Regardless of your opinions of how you feel about Child Sex Predators, or how you feel about a story like this, there are some interesting things that need to be addressed. In the UK a court has requested that Facebook take down a page that seeks to collect and share sex predator information across the UK. The Facebook page has no problems naming names, and posting pictures of the offenders. What made the case for the offender who has been able to get the court to agree to this is that the Facebook Page “Keeping our kids safe from predators” should be taken down was over a 20 year old case.
While this is UK law, and I am not familiar with UK law at all, should we name and shame a sex predator from a 20 year old case. The courts in this specific opinion believed that he had served enough time, and that it would be improper to have additional information about something 20 years old. Of course people feel very strongly about rape and child sex, so the comments on the page are pretty much so in line with what you would expect. There are threats of violence, and that was one of the other things noted in the BBC article, that he was worried about being burned out of his house for the 20 year old offense.
While naming and shaming has been a huge topic lately, especially after Gawker outed Violentacrez, and a bunch of high schoolers for posting racist comments on twitter, there is also already a web site called “whosincourt.co.uk” that basically posts information about who has shown up in the crown court for any reason.
Naming and shaming is not anything new, for Seattle King County and City Data all have data and maps on registered sex offenders in the area so you know what you are living next to when you go shopping for a house. These records rarely ever disappear out of the public database, so you are liable to run across decades old cases. And yes there are plenty of Facebook pages that seek to out sex offenders in the name of public service.
Naming and shaming, tying into public records databases, even just going through your local county or city records for any kind of crime is one of those things that big data and mashups allow us to do. While the case might be 20 years old, people are going to be interested in what is going on, who lives where, and what protections we need to take for ourselves or our families. If I had known that my condo complex was going to sell a unit to a mentally ill person with a history of violence, I would never have bought the unit I live in. Can I name and shame her and the HOA board for issues I have carefully documented or recorded on camera? Yes, yes I can as long as I am willing to pay the price for my freedom of speech. Is a sex offender really truly ever rehabilitated? I think with some yes, with others no, it depends on the person. Do I have a right to see if someone near me has a court record for being a sex offender, yes, can I publish it as just the facts, yes as long as I am willing to pay the price for what I am saying, and I had better be darn factual about it so I don’t get sued for libel.
Naming and shaming is part of independent web sites, Facebook is just an extension to that. While Facebook now faces a court order to shut down the original page, more pages have cropped up on Facebook with similar/same content. Even the Huffington Post talks about similar issues with a page that has since been shut down or removed (for whatever reason including the person taking it down themselves).
Facebook is now the new billboard, we used to post crimes in the paper, police blotters are part of both the web and newspapers. You can go back through any newspaper and read it for the police blotter to find out what is happening in your area. Facebook presents a really large bill board to post on, the question is what do we do about older data, that might not be relevant any more or might cause the loss of life to a sex offender who has not reoffended?
While I am a fan of Girl Genius by Phil Foglio and find the story line amazingly wonderful for my niece, something about this project is not feeling right. Generally I am a big fan of video games and fairly familiar with what the development costs for an average game is for the IOS system, and the Kickstarter request for $7,500 just does not feel right. So of course I had to dig a bit deeper into this one to see what was going on.
I think a Girl Genius game is a good idea, and it would be a game I would purchase, but not sure if it is something I would back on Kickstarter. Mostly because the numbers do not add up, however, the developer is also realistic in that they understand the risks this game might never come off. They also state they are already through the majority of the game itself making the $7,500 a bit more realistic as a request point. This is starting to read like help me get over the hurdles and let’s see if we can get a bit of crowd funding to help us out.
The company developing the application is Gizmocracy LLC and only has one App Store game right now as a free app. Of their two games, Barnstormer Betty and Spycross, only Spycross is still in the ITunes store right now. Game spy says they have two games, but with one of them down, and Spycross with only one review, and no web site for Gizmocracy, it is hard to figure out what kind of company they are. Honestly a video game company without a web site in Google makes me question this project all the more in the longer run.
But come on – 2012, no web site? I have some serious doubts about this project not just from the numbers side, but this is starting to look funny as well from the social side.
From best estimates on Quora and OSXDaily, and Lolerapps.com the average good well done IOS game runs about $30,000 for a quality game. Depending on where Gizmocracy is in with their development, and they do state that they are almost done, with a very short track record, one active game, no web site other than Facebook, this one just does not feel right as a Kickstarter project. Not that you should not donate if you want to, but donate with the idea that this might not be a good quality game like I would expect, that the developer is really new other than time in the industry (heck even I have time in the industry, what did the developer do while they were in the industry?), and only has one game in the App Store today there is a lot of questions here that probably are not going to get answered.
Donate – but donate with due caution and care – best recommendation that I can make, because this does not add up on the numbers side based on what I know about game development for the IOS and what others are saying it should cost for a quality game. The studio is unknown, and the bio for the developer is really minimal, there is no way to go back and validate the developers’ credentials and they are not in Google.
This was a script written by Alex Brooks who gave me permission to use the base script and change it along the way. Mounting a bucket in S3 on a linux box can be a tricky issue, especially when it does not want to set the permissions to the bucket right so that the average [...]
About seven years ago, a friend of mine who was helping me get into photography recommended that I check out Smugmug, and a wonderful relationship was born. I love, have loved, and will appreciate Smugmug even as I am walking away from the web site. Over the last three years I have shoved some 853,000 [...]
News of last night’s problems with the Virginia Data Centers power system taking down sites like Netflix and Pinterestshows that sometimes not programming for fail over
or data center failure is a pretty foolish thing to do. Especially with costs somewhat reasonable per gigabyte in Amazon’s S3 system.
Anyone who does not program for fail over in any system takes foolish risks with their computing systems and their companies.
So synching S3 buckets is fairly easy, and there is no reason not to do it, you can cut your own custom script that will determine all the contents in an S3 bucket and make sure that even though the data centers are somewhat isolated ensure the contents are the same in each S3 bucket. You can use a freeware/minimal cost software like S3CMD from S3 tools to help you out if you need a baseline system command set to do this. Or you can manually do an object check between S3 buckets using an EC2 instance as a master controller for the S3 buckets. The EC2 instances should be able to talk to each other using the public interface without having to get an IP lease from AWS to do so.
You should also be load balancing between regions, doing a simple health check and using cloud watch to ensure that once the parameters are met for an outage for the world to be notified that one data center is down. Load balancing is a necessary process if you want to program for fail over.
Elastic Load Balancing that comes as part of AWS is a good way to ensure that regions are healthy, and that an outage in one region will not influence or impact the good working conditions of the company that is using AWS. On the ELB page on Amazon they state:
Elastic Load Balancing can detect the health of Amazon EC2 instances. When it detects unhealthy load-balanced Amazon EC2 instances, it no longer routes traffic to those Amazon EC2 instances and spreads the load across the remaining healthy Amazon EC2 instances.
Using Elastic Load Balancing, you can distribute incoming traffic across your Amazon EC2 instances in a single Availability Zone or multiple Availability Zones. Elastic Load Balancing automatically scales its request handling capacity in response to incoming application traffic.
You have to use S3, a master EC2 in each availability region to perform the automation for each region, Elastic Load Balancing, and software like S3CMD to make all this work. You will probably spend the better part of an afternoon setting this up, but failure to take into account an outage in any region is simply poor cloud computing or normal computing practice. There will always be disasters regardless of how stable any cloud computing solution seems, and you must architect for failover for every system you design and develop regardless of the platform.
Netflix, Pinterest and others who were down because they were only in the Virginia data center need to program for failover, and if they lost business or customers because of it, then they need to go back and reevaluate their AWS dependencies and work out a decent failover process.
Over the last couple of days I have seen content removed from Facebook and my account locked out for a bit, including everything tied into Facebook. And I have also been working with Smugmug because while nudity is not allowed apparently someone decided to complain that there was nudity in my galleries on Smugmug. Not [...]
If we keep on comparing everything to Facebook we are forgetting that people are the objects that create the community. Each community from Facebook to G+ to Pinterest to all the others we interact with, we have created those communities. Each one has its place, and each community is like visiting the different communities in [...]