Category Archives: Life

People who complain about privacy on Facebook need to shove it.

I am honest to god sick to death of people complaining about privacy on online services.

Seriously, if you are that bothered about Facebook privacy settings the solution is simple. Stop Using Facebook.
Privacy on line is a thing of the past, and we all are more than willing to give away more information that we perhaps should, but the obvious solution is to simply not give people the data. If you are willing to hand over the data, then you are at fault here. Not the services that you subscribe to.
If it's on the Internet, it isn't private.

If it’s on the Internet, it isn’t private. (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

 

Additionally, if you put all this data in the service and decide that you don’t like it, but you are unwilling to close your account “because of all your friends” then again you only have yourself to blame.
This should be a dead issue. If you give your data to people who make money through adverts, they will target you with adverts. If you don’t want them to do so. Stop using the “free” service that you are using. And I’d also say go and have a good look at the privacy policy of the websites concerned.
The  simple fact of the matter is that these services are free to you, because you are the commodity. And people will pay good money for a good database of people to advertise to because they are far more likely to get a solid ROI.
If you want privacy on line, you have to pay for it, because by paying for it, you are no longer the commodity for sale. End of story
</endrant>
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SOPA was a Kitten compared to ACTA

So it turns out that our governments are duplicitous creatures and apparently entirely in the deep pockets of the entertainment industry. Today I am thoroughly disgusted with the UK, which has agreed to ratify Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Fortunately we still have some time, as the issue still needs to be voted in the European parliament, and if it fails there, it fails globally.

ACTA  Anti Counterfeit Trading Agreement- New ...

Image by mermadon 1967 via Flickr

The Disgusting Circumvention of Politics

Now that really irks me about ACTA is that it isn’t being passed as law, it’s being pushed through as a trade agreement, something that doesn’t require governments to have public approval.  This means they have been able to push this through stealthily, and without making it a transparent agreement for the world to look at. Probably because if they had, the world would have gone into even more massive uproar than over SOPA.

This tactic of pushing through bills that affect laws and criminal codes is called Policy Laundering.  And it is massively in breach of what people would perceive as our democratic rights, especially since it modifies the criminal code. This is a civil matter, and needs to be decided in parliament, with full exposure to the public, not made secretly hidden from the public.

After all, SOPA was merely an extension of the US Law, ACTA on the other hand is Global. There is no protection and no place to hide.

Given that the countries pushing it as well are supposed to be democratic nations, the fact that this has not been a democratic process in the slightest is a massive breach of the trust we place in our governments. It is about time that we made out governments stand up and listen to us as a nation. We have been giving over this power to them and now they are abusing it.

How the HELL does ACTA affect me?

In a million ways.

For starters it basically requires that ISPs screen all content that passes along their networks for copyright material. To put it bluntly and really hit home. It basically involves them reading your emails.

Now I can guarantee that if the government demanded that your postal mail was all read before being sent out by you, you’d be pretty pissed. This is a huge breach of the fundamental rights and freedoms of us as European citizens. It completely restricts our freedom to expression and communications privacy.

For instance, post anything marked as copyright that you don’t realise and post to Facebook, means you lose your internet connection. No bullshit. ISPs would be required to disconnect you from the network. End of story.

Now tell me that isn’t a huge breach of my freedom to communications privacy, and my right to communication.  Plus given that there was talk of access to information on the internet being classified as a basic human right, then this is now in breach of my human rights. HURRAY.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has published “Speak out against ACTA”, stating that the ACTA threatens free software by creating a culture “in which the freedom that is required to produce free software is seen as dangerous and threatening rather than creative, innovative, and exciting.

That quote from the Free Software foundation highlights a bit of the threat towards the creative industries as well. This bill would also mean the death of software repositories like GitHub and my personal favourite, Sourceforge as well.

Also to my fellow Unix and Linux brothers! You like music as well right. Well say goodbye to being able to play your music Collection. ACTA would make it illegal to play Non-Free media in open source media players.

That’s right; anyone who uses Open Source software to play DRM material will essentially be committing a crime. Tell me that is not completely fucked up in every single way.

You’ve sold me, what can I do?

UK based, then grab your MP and make some noise. Some serious noise.

And if you are European, then grab your MEP, same for us UK folks as well. Make noise. We need to kick off about this in a big way, not simply because it impinges upon our civil freedoms and our rights to communications privacy, but because it’s in breach of democratic process of the free nations of the world.

There is information all over the web to help point you in the right direction.

My suggested starting point is right at this website here:  http://www.stopacta.info/

Stand up and fight.

Dave, the willing net warrior

 

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A little knowledge

I’ve always believed in the phrase ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’. We’ve seen it in action, someone you’ll be talking to will have just 5% of the facts and fill in the other 95% with complete waffle, and if the person their talking to has even less information than them, then their convinced of that fact. And so the dangers progresses.

In my travels and conversations with people I’ve met a lot who love to talk about the current financial crisis. They like to discuss its problems and how we can get out of it, and they seek to give advice to others on how to conduct their lives. Things like ‘oh don’t make an investment, the markets are in the dump’ or ‘starting a business right now is a terrible idea!’ are thrown around carelessly without thought or knowledge.

Here’s the thing, turns out now is the best time to invest, think about it! If you invest ina market that in the dumps then the only way it can go is up. Sooner or later the economy will start thriving again, we’re not going to be stuck in a century long recession, it wont happen. Why? Because that how free market economics work.

See if you think about it then it seems to simple! It’s like Sherlock Holmes explaining to Watson why something that may seem preposterous at first is actually very ‘elementary’ when it’s laid out.

So as an economist here’s my plea to you, please spend a few hours learning about the state of the world. Even if you don’t care, because it’s those issues that affect your life, not the raid you WOW guild has planned for next Friday.

Knowledge will set you free, and until you gain it you are a slave. A slave to these ‘little knowledge’ people who will tell you anything as long as you listen and make them feel important.

Like I said, it’s so clear to see that your a slave now that I’ve explained it.

Elementary my dear <insert your name here>

Azmain is an economist who is a follower of Keynesian economics. He writes on a variety of social and economics issues on his blog, The Rosebud.

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Global Injustice and the Death of a Programmer

After having read this wonderful article on Mashable, I must admit I have become a raging cauldron of fury. To think that in this modern day and age, that this kind of human rights abuses can still go on sickens me to my very core.

In essence for those of you that haven’t looked at the article in question, the story is that of one programmer, by the name of Saeed Malekpour.

Malekpour has been sentenced to death in Iran for the crime of developing the SOFTWARE that is used to upload photos to pornographic websites.

That is his crime. He developed software. And it has been used by a porn company. So now Saeed must die.

Is this seriously how the world works. I have no control over the fashion in which software I develop is used. I simply create it. Saeed’s image upload script might be used by thousands of companies but because it is used on a website that uploads and distributes pornographic material, Saeed will suffer and die as a result.

He’s undergone torture and threats to his family as well as having a forced confession. The real kicker in all of this is the fact that he’s actually a Canadian citizen and the Canadian government hasn’t stepped in at all to stop this blatant flaunting of human rights to protect one of their own.

I can guarantee that if Mr Malekpour was a UK citizen or a US citizen the troops would’ve been called out to bring him home the moment the Iranian government refused to release him.

It honest to god makes my blood boil. Now it’s well known that the Iranian government has draconic rules relating to the use of internet and the sites that people can view, but now they are extending these rules towards the people that make software.

It’s almost as ridiculous as stating that if I make a cup that is used by terrorist organisations, I should be branded as a terrorist as well.

My heart goes out to Mr Malekpour and my only hope in this matter is that the Canadian government steps in before it’s too late.

But am I the only one thinking that perhaps it’s time someone stepped on Iran’s toes regarding their abuse of human rights?

Dave, the defender of the average man

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A requiem for the Desktop Application

Cloud apps are making a strong headway on the desktop application front. And it doesn’t surprise me in all fairness. The ability to get at your data or documents, anywhere at any time is a pretty attractive prospect in my book. Especially given the number of offices I work out of, not having to carry around large external hard drives or masses of thumb drives is a pretty useful. Everything is becoming so App-centric. Web apps, with the required mobile apps to go with, it’s no wonder that this is happening.

Even I have switched over to largely using web applications or cloud applications. Google’s Apps are now my default document editors and email as well as being a damn good all purpose calendar. My invoicing and book keeping is done through Ronin App (Check them out by the way, fucking brilliant for project management and invoicing.

But the reason why I am writing the post like this is the introduction of a new service to OnLive.

Just briefly, if you aren’t familiar with OnLive, they provide high end gaming through the media of cloud computing. As long as you have a damn good internet connection you can play the latest games at the highest graphics without having a dedicated console or a PC, all you need is decent internet and a subscription. In my opinion, a damn good deal.

But as they announced last week, they have brought Windows and Windows Desktop applications like Office to the iPad. Your entire Windows Desktop and applications in the cloud. Running on machines far better than yours will ever be. And all you need is a decent internet connection.

Now that is impressive. Seriously impressive. And the possibilities are endless. Imagine being able to simply use a tablet like an iPad on an Android Tablet and being able to call on the full power of a solid desktop anywhere in the world. And Heck, if you couple that with the fantastic Web App DropBox, you don’t even have to worry about your data on the go. It’s all there in the cloud.

Now the desktop won’t be dead for a long time, but I think we are finally starting to see the threshold tipping point where they are becoming less relevant. I can see a future where all processing is Cloud and Grid based. And I think I like that future.

But till I can get the Adobe Suite in the cloud, not for me yet.

Share your comments.

Dave the creator of cloud grids.

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