Links for March 26th
When British businessman Imran Ahmad was made redundant in January, instead of hitting the Job Centre he decided to arrange a one-man speaking tour of the United States to spread his message of peace and Muslim moderateness.
God will not intervene to prevent humanity from wreaking disastrous damage to the environment, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.
In a lecture, Dr Rowan Williams urged a “radical change of heart” to prevent runaway climate change.
At York Minster he said humanity should turn away from the selfishness and greed that leads it to ignore its interdependence with the natural world.
And God would not guarantee a “happy ending”, he warned.
Mythical beings can’t really intervene – considering their mythicalness (is that even a word?)
A quarter of all government databases are illegal and should be scrapped or redesigned, according to a report.
The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust says storing information leads to vulnerable people, such as young black men, single parents and children, being victimised.
It says the UK’s “database state” wastes billions from the public purse and often breaches human rights laws.
Seven of the UK’s biggest web firms have been urged to opt out of a controversial ad-serving system.
Phorm – aka Webwise – profiles users’ browsing habits and serves up adverts based on which sites they visit.
In an open letter, the Open Rights Group (ORG) has asked the firms to block Phorm’s attempts to profile their sites, to thwart the profiling system.
Internet radio and social music site Last.fm is to start charging listeners outside the UK, US, and Germany.
Users outside those three countries will pay 3 euros per month to listen to Last.fm Radio, the site’s streaming music service.
The other content on the site, such as biographies, videos, charts, and “scrobbling” – the site’s musical profiling – will remain free for all.
Police are to investigate whether an MI5 officer was complicit in the torture of ex-Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed.
The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, said the probe would be “the appropriate course of action”.
Mr Mohamed, 30, a UK resident, said MI5 had prolonged his detention and torture while he was being held in Morocco.
Glyn sez, “The EU’s Telecoms Package is back for its second reading. The French are attempting to push through their ‘three strikes and you’re out’ approach again, the UK are attempting to get rid of net neutrality and get rid of peoples right to privacy. The ITRE/IMCO committee are meeting on the 31 March 2009 to dicuss these and other alarming amendments. The Open Rights Group have more details
John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War took me by surprise. I picked up the book because I’d heard a lot of good things about him and decided I’d give it a one-page tryout. Either he’d grip me right away or I’d drop it. Twenty pages later I realized I hadn’t moved from the spot. OK, John. Grip achieved.
I loved Old Man’s War and I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of the books set in that universe. John Scalzi is a clever, funny author and I recommend reading his books
Therapists are still offering treatments for homosexuality despite there being no evidence that such methods work, research suggests.
A significant minority of mental health professionals had agreed to help at least one patient “reduce” their gay or lesbian feelings when asked to do so.