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Posted by Holly Brockwell, Editor

Everyone loves the Game of Thrones intro. It’s mesmerising. But did you know it also works if you replace all the dainty little buildings with… mould? Someone on YouTube going by the name of Transcend Rules has set a gorgeously-shot video of slime mould to the themetune we all know and love, and it’s hypnotic. […]

The post Turns out the Game of Thrones intro also works with slime mould appeared first on Gadgette.

The cat-flap as a psychoanalytic metaphor

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 11:30 am
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Posted by Martin Gardiner

CatFlapStefano Bolognini, who is president of the International Psychoanalytical Association explores the usefulness of the cat-flap as a psychoanalytic metaphor in his book ‘Secret Passages : The Theory and Technique of Interpsychic Relations’ (2011 – Routledge).

The book is reviewed by Professor Cordelia Schmidt Hellerau in an essay entitled ‘SECRET PASSAGES:SOPHISTICATING THE CAT-FLAP’ (in: Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Volume LXXXI, Issue 2, pages 443–455, April 2012.) Bolognini’s work, explains the professor :

“[…] provide[s] us with the sense of getting to know a seasoned psychoanalyst who loves his work and generously shares with us not only the highlights of successful interpretations, but also the at times stumbling, tentative, or awkwardly searching steps that will help both, analyst and patient, find their way to the cat-flap.”

The ‘cat-flap’ metaphor in this context is illustrated by passages from the book.

“Perhaps, without our knowing, there was a draft, a door left ajar between our mental apparatuses, or a small opening, almost invisible, like in the great wooden doors of Italian houses in medieval times, at the bottom of which was a swinging flap (a ‘cat-flap’) through which the house cat could come and go unheeded, unseen, and without disturbing its owners, intent on other pursuits. [p. 66]

[The cat-flap] . . . is a good symbol for a structural (it is part of the door) and functional (it was specifically designed so that the cat can carry out its function of catching mice inside and outside the house) device that is not only intrapsychic but also interpsychic. The cat-flap is quite distinct from the door, which allows the passage of people, and from incidental cracks, which allow the passage of mice, clandestine, parasitical guest that harm the community / interpsychic-relational apparatus. [p. 67]”

Bonus Assignment [optional]:

Discuss the appropriateness (or otherwise) of ‘the cat-flap’ as a Freudian metaphor, bearing in mind that prof. Bolognini’s book was originally published in Italy, where ‘gattaiola’ (cat-flap) may not have the same euphemistic connotations as it does in English (clues may be found in the following) :

Resources (psychoanalytic journals):

• Psychoanal. Dialogues
• Int. J. Psycho-Anal.
• J. Anal. Psychol.
• Contemp. Psychoanal.
• J. Am. Psychoanal. Assoc.
• J. Am. Acad. Psychoanal.
• Int. Rev. Psychoanal.
• Psychoanal. Inq.

Note: The photo shows the Staywell 300 4 Way Locking Cat Flap available from Catflaps.co.uk (£15.16 inc. taxes).

[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by Sean Gallagher

(credit: Government Accountability Office)

Some of the most critical business systems run by US government agencies are older than many of the IT people who support them, written in mainframe assembler code or COBOL. That might not shock or surprise anyone who works in mainframe-centric industries like insurance and finance, where the time-tested reliability of some systems has granted them lives that reach back to the Johnson administration. But a new GAO report has called out some of these systems as being so archaic that they're consuming increasingly larger portions of agencies' IT budgets just for operation and maintenance. As the breach at the Office of Personnel Management demonstrated, old systems are also a security risk—particularly when they've been "updated" with now-unsupported versions of Windows Server and Internet and database components that were end-of-life'd by their creators years ago.

To drive those points home, the report—written by David A. Powner, GAO's Director for Information Technology Management Issues—called out specific legacy systems from multiple agencies that are particularly obsolete, reliant on older programming languages and older computing technology that are no longer supported. To help members of Congress too young to remember them, the report also included an infographic (as show above) to explain what an 8-inch floppy disk was.

Of the top ten oldest systems cited by GAO, six are over 50 years old—and five of the ten oldest systems, all dating from before the 1980s, are not slated to be replaced anytime soon. And it should come as no surprise that the two oldest systems in government are at the Internal Revenue Service, and both will remain in place for some time.

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Posted by Jennifer Baker

(credit: Total due)

Europe’s telecommunications ministers agreed on Thursday that the 700MHz band should be handed over to mobile broadband services by 2020 to allow them to push 4G, and more easily transition to the next generation 5G tech.

Under the proposed deal, approved by the telecoms council, EU countries must set out national strategies to reassign the 700MHz band (694-790MHz) to wireless broadband by June 2018, with the handover expected to be completed by four years from now.

In exceptional circumstances—such as unresolved harmful interference, or cross-border coordination issues—an extension of two years may be considered.

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Thursday, May 26th, 2016 12:55 pm
hollymath: drawing in black of owl wearing big red glasses.Words on its belly:"it's not about how you look, it's about how you see" (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I'm so tired, when I'm home I'm either sleeping or feeling bad about all the things I'm too tired to do, like clean myself or the house. I expected a day or two of that after my parents left, but it's been almost a week now.

I was so good at keeping on top of dishes and tidying and stuff while they were here -- partly to keep them fro grumbling or doing them for me, partly as an excuse to keep busy enough not to have time to think -- I hoped that I might be able to keep it up, as it's easier to keep things clean than get them clean... ha.

I kind of wish I'd been able to keep up the levels of willpower in getting chores done that I had for the previous couple of weeks. But then I think about how badly it exhausted me to push myself to do so many things when I didn't think it'd be good for me, and how I knew I could keep that up only because it was for a limited time. It's not very kind to myself to wish that I lived like that all the time.

This hacked IKEA bookshelf plays Tetris

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 11:48 am
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Posted by Jennifer Harrison, Science Officer

Here at Gadgette we love hacking and DIY projects as much as we love games, so it’s perfect when the two come together. Last year Øyvind Berntsen proposed to his girlfriend by transforming their giant IKEA bookshelf into a game of Snake that finished with a giant ring. It was a cute viral video and I loved the idea […]

The post This hacked IKEA bookshelf plays Tetris appeared first on Gadgette.

[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by Beth Mole

(credit: Melimama)

With sleepless nights and puzzling crying spells, caring for a newborn may seem like a mind numbing endeavor. But the mental abilities needed to keep a helpless, fussy infant alive may actually be the source of our smarts.

Humans’ extraordinary intellectual abilities may have arisen, in part, in an evolutionary feedback loop involving the care of helpless infants, researchers hypothesize in a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the loop, big-headed babies are born relatively early in their development to ensure that they fit through the human vaginal canal. The underdeveloped newborns then rely heavily on the savviness of their parents for survival. Through generations, this selects for brainy parents, which pushes kids to have ever fatter noggins and, thus, earlier births.

“Human infants are born far more immature than the infants of other species,” study author Celeste Kidd, a brain and cognitive science researcher at the University of Rochester, said. “For example, giraffe calves are able to stand-up, walk around, and even flee from predators within hours of their births. By comparison, human infants cannot even support their own heads.”

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[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by Kelly Fiveash

This BT ad recently misled folk with unsubstantiated broadband speed claims. (credit: BT)

Web-based adverts sparked a big caseload of complaints in the past year with offerings for computer games, gambling, films, and DVDs—but surprisingly not broadband services—topping the UK ad regulator's moanfest list.

The Advertising Standards Authority said on Thursday that 4,584 ads were changed or withdrawn, following investigations into gripes about commercials across different mediums.

"While this figure has risen 32 percent since 2014, it still represents only a small proportion of the overall advertising landscape," the ASA said in its annual report.

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[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by Peter Bright

Much of the time at Ars we look at laptops that tend towards the thinner and lighter end of the spectrum. These are great for portability, but they all tend to give up a little, and sometimes a lot, when it comes to raw performance. HP's new Omen gaming laptops tilt things much further in the performance direction, and they manage to do so while still offering decent portability, competitive pricing, and, refreshingly, looks that aren't too gamery: turn off the red backlit keyboards, and they'll not look too out of place as capable workhorses too.

Going on sale July 1 in the UK and starting at £699, you can get the 15.6 inch 1920×1080 IPS screened 4.6lb (2.1kg) laptop with a quad-core Skylake Core i7-6700HQ, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 950M GPU with 2GB dedicated memory, and a 1TB 7200rpm hard disk.

Spend a bit more and you can go up to a GTX 960M with 4GB dedicated memory, 16GB RAM, and add a 128GB SSD alongside the spinning disk. All the systems have 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 2 USB 3 ports, wired gigabit Ethernet, and a full-size HDMI output. The keyboards make full use of the 15 inch form factor, sporting a full number pad alongside the keys—something that we know many of you look for in these larger laptops.

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Day 5625: Messages from Cheadle #1 - the NHS

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 11:26 am
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Posted by Millennium Dome


We are trying a new experiment in VIDEO BLOGGING.

Daddy Richard will be doing some news'n'views from his old home town, and for the start he has brought Daddy Alex along to go back to the very beginning, the place where he was born.

More to follow, you lucky people!

[syndicated profile] gadgette_feed

Posted by Jennifer Harrison, Science Officer

This is the sixth article in a series about amazing women in tech history. Previous entries have featured Margaret Hamilton, Grace Hopper, the ENIAC programmers, Katherine Johnson, and the women of Bletchley Park. Today’s entry is a bit of an anomaly. We’ve covered some inspiring women in this series but most of them aren’t well-known to the general public. This […]

The post Women in tech history: Hedy Lamarr – Hitler, Hollywood, and Wi-Fi appeared first on Gadgette.

Interesting Links for 26-05-2016

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 12:00 pm
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Posted by Neil Tollfree

drinking-leads-to-fun-largeA blanket ban on all legal highs that aren’t from industries with close ties to the Government has come into force in the UK.

How the EU debate turned into CSI Brussels

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 09:29 am
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Posted by Lord Ashcroft

This article was first published in The Guardian


“Usually I’d say ‘What do the Tories want?’ and do the opposite. But you can’t even do that.” This complaint from an undecided voter in one of my recent focus groups sums up the frustration many people feel about the EU referendum campaign. For all that people grumble about partisan politics, the parties’ competing brands – their familiar character, principles, policies, personalities and history, in or out of office – help voters make decisions.

Without party brands to guide them, many voters feel at sea. The Conservatives are split on EU membership, and Labour has barely shown up to the debate – even those who have registered Jeremy Corbyn’s backing for remain doubt he really means it.

To many, the decision feels more important, but much more difficult, than a general election vote. Choosing a party that looks more or less like it knows what it is doing is much easier, it turns out, than reaching a verdict by weighing the evidence.

If an election is a battle of the brands, then the referendum campaign is CSI Brussels. My latest poll helps explain how the jury – the voters – are approaching the case.

With which side does the burden of proof lie? Most say the two campaigns have an equal responsibility, but slightly more say the onus is on the leave campaign than on remain. Though undecided voters accept that the EU may change in unpalatable ways, it still feels like the devil they know compared to the prospect of life outside.

A majority of voters say they will decide on the balance of probabilities, but those currently leaning towards leave are more likely than remainers to say they will need to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt. Most also expect their instincts to play a bigger part than factual information in their decision. This is truest for older voters – those aged 18 to 24 expect to decide on the basis of facts by a margin of two to one. This surely reflects the optimism of youth, since the lack of reliable facts is most people’s biggest single gripe about the campaign.

Their demand cannot be met, of course, since there is no data about the future, and even statements about the present – the number of jobs that depend on membership of the single market, for example, or the true figure for Britain’s contribution to the EU budget – are heavily contested. The more lurid warnings from each side are dismissed as scaremongering. But so, increasingly, are even the most soberly delivered forecasts about the potential downsides of staying or going.

Moreover, the motives of every witness are distrusted: President Obama acts in America’s interests, not ours; business people want what’s best for their companies, not the country; bodies such as the IMF will seek to protect the rest of Europe more than the UK.

Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor, is the closest we have seen to an impartial expert in the eyes of the electorate, but some question whether even he would say anything that might upset the government.

So the voters are left to piece together what truths they can from each side’s case. The leave campaign’s main theme – taking back control – is potent. I found more than six in 10 agreeing that “we must have more control over our own affairs even if that means missing out on some of the benefits of co-operating with other countries”. Just over one-third say that the benefits of EU membership will always outweigh the cost in terms of giving up some control over our own affairs; or that safeguards are in place to ensure too much control is not given away in the future.

The rest think the benefits used to outweigh the loss of control, but no longer, and fear too much control will be given away if we stay – or that the loss of control was never justified by the benefits of membership.

The case for remain, meanwhile, relies on risk. In my poll participants placed themselves on a scale, where zero meant they would definitely vote to remain and 100 meant they would definitely vote to leave. Over half put themselves above 50, meaning they were inclined towards leaving.

Even so, a small majority thought leaving the EU was a bigger risk than remaining. Despite the leave campaign’s warnings of what the union could become, most thought “the fact that we don’t know for sure what life outside the EU would be like” sounded like a bigger risk than “the fact that we don’t know for sure how the EU will develop or change if the UK remains a member” – especially for women, younger people and, crucially, undecided voters.

Overall, slightly more said that “the risks to the UK if we make the wrong decision” would play the bigger part in their final judgment than “the importance of controlling our own affairs”.

The verdict, then, hangs in the balance. But that is not the only thing. On one question my poll respondents were precisely divided. Exactly half thought the decision we make in the referendum “might make us a bit better or worse off as a country, but there probably isn’t much in it either way”; the other half thought it “could have disastrous consequences for us as a country if we get it wrong”.

There are four more weeks of evidence until the jury retires. As of now, not only can we not decide what to do, we can’t even decide how much it matters.


[syndicated profile] ars_technica_uk_feed

Posted by Kelly Fiveash

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg seen here jogging past the Bundestag in a snowy Berlin. (credit: Facebook)

Facebook's vast data stockpiling business has been referred to the European Union's top court by Ireland's information watchdog—thereby intensifying the debate around a proposed EU-US data transfer pact dubbed Privacy Shield.

Ars understands that papers will be lodged in the courts six days from now.

Facebook—which has its European headquarters in Ireland, a country known for its lax approach to data laws—could face questions from the CJEU about the validity of the contractual clauses it uses to transfer data outside of the 28-member-state bloc.

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The Blood is the Life for 26-05-2016

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Forgot to post this at tea time: Truth! Freedom! Justice! Reasonably priced love! And several hard boiled eggs 

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Posted by Mike Smithson

If the vote is REMAIN the ex-mayor could be the scapegoat

Yesterday the Daily Mail’s renowned columnist, Katie Hopkins had a big go at the ex-Mayor under the heading “I thought Boris was going to save Britain from the EU, instead he has turned out to be a big fat fraud.”

In it she registered in her own inimitable style her disappointment at Johnson’s performance in the three months since he made his announcement on February 21st. She concludes:

If the Brexit side does lose, much of the blame will lie with Boris – who will have no compunction about scampering back aboard the government bus if he gets half a chance.

So let’s hope Cameron doesn’t forgive him. Because I won’t.“

Whatever happens on June 23rd there will be a huge fall-out across the political scene but most of all within the Conservative party. A LEAVE win or a very narrow REMAIN victory look set to be the peg for Cameron’s exit and we will move into contest.

To become Tory leader Boris has first to surmount the parliamentary test and come in the top two of exhaustive ballots of party MPs. Assuming Osborne or an Osbo-backed contender gets one of those slots the big fight looks set to be amongst the Brexiters. That could be down to “Boris” or the “Stop Boris” choice. So the ex-Mayor’s future could be in the hands of his fellow BREXIT Tory MPs and their perception of his contribution to the outcome will be crucial.

It has been said ever since his decision on February to back leave that he was doing this solely for career purposes. Maybe that will turn out to have been a huge gamble that failed.

Mike Smithson

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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