General News

ACE: Leaders of Britain’s major cultural institutions have launched a new manifesto - Private Giving for the Public Good - opening a nationwide campaign to encourage a culture of giving to the arts & heritage.

The campaign calls for greater support to encourage a culture of giving and wider recognition of the contribution made by cultural philanthropists.  Many UK cultural institutions were founded through the contributions of private benefactors who wished to give something back to their communities. The aim is to encourage the philanthropists of the future.
Press release ~ Private Giving for the Public Good ~ National Museum Directors’ Conference ~ Museums, Libraries and Archive Council ~ Arts Council England
OS: Figures released to celebrate the second birthday of Ordnance Survey’s OS MasterMap Address Layer 2, show growing take-up by central and local government, emergency services, utilities, insurance companies and logistics firms.
Address Layer 2 includes more than 27m postal addresses and 1.5m non-addressable properties.  Giving users total flexibility, the data is also available in a form that complies with the latest BS 7666 standard, which defines how location information can be supplied for IT systems so that it can be shared more easily across and among organisations.
Later this year Ordnance Survey will be launching OS MasterMap Prebuild Address Layer, which will contain addresses of planned new buildings.  Combined with Address Layer 2, the data will give customers access to the complete address lifecycle for the first time.
Press release ~ OS MasterMap: Address Layer 2 ~ BS 7666-1:2006
NE: The launch of a new rescue plan by the North Pennines Black Grouse Recovery Project, in the Yorkshire Dales should help to secure the future of one of our most spectacular but endangered birds.  This new initiative, which aims to expand the range of the rare black grouse in two key areas (the Yorkshire Dales and North West Northumberland) has been made possible by a new injection of cash from Natural England and a contribution from the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
This 12-year partnership project between the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Natural England, RSPB, Ministry of Defence, North Pennines AONB Partnership and Northumbrian Water has managed to increase the English black grouse population from just 773 males in 1998 to 1,029 males in 2006 – an average increase of 4% per annum. 
Press release ~ North Pennines Black Grouse Recovery Project ~ Biodiversity Action Plan for black grouse ~ Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust ~ Natural England ~ Yorkshire Dales National Park ~ The RSPB: Conservation: Black grouse
MoD: A range of futuristic vehicles that could one day help UK forces to identify & avert threats on operations have been unveiled at an MOD event in London. The systems are currently being developed by teams from universities, schools and private business from across the UK, as part of the MOD's Grand Challenge competition.  The challenge will culminate in August when vehicles battle it out at Copehill Down, a village specially built by the military for urban warfare training.
Teams have been challenged to develop highly autonomous aerial and ground vehicles, which can detect & identify a range of threats encountered by UK troops on operations and which will be recreated during the August event - such as marksmen, roadside bombs and armed militia.  Machines will incorporate highly sophisticated communications technologies that can relay this information back to team members, and ultimately to commanders on the ground.
Press release ~ MOD's Grand Challenge competition ~ EMRS DTC - Electro Magnetic Remote Sensing Defence Technology Centre ~ Systems Engineering for Autonomous Systems (SEAS) Defence Technology Centre (DTC)
MO: Results from the latest multiple model ensemble techniques in climate change forecasting, published by the Royal Society indicate that summer rainfall will decrease by between 5 and 20% by the end of the century across northern Europe (comparing the average over 2070-2100 with the average from 1961-1990), using a medium greenhouse gas emissions scenario. 
The findings use Met Office Hadley Centre climate simulations in a multiple model ensemble, which helps climate scientists to provide a more systematic risk assessment of projected climate change.
Press release ~ What can climate scientists tell us about the future? ~ Met Office Hadley Centre ~ Royal Society – Global Warming ~ Multiple model ensemble
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