1:  A large quantity 2: An extremely plentiful or over sufficient quantity


One of the more interesting phenomena of recent years has been the way that governments have begun to publicly express remorse for the actions of their predecessors. Tony Blair implicitly apologised in June 1997 for the British government’s failing of the Irish people during the potato famine of 1845–49, the New Zealand government apologised to the Maori nation in 1995 for land seizures in 1863 and various similar gestures of reconciliation have occurred around the world. The most extraordinary of these has been an article by the Japanese prime minister which appeared in the Sun newspaper in Britain this week expressing his nation’s remorse for its actions during the Second World War. The meaning of apology has evolved a good deal since its first appearance in the sixteenth century (the first use recorded in the OED is in the title Apologie of Syr Thomas More, Knyght; made by him, after he had geuen ouer the Office of Lord Chancellor ...


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This is a specification, developed by a consortium that includes IBM, Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, and Toshiba, for a radio system that allows electronic devices to communicate with each other over short distances without connecting cables. Some 1,200 companies pledged to support this new format when it was first announced, including giants like Microsoft. It has been a buzzword in the computer industry since late 1999, and in its early days it seemed certain that the format would become universal, most commonly in portable computing devices and cellphones. One research firm in late 1999 predicted there would be 61 million Bluetooth-equipped appliances by 2003. Typical implementations would be for a hands-free (and wire-free) headset linked via Bluetooth to your mobile phone in your briefcase; immediate password access to your office through automatic sensing between Bluetooth appliances; or automatic data transfer between computers, say in a meeting. Howe...

Community currency

This is a relatively new umbrella term for schemes that are designed to help people in a community help each other. Such schemes are frequently created as a way to develop links between isolated individuals or to bring people who are excluded from employment into useful activity. Reviving the local economy is often not the main objective. The best known examples are LETS, Local Exchange and Trading Systems. These create local currencies for trading among its members, a form of mutual credit. They began in the eighties; there are now about 400 LETS schemes in Britain, 250 in Australia, 50 in New Zealand and 140 in North America. LETS have a negotiable rate for services, which some writers distinguish from systems like time dollars, developed by the Washington lawyer Edgar Cahn in the mid eighties, in which it is assumed that everybody’s time is of equal value. How useful they are is not easy to judge, as benefits are often intangible rather than directly economic, what one writer has...

Deep Web

The World Wide Web has become so big that search engines can’t index it all; in fact, they find only a small proportion. There’s also lots of stuff out there — mostly in databases — that can’t be reached at all by the conventional search technologies in use since the Web began. The firm BrightPlanet has estimated that this deep Web (a term it seems to have invented) contains 7,500 terabytes of data, compared with about 19 terabytes of data on what it calls the surface Web, numbers impossible to visualise in other than the vaguest way. Even if these figures are overestimates, it still suggests that there is a lot of material out there that would be useful if only one could find it. The firm also points out that the deep data is usually of excellent quality, and that most of it is publicly accessible without charge. Now we have to find a way of getting at it. BrightPlanet estimates that this so-called “deep Web” could be 500 times larger than the surface W...

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v8 engine

A V8 engine is an eight-cylinder V engine with the cylinders mounted on the crankcase in two sets of four cylinders, in most cases set at a right angle to each other, but sometimes at a narrower angle, with all eight pistons driving a common crankshaft.[1] In its simplest form, it is basically two inline-four engines sharing a common crankshaft. However, this simple configuration, with a flat- or single-plane crankshaft, has the same secondary dynamic imbalance problems as two straight-4s, resulting in vibrations in large engine displacements.[2] Since the 1920s most V8s have used the somewhat more complex crossplane crankshaft with heavy counterweights to eliminate the vibrations. This results in an engine that is smoother than a V6, while being considerably less expensive than a V12 engine. Most racing V8s continue to use the single plane crankshaft because it allows faster acceleration and more efficient exhaust system designs