Whilst all are welcome to come and browse here, should tax payers be subsidising government browsing?

More worrying is the Windows/Internet Explorer 6 thing. Do these people know nothing about security?

Of course the [W:IP address] is generic and could be from anywhere within gov.uk. Let’s hope they enjoyed, and were educated by, the silliness.

See also:
FreeBorn John

Spy Blog (Watching Them, Watching Us)

Harold Chu’s Library Books software for Mac OS X tracks your borrowings and reminds you when they need returning/renewing. I had messed with an earlier version but never managed to get it to connect to the local library service. A new version was in today’s MacUpdate listing but as Gloucestershire was not included in the preset UK libraries I had another go at getting it to work. Success 🙂

So if you live in [W:Gloucestershire], are a member of the library, have a Mac and a tendency to forget to return stuff this is what you need.

Install and run the Library Books software. It only appears as a star icon in the menu bar. Click on the star icon and select Preferences. Select the Logins section and click the + button to add a new library.
From the Library drop down menu select Generic Catalogue Systems – TalisPrism / Talis Catalogue System.

The Library Books Settings Pane
The Library Books Settings Pane

In the General settings add a Name and your Borrower numbet. PIN can be left blank.

In the Catalogue section add:
Catalogue host: http://www.searchourshelves.gloucestershire.gov.uk
Library Web Page: http://www.libraries.gloucestershire.gov.uk/
Date format: dd/mm/yyyy
Click the Save button.

That’s it!

Click on the Star icon and select Update and it will fetch a list of your borrowed items. The number of items are displayed next to the star. You can make the star change colour the day before an item is due to be returned and/or add the dates to iCal so that it will also remind you.

The software is free and no more late return charges 😉

Update: The details were sent to Harold Chu the developer who says that they will added to the Preset list in future versions.


What do you get when you subtract….

This Google.co.uk search


an identical Google.com search?

The Dark Lord Badman’s Guide to Home Education – Arranging An Inspection


Missing page
Missing page

Update 28th July 2009:
This piece had a lot of visitors yesterday (but not a single comment ;-)) most of whom were from the UK. A couple of visitors from [W:Google] itself passed through – probably in response to this link.

Of course Google searches are dynamic things and this page itself is now appearing in the .com listing. So for the record here is a picture of the original listings.

Google search listings
Google search listings

Update 2nd August: Curiouser and curiouser.

Now that the dust has started to settle on the initial indignant ranting of the home educators it may be safe to pop above the parapet and float a few random thoughts….

The response to the Badman report should be on two discrete fronts, the civil liberties issues and the education issues, with each branch being argued separately.

One needs to acknowledge the limited world view of the professional educators. They went to school. They went to university. They went back to school. Any ideas that are outside this scenario can be difficult for them to grasp. Showing workings and adding labels to an illustrative diagram often helps.

The Badman report is a huge leap backwards to where we were decades ago so perhaps we should retrace our steps a few decades and find some other educational path to follow; one that does not lead to the odious home education model that is so common today.

Perhaps a starting point might be the description of various forms of education defined by Combs with Prosser and Ahmed in 1973 which included:

Informal education: the truly lifelong process whereby every individual acquires attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment – from family and neighbours, from work and play, from the market place, the library and the mass media.

Which itself followed on from a 1972 [W:UNESCO] report called “Learning To Be” which raised the notion that…

education should enable each person to be able to solve his own problems, make his own decisions and shoulder his own responsibilities.

Learning To Be was adopted as one of The Four Pillars in Education for the 21st century (1996 – hence the ugly web site ;-). Etc. Etc. It would be far easier to defend from such extant heights than from the piddling [W:molehill] that is home education.

Someone should thank [W:Gordon Brown] for his vociferous support in a speech about education on the 5th May 2009 (my emphasis):

An alternative approach would be a significantly increased top-down role for government in the education system, local authorities running every school to meet centrally-set targets and regulations. I reject this approach. It would stifle innovation, deny teachers and school leaders the freedom they need to drive change. It would cut parents out of any role in improving education standards.

Bear in mind that the government’s response to the petition regarding the review said:

One of the key principles underpinning The Children’s Plan published by the Department for Children, Schools and Families is that the government does not bring up children – parents do.

Laughing out loud at those who suggest that a child’s safety and or well being are best monitored by professionals in a formal environment is really bad form.

On the other hand laughing at the home educators, and their posturing that has so successfully landed them in this pickle, is quite acceptable.