Nominet Internet Awards – please vote!

Nominet are the .uk domain registry. As well as holding all the .uk addresses on the web, they run a charitable foundation which supports and encourages UK online initiatives.

Nominet Internet Awards

Somewhat amazingly, they’ve shortlisted the Raspberry Pi Foundation for their Outstanding Contribution to the UK Internet award. This is an absolutely huge deal for us (and, given the other people on the shortlist, especially a certain Sir Tim Berners Lee, we do not anticipate a win, but we’re delighted just to be on the list). Voting closes on June 13, and we would be enormously grateful if you could take a minute to register your vote.

53 comments

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Voted. Sir Tim Berners Lee was a close second but as this is the 2012 awards not 1990 the Raspberry Pi wins.

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Nice to see thate we are waisting money changing the name / handing the batton over from Race OnLine to Go ON UK…..

How many quango’s do we need to tell the goverment to force BT/Virgin etc to deliver fiber to cabinet and max 2km cable lenth from Cabinet to Home for the whole of the UK!

We now have MP’s saying that UK wide highspeed ethernet is for the rich and not for the 70% of UK small businesses who happen to work outside of large towns and cities.

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I hear you – I work from an office at home, and we’re not on the cable network. This doesn’t stop Virgin from sending me a letter every two weeks or so telling me how great it’d be if I signed up to their cable broadband deal…

We had some dealings with Race OnLine last year (unfortunately our contact there went off to work on the Olympics and we never got any further with them after his replacement decided we must be trying to get money out of them – which we weren’t – and wouldn’t take no for an answer), and I remember a discussion after one of the meetings about how their name gave the impression that they are a race relations organisation, not an internet organisation. It’s one of those situations where a name change is probably justified, given that the original didn’t work out too well.

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In Australia the government has announced a “National Broadband Network” that will deliver high speed broadband to all homes. If you look at the map of Australia this is a BIG undertaking.

90 something percent will be fibre to the home (not node). The balance will be wireless and some satellite. Initial speeds for fibre will be 100Mb/s. There is currently a very wide range of speeds available depending on your location. Many in the bush are on slow dial-up.

This has been an enormously contentious political decision with the opposition seemingly obliged to say that it is a waste and could be done better and…

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What it is to have a budget surplus, here in the UK we do everything by borrowing off book with things like the student loans and FPI contracts that cost us a fortune but make it look as if we are not increasing our goverment debt.

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Voted.

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I’d like to get some one and integrate it to GPS tracking system for http://www.redgps.com,

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Are you sure you really want to win this? The competition seems to be:

1. A university prof nobody has ever heard of, who is shortlisted for her encouragement of women to do something they seem to prefer not to do.

2. A government bureaucrat who is up for the award for doing his job.

3. A government sponsored initiative to promote the internet, which hasn’t got started yet and isn’t doing much apart from stopping ML-F from blowing many millions of other peoples’ pension funds on an internet business. Also, see 2 above.

4. TB-L: Nice chap, great job, but that was many years ago and nothing to do particularly with the UK internet.

5. An ISP owner with 400 customers….

With all due respect to the R-Pi, it isn’t supposed to be an internet-centric device (apart from all the apt-get updates), and its main contribution so far has been the number of flaky USB/Ethernet ports that will have reduced internet traffic from the few R-Pis that have been delivered, thereby freeing up bandwidth for other internet users. On that point alone the R-Pi beats the competition, but in fairness this is one award too far.

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What sort of horrible depressant is *in* that half-empty glass of yours? (And if you really think that the gender gap in digital engagement is all down to girlish whim – well, frankly, I have no words. But it’s nice to have it all mansplained to me in numbered bullets.)

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You need to be careful with those awards though Liz, win one too many and something might……no, they’ll start…..wait….it all might…… Nope I got nothing, what’s his problem with it?

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@josh: The issue is credibility or biting off more than you can chew. I don’t know whether you have your R-Pi yet (I have mine) but it is still a work in progress. Look at the Troubleshooting section in the Forum and you will see that there are plenty of issues with the hardware and firmware that need sorting out before the R-Pi goes from being a hobbyists toy to a classroom item. We all hop that the Foundation gets a good working product out eventually, but the longer it takes the more foolish it will look after picking up lots of awards (a bit like the Obama Nobel Peace Prize after 91 days in power followed by the invasion of Libya). As others pointed out in last week’s award vote, the big difference between the Lytro and the R-Pi is the that the camera is true innovation and is a finished product. The R-Pi still has a long way to go.

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@RMW5: I agree, this does not seem to be the best time to pick up awards. Of course getting the R-Pi out there is a great achievement! But, supply is still short, software still a bit unstable, basically there are various technical issues that need to be solved. I think there is no necessity too increase the hype (which I don’t say is not well deserved) even more.

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Yes, I’m sorry, I realise now it’s obviously been such a flop so far. Hardly anyone I know has heard of this tacky expensive toy, it’s not fit for children at all, and god knows what the foundation was thinking practically giving away such useless underdeveloped technology.

If the foundation was trying to turn a profit and keep backers happy, it’d be a worry to get too much exposure before it’s ready for its intended purpose of being in classrooms. But as a charity whose overall aim is to give children a basic knowledge of computer science I’d say it’s doing an absolutely fantastic job and couldn’t possibly get enough awards and exposure for it’s achievements so far…. just over 3 months after launch.

The Pi might change drastically between now and the time it’s in classrooms. But as long as it gets there, no one cares who’s scoffing about the awards it won along the way before changing it’s mind on direction.

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Ha should have known the > sarcasm tag < tag would be stripped. First paragraph is most definitely sarcasm.

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That’s OK – it’s exactly how I read it even without the tags.

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@Josh (replying to my post because it has a reply button) The measure of the success of the R-Pi is not whether a PCB can be put together in a Chinese factory and shipped worldwide, but whether those people responsible for running schools decide that it is worth paying for and putting into schools. Quite frankly they don’t really care about whether it is put together by a charity, but they will care about whether it works, whether it is fit for their purposes and whether it is a cost effective. A school may save a few pounds on every unit compared to using PC’s or netbooks for the same purpose (but not by as much as you might think when all the disk monitors and power supplies are taken into account), but if using an R-Pi takes up significant preparation time that cost advantage disappears. Does the R-Pi match the rest of the market in terms of performance and reliability? Not yet, but it has potential to improve. Courting publicity with an unfinished product can be fatal as Clive Sinclair found with his QL. Get a reputation for an imperfect product and you’ll be gone in an instant. Ask Gerald Rattner.

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Well if it was my choice I would give the award to a team of BT engineers who have spent the last few years digging up the roads, laying cables and wiring cabinets. They will have made much more impact than anyone on that shortlist.
As for the Southampton candidate (more numbered points for easy understanding):
1. I have never heard any woman say they wanted to be an engineer or programmer but were dissuaded because of their gender; and
2. whether or not that is worthy of recognition per se, I don’t see how that amounts to an “Outstanding Contribution to the UK Internet in the last 12 months”, but perhaps you can “womansplain” that to me

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Cultural bias is far more insidious and far more deeply ingrained than you seem to think. Nobody wakes up one day and says “I want to be an engineer, and today I shall become one, for I have all the skills required and the culture will welcome me”; the engineering mindset is something that you acquire over a childhood, and over an education. And it’s a good deal harder for girls to acquire that mindset when they grow up in a universe of pink ponies where their brothers get to play with bricks, have parents who make years of idle comments about girls being bad at maths, undergo schooling that prioritises domestic science over the real stuff (my own schooling took that shape, and it wasn’t so long ago)…I could go on for pages here.

Look to playground culture, the stuff that gets said around the dining table at home, the gendered toys that companies market to kids, and the people you see representing scientists and engineers in films and on TV. And then tell me there isn’t a problem getting girls and women to engage; and that that problem is not something innate to do with their gender, but something to do with the culture that we’re all part of. If you don’t consider second-order effects, then you’re not much of an engineer.

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“And it’s a good deal harder for girls to acquire that mindset when they grow up in a universe of pink ponies where their brothers get to play with bricks, have parents who make years of idle comments about girls being bad at maths”, I’m sorry Liz, but in what way is that societies fault? Sounds like crappy parents to me.

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Selective quotation will get you far, my son. (And surely nobody has peddled the “There’s no such thing as society” line for the last 30 years?)

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“Nobody wakes up one day and says “I want to be an engineer, and today I shall become one, for I have all the skills required and the culture will welcome me”; ” I did, but I was probably coming from the direction of thinking “I don’t know why anyone would want to be a theoretical physicist all their life”

Statistic: 31% of scientists portrayed in films are female, compared with the real life 25% of professional scientists and engineers. The images of female scientists in film is invariably positive compared with the significant number of fictional male scientists who are bent on world domination, contamination of the eco-system etc etc.

But I still don’t see what this has to do with the UK Internet over the last 12 months.

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I hate to say it, but UK culture has a huge impact on preventing women from becoming engineers. This is obvious when you start comparing other cultures, like that of Australia, where women outnumber men in computing and other engineering disciplines.

During the first few weeks of my degree, three of the four women on my course, computer science, dropped out due to be vastly outnumbered. The other dropped out for other reasons.

So, what does this have to do with the competition? Well, strong advertising to counter the social stigma of a woman in engineering would help resolve the issue. You say women are portrayed as 30% of the engineers in films, why isn’t it 50% to ensure gender is not linked to the profession?!

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Liam said: “This is obvious when you start comparing other cultures, like that of Australia, where women outnumber men in computing and other engineering disciplines.”

This seems highly unlikely as the lack of women in STEM / CS is generally a universal trait – 10-20% is a typical ratio – and I can’t see why Australia would have some magic bullet that makes more girls embrace engineering and CS than boys. In fact I’ll go out on a limb (it’s too late to be researching this) and say that it’s plain wrong. If you can point me to the research to support this then I’d be happy to recant :)

P.S. The “stats” about women scientists in films is ad hoc and over 10 years old. And I suspect that most of these celluloid role models wore tight labcoats and at some point in the films took their specs off and shook out their hair ;) (It also conveniently overlooks the fact that most of the “real life” 25% are in fields like biology, psychology and medicine as opposed to engineering and CS, but that’s another story.)

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RMW5 I grew up saying I wanted to be an electronic engineer. Just because you haven’t heard it doesn’t mean people are not saying it.

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miss_jwo, then stick at it and you will get there. Watch out for the pink ponies. Don’t let them put you off.

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Someone has to make all those electronic ponies for the girls…

Seriously, I hope you not only say it, but do it and encourage others as well.

A good engineer is a good engineer irrespective of gender and role models like you will convince others to consider the profession.

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“her encouragement of women to do something they seem to prefer not to do”

You mean “encouraging women to ignore the vast number of people who tell them not to even try because they won’t be good at it, because when they try, turns out women are just as good at it as men and a similar ratio of those who try it enjoy it”? I didn’t get my degree and my job that I love and my accomplishments that I’m proud of by listening to people who said women prefer not to do this sort of thing. I can’t imagine life without computer science. It’s what makes me happy.

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+1 from me on that!

ren

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The numbers of women in science and engineering has been improving. Those industries seem to have gotten the idea that boys clubs are not conducive to women working there. Comp-Sci now has far less women in it than there were in the early days. This industry is definitely doing something wrong.

Women do want to do this stuff. But they don’t want to be hit on every time they go to a conference. They don’t want to be inappropriately approached each time they go to a barcamp. They don’t want to have to see semi naked women cavorting for the titillation of pocket protector wearing male dweebs every time they go to a hackfest. The trouble is its catch 22. Without more women the guys will think its a male only industry and while they think that things will continue to be uncomfortable for women.

Hell even at my relatively enlightened employers I’ve heard people coming out of an interview saying things like. “The candidate was a woman.” “Oh, was she pretty?”. Not was she any good? Could she do the job. No just how did she look. Until this gets fixed women may not want to work in the industry. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to do the tech. We just don’t want to work with arseholes!

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+1

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Cyberspice!
Female?
You can not have it both ways.
Yes, i am male.
Nice to have a genderless name.

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Actually Sir Tim has done a huge thing for the UK Internet in the past few years by encouraging the government to open up the data sources which we paid for. He used his influence to grab back data which was until recently only available commercially thanks to Crown Copyright, and will be co-directing the Open Data Institute later this year.

Nowadays OpenStreetMap has permission to use OS maps, businesses are no longer extorted by Royal Mail in order to have a postal code lookup on their site, then by OS to put a map of their business location on their adverts, the government has an open data policy and people are building apps on top of it for the betterment of the British public.

Many good things have already come from TB-L’s crusade for open data, but R-Pi has yet to prove itself by comparison; it will be at least five years before we know whether R-Pi has been a success.

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When I saw “Sir Tim Berners-Lee” my vote was thrown into question, but I reread the title of the poll and saw it was for “contribution to the UK internet in the past 12 months” and that sealed my vote for RasPi!
(I’m sure Sir Tim Berners-Lee HAS contributed in the past 12 months, but I haven’t heard about it.)

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Tims most recent contributions are his role in W3C, which depending on your stance as a web developer you will either love or hate him for.

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I agree, I wasn’t sure until I realised that most of the items on that list are fillers around R-Pi. I might have voted for the Dame had it not been for R-Pi and the fact that I’ve not heard of her. Respect due to T B-L though.

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Voted! Respect!

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Voted! I received my Raspberry Pi earlier this week! Good luck in the competition. =)

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Your goal with your credit-card sized computer is simply epic! You would revolutionize the computer world by getting mankind closer to a world where there is a more responsible use of resources and less e-waste by orders of magnitude! If you are ever in NYC, it would be an honor to meet you. If possible, it would be an honor to work with you as well.

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Swing by Maker Faire NY in September – we’ll be there.

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It’s so silly to hear time and time again that the UK does not have proper internet connections for all its inhabitants. If there is any IT initiative at all that’d rightfully deserve tax money, it’d be an initiative that upgrades the IT infrastructure in a direct manner. The rest of Western-Europe has 100mbps to-the-home, while UK can not yet deliver the majority of businesses proper broadband

It’s a long shot that raspi wins this, though consider voting for the IT upgrading initiative!

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We have 100Mbps and 120Mbps download speeds in certain areas, and 300Mbps on trial in some others.

What’s more, 98% of our country has 2Mbps, with only the most remote areas with such few residents having no broadband.

The problem lies with those in between, and the charge for such services.

Essentially, only a minority can get the top rates, and they typically pay £30 a month for it. Those in the remote areas that only have access to 2mbps (<5%) pay around the same, £30 a month. Both of these get the speed they are sold.

Everyone else is stuck on something between "8Mbps" and "24Mbps". I put these in quotes because these are the "up to" rates, that will during normal usage hours (a.k.a. peak hours) typically top out at around a tenth of that. This is due to poor hardware and contention ratios, and actually means some people with "up to 8Mbps" will get slower rates than those with 2Mbps. Most annoyingly, some of these people are left paying rates as high as £40 a month to the only land-based ISP* that can provide to their premises, for very poor services.

* There is also Sky, who provide via-satellite "broadband".

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According to Net Index, the UK has an average internet speed of 16mbps putting it on the 25th worldwide place, further down than countries such as Luxembourg, Hong Kong, Singapore, Lithunia, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Taiwan, Latvia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine, etc.

What is most compelling is that there’s some “Eastern European” and Asian countries in the list I just wrote down. What what? Highly industrialized countries have worse internet than countries that we used to see as inferior in terms of development? Crazy!

Though from a scientific view-point I have no idea on the validity of these numbers, nor do I know what they represent (practical speed or promised speed). In my country , the situation used to be very similar to that of the UK: actual speed a fraction of promised speed. Nowadays, it is getting better and better and I’m now actually seeing 90-95% of my 120mbps promised. Sometimes my own LAN network is even the bottleneck!

Additionally, I can’t ignore that the majority of home-internet users use WIFI which in 99% of all cases is limited to around 10mbps of practical speed, even if your router says it does 300. In other words; the effect of internet speedup beyond 10mbps can be disputed

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You have my vote.
To Sir Tim Berners Lee, I will invite to a cocktail one of these days! ;-)))))

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Voted and on the subject of Women in science & engineering I am glad I had a maths teacher as a mother & a father who is an electronic engineer. Had good support from my parents when I went science and then electronic engineering myself. These days I lecture our future engineers & still get disappointed by the scarcity of women in my classes. I do my best to encourage those who do appear & also do engage with schools locally. It’s getting them interested at right age sometimes. Then again the bias is other ways in things like pharmacy where my husband as a male pharmacist is in a minority (ok less so than I am). But until general culture and perception of engineering changes there will always be a struggle I am afraid.

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go go raspberry pi!

@Liz

Try not to let the half-empty glass guy get to you – all of you over there are doing a great job and I will be spreading the word and hoping to get you all a few more votes!

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I accidentally voted twice. I once accidentally voted several thousand time to make bagpus the all time favourite kids TV programme in a online BBC competition many years ago, I was very embarressed when it won.

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Yes, but Bagpus is almost certainly the best, although the Clangers may edge it…

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Voted. Go Pi!

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Voted! Good luck!

I’m truly enjoying my R-Pi, and it’s rekindled the desire to learn programming – at 50, no less. It’s funny, because I could do the python tutorials on my Windows machine just as easily as on the Pi, but for some reason its just more welcoming to do so. I don’t understand why that is, but clearly it relates to that “energy barrier” Eben mentioned early on. The R-Pi engages the tinkering mindset and makes the effort to learn less intimidating.

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Regarding the Dame and girls being pointed at ‘Girlie Jobs’ – my little sis had the pink ponies / & the posable dolls etc – but being a tomboy from an early age – her dolls were usually found in (my) action man’s tank and the ponies used to get things built for them out of meccano &/or lego… no wonder my sis ended up doing bomb disposal for Her Maj ! :-)

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Read all the entries and er have to say I voted for Sir Tim Berners Lee. The Pi was a close second though but, I’m too honest for my own good and the man deserves some recognition for all he did.

Still I’ll show love for the Pi in other ways (mainly code based).

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done! Good luck ^^

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So, on this last day of voting, there seems to be no place to create a new login in order to vote. Have I missed something embarrassingly obvious?

Mike

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