12/18/2014

North Korean hacking solution

So i t seems the North Koreans really can't take a joke! They  launched cybar-attacks in response to thew lame-ass movie The Interview that puts their leader in the spotlight and makes him look like a fool. Little Kim Jun Il didn't only give to movie a big thumbs down, he decided since the US "allowed the film to be made", it endorsed the film and Il took that as an "act of war" I shit you  not. So Sony, who was scheduled to release the film on Christmas Day, had it's computers hacked mysteriously with a message not to release the film or the company w ould be facing even more cyber attack. "Hackers" even got copies of e-mails sent by Sony Execs criticizing President Obama, the same guys who wanted to get Bush and Chen ey on war crimes. So stup id movie execs of course caved and cancelled the movie's release, although there have been rumblings about having the movie go right to DVD or ondemand, maybe leaks on the Internet. No doubt the movie will get out somehow, in some way. I'm sure there's a disgruntled Sony employee wanting to get   even with the company about something. Wouldn't   releasing the movie illegally causing more cyber attacks be a great way to  do  damage? NK does a nother cyber attack, the worlds goes nuts, mass hysteria, maybe not, though think about what they'd do if we really pissed them off!!!

The title   implies I have a solution, it's a b it  far  fetched, but s o is the movie which got us into this mess in the first place. I propose we give the North Koreans a taste of their own medicine. We temporarily suspend all prosecution of cybercrime directed a t North Korea. It's a well known fact that while the Communist country has a horrible human rights record for simple crimes, cyberhacking is widely condoned, when a person can get out which is a whole other story. I have long equated cyber crime with minor drug offenses, unless the crime does serious financial or intferstructure damage, the should be sentenced to help  secure the Internet in the US. I want the US to declare war on NK not like in the fifties but a cyberwar. I want people who hack NK to be saluted not sentenced.

12/08/2014

Flaws of reporting crimes that never happened

We have all heard it by now what DIDN'T happen down at the University of Virginia. In September a freshman girl named "Jackie" was invited to a frat party where she was pumped full of slcohol and raped by seven frat boys in a bedroom. She left ,the frat house, caalled a friend, cue the investigation. Of course every news outlet in the country swooped in and reportedly on the case ruined the bo=ys reputation and what happened? It was all a hoax.

The major problem was Jackie's story fell apart from the word rape. First of all when these guys were finished attacking her, Jackie  found the strength to walk out on her own, without being noticed by a house filled with people (of course there was a party going on). She then called a friend who took her to the hospital. In the original article Jackie bemoans the fact nobody believed her story (  I wonder why ) and it took going to the media for her to see some action.

Enter Sabrina Rubin Erdely who wrote this heart-wreching article in   Rolling Stone about this poor helpless freshman girl being raped by these four men repeatedly. Erdely's goal, to seeking "justice" for Jackie, to punish the men who did this to her and to highlight this is a massive problem on campuses across America. We all know the story before. Does the words "Duke Lacrosse" come to mind? It should  because in that case the true victims were the accused, just like we have here. Although the media is afraid to call these men "victims", they just became innocent, no harm no foul. Let me ask you this say you are a woman and one of these guys started flirting with you. You enjoy the attention, it goes on. You randomly type his name into your favorite search engine and BAM thes false accusations pop up Nine times out of ten people just look at flashy headlines. The articles written before we all knew this was all a hoax. Hopefully the stories retracting these false charges show up first, but it's not a save bet! What does a women do? Does she confront this guy? Does she ignore them?

The other really disturbing angle to this article is the police  weren't given the chance to  investigate. G iven all the bad press the cops have gotten lately, this might  seem like another blunder. However nine times out of ten the shortcomings of the police are the type  of investigation they conduct, not if they do one at all. Erdely never asked the police about an investigation, because no poilice report was even filed. This is one of the most disturbing aspects of this case. If you have problems trusting the police to begin with, Erdley's article seemed like a real cry for help. In reality given Jackie's storyy, thee police had every right  to  send her one her way. However Erdely protrays Jackie as a "victim" who has nowhere to turn. Sounds more like a Hollywood script than evidence of a crime

Sexual assualt is serious, it is a problem that needs to dealt with forcefully. It is also undereported because sadly there are times when the victim isn't believed, especially if it's a male victim. False claims like the Duke Lacross and now this one at the UVA do just as much damage because men can point to these cases and say they can become  victims too. It's time we start believing them!

12/04/2014

I wrote it no credit

There are pages on Facebook where people report fires and  other emergency incidents either in the local area or nationwide. In Northern New Jersey we have a group where we can discuss such incidentsa. Well there's a guy on there who uses the incidents to write a few new reports for his own website. Usually he just gets the headlines and then follows up by either calling a department or listening to his own scanner. This time I was amazed to find n a summary of what I wrote appear on a commercial website. I know all this because the webmaster asked questions through a stream of replies basically took the information and composed his article. It doesn't bother me he did this, but even most newcasts mention "sources say". While most want to reemain unknown, they want people to realize other people helped them out with the research
Photographers get their images ripped off all the time and make the biggest stink, as they should but it seems too often than not writers often face worse offenses. Some photographers watermark their work,, others insist watermarking takes away from the picture. My philosophy is what's worse having a waterma rk or having your picture jacked? I usually get an unrealistic respond like, they'll work around it somehow, which like saying why put water
It's not even that I wrote an entire article but he took my tip and expanded it. I wish he had reached out to me to see if I had a ny details on the  incident. I feel, unlike photograph which is an equal amount of skill and luck, there's more background work to an article. I've done research myself, worked through writer's block, dealt with editors and had any number of other trials and tribulations to ovvercome. For a photographer he  or she may shoot thousands of photographs to maybe get one or two shots published. The thing of it is one shot can be used. The argument photographers make is it's easier to steal and photograph than a written piece like an article, this is true. Although plenty of articles have been plagurized all  over the Internet as well.
One of my pet  peeves is photographers who think because they can compose the perfect shot, they  can write the perfect article. I read a lot of articles where the writer also takes the pictures. It isn't too difficult for me to tell wether the photography or the writing is their primary ar tform