The metric system’s contribution to computing

One of the most notable contributions that the metric system has made to computing is the widespread use of metric prefixes for various computer specifications. Where would the computer industry be without the metric system? It is hard to imagine what it would have looked like without the metric system.

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Parallels with the Brexiteers – winning against the odds

During the Thatcher government of the 1980’s and the Major government of the 1990’s, the Eurosceptics were a fringe movement with few supporters. At the time, UK withdrawal from the EU was unthinkable and few called for the UK to withdraw from the EU, even among the Eurosceptics. Over the years, there were a number of trends that helped the Eurosceptics to gain public support for their cause and Euroscepticism grew in the media and in the Conservative Party. UKMA did not take sides in the Brexit referendum in mid-2016 and takes no position on Brexit or future UK-EU relations. Whatever one thinks of Brexit, the fact remains that the Brexiteers have won against all the odds. Brexit was achieved when the UK left the EU at 11pm GMT on Friday 31 January 2020. How did they achieve this against all the odds and what can UKMA learn from them?

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PHSO initial response to my complaint about BEIS

After I exhausted the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) complaints procedure and they failed to acknowledge or do anything about their misleading imperial units consultation document or biased survey, I sent off my BEIS complaints form dated 31 October 2022 to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) via my MP. After many months, I got an initial response.

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UKWF issues warning about risks of REUL Bill

Yesterday, the UK Weighing Federation (UKWF) issued a briefing on the regulation of the UK weighing industry and the Retained EU Law Bill. This briefing emphasised the key role of weights and measures in all areas of industry and consumers’ everyday lives and also explained the serious consequences of lowering or complete removal of current regulatory standards.

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Why do so few Britons use kg for body weight?

Britons tend to use grams and kilograms for a lot of things, including cooking recipes, gym equipment, commercial products and retail sales. However, they predominantly use stones and pounds for weighing adults and children and use pounds and ounces for weighing babies. Few use kg despite the fact that the NHS uses kg internally for body weight and BMI calculated by body weight in kg divided by height in metres squared. And despite the large number of everyday basic food products you can find in supermarkets that come in 1 kg packages.

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BEIS cannot tell us effects of scrapping all EU laws

Jacob Rees-Mogg, Liz Truss and current PM Rishi Sunak have expressed their commitment to scrap all EU laws. The Government is committed to implementing this policy by pushing the Retained EU Law Bill through Parliament. It is reasonable to challenge the Government about the effects of this policy and to ask what would happen if all EU laws disappeared from the British statute book. I asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) this question but they could not answer my question.

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UKMA’s response to the REUL Bill Select Committee

Yesterday, in the House of Lords, the Delegated Powers & Regulatory Reform Committee published its report on the Government’s Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

The Bill, which is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on Monday 6 February, is designed to hand power from Parliament to Government Ministers, who will then decide the fate of up to 4000 laws.

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No mention of measurements on Reform UK website

Reform UK is a right-wing Eurosceptic party, formerly called the Brexit Party. Its support has recently been roughly as high as the Liberal Democrats, at around 9% of the electorate. Its slogan is “Let’s Make Britain Great”, which sounds similar to former US president Donald Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again”. How has Reform UK gained support in recent times without saying a word about imperial units?

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