China’s War on the Internet

Tuesday, 19 March, 2019

Author James Griffiths @jgriffiths gave an insightful talk “China’s War on the Internet: How the West Lost the Web” at Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong @fcchk talking about his new book, The Great Firewall of China: How to Build and Control an Alternative Version of the Internet. Have a watch.

“China’s War on the Internet: How the West Lost the Web”

 


Cybersecurity of Voting Machines

Tuesday, 5 December, 2017
Dr. Matt Blaze's House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Dr. Matt Blaze’s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

#VotingMachines #eVoting It worries me that some form of e-voting was used in last Calgary municipal elections and more are being studied to be potentially used in the future. (Case of I don’t know enough.) As someone who has been following e-voting and development of secure voting machines for decades (a company I used to work for had a team that develop e-voting system), I have my serious reservations with e-voting and voting machines and want all levels of Canadian governments (city, provincial, federal) to study slow and proceed very very very carefully!

To learn more, I’m watching UPenn’s Dr. Matt Blaze‘s House testimony on the security of voting machines.

Cybersecurity of Voting Machines (26m45s)

More of Dr. Blaze‘s testimonies here at these timecodes: 35m30s ; 54m19s ; 1h5m56s ; 1h30m30s ; 1h44m02s ; 1h48m25s and following individually video links to specific timecode segments.

Read the rest of this entry »


Belated Happy 102nd Birthday to Prof. Ronald Coase with special #PDFtribute

Saturday, 19 January, 2013

Happy belated 102nd Birthday to Nobel Economics Laureate Professor Ronald Coase. Wishing professor Coase good health and all the best in 2013!

In 2009, I took the initiative to spend a few days to download, process, upload, transcribe (small part of), and time-code professor Coase‘s 2003 Coase Lecture (a massive .mov file) to share on YouTube (6 clips in a playlist) to allow interested people from around the world to watch and learn as a way to celebrate professor Coase‘s 99th birthday.

Here is the 2003 Coase Lecture by Ronald Coase – Part 1. Watch the other 5 parts via this YouTube playlist.

For the last few birthdays of professor Coase, I mainly reshare the above video clips (with a new text interview in 2011). This time around, I’ve taken a new initiative to honour professor Coase‘s 102nd birthday. You see, a few years ago I went to the University of Calgary Law Library to conduct some US patent research for a client. As a bonus/treat for myself, I spent some time to download quite a few academic papers by professor Coase.

To celebrate professor Coase‘s 102nd birthday, I’ve uploaded the following three important papers plus a bonus paper as a special gift to readers of professor Coase‘s ideas.

Here are the PDFs of the academic papers
1937 – Nature of the Firm
1959 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
1974 – The Lighthouse in Economics

Bonus academic papers
– 1947 – The Origin of the Monopoly of Broadcasting in Great Britain

In the wise words of professor Coase,

“The only support I got was from my contemporaries. […] If this tale has any general significance, it is that new ideas are most likely to come from the young who are also the group most likely to recognize the significance of those ideas.”

I was inspired to upload these academics papers by the #PDFtribute movement to honour the 26 years young Aaron Swartz (1986 – 2013) who died partly as a result from his fight with the outdated and outmoded JSTOR system to make academic papers available for free for all.

For me personally, I received these important papers for free from the Law Library. And I see them (Firm, FCCLighthouse) deserve to be read by as many people as possible instead of under the messed up limited JSTOR manner. The bottom line, to me, by having these papers available by a single click here is that this save people’s physical travel time to go down to their local university libraries where these papers can be downloaded for free anyway!

It has not escaped my attention and noticed the paradox that The Lighthouse in Economics is a paper that disprove, with facts, the incorrect belief by many people (including my former MBA classmate who has a B.A. degree in Economics) that Lighthouse services cannot be charged thus has to be made freely available by the governments!

*** Concluding thoughts ***

I want to emphasize that I totally agree with the many academics in the #PDFtribute movement and Aaron that it is about time we in Canada and US require academic papers to be made publicly downloadable for FREE in perpetuity if any part (or whole) of their research funding come from any level of government (thus tax payers’ money, our money)!

Happy 102nd birthday professor Coase!

Goodbye Aaron, you left us far too soon!


Goodbye Aaron Swartz (1986 – 2013)

Sunday, 13 January, 2013

Aaron Swartz (1986-2013)

Hi Aaron,

I wish I had the opportunity to know you before you left us. In the words of George Bernard Shaw,

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

You were one of the brightest & most unreasonable men we had. With your sad & tragic passing, it is up to us to carry on your work and do our part.

May the tears

in our collective eyes

help energize us

to clear our collective minds

to see injustice better &

to try to make progress in this world

for the limited time we have.

Goodbye, Aaron.

In the words of Aaron in “F2C2012: Aaron Swartz keynote – “How we stopped SOPA”“.

Note: This also my first post to tumblr and the reason I created my tumblr account.

For more, see articles & posts from Cory Doctorow, Larry Lessig, Guardian, TorStar, CBC, and “ongoing posts about Aaron, his memorial service, his death, and the malicious prosecution brought by the DoJ against him“.

2013 Jan 17 update re: Twitter #PDFTribute to Aaron:

– Washington Post video interview with Eva Vivalt, the woman behind the campaign, tells us why she launched it, “Aaron Swartz honored with #PDFTribute

– TechCrunch, “PDF Tribute to Aaron Swartz Attracts Roughly 1,500 Links To Copyright-Protected Research

– Fast Company, “Researchers, Academics Remember Aaron Swartz with #PDFTribute

– PC Magazine, “Twitter Campaign ‘#pdftribute’ Roars to Life In Tribute to Aaron Swartz


LIVE Blogging Rumble 2012: Bill O’Reilly v. Jon Stewart debate

Saturday, 6 October, 2012

If you want to know whats happening in the Rumble 2012 debate between Bill O’Reilly v. Jon Stewart (LIVE starting 8pm EST, i.e. 6pm Calgary time) but don’t want to pay the $5 to LIVE stream the video and watch it yourself, this reporter plans to LIVE blog the whole event in this article and share what other people thinks about the debate as it goes. I will try to highlight some of the good bits I enjoy.

*** LIVE Blogging in reverse chronological order (All time in MST) ***

[10pm] Check out this THR pick of 10 best moments, “Bill O’Reilly vs. Jon Stewart: 10 Best Moments From Their Online Debate

7:34pm Overall, it is an enjoyable debate for me. I am glad that I paid the $5 to watch the show. It was fun. And even taking away the “fun” factor, it was such an engaging and insightful debate that I’ve learned a lot from Jon Stewart and even from Bill O’Reilly in knowing the kind of things he told his Fox News viewers and how some of the claims can be debunked.

7:21pm ‏Love this quote. @bear_foot Stewart: “This isn’t a conversation between freedom and tyranny. I don’t want govt gone, I want it better.” #Rumble2012

[7:03pm] ‏@bear_foot Stewart proposes one mandatory year of public service for young people. O’Reilly says we should not have gone to Iraq. #Rumble2012

6:58pm @kitedreams I’m on it Jon. “We should not have gone into Iraq.” – Bill O’Reilly #rumble2012

6:53pm Ha ha. @bear_foot Stewart: “When you tell me I’m short, I don’t blame the liberal weights and measures bureau.” #Rumble2012

@bear_foot Stewart: “we as a country are only as strong as the weakest amongst us.” #Rumble2012

6:48pm Cute quote. Will find more interesting quotes to post later. @ZackFord Stewart on media bias: Fox News is an overreaction, an auto-immune disease of media representation, the lupus of media. #rumble2012

6:45pm A light hearted comment that is cute. @OmarjSakr Someone make Jon Stewart president please. #Therumble2012 #Stewart2016

6:31pm Whats wrong wanting to be hungry! @SalemAlQassimi “How is it that a company gets tax cuts and that’s for businessmen, but when people need food stamps it’s mooching?!”Stewart #TheRumble2012

6:29pm Stewart putting O’Reilly on the spot by asking about the disability his father gets. @ZackFord Stewart claims O’Reilly’s father filed for disability, O’Reilly says it was okay because it was from the company, not gov’t. #rumble2012

6:19pm If ALL politicians learn how to engage people! @HashigoZake A room full of people watching #rumble2012 live in Wellington on a Sunday afternoon.

6:16pm WAR! @bear_foot Stewart asks for his tax money spent on the Iraq War back and he’ll buy condoms for everyone. #Rumble2012

6:16pm Jon fighting back Big Bird (PBS) which is just a tiny tiny amount in the massive budget and forget about the expenses in WAR! @bear_foot Stewart: “We are merely weeks from being a failed state or, even worse, Greece. To solve it is to kill Big Bird.” #Rumble2012

6:09pm Good sum up in this tweet. @bear_foot Stewart: America faces problems partly because certain Americans have created an alternate reality he dubs “Bulls*** Mountain.” #Rumble2012

6:07pm Jon Stewart: “My friend Billy O’Reilly is full of s***!” :)

6:07pm Some pix here and here.

6:03pm Finally!!! @Kempton #rumble2012 starts OK finally pic.twitter.com/IvMcr3xm

5:52pm Ha ha! :) @TheDailyShow Moments before the #rumble2012 starts Jon Stewart is still prepping. pic.twitter.com/7UaPcc2J

5:48pm I am a little bit annoyed the online viewing page looks blank and wasn’t clearer that the page is expected to be “blank” like this. This Twitter user posted a pix @jlointc #Rumble2012 When is the live stream going live? http://twitpic.com/b1pp0m iPhone 4 iOS6 Got nothing..

5:42pm Twitter user sharing a pix on location! @globalsultana Getting ready for #Rumble2012, obligatory posing in front of stage

Cross posted by me at examiner.com


Digital debate Bell vs Rogers + insights from CBC & Shaw at 2012 Banff World Media Festival

Monday, 25 June, 2012

#Banff2012 Day 1 - pix 05

An interesting debate between Kevin Crull, President Bell Media vs Keith Pelley, President Rogers Media plus — Kirstine Stewart, CBC and Paul Robertson, Shaw Media at 2012 Banff World Media Festival. Have a watch of the debate. This debate is particularly interesting in light of Gary Carter’s presentation at MPJC 2012.


Conversation with Nikesh Arora, Google SVP, Chief Business Officer #banff2012

Wednesday, 20 June, 2012

Have a watch of this insightful Conversation with Nikesh Arora, Google SVP, Chief Business Officer at 2012 Banff World Media Festival.

Here is Nikesh’s official bio from Google’s management page,

“Nikesh Arora Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer

Nikesh oversees all revenue and customer operations, as well as marketing and partnerships. Since joining Google in 2004, he has held several positions with the company. Most recently, he led Google’s global direct sales operations. He also developed and managed the company’s operations in the European, Middle Eastern and African markets and was responsible for creating and expanding strategic partnerships in those regions for the benefit of Google’s growing number of users and advertisers.

Prior to joining Google, he was chief marketing officer and a member of the management board at T-Mobile Europe. While there, he spearheaded all product development, terminals, brand and marketing activities of Read the rest of this entry »


Teachable Moment in #Rogers1Number bashtag epic #fail – Tipping point? Will @RogersKeith and Rogers actually change or just listen and ignore?

Saturday, 17 March, 2012

TorStar, Globe and Mail, and Techvibes have all reported on the #Rogers1Number (live search) epic #fail promoted hashtag turned bashtag (a term coined in the #McDStories campaign).

I am going to dispense some advices (my brand of poison, borrowing a phrase from a friend) and try to turn this epic #fail into a potentially valuable teachable moment for Rogers and us all. Feel free to share your thoughts in the moderated comments.

1) Twitter promoted hashtag/bashtag

If the epic #fail #Rogers1Number and #McDStories campaigns have taught us anything, it is that these promoted hashtags can get out of control, can be risky, and can lead to destructive unintended consequences. You know what, the companies promoting the hashtag will also be paying for these bashtags!

Yes, the companies are literally paying to get bad press! The companies are paying to let the world know how dissatisfied their customers, ex-customers, potential customers feel about them.

NOTE 1: Not all hashtags are bad. I think the organically “grow” hashtag from some greatly loved companies can be possibly useful. But even then, company encouraged, sponsored, or paid hashtags can still become lightning rods for unhappy customers or people with complains. So use hashtags with extreme caution like holding a lightning rod in a stormy area.

2) Sample #Rogers1Number tweets:

I’ve spent some time to find some sample tweets and I try to check to ensure the tweets are not from troll accounts newly created just to bash Rogers.

– “The saddest part of the #Rogers1Number backlash is nothing will change, #Rogers will learn nothing and customer will still get poor service.” (via Twitter)

– “I’m really loving reading all the nasty backlash at#Rogers it’s making my night, keep it up guys they’re paying per tweet! #rogers1number” (via Twitter)

– “When I call Rogers to resolve an issue two more magically appear #rogers1number They can’t get one thing right” (via Twitter)

– “#Rogers1Number “We’re in social media to listen”. Right. Not to change. Just to listen. Hear this: Shitty PR stunts can kill a company fast” (via Twitter)

– “.@RogersKeith Rogers deems data so valuable u charge $2/GB when I go OVER. Why not get credit when I stay UNDER monthly max? #Rogers1Number” (via Twitter)

– “The #Rogers1Number fiasco. Let’s see if this even change something.” (via Twitter) Read the rest of this entry »


Rob “CmdrTaco” Malda, WaPo Labs’ new Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large, founder and former editor-in-chief of Slashdot

Monday, 5 March, 2012

Congrats to Rob Malda, founder and former editor-in-chief of Slashdot, for being appointed as Chief Strategist and Editor-at-Large of WaPo Labs, a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company. Looking forward to see what amazing things Rob will do at WaPo Labs.

See also Rob’s post “Rolling Up My Sleeves“. [HT Dan Gillmor]


#SOPA 24 hours protest is just the beginning

Thursday, 19 January, 2012

Wikipedia Thank You re SOPA and PIPA protest

Even if the current incarnations of SOPA and PIPA laws are stopped, this will just be one of the many battles in a long war. The industries and lobbyists will keep on pushing. It is up to us to ensure future incarnations of SOPA and PIPA are not overreaching thus doing more harm than good.

As one of the lead Fair Copyright for Canada Calgary organizers who has written articles, sent in personal submissions for parliamentary copyright committees, and organized protests since December 2007, I try to do my part to help shape Fair Copyright laws in Canada. Given that experience, I know the anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA has to be the beginning and we should be prepared to keep up the effort for sometime to come.

See also:

* “Canadian Media Coverage of the SOPA Protest

* Toronto Star, “Michael Geist’s website went dark to protest U.S. restrictions on Internet

Jan 21, 2012 Update: Mashable, “The Week That Killed SOPA: A Timeline


Going Dark for 24 hours in protest of #SOPA

Tuesday, 17 January, 2012

Wikipeida goes dark - 20120118

boingboing.net goes dark - 20120118

In solidarity with the 24 hours SOPA protests by Wikipedia (learn more), boingboing.net (learn more via Electronic Frontier Foundation), and others, this site will “go dark” for 24 hours.

To learn more of the reasons why I, as a Canadian, am protesting, please have a read of “Why Canadians Should Participate in the SOPA/PIPA Protest

Quoting Wikipedia’s learn more,

“Although the bills have been amended since their introduction, they are still deeply problematic. Among other serious problems in the current draft of the bills, the requirement exists for US-based sites to actively police links to purported infringing sites. These kinds of self-policing activities are non-sustainable for large, global sites – including ones like Wikipedia. The legislative language is ambiguous and overly broad, even though it touches on protected speech. Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease.

www.wordpress.com goes dark - 20120118


Internet links not libel, Supreme Court of Canada rules

Wednesday, 19 October, 2011

CBC News, “Internet links not libel, top court rules

“Hyperlinking to defamatory material on the internet does not constitute publishing the defamatory material itself, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Wednesday.

The ruling will alleviate fears that holding someone liable for how they use hyperlinks on websites, personal ones or others, could cast a chill on internet use.

The responsible use of the internet and how traditional defamation law applies to modern technologies were at issue in this case, which was watched closely by media organizations and civil liberties groups.”

citation: Crookes v. Newton, 2011 SCC 47

Toronto Star, “Supreme Court ruling big victory for Internet freedom

CP, “Supreme Court of Canada says web link does not constitute defamation

CTV News, “Top court says web link does not constitute defamation


Stop Online Spying on Your Private Life

Friday, 16 September, 2011

Watch Stop Online Spying on Your Private Life [via OpenMedia.ca HT Charlie Angus, MP]

Stop Online Spying on Your Purchases

Stop Online Spying on Your Email

Vancouver Sun, “Advocates, politicians campaign against Conservatives’ proposed ‘snooping law’


First KOMU Interactive U_News@4 Sept 12th premiere show + Uncensored & Unedited Making of video!

Monday, 12 September, 2011

Traditional TV news is like a One-Way Street where U are a recipient of information.  U_News@4 is a revolutionary interactive TV news show where it lets you talk back! A Two-Way Street!

U_News@4 #SarahHill

Want to see how the revolutionary interactive U_News@4 is made? Watch this uncensored and unedited behind the scene Making of KOMU U_News@4 Sept 12th premiere (including the pre-show meeting and post-show discussion). Feel free to jump around different part of the video as the video is long.

Co-hosts of the Sept 12th premiere: +Michael Mozart +Kempton Lam +pio dal cin +Jen Reeves+Chad LaFarge +Aaron Fuhrman +Joseph Puglisi +Kim Beasley +Laurent Jean Philippe Ravalec

Quoting +Sarah Hill‘s after-show posting (emphasis added),

“Wow…what an incredible experience with U_News tonight! Google Plus Hangout guests from around the world co-hosted our newscast. A guest from France gave his account of the blast at the nuclear plant. A guest from Italy shared how G+ Hangout is enabling him to get news….and a guest from New York shared the mood in his city the day after the 9/11 anniversary. The Hangout technology worked beautifully and we even had viewers questioning whether the people on the news were “really from France, Italy and Canada”. We will get video of today’s U_News show posted shortly. Thanks to our co-hosts for being part of broadcast history! A new set of co-hosts will join us tomorrow.”

Sept 17 update: You can download and watch the entire KOMU U_News@4 first show from this link. [HT Jen Reeves] You can watch the entire Thur Sept 15, 2011 behind the scene Making of U_News@4 show here. [HT Michael Mozart for recording]


Interview with Sarah Hill – KOMU-TV Google+ Hangouts and new interactive U_News@4 show

Tuesday, 6 September, 2011

U_News@4 #SarahHill

Ground breaking interactive U_News@4

This afternoon, I had the pleasure to interview Sarah Hill, KOMU-TV 5pm news and the new U_News@4 anchor. I asked Sarah to travel back in time to July to share with us her first experiences with Google+ Hangouts. I also asked Sarah to tell us what she had to do to convince the bosses at KOMU to give Google+ Hangout a try. Sarah also talked about the origin of the concept of the new show U_News@4, launching in a few days on Sept 12th 4pm CST, and the various segments of the new show.

Here is my video interview with Sarah. Enjoy.

Also have a watch of U_News@4 #SarahHill Preview.

Concluding Thoughts

One of the Quotes I Love is,

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” – a quote by Arthur Miller

In light of Sarah‘s innovative and expert use of Google+ Hangouts, I think this makes perfect sense.

A good hangout, I suppose, is a world talking to itself.

Additional news & articles references

* Sept 6, 2011, “U_News Test Drive Makes International Headlines“. Here is an excerpt,

“U_News provides a new digital forum for U to personally share your news, opinions, kudos and community events. Our viewers will essentially co-host this newscast.”

* My previous two articles “KOMU Sarah Hill Google+ Hangouts – General insights” and “Technical Insights and Ideas to Reshape Newsrooms“.

* July 7, 2011, “KOMU Airs Live Google Plus Video Chat

KOMU became the 1st local television station Thursday to air a live on-air Google Plus video chat.

The group video chat is called “Hangout” and it aired live during KOMU 8 News at 5. Google viewers were able to share their experiences with this new social networking site on-air with television viewers.”


re: internet voting – A software engineer’s critique of Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer’s plan

Wednesday, 24 August, 2011

Internet voting in a by-election held after 2013

Background

In this article, I am writing as a reporter and also as a computer scientist with 10 years of software engineering experiences plus a keen interest in internet security & internet voting issues for over 10 years. To me, there are many potential issues with internet voting and I will discuss two main issues I see in this article.

This recent discussion of  internet voting is a result of Elections Canada Chief Electoral Officer’s report on the 41st general election (PDF file) (emphasis and link added),

Under section 18.1 of the Act, the Chief Electoral Officer may carry out studies on alternative voting methods and test electronic voting processes for use during general elections or by-elections, subject to the approval of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. Elections Canada has been examining Internet voting as a complementary and convenient way to cast a ballot. The Chief Electoral Officer is committed to seeking approval for a test of Internet voting in a by-election held after 2013.

1) “Security” of internet-based voting system vs. Advantage of Paper Ballots

Paper ballots used in Canada have one major security advantage: it takes a long time to fake or temper with the votes. Can you image, with our existing checks and balances, someone physically temper with (i.e. change the voters’ votes) 10 paper votes, 100 votes, or 10,000 votes? I honestly can’t. There are just so many Elections Canada people and election scrutineers from all parties to make tempering with physical votes almost impossible.

Now, can I, as a former software engineer, image someone with the smart and knowledge of the particular internet voting system’s precise weakness, electronically tempering with 100,000 votes in a general election? Absolutely!

Am I just imagining potential security weaknesses and worrying too much? Well, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics had some serious eggs on their faces in Oct 2010. They thought they had a secure internet-based voting system enough that they ask people to help test their system. Only after a few days of testing, their embarrassing failure was documented by Washington Post in “Hacker infiltration ends D.C. online voting trial”. [HT Bruce Schneier]

Last week, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics opened a new Internet-based voting system for a weeklong test period, inviting computer experts from all corners to prod its vulnerabilities in the spirit of “give it your best shot.” Well, the hackers gave it their best shot — and midday Friday, the trial period was suspended, with the board citing “usability issues brought to our attention.

Here’s one of those issues: After casting a vote, according to test observers, the Web site played “Hail to The Victors” — the University of Michigan fight song.

“The integrity of the system had been violated,” said Paul Stenbjorn, the board’s chief technology officer.

Let me quote Bruce Schneier which I totally agree (emphasis added),

My primary worry about contests like this is that people will think a positive result means something. If a bunch of students can break into a system after a couple of weeks of attempts, we know it’s insecure. But just because a system withstands a test like this doesn’t mean it’s secure. We don’t know who tried. We don’t know what they tried. We don’t know how long they tried. And we don’t know if someone who tries smarter, harder, and longer could break the system.

Fair election is the foundation of our democracy, as a software engineer of large scale safety and mission critical systems for 10 years, I try speak with an impartial view. I honestly don’t know if we can build a secure internet voting system that I would risk Canada’s democracy.

Sure, other countries may have internet-voting which their citizens approve. But what other countries do or don’t does not necessarily mean it is right! I care about my own country’s democracy which is why I am speaking out.

By the way, don’t even think about security by obscurity (using secrecy of design, etc) because it is a really bad idea!

2) Secret Ballots in Polling stations vs. Internet voting location

Polling stations in Canada have a specific set of requirements and the ability to let voters cast their ballots in secret is one of those fundamental requirements.

Unfortunately, when voting is done over the internet, we can be no longer be sure all ballots are casted without undue influence from others in the “voting booth” because there isn’t a “voting booth” anymore.

Imagine a religious, trade, activist, etc group encouraging their members to vote on a computer at a common location for “elections parties”, while their leaders keep coercing their members. Can we stop this easily and effectively?

Even if the group is as small as a family, should we allow the sanctity of & requirement of “secret ballots” be violated by over-eager parents, grandparents, relatives, or friends?

3) My brief replies to interesting comments and “solutions” from this CBC News August 18 at 6:43am Facebook posting.

  • From Melissa Dimock, “I’m a little leery of it, but it’s being done elsewhere. I do think that making voting easier, more accessible and convenient would improve voter turn-out. […]” August 18 at 6:45am

My reply: I don’t know if internet-voting will increase voter turn-out for the long term once the novelty factor is gone. But assuming it does, does it worth the risks stated in (1) & (2) above?

  • From Steve Cooper, “I’m not too down with it. I wouldn’t trust it. Imagine on election night the result is a massive swing to a party you are not pleased with. How confident would you be that the result is legitimate?” August 18 at 6:51am

I have to agree with Steve.

  • From David Jamieson, “Nope and Nope again. It is a ridiculous idea in this age of hacking. A vote in a democracy is far too important to be left in the hands of so few. […]” August 18 at 6:52am

I also agree with David.

  • From Erika Belanger, “if you can submit your income tax or do banking on the Internet, we should be able to vote that way. Might have more voters that way. There as to be a way to make it secure…..” August 18 at 6:54am

I think Erika‘s thought may be shared by many Canadians. Why is it safe to submit income tax and do banking on the internet but not so for voting?

Well, lets put things in context with #2 above. We have no worries if someone is watching and monitoring how a person is paying income tax or banking online. But we have serious concern if someone is monitored and being “influenced” on how they vote in an “internet voting booth” at home or at any location.

Hacking our internet banking while profitable to criminals, imagine criminals help hack an election and control Canada’s political future? Our votes, paradoxically, are much more valuable in some sense even many fellow Canadians routinely give up their rights to vote.

A healthy democracy needs constructive debates. Please add your views, I will try to selective reply to some of the comments.

*** References & Notes ***

Bruce Schneier is an internationally respected computer security expert, he is the expert that I have read and admire for over 10 years! In this article, I quoted his Oct 2010 piece “Hacking Trial Breaks D.C. Internet Voting System” extensively. His earlier but comprehensive Dec 2000 piece “Voting and Technology“, while written over 10 years ago, still contains some valuable insights (even thought they may not be his latest thinking). His Dec 2003 “Computerized and Electronic Voting” is also a good read.


As I tag myself in a Google Plus photo …

Monday, 15 August, 2011

As a journalist, documentarian, … I live my online life pretty openly. At the same time, I am very conscious that we now live in unchartered territories in terms of privacy, and many other online perils. Any powerful enough tools (G+, Facebook, etc) can be used for good and bad (“evil”). It is totally up to us to monitor these tools and to ensure they are used correctly by its property rights owner.

This may sound strange to my economist friends but I believe the traditional economic definition of “property rights” is currently being massaged/redefined.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_rights_(economics)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Coase


Leading Thinker Cory Doctorow’s Keynote Address at SIGGRAPH 2011

Saturday, 13 August, 2011

The following is one of Cory Doctorow‘s best speech. Cory is an editor of Boing Boing and one of the leading thinkers about Copyright. [HT my friend +Jan Rubak]

Leading Thinker Cory Doctorow’s Keynote Address at SIGGRAPH 2011

P.S. I can’t stop smiling when he starts talking, at ~12:49, about Canadian Heritage Minister [Twitter @JamesMoore_org].

Personal observation: Minister Moore believes in political debate and listening to citizen’s views as long as he can block you. See Twitter @no_mpjamesmoore


Google+ Impressions, Predictions, and Forecasts

Wednesday, 27 July, 2011

Google+ logo

Initial Google+ Impressions

On June 30, 2011, only 2 days after the launch of Google+, my friend Garry and I were chatting about his 3D TV (I mentioned I would wait for glasses-free 3D TVs after chatting with Tom, NFB Chair). I answered yes when Garry asked me if I had heard of Google+. I told him I was wasn’t that excited about Google+ after wasting my time and was disappointed by Google Wave and Buzz. At the same time, I wasn’t totally dismissive and asked my friend to play with Google+ some more and tell me how he thinks about the tool.

Eight days later on July 8th, after reading some more positive press and my friend’s Eva’s positive experiences with it, I turned around and ask Garry and Eva for an Google+ invite. And I officially joined on July 9th cautiously. You see, Buzz gave me such a bad taste, that I told it to buzz off!

Current Google+ Impressions

I have now been using Google+ about over two weeks. I can now say I’ve been really impressed with what I see and what it can do for me as a **tool**. To me, Google+ is a powerful tool to learn and to use to achieve things. (more on the “things” in future postings)

Sure, there are still many different problems or enhancements to be made but it is a tool that I have confidently included in my toolbox.

As an aside, I never quite see Facebook as a “tool” to me, not like Google+ is a tool to me.

Predictions & Forecasts

There are people/technologists/journalists who can’t help themselves but give lots of Google+ predictions or forecasts. I can’t and won’t give you predictions or forecasts. If you can or are willing to predict & forecast how a one month old baby will grow up to be like a few years down the road, you are much “smarter” and “braver” than I am.

To end this article, let me use two of my favourite forecast-related quotes by Edgar R. Fiedler from my quotes I love collection,

The herd instinct among forecasters makes sheep look like independent thinkers.” and;

If you have to forecast, forecast often.


Usage-based billing (UBB)

Monday, 21 March, 2011

BCE CEO Cope Says UBB Accounts for Almost All Internet Revenue Gains

* A user generated YouTube video providing some information on usage-based billing (UBB), and a Canadian perspective on its long term implications.


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