Links for September 17th

BBC looks to copy protect content

BBC plans to encrypt Freeview HD data have come under fire from critics, who say it will effectively copyright free BBC content.

Under plans submitted to regulator Ofcom, the broadcaster has requested that it be allowed to encrypt certain information on set top boxes.

Only trusted manufacturers would be offered the decryption keys.

How to read articles about health

People often ask “how can I spot bad science in a newspaper article?” as if there were a list of easy answers, and it can be very difficult – given the lengths newspapers go to in distorting evidence, and witholding facts – but here is an excellent set of pointers. It’s written by Dr Alicia White from the Behind the Headlines team, and this is a resource I cannot recommend highly enough: they describe, in everyday language, the actual scientific evidence behind each day’s major health news stories

Run, Izzard, run and run again

It’s the last leg of Eddie Izzard’s 43 marathons in 51 days. How did the less than athletic comic pull off such a feat of endurance?

Tomorrow’s World classics go online

As footage of the weird and wonderful inventions that defined Tomorrow’s World is released online from the BBC archives, it is a good time to remember how much of the technology we now take for granted was demonstrated for the very first time on Tomorrow’s World.

Patry’s MORAL PANICS AND THE COPYRIGHT WARS: elegant, calm, reasonable history of the copyfight

Few people are as qualified to write a book about the copyright wars as William Patry: former copyright counsel to the US House of Reps, advisor the Register of Copyrights, Senior Copyright Counsel for Google, and author of the seven-volume Patry on Copyright, widely held to be the single most authoritative work on US copyright ever written.

And Patry has written a very fine book indeed: Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars is every bit as authoritative as Patry on Copyright (although much, much shorter) and is absolutely accessible to a lay audience.

Salford 24-30 Leeds

Leeds finished the regular season with the League Leaders’ Shield after a battling victory over Salford to spoil Robbie Paul’s final Super League game.

Tries from Luke Adamson and John Wilshere helped Salford to a 12-0 lead but Leeds were level by the break after Kallum Watkins and Jay Pitts scores.

The Rhinos carried their momentum into the second half with Luke Burgess and Brent Webb putting them 24-12 up.

Salford fought back late on, but Carl Ablett’s try was enough for Leeds.

Help! I’m a Beatles hater

The re-release of the entire Beatles album catalogue has unleashed another wave of veneration for the 60s pop band. But could there really be anyone who actively dislikes their music?

Sex, flies and videotape: the secret lives of Harun Yahya

Inspired by the high profile of its Christian American counterpart, Muslim creationism is becoming increasingly visible and confident. On scores of websites and in dozens of books with titles like The Evolution Deceit and The Dark Face of Darwinism, a new and well-funded version of evolution-denialism, carefully calibrated to exploit the current fashion for religiously inspired attacks on scientific orthodoxy and “militant” atheism, seems to have found its voice. In a recent interview with The Times Richard Dawkins himself recognises the impact of this new phenomenon: “There has been a sharp upturn in hostility to teaching evolution in the classroom and it’s mostly coming from Islamic students.”

The patron saint of this new movement, the ubiquitous “expert” cited and referenced by those eager to demonstrate the superiority of “Koranic science” over “the evolution lie”, is the larger-than-life figure of Harun Yahya.

Musicians hit out at piracy plans

An alliance of music stars, songwriters and record producers has spoken out against UK government proposals to kick file-sharers off the internet.

Persistent file-sharers could have their internet accounts suspended in an attempt to crack down on piracy.

But Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, a member of the Featured Artists’ Coalition (FAC), said: “It’s going to start a war which they’ll never win.”

The FAC said “heavy-handed” tactics may turn fans away from music for good.

Falling apart

My old, aching body is just falling to bits.

I’ve been thinking that I need to be fitter. I’ve been thinking this for years. I have little spurts of physical activity (steady now double entendre fans)  where I go for a run, get really, really stiff as a result and then don’t do it again for a while. I have a number of posts on here on that very subject.

I’m now 38 and I’ll be 39 in June. Not far to 40! I’ve been putting on a bit of weight, although I’m still within normal limits. I’ve been finding that I lose my breath while climbing the stairs at work and I’ve been feeling quite lethargic for some time. I need to get fitter.

We bought a cross-trainer but we haven’t really used it much since we bought it. We had a good few weeks of regular training then we went on holiday and have hardly been on it since. Thankfully, things are changing.

I’ve started to play football every Wednesday at work. We have a sports and social club with some footy pitches and we usually get 8 or 9 a-side going for an hour. I’ve been for the last three weeks and I’ve ended up with multiple injuries each time I’ve been. The first week I got a kick on the ankle and a massive bruise on my right arm. The second week I managed to pull a muscle – during the warm-up! I had to play most of the game in goal. Yesterday I thought I’d got away without hurting myself but my neck is stiffer than it’s ever been and I can hardly turn my head.

So, is this even good for me? Well, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I’ve always been a bit rubbish at football but it’s a fun way to run around for an hour. There are plenty of people playing that are just as bad as I am so it’s not like I’m embarrassing myself or anything.

Jo has made a star chart at home! For every act of fitness we perform we get a star. For some reason she gets a star for ten minutes on the cross-trainer and a whole hour playing football only earns be the same reward. That doesn’t seem fair to me, especially as I’m losing in the star chase at the moment.

I have no idea what the prize is for the winner but I do intend to spend some time on the cross-trainer too, as well as doing some sit-ups and press-ups. I will get fitter! Even if it kills me, and it probably will.