themselves are acting as an agent of gentrification.”

    More information about saving Arts West Side.

    Sign the petition.

  • Anglesey newcomers urged to learn Welsh

    New residents on the island of Anglesey who are not Welsh speakers could be targeted with welcome packs from the local council urging them to learn to speak Welsh, the Daily Post reports today.

    Welsh flag

    The Post continues by stating that councillors on the Isle of Anglesey County Council (Welsh: Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn) will next week discuss a report on the authority’s new Welsh language strategy which aims to increase the percentage of islanders using Welsh in their daily lives.

    This is in part to counter a decline in the percentage of Welsh speakers revealed by census statistics. In the 2011 census, 57% of Anglesey residents were Welsh speakers, compared with 80% in the 1950s. In 2001, the figure was over 60%, whilst back at the start of the 20th century, the 1901 census recorded that nearly 91% of Anglesey’s population spoke Welsh.

    According to the Daily Post, the lowest percentage of Welsh speakers is found in the popular seaside village of Rhosneigr with a mere 36%.

    One of the major challenges facing the Welsh language is the new nuclear plant at Wylfa, which is likely to bring thousands of non-Welsh-speaking contractors to the island during the construction phase.

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