links for 2009-05-24

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 24 May 2009
  • Iain Dale taken to task in his comments by a 'proper journalist'.
  • Apparently the follow-up article to this will be asking why the Pope isn't a protestant... ;-)
  • "The Sun knows above all that stories such as this sell. Its top three reports at the moment are this, Perv Gary Glitter shaving his beard off, and Paedo victim's chilling claim. You almost have to wonder if Rebekah Wade or those in charge suffer from monomania, such is their apparent obsession with children either being abused or potentially becoming victims. Strange that when it comes down to it, as the Alfie Patten example shows, they show just as much contempt for children and their emotions as those they criticise."
  • "Gollob points to a machine that easily fits in a bag the size of a woman's purse. It's a universal translator. It is being tested in Iraq by DARPA -- the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- the legendary research and development works in Arlington where Gollob is a contractor. The machine interprets the spoken word. You talk in English. It repeats whatever you said in spoken Iraqi Arabic. It then awaits a spoken response from the Iraqi, and talks back to you in English. It's pretty good, says Mari Maeda, the program's manager. About 70 or 80 percent accurate. Not as good as a human. But the number of human interpreters willing to work around gunfire is finite."
  • Diamond Geezer takes a tour around the Olympic developments
  • "Yes, the parliamentary lobby, 170 or so keen-eyed sleuths from newspapers and broadcasters around the land who work from within the palace of Westminster itself. Praise Will Lewis and his Telegraph team for taking the plunge and buying the pirate disc of demeaning expenses detail. But wonder how so many reporters missed what was going on under their noses year after year. Didn't anyone, updating his flipping contacts list, ask why Hazel Blears was always on the move? Why the chancellor's home telephone number kept changing? How Hon Members on £64,000 a year could afford to clear their moats, build duck islands or tackle dry rot 100 miles from Luton? Couldn't they have talked to old pals who'd gone over to the dark side - Julie Kirkbride, late of the Telegraph, Michael Gove, late of the Times, Ruth Kelly, late of the Guardian, all named and shamed by Lewis's hit squad?"

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