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Codebreaker Alan Turing to be face of new British banknote

LONDON — Codebreaker and computing pioneer Alan Turing has been chosen as the face of Britain’s new 50 pound note, the Bank of England announced Monday.Governor Mark Carney said Turing, who did ground-breaking work on computers and artificial intelligence, was “a giant on whose shoulders so many now stand.”During World War II Turing worked at the secret Bletchley Park code-breaking centre, where he helped crack Nazi Germany’s secret codes by creating the “Turing bombe,” a forerunner of modern computers. He also developed the “Turing Test” to measure artificial intelligence.After the war he was prosecuted for homosexuality, which was then illegal, and forcibly treated with female hormones. He died at age 41 in 1954 after eating an apple laced with cyanide.Turing received a posthumous apology from the British government in 2009, and a royal pardon in 2013.The U.K’s highest-denomination note is the last to be redesigned and switched from paper to more secure and durable polymer. The redesigned 10 pound and 20 pound notes feature author Jane Austen and artist J.M.W. Turner.The Turing banknote will enter circulation in 2021. It includes a photo of the scientist, mathematical formulae and technical drawings, and a quote from Turing: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.”Former lawmaker John Leech, who led the campaign for a pardon, said he was “absolutely delighted” by the choice.“I hope it will go some way to acknowledging his unprecedented contribution to society and science,” he said.“But more importantly I hope it will serve as a stark and rightfully painful reminder of what we lost in Turing, and what we risk when we allow that kind of hateful ideology to win.”The Associated Press read more

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A betrayal deeply cynical Opposition parties line up against Bord Gáis Energy

first_imgRead: Sold: Government selects winning €1.12 billion bid for Bord Gáis Energy >Read: Irish Water will not cut off supply to homes over unpaid charges > OPPOSITION PARTIES HAVE been lining up to criticise the announcement by the Government that Bord Gáis Energy will be sold early next year.Fianna Fáil have described timing of the proposed deal as “deeply cynical” given it was announced on the eve of Ireland’s exit from the bailout programme.The Government announced earlier this evening that the company would be sold to a consortium headed Centrica plc which operates British Gas for €1.12 billion, reaction has been swift this evening however.“The Labour Party is clearly hoping that with the upcoming weekend of self-praise marking the scheduled end of the programme of assistance, this u-turn and betrayal of key Labour Party election promises will escape proper scrutiny, ” Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan said this evening.Despite the spin from Government, there was never any agreement to sell the company and now that the state is meeting its financial targets without having to sell the company, there is no reason to proceed. The driving force here is simply Fine Gael ideology.Moynihan also said that it appears as if Bord Gáis Energy is being sold “at significantly less than the estimated fair market price”.Sinn Féin have also questioned the €1.12 billion valuation put forward by the chosen bidder, saying that the sale of the company’s interests in wind energy are particularly “shortsighted” given the potential demand for clean energy:“Bord Gáis Energy is already a significant stakeholder in wind energy and is poised to further expand its interests. That will be worth far more than the sale price agreed as the proportion of electricity generated by wind increases, ” argued the party’s energy spokesperson Michael Colreavy TD.Colreavy described the sale as  ”a betrayal of the massive amount of public money invested to date”.Socialist Party TD Joe Higgins echoed Colreavy’s accusation of “betrayal”.“The privatisation of Bord Gáis Energy is a treacherous betrayal of the Irish people and of energy workers,” the Dublin West TD said in a statement.  ”This privatisation is the fruit of the disastrous policy of capitulation to the Troika representing the European financial markets.”He called for the sale to be resisted by unions and workers:The track record of privatised companies has been a disaster with dire consequences for the jobs and conditions of the workers involved. Workers and the trade unions should now mobilise and actively resist the privatisation of Bord Gáis Energy.last_img read more

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