Still catching up with a backlog from my email newsletter, sorry if some of this is a little old…

I read somewhere a little while ago, that coding is the new Latin. The article was suggesting that only the brightest children would receive schooling in this very modern and essential life skill (I use the word essential here in the same way that the maths we were taught was essential – ie. not very, but a great way to stretch young minds, anyone use calculus past ‘O’ level?). Unsurprisingly it is not the current world leading nations that seem to be taking a more wide ranging approach to training the new generations. Step forward Estonia, announcing that 100% of publicly educated children will be taught to code.
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Here is my favourite application of the internet of things so far. Apparently Switzerland has been wolf free for some time, a pleasure for the resident sheep farmers there. Sadly, it appears this is no longer the case with the wolves returning and sheep being eaten. So, what do you do ? Implant the sheep with a heart monitor and a device that communicates via SMS when they appear distressed. Awesome !
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I’m pretty much of the opinion that the current state of play with regards to intellectual property law is untenable and in much need of reform. I don’t advocate for a complete repeal of copyright, but sometimes something gets reported that challenges that perspective. Something so stupid that I consider an extreme change in the law for purely punitive reasons. May I introduce to you the Ontario College of Art, who are selling a text book for their course ‘Global, Visual and Material Culture: Prehistory to 1800’ for the grand but not uncommon price of $180. There’s only one problem, all of the pictures of art are missing replaced by the kind of empty squares you get on a webpage when the pictures don’t load. Except its a book. Why, is the only question to ask really. Its a doozy. If they had bought the rights to publish the pictures the cost of the book would have been $800 !!

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This is a really thought provoking article from a website that looks awful, feels sensationalist, insists on presenting most of its content as lists (5 ways you…. 6 things that…) that I have dismissed on many occasions as a page view generator of little value. This list, ‘5 ways you don’t realise movies are controlling your brain‘ is worth the small amount of time it will take to read. I can even forgive it the grubbing for ad impressions. Decisively not making the, movies are a bad influence argument, it paints a compelling picture that shows the truth behind McLuhan’s the medium is the message meme.
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Amazon has finally bitten the bullet and incorporated state taxes into its Californian business. In a deal struck with the state, Amazon has finally stopped fighting the inevitable and enabled the new law which will generate approximately $317m of revenue in year 1, $100m of which is expected to come from Amazon alone. Its not the first state to insist on levying sales tax on digital purchases but it is significant that the home of silicon valley has finally recognised that the digital sales channel is no longer a special case. A nice landmark I think.
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Finally something close to my heart…bacon. 3 quick links.
1. Norse mythology has eternal bacon. Saehriminir, a boar is killed every evening to provide food, and is magically resurrected by morning. Eternal bacon, love the Scandies.
2. Scientific proof that a bacon sarnie is good for hangovers, courtesy of the Telegraph
3. There’s an imminent world shortage on its way courtesy of grain harvest problems. Trust the Guardian to deliver the bad news.
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