Letter from Gordon Brown regarding Alan Turing

2009/09/11

For those who haven’t seen or read it yet, here is a letter from Gordon Brown the current prime minister of the United Kingdoms of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to those who signed the petition requesting a formal apology from the british government regarding the harrowing subjugation of Alan Turing over his homosexuality in the 1950’s.

2009 has been a year of deep reflection – a chance for
Britain, as a nation, to commemorate the profound debts we owe to those who
came before. A unique combination of anniversaries and events have stirred
in us that sense of pride and gratitude which characterise the British
experience. Earlier this year I stood with Presidents Sarkozy and Obama to
honour the service and the sacrifice of the heroes who stormed the beaches
of Normandy 65 years ago. And just last week, we marked the 70 years which
have passed since the British government declared its willingness to take
up arms against Fascism and declared the outbreak of World War Two. So I am
both pleased and proud that, thanks to a coalition of computer scientists,
historians and LGBT activists, we have this year a chance to mark and
celebrate another contribution to Britain’s fight against the darkness of
dictatorship; that of code-breaker Alan Turing.

Turing was a quite brilliant mathematician, most famous for his work on
breaking the German Enigma codes. It is no exaggeration to say that,
without his outstanding contribution, the history of World War Two could
well have been very different. He truly was one of those individuals we can
point to whose unique contribution helped to turn the tide of war. The debt
of gratitude he is owed makes it all the more horrifying, therefore, that
he was treated so inhumanely. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross
indecency’ – in effect, tried for being gay. His sentence – and he
was faced with the miserable choice of this or prison – was chemical
castration by a series of injections of female hormones. He took his own
life just two years later.

Thousands of people have come together to demand justice for Alan Turing
and recognition of the appalling way he was treated. While Turing was dealt
with under the law of the time and we can’t put the clock back, his
treatment was of course utterly unfair and I am pleased to have the chance
to say how deeply sorry I and we all are for what happened to him. Alan and
the many thousands of other gay men who were convicted as he was convicted
under homophobic laws were treated terribly. Over the years millions more
lived in fear of conviction.

I am proud that those days are gone and that in the last 12 years this
government has done so much to make life fairer and more equal for our LGBT
community. This recognition of Alan’s status as one of Britain’s most
famous victims of homophobia is another step towards equality and long
overdue.

But even more than that, Alan deserves recognition for his contribution to
humankind. For those of us born after 1945, into a Europe which is united,
democratic and at peace, it is hard to imagine that our continent was once
the theatre of mankind’s darkest hour. It is difficult to believe that in
living memory, people could become so consumed by hate – by
anti-Semitism, by homophobia, by xenophobia and other murderous prejudices
– that the gas chambers and crematoria became a piece of the European
landscape as surely as the galleries and universities and concert halls
which had marked out the European civilisation for hundreds of years. It is
thanks to men and women who were totally committed to fighting fascism,
people like Alan Turing, that the horrors of the Holocaust and of total war
are part of Europe’s history and not Europe’s present.

So on behalf of the British government, and all those who live freely
thanks to Alan’s work I am very proud to say: we’re sorry, you deserved
so much better.

Gordon Brown

If you would like to help preserve Alan Turing’s memory for future
generations, please donate here: http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/

Petition information – http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/turing/


Is this email suspicious?

2009/09/11

Today I received the following email on my TU/e account. Can anyone see why I do not trust it??

Dear E-mail Account User,

This is to inform you that we have temporarily limited all access to your email sensitive account features, in order to restore your full account access, you are to reply to this email immediately with your E-mail account Username/ID here: (___________) and password here: (___________)

Due to much junk/spam emails you receive daily, we are currently upgrading all our email accounts spam filter to limit all unsolicited/junk emails for security reasons and to upgrade our new and improved E-mail account features and to ensure you do not experience service interruption.

You must reply to this email immediately and enter both your user name and password in the space provided to enable us upgrade your E-mail Account properly.

A confirmtion link will be send to you for the Re-Activation of your e-mail Account, as soon as we received your response and you are to Click on the “Confirm E-mail” link on your mail Account box and then enter this confirmation number: 1265-6778-8250-8393-5727

Your failure to provide your e-mail account login details will lead to a temporarly disabled of your e-mail account or we will immediately deactivate your e-mail account from our database.

Thanks For Your Understanding.

Technical Support Team

Also note that the following addresses were associated with the email:

team.support.team@live.co.uk

webtechuser1@gmail.com


QuickQuide: Adding LNCS Springer Style to Ubuntu LaTeX install

2009/09/01

For all you LNCS and LaTeX users here is a quick guide to adding the LNCS LaTeX package to your local Texlive install. This will remove the need for adding the actual lncs.cls file to your LaTeX document directory.

This quickguide has been based upon the information from the posts found here and here.

Currently I am running Ubuntu 9.04 ‘Jaunty Jackalope’ and my LaTeX install is the latest one from TeXlive. I do not use the version as found in the Ubuntu repositories as they are a little bit out-of-date (just like a frigging proper install of Firefox 3.5, who wants Shiretako) and there are more packages available such as TODO.

Here are the steps:

  1. If you have not done so install the latest version of TeXlive.
  2. Obtain the LNCS styles from Springer.
  3. Place the contents of llncs2e.zip into /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/tex/latex/lncs
  4. finally run $ sudo texhash , If you have any problems running texhash then this command might be better:

$ sudo bash -c 'export PATH=/usr/local/texlive/2008/bin/i386-linux:$PATH;texhash'

And thats it. Enjoy!!