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About this web site

November 11th, 2007 by Graham Attwell

Despite one erroneously dated back entry, which, for an hour until I corrected it, indicated I was in Houston, I have enjoyed two weeks of not traveling. And that has left me with enough time to work on developing this site. And after two weeks it is worth a quick reflection on how the site is doing.

Firstly I am gratified with the number of visitors. Firtsly as far as i can tell most regular readers have diverted their feedreaders from the old World Wide Web bog to our new address at Pontydysgu. Secondly, visitor figures seem to be very respectable (although I am not quite sure what respectable means in this case). Of course, we were boosted by a reference in Steven Downe’s OL Daily, which resulted in a quick flurry of hits.

More importantly perhaps, Dirk Stieglitz has made great progress in bringing on-line new sections of the site. Multimedia is mostly live. Some of the projects section is partly populated. Now we are thinking about how to deal with the research section.

At a technical level, we still have a few glitches. WordPress stubbornly refuses ot show us thumbnails of uploaded graphic files (anyone any suggestions?). The categories list which we use to allocate the entries ot different parts of the web site is growing alarmingly long and we can find no way of displaying sub lists. Widgets are working but we cannot find proper ways of dynamically styling the contents. Any help with any of these issues will be gratefully acknowledged.

But the site is developing in the direction we intended. We particularly wanted a web site which is dynamic , which incororates multi media, which can be updated frequently with minimum programming effort and which allows us to show the relation bewteen out research and ideas and the day ot day work we are undertaking, particualrly on projects. And we wanted a site which connects with the wider community of practice. In this respect, the number of comments on different post has been very gratifying.

Over the next week we will continue to bring the projects section online. And I will continue to enter back posts from Wales Wide Web. This is particularly tedious. I am uploading them from Ecto. This uses a small Apple script to reset the date to the original. But of course the categories all have to be re-entered and Ecto crashes on some entries, those with attachments or multi media which it does not know how to handle. We will also be incorporating more feeds, from delicious and possibly from aggregators around the different project topics. Hope you are enjoying the site. And if you have any suggestions how we can improve it do not hesitate to put forward your ideas.

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    Cyborg patented?

    Forbes reports that Microsoft has obtained a patent for a “conversational chatbot of a specific person” created from images, recordings, participation in social networks, emails, letters, etc., coupled with the possible generation of a 2D or 3D model of the person.

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    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.

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    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

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    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

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