Friday, 29 April 2011

Information Security

It surprises me that a lot of people are giving away their information freely. No regard for their or others' security.

There are a lot of applications now that could pose as a threat. Social networking sites are examples of such applications that could be harmful for you in the long run.

How much are you worth?
Do you know how much companies would pay for information? Even for just simple demographics, like gender, age, location and nationality? Stuff as simple as that, companies would pay millions just to have it. Imagine how much information we put on our profile sheets in social networks? We put in our schools, our hobbies, pretty much everything about ourselves. Such information can be used by companies to make marketing strategies; to check how much of the market they have penetrated; to see which demographic (such as social class, gender, school, age, etc) would be most likely to buy their products. Which demographics would they target their ads and their products to. Imagine how much they would earn in profit if they properly market their wares. Much much more that how much they'll pay for your information.

Sure, nothing's wrong with having targeted ads. It's how a company will earn money. It's just like TV ads, right? WRONG! Maybe it's just a little soft. No real damage is done, you'll also benefit by finding stuff that you want easily, but, would you really want these companies to know much information about you? Remember, people operate these companies. People in the company have access to your information. They can pull your record out, find out who you are, where you live, how to contact you, what your hobbies are, and worse, how you look like.

Paranoia? Maybe.
There's this app that I really find preposterous. It's an app (webapp) that let's you post information about where you are. Don't people see the dangers of letting the whole world know where you are? You could be feeding information to stalkers. And it's not limited to this webapp either. People use microblogs and social networks to post where they are at the precise moment. People can use this information against you. Companies could also put this to use. They can send targeted ads to you again. Since they know where you are, your phone or laptop can be bombarded with targeted ads. Like this shop is near you, etc.

You may be wondering why I keep on going back to companies that do targeted advertisments. Well, their the biggest threat. It's the most possible users (or rather, it's already happening) that will exploit your information. These marketing strategies are a little scary for me, because they'll know how to convince you to buy, to spend your money. You're thinking that you did that on your own. You decided to buy something, but in reality, these companies have conditioned your mind into buying.

A Way Out
I know what you're thinking. "I don't have that kind of threat because I only share information with my friends". That's a LIE. Unless you know all your followers on twitter, your friends in fb, 4sq, myspace, friendster, ym, tumblr, plurk, etc, which I doubt, you're not safe. You can't be so sure that your information isn't in jeopardy.

You should make it a habit to read any webapp's (or website's) ToS (Terms of Service) and Privacy Policy. Both are equally important, but for the purposes of this blog, I would stress that you read the PRIVACY POLICY! A privacy policy is where the organization behind the webapp tells you what they do with your information, what they'll install on your computer (yes, browsing alone installs something in your computer, such as cookies and trackers), etc. Sometimes it's also stated in the ToS about what they'll do with your information. They should have a clause for not selling nor sharing your information. Make sure that it's stated. Otherwise your information would be sold or shared.

Of course, there's still a way around that ToS and PP, but it's still a way of safeguarding your info.

I hope y'all be more careful about your information.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

What is love?

I really am not in the mood to go into full blogging mode so here's just a few snippets off my brain on how I view love, or how to love me?:

  1. I know that I love you because I decided to stay even if I have fallen out of love
  2. Love is not a feeling. It's a choice; and I chose you.
  3. I love you not because I need you, but because I want you.
  4. Don't tell me that you're sacrificing a lot for me. It's like your blaming me for your self inflicted pain. I'd rather you say, "I love making you happy"
  5. On the note of sacrifice, I don't sacrifice. It's either I want to to make you happy/at ease, I don't want to, or I'll compromise, but never ever ever sacrifice.
  6. I do expect you to know that "Ok lang" means it's not okay at all.
  7. When I'm quiet, there is something terribly terribly wrong. I'm boisterous. I rarely shut up
  8. When I'm enraged, that would be the best time to hug me, kiss me forehead and tell me you love me, even if I struggle and try to punch your face
  9. When I say I want something out of the blue, I really want it, and I want to enjoy it with you
  10. I love hugs and cuddles and snuggles. Remember, I'm a kitten ^o_o^
  11. I love to tickle, poke and bite. You have to get used to it, or else!
  12. I'm not the type that follows something blindly. The more you try to control me, the more I pull away, the more I make your hairs stand on end
  13. I'm like a truffle. I'm hard on the outside but gooey on the inside, and above all, I'm heavenly!
  14. There is a huge difference between I love you and Mahal kita.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Responsible Parenting and Prescription Condoms

I first heard about this in my favorite radio program "The Morning Rush" in RX93.1. They have this segment in the radio station called "News @17" where the DJs give various news on the 17th minute of every hour.

Again this is one of those, am i allowed to say stupid rules that people make up. Even the pop approves of condom use (in certain circumstances). What's the deal with these lawmakers anyway? It's not like condoms can harm the guy, nor the girl. Prescription is needed for drugs that may have dangerous side effects. What's so dangerous in a condom? Will you use it to strangle someone?

In the risk of being excommunicated, yeah I think the Philippine Church is wrong in condemning contraceptives, especially condoms.

Abortion What?

I still don't understand why preventing the sperm cells from reaching the egg cell is abortion. Last time I checked, abortion is not synonymous to prevention.

Cause and Effect

One problem facing the Philippines is poverty, and if you haven't noticed, the number of the poor is increasing; and if you haven't where have you been living in the past 10 years? I believe that the reason why we are so poverty-stricken is because we have too much poor people who are popping out babies like there's no tomorrow.

Aside from the fact that politicians keep on stealing our tax money, the rest of the money that's put to legitimate use are mostly spent on subsidizing for the poor, especially when it's nearing elections. If we had fewer poor people, then we don't have to subsidize as much. Politicians wouldn't appear as though they're doing everything they can to help the poor, just because the poor gets them the votes. (Hey corrupt politicians, shouldn't you be making the lives of those who PAY THE TAXES better than those who don't?). Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the poor, nor their uncontrollable urge to fornicate and get pregnant. All I'm saying here is, the lesser the poor people are, the more we can use the money to advance and improve our nation.

A Not So Slippery Slope

You're probably outraged now about how badly I think of the poor, but here me out first; and remember, this doesn't only apply to the poor, this also applies to the middle class, and every Filipino family who's struggling to make ends meet.

Here goes:

When I was in 4th year college, a rally was hosted by my alma matter regarding RH bill. There was this girl saying that the RH bill is bad because it prevents big families. She says that big families are great. Big families are happy families. I was like "What the hell is this girl saying?". Sure, big families are more fun than smaller families, but that means more expenses, more mouths to feed, more brains to fill, more laundry, more baths, more of everything, and almost everything has a price now. Big families are great, yes, IF you can afford it.

Lessening the number of poor people will of course start with fewer poor kids. Fewer poor kids means that the parents can somehow help their children IQ or EQ growth. Since they can spend more time with each kid. Some could even afford to send their children to a private school.

Children with better IQ and EQ will most probably get scholarships in acclaimed Colleges and Universities in the Philippines, maybe even abroad. Since most people have the "employee" mindset (Get a good education to get a good job), having kids who graduated college is a big help in the family already. Family status upgrade! Country status UPGRADE!

Another Valid Premise, STD

Okay, let's not concentrate on family planning. Let's look at the more humane reason for using condoms, but again, this is just applicable to condoms.

Condoms, as we all know helps in preventing the spread of STDs and STIs. Prostitution and promiscuity is rampant now, people should have a way of protecting themselves. The church can't turn their cheek on this reality. It is really happening. Preventing people to use condoms and risk STD is worse than having all that children to support. At least children and family for the most part, give joy to parents. STDs don't give joy to anyone. It destroys lives. Would the church rather have a very sick society?

The Other Hand

The only thing that I think should be banned are IUDs, I mean, this device can really hurt the girl, and it actually prevents the zygote (fertilized egg) to attach to the uterus, which of course, in itself, already abortion.

I get that the Church wants to accomplish here. They're still trying to keep the people pure, which is great. Though their judgement is really clouded here.

If they want to prevent pre-marital sex, have the law prohibit the selling of condoms to minors, not just the birth control pills and IUDs.

If they want to prevent extra-marital sex, have a law that allows buying of condoms by couple, with their marriage certificate or something. It's really hard to prevent extra-marital sex, and it happens even without condoms.

Laws prohibiting the use of contraceptives doesn't prevent STDs, Pre-marital and extra-marital sex. It will just increase the number of unwanted pregnancies, illegal abortions and people with STDs. What the Church needs to do is to teach the proper values in a way that it will stick to the minds of people. Do what they have to do in their own niche, not meddle in the political aspects of life