Andy Turfer

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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Rebecca MacKinnon: Let's take back the Internet!
Very well said, Ramiro. Information is power, and for the first time in history governments and corporations have lost the ability to fully control the information (propaganda). How dare someone publish an idea or point of view that's not aligned with ideas and views of those in power?! There's one country that people keep forgetting to mention in such discussions: Australia! -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Australia I fully agree Rebecca MacKinnon - we need to take back the Internet (the last true democracy), and make it "citizen centric". If governments have their way, the Internet will become nothing more than just another government propaganda outlet. Unfortunately for those of us here in the UK, the recent riots are being used as an excuse to introduce draconian legislation to control and censor the Internet.
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
English and the REST of the World's Languages
G'day mate! Throw another shrimp on the barbie :) Do you think that there will be a drop in the number of people who learn English if Western economies collapse and business opportunities dry up? A couple of my friends learnt Mandarin over the last 10 years, and they're now making an absolute fortune (they're both multi-millionaires). Isn't "Australian English" a hybrid/mutation of English? I always find is difficult deciphering what an Australian person is saying. I actually have more luck understanding a gang banger from South Central L.A. Besides, isn't English itself a "borrowed language" - taking bits and pieces from Latin, German, Greek, Dutch, French etc etc etc? If you're hoping a snapshot of languages as they exist today will remain the same forever, then you'll be very disappointed. Things change 'cobba' - even languages. Embrace change!
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Mikko Hypponen: Fighting viruses, defending the net
Thomas Clark (and others, who for some reason defend Windows and blindly reject what I'm suggesting): "... 'Brain' virus had a *.a extension. Yup, that's right... it was a *nix library file...." I commend you on knowing your Linux file extensions, however... If the video showed a .a extension (I'm not going to watch it again, I'm on mobile Internet), then it only proves this talk has zero credibility. The Brain virus is a DOS virus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_%28computer_virus%29). Why are you mentioning PLCs? How are these suggested PLC viruses relevant? If you're talking about Stuxnet - that's Windows (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet). I do know of a security flaw in a building control system (which I can't talk about here), but this security vulnerability exists in the form of protocol implementation stupidity (allowing malformed UDP packets on LAN to control building). Let's stick to the issue - viruses/malware and ordinary users' desktop PCs. "As far as I'm aware Dell supply linux with many of their systems," NOT TRUE! Every now and then they supply a Linux unit, but it's usually short lived (for example: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/linux_3x?c=us&l=en&cs=19 - no Linux computers). Yes, I can buy a Dell XPS 15z (for example) and install Linux, but then I have to FIGHT in order to get a refund for the Windows Tax (cases listed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_refund). "So the manufacturer of my Ford should pay out to me because a vandal broke the window last week?" No. Using a similar analogy: if I have valuables in the glove-box of my Ford but my car is locked and alarmed, and a criminal can walk up to my car and clap his hands three times to disable the alarm and open the doors and then take my valuables, then yes, I believe that Ford should be held responsible for releasing a faulty product. I'm not a hater, I just can't understand why people can't see the real cause, and even worse - why they defend it...
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Mikko Hypponen: Fighting viruses, defending the net
"However, in the cases where malicious programming is intended for non-consumer machines the choice of OS seems irrelevant" I am talking about malicious software written for mainstream desktop PCs - the computers that everyday people use for online banking, browsing the web, email etc etc etc. Those written for non-consumer machines are very few and far between (they are a rarity - usually created by governments, and not relevant in this discussion if one wishes to remain focused on the issue). The only reason why I mention world governments not applying existing antitrust laws and giving consumers choice in regards to operating systems is because the operating system they're allowing (and even promoting) to remain a market leader is the one that's at fault for viruses and malware (it has brought down the Internet a couple of times in my lifetime). "The idea is noble, but even if you crate and encourage a diverse ecosystem of operating systems, there will always be an intent to infect it..." Do you even realize the logical flaw with that statement? Firstly, I'm not suggestion a 'diversity of operating systems' is the answer. I'm saying (perhaps not directly) that if something other than Windows had majority market share (i.e. Linux), then we wouldn't even see 1% of the problems we see today (in regards to malware/viruses). Secondly, you're saying that it's basically not worth trying something different to Windows because there will 'always be an intent to infect'? What exactly do you mean by that? That if Linux was market leader, 'intent' would, beyond any reasonable doubt, result in Linux being plagued with viruses able to jump from one Linux machine to another? Do you even understand the details about the Linux security model? "Changing the culture and perception of technology"? This offers no solution whatsoever. Users should not require any perception of technology at all! Users should be able to easily use technology without even thinking about it.
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Poverty - Within our ability or is it the Governments problem?
It is banks and governments who are the cause of poverty and hunger (genocide) in poorer third world countries. We (the US/UK/Western world) go into countries and siphon off anything of value (mostly oil, but also labor etc etc etc). We send in economic hit-men who try to "persuade" governments to sell their oil to us at bargain basement prices. If the leaders of these countries don't play ball, we send in "The Jackals". We debase foreign currencies to make buying that country's resources even cheaper. The "economic" paradigm we use today simply does not work. It is based on ever increasing consumption and limitless resources, and it thrives on wealth disparity. It is the ultimate pyramid (Ponzi) scheme - one that we are enslaved to from birth. We live in a world where 1% of the population owns 40% of the planet's wealth. Now I'm just an uneducated janitor, but even I know we are now on the cusp of a major global economic catastrophe. Your suggestion of giving 10% of our monthly income (in whatever form) is unworkable and naive. The best solution I've seen suggested to date is "The Venus Project" (http://www.thevenusproject.com/). I think it's a viable and workable alternative to what we're using today, albeit a very difficult one to comprehend because of the way we have been conditioned.
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Do you think mankind has stopped evolution?
"Survival of the fittest"... The attributes considered to determine 'fittest' have changed. No longer is it a man's physique indicating physical strength and the ability to hunt wild beasts to provide food for cave woman and cave children. It is now man's ability to accumulate monetary wealth and possessions. Physical attributes are secondary, if considered at all. In terms of "physical evolution" - it has definitely been retarded by the pursuit of wealth and materialistic things (something that is ingrained in each and every one of us from childhood). Another contributing factor is man's ability to change his environment, rather than evolving to reach an equilibrium with the environment. Once geneticists find a "cure for death" (and it won't be too long before they do), that's when this question will be more relevant (and very easy to answer) :). In the meantime, watch a film titled "Idiocracy" for an amusing (yet not too far removed from reality) take on the subject.
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Is our destiny to be one world with one language?
My answer is 'Yes'. Eventually, the entire world will use a single language. This will occur more as an evolutionary progression, born of necessity (it will be the next evolutionary step up from using a lingua franca). When this happens, I believe "international co-operation" will be an obsolete concept as we will have also evolved into a "one world" entity (a world without borders, free from conflict, and one in which "collaboration" replaces "competition"). What this will mean for human cultures and civilizations is that there will be no 'power' (be it 'soft' or otherwise), all other languages will become extinct (studied for leisure purposes perhaps), and a 'cultural merge' will have taken place ("cultural identity" will mean something completely different to what we understand today). We will become a global resource based civilization where the well-being of our fellow human-beings (and the planet) will have replaced the pursuit of profits. I just hope that when this day does come, the language chosen isn't Esperanto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esperanto) :)
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Social networks (twitter)
I take a different view to Nathan Smith. I believe that 'Twitter' is an indictment on our intelligence and attention spans. It is the equivalent of 'fast food' for user-generated digital content, and reduces written expression to nothing more than a 'tweet' (140 characters or less). Twitter... is the news feed tool... of the nitwit.
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Do you think that we should ban the marks of alcohol and cigarette for the sponsoring of sports events?
Haven't you answered your own question? I think what you're fighting with is question of "right and wrong". It's obviously wrong to promote consumables that cause disease, crime, marital breakdowns, violence and death. But would the sport in question be able to survive without money from these drug dealers? Personally, I think we should not only ban alcohol and cigarette companies from sponsoring sports, I think we should ban alcohol and cigarettes. They kill people, cause horrific slow painful deaths (in the case of cigarettes), yet governments allow their sale because of the revenue they generate. Such "products" (I use the term loosely) also save governments money by lowering the mortality age (governments save money as they don't have to look after such a large aging population). To sell cigarettes and alcohol is hypocrisy on a global scale. It is a shameless sell-out by institutions (i.e. government) that are supposed to protect us. I've yet to see a country where the well being of people is put before profits. Here's my suggestion: go to a hospital, visit the cancer ward, speak to some of the terminally ill people there who used to smoke a pack or two a day, and then re-visit your question.
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Andy Turfer
Posted almost 4 years ago
Mikko Hypponen: Fighting viruses, defending the net
This has got to be one of the most absurd (yet dramatic) presentations designed to perpetuate fear in the average (non-technical) Internet user, while at the same time binding the masses using a common hatred. The speaker presents a good argument (with fantastic demonstrations of 20 year old DOS viruses) of why the Internet should have "elite guardians" to watch over us common folk who are clearly unable to protect ourselves. I'm sick of these myths that are created and fuelled by people like Mikko Hypponen who condemn the symptoms, but vehemently defend the cause (and let's not kid ourselves - Windows is the cause). Anyone who purports that the reason why 99% of all viruses and malware exist on Windows because it has a larger market share doesn't know what they're talking about. They hide behind a myth that sounds plausible to the average person, and one that is difficult to disprove (as it would require Linux gaining majority market share to do so). The issue here is not an operating system war - it's about protecting the Internet and making the digital universe safe. No matter how you look at it, and no matter what excuse you use to deny it, the real issue is Microsoft Windows (case in point: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13973805). I have a better suggestion for solving this problem: 1. Legislate so the likes of Sony, Dell, HP, Acer, Lenovo (e.t.c.) are forced to give consumers a choice of OS at the point of purchase (the same way the EU legislated to give consumers a choice of browser). 2. Legislate so that if a vulnerability in an operating system is exploited resulting in a financial cost (in down-time, stolen credit card details, corporate reputation, lost data, recovery e.t.c.), then the operating system vendor is held financially liable and must pay restitution. The insanity is selling a product with as many holes as Swiss cheese, and then blaming the mice for crawling through the holes.