Thursday, July 26, 2012
Couple of bits of news and links unworthy of a full blog post today, so you're getting the equivalent of grubbing around in my desk drawer for something when I forget your birthday... not a novelty paperclip and a stress ball, but instead...
First up, Greek triple-jumper Voula Papachristou is in hot water this week - not a hilariously mis-timed jump, but over a racist tweet. I'm not about to repeat what she posted here, but it was enough to get her booted from the Greek Olympic Squad. At the same time it probably wouldn't have triggered any "word filters" - no "obvious" racial insults there. Moral of the story, meanings come from context as well as the words, you won't easily guess sense with a machine, but you might really alienate a huge group of people really quickly. Think before you tweet. It may also be the case that an organisation is liable for a tweet sent from a corporate device... twitter can easily be made read-only.. just a thought. (See BBC News)
Secondly, for the developers amongst our loyal readership I happened across a great post on "Coding Horror" listing new programming jargon from stack overflow. I particularly enjoyed "Yoda conditions" and the concept of "Stringly typed"... take a look: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/07/new-programming-jargon.html
Finally, one for the travellers amongst us. Apparently, some hotel swipe-locks are right up there in the security stakes with bits of string and XOR based encryption, as a hacker rather irresponsibly demonstrated without first disclosing the problem to the company concerned. Still, you might want to stick your valuables in the hotel safe as well, until someone backdoors that too. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-18968225