In The Guardian, Alexis Petridis penned a fantastic reflection on the UK's scary public information films of the 1960s to 1980s. For more than 60 years, the government's Central Office of Information (COI) created FUD-fostering films about talking to strangers, playing with matches, sticking things in electric outlets, rabies, slippery floors, etc. (Back in 2009 at BB Gadgets, Rob put together a remarkable compendium of such films!) The COI was shut down last week due to funding cuts. From The Guardian:
The public information films aimed at children seem to speak of a different age of parenting, when you kept the kids in line by the simple expedient of terrifying them ("Get a move on or the Yorkshire Ripper'll get you!" as my mother used to say) and/or thumping them: quick and pointed and vicious, they were the cinematic equivalent of a smack on the legs. The ones aimed at adults, meanwhile, offer a weird index of largely forgotten fears. You watch them and think: whatever happened to rabies? It seemed to be an ever-present menace during my childhood. All it was going to take was one irresponsible Frenchman to smuggle his poodle through customs and we were going to be facing what one public information film called "death in a manner that is beyond description". I assumed it had been eradicated but no: rabid bats were found in Scotland in 2009. It's hard to imagine the COI in its prime would have missed the opportunity to turn that news into 60 seconds of matchless terror, perhaps involving jolly footage of people tossing the caber, massed pipe bands etc, interspersed with images of a child convulsing and foaming at the mouth and a solemn voiceover: "One wee boy won't be enjoying the Highland games this year."
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]