Scam threat to NZ firms – technology | Stuff.co.nz


In a typically 21st century crime, fraudsters have used scam emails and fake websites to steal more than €3 million (NZ$6m) of carbon credits from international businesses.

The Economic Development Ministry said businesses in New Zealand were at risk from the fraud, but it was confident none had fallen victim.

It has written to all companies with carbon credits registered on its database, reminding them to guard their account details and passwords.

The ministry said hoax emails were sent to businesses in several countries aimed at persuading them to click on links that took them to fake websites, where they were asked to key in their account details and passwords.

Such “phishing” scams are commonly used to defraud banks, but ministry spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said it was believed to be the first time the US$135 billion (NZ$196b) carbon credit market had been targeted.

Quoting Hans-Juergen Nantke, head of German carbon credit registry DEHSt, Reuters reported that carbon credits had been stolen from six German firms and that others in the European Union and in Australia, Norway and New Zealand had been targeted.

These countries were at risk because they allow credits to be transferred overseas.

The ministry checked its database at the request of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Mazur said no New Zealand firms had transferred credits overseas since the scam came to light. None had reported thefts.

She was unsure how the fraudsters planned to cash in the credits. “I personally wouldn’t know what to do with carbon credits. They don’t seem to take them down at McDonald’s.”

via Scam threat to NZ firms – technology | Stuff.co.nz.

COMMENT

All I can say is that the the scheme itself should have never been there in the first place as it is based on cooked up research and now we find that it is actually causing new scams to arise. It was a matter of time I guess.

DIERCKX & ASSOCIATES LTD » Fake Celebrity Profiles on Twitter


The NZ Herald reports

Kiwi celebrities are being targeted by social networking frauds, who are forging Twitter and Facebook accounts in their names.

False profiles are being created in the names of sports stars such as All Black captain Richie McCaw, Black Caps skipper Daniel Vettori as well as broadcasters and TV personalities.

The fictitious sites are fooling fans and friends into believing the profiles are real.

Internet safety watchdogs say creating a bogus website is illegal under the Crimes Act, and those targeted should take their concerns to police.

Identity Theft, Harassment

The article mentions that people who fin themselves a victim of such practices as described in the article, should go the police as it is according to Martin Crocker a crime to act as someone else. What Crocker appears to overlook or deliberately does not mention is that it is not as clear cut as it may seem.

Read the rest at DIERCKX & ASSOCIATES LTD » Fake Celebrity Profiles on Twitter.

How about leaving the thing (mobile phone) off?


Grace period over, police warn covert texters

Drivers are slipping back into “old habits” of using cellphones while driving and are now taking their eyes completely off the road to text covertly, police say.

Police have ended their grace period for drivers caught using a hand-held cellphone and are reporting a significant increase in the number of tickets being issued.

Although only 275 tickets were issued nationally in November, the month that driving while using a hand-held phone became illegal, Sergeant Scott Richardson of Christchurch expected it to be a lot higher now.

“When it came in we thought there would be tickets everywhere … but the compliance was awesome. But people fall back into old habits.”

Read the rest of the rest of the article here >>>

JUST LEAVE THE THING OFF

It may be me but would it not live a lot easier if we just leave the thing off or put it off before we go into the car or get into a conversation?

It has been less than a few decades ago that we did not use mobile phones simply because they were not there. And look at us now, I read articles about what the appropriate age is for kids to have a mobile phone about our continuous distraction and the risks associated with it especially when we are driving. When was the last time you were in a conversation where there was not some distraction because someone “just had to take this call” to find that apparently you conversation partner “had to talk about that movie or other program that was on tele last night” or otherwise matters that could simply have waited. Then coming back into the conversation there is the well known “where were we again.”

The police here is warning us about falling back into old habits, texting while we drive and since that is illegal now, we do it covertly. WHAT IS IT THAT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO RISK YOU OWN LIFE AND THAT OF OTHERS that needs to go into this text and could not wait until you were in a situation where you could do this safely? Just the other day, we almost got run over by someone that was actually leaving his premises and while backing out from his driveway was also busy texting, so busy in fact that he never saw the people at the end of the driveway. How sad is that?

My idea: just leave the thing off when you get behind the wheel. I know, I know, I am probably sounding like I am from another planet. But really, looking back at my own mobile history I know that while I was not that inclined to pick up the thing in the first place by myself, the tone of a message or a call coming in seemed irresistible. So, that problem was sorted quickly. And it had another advantage, it stopped using battery power especially important if your going through some of the no reception areas on the South Island.

And is it not the same  in social or business meetings. What is the message you are really conveying when you are letting yourself be distracted by those mobiles all the time. What are you telling the other side of your real time conversation if you are there sending texts messages while having a conversation? Imagine this: you are having a cup of coffee with a good friend and at some point he turns around with his or her back towards you to start another conversation, and from that moment on whenever you talk, you talk to your friends back. Well that in a way is what you are doing. I know I have been guilty of myself.

Always Connected… Come on?

With mobile connectivity came the myth that we needed to be connected and available wherever we are. And in all honesty it certainly has its advantages at times but, … at times. But most off all I cannot help but feeling that this continuous connectivity is nothing more than  a big distraction and mist of all another wake to fake you way to an impression of importance. And funnily those that really are usually have someone to take their calls when they are not there. And for the rest, “what’s up?” … “nothing much and twittering about it” … “how r u” … “here with guy pretending to be busy, pub @ 6?” …. In the meantime the person on the other side of the table is talking an you are NOT listening?

Seth Godin, I do not recall the specific of the where and when anymore, talked about how the social net is providing an opportunity for a lot of fake. I think the same applies to the mobile thingy for as far as the two can still be separated. Yet we are made to believe that this is essential. I remember some time ago in the Netherlands I had to get a mobile phone and entering the shop explaining that, the lady said:

“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO USE YOUR PHONE FOR?”

Well duh for making phone calls or am I saying something strange here?

And true I have been using my mobile phone to take pictures for the reasons outlined in my world through a mobile phone post. But that was born out of an accident. What bothers me is that in all our ‘connectedness’ we do not seem to be realizing how it also created a ‘collective shallowness’, great for those that do coaching and consulting on how to have a meaningful conversation again as that is what we have apparently been losing as a craft.

I guess as far as I am concerned the answer is simple where it comes to step one in the program: DARE TO LEAVE THE THING OFF AT TIMES, so you can focus on what is really important at that time: your driving, your present conversation or meeting, enjoying your walk outside without distractions.

And those that see this not as an option I suggest make that one very important template that you can use to answer texts messages coming in:

“DROVE OFF A CLIFF (alternatively: against a tree) TRYING 2 ANSWER UR TXT. SEE U IN HOSPITAL OR HEAVEN.” A one button reply ready to go for when you mess up.

FALSE ALARM: Himalaya Gletchers


World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown,” declared the disturbing headline (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece) in The Sunday Times of London. As it turn out the 2007 prediction by IPCC  that many Himalayan glaciers would melt away by 2035 was a huge stuff up based on sources not thoroughly vetted. The UN panel recently admitted (http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/presentations/himalaya-statement-20january2010.pdf) its mistake.

Of Campaigning Reports and Popular Science Magazines

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have had to admit that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report. It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. Hasnain, of Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, who at the time was chairman of the International Commission on Snow and Ice’s working group on Himalayan glaciology, never repeated the prediction in a peer-reviewed journal. He now admits the comment was “speculative”. Even though the 10-year-old New Scientist report was the only source, the claim found its way into the IPCC fourth assessment report published in 2007. Moreover the claim was extrapolated to include all glaciers in the Himalayas! This could well turn out to be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. Subsequently consider that the IPCC was set up to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change. Could it maybe turn out to be that the  IPCC (as some claim) was not so much established for the reasons outlined previously but actually for no other purpose than to provide legitimacy to otherwise political agendas in which climate change is no longer the cause but a means for other unrelated purposes?

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: “If Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, than I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments.” It’s a significant embarrassment for IPCC  which exists and is funded to provide quality scientific information on climate change and its implications.It all sounds like tales or gossip spreading through the neighborhood or the office, doesn’t it? Remember: these are big players, paid big bucks. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. In lauding the IPCC’s mobilization of scientific knowledge about climate change, the Nobel presenter said (http://nobelpeaceprize.org/en_GB/laureates/laureates-2007/presentation-2007),

Similar procedures to the IPCC’s should be considered as ways of approaching problems also in other fields.

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Like the IPCC, the WWF, now has issued a major retraction of their 2005 warning about Himalayan glacier melting projections, saying they failed to double-check the primary source. The secondary source WWF cited was a 1999 New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18363-debate-heats-up-over-ipcc-melting-glaciers-claim.html) magazine news article featuring an Indian scientist’s views that many Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035 because of global warming.  According to the New York Times, in an email the scientist claimsto hve been “misquoted.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/science/earth/19climate.html?scp=1&sq=ipcc%20himalayan%20glaciers&st=cse). In a letter to Science Magazine Graham Cogley et all suggest (http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/326/5955/924) that “2035” may represent inaccurate copying of “2350” from another report. The Trent University (Ontario, Canada) geographer who helped uncover the mistake, points out that

“nobody who studied this material bothered chasing the trail back to the original point when the claim first arose.”

Another Stuff Up?

Is it me or is this all sounding like some sort of a big mess or stuff up. I can’t help but thinking what other stuff ups will surface in the coming period. IS this perhaps providing an argument to keep science and state separated similarly to church and state?  Himalayan glaciers supply fresh water to rivers that impact millions of people in South Asia. The IPCC’s 2007 glacier statement (http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/ch10s10-6-2.html) warned:

“Glaciers in the Himalaya are receding faster than in any other part of the world . and, if the present rate continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high if the Earth keeps warming at the current rate.”

A prominent Indian glaciologist disputed the IPCC 2007 statement in a 2009 Indian government report. IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri shot back, calling the report “voodoo science” that lacked peer review. Talk about the pot  calling the kettle black. The IPCC glacier prediction itself lacked peer review, something central to IPCC’s mission (http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.htm):

…to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic consequences.

The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change (emphasis reporter). … Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information.

Politics v Science

The WWF report which the IPCC cited was a campaigning report rather than an academic paper.  The difference is important as because of its status the WWF report was not subjected to any formal scientific review. Would that not have been exactly what you would have expected from the IPCC, or is it maybe that if findings or reports support the underlying agendas of the funding agencies, that is enough of an excuse to be slack? Even though the exposure of this ill-founded prediction, the IPCC, is still concerned about glacier melting, but called the prediction “poorly substantiated” and said “clear and well-established standards of evidence were not applied properly” in this case. I take it that also applies to the reporting standards of the IPCC.

Kiwi Involvement: incompetence, ignorance, slackness?

In an article in The Briefing Room by Ian Wishart we read:

…it is hard to believe none of the many kiwis working on the report failed to read it and comprehend the massive schoolboy errors.

Even more interesting is that the IPCC was warned in 2006 by leading glaciologist Georg Kaser that the 2035 forecast was baseless. “This number is not just a little bit wrong, but far out of any order of magnitude,” Mr. Kaser told the Agence France-Presse. “It is so wrong that it is not even worth discussing.”

Among five errors identified in their report was also an assertion that Himalayan glaciers would shrink from 500,000 square kilometers in area to just 100,000 square kilometers. In fact, glaciologists have confirmed the Himalayan glaciers only covered 33,000 square kilometers to begin with.

The New Zealanders listed as “reviewers” or “contributing authors” of Working Group 2 include glaciologist Jim Salinger of NIWA, David Wratt (NIWA’s top climate scientist) and Howard Larsen, principal analyst for New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment and NZ’s representative to the IPCC. Salinger and Wratt were senior figures on the IPCC AR4 reports, including the one in question – and Wratt was a Vice Chair of the IPCC’s Working Group 1 report as well.

The full list of kiwis who may have failed to spot the errors (many below may not be glacier experts, but some will be and in my opinion should have known) and bring them to Pachauri’s attention are:

REVIEWERS of WGII report

Baxter, Kay, Ministry for the Environment

Becken, Susanne, Landcare Research

Becker, Julia, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences

Bell, Robert, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Collins, Eva, University of Waikato

Dymond, Stuart, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Fairbairn, Paul L, SOPAC South Pacific Applied Geoscience

Gray, Warren, Ministry for the Environment

Hales, Simon, University of Otago

Hall, Alistair, HortResearch

Hannah, John, University of Otago

Hay, John, University of Waikato

Hughey, Ken, Lincoln University

Kenny, Gavin J, Earthwise Consulting Ltd

Kerr, Suzi, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Institute

King, Darren, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Larsen, Howard, Ministry for the Environment

Lawrence, Judy, Climate Change National Science Strategy Committee

Lawson, Wendy, University of Canterbury

Maclaren, Piers, Piers Maclaren & Associates Ltd

McKerchar, Alastair, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Mullan, A. Brett, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Plume, Helen, Ministry for the Environment

Porteous, Alan, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Power, Vera, Ministry for the Environment

Purdie, Jennifer, University of Waikato

Rys, Gerald, Ministry of Research, Science and Technology

Saggar, Surinder, Landcare Research

Stephens, Peter, Ministry for the Environment

Stroombergen, Adolf, Infometrics

Waugh, John Robert, Opus International Consultants Ltd.

Weaver, Sean, Victoria University of Wellington

Whitehead, David, Landcare Research

Wilson, Toni, Ministry for the Environment

Woodward, Alistair, University of Auckland

Wratt, David, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

CONTRIBUTORS TO WGII REPORT:

Tord Kjellstrom, University of Auckland

Darren King, NIWA

Gavin Henry, Earthwise Consulting

Guy Penny, NIWA

Jim Salinger, NIWA

Roderick Henderson, NIWA

Matt Dunn, NIWA

Blair Fitzharris, University of Otago

Simon Hales, University of Otago

Alistair Woodward, University of Auckland

John Hay, University of Waikato

Richard Warrick, University of Waikato

Susanne Becken, Landcare

In all fairness: many of the people listed may well be involved in policy no particular glacier expertise or at best with the depth of a pancake.  Some however will be experts and should have recognized the impossibility of the claims, all of them could have seen the methodological issues at hand. If we go from the premise that these people actually read the report, do we have to conclude here then that they failed to understand what they were actually reading? And if they did identify the errors: is there any evidence that they reported it, an if not why not? That does not give me much hope for the future. What faith can we have in our New Zealand scientists and moreover the IPCC.

What’s next?

This global warming campaign is getting more and more dubious or questionable. We have just come out of another controversy, variously dubbed “ClimateGate” and “SwiftHack, in which hacked emails suggest some scientists may have sought to conceal data that did not support their climate change views. And now this. All I can wonder is: WHAT’S NEXT?

Recently I advised that it is important you start taking your own responsibility (Climate Change Apologetics) in getting a clear view on what is actually happening when it comes to climate change. At Dierckx & Associates I published a post that may help you in doing your own research and also to hopefully avoid you making the same mistakes as our well respected experts on these matters.

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Climate Change Apologetics: a new field?


I am not going into the who’s right or wrong here. What I do like to point out is that it is all too easy to fall for the “vox populi.” The climate change matter is one with many angle and most of all many different political agendas that may well have nothing to do with something unrelated to climate change.

As a Christian it makes sense to take good care of our planet, God’s creation. But that does not necessarily mean that you need to agree with carbon emission schemes and global governance agendas that seem to be behind all this. If there is anything that this video outlines it is that it is not smart to base your opinions on scientific reports issue by campaigning organizations (the Al Gore traveling circus, Greenpeace) without checking the other options and data as well as the integrity thereof. At the same time if there is anything the recent developments appear to show is that scientists have a responsibility to make available in understandable terms the data that opposes or better yet respectfully answers the matters raised by climate change promoters.

I see a new area emerging here: Climate change Apologetics, analogue to Christian Apologetics. I don’t think that anyone will deny that climate change is real and has been forever. At the same time we are supposed to believe that the climate change is caused by men and that in turn is supposed to support political initiatives such as global governance and emission trading schemes, with all the costs associated with that for business and the individual in the end. Being exposed as an uninformed protester is certainly not helping your case if you are a “believer” of the verly likely to be “false teachings.”

For New Zealand I guess we can therefore give a big thank you to amongst others Ian Wishart for sticking his neck out amongst others through his book AIR CON (http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/04/free-preview-of-ian-wisharts-new-book-air-con.html) and his magazines.

Most of all this video and the “round 2” one illustrates that we have an obligation to ourselves to be informed where “objective science” is being used to dramatically change out lives in terms of regulation, governance and finances.

So,…. off you go, start looking around and start thinking for yourself.

Posted via web from Dierckx & Associates