Archive for November, 2007

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

Friday, November 30th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. With ample anecdotes and witty asides, Robinson points out the many ways our schools fail to recognize — much less cultivate — the talents of many brilliant people. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson says. The universality of his message is evidenced by its rampant popularity online. A typical review: “If you have not yet seen Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk, please stop whatever you’re doing and watch it now.”

http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/66

and then…

Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law

Larry Lessig gets TEDsters to their feet, whooping and whistling, following this elegant presentation of three stories and an argument. The Net’s most adored lawyer brings together John Philip Sousa, celestial copyrights, and the “ASCAP cartel” to build a case for creative freedom. He pins down the key shortcomings of our dusty, pre-digital intellectual property laws, and reveals how bad laws beget bad code. Then, in an homage to cutting-edge artistry, he throws in some of the most hilarious remixes you’ve ever seen.

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/187

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A knife wrapped in cotton

Friday, November 30th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

The guidelines covering Home Schooling in the UK have been published by the DfES. Some HE people think that they are fine, and are actually celebrating them as some sort of triumph. I beg to differ.

As a matter of principle, If you are a free person, your relationship with government must be unambiguous, and the powers of government clearly delineated. You must also have protection from being the victim of false accusations. These guidelines enshrine ambiguity and false accusation as a pretext for investigation (violating the ‘innocent before proven guilty’ principle).

It doesn’t matter what else the guidelines say that is positive for Home Schoolers; as long as the bad sections are in there, your rights are effectively nullified.

The problem with these guidelines boil down to a few words:

under Section 437(1) of the Education Act 1996, local authorities shall intervene if it appears that parents are not providing a suitable education

This means that upon the judgement of an individual in a Local Authority, by his prejudices and background, you can be compelled to account to him that you are educating your children to his satisfaction. What constitutes ‘suitable education’ is not defined in the law, and in fact the guidelines say this, so the onus is placed on individuals to make up standards as they see fit. If you do not satisfy the prejudices of an individual, then they can:

…serve a notice in writing on the parent requiring him to satisfy them within the period specified in the notice that the child is receiving such (suitable) education.

I am completely baffled as to how someone can think this is in any way acceptable. It gets worse. The guidelines say that:

Parents are under no duty to respond to such enquiries, but it would be sensible for them to do so.

The phrase appears three times in the guidelines in slightly different forms.

This is nothing less than a threat. “You had better talk to us…OR ELSE”. I simply cannot believe that this sort of language has been left in this document.

If you do not comply with what they say is ‘sensible to do’ then the Local Authority can serve a ‘school attendance order’ on you, forcing you to send your child to school:

(a) a parent on whom a notice has been served under subsection (1) fails to satisfy the local education authority, within the period specified in the notice, that the child is receiving suitable education, and

(b) in the opinion of the authority it is expedient that the child should attend school, the authority shall serve on the parent an order (referred to in this Act as a “school attendance order”), in such form as may be prescribed, requiring him to cause the child to become a registered pupil at a school named in the order.”

The guidelines are self contradictory. They say on the one hand that ‘suitable education’ is not defined in law, but on the other they say that Local authorities can force you to send your child to school if they determine that you are not providing suitable education. They say that:

It should be noted that parents of all educational, social, racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds successfully educate children outside the school setting and these factors should not in themselves raise a concern about the suitability of the education being provided.

but then there is a section that deals specifically with ‘Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children’. Why is this section there given the text above? If you regard Roma people as a ‘race’ then it is covered. If you think of them as a ‘social group’ or an ‘ethnic group’ then they are covered. This section is curious, and it speaks to the attitudes of the people who authored this document.

How anyone can construe this as something to celebrate is completely beyond me. The only saving grace about this is that what has been published are guidelines and not new law. Nevertheless, staff in Local Authorities who are hostile to Home Schooling will see this as a new tool in their hands to investigate every Home Schooler in their catchment area.

Let me put it this way to those gleeful Home Schoolers who are celebrating over this weekend. Just imagine if, in your Local Authority, Mr. Tony Mooney was the man in charge of Home Schoolers. Would you like this document to be the thing he uses to guide his actions?

Not a very pleasant thought is it?

The fact of the matter is, every time you have a poorly written and ill thought out document like this governing your life or some aspect of it, you are in danger of being violated. If the current crop of Local Authority staffers are reasonable that is no guarantee that the next lot will be.

That Home Schoolers in the UK are failing to understand this is, frankly, frightening.

Another letter

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

Six leading academics have written to a Parliamentary committee to express their dismay at the way biometrics has been used as a magic wand which would have supposedly stopped Darling’s great data giveaway.

The six said of claims by the Prime Minister and his Chancellor: “These assertions are based on a fairy-tale view of the capabilities of the technology and in addition, only deal with one aspect of the problems that this type of data breach causes.”

Both Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling claimed, after the loss of CDs containing 25m recipients of child benefit, that the data would somehow be protected by biometric information if we had national ID cards.

The letter points out that this is based on three suppositions – that the entire UK population can be enrolled on the database; that no one can forge biometric information; and finally that every ID check would include checks against biometric information on the national database.

The letter said:

Even if, in this fairy-tale land, it came to pass that (a) (b) and (c) were true after all (which we consider most unlikely), the proposed roll-out of the National Identity Scheme would mean that this level of ‘protection’ would not – on the Home Office’s own highly optimistic projections – be extended to the entire population before the end of the next decade (i.e. 2020) at the earliest.

The academics also note that including biometric information on a national ID register would make such records even more valuable to fraudsters, and once compromised make “fixing” the problem even more difficult.

The inclusion of biometric data in one’s NIR record would make such a record even more valuable to fraudsters and thieves as it would – if leaked or stolen – provide the ‘key’ to all uses of that individual’s biometrics (e.g. accessing personal or business information on a laptop, biometric access to bank accounts, etc.) for the rest of his or her life. Once lost, it would be impossible to issue a person with new fingerprints. One cannot change one’s fingers as one can a bank account.

The six academics also point out that leaking such personal data is not just a question of hassle for people but could be potentially fatal for “the directors of Huntingdon Life Sciences, victims of domestic violence or former Northern Ireland ministers”.

The open letter, available here, was sent to Andrew Dismore MP, chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

The academics behind the letter include Professor Ross Anderson and Dr Richard Clayton of the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory, and Dr Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute. Other signers include Dr Brian Gladman, formerly of the Ministry of Defence and NATO, Professor Angela Sasse of UCL’s Department of Computer Science and Martyn Thomas CBE FREng. ®

The Register

“It’s treason, then…”

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

Finally, at the 11th hour, people are waking up and realizing that the only way to kill The War Machine is to choke it of its blood:

The Nation:

I will not pay my income tax if we go to war with Iran. I realize this is a desperate and perhaps futile gesture. But an attack on Iran–which appears increasingly likely before the coming presidential election–will unleash a regional conflict of catastrophic proportions. This war, and especially Iranian retaliatory strikes on American targets, will be used to silence domestic dissent and abolish what is left of our civil liberties. It will solidify the slow-motion coup d’état that has been under way since the 9/11 attacks. It could mean the death of the Republic.

Let us hope sanity prevails. But sanity is a rare commodity in a White House that has twisted Trotsky’s concept of permanent revolution into a policy of permanent war with nefarious aims–to intimidate and destroy all those classified as foreign opponents, to create permanent instability and fear and to strip citizens of their constitutional rights.

A war with Iran is doomed. It will be no more successful than the Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon in 2006, which failed to break Hezbollah and united most Lebanese behind that militant group. The Israeli bombing did not pacify 4 million Lebanese. What will happen when we begin to pound a country of 65 million people whose land mass is three times the size of France?

Once you begin an air campaign it is only a matter of time before you have to put troops on the ground or accept defeat, as the Israelis had to do in Lebanon. And if we begin dropping bunker busters and cruise missiles on Iran, this is the choice that must be faced: either send US forces into Iran to fight a protracted and futile guerrilla war, or walk away in humiliation.

But more ominous, an attack on Iran will ignite the Middle East. The loss of Iranian oil, coupled with possible Silkworm missile attacks by Iran against oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, could send the price of oil soaring to somewhere around $200 a barrel. The effect on the domestic and world economy will be devastating, very possibly triggering a global depression. The Middle East has two-thirds of the world’s proven petroleum reserves and nearly half its natural gas. A disruption in the supply will be felt immediately.

This attack will be interpreted by many Shiites in the Middle East as a religious war. The 2 million Shiites in Saudi Arabia (heavily concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province), the Shiite majority in Iraq and the Shiite communities in Bahrain, Pakistan and Turkey could turn in rage on us and our dwindling allies. We could see a combination of increased terrorist attacks, including on American soil, and widespread sabotage of oil production in the Persian Gulf. Iraq, as bad as it looks now, will become a death pit for US troops. The Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has so far not joined the insurgency, has strong ties to Iran. It could begin full-scale guerrilla resistance, possibly uniting for the first time with Sunnis against the occupation. Iran, in retaliation, will fire its missiles, some with a range of 1,100 miles, at US installations, including Baghdad’s Green Zone. Expect substantial casualties, especially with Iranian agents and their Iraqi allies calling in precise coordinates. Iranian missiles could be launched at Israel. The Strait of Hormuz, which is the corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, will become treacherous, perhaps unnavigable. Chinese-supplied antiship missiles, mines and coastal artillery, along with speedboats packed with explosives and suicide bombers, will target US shipping, along with Saudi oil production and oil export centers.

[...]

A country that exists in a state of permanent war cannot exist as a democracy. Our long row of candles is being snuffed out. We may soon be in darkness. Any resistance, however symbolic, is essential. There are ways to resist without being jailed. If you owe money on your federal tax return, refuse to pay some or all of it, should Bush attack Iran. If you have a telephone, do not pay the 3 percent excise tax. If you do not owe federal taxes, reduce what is withheld by claiming at least one additional allowance on your W-4 form–and write to the IRS to explain the reasons for your protest. Many of the details and their legal ramifications are available on the War Resisters League’s website (www.warresisters.org/wtr.htm).

I will put the taxes I owe in an escrow account. I will go to court to challenge the legality of the war. Maybe a courageous judge will rule that the Constitution has been usurped and the government is guilty of what the postwar Nuremberg tribunal defined as a criminal war of aggression. Maybe not. I do not know. But I do know this: I have friends in Tehran, Gaza, Beirut, Baghdad, Jerusalem and Cairo. They will endure far greater suffering and deprivation. I want to be able, once the slaughter is over, to at least earn the right to ask for their forgiveness.

http://www.truthdig.com/

And there you have it.

Like I have said before if only the half of the american populatoin that are against this insanity refuse to support and finance it, everything will grind to a halt.

MoveOn, and its UK equivalent StopWar and all other groups that have tens of millions of members combined, but which do not have either singly nor collectively a plan or strategy to achieve their aims other than to write letters, march in the streets like lemmings and hold candle lit vigils outside No.10 Downing Street; all of these groups, all of these people, collectively, have always had the power to stop this insanity in its tracks.

Chris Hedges is right to be doing this, but he is dead wrong that it is, “a desperate and perhaps futile gesture”. It is in no way futile, any more than the existence of a single snowflake in a blizzard is futile. Collectively, a blizzard of snow can paralyze a country in a single night. A blizzard of individual disobedience can do the same. That is not futility, that is RAW POWER, and now, thanks to the internets, it is trivial to organize such a blizzard.

I have said this over and over, and in many different ways. Ron Paul becoming President of the United States of America will put a stop to the madness; this cannot happen for over a year, so in the interim, some form of positive, effective, logical mass action has to be taken so that hell is not unleashed in advance of the Ron Paul Presidency.

Imagine the nightmare of having just the right man in the White House and him being handed Iran in flames, Iraq in ruins (this is already the case of course) and a world in 10 times more chaos than it is today. Not a pretty picture is it? Something needs to be done RIGHT NOW, at the very minimum, pledges of real, appropriate and logically correct action of the type that Chris Hedges is making.

Take a look at this comment attached to his piece:

[...] God damn right. And why do journalists on TV, where 90% of Americans get 100% of their political and policy information, keep behaving as though there is anything at all to talk about except stopping this insane plan to destroy Iran?

Even Keith Olbermann, supposedly the greatest liberal in prime time TV political commentary, doesn’t seem to get it. He should be devoting 80 to 95% of his show every single night to this subject.

This is an absolutely out and out, hair on fire emergency. And everyone is sleepwalking right into it. It isn’t even THERE for “normal” people. [...]

This commenter is correct. And I have said before, all the special comments in the world will not do anything in the end; an action is required to put out this ‘hair on fire’ emergency and FINALLY people are starting to wake up to this, and when I say ‘people’ I mean writers of the type who would normally not put themselvs ‘out on a limb’. That is how serious this is.

Note also in the comments the number of people who are saying, “sign me up I’m with you”, “where do I sign up?”. This idea is going to spread until it is out of control…right where it needs to be.

It is over for ID cards and the NIR

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

Anyone with any doubts about just how ‘over’ the NIR and ID cards are should have those doubts washed away by this, from the Times:

[...]

Ms Smith had many inquisitors. The first was the senior Labour MP Keith Vaz, who is deeply oily but that makes it all the more slippery when he asks a good question. After the events of last week, he demanded, was she planning to look again at how to protect ID scheme data. As his words oozed over us, like treacle over sponge, Ms Smith just sat there. She did not jump up, eager to inform. Instead she looked over at her Immigration Minister, Liam Byrne. He popped up and trumpeted: “The House will know that, where there are lessons to be learnt from last week’s events at HMRC, then it is right that we learn them.”

This was clearly nonsense. Ms Smith nodded away earnestly. Why? Could this really be the Home Secretary? Was she in charge? Perhaps we should check her biometric data just to make sure. David Davis, the Shadow Home Secretary, knows exactly who he is. He is her tormentor. He can smell weakness but he asked a simple enough question. “If the Government gives away your bank account details, that is a disaster but you can change your bank account,” he noted. “What precisely do you do if the Government gives away your biometric details?”

Here was another chance for Ms Smith to tell us of her strategy or, at least, to pretend to have one. Instead she said: “Biometrics will link a person securely and reliably to his or her unique identity.”

No one looked reassured. I cannot think why: surely the news that our biometrics can link us to ourselves can only be good, but Ms Smith, or her impostor, struggled on, to loud barks of laughter. “The current plan for the national identity register is that biometric information would be held separately from biographical information, thereby safeguarding against the sort of eventuality that you are talking about.”

Mr Davis, looking like a shark who had just had a tasty snack, asked her about a European information-sharing scheme called Project Stork. “How are we going to prevent a repetition of the disaster of the last few weeks when sensitive personal data is held not by one government but by 27?” Ms Smith looked flummoxed. I don’t think she knew about Project Stork. Again, this was worrying. Wouldn’t a real Home Secretary have a clue about this?

[...]

Yes indeed; it looks like the computer illiterates in the House of Commons have all suddenly woken up to what biometrics really mean, and it has happened because either they or someone they know has been violated; so large was the recent violation that there is no way that a single member of the house was not affected.

Absolutely Brilliant. You could not have designed a better demonstration of how the NIR and ID cards are dangerous.

Members of the house are now speaking like we and the many others against this madness have been speaking for years. It is now well and truly OVER.

Now we hear about ‘Project Stork‘; so many words and images come to mind. But I will defer.

Fears over pan-EU electronic identity network
By Philip Johnston, Home Affairs Editor

New concerns have been raised over the Government’s multi-billion-pound ID project as it emerged that Britain’s identity database could be shared with 26 other European Union countries.

The Home Office is taking part in a scheme, codenamed Stork, which aims to make all EU electronic identity networks ”inter-operable” within three years..

Michael Wills, the data protection minister, yesterday conceded that the ”deplorable” loss of 25 million records had implications for the ID card scheme.

“We are going to obviously have to look at the national identity register in the light of all this,” he told Parliament’s joint human rights committee.

”We are going to have to learn the lessons. Everything will have to be scrutinised and then we will assess it again.”

However, Mr Wills said this did not mean the ID scheme – due to start next year for foreign nationals – would be scrapped

[...]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/27/nidcards127.xml

There cannot be anyone now, thanks to the DVDR fiasco that does not instantly understand the full implications of this. Everyone in the UK now has first hand, intimate knowledge of what this means; it means that your personal information will no longer be personal, it will be sown to the wind and spread to every corner of the globe. It will be a violation without precedent, even WORSE than the violation of the DVDR release, since, as Rt HON Vaz points out, you can change your address and bank account but you cannot change your face or fingerprints and once they are out there, they are out there forever.

The question everyone is now asking; do I want my face, fingerprints, address, date of birth and all of the other pieces of information the NIR will collect on me in the hands of, say, the Germans?

The answer, from Land’s End to John o’Groats is a resounding ‘NO’.

Anyone who signs up for ID cards now is totally insane, or has been living under a rock for the last two weeks. There is nothing you can do about your data being in the DVDR release, but there is everything you can do about staying off of the NIR / ID card database.

All you have to do is refuse to comply, and your data will never enter that system. If enough people refuse, the whole scheme will become unworkable and collapse.

There is a problem however, with passports. Something needs to be done about the new generation passports and accompanying database and the poor sheeple that have applied and been issued with them. They are all going to need to be recalled as too dangerous to be used. They then need to be replaced with ISLAND (Intrinsically Secure Legally Acquired Named Document) Passports.

As you know, the ISLAND Passport system allows you to be issued with a secure document that does not depend on a centralized database for verification and does not violate your rights by assigning a unique number to you.

It is entirely possible to reduce the amount of passport fraud without rolling out an Orwellian surveillance system.

But you know this!

Police outrage over demand for their DNA

Monday, November 26th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

The police understand intimately how reports are forged, corrupted, accusation falsely made, evidence planted and the ‘criminals’ stitched up. That is why they are shrieking like Abu Grahib inmates at the idea that their DNA should be put in the database:

PLANS to force police to give DNA samples have sparked a rebellion among rank-and-file officers.

It is understood all eight of Scotland’s police forces are about to demand that in future new recruits hand over samples to be included in a national genetic database.

This would allow any body matter, such as hair or saliva, found at a crime scene, to be compared with the DNA records of officers, so investigations are not thrown off course through accidental contamination by officers working there.

This is the same reason that they want everyone in the UK to be put on this database. What is interesting is that these police men obviously thought that as police, they would be excluded from the national DNA database. Are they in any way different from other members of the population? If everyone else is being made to go into this database, what on earth would make them think that they have an ‘opt out’?

But rank-and-file police fear that calculating criminals with a grudge against members of the force could manipulate the system to damage the careers of innocent officers.

Actually, what they think is that calculating police men with a grudge against members of the force could manipulate the system to destroy the careers of officers. There. Some substitution for you.

Members of the Scottish Police Federation believe criminals could deliberately contaminate the scene with officers’ DNA, either to implicate them in serious crimes or to give the impression that they had planted evidence. A federation spokesman said: “A point made by many of our members is that it is relatively easy for anyone so minded to obtain DNA traces of a police officer – for example from a discarded cigarette butt – and to deliberately contaminate a locus with it.

If that is the case, and police are to be exempted, then everyone in the UK who has not been convicted of a crime should also be exempted, because the same threat to the reputations and careers of ‘ordinary’ citizens exists for the man in the street and the police man.

“Apart from the suspicion which may or may not fall on the officer, it has the potential to diminish the evidential value of any DNA traces of the real perpetrator of the crime.”

If this is true of the police being on the register, then it is true for the members of the public, and even moreso, because the vectors for fraud increase exponentially when everyone in in the database; ANY cigarette butt or used condom instantly becomes a means of diverting attention away from the perpetrators of crime; every bin in the street becomes a gold mine of DNA to be sourced. If no one is in the database except criminals then this threat disappears, and in fact, when you get a match to a known criminal, the database does what it is meant to do; catch repeat offenders.

Last night the officers’ fears were dismissed as “far fetched” by a source close to the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, which is driving the new plan forward.

But the possibility of framing police officers is an extremely sensitive issue for the force. A policewoman lost her job after being wrongly accused of leaving her fingerprint at a murder scene. All officers already have to provide fingerprints as a condition of appointment.

Former Strathclyde WPC Shirley McKie was accused of contaminating the scene of the murder of Ayrshire woman Marion Ross, who was found stabbed at her Kilmarnock home in January 1997.

McKie maintained that although she was one of the first officers to arrive at the scene, she had never been in Ross’s house.

Despite the defence argument that the murder scene had been contaminated by police incompetence, David Asbury was convicted on other fingerprint evidence and sentenced to life imprisonment. But 10 months after the conviction, McKie was charged with perjury and suspended by Strathclyde Police for allegedly lying on oath, although she was later fully acquitted.

And there you have it. A perfect example of how someone can have their lives trashed by false evidence.

Civil liberties campaigners last night voiced concerns about the DNA testing plan. John Scott, the chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Centre, said the move was “an intrusion into personal privacy”.

He said it would be easier to justify checking samples against police DNA when the need arose, rather than impose blanket DNA testing.

and the same is true for everyone in the population, not just the police.

Scott also agreed a determined criminal could attempt to frame a police officer with a stolen DNA sample. “There have been cases where it has been suspected that fingerprint evidence has been planted,” he said. “If you have access to someone’s DNA it allows greater scope for the possibility that evidence can be planted.”

The police federation also doubts whether the planned DNA database represents good value for money. It has suggested it may be cheaper simply to obtain samples as required from an individual officer if it is suspected he may have contaminated a crime scene.

Note how they are using all the attacks that the ordinary people use to get themselves off of the slippery slope towards the biometric net. This is a perfect example of ‘first they came for the communists….there was no one left to defend me’. All those police who called for universal DNA collection now have the light shined on them, and they do not like it when the horror of it is applied to them.

Typical.

But the Scottish Executive, which is prepared to change the law to allow the testing regime to begin shortly, rejected such concerns. An Executive spokeswoman said: “The creation of such a database has clear benefits in terms of providing operational, time and financial savings.”

The requirement for new recruits to provide a DNA sample as a condition of appointment has been in place south of the Border since last summer.

Under the Scottish plan, samples would be stored on a database to be searched only if a senior investigating officer had reasonable grounds to believe that innocent contamination of a scene of crime might have taken place.

Once again, special treatment for the police. Outrageous.

Supporters say because technological developments had produced highly sensitive analytical techniques, there is a risk that a DNA profile could be inadvertently contaminated – for example as a result of an officer sneezing, coughing or shedding a stray hair.

OR, deliberately, through planting of evidence.

While this may not lead to a wrongful conviction, it could delay an investigation or at worst prevent the real offender being identified.

Backers of the policy say that if investigators could quickly identify such innocent contamination using the DNA database and discard it, inquiries could proceed quicker.

A spokeswoman for Acpos confirmed that following a meeting last week, all forces had agreed to require new recruits to take a DNA test and follow the English model, although Scotland’s biggest force, Strathclyde Police, is considering requiring all its officers to provide a sample.

A source close to the association said: “The fact that you’ve got someone’s DNA at a crime scene does not mean people will believe that person is responsible.

Well, we know that is a lie don’t we?!

“It is simply an indication that the person may have been at the locus. It would merely start an investigation which would require to look for corroboration.”

[...]

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=902562003

The key here is MAY and thanks to the way thick people (‘cumpuuta sez nooooooooooo’) treat anything coming off of an LCD as the gospel truth, there is a real problem with the perception of DNA evidence mixed with computer delivery.

One thing is for sure, there are people out there who understand how insane this is, and as the injustices mount up and the people wake up the inevitable conclusion is that the plans will be completely scrapped.

Lets hope it is BEFORE they collect the DNA and not AFTER.

ContactPoint under attack…FINALLY

Monday, November 26th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

But it is clear that no one in or out of government knows what the word ‘encryption’ means:

Child database plan under attack following missing discs debacle By Colin Brown, Deputy Political Editor Independent Published: 26 November 2007

A review of security has been ordered over Government plans to put the personal details of 11 million schoolchildren on to a database. The move comes in the wake of the HM Revenue and Customs missing discs debacle.

Information about every child’s name, address, their parents or guardians as well as contact details for each government service they use, including which GP they go to, are to be held on a £224m database called ContactPoint planned for the new year. The information is to be made available to 330,000 government workers on the internet and only a two-part security authentication will be needed to access the data.

Parents’ groups have protested against putting their children on the database, fearing it could be dangerous. But the loss of the personal details of 25 million people receiving child benefit prompted fresh demands from parents for a rethink of the entire scheme..

Ed Balls, the Children’s Secretary, has ordered an urgent independent review of security surrounding the planned database but he is under pressure to order that it should be entirely encrypted if it goes ahead

[...]

The Liberal Democrat spokesman for children, Annette Brooke, said all children’s data should be encrypted. She said ContactPoint information “could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands”.

[...]

But the Tories are calling for the scheme to be ditched. Tim Loughton, the Conservative spokesman for children, said it should be replaced by a smaller, more tightly controlled database. A spokesman for Mr Balls said he had asked David Bell, the permanent secretary at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, to carry out the review of his department’s data security. He reported back last Friday that it was “very robust”.

Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, is facing calls for a fresh Commons statement today on the “data disaster” after the shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, claimed he has “not told the whole truth” to Parliament. It emerged over the weekend that six more discs had gone missing from the HMRC. They were sent by post on 10 October from a Preston tax credit office to Whitehall.

The Government will review too whether NHS patient information should be sent abroad for processing.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article3196251.ece

Encryption is not a magic fairy dust that stops data from being escapable, in the same way that you cannot make liquid water not wet.

Annette Brooke obviously hasn’t got a clue about data and its nature. There is nothing wrong with that; what is wrong, is that she is throwing around words without knowing what they really man, in an attempt to look like she knows what she is doing. Clueless people then rely on her poor understanding and use it as re-assurance that nothing can go wrong when the exact opposite is true.

As for data being ‘sent abroad’ for processing, this is, once again, complete insanity. We now know that when they say ‘sent abroad’ they LITERALLY and incomprehensibly mean physically sent abroad on discs!

Clearly this is insane, and for the thousandth time, once a disaster happens, the data cannot be returned, its over, period, done.

Henry Porter still asleep: get a louder alarm bell

Sunday, November 25th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

Henry Porter is almost 100% awake. Read his latest piece, where he gets is all right except for right at the end, where he say, in his sleepy headed manner:

[...] It is clear we have a short time to act. A high-profile, independent public inquiry is needed to examine the accumulation of personal data by the government, how it is stored, what it is used for and where the risks to security occur. An important aspect is the technology. Is it desirable for multinationals with no stake in this country’s traditions of privacy and freedom to be installing the systems that will control us? I very much doubt we will get such an inquiry because it would strike at the heart of Labour’s grasping and incompetent megalomania. But it is worth the opposition pushing for it.

I receive hundreds of emails each week from people asking what they can do. The first is to join a local group set up by No2ID, one of the best run campaigns I have seen. Terri Dowty’s Action for Rights on Children (Arch) and Helen Wilkinson’s the Big Opt Out both do very good work, as does the Our Kingdom website. We should write to our MPs – especially Labour MPs – and to local newspapers; contribute to blogs and phone-ins. We should talk to our friends and colleagues about what has been done by Labour’s centralisers and mainframe men, who Anderson properly identifies as Marxist controllers in another guise.

Each of us should understand that personal information is exactly that – personal – and that the government has only limited rights to demand and retain it. The scale of its operations and the innate weakness of the systems is a very grave concern to us all.

What is needed – and here I hope someone is listening – is a mass movement on the lines of the Countryside Alliance, which goes across all parties and absorbs the skills and expertise of countless activists. Now is the moment to create a movement in defence of our privacy, security and freedom.

henryporter@henry-porter.com

Guardian

Poor poor Henry!

A Public Enquiry? ANOTHER Public Enquiry? Are you totally INSANE? Just what on earth will another ‘Foxes guarding the henhouse’ opertaion do to stop this insanity?

You see, this is the writing of someone who is not yet completely awake, despite the loudest ever alarm bell ringing right next to his sleepy head. He still believes in the process of ‘democracy’ and the once great institutions of the British, which are now totally at the mercy and control of Murder Inc. We must give credit where credit is due however, and really, Henry Porter has done more than most to help get this problem the exposure that it needs out to those living under rocks without internets.

Proof of the last part of his awakening will be his public commitment to disobedience, like Dame Shirley has done (that line is bullshit. he has already done this, and said he will not submit. a.). No self respecting person will sign up for this nonsense. No self respecting person will willingly submit to it. I will not submit to it. My family will not. My friends have all said categorically that they will not.

What say you Henry? (Said, done and dusted. a.)

You can join all the groups that you want, but as we have said on BLOGDIAL so many times if there is mass non participation the whole scheme will collapse. You are under no obligation to obey laws that are harmful to you or others, and ID cards are a perfect example of this.

In conjunction with joining anti-ID groups like NO2ID, it is very important that people pledge not to cooperate with the system, on an individual and business level.

The business level is more important than the individual, because business is used as a proxy control mechanism by government. All businesses must be forced to give a commitment that they will not cooperate with the ID card / Database state controls. All those who will not give that written commitment must be boycotted. In the end, the power in any country boils down to the money in your pocket as an individual.

Airlines that do not clearly state they will not participate in the data collection crimes should be lightning boycotted. All it will take is a single week of no passengers to bring them to their knees. Once this happens the measures will be dropped. I guarantee it. And by the way, airlines are a perfect example of control by proxy. They are handed edicts from government and then obey them without any regard to the human rights and dignity of passengers. They do it seamlessly and in a fine grained way through their use of databases as a normal part of their business, handing over the cost free spoils to governments under threat of prosecution. Well, the threat of non existence is more frightening to them than any fine for non compliance and this is what it is going to take to make them do what is correct.

Finally, here is a comment attached to the Henry Porter piece. It is brilliant and very enlightening, and was previously touched upon in a post by Meau2:

There already is direct action, by criminals, corrupting the DNA database by deliberately seeding their crime-scenes with other people’s DNA – eventually making this 800 million pound database a next to useless white elephant.

http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/scotland.cfm?id=902562003
“But rank-and-file police fear that calculating criminals with a grudge against members of the force could manipulate the system to damage the careers of innocent officers.
Members of the Scottish Police Federation believe criminals could deliberately contaminate the scene with officers’ DNA, either to implicate them in serious crimes or to give the impression that they had planted evidence.
A federation spokesman said: “A point made by many of our members is that it is relatively easy for anyone so minded to obtain DNA traces of a police officer – for example from a discarded cigarette butt – and to deliberately contaminate a locus with it.”

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/mg18725163.800
“Police in Manchester in the UK say that car thieves there have started to dump cigarette butts from bins in stolen cars before they abandon them. ”

http://www.out-law.com/default.aspx?page=3436
“Databases on this scale change the nature of society.
For instance, if a criminal were to deposit someone else’s DNA sample at the scene of a crime, then that someone else might have to prove themselves innocent.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,,1835971,00.html
“The court heard how in order to substantiate her claims, which she made in a letter to the board of Dr Falkowski’s hospital trust, Maria Marchese had obtained one of his used condoms from a rubbish bin and had transferred a specimen of his semen on to a pair of her own knickers.
She handed the underwear to police and Falkowski was arrested, although the case against him was eventually dropped. “The professional consequences were
devastating,” Dr Falkowski told the jury: “I lost my private practice, my reputation was irreparably damaged.”

Paul Nutteing

Awesome.

Once again, those who protect themselves by not submitting to any of this will never be fished out by ‘DNA / fingerprint seeding’ of crime scenes. If however, they manage to put every sheep in the UK in the DNA and or fingerprint database…. the consequences do not bear thinking about.

What the above refers to is obvious, mainly the presumption of innocence lost (OMW a triplet!), and like it says in Meau’s post, the police will simply say, “the computer says you did it, therefore you did it”….until it comes to THEM of course, and the logical conclusion to this is that all police will be put on a special DNA white list along with legislation saying that whenever their DNA is found at a crime scene they are to be presumed innocent!!

Mark my words.

Mentally Retarded Liars

Saturday, November 24th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

This story shows the extent to which these people are a bunch of mentally retarded incompetent liars. According to BBQ:

Private data ‘also given to firm’

Unencrypted discs with 25 million Child Benefit records on them were handed to an accountancy firm by government auditors, it has emerged.

Obviously the drone that wrote this report has taken the phrase ‘unencrypted discs’ and inserted them here because she thinks that any disc that leaves the government must be encrypted to protect it. The fact is in this case, the disc was handed over personally, and so wether or not it was encrypted is not an issue. What IS an issue is that the data was not anonymised, and that someone had root aceess to the database to be able to export all the tables.

The National Audit Office (NAO) gave the CDs – similar to the ones lost by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials – to accountants KPMG for auditing.

It said the discs – with bank account details on them – were delivered “by hand” to KPMG and returned safely.

The Information Commissioner is probing whether data laws were broken.

A spokesman said the commissioner would be looking at “all aspects” of data protection surrounding the missing Child Benefit records as part of its investigation.

‘All aspects’ will not include wether or not ContactPoint is to be abandoned no doubt.

Meanwhile, police looking for the missing discs say they expect to finish their search at the HM Revenue and Customs office in Tyne and Wear on Friday night. The focus will then turn to premises run by the couriers, TNT.

Something of this value that has been missing for this long will have been copied, so even if they find the discs, the data is out there now. Period. The fact that everyone is scrambling around to find these discs (especially in the light of this story) and not shouting for the closure of ‘the database state’ shows just how STUPID they all are.

‘Treated securely’

An NAO spokesman said it had not asked for sensitive information to be included in the material sent to it by HMRC – but it was confident it had taken steps to ensure its security.

This is absurd. Once the data is out there, all the measures in the world will not put it back. The motherlode has already been shot. There is now no real incentive for criminals to get a hold of any other database because this one will satisfy any criminal for years to come.

This is what we have been saying for years. Once the data is out there, it can never be put back. This cannot be undone. No penalty, no sanction, no censure, no sentence can un-violate the violated.

“We feel we treated this data securely but at the same time we will look at any lessons that may have to be learned,” he added.

If you feel that then you are an unmitigated imbecile.

The data given to KPMG was for the 2006/07 audit and was sent to the NAO offices in March this year. The missing data was produced for the 2007/08 audit.

The details were revealed in a letter sent by the NAO, which was released on Thursday.

The letter from an NAO director, whose name is blanked out, says: “I also confirm that I have asked KPMG to provide me with assurances that they have deleted or erased the data that they analysed as part of our 2006-07 Resource Accounts audit.”

All it takes is one employee to make a pair of copy discs, or ISO images, store them on his iPhone or iPod or laptop, and then BOOM the data is out there forever. There is no way of knowing that it was done or who might have copied the discs. Any assurances, even if given honestly, are worthless. And I GUARANTEE you that this data is lurking in one of KPMG’s backup devices!

Returned safely

The letter was dated 9 November – the day after senior management at HMRC was told about the missing discs.

The NAO told the BBC the data was delivered to KPMG’s offices by hand and had now been returned safely.

This is so TARDED it is beyond belief. These people clearly think that discs are analogous to paper. Even PAPER can be copied after it is handed over, so these assurances are not only wrong, but they are extremely insulting to anyone with half a working brain cell.

A KPMG spokesman agreed with this statement and said any trace of the data contained on the discs had been erased from the company’s computer system.

The Child Benefit details had originally been put on to disc and forwarded to the NAO by HMRC officials at its Tyne and Wear offices in March.

[...]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7108532.stm

Even if this is true, they cannot GUARANTEE that no one copied the data while the discs were in their offices. If they did give such a guarantee, they would be certifiably insane, because there is no way to distinguish a released copy of the discs that escaped from another source and the data set that they were handed. It would be easy to say that ‘it was not us’ and there would be no way to prove or disprove it.

Needless to say, this BBQ report does not counter each of the bogus and TARDED points that have been put out there to re-assure the sheeple public. This is another …YET ANOTHER… example of poor journalism from BBQ. But I digress.

It is abundantly clear that no one can trust these people to handle any sort of data, and it is abundantly clear taht they are the most incompetent people in this country.

It is ASTONISIHING that audits are not ‘done in house’ and that private firms are hired to do the work. Is there NOTHING that the government does for itself? is there nothing that is not outsourced?

And now we hear that they did it DELIBERATELY with forethought:

A secret meeting of senior Whitehall officials made the decision to release personal information on millions of people, it emerged last night, as the “cover-up” row in the lost data scandal deepened.

The Daily Telegraph has established that officials from at least three units within HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) authorised the decision not to strip out sensitive, confidential data before sending the child benefit records of 25 million people through the post.

Nigel Jordan, an assistant director at HMRC, who received copies of key correspondence on the release of the information, is to be hauled before the Commons public accounts committee to explain how the records were lost.

[...]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/11/24/ncustoms124.xml

Once again, they can haul whomever they like before a committee; that will not put the genie back in the bottle!

These mentally retarded subhuman monsters JUST DONT GET IT; they have let escape, on more than one occasion, a perfect, formatted, searchable, exportable, plaintext list of ALL THE CHILDREN IN THE UK along with their parents names, addresses and bank account details of same.

They should all be hung drawn and quartered.

OR

They should take immediate steps to make sure that such a thing can never happen again. That means abandoning all databases involving children and citizens of the UK, and doing everything in the list on this post.

It will be literally a generation before the effects of this disaster start to wind down and the data becomes so out of date that it is rendered useless and worthless. If the government stops collecting and centralizing data on British Citizens now, and return to tightly compartmentalized systems that cannot easily compromise privacy, by the time we reach 2075 they will have a system in place that actually works for the population without violating them, and a population that is no longer in danger from these two DVDs.

Major General Wilfried De Brouwer at The National Press Club

Saturday, November 24th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

My name is Wilfried De Brouwer.

I am a retired Major General of the Belgian Air Force and I was Chief (of) Operations in the Air Staff when an exceptional UFO wave took place over Belgium.

Indeed, during the evening of 29 November 1989, in a small area in Eastern Belgium, approximately 140 UFO sightings were reported. Hundreds of people saw a majestic triangular craft with a span of approximately 120 feet, powerful beaming spot lights, moving very slowly without making any significant noise but, in several cases, accelerating to very high speeds.

The following days and months, many more sightings would follow. The UFO wave would last more than one year during which a Belgian UFO organization conducted more than 650 investigations and recorded more than 400 hours of audio witness reports. On one occasion, a photograph revealed the triangular shape and four light beams of the object.

Belgium had no official focal point for reporting UFO observations. Nevertheless, in my function of Chief Operations, I was confronted with numerous questions about the origin and nature of these craft.

In the first instance, and in consultation with other NATO partners, I could confirm that no flights of stealth aircraft or any other experimental aircraft look place in the airspace of Belgium. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authorities confirmed that no flight plans had been introduced. This implied that the reported object(s) committed an infraction against the existing aviation rules.

The F-16 – UFO chase map for March 30-31, 1990

The Belgian Air Force tried to identify the alleged intruder(s) and, on three occasions, launched F-16 aircraft. On one occasion, two F-16 registered rapid changes in speed and altitude which were well outside of the performance envelope of existing aircraft.

Nevertheless, the pilots could not establish visual contact and the investigation revealed that specific weather conditions may have caused electromagnetic interferences and false returns on the radar screens. The technical evidence was insufficient to conclude that abnormal air activities took place during that evening.

In short, the Belgian UFO wave was exceptional and the Air Force could not identify the nature, origin and intentions of the reported phenomena.

Wilfried De Brouwer
November 12, 2007

http://www.irdial.com/triangle_1.htm
http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case1125.htm

V for Vindication, part two

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

Everyone now seems to be waking up to what we and other people have been saying for four years.

What they are NOT doing, is going far enough.

Once again the following must be totally SCRAPPED in order to protect the privacy of the British Public:

  • The NIR – the National Identity Register that backs the ID Card.

  • Mass Fingerprinting – Compulsory fingerprinting for access to anything must be outlawed.

  • The NHS ‘Spine’ – The NHS SPine must be scrapped, as it suffers from the same vulnerabilities as all centralized databases do.

  • ContactPoint – The database of all children in the UK must be scrapped, as it is no different to any of the other databases listed above.

  • Project Semaphore – The plan to collect 53 pieces of data on all travellers flying to the UK (a mirror project of USVISIT) must be stopped. USVISIT has cost the american people BILLIONS of dollars and only 1500 people have been caught, millions have been subjected to humiliation and violation and none of the people caught have been identified as ‘terrorists’. No one in the UK has done a cost benefit analasis of Project Semaphore and USVISIT; had they done so, they would have found that it is a total waste of money.


All of these projects MUST BE ABANDONED and the contracts terminated, even if there are penalties to be paid.

It’s good news to hear that people are FINALLY waking up, and I know that we have done our own small part in getting the word out about what a disaster this is in the making. Now lets FINISH THE JOB. No signing up for ID cards, demand that your doctor remove your records from his system, and NEVER give your fingerprint to anyone for ANY reason.

This rabid mania for ‘registers’ should now be put out of the minds of the brain dead subhumans who run the government, PERMANENTLY.

Who would have thought that four .25p DVDRs could bring down billion pound contracts and a fascist police state control system?!

The fact of the matter is that these corrupt regimes and their infernal tools are as weak as spiders webs. All it takes is one touch and the whole thing can be brought down. In this case, the biometric net is the weak premise being destroyed.

We call it ‘Vindication’

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

On the cover of every newspaper in the UK is this news, which should come as no surprise to anyone:

Revenue & Customs loses personal details of 25m people
Deborah Summers and agencies
Tuesday November 20, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The chancellor, Alistair Darling, today admitted the personal details of 25 million individuals had been lost by HM Revenue and Customs.

The information includes the names, dates-of-birth, national insurance numbers and in some cases the bank details of those claiming child benefits.

Paul Gray, the chairman of HM Revenue and Customs, today resigned over the “extremely serious failure” of security.

In a Commons statement greeted by gasps of astonishment from MPs, Darling told the Commons that two discs containing details of the 7.25 million families claiming child benefit, sent to the National Audit Office, failed to reach the addressee.

[...]

The Guardian

I hate to say it, but I TOLD YOU SO.

The personal details of TWENTY FIVE MILLION PEOPLE contained on TWO DVDRs is now missing.

Here are some obvious questions you would ask of a person who is not incompetent:

What the hell are you doing sending data by post? THAT IS WHAT TEH INTERNETS ARE FOR.
What the hell are you doing burning data onto DVDs?

Data sets the size of DVDs are downloaded MILLIONS OF TIMES A DAY. Are these people really THAT INSANE?

Now.

Is there anyone left ON THIS PLANET that thinks the government should take your fingerprints and photos and use them to administer a national ID card? Is there anyone left IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE that thinks ContactPoint is a good thing?

I should think not.

Even if they get those discs back, this is a vivid demonstration of how two very small objects can hold the details of the lives of MILLIONS of people. If this information was not held on computers, it would not be possible for the government to create and then misplace such discs, and that is the way it should be, since they are amongst the most incompetent organizations in this or any other universe.

A database of convicted criminals is another story, but these databases of ordinary people must be COMPLETELY OUTLAWED so that it is impossible for data breaches of this kind to take place. Just read the absolute STUPIDITY of these people:

The chancellor told MPs the information went missing after a junior official in the department failed to follow standard procedures and sent a “full copy of the data” to the NAO by courier – not by recorded or registered mail.

When it became clear the discs had not arrived, the same official sent the information again – this time by registered post.

What this article does not mention is wether or not the data on these two, sorry, FOUR DVDRs was encrypted or not.

Had the data been encrypted with GPG, it would not matter if the discs went missing, because it would be impossible to get anything off of them.

But then, using GPG is something COMPETENT people do, not the likes of Citizen Brown and his bumbling buffoons.

Amazingly, this incompetent government has just invoked RIPA against an animal rights activist, threatening her with gaol if she refuses to provide the password to the encrypted data on her hard drive.

You cant make shit like this up.

These people REALLY ARE BUFFOONS.

Think about it. Those discs are worth literally MILLIONS of pounds to a large number of people, criminals being far down on the list.

Finally, this is the insult above all insults:

Campaign group Action on Rights for Children (Arch) warned that children could have been put in danger. “It’s a simple and vital precaution which any self-respecting government agency should be practicing,” its director, Terri Dowty, said.

“This appalling security lapse has placed children in the UK in immediate danger especially those who are already vulnerable.

“Child benefit records contain every child’s address and date of birth. We are not surprised that the chair of HMRC’s board has resigned immediately.”

Arch accused the government of ignoring warnings over the dangers of creating “large centralised databases” of sensitive information about children.

ARCH are a group that is rightly skeptical about ContactPoint.

Now that everyone can see what a TOTAL NIGHTMARE these systems are hopefully this will add tremendous momentum to their absolute abolition.

If you go along willingly with any of this, ID Cards, NIR, ContactPoint, then you can count yourself amongst the stupidest people in the history of mankind.

Once again, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

UPDATE:

The Telegraph echoes BLOGDIAL:

The disks are now either languishing in the bottom of a postbag in the bowels of a London sorting office or are in the hands of organised criminals somewhere in Africa or Asia.

It is an astonishing, almost grotesque, failure that will come to symbolise the gradual collapse of Whitehall’s Rolls Royce reputation into the equivalent of an old heap ready for the scrap-yard.

The only benefit that might possibly come out of it is that surely, now, the Government cannot proceed with the ID card project.

Can it?

[...]

Telegraph

Momentum indeed!

The Philosophy of Liberty

Saturday, November 17th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

This is a short film which vividly explains the concept of liberty as it relates to a human being.

It is explained in a way that even the Eloi can understand.

“All Clear”

Shrink down

Thursday, November 15th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

If you have an iPod Touch or an iPhone and you surf over to BLOGDIAL, you will see that we have a special theme installed that switches the blog to shrink down mode. Thanks to these incomprehensibly cool people for releasing the theme and plugin.

I’ve used many types of mobile phones over the years (including SAT phones), starting with a Mitsubishi MT3 followed by a few Nokis’s in the middle after a break, then a Sony Ericsson P-800, and finally a Sony Ericsson P-990i.

I say ‘finally’ because that is the last of that type of phone I am going to buy. Uless they really clean up their act, ie, adopt the Linux based open platform and give me a compelling reason to switch. That means total out of the box transparent integration with whatever boxen I am using, no hassle no excuses no bullshit. The Sony Ericsson P-990i is a buggy slow piece of garbage, with an OS that is a step BACKWARDS from the P-800. It doesn’t play nice with anything, the battery life is short and frankly I am astonished that they released it at all.

The iPhone is a different matter entirely. Not only is it very fast, beautifully designed and rock solid, but when it is jailbroken you can run just about anything on it.

The camera is shitty, you cannot transfer files by bluetooth out of the box from another device to it, it doesn’t record video, and lots of other things are either primitive or missing but then, this is the first version of it, and even in this state it is the best mobile phone ever. Oh yes, and there is Apple trying to lock it down every time they release an update for the firmware…but that’s part of the fun!

The most important missing element is the ability to select files and then transfer them by bluetooth or wireless. Once someone comes up with that, then it will be really exiting; people will be able to transfer music and videos between devices…and all sorts of cool things can happen.

Imagine setting the iPhone free to create ad-hoc mesh networks like the OLPC does then you could do all sorts of cool social networking things as well as file sharing. I’m sure it will all come to pass shortly. This platform is going to be so widely deployed that these apps are absolutely inevitable.

friendly reminder

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 by meau meau

Zardoz

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi

Zardoz speaks to you, his chosen ones.

You have been raised up from brutality to kill the brutals who multiply and are legion. To this end Zardoz your god gave you the gift of the gun.

The gun is good.

The penis is evil.

The penis shoots seeds, and makes new life, and poisons the earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the gun shoots death, and purifies the earth of the filth of brutals.

Go forth and kill!

Five years ago I wrote about the film Zardoz, in a 2002 BLOGDIAL style:

“The future seen here falls very much in the 1970s vision of the future as seen by the likes of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), The Andromeda Strain (1971), THX 1138 (1971) and Zardoz (1974) that the future had either become or was becoming such a place of technological perfection that we were all in danger of being drowned in sterility. Here society has been made perfect (some nicely futuristic locations in Dallas) but in all of it there seems a sense of serene dissatisfaction. One of the film’s most potent images is a frighteningly decadent one where a group of bored partygoers detonate trees with a flaregun. Although ironically of all 1970s dystopian futures Rollerball’s is the closest to actually having come true with its visions of a corporate elite ruling the world and cathartic ultra-violent sports being used to placate the masses – if you have any doubt about this look at the popularity of the Superbowl and the WWF. (Although contrary to what the film here says, both of these obtain mass catharsis through the promotion of individuality rather than its suppression).”

and then again in 2006.

If you have never seen this film you really must take a good look at it, because it is one of the best films ever made, and deals with what we are starting to deal with now.

The film from the above list that is much closer to foul fruition is Rollerball, another priceless classic that is so close to home that it is uncomfortable to watch. The best part is the debate between Jo..but wait, you have to see this film!.

It was very hard for people of the 70′s to imagine that a corporate controlled world was possible, because people of that generation were the ones who had ‘Social Studies’ class that taught them about The Constitution, The Bill of Rights and the Founding Fathers.

Now that the young people are deliberately NOT instructed about freedom, this Rollerball world may yet come into being. All it takes is the wiping out or dumbing down of one generation to destroy everything and return to the feudal system.

The idiocracy is here!

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007 by Irdial 1DnwFLXczVZV8kLJbMYoheUrpqHesjxrSi


An “SMS Keyboard” for Conventional Computers

A novel product has been launched which offers a mobile phone style keyboard to replace the more conventional QWERTY keyboard for computers. It is aimed at people who have become so comfortable with sending SMSs that they are not able to use a conventional computer layout any more. The cre8txt keyboard connects directly to a PC running Windows and provides quick character entry via the mobile phone style key layout.The company who sell this keyboard have also developed a software program which converts “txt slang” into correct English. The cre8txt software comes with over 140,000 words in a cre8txt English wordbank and SMS Slang translator. Users can add their own words and SMS slang at anytime.The Design Registered and patent pending invention is being brought to the market by a group of education technology specialists and edutainment experts with over 76 years of experience between them. They have been working on the project for two years.

[...]

http://www.cellular-news.com/story/27359.php

You’re fucked up, you talk like a fag and your shits all retarded.

Yes indeed.

That is a quote from the film, Idiocracy where in the future, thanks to bad breeding, everyone on earth has a moron level IQ.

The keyboard above is a very clever device, and the people who put it together are smart guys. What it does however, is stop people from learning English by allowing them to use a shorthand language to input real English words into a computer. If you have a device that does your thinking for you, then you suffer. How long will it be before this is the only keyboard find attached to a computer in schools? Thinking about it, you could argue that speech to text software is just as bad, but in fact, it is not, because speech to text software doesn’t involve a intermediary form of ‘sub-english’ that needs to be translated before you get the words on the page.

All of this brings us to the most important point; what to do about breeding.

The people who are facing the facts about uncontrolled breeding are considered monsters today, but I wonder how many people would change their minds and soften their hostility to selective breeding if they knew that an overpopulated ‘Idiocracy’ future was coming?

The documentary Endgame spells out the plans of some people to control the breeding of everyone on earth, after exterminating 80% of the population. What that great piece doesn’t address is what will happen if these bad guys are stopped, and things are left exactly as they are.

Here is an interesting report ‘The Report of The Commission on Population Growth and the American Future’ from The Center for Research on Population and Security, published March 27th, 1972. Just from the titles under each chapter it looks like disturbing reading.

I would like to read some thoughts about how either the current ideas that population growth at its current level is by some method sustainable, or alternatives to controlling population growth that do not involve brutal culling ending in THX-1138 style hive living.

O & btw u rly wnt to c tht thx clp up thr.