Links for 2019-10-10

  • UK launched passport photo checker it knew would fail with dark skin | New Scientist

    “User research was carried out with a wide range of ethnic groups and did identify that people with very light or very dark skin found it difficult to provide an acceptable passport photograph,” the department wrote in a document released in response to a freedom of information (FOI) request. “However; the overall performance was judged sufficient to deploy.” Samir Jeraj at the Race Equality Foundation says: “It’s outrageous. It clearly shows it wasn’t a priority for them that it would work for people with black skin.” Jeraj called on the government to be clearer and more robust about what improvements it will make, and by when. In the meantime, he adds it would not cost the passport office anything to put a note on its website acknowledging the issue.
    And it took a fecking FOI to discover this! Terrible.

    (tags: passports racism uk photos biometrics data-quality home-office equality)

  • Origins of the Party Parrot

    … just this week, I got an email from a Florida man claiming to be the person I had been looking for. What’s more, he says he made the original emoji in December 2009 and uploaded it to Something Awful, a website popular in the 2000s for its comedic blog posts and forums. He had no idea his work had turned into a meme until he read my story on Tuesday. 

    (tags: something-awful memes history party-parrot emoticons internet)

  • libeatmydata

    ‘a small LD_PRELOAD library designed to (transparently) disable fsync (and friends, like open(O_SYNC)). This has two side-effects: making software that writes data safely to disk a lot quicker and making this software no longer crash safe.’ Good for tests….

    (tags: fsync linux performance mysql testing)

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