NetlinesBMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7140.1294 (Published 25 April 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1294
Technical Advisory Service for Images (TASI)
In view of the recent discussion in the BMJ about digital images and informed consent, readers might be interested to visit the TASI website (http://www.tasi.ac.uk/), which provides advice on the ethical, technical, and copyright aspects of setting up digital image archives.
British Official Publications Current Awareness Service (BOPCAS)
The BOPCAS website (http://www.soton.ac.uk/~bopcas/index.html) allows you to browse or search lists of UK parliamentary or departmental publications indexed by date, publication type, and policy area. There are several associated mailing lists available via the mailbase server (http://www.mailbase.ac.uk/alphabetical/b.html).
EMBBS Electrocardiogram of the Month
Donal Shanahan at the University of Newcastle has produced three interactive tutorials (http://numedsun.ncl.ac.uk/~nds4/tutorials/index.html) on the gross anatomy of the shoulder, larynx, and vertebral column. Aimed at first year medical students, they include diagrams, dissection images, magnetic resonance images, text, and movies.
Orthogate (http://www.orthogate.com/) boasts that it provides all the orthopaedic information that you could need from the internet. The site certainly has an international feel, with a European version on http://www.belgianorthoweb.be/orthogate/, a version in French on http://www.belgianorthoweb.be/orthogate/index_fr.htm, and a link to IndiaOrth (http://indiaorth.simplenet.com/orth/index.htm), a mailing list for Indian surgeons.
Internet porn: set a thief to catch a thief?
While the internet is by and large a force for good, its down side includes the exchange of pornography by paedophiles and the malevolent activities of some hackers. It is thus intriguing to see that some hackers are using their skills for good rather than ill. Ethical Hackers Against Pedophiles (http://www.hackers.com/ehap/) is a group who claim that theirs is “a mission of good over evil” and that “this is war.” It is hard to disagree with their stated aim of seeking out and stopping exploitation of children on the internet, but does the end justifies the means?
Internet porn: are you re-publishing it?
While adult pornography may not be as clearly illegal or unethical as child pornography, most, if not all, British medical schools have a policy of banning it from their computers and networks. It thus seems odd that many of the same institutions still accept and re-broadcast a wide range of newsgroups covering the rawer aspects of human sexuality (particularly those in the alt.sex hierarchy, which covers everything from news:alt.sex.bestiality to news:alt.sex.incest). If you can access these newsgroups over your university network you might want to ask those in authority why.
A fashionable office ruse used to be to put colleagues' names through a spellchecker program to see how they got mangled. The latest internet fashion is to feed web pages or other text to Alta-vista's Babelfish (http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate?) and see how it performs. The website allows you to translate from English to five other European languages and vice versa. Despite some amusing gaffes, it does well enough to be useful much of the time. Try turning the BMJ into French (http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate?languagepair=ef&urltext=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2ebmj%2ecom%2fcurrent%2eshtml) or compare Babelfish's attempts to translate the Pasteur Institute's web pages (http://www.pasteur.fr/) with their official English language versions. Alternatively, you could try learning Esperanto (http://wwwtios.cs.utwente.nl/esperanto/).
Compiled by Mark Pallen