Month: December 2012

Braille in National Aquatic Centre lifts

I was wondering about the Braille signs in the lifts at Dublin’s National Aquatic Centre, and it turns out they are in German (courtesy of the Wikipedia entries on German braille and Braille patterns in Unicode): Open doors ⠞⠳⠗⠀⠡⠋ Tür auf Close doors ⠞⠳⠗⠀⠵⠥ Tür zu Alarm ⠝⠕⠞⠗⠥⠋ Notruf Curious. See also this xkcd (thanks to Oliver Nash for the pointer).

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Raspberry Pi, Squeezebox, phone line

Motivation Long ago, I built a circuit which enabled a PC to monitor the phone line, and control the music system in our old house. Whenever somebody rang, it would pause the music, and announce the caller using voice synthesis. It was cool. Details are on a pre-blog page. Alas, when we moved house, the hardware got lost, and ever since, we have had to manually pause the music, and look at the tiny display on the phone to see who was calling. I had been meaning to reinstate the automatic system for ages; it had actually been quite useful. Photo © Flickr user GijsbertPeijsCC-BY-2.0 The other motivation for this project was as an excuse to play with the Raspberry

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UK government consultation on Open Standards

Back in June, I submitted a response (also as pp.35–39 of a PDF on the Cabinet Office’s site) to the UK’s consultation on open standards in government. Today I received an email notifying me of the conclusions to this process. I have read through the UK government’s ‘Principles’ document, and the following snippets are quite encouraging: ‘Open’ includes ‘royalty-free’ I think the big one is the inclusion of ‘royalty-free’ in the requirements for a standard to be ‘Open’: 2. Open standard – definition … Rights – rights essential to implementation of the standard, and for interfacing with other implementations which have adopted that same standard, are licensed on a royalty free basis that is compatible with both open source and

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