Goodbye Raspberry Pi, Hello BBC

Just a quick note to say I’m leaving the Raspberry Pi Foundation to start a new role at the BBC. I’ve been at Raspberry Pi for over six years, and it’s been great. I’m excited to join an innovation team called BBC News Labs. They find new ways to solve problems with technology, making lives easier for journalists, and they drive innovation within BBC News.

New Labs are based at New Broadcasting House in London, so I’ll be partly based there:


News Labs write up their projects at – so read up there to find out more.

So goodbye Raspberry Pi!

And hello BBC!

Richard III

A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III.

Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch’s family.

Richard was killed in battle in 1485 but his grave was lost when the church around it was demolished in the 16th Century.

The skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull.

The bones, which are of a man in his late 20s or early 30s, have been carbon dated to a period from 1455-1540.

Richard was 32 when he died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

~ BBC News » Richard III dig: DNA confirms bones are king

Baldrick nails it:

~ The Black Adder S01E01 – The Foretelling

Norwich City FC Angry at Fan For Leaking New Kit

I just read an article on BBC News. All quotes are taken directly from that article. The link is at the bottom of this post.

Norwich City kit published on internet by boy ahead of launch

When I read this I imagined the boy in question had illegally obtained pictures of the new kit, and posted them to facebook/twitter/blogs/etc. I read on.

A 17-year-old Norwich City fan has angered the club by leaking pictures of its new kit 12 hours before the official launch.

Yep. Sounds about right. I’m guessing he had access to the pictures, or maybe he stole them from somewhere, or broke in to a place holding them and took pictures himself. I read on.

Norfolk Police were called in after IT student Chris Brown published images of the 2012-13 strip on the internet.

Ooh! The Police were called. This must have been serious. And he’s an IT student? That must be relevant. He must have hacked in to something, maybe someone’s laptop, and stole the pictures.

The teenager, from Norwich, managed to obtain the pictures from the club’s kit launch website as it was being updated.

Oh. So he hacked a web server and illegally obtained images from it, somehow?

Chris told the BBC he was able to take the images from a section of the site that was being worked on, finding them linked from a file within the website’s source code.
Any computer user can view this through their internet browser.

Wait, so he accessed their public website, right-clicked, went to view source, spotted a link in the HTML, went to the URL, chopped a filename off the end of it to view the directory listing, spotted an images folder, clicked on a few links to images which opened up in his browser, then right-click and saved the pictures? Pictures they uploaded to a public website? Right. A few thoughts came to mind:

1. That is not illegal

2. That is not morally wrong

3. That’s easy

4. They should have protected the directory listing if they didn’t want its contents made public (standard practice)

5. That is not hacking, he is not a hacker, he is not dangerous

6. They should not have called the Police

I read on.

The club’s chief executive David McNally said he had asked for a report into what happened.
He said: “We are the guardians of the football club whilst we’re here and so we will protect our property.
“And our property in the digital age involves our intellectual property, so we won’t allow anybody to come in and take it from us.”

7. Although they legally own the images, they chose to put them on the internet, making them publicly available (not viewable in the website but still easy to locate) and chose not to add even basic protection to them

8. Their webmasters/sysadmins are very amateur

9. The club officials taking this matter seriously are foolish for thinking he’s done something wrong, and they clearly don’t know how the internet works

10. He hasn’t done anything damaging to the club, merely leaked a “spoiler” of their new shirt before they had unveiled it

Copyright infringement is only a criminal offence if someone makes money from it or causes the copyright owner serious damage. If that is not the case, it would be up to the club to take action – not the police.
The club has not said if it will pursue the matter any further legally.

There is nothing wrong with what this boy did. He’s a long-term fan of the club – a season ticket holder. He was clearly just eager to know what the new kit was like, noticed they were building a new section of the website, decided to have a snoop to see what he could find. He found what he was looking for (due to their incompetence) and wanted to share it to let others see what he had been so eager to see. Anyone in his position would have done exactly the same, whether for a football shirt, film, TV show, music album, comic book, book release. In fact most of those examples are likely to be much more damaging than his football shirt leak – people seeing it “early” will not make a difference to the number they sell, and he’s not offering an free or cheap alternative to buying the shirt because of the pictures he’s shared. They’re pictures of a football shirt, not replicas of it, or a DIY make-your-own-shirt blueprint. The club making a deal of this is a joke.

11. Oh, and, it’s a football shirt. This really isn’t a big deal.

BBC News Link: Norwich City kit published on internet by boy ahead of launch

Rage Against The X-Factor

The X-Factor winner has won the Christmas Number One every year since 2005, and it would have been the same this year if it hadn’t been for one man. A guy called Jon Morter decided he was sick of seeing people being spoon-fed what music they should like by Simon Cowell so he set up aFacebook group and Twitter profile to get people to buy Rage Against The Machine‘s 1992 single Killing In The Name in the hope that it would beat Joe McElderry’s The Climb. This caught on through early- and mid- December and so many people joined the Facebook group that it was talked about on the radio and on television.

I joined the group and when it came to the time to buy it, I did! I’ve never paid for a download before but this seemed a good enough cause to do so. I really wanted it to win because it represented everything I hated about the X-Factor culture. Last week Sting called the X-Factor a televised karaoke contest and said “I am sorry but none of those kids are going to go anywhere, and I say that sadly” which is completely true.

And last night the charts were announced – RATM won, with Joe in second place. Fantastic. The RATM single was only available as a download, and not as a CD in shops, and it’s the first time a download-only song has made it to number one.

This truly represents the majority of the people in the UK – most people don’t like the X-Factor but there’s never any one song in particular that they like which could overtake chart music. This couldn’t have happened without an effort to push something over the top. That kind of makes the whole idea of having music charts pointless, because despite the fact that it shows that more people buy one song more than any other song, it doesn’t show that most people don’t buy that one song.

I personally despise chart music. The majority of the music in my collection is either from decades ago like The Beatles, Chuck Berry and Frank Sinatra, Run DMC, NWA and Michael Jackson or is more recent but from the sort of genres that don’t get a lot of attention in popular culture, like MC Lars, Yellowcard, Less Than Jake. The only recent music I like that happens to be popular is music from generally unpopular genres that have made a breakthrough. There are very few songs in the current charts at any time that I will genuinely like.

Some people disagreed with the idea for two reasons: both singles were on Sony Records so all the money was going to them anyway; and buying one particular record because we were being told to was the opposite of the message it was trying to convey. But I think sometimes you have to do something like that to prove a point. As for Sony making more money, that’s not what it’s about (and that’s just pure coincidence that they share a label) – because it’s about demonstrating the strong feeling against the manufactured so-called ‘stars’ setting the trends, as puppeteered by Simon Cowell.

Anyway, I think it’s great that the people managed to voice their opinion by sticking two fingers up at Simon Cowell and the X-Factor. RATM had promised a free gig in the UK if they won, and they intend to honour this. Also, the group affiliated itself with a homeless charity Shelter, and have raised over £80,000 for them to far, which is fantastic!

Read more on BBC News.