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BBC - Travel - Why the French love to say no - aug 2019
via Rita Tan

"Although the default answer to almost every question, request or suggestion is a disheartening ‘non’, a ‘oui’ is often hiding in the context of what is being said."

"Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoît Nadeau, co-authors of The Bonjour Effect, the Secret Codes of French Conversation Revealed, agree with Giraud about non and its roots in the French obsession for protests. "

"Countries like the US and Australia are low-context cultures where people generally say what they mean and mean what they say. However, France, like Russia and Japan, tends to be a high-context culture, where “good communication is sophisticated, nuanced and layered. Messages are both spoken and read between the lines,” she writes."

"Meyer suspects one of the factors leading to this divide can be found in the numbers: according to her book, there are 500,000 words in the English language, but only 70,000 in French. This means that Anglophones are more likely to have the exact word to say what they want, whereas Francophones must often string together a series of words to communicate their message."
language  French  BBC  culture 
august 2019 by pierredv
BBC - Capital - Sitzfleisch: The German concept to get more work done
"Literally translated, sitzfleisch means 'sitting meat' or 'sitting flesh' – in other words, a term for one’s behind or bottom. But this German word has strong connotations in the working world, where it implies a great deal more than just the physical part of the body you sit on"
BBC  language  productivity  German 
july 2019 by pierredv
Russia denies role in Israeli airport GPS jamming - BBC News | RNTF
Blog Editor’s Note: Interesting follow-on report below from the BBC. Now we know it is spoofing vice jamming. Some of our thoughts:

The below article posits that this could be a spill over from Russian operations next door in Syria. Quite possible. It is the most likely explanation. At the same time, much of Russian operations in Syria involve “smart jamming,” or transmitting what seem to be valid GPS signals but with information that does not allow a receiver to calculate a position. According to the BBC, Israeli pilots have been reporting their receivers showing incorrect positions. This is not something you would see with smart jamming.
Russia is not the only actor in the region capable of spoofing. Virtually any nation or extra-governmental [OK, terrorist] organization would be capable of pulling this off.
It is also interesting to note that many of the approaches to the Tel Aviv airport are over the water. The interfering signal may be from a boat, a small buoy, or even a sub-surface device with only a small antenna showing above the water. Any of these would be very difficult to locate.
BBC  RNTF  Russia  Israel  aviation  GPS  spoofing 
june 2019 by pierredv
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Automata, Sep 2018
"Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas about machines imitating living creatures, and the questions they raise about the differences between machinery and humanity."
BBC  automation  robotics  robots  history 
january 2019 by pierredv
O2 4G data network restored after day-long outage - BBC News, Dec 2018
“Ericsson UK boss Marielle Lindgren said the "faulty software" that had caused the issues was being decommissioned. … Ericsson said there had been network disruption for customers in multiple countries. Ericsson president Börje Ekholm … said "an initial root cause analysis" had indicated that the "main issue was an expired certificate in the software versions installed with these customers".”
BBC  Ericsson  cellular  O2  cyber-spectrum 
december 2018 by pierredv
IBM’s machine argues, pretty convincingly, with humans - BBC News, Jun 2018
On a stage in San Francisco, IBM’s Project Debater spoke, listened and rebutted a human’s arguments in what was described as a groundbreaking display of artificial intelligence.

The machine drew from a library of “hundreds of millions” of documents - mostly newspaper articles and academic journals - to form its responses to a topic it was not prepared for beforehand.
AI  debate  discussion  conversation  BBC 
november 2018 by pierredv
BBC - Travel - How the Finnish survive without small talk, Oct 2018
“The Finnish don’t believe in talking bullshit.”

What she neglected to tell me, however, is that Finns think if there’s no important topic to discuss, there’s no conversation at all. In fact, one of their national sayings is ‘Silence is gold, talking is silver’.
BBC  Finland  culture  people  conversation 
october 2018 by pierredv
China 'social credit': Beijing sets up huge system - BBC News, Oct 2015
The Chinese government is building an omnipotent "social credit" system that is meant to rate each citizen's trustworthiness.

By 2020, everyone in China will be enrolled in a vast national database that compiles fiscal and government information, including minor traffic violations, and distils it into a single number ranking each citizen.
BBC  China 
september 2018 by pierredv
Will technology destroy our democracy? - BBC News, Apr 2018
Will technology destroy our democracy?

Could the spread of social media and digital technology undermine democracy? Jamie Bartlett, the author of The People versus Tech, believes it could.

He argues there is a compatibility problem between democracy and technology. Institutions and regulations - like a free press, an informed citizenry, rules about election advertising - keep democracy working. All voters get the same facts and messages.

But big data analysis will enable politicians to target voters individually with highly targeted messaging that regulators can’t easily see, exploiting people's psychological vulnerabilities.

Jamie Bartlett explains more.
BBC  video  documentary  democracy  technology 
september 2018 by pierredv
Google's Loon brings internet-by-balloon to Kenya - BBC News, Jul 2018
Google's sister-company Loon has announced its first commercial deal: partnering with Telkom Kenya to deliver connectivity to the region.
HAPS  broadband  Google  Loon  Kenya  BBC 
july 2018 by pierredv
European Space Agency teams with ICEYE Finnish start-up - BBC News Mar 2018
"The European Space Agency is to work with Finnish start-up ICEYE on ways to exploit its novel radar satellites. ICEYE-X1 was launched in January - the first of multiple spacecraft that will go up in the coming years. About the size of a suitcase, these are the world's smallest synthetic aperture radar satellites and cost a fraction of traditional platforms."

"ICEYE wants to couple this vision with high temporal resolution, meaning a single spot on the Earth's surface would be surveyed several times a day. Algorithms will scour the data to detect significant changes. High-repeat requires a network of satellites, and ICEYE envisages perhaps 30 platforms in orbit."
BBC  space  EO  EarthObservation  ICEYE  satellite  smallsats  ESA  SAR  radar 
march 2018 by pierredv
BBC - Future - The ancient Peruvian mystery solved from space
via Megan Wright
"In one of the most arid regions in the world a series of carefully constructed, spiralling holes form lines across the landscape. Known as puquios, their origin has been a puzzle – one that could only be solved from space."
"Lasaponara and her team studied the puquios using satellite imaging. From this, the team were able to better understand how the puquios were distributed across the Nasca region, and where they ran in relation to nearby settlements – which are easier to date."
"A series of canals brought the water, trapped underground, to the areas where it was needed; anything left was stored in surface reservoirs. To help keep it moving, chimneys were excavated above the canals in the shape of corkscrewing funnels. These funnels let wind into the canals, which forced the water through the system."
BBC  history  archaeology  Peru  irrigation 
august 2016 by pierredv
Delphi: The Bellybutton of the Ancient World (with Michael Scott) - YouTube
"What really went on at the ancient Greek oracle at Delphi, how did it get its awesome reputation and why is it still influential today? Michael Scott of Cambridge University uncovers the secrets of the most famous oracle in the ancient world. A vital force in ancient history for a thousand years it is now one of Greece's most beautiful tourist sites, but in its time it has been a gateway into the supernatural, a cockpit of political conflict, and a beacon for internationalism. And at its heart was the famous inscription which still inspires visitors today - 'Know Thyself'."
BBC  Michael-Scott  Greece  history  Delphi  documentary  video  YouTube 
may 2016 by pierredv
'Robo-advice' approved by FCA but axes 220 jobs at RBS - BBC News March 2016
See also

"So-called "robo-advice" has resulted in hundreds of job cuts at Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), just as the regulator gave its blessing to the technology.
RBS is cutting the jobs of 220 face-to-face advisers, as it switches customers to an automated online service."
automation  finance  employment  UK  BBC 
march 2016 by pierredv
David Bowie speaks to Jeremy Paxman on BBC Newsnight (1999) - YouTube
via Charles Eliot. Great stuff about the internet in the interview in the middle
David-Bowie  BBC  interviews 
january 2016 by pierredv
BBC World Service - Newsday - The Skate Girls of Afghanistan
Quote: "Skate Girls of Kabul" is the latest exhibition of British photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson. The children in the photographs are all part of Skateistan, an education project set up by Oliver Percovich to teach children from all walks of life to skateboard. About 40% of its members are girls. Until recently women in Afghanistan were banned from participating in sport. Nuala Mcgovern has been speaking to Jessica Fulford-Dobson and Oliver Percovich.
BBC  Afghanistan  girls  photography 
april 2015 by pierredv
Ofcom | BBC/Ofcom DAB In-home Reception Trial
"the project obtained DAB reception measurements within households located in a number of pre-selected coverage areas in order to determine how well the model’s predicted level of coverage matched measured levels of coverage. . . The findings of the two phases of this study confirm that == on average the Prediction Model gives a good indication of the level of DAB coverage and == DAB reception in ‘good’ DAB coverage areas is equivalent to good FM reception"
Ofcom  measurement  modeling  prediction  propagation  BBC  DAB 
january 2015 by pierredv
BBC News - Huge hack 'ugly sign of future' for internet threats
"In this attack, it is likely that many machines were used to make requests to the NTP. Hackers spoofed their location so that the massive amounts of data from the NTP were diverted to a single target."
hacking  protocol  ntp  cybersecurity  ex  BBC 
february 2014 by pierredv
BBC News - Lions and donkeys: 10 big myths about World War One debunked
via Jacques "Much of what we think we know about the 1914-18 conflict is wrong, writes historian Dan Snow. No war in history attracts more controversy and myth than World War One. For the soldiers who fought it was in some ways better than previous conflicts, and in some ways worse. By setting it apart as uniquely awful we are blinding ourselves to the reality of not just WW1 but war in general. We are also in danger of belittling the experience of soldiers and civilians caught up in countless other appalling conflicts throughout history and the present day."
history  ww1  myth  war  bbc 
january 2014 by pierredv
BBC - Blogs - Adam Curtis - BUGGER
The recent revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden were fascinating. But they - and all the reactions to them - had one enormous assumption at their heart. That the spies know what they are doing. It is a belief that has been central to much of the journalism about spying and spies over the past fifty years. That the anonymous figures in the intelligence world have a dark omniscience. That they know what's going on in ways that we don't. It doesn't matter whether you hate the spies and believe they are corroding democracy, or if you think they are the noble guardians of the state. In both cases the assumption is that the secret agents know more than we do. But the strange fact is that often when you look into the history of spies what you discover is something very different. It is not the story of men and women who have a better and deeper understanding of the world than we do. In fact in many cases it is the story of weirdos who have created a completely mad version o...
history  BBC  stories  spying  surveillance  people 
september 2013 by pierredv
In Our Time, The Oresteia = BBC Radio 4
"Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ‘Oresteia’, the seminal trilogy of tragedies by Aeschylus"
BBC  Oresteia  audio  radio  Aeschylus  theater  tragedy 
july 2013 by pierredv
BBC News - Why are Buddhist monks attacking Muslims?
"Of all the moral precepts instilled in Buddhist monks the promise not to kill comes first, and the principle of non-violence is arguably more central to Buddhism than any other major religion. So why have monks been using hate speech against Muslims and joining mobs that have left dozens dead?"
Burma  BBC  buddhism  violence 
may 2013 by pierredv
BBC News - Is VAT suffering a mid-life crisis at 40?
"Value-added tax (VAT) is 40 years old on 1 April 2013. To mark the anniversary, VAT expert Colin Corder takes a look at some of the more bizarre rules surrounding VAT and asks if VAT legislation is in need of an overhaul."
BBC  unintended-consequences  ex  BBC  VAT  UK  taxes 
april 2013 by pierredv
Bird sounds from the lyre bird - David Attenborough - BBC wildlife - YouTube
"David Attenborough presents the amazing lyre bird, which mimics the calls of other birds - and chainsaws and camera shutters - in this video clip from The Life of Birds."
sound  imitation  birds  BBC  youtube 
may 2012 by pierredv
BBC Backstage
innovating by allowing user-created content
web  technology  BBC 
may 2005 by pierredv

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