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Vine's 'educational nudity': 'So if I write 1+1=2 on my boobs we're grand?'

Plus: 'A death-spiral in your IT and change capability is OK?'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Quotw This was the week when the internet World Wide Web turned 25 and websites were stuffed with listicles and infographics telling us all about it. But said sites also unfortunately found it difficult to differentiate between the Web and the internet.

(For clarity, the internet is the one that's stored in a black box, see explanatory vid below).Youtube Video

This led to the rather confusing situation where major media outlets seemed to be implying that the internet was only 25 years old (gosh, it's really come on, hasn't it?). Although the best has to be the Daily Mail's clanger:

Internet described as "vague but exciting" when Tim Berners-Lee proposed the concept

Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee was on hand for some choice quotes for the anniversary, including the launch of a campaign for an internet bill of rights and an AMA on Reddit.

On the site, Sir Tim showed his support for Edward Snowden:

I think he should be protected, and we should have ways of protecting people like him. Because we can try to design perfect systems of government, and they will never be perfect, and when they fail, then the whistleblower may be all that saves society.

Praised his creation:

The web is a primarily neutral tool for humanity. When you look at humanity you see the good and the bad, the wonderful and the awful. A powerful tool can be used for good or ill. Things which are really bad are illegal on the web as they are off it. On balance, communication is good think I think: much of the badness comes from misunderstanding.

And reported that he was mystified by the whole kitten thing.

Speaking of Snowden, the NSA whistleblower also gave a few soundbites this week while addressing the SXSW conference via video link. In a rather ironic message, Snowden said it was important for programmers to encrypt their data to protect it from the likes of his former employer:

There's a technical response that needs to occur. It's the makers, it's the thinkers, it's the development community that can really craft the systems to make sure we're safe.

This is a global issue. They [government spies] are setting fire to the future of the internet and the people who are in this room now are the firefighters and we need you to help us fix this.

In Blighty this week, Barclays is warning freelance IT workers to expect double-digit pay rate cuts in the third cut to their wages in as many years. The bank is planning to hack 10 per cent off techies' rates from the beginning of April and will assume that contractors are happy about it unless it hears otherwise:

However, should you confirm your non-acceptance by Friday 14 March then please accept this communication as notice to terminate your current assignment to Barclays to finish on Friday 4 April or on your current assignment end date if sooner.

Sources told The Reg that they actually weren't happy with it, not happy at all. One said:

It hasn't gone down well and will leave their [Barclays] PPI refund operation decimated of change, compliance and governance staff.

[Barclays'] IT was a car crash before this so it isn't going to get any better. And this is despite promises to the FCA and FOS to clear their backlog.

While another colourfully opined:

Apparently a death-spiral in greedy corporate gamblers is bad and must be mitigated with obscene bonuses, while a death-spiral in your IT and Change capability is ok and should be actively encouraged.

Also in the UK, a Bletchley Park Trust board member has stepped down over the charity's failure to sort out a dispute with The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) over visitor crossover. Dr Sue Black said in a blog post that after failing to get the two trusts talking, she decided to resign:

If the two trusts cannot work together, the future success of Bletchley Park as a fundamental, international heritage site is under threat.

The UK public and many people around the world absolutely love Bletchley Park. It is an awesome place. The place where more than 10,000 people, mainly young women, worked to save millions of lives during World War II. It is the birthplace of computer science, the place where Alan Turing and others like him worked tirelessly for us so that we and millions of others around the world like us could live in peace. We owe it to these people, and to the site itself, to now help these two organisations work together.

She also suggested that if there were more women serving on the boards at the trusts, they might have an easier time of sorting out their difficulties:

It has often occurred to me that maybe it would have helped to have more women involved at a high level. BPT and TNMOC are not exclusively male, but they are mainly male. Would having a few more women involved to encourage communication and collaboration rather than competition been a good idea? I think so. Having a gender balance can make a difference in these types of situations.

In Germany, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth took to the stage at CeBIT to tell everyone that if they were looking forward to cheap Ubuntu Linux mobes, they'd better think again:

We're going for the high end because we want people who are looking for a very sharp, beautiful experience and because our ambition is to be selling the future PC – the future personal computing engine, essentially – and to support our partners in doing that.

And suggested that folks might be happy enough with Ubuntu even if it's a little late to the smartphone party because it's something a bit different:

I think, at some level, everybody knows that platforms serve a purpose, and then that purpose is served in a better way by something else. And Android has really served its purpose, for sure, but perhaps – just perhaps – it's time for something new.

And finally, six-second video experience Vine has banned nudity because it's "not a good fit for our community", unless of course, it's educational. Folks took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the decision: ®

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