Tag Archives: APA

The Silvery Goon

To give a little form to this exercise I will alas need to mangle the lyrics that gave additional visibility to Doris Day, a song going back to 1910 when it was initially released.

 

By the light of the Silver Grey Goon

I shall thee groom, to be the sultriest slut I hump

Honey-pot keep your legs far apart

Your silly sight, not very bright, we’ll be laughing loud soon

That game is not really real.

 

So here is the start, direct and as I might add, intentionally offensive!

All this got started by he who did not get elected, it is NSW police commissioner Andrew Scipione that takes a front seat today. Not the events in France or Turkey. You see, here on our home front we have an old enemy that is rearing its ugly head and the people who seem to casually start to take the front row as the facilitators here are part of a much larger problem.

First in all this, there is the small issue that it was repetitive. You see, something similar was addressed on August 6th 2012 (at http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/violent-video-games-incite-kids-to-crime-says-scipione/story-fn7y9brv-1226443402160). So as the headline read at that point ‘Violent video games incite kids to crime, says Scipione‘, we see a repetition from the people who should be doing the actual work, not the speculation on matters they do not even seem to comprehend.

Now, there are several studies that go back for at least a decade stating that ‘playing violent video games can lead to an increase in aggression‘. There is an issue with that part, you see, I think that a person who has an aggressive nature will choose a more aggressive game. Meaning that the aggression was already in that person, not given to the person by the game. In addition, this was happening in a time where professionals did not have a proper handle on issues like OCD or ADHD. This is important as this group of people is a lot larger than many are willing to admit to. When looking at American numbers we get the goods from the CDC and they tell us: “Approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. The percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis continues to increase, from 7.8% in 2003 to 9.5% in 2007 and to 11.0% in 2011“, I think that this group has been ignored for far too long and they took refuge (or shelter) within a mindset of video games. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders version 5, the APA got creamed when NIMH withdrew support for DSM-5 in May 2013. NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), gives us the quote “Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure“, so this operation is looking into clinical evidence and even as they admit that there is a link between violent games and aggression, they state “Finds insufficient research to link violent video game play to criminal violence” (at http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2015/08/violent-video-games.aspx). So as we see the repetition by a Police Commissioner to rehash an old story, the fact that he is unaware on matters published 3 years after his initial ‘speech’ and the fact that these findings are a year old, in that light his speech does not seem that great or that qualified in a conference on violence in the media in Sydney.

This is however not all. The issue goes on, because he had more inaccuracies to state. We also see “When you see video games that reward behaviour, where somebody’s murdered, where somebody is abducted and raped and they get credits for that – what sort of messages are we sending our children“. You see, that part is another issue entirely. For this we need to take a look at 2014, where we see in ‘the Conversation‘ (at http://theconversation.com/virtual-rape-in-grand-theft-auto-5-learning-the-limits-of-the-game-30520) the following part: “After the release of GTA5 last September, there were discussions about whether players should be able to rape within the game. Wisely, Rockstar Games, the game’s developers, did not take this suggestion on board” in addition we see “But hackers did. They created a mod that allows a user to enter another player’s game, often as a naked or near-naked man, lock onto another player and then thrust persistently back and forth. All players can equally fall victim, regardless of character or player gender. And there is no way to prevent or stop an attack“.

So not only is the Commissioner misleading readers and listeners, but he is spinning another tale. As I see it, the game was never released that way, so the game was altered. We could go as far as to state that they are illegal versions of the game? In my view as I see it the question becomes why has Andrew Scipione not arrested those hackers and if they are not from his jurisdiction, why is he even talking about it? Is there not enough media circus issues in Sydney? In addition, there was a clear reason for 18+ games. When we see the quote “Given that children and young people are large consumers of this sort of content“, can we now be clear that children are not supposed to have those games and if they do, perhaps it is a clear parenting problem and those parents should be ‘losing’ their children? If the ‘child’ is over 18 that ‘child’ would be an adult and it is again a non-issue.

He sounds an awful lot like that confused and hypocritical person in South Australia. Michael Atkinson is his name, I believe. I regard him as hypocritical as he was awfully eager to leave the house he lost control of regarding Labor Premier Jay Weatherill. If Michael Atkinson was so about child safety, he should have intervened a lot sooner. So as we see the ABC quote “While he acknowledged there were fundamental issues within Families SA, he said a “whole community” approach was needed to protect children in the future“, we can draw a straight line to parent responsibility and proper games. So here is the third strike from Andrew Scipione. As I personally see it, this entire exercise is another step on the road to mere censoring.

So is this like Michael Atkinson another religious ‘enthusiast’ to spread the option of censoring?

Let’s be clear, both man can be as Baptist and as Anglican as they want to be. I have nothing against religion (being a Catholic and a partial Anglican). Yet it cannot influence the job that needs doing as long as no laws are being broken. The fact that we are introduced to a ‘presentation’ of inaccuracies is a large problem!

So as we realise that there is a clear 18+ category and as was said in 2012: “Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare says the new category will inform consumers, parents and retailers which games are not suitable for minors“, we wonder what the speech was all about.

You see, Andrew was not alone. So now we get Elizabeth Handsley, professor of law at Flinders University and the president of the Australian Council on Children and the Media. Now we see quotes that actually have a little value: “the number of people who become desensitised or oversensitive to other people’s aggression is going to be greater, and that will have that broader, society-wide effect that we won’t necessarily be able to identify“, she has a partial valid point. You see partial as it is her part that is also a problem. The part that both are skating away from. An act that is as I see it likely to be intentional is the accountability of the media in general. The ethical uncaring nature of the media that will trample basic rights of privacy to get the knickers of Kim Kardashian on any media at a moment’s notice, a media that after getting scared to death by the dangers the Leveson report brought, did fake gestures of sincerity and they were up to their old tricks before the ink on the Leveson report had dried. That side is not dealt with by either of them, because the fact that the Press gets away with murder (well almost) and that accountancy firms are suddenly not responsible for large corporations overstating value and losing billions in value. In all this the people linked do not end up in jail. I reckon that this side of reality is a lot more damning on those kids and their optional shift towards non-legal actions than a video game is. The fact that these sides of the media are not set forward is equally damning on Scipione as it is on Professor Handsley.

In addition there is what the conference called a certain ‘Distinguished Professor Craig Anderson‘, when we see the topic ‘Media violence science, video game industry lies, and responsible public policy‘ we need to also take heed of a part not shown here. The case Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, 564 U.S. 08–1448 (2011), a case that was struck down by the Supreme Court. A massive part in this is that the First amendment was seen as overstepped by stopping these video games. I am not completely in agreement here. You see, I am all for 18+ games. As an adult I want to play them, I want to play them completely and unfiltered by some half-baked censor. Yet, I am on the front lines to agree that Grand Theft Auto is not for children. We can argue how old a child should be, but the rating was clear, you need to be 18 to play it. I do not object. By the way, when was the last time you read the stories of Grimm? How docile are those stories?

I also support then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who stated in 2007 “a responsibility to our kids and our communities to protect against the effects of games that depict ultra-violent actions“, which is what age ratings are all about and any parent giving their child a mature game is a bad parent and should be held to account. Getting back to this ‘distinguished’ professor. When we see issues on methodology, the fact that the APA gives view that there is no evidence that violent games link to criminal acts (or more precise there was insufficient research), gives weight to the debatable part whether this conference is anything else than a tax write off for travelling academics remains. When we consider the opinion from the supreme court in the earlier case mentioned (at https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/08-1448.pdf), where we see the mention of ‘admitted flaws in methodology‘ and the fact that I got all this in one hour, I get to wonder what on earth Andrew Scipione was thinking when he made his speech and I wonder in equal measure what Professor Handsley was thinking in her part. You see, the quote “potential harms of violent video games were often oversimplified” is not the issue. Proper investigation has been lacking, because (as I personally see it), political hatch jobs that cause the problem for whatever crusade they think that they are on. As Michael Atkinson blocked whatever he could under what I consider to be a false premise is the actual danger. In all the research I saw ZERO indication that properly investigated the opposite side. Not the violent games create aggression, but that people with aggressive tendencies go towards violent games. In case of OCD/ADHD people, there is a life of frustration and there is a chance that they are releasing steam by playing games. In this age, where the bulk of parents are getting less and less connected to their children, often because of the cost of living, long hours and exhaustion are also influences that create pressures and mental health dangers in every family affected here.

If there is one side in that conference I would have attended, then it is the part by Dr Wayne Warburton, where we see ‘Media violence and domestic violence: Subtle and not so subtle links’, you see there is one side that is open to debate on a near global level. You see, in June 2014, I stumbled upon an article (at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/08/police-fear-rise-domestic-violence-world-cup). Here we see “domestic abuse rates has revealed that in one force area in England and Wales, violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won“, as well as “In Lancashire – where during the 2010 tournament domestic abuse rose by 25%“, so when they are talking about Media violence, will they raise the issue of soccer and domestic abuse? If not, how reliable was this conference? It seems to me that there is an awful lot of aggravated censoring of video games when there is enough evidence that the people involved have no comprehension of video games, or the people playing them, as well as their background and medical history of those involved.

Isn’t it weird how the same issue is raised again and again, especially against video games, which is still not proven,  whilst the evidence of domestic violence, which is a proven link to criminal behaviour in kids is interestingly negated, perhaps an actual fight for the safety of children is beyond them? Why bark up the wrong tree again and again? Was it not Einstein who stated: “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results“, I reckon that I have shown that to be the case of more than one speaker.

So have a good night and remember to look up when you are trying to catch them all in Pokémon GO, especially when you aimlessly walk into the Pacific River!

 

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Slander versus Speculation

There is a lot wrong in this world, we cannot disagree with that. Soon we might see rental prices go down in London, because of Superman (the New Ecstasy), yay to those needing an apartment, being free of drugs was never so nicely rewarded! So is this speculation, or slander?

We could debate my sense in taste (many have for decades), yet in the firm juridical ground, when can speculation be regarded as slander?

That part is more and more a question when we consider the US sanctions against North Korea. Oh, and perhaps we forgot to mention that Sony Is a Japanese firm (even though the crime was on US soil), giving additional spotlights to the reasoning of certain actions. Consider the following sources. First let’s take the BBC (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-30661973). Here we see sanctions against organisations and individuals. First there is “Jang Song Chol: Named by the US Treasury as a Komid representative in Russia and a government official“, then there is “Kim Yong Chol: An official of the North Korean government, according to the US, and a Komid representative in Iran” and last there is “Ryu Jin and Kang Ryong: Komid officials and members of the North Korean government who are operating in Syria, according to the US“. Now the article ends with the most hilarious of all quotes “White House officials told reporters the move was in response to the Sony hack, but the targets of the sanctions were not directly involved“.

So the White House is within this part confessing to the breach where they are targeting innocent civilians (of that crime at least)? Can anyone explain to me how this is anything less than legalised slander? Consider that if (not when, but if) they ever figure out who exactly was responsible for the Sony hack (the actual individuals involved), how the US government could be held responsible in any court of law for this. Consider this part (source was the APA of all places, at http://www.apa.org/about/gr/issues/violence/hate-crimes-faq.pdf). “Current federal law defines hate crimes as any felony or crime of violence that manifests prejudice based on “race, colour, religion, or national origin” (18 U.S.C. §245). Hate crimes can be understood as criminal conduct motivated in whole or in part by a negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons. Hate crimes involve a specific aspect of the victim’s identity (e.g., race)“. If we clinically look at the facts, then these acts are a hate crime against North Korea.

Now, let’s be fair as well. Most will not care, I reckon that the North Koreans might not even care, but this act does remain a legal transgression!

Let me show you why (because without reason, there is nothing), part one is found in yesterday’s news in the Guardian (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/02/sony-hackers-may-still-access-computer-systems-the-interview).

Here we see the following parts:

  1. Sony Entertainment is unable to confirm that hackers have been eradicated from its computer systems more than a month after the film studio was hit by a debilitating cyber-attack, a report says

So not only has the hack occurred, it is very possible that the transgression and the damage is currently still ongoing, in addition, one of the most watched and scrutinised nations is still accessing Sony? Not one press agency is asking the questions that matter. For example, there was some visible Press Tour into North Korea (must have been around when Kim Jong-Un was elected big boss in 2011), when we saw some of the filmed events there, we saw North Korean officials in total disbelieve that a smartphone could take photographs and these people walked over Sony’s cyber security?

Now we get to the Chief Executive of Sony himself, his quote gets us the following:

  1. “It took me 24 or 36 hours to fully understand that this was not something we were going to be able to recover from in the next week or two,” Lynton told the Wall Street Journal

So this was not a mere grab for data, this is a system paralyses of sizeable renown, the hack was so complete, high paid executives could not get their minds around the events. So, are we still looking at North Korea? Basically this requires an evolved form of ‘stuxnet’, the hack was seemingly more complete then the stuxnet virus could achieve. We now have only three players left. Russia, China and whatever hacking organisation walks around within the US and its allied nations. How is North Korea anything else but a mere puppet for slander? Whilst some people are possibly hiding their lack of skills, and likely other people linked to all this are trying to cover up issues that have been ignored ever since the first hack of 2011 (the Sony PSN hack). By the way, I am using stuxnet as a comparison, I have zero knowledge how the transgressions was done, but we can all agree it was way beyond a normal level of sophistication.

Yes there is another scenario and I will get to that soon, North Korea is not off the hook yet!

You see we have been looking at the event, but not at the capital involvement that is two tiered at present.

  1. Sony’s network is expected to be fully operational within the next two months but hackers have so far released only a tiny fraction of the 100 terabytes of data they claim to have stolen“, so not only will it take months to repair security measures, the fact that the new fences are there are still no guarantee that the data remains safe.

When gets us to the first tier. Data! Someone streamed 100 Tb, which is more than just a number; it would require every PlayStation 3 on the planet to download up to 2Mb. The fact that this is not monitored, or that is got through to this extent, is a first view that this was no mere trifle event. And even though 100,000 Gigabytes seems small when compared to the PSN issues, it becomes interesting when we consider that the PSN had been hit more than once, but as those members did not all download, where did all this data get syphoned to?

Now we get to the one part that might be regarded as tier two. You see, it is not just the amount taken, which takes a good server park to store, it goes back to issues I discussed in regards to piracy and the parts I mentioned in my blog ‘For our spies only!‘ on September 26th 2014. There I stated “in the end this is NOT about copyright, this is about bandwidth“, the big players all knew it and they were all very concerned if such events would start to get measured and logged. Now someone casually walked away with 100,000 gigabytes of data?

Before I restate, it was not North Korea, let us take a look at another article by the Guardian in that regard. The title is ‘North Korea may have hired outside hackers for Sony attack, says US‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/30/north-korea-hackers-sony-pictures-cyber-attack) and it was written on December 30th. Now we must consider the following: “US investigators believe that North Korea most likely hired hackers from outside the country to help with last month’s cyber-attack against Sony Pictures, an official close to the investigation has said“. The operative word is ‘believe‘, they just do not know. As a speculation that would be my guess as North Korea does not have the skill needed for this, not even close. By the way, those hackers might want to get paid, how will North Korea do that, or perhaps that is beyond US oversight too, because it would be a sizeable amount for something this complete.

The next part is the part that opens the discussion ““The FBI has concluded the government of North Korea is responsible for the theft and destruction of data on the network of Sony Pictures Entertainment,” it said in a statement“. The first question: What evidence?  As stated before, North Korea is lacking in many ways, the fact that they hacked past Sony to this extent, whilst at present no guarantee can be given that the systems are secure at all, whilst North Korea has been watched 24:7 for a long time now gives rise to the demand of evidence showing the guilt of North Korea. So, they are seemingly better than the cyber divisions of both Russia and China? I am not buying it, in addition, the fact that the article implies that outside help was engaged for a hack this thorough leaves us with two thoughts.

  1. If true, where is the real balance of power in cyberspace, because this now implies that North Korea is a real player, even though no one (including people a lot more intelligent than me) have concurred that North Korea does not count when it comes to the internet and cyberspace.
  2. If false, what incompetence is the US hiding from us all and is that not the true crime?

Consider this quote (from the Guardian article too): “Some private security experts have begun to question whether Pyongyang was behind the Sony cyber-attack at all. The consulting firm Taia Global said the results of a linguistic analysis of communications from the suspected hackers suggested they were more likely to come from Russia than North Korea. The cyber security firm Norse said it suspected a Sony insider might have helped launch the attack

I cannot disagree with Taia Global, as this could be Russia hitting back at US sanctions, but that would be speculation on my side, I also very much agree with Norse. Consider that if someone walks into a bank vault and it is empty. There was no sign of break in, the doors were not forced. At this point the police and the FBI will initially look at ‘the insider’ plot. It makes perfect sense. To get past the Sony server parks to this degree someone was giving aid in some way. Initial passwords, the network structure, because if that was not the case there would be a lot more logging evidence to giver clear view whether North Korea was guilty (or not involved).

Mark Rasch hits the nail on the head with this quote ““I think the government acted prematurely in announcing unequivocally that it was North Korea before the investigation was complete,” said Mark Rasch, a former federal cybercrime prosecutor. “There are many theories about who did it and how they did it. The government has to be pursuing all of them.”” there is the crux, the mention of theries on who did it. Even if it is outside help, Russia would still make more sense, the Russian Mafia could be the front for cashing in on selling the data, they pay commission to the people ‘hurt’ through US sanctions, they are looking at the least likely suspect because of a comedy, one that I (and many others) had not even heard of before these events.

It is the last quote that is food for thought from Kevin Mandia of Mandiant “Mandia, who has supervised investigations into some of the world’s biggest cyber-attacks, said the Sony case was unprecedented. “Nobody expected when somebody breaks in to absolutely destroy all your data, or try to anyway, and that’s just something that no one else has seen,” he said

That part is not entirely true, I remember the DBase virus of 1988, I remember some people who had fallen victim to them, a garble parser that does not show until the virus is removed, it leaves your data garbled from that point forward. There was also a data virus in the 80’s. I forgot the specifics, but whilst most viruses would attack ‘.com’ and ‘.exe’ files, this one would attack data files, until that day a truly scary moment. So, it is not entirely unprecedented. Consider, if you copy someone’s data, the best sale is to sell it to the competitors, yet, what happens if the owner no longer has that data, does that not drive up the price? Yet, it is bad tactics, to copy in secret and resell it all makes perfect sense, the fact that these events happened, whilst Sony IT, the Cyber divisions of the FBI and others are not able to track the events is something very novel. It is a first to this degree, do you now understand why it makes no sense to accuse the one nation where we see this as their highlight: “Aug 6, 2013 – North Koreans hungry for tech skills are buying up used desktops on the black market, these desktops smuggled in from China have become a much sought-after item in North Korea“, this is the nation that thwarted one of the biggest cyber power players?

People please wake up. The question becomes what was real? I call my version insightful speculation. I have been involved in IT since the 80’s, this level of hacking requires serious system skills with in depth knowledge of all layer one components (hardware layer), if we ignore the inside job part, this takes North Korea out of the loop, it also removes a massive amount of hackers of the table too. It requires the skills we would require to see from people at the NSA and other high tiered cyber firms. From these facts I come to three options:

  1. The hackers are a new level of hacker with the ability to get past the security of nearly any large firm and government data system.
  2. Sony has been criminally negligent and the US is willing to ‘aid’ this Japanese firm for a price.
  3. A simple inside job (possibly even a disgruntled employee) with links to organised crime.

Please feel free to give me a valid fourth alternative.

 

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