Saturday, April 12, 2008

Those emails you never received

Ever wondered why you get into an argument/polite discussion with a customer, colleague or friend about an email you swear you sent but they swear it never arrived? or vice versa...well stop wondering because the WWW has swallowed it. Yes you are reading me correctly.

"At any given moment, messages throughout the world are lost to cyber black holes, according to new computer science research" [source]

Not content to have to worry about the outerspace black holes now we have the internet, this is scary. Can we also disapear in it as people and then it becomes like the matrix?..hmm I better not think aloud too much.

However, to return to the emails usually it is that very important one you sent to your boss, the one with a tight deadline to clients, the birthday e-card to friends, and the letter in which you profess your love to a friend.
So now you have an excuse when you don't meet a deadline it's those stupid black holes! Not sure if your boss will buy that though.
April fool’s day and the Danish cartoons

You’re probably wondering what have the two in common?

In Libya everything is possible, there was a recent big rumour that anyone called Mohammed and born between 2000 and 2008 is eligible for a one off allowance of 500 Libyan Dinars (about 400 US$). Parents rushed to the municipality to submit their papers and collect the allowance. You can imagine how long the lines were since this is a very popular name in the Arab/Muslim world.

When I was recounted this story I could not imagine what would be the connection between the name and a money allowance if you specifically link it to those dates only? It did not make sense as these dates have no importance whatsoever historically or in any other way. Well there was a lot of business generated anyway for the municipality in terms of duty stamps to be included with each application and also to buy the application forms. Tempers were lost in the crowd, time wasted from production sites. Citizens were further informed that the money would be deposited in their bank accounts in 40$ instalments.

On the second day those people who came back to collect their signed form and others who came to submit their form were surprised to discover that this was an April fool's joke.

I really don’t think that was funny, but also why would someone imagine that money is given for free just because your name is Mo ?

While browsing online today I found the origin of the rumour and how the joke started which makes it a bit easier to understand why people believed this. Apparently the other version was that the Danish government wanted to compensate for the ‘Danish Cartoons’ and devised this way. It was still an April fool’s joke of course. Glad it did not last long.

It is so cruel, sad and irresponsible - NO comment

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

'Secrets in plain sight': every letter counts (updated)

I've always stated that our so called online ramblings do not get by undetected; our voice (s) as bloggers is/are heard in expected and unexpected places... You might wish to check below to be reminded of the importance of your words online whether you are writing about your diet, shoes, opinion on movies or even on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict....

"Whether it's developments in Russian politics, the spread of avian flu, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Asia or the technological capacity of enemy states, "there's been a significant shift toward relying more on open-source information [...] The CIA has set up an Open Source Center, based in a nondescript office building in suburban Washington, where officers pore over everything from al-Qaeda-backed websites to papers distributed at science and technology symposiums [...] the FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency, are training scores of analysts to mine open sources and giving many of them desktop Internet access. "
[Source : USA Today]

Basically if you don't want your foes to know about something then don't write about it :P; as once something has been uttered to another person it is no longer a secret but enters the 'grey area'. Intelligence and counter-intelligence are thriving online which is how we end up with some colourful and entertaining stories at times

Hey but don't get paranoid now will ya ?

Update 12/4/08

To prove my point along the same vein but this time relevant to Facebook " [Israeli] defense authorities continue to surf the Net to make sure there are no further security breaches." [source USA Today , hattip Sabbah ].