Tag: BBC

BBC to remember web pages forgotten

beebGoogle removal of BBC web pages under the so-called “right to be forgotten” is being challenged by the broadcasting giant.

The BBC feels that some of its own pages shuld not have been taken down.  David Jordan, who heads up the BBC’s editorial policy said it would publish a regularly updated list of pages that Google has removed.

The European Court of Justice told Google that people should have the right to have content they objected to removed.  Google, said Jordan, doesn’t let people or organisations that run pages know links have been taken down.

Jordan said that the BBC wouldn’t publish any identifying information or republish pages.  He said there isn’t an effective appeal process and said one page about members of the Real IRA was removed from the BBC website even after two people were convicted.

Jordan made the remarks at a meeting organised by Google. The search engine is currently engaged in a PR campaign around Europe in a bid to help people understand Google really isn’t evil.

BBC wades into VPN pirates.

Capture-of-BlackbeardThe BBC has told the Australian government that it would be wise to consider all users of VPNs as pirates.

In a submission to the Australian Government on the issue of online piracy, the BBC said that ISPs should be obliged to monitor their customers’ activities.

If a punter uses VPN-style services and consume a lot of bandwidth it should be assumed that they are stealing content.

BBC Worldwide has now presented its own views to the Aussie Federal Government and it is clear that the corporation wants new anti-piracy measures to go further than ever before.

The BBC moaned that the recent leaking of the new series of Doctor Who to file-sharing networks acted “as a spoiler” to the official global TV premiere.

“Despite the BBC dedicating considerable resources to taking down and blocking access to these Doctor Who materials, there were almost 13,000 download attempts of these materials from Australian IP addresses in the period between their unauthorised access and the expiration of the usual catch-up windows,” the BBC wrote.

The BBC wants to ISPs leant on and set up a graduated response scheme of educational messages backed up by punitive measures for the most persistent of infringers.

Those sanctions could lead to a throttling of a users’ internet connection but should not normally lead to a complete disconnection.

The BBC said that ISPs should not only forward notices, but also spy on their customers’ Internet usage habits.

Aunty said that the situation has been made worse by the adoption of virtual private networks and proxy servers by some users, allowing them to circumvent geo-blocking technologies and further evade detection.

In Australia, the sticking point is who should pay for all this. The ISPs believe they should not have to pay for anything, but the BBC thinks that the costs need to be shared.

“In light of the fact that a large inducement for internet users to become customers of ISPs is to gain access to content (whether legally or illegally), it is paramount that ISPs are required to take an active role in preventing and fighting online copyright infringement by establishing and contributing meaningfully to the cost of administering some form of graduated response scheme,” the BBC wrote.

Wikipedia shocked by hatred

walesThe Wikimedia movement’s 10th Wikimania conference at the London Barbican  turned out a little more badly than expected.

Normally the event is a love fest between the editors and staff of Wikipedia all centred on the founder Jimmy Wales.

But according to wikipediocracy  the event was spoiled as the British Press failed to share the love and kicked the event to death.

Wales made the mistake of being interviewed in a Newsnight interview with James O’Brien, in which Wales insisted that the right to be forgotten only covered links and should adjudicated by a court of law.

Wales is a member of Google’s advisory board and his theory is that European taxpayers should pay, without limitation, for their already-overburdened court systems to deal with every single revenge-porn complaint Google receives under the ruling.

However Wales should have chosen his sparing person a little more carefully  O’Brien, has been repeatedly defamed in his Wikipedia biography has little love for the way Wackypedia operates.

“I could go on Wikipedia now and describe you as believing in fairies and a man whose – I don’t know – favourite drink is the blood of freshly slaughtered kittens. That’s neither history nor truth, but it could be on Wikipedia,” O’Brien snarled at Wales.

When Wales started laughing O’Brien growled:  “It’s not funny, if you’re sort of an ordinary person and you have a degree of public profile, and people have deliberately altered your Wikipedia page. I have spoken publicly about my children having been born as a result of fertility treatment. And my Wikipedia page, which I didn’t even know existed, contained a phrase along the lines of ‘he wasn’t man enough to impregnate his own wife’. That was there for weeks, months possibly, until my wife found it. Shouldn’t that be your priority?”

All Wales could come up with was that it was up to the victims to police his site.

What Wales did not get was that that three years of their own spying scandals, the UK press is big on privacy so when Wales proudly tried to put a positive spin on their refusal to grant any of the 304 “content removal requests” wackypedia had received in the past two years, it came out badly.

The Guardian published a profile of Wales that referred to his past as an “internet pornographer” and said that Wikipedia is populated by “self-selecting cliques” that pay more attention to the site’s coverage of female porn stars than to its listing of women writers.

Ironically Wikimania ended with a presentation by Jimmy Wales on “civility”. This seemed to involve talking about users who have a reputation in the community for creating good content, and for being incredibly toxic personalities.

Wales said, stating that “these editors cost us more than they’re actually worth”. It was a “big mistake” to tolerate them, he continued, receiving rapturous applause.

At least he has learned something.

Birt gets hosting job

BBC HQHost Europe Group said it has appointed Lord Birt of the BBC as its non-executive chairman.

Birt said that Host Europe, which has over a million customers, and offers cloud hosting  and managed hosting, is in a good position to act fast to the needs of its customers. “I am honoured to be invited to join such an industry leading team.”

Euro private equity firm Cinven bought the Group in July and wants to grow it to be the number one in Europe.  It has already bought two companies, Telefonica Germany Online Service and domainFactory.

Birt was the director general of the BBC between 1992 and 2000, and has held a number of other positions including chairman of Paypal Europe.

He is a cross bencher in the House of Lords.

Cinven partner David Barker said that his appointment chimes with rapid growth in the European hosting market. Barker claimed the Group is in a strong position to capitalise on the growth.

Amazon UK accused of stressing workers

Amazon logoA BBC Panorama report is claiming that working at Amazon can really stress you out.

That’s a claim Amazon rejects.

According to the BBC, it planted a reporter at the firm’s Swansea warehouse and he used a hidden camera to record the action.

His job was to pick orders from the huge warehouse, using a handset that told him what to collect.

The handset gave the reporter, Adam Littler, a fixed time to pick the products and it started counting down and beeped at him if he got it wrong.

The handset reported the speed at which Littler was performing and if his performance wasn’t under par, he was reported to managers.  He worked 10 and a half hour night shifts at £8.25 an hour and reported that he walked 11 miles on an average shift.

Amazon told the BBC that it was “working hard to make sure we’re better tomorrow than we are today”. The Panorama programme airs tonight at 9:30PM.

Intel doesn’t back Lady Geek dot com

Belinda ParmarA woman on the radio this morning hit out at womens’ magazines for not including enough information on gadgets and the like.

Belinda Parmar, the CEO of the agency with a website at ladygeek.com (pictured) said in a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that technology “empowered” women and said magazines such as Glamour didn’t include enough features about tech.

The agency numbers among its clients Nokia, Dell, Microsoft, Sony, Vodafone,Kaspersky, Ubisoft and, er, the BBC. But not Intel.

According to its web page, 80 percent of all tech decisions are influenced by women but only three percent of advertising creative directors are women.

Technology is commoditised now so no one really cares about it anymore apart from Microsoft, Sony and the rest.

Gales of hot air shut down south east

weatherThe Met Office has a supercomputer and for five days now the boffins have been predicting a hurricane would envelop much of Britain.

That led train companies and airports to shut down stuff just in case the Met Office was right this time round.  It follows a SNAFU in 1987 when Michael Fish played down tales of a disastrous gale just hours ahead of a disastrous gale knocking down trees and shutting down vast tracts of England.

The cost to the British economy of the Cassandra like warnings of gloom and doom have yet to be measured. But commuters trying to get to work this morning in the south east are hanging around waiting for the weather to abate, although vast tracts of the south east haven’t experienced very much more than leaves on the line. The death toll from “Hurricane St Jude” hasn’t yet been totted up.

The BBC was on high alert and it is true that wind speeds reached 99MPH close to the Isle of Wight.

The Met Office will spend most of today trying to downplay the weather map it issued showing the whole of southern England was under threat.