Home' Greymouth Star : February 14th 1015 Contents Greymouth Star
Saturday, February 14, 2015 - 3
Digital technology could turn the
21st century into a new dark age lost
to history, a leading internet pioneer
As operating systems and software
get upgraded, documents and images
stored using older technology are
becoming increasingly inaccessible,
Dr Vinton ‘ Vint ’ Cerf, vice-president
of Google, said.
In centuries to come, historians
looking back on the present era could
be confronted by a digital desert
comparable with the dark ages —
the post-Roman period in Western
Europe about which relatively little
is known because of the scarcity of
Dr Cerf, who also has the title of
chief internet evangelist at Google,
said: “If we’re thinking 1000 years,
3000 years ahead in the future, we
have to ask ourselves, how do we
preser ve all the bits that we need in
order to correctly interpret the digital
objects we create?
“ We are nonchalantly throwing all
of our data into what could become
an information black hole without
“The 22nd century and future
centuries after that will wonder about
us but they’ll have great difficulty
knowing much because so much of
what we’ve left behind may be bits
that are uninterpretable.”
He urged people to think about
printing out their treasured photos
and not rely on storing them as
“In our zeal to get excited about
digitising, we digitise photographs
thinking it’s going to make them last
longer, and we might turn out to be
wrong,” he said.
“I would say if there are photos you
are really concerned about create a
physical instance of them. Print them
Dr Cerf was speaking at the annual
meeting of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science in
the Silicon Valley capital, San Jose,
California. To illustrate his point,
he referred to an “amazing book” by
American Pulitzer prize-winning
historian Doris Kearns Goodwin,
Team Of Rivals: The Political Genius
Of Abraham Lincoln.
Her material was obtained by
scouring libraries for copies of written
correspondence between Lincoln and
the people around him.
Dr Cerf said: “Let us imagine that
there’s a 22nd-century Doris Kearns
Goodwin and she decides to write
about the beginning of the 21st
century and seeks to reproduce the
conversations of the time.
“S he discovers that there’s an awful
lot of digital content that either has
evaporated because nobody saved it,
or it’s around but it ’s not interpretable
because it was created by software
that ’s 100 years old.”
The problem also had serious
implications for the storage of legal
documents needed to be kept for long
periods, he said.
One possible solution was what he
called “digital vellum”, a concept now
being explored by computer scientists
at Carnegie Mellon University in
This involved taking a digital
“snapshot ” at the time an item is
stored of all the processes needed to
reproduce it at a later date, including
the software and operating system.
History could be lost in digital black hole
People hold hands as they form a human chain on the embankment of Elbe river in Dresden. Dresden is commemorating the 70th anniversar y of the bombing
of the city by Allied aircraft during World War II.
Canada confirmed its first case
of mad cow disease since 2011
yesterday but said the discovery,
which helped drive cattle prices
higher, should not hit a beef export
sector worth $C2 billion ($NZ1.8
billion) a year.
The Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) said no part of the
animal, a beef cow from Alberta,
had reached the human food or
animal feed systems.
Mad cow is formally known as
bovine spongiform encephalopathy
“The CFIA is seeking to confirm
the age of the animal, its history
and how it became infected.
“The investigation will focus in
on the feed supplied to this animal
during the first year of its life,” the
Canadian exports were badly hit
in 2003 after the first case of BSE
was detected. Canada subsequently
tightened its controls and many
nations have since resumed the
beef trade with Canada, despite
the discovery of more cases since
Asked whether he was concerned
about exports being harmed,
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz
told reporters in Calgary: “Not at
this time, no. ”
He added though that markets
in South Korea and Japan were
generally very concerned about
the potential risk from BSE.
Scientists believe they have
determined the blow that killed
King Richard III in battle after
analysing his skull.
A forensic examination of the
skull has found two wounds at its
base and one inside the cranium,
indicating a weapon such as a
sword or spike had been thrust up
from the base of his neck.
The ‘eureka moment ’ was caught
on camera by a University of
Leicester documentary filmmaker
and Professor Guy Rutty, a Home
Office pathologist of 19 years
experience, said it was one the
team will all remember.
Richard III was killed at the
Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the
last significant clash between the
forces of the Houses of Lancaster
and York in the War of the Roses.
The location of his remains were
a mystery but scientists are now
99.999 % sure that the skeleton
with a twisted spine found buried
beneath a Leicester car park in
2012 is that of the slain king.
CT and micro-imaging scans
were used to analyse the 500-year-
old bones and osteologist Dr Jo
Appleby said the wounds “were
probably inflicted by a sword or the
top spike of a bill or halberd”.
Professor Sarah Hainsworth,
professor of material engineering
at the University, said they used
modern forensic examination tools.
“ We have discovered that
Richard’s skeleton sustained 11
wounds at or near the time of his
death — nine of them to the
skull, which were clearly inflicted
in battle,” she said.
“The injuries to the head suggest
he had either removed or lost his
helmet. The other two injuries that
we found were to a rib and his
Prof Rutty, of East Midlands
Forensic Pathology Unit, said
“ just because he was a king did
not make a difference” to how he
examined the skull and described
how he solved the puzzle.
“Using the specialist lighting
equipment we have in the forensic
mortuary at the Leicester Royal
Infirmary, which was key to the
examination, I then was able to
put the three injuries together
on pathological grounds and we
all realised I had identified the
potential lethal injury to King
Forensics ID how
Richard III died
Canada confirms mad cow disease
New York has gone a record-
setting 11 straight days without a
murder, police say.
The mid-winter lull broke a
record set last year when the city
went 10 days from February 13 to
22 without a homicide.
“No murder yesterday. That
means eleven consecutive days,” a
police spokesman said on Friday.
He said no murders have been
reported in the city since February
In 2014, the city had the lowest
number of murders — 328, five
fewer than in 2013 — since it
began keeping comprehensive
crime records in 1963.
The number of homicides peaked
average — and then began a
sharp decline in 1994 with the
advent of then mayor Rudy
Giuliani’s policy of ‘zero tolerance’
New York murder-free for 11 days
South Australian authorities are
bracing themselves for catastrophic fire
danger, with temperatures in parts of the
State set to reach the mid-40s.
The Country Fire Ser vice has declared
total fire bans for 13 of the State’s 15
weather districts until midnight today.
Catastrophic fire danger is expected
in the West Coast district, where
temperatures in the mid-40s are
Fires in these conditions are likely
to be fast-moving, unpredictable and
uncontrollable. Residents have been
urged to leave before conditions worsen.
The mercury is set to climb to 41degC
in Adelaide before easing slightly to
People in affected areas should prepare
to implement their bushfire sur vival
plans, the fire ser vice said.
All 37 national parks and reser ves in the
west coast fire ban district will be closed.
The State’s environment department
has urged people not to enter the
parks and will close main entry points.
The boss of HSBC, which is at the
centre of claims that it helped customers
at its Swiss private bank avoid millions of
dollars of tax, has called the allegations
In a memo to staff that emerged
yesterday, chief executive Stuart Gulliver
added that “we sometimes failed to live
up to the standards the societies we ser ve
rightly expected from us.” .
The claims in the ‘Swiss Leaks’ case
emerged after a whistleblower took files
from Europe’s biggest bank and passed
them to French authorities.
Details were published in the media
this week, with the files claiming that
London-based HSBC’s Swiss division
helped clients in more than 200 countries
dodge taxes on accounts containing
$US119 billion ($NZ160 billion).
Meanwhile, it emerged that the
Bank of England could investigate the
Bank says tax dodge claims ‘painful’
South Australians brace for catastrophic fire danger
by Dave Green 0628 Difficulty Level
QUICK QUIZ 400
1. Who died of tuberculosis in 1923, at the Institute for the Harmonious
Development of Man, at Avon-Fontainebleu?
2. Who got married in Canada in 1964 and Africa in 1975?
3. The names of two Germanic tribes which helped bring down the Roman
Empire are still commonly used in modern language: name either of them.
4. Who wrote his first symphony before the age of 10?
5. Who directed American Graffiti and Star Wars?
6. Which song begins: It’s nine o’clock on a Saturday/the regular crowd
7. What is the medical term for thinning of the bones?
8. In which year did the All Blacks lose all six tests they played, Labour lose
power to National after 14 years in charge, and Jack Lovelock die in a New
9. Which two apostles, whose names start with the same letter, were the sons
of Zebedee, a Galilean fisherman?
10. In The Lord of the Rings, who was the maker of the One Ring?
ANSWERS: 1. Katherine Mansfield, 2. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, 3.
Vandals/Goths, 4. Mozart, 5. George Lucas, 6. Piano Man, 7. Osteoporosis, 8.
1949, 9. James and John, 10. Sauron.
2 One and only (6)
3 Internally coated (5)
5 Absent (4)
6 Porridge (7)
7 Handwriting (6)
8 Comparable (5)
9 Storm (7)
10 Chances (4)
11 Refuted (6)
12 Got wind of (5)
13 Staying power (7)
14 Funny (7)
18 Printed stationery (10)
24 Fail to attend to (7)
26 Heighten (7)
27 Write music (7)
29 Sudden whim (7)
30 Recover (a loss)(6)
31 Umbilicus (5)
32 Minimum attendance
for a valid meeting (6)
34 Oversupply (4)
36 Hints (5)
38 Call in on (5)
40 Scandinavian city (4)
45 Girl's name (5)
46 Time off (7)
47 Nil (4)
48 Angering (6)
49 Lost colour (5)
50 Chorus (7)
52 Being a mum or dad (10)
53 Anneal (7)
54 Stockings (6)
55 Flourish (7)
56 Cite (5)
57 Laundry clips (4)
62 Hessian (5)
67 Cowered (7)
68 Stick at it (7)
70 Avoiding human contact (7)
72 Warned (7)
73 Old coin (6)
74 Film holder (6)
75 Rural worker (6)
76 Chocolate substitute (5)
78 Pleasant sounds (5)
80 Slide (anag)(5)
82 Accurate (4)
83 Moon about (4)
1 Erect (5)
4 Misjudged boast before
an accident (6,4,5)
14 Swindler (5)
15 Shoddily made (5)
16 Annual plant with funnel-
shaped flowers (10)
17 Australian wild dog (5)
19 Edge (3)
20 Leapt (7)
21 Mystified (9)
22 In arrears (6)
25 Oblong (9)
27 Iciest (anag)(6)
28 Sheen from age, polishing
33 Misleading clue (3,7)
35 Intention (3)
36 Blush (6)
37 Black marketeer (4)
39 Friend (3)
41 Run aground (7)
42 Dinner jacket in the US (6)
43 Pupa case (9)
44 Partly frozen rain (5)
45 Superb (8)
50 With reference to (2)
51 Powerless (8)
55 Position (5)
58 Racing sail (9)
59 Polluted (6)
60 Difficulty (7)
61 Hearing organ (3)
63 Common sense (4)
64 Brand new (6)
65 Astern (3)
66 Pre-owned (6-4)
68 Verse (6)
69 Keep (6)
71 Disappearing (9)
76 Waxy light (6)
77 Prophet of disasters (9)
79 Coal pit (anag)(7)
81 Water body (3)
84 Misprint (5)
85 Close look (10)
86 Depression (5)
87 Carried weapon (5)
88 Securely stored (5,4,3,3)
89 Seize without authority (5)
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