ACLU chapter flags Facebook app privacy | The Social – CNET News


The Northern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has put out a campaign designed to raise awareness of the privacy implications of Facebook’s developer platform. It’s focusing specifically on the popular “quiz” applications, like “Which Cocktail Best Suits Your Personality?” and “Which Wes Anderson Movie Character Are You?” These are largely one-time-use apps that many a Facebook user clicks on and tries out with little concern.

Read the full story here >>>

Roundup: New virus scanner, hackers prefer firefox, the myth of democracy, new pictures at flickr


NEW FREE VIRUSSCANNER USES CLOUD MODEL

PALO ALTO, CA — August 18, 2009 Immunet, the developer of next generation AntiVirus technologies, today announced the launch of the companys web site and a public Beta of Immunet Protect, the first free AntiVirus product designed to protect your community.

Read the full story here >>>

Exploit operators prefer Firefox

Criminals running websites that push drive-by exploits overwhelmingly prefer the Firefox browser, according to a researcher who spent the past three months surveilling their browsing habits.

Read the here >>>

SMACKING REFERENDUM: PRAGMATISM, LOSING FACE, THE MYTH OF DEMOCRACY

Have Key and all those others before him forgotten that they are elected to REPRESENT the people and that it is our tax money that pays their bills and perks? A law was pushed through in 2007 that had no democratic support, Parliament, by allowing this law to pass, already ignored its voters, the people once. And now again? The referendum is to inform out politicians of our opinion, the elections are there to enforce our sentiments upon those we choose to represent us. These boys and girls in the Beehive are getting things mixed up. Parliamentarians are send to parliament every three years as representatives of their voters, they should therefore be adhering to what we want them to do not the other way around. And here we have a John Key, prior to the referendum already telling us that regardless of the outcome he will not change the law. And basically sticking to that position despite the outcomes. Have those politicians  forgotten that the overwhelming majority of New Zealand never wanted this law in the first place? No-one wanted a back-office “compromise” deal of John Key and Helen Clark and in any event, NO ONE PERMITTED THESE POLITICIANS TO GO AHEAD AN DO IT ANYWAY. And yet, here we see it being done twice!

Read the full story here >>>

NEW PICTURES POSTED ON FLICKR

More at http://www.flickr.com/johndierckx

Posted via email from John Dierckx

SMACKING REFERENDUM: PRAGMATISM, LOSING FACE, THE MYTH OF DEMOCRACY


I guess John Key must have felt better of staying in Australia with all the heat going on: Rodney Hide and the Maori seats and on top of the smacking debate. New Zealand voted against “a smack as  part of good parental correction” being a criminal offence, whatever the media and even the pro and anti smacking are crying in the media. John Key took a series of proposals to Cabinet today following Friday’s referendum victory for opponents of the 2007 child discipline law change.

I am still wondering whether most of the people that voted no, despite my own preference for that, actually understood that it was not about whether a parental correctional smack should be allowed, but whether or not it should be classified as a criminal offence.

I again point out that it does not necessarily mean when you voted NO that you are PRO smacking. Could it maybe be that you do not see how a correctional smack warrants being classified as a criminal offence. Criminalizing should in my view be an “ultimum remedium” and therefore reserved for those acts that cannot be seen as anything else but a crime. The debate and referendum however has lost all its true perspective in any event as it is turned into a are you for “assaulting your children” or not. (That is the position of amongst others Sue Bradford and followers.) It is quite some distance from a “parental correctional smack” to “assaulting your children” I would imagine. It is also a distance from personally being a against a correctional smack to considering that it should be a criminal offence. he discussion and debate however seems to be polarized as FOR or AGAINST smacking. Subtle differences I admit but played out to their max to influence public opinion. 

All that aside, I am intrigued by John Key’s persistence in this matter. What is it that democratically elected members can sort of impose their own perspective or moral values this ignoring what the people in a democratic society want. They want the correctional smack out of the Crimes Act. Do Helen and mob have something on Key? The key to Key? Allegedly he would have said that “parents who lightly smack their children should not fear being treated like criminals, and that he would not ignore the referendum.”

I would like to point out that it is not how you are being treated, but the fundamental principle that despite of your treatment YOU ARE COMMITTING A CRIMINAL OFFENCE. the fact that you will not be treated as a criminal is hardly reassuring. Many high profile fraudsters end or ended up not being treated as a criminal, but does  that make them less of a criminal?  Many don’t get caught, therefore are not treated as a criminal. It’s all non-arguments.

The referendum is pretty clear in what it tried to answer. The outcomes are equally clear. We were asked whether a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence and we said NO.

Arguments that no one has been prosecuted are not compelling, arguments or proposals that would implicate police discretion are equally not convincing. The fact that there are many potential defences should you be prosecuted is of no importance either.
The simple fact remains that whenever a parent decides that a correctional smack is in its place – based on responsible parental values and experiences – and decides to follow up on that and gives his/her child a light smack on the bottom, that same parent needs to consider that he or she technically committed a crime. To illustrate:

Now suppose your neighbor we’ll call her “Auntie Sue”, sees what is happening, than she could report it as a crime and in Auntie Sue’s case you bet your bottom dollar that she will report that you are “assaulting” your child. There you are, things have settled down and you and your child are by now sitting on the couch reading from “Thomas the Tank Engine” or well whatever and there’s a police officer ringing your doorbell asking questions about a reported incident of assaulting your child, or equally bad, CYFS is doing the same. Regardless of whether you are prosecuted or not, you are investigated as a suspect of a crime that technically has been committed if this law remains unchanged. The mere follow up and questions are enough to make you feel as suspected to be a criminal and since you technically have committed an offence, you are.

Personally I can’t help but feeling that despite not changing the law “if it works” is an unconvincing approach, in fact a spineless approach. Gandhi once said: “Cowards can never be moral.”  And it shows.

Pragmatic arguments such as not wanting valuable parliamentary time being usurped by a renewed smacking debate are a blatant denial of democracy in the workings and also not a valid argument. Will we start taking criminal offences out of the Crimes Act an/or others “if they don’t work?”

Have Key and all those others before him forgotten that they are elected to REPRESENT the people and that it is our tax money that pays their bills and perks? A law was pushed through in 2007 that had no democratic support, Parliament, by allowing this law to pass, already ignored its voters, the people once. And now again? The referendum is to inform out politicians of our opinion, the elections are there to enforce our sentiments upon those we choose to represent us. These boys and girls in the Beehive are getting things mixed up. Parliamentarians are send to parliament every three years as representatives of their voters, they should therefore be adhering to what we want them to do not the other way around. And here we have a John Key, prior to the referendum already telling us that regardless of the outcome he will not change the law. And basically sticking to that position despite the outcomes. Have those politicians  forgotten that the overwhelming majority of New Zealand never wanted this law in the first place? No-one wanted a back-office “compromise” deal of John Key and Helen Clark and in any event, NO ONE PERMITTED THESE POLITICIANS TO GO AHEAD AN DO IT ANYWAY. An yet, here we see it being done twice!

Then again, try to place yourself in Key’s shoes: changing the law in accordance with the documented wishes of the people would mean losing face of course, cause how will you explain agreeing to this unwanted law change in the first place and subsequently changing it back. Step up John, and admit you made a mistake in 2007 and are now prepared to admit this and set the record straight. Now that would be the act of a REPRESENTATIVE. That would be a Parliament that represents and would justify the people to voluntarily comply with, because it represents the consensus of public opinion. TIME TO RETHINK THE BASICS I would say.

Ignoring the referendum results, is like seeing democracy die for the benefit of ELECTED politicians, that have become so power hungry, that they think they have it within their right to ignore those who elected them in the first place. If that is the case, we may as well stop pretending and admit that voting rights are no more than window dressing and keeping up a democratic myth so as to keep the population quiet and unaware that we are actually living under some form of dictatorship.

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Exploit operators prefer Firefox


Watch the Application Security Regcast, right here

Criminals running websites that push drive-by exploits overwhelmingly prefer the Firefox browser, according to a researcher who spent the past three months surveilling their browsing habits.

Mozilla’s Firefox was used by 46 per cent of the exploit kit operators who were tracked in the study, according to Paul Royal, principal researcher at Purewire, a company that protects customers against malicious websites. One third of the Firefox users browsed using a 3.0 version, while 13 per cent had upgraded to the most recent 3.5 version.

Interestingly, Opera, which by some measures has only a 2 per cent market share, ranked second among the kit operators, with 26 per cent.

Read the full article here >>>

NEW FREE VIRUSSCANNER USES CLOUD MODEL


PALO ALTO, CA — August 18, 2009 Immunet, the developer of next generation AntiVirus technologies, today announced the launch of the companys web site and a public Beta of Immunet Protect, the first free AntiVirus product designed to protect your community.

Under development for the past year, Immunet Protect takes a new approach to the decades old virus problem. Immunet leverages the computers of your friends, family and a worldwide global community to harness their collective security. Every time someone in this collective community encounters a threat, everyone else in the community gains protection from that same threat in real time. You no longer have to rely on the isolated security of your current AntiVirus vendor. You will be able to protect your friends and family while being better protected yourself.

If you already have AntiVirus, even better, Immunet Protect will run alongside Norton, McAfee and AVG, enhancing the protection offered by these more traditional products.

Immunet Protect for the Microsoft Windows platform is free and can be downloaded from http://www.immunet.com.

Read the full press release here >>>

Immunet Protect can be obtained here >>>

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Smacking referendum: No vote wins | Stuff.co.nz


Almost 90 percent of people who participated in a referendum asking New Zealanders whether smacking should be illegal have voted no, preliminary results show.

A total of 1,622,150 votes were cast with 87.6 percent in favour of repealing the controversial new law.

The preliminary results from the $9 million citizens-initiated referendum which asked: “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?” have just been released.

The Chief Electoral Office said it would now complete checks and count voting papers still to be received, before releasing the final result.

Based on the preliminary results there was a 54 percent voter turnout.

Prime Minister John Key said he had listened to the result of the referendum and plans to take some proposals to Cabinet on Monday.

Ironically on On the day the referendum on the controversial anti-smacking law closes, the law’s architect Green MP Sue Bradford has been recognized by psychologists for her contributions to the protection of children.

…”Her determination to proceed with her private member’s bill to repeal Section 59 of the Crimes Act was based on her belief that children should have the same protection from assault as adults.”

Full article here http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2774974/Green-MP-Sue-Bradford-gets-award-for-work-on-smacking-law

COMMENT
Every now an then it is great to see that common sense actually prevails. Despite all the media campaigning for the “yes” vote common sense prevailed.

It is already one thing to compare a light smack with assault, but as posted before it is a considerably different matter to make a light correctional smack into a criminal offense. It was pushed through against public (read democratic) support because some parliament knew better than parents.

And look at media reports now: I am NOT for smacking, but that doesn’t mean I think a parental correctional little smack should be a criminal offense.
I am for leaving RESPONSIBLE PARENTS the FREEDOM OF CHOICE instead of running the risk of being a criminal because my child behaved or is behaving so terrible he deserves a light smack in my view.

Checked earlier on…. they all love me, or were they maybe so afraid they would not dare say otherwise.

Again, common sense prevailed. We said NO to a law that has not contributed to any real solution to the issue of child abuse and has already left a trail of unnecessarily criminalized or needlessly chased by CYF parents.

Now let’s see what really happens. Fingers crossed.

Posted via web from John Dierckx

DOES IT PAY TO INVEST IN ART?


In a Dutch Magazine (FEM), Edin Mujagic reported on the question of whether or Art is a smart investment. It is reported that on average the ROI of investments in art are below those of stocks and bonds. Investment in art is presented as fad, a hype that comes and goes, with markets being flooded by funds that invest in art, advisers on investment in art and self-help books. Millions of dollars are paid for paintings of famous painters and those that would have invested in art in 2006 would have had a higher ROI on their art than those that had invested in art.

As in wine, you have bad years, good years an exceptional years and apparently 2006 was an exceptional year according to a professor and his promovenus at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands who concluded that art investments often have a lower ROI than ios commonly thought. Based on the details of 1.1 million sales they come to an average yearly ROI of 4.01%. 1982 was apparently a turning point where the ROI went below that of stocks and bonds. At the same time there were exceptions especially the period of 2002-2007 (11.6% on average) and the late eighties.
Similar as sock and bonds, it does make a difference what you invest your money in. Oil paintings. especially city scenes and self portraits score high, drawings and prints are at the bottom end of the ladder.

Now it may be me, but could it maybe be that art investments follow the general patterns. When there is money around, a surplus even, you can just give an art investment a go without any expertise. The need for expertise, is in periods like this where if you consider investments in art you will need to know what you are doing if you expect it to provide you a return on investment. That is not any different than on the financial market where a number of advisers end up left puzzled and others have a knack of knowing which ones will do great despite the general trends. Investing simply requires expertise and perhaps some patience.

I see business experts claim that this crisis requires the creatives to turn it around, and people that can anticipate results for the mid to longer term. Perhaps investing will turn back to something more of a personal commitment again. I am far from an expert in that field, but  could imagine that this is perhaps a good time to engage someone that understands or has a feel of what YOUNG and UPCOMING artists and works will be hot in the mid to longer term. Something that requires an in depth understanding of both art and its future markets.

At the same time I still find it a strange idea. To me art is something that’s very hard to put a price on, I see millions go for paintings I would not pay a dollar for, but then again, I am not know to be an investment specialist, let alone an art investment specialist. For some reason I have more sympathy for those people you see on those television programs that bought a work of art just because they loved what they were looking at and years down the line they find out they need to call their insurance company because they ended up buying a very special work of art.

Duh that’s why they bought it in the first place; BECAUSE IT WAS SPECIAL,TO THEM. Come to think of that, if all who could afford it, would end up buying with their heart, how many new artists would there be identified as important, upcoming and brilliant? But if you are in the art game for the money, by all means forget what  just said.

I still find it all a hard thing to imagine: here you are painting of $100,000 on the wall, another $25,000 in security and insurance. You friends come along and say wow! And you saying well I hate the painting but it was the best investment the market had on offer. I think when it comes to art and I have the spare money, I’d stick to my heart, who’d wanna look at something he doesn’t like everyday anyway. I will probably never be a smart investor in financial terms. At the same time I think that a smile on my face because I am enjoying a work of art so much is more than money could ever pay for.  Personally, I find a beautiful painting or picture ( to my taste) a fantastic source of ideas or inspiration. Perhaps as an entrepreneur, business owner or employer: what if this work of art inspires so much it brings you or one of your staff members that  one idea that’s worth a million. Now for that let’s say $25,000 and some time you allow for to dream away you may well end up having made the best investment you ever made (of course together with the staff member that came up with the golden idea. Buy that guy an office filled with paintings to his liking!!!!)

The paintings in this blog post are from two artists I really appreciate:

I suggest you go and have a look on their websites or if you are around, perhaps see and exhibition. Nothing beats the real thing of course. And if you are curious about that revolutionary new artist behind the photo at the top of the article; from a confidential source I have heard that that picture was taken with a mobile phone. The artist has a profile here >>> and his gallery  can be found here >>>.  He may well end up being that mid to long term high yield investment you were looking for hahahahahaha. And should you end up feeling defrauded because you find out the picture you bought was taken with a mobile phone; he investigates fraud as well.

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