A bit too far away for even my longest lens, so no pics, HMNB Clyde at Faslane took delivery of the massive Valiant Jetty this week, manoeuvred to the base by five tugs following its completion at the Inchgreen dry dock in Greenock, almost nine miles away.
The floating jetty will ease the work of the base by allowing up to six Astute class nuclear submarines to berth at the base, without the complications arising from their rise and fall with the tide. The jetty will move with them as the Gare Loch’s three metre tidal range raises and lowers the berthed vessels, and will be constrained by four massive piles at its corners, each said to be as long as Nelson’s column. At each end, a heavy steel “forepeak” provides a mooring for the submarines.
The jetty itself weighs some 44,000 tonnes with concrete walls half a metre thick, containing 12 watertight cells within the 200 metre long reinforced concrete structure, and cost £150 million.
If they don’t move the page again, clicking on the image below will take you to the Royal Navy’s report on Valiant’s arrival, where you can download this, and other images, as desktop wallpaper.
It’s nice to see the occasional story that doesn’t have any great world wide implications, but is nonetheless important to those concerned.
Nowadays, it seems to be the exception rather than rule to find that somewhere like a railway station has a mascot – it would be seem more likely to read of its removal on Health and Safety grounds, or to comply with some undiscovered clause in the Terrorism Act.
However, this week, tributes were paid to Diesel, who had resided at Inverness Railway Station for more than ten years, and passed away this week, having been a favourite of both staff and travellers, and received treats from many.
Michelle Crawford, ScotRail’s north business manager, said: “Diesel was a much-loved personality around the station”, and would be missed by many.
I can understand the idea of sharing photographs on the internet, and by photographs I mean those taken for their own sake by being interesting, informative, artistic, creative, or similar, and shared through online hosts and galleries.
I’ve never understood why anyone would place their personal family albums online for the world to see, especially if combined with personal details, family histories, name, addresses, and other intimate details. Do they really think they are so interesting, or their egos need such a degree of massaging in public?
More seriously, as I write in 2009, all these details and pictures are often more than enough for those who wish to create a false identity to do so with ease, and apply for driving licenses, bank accounts, loans, credit cards, and more, while the checks that in places are generally so poor that the criminals will have pocketed their proceeds and vanished before the poor mug whose identity has been cloned becomes aware of the deception.
A study published this week by Cambridge PhD students shows that nearly half of all social networking sites retain copies of photographs after being “deleted” by users. The study examined 16 popular websites that host user-uploaded photos, including social networking sites, blogging sites and dedicated-photo-sharing sites. Seven of the 16 sites surveyed were still maintaining copies of users’ photos after they had been deleted by the user. The researchers – Jonathan Anderson, Andrew Lewis, Joseph Bonneau and lecturer Frank Stajano – found that by keeping a note of the URL where the photo is actually stored in a content delivery network, it was possible for them to access the photo even after it had been deleted.
Their report says:
Social networking sites fared especially poorly in the study, with four of eight failing to remove deleted photos, including industry leaders Facebook, MySpace, hi5, and Bebo. Blogging sites also fared poorly, with LiveJournal, Xanga, and SkyRock all failing to remove photos.
Faring well in the study were the dedicated photo sharing sites Flickr, Photobucket, and Fotki, which all removed photos within 1 hour. Three Google-operated websites, Blogger, Picasa, and Orkut, all removed photos within 48 hours. Microsoft’s Windows Live Spaces received special commendation for removing photos instantly.
Interestingly, the only online hosting sites we’ve ever used, or use for that matter, since they were opened years ago are : Photobucket, Flickr, and Picasa. Hopefully, we don’t have to mention which blogging service we use, but it doesn’t seem to have attracted any attention.
It would be interesting to see how the BBC fared if examined in the same way, as it invites online pictures, and these are generally provided with credits and often show family snaps. Although I have seen pubic gripes about its copyright and useage policy, I don’t recall any remarks about having your picture removed from their site once you have given it to them, together with comment/details of the content.
Perhaps you can’t.
This may all seem rather small beer in the great scheme of privacy issues but the Cambridge team has done some valuable research that will steer users to more conscientious sites. Joseph Bonneau makes a good point when he says, “This demonstrates how social networking sites often take a lazy approach to user privacy, doing what’s simpler rather than what is correct. It’s imperative to view privacy as a design constraint, not a legal add-on.”
That last statement should be the guiding ethic for all web companies, to say nothing of the government.