All entries for July 2005
July 11, 2005
Privacy or Security? Your choice…
Writing about web page http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050710/ap_on_hi_te/terror_database
Why is this such a bad thing!?!
Surely it is a good thing that police can access information quickly and efficiently from a central location? This is all information that is in the public domain anyway (for all those people who neglect to tick those little opt out boxes in particular) or at least if it isn't in the public arena the police can certainly access it. Why make their job more difficult and make it harder to track down criminals?
Privacy advocates can go and sit in their house and never leave and do anything ever again if they're so worried about what Big Brother might find out about them. I couldn't give a flying f**k if the police know everything about me down to what time I go to the loo each day! I'm not doing anything wrong so what does it matter that they know what I'm doing? My only complaint in that area would be if they were spending money to track me (and everyone else) rather than just collating all the data already available on me and performing the same processing that is done every time you apply for a credit card.
Government is there to do just that, govern and protect us. By voting for them (lets not get into the fact that the majority of people didn't vote for our current Government!) you imply that you trust them to protect you and do what is in your best interests. If they are denied the ability to know what is going on in the country then how are they to do this?!
The same is true with the proposals for ID cards, I think it is an excellent idea if only for the fact I won't have to carry a drivers license, a passport (eventually), an NI card etc etc They can use the information I give them for whatever they like! My only problem with that is again the cost of the system. Compulsory ID cards would only work if they were just that, compulsory. You must have the thing with you otherwise what is the point? Mr Terrorist would just say to the nice policeman "I'll bring it into the station tomorrow" and then bye bye Mr Terrorist never to be seen again.
These cards would be a proof of ID, proof of address, proof of entitlement to benefits and NHS care, proof of residency and the list goes on. If they were sufficiently difficult to forge then it would help reduce the ridiculous immigration system, benefit fraud and so on.
But yet again another good scheme has been ruined by whingy privacy advocates. The only (and I stress only) points that these people have are the costs that could be involved and ensuring that the information is only available to the required people and is not going to be sold on to some call centre in India who're gonna pester me day in and day out to buy some double glazing!
Ahem, rant over… for now! Sure this will come up again; what with all the things going on at the minute the debate over ID cards and the rights for police to arrest and search people and suchlike will no doubt be resurrected.
July 10, 2005
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4627679.stm
I saw this a while back and it irritated me, but amused me at the same time with how the media represents this kind of thing: File-sharing suffers major defeat
All I can say is "bugger". This means that we're all going to have to start buying music now right?
Hmmm… Forgive me if I'm sceptical but I really can't see that happening for a variety of reasons. Primarily it won't change anything for because I'm quite happy listening to internet radio (generally of the fully licenced and legal kind), listening to my existing pre-university aquired collection of CDs (all ripped to MP3 on my computer of course!) and the files I've already ahem aquired.
If I want to listen to a particular new album then I will buy it regardless of whether I can download it or not, on the flipside to that I download songs which I quite like but have no intention of ever buying. If I couldn't download a particular song then not a single individual is losing out on any money since I would not go out and buy a CD, especially when 4/10 tracks are crap and CDs cost so much.
If anything the music companies have the potential to lose revenue from me since if I download a track and think "damn this is good" I will generally go and purchase the CD, without the ability to preview these tracks I will not bother.
Another factor I see in affecting the download of music files (or rather, not affecting as the case may be) is the fact that in the aftermath of this case developers will be less public advertising their own identity so that they cannot be held responsible for any copyright theft. The fact that there are so many extremely effective file-sharing technologies already in the market that will be nigh on impossible to permenantly shut down due to the very nature of peer-to-peer networking.
There is one area where I will side with the RIAA though and that is the line that "file-sharing networks have legitimate uses". Well yeeeesssss… But… How many times have you been on eMule and gone looking for a file which isn't copyrighted in some way? Very infrequently I'd wager… OpenOffice, the free (and superior in my opinion) open source replacement to Microsoft Office uses BitTorrent as one of its distribution methods, this is an excellent and legitimate use of the P2P technology which I encourage whole heartedly (downloading several hundred MB in a couple of minutes is pretty damn nifty in my eyes) but this is the minority! Everything else on the networks is quite often the latest album release.
I love the irony that I am a Software Engineer who works on a variety of engineering and development products (and therefore retail for a rather substantial sum!) and rely on people buying the software to keep food on my table, and yet I preach about the fact that downloading MP3 files is NOT evil and is NOT going to bancrupt any music producer in my lifetime.
How many times have you walked into HMV or MusicZone and found it completely empty of people (who are all obviously going to be at their computer downloading things)?
Anyway, I'm off to go fire up eMule and find something to download and listen to!
Follow-up to This thing on? from Tongue in Cheek
What a strange thing to want to do… There is a button at the top of the web page letting you add your own blog to your favourites.
Rather strange thing to want to do surely!?
"Oh yes, my favourite blog is mine – its wonderful and 9 times out of 10 I agree with everything he writes!"
Ahem, I'll go back to cooking my brain in the sun now
This thing on?
What kind of person writes a blog?
Something that there is a good chance that no one will read and an even better chance will just cause embarrasment to me, the reader or someone else.
- Could it be someone who has no one else to talk to?
- Someone who finds it difficult to talk to other people about personal issues?
- Or someone who just needs to vent their spleen at unsuspecting strangers?
As a friend of mine put it "They're usually written by bitter self-absorbed misfits with a narcissus complex" (link)
Or maybe a combination of all of the above? (Answers on a postcard if you think anything else belongs in that list!)
The real question is I suppose; who READS a blog? The writers are people who need to get something off their chest, who are the readers?
My guess for readers of this blog is people who somehow managed to stumble upon it through using Google (god bless the randomness of search engines). There is also the catagory of friends and the catagory of people who trawl blog sites looking for something interesting (or otherwise…)
So far I've avoided the "craze" to write a blog, I'm a very sceptical person and can't understand why anyone would read what is effectively a random person's diary. Either that or is some dry treatise on some equally dry subject where the same points are repeated ad nauseum. However I've decided that it'd probably be quite fun to write down what I'm thinking regardless of whether anyone reads the damn thing.
And so ends this first random babble; in my next installment I'll probably try and explain a little of what you should expect to find in this blog which scarily enough represents my mind.