Mounting a smartphone in a prosthetic arm

Amazing stuff. I think wearable technology has some way to go, but this is really interesting, and could have very useful applications.

Advertisements

Letwin binned confidential documents in park bin, and other data protection bungles

I’ve got a bit of a thing, bordering on an obsession, about data protection. From an NHS trust losing 1.6 million patient records, to another NHS trust losing an unencrypted USB stick with patient data on, to a council faxing details of a child protection case to a member of the public.

All of these are easily avoidable. Having encryption on memory sticks and laptops is basic stuff for any competent IT department, and why on earth is anyone still using a fax anyway?

I recently got an email from a school, which was sent to all of the parents on the list, rather than blind copying them all. That’s not great, but in the scheme of things pretty minor.

So, I found it amusing and extraordinary that a senior politician would be so stupid as to dispose of confidential documents in a park bin. Paper documents. In a public bin. Not even shredded. Don’t they have advisors to warn them about this sort of thing? Expect more developments when the ICO finish investigating.

The UK Citizenship test: could you pass?

Our dear leader has unveiled some changes to the citizenship test, that all potential immigrants are expected to pass before being allowed to get a British passport. You can take the test over at The Guardian.

I thought it would be fun to have a look at some of the questions, and at the end I’ll let you know my score.

Let’s begin.

Continue reading

Building a steam-powered Babbage computer

I’ve been fascinated with the Analytical and Difference Engines since I read about them as a teenager. Just imagine what the Victorian era would have been like if they had had computers!

Now, the Science Museum is helping a group of scientists and researchers actually build one of Babbage’s Analytical Engines, and run it on steam – just as it would have been originally. One of the people involved, John Graham, said:

What a marvel it would be to stand before this giant metal machine, powered by a steam engine, and running programs fed to it on a reel of punched cards. And what a great educational resource so that people can understand how computers work

Boffins step closer to steam-powered Babbage computer • The Register