Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Kenneth Clarke: Fewer criminals will go to prison - Telegraph

Looks like the wheels are in motion....

Kenneth Clarke: Fewer criminals will go to prison - Telegraph

Moses Meets Big Brother: The Ten Commandments of Privacy by John Featherman

Nineteen eighty-four has come and gone. Big Brother is still watching you, however, even all these years later. Thanks in large part to computerization, your private life is an open book -- now more than ever.

The information revolution is rapidly transforming the way people live. Recent evelopments in information technology have made it possible to bring news, entertainment and communication right into every living room or boardroom in the world. Consequently, the world has become a marketplace for information.

From a technological perspective, the features of this revolution are mind-boggling -- instant or near-instant access to any available information. For private citizens, this means access via their cable company or phone company to thousands of television shows, games, records, phone calls/video conferencing calls, libraries, news programs, catalogs. . . the list goes on and on. For businesses, information technology provides the opportunity for managers to add value and gain competitive advantage through dramatic cutbacks in the cost of acquiring, storing, processing, retrieving and transmitting time-sensitive business information.

Yet, despite all the potential benefits of these advances in information technology, they unfortunately offer a darker side. Many individuals who embrace the principle of personal freedom believe that the information age is assisting Big Brother and his associates tremendously in their quest to control personal information. Consequently, privacy has emerged as a central topic of discussion throughout the world.

Back in 1994, I started the Privacy Newsletter to assist consumers concerned with personal freedom and personal privacy. In every issue, I've offered a wealth of specialized information that privacy seekers cannot obtain from any single newspaper, magazine, radio program, television show or computer database.

Yet before my publication, individuals concerned with privacy have managed to get along without a wholly consumer-oriented privacy source. How did they do it? Essentially, they safeguarded their personal information using common sense. They used cash for discrete transactions; they held truly private conversations (meaning in person rather than by telephone, fax, modem or video communications); they went to private doctors rather than hospitals for routine examinations. However, with the trend toward a cashless society. . . with the trend toward telecommunications. . . with the trend toward clinics and hospitals with shared information systems and medical reporting bureaus. . . and most of all with the trend toward computerization of almost every quantifiable and qualifiable action, individuals can no longer feasibly control the collection, processing, storage, retrieval or dissemination of what they consider their personal information. Consumers have to use more than common sense to minimize Big Brother's invasion. They need information, and they need advice. They need to know what laws protect them and what laws do not. They want to know how other people have succeeded in achieving personal freedom. And most of all, they want to keep an edge on Big Brother and his associates by staying on top of developments. For after all, isn't protecting your privacy a cat-and-mouse game anyway?

If you have something to hide -- and most of us do -- then they will need good, solid practical solutions that will help them increase their privacy.

You might wish to protect yourself from nosy employers, co-workers, neighbors, stalkers, hackers, politicians or assorted low-lives who have no respect for your privacy. Since we all need some breathing space, regardless of how much we are loved by another, we must learn techniques to keep things private from even our most loved ones.

While there are many sophisticated methods to protect your privacy, the truth is that if you incorporate a few general strategies into your everyday behavior, you can win the war against the privacy invaders.
So without further ado, join me now, as we begin our journey back to a missing portion of the Old Testament -- the Ten Commandments of Privacy!

1. Thou shalt keep sensitive information private.
Even in today's computer age, you control 90% of what you want most people to know about you. While it is true that your name, address, telephone number, social security number and other personal information are floating around in thousands -- if not hundreds of thousands -- of databases, most snoops don't need to check your background formally because they know that most targets are pleased to volunteer sensitive information. While there are times when you have to divulge personal information (credit card applications, insurance applications, etc.), insist that the people who receive this information keep it confidential. Have them agree in writing that personal information obtained for one purpose will not be used for another purpose without your prior consent. The best strategy is to keep people on a need-to-know basis.

2. Thou shalt pay in cash whenever possible.
Using cash can protect your financial privacy. Cash is preferable to money orders, which are preferable to personal cheques, which are in turn preferable to credit cards. Even though most countries are placing serial numbers on currency, cash is difficult to trace, unlike cheques. It's like a trail of rice.  It leads back home. The Government and your bank can put together a dossier of almost any aspect of your life. While money orders are also recorded, they are recorded under the name of the issuer, not the purchaser; so your transaction is lost in the shuffle. While credit card purchases are the best from a security point of view, they sacrifice privacy, since most credit card companies sell cardholders' spending habits unless the cardholders specifically request otherwise.  And watch out for those mobile card readers...don't let it out of your sight.  If a waiter or barman or whoever walks off with it stop them and take your card out of the machine.  Before you know it there will be thirty cloned versions of your card hitting the ATMs

3. Thou shalt guard thy social security number and other identification numbers with thy life.
The SSN has turned into a de facto national identifier, as have driver's license numbers (which are the same as the SSNs in many counties), telephone numbers and passport numbers. The best strategy is to provide alternate identification numbers and never write your social security number on cheques or credit card receipts.
4. Thou shalt use a paper shredder in thy daily life.
Court decisions over the past few years have decided that whatever ends up in the trash is fair game. But let's face it, some documents just aren't meant to be shared. So get a shredder. If your budget allows, buy one that cross-cuts rather than strip-cuts. And shred everything from bills to CD's.  Shred it, Burn it, then forget it!

5. Thou shalt use a post office box or, better yet, a mail drop.
Post office boxes and mail drops make it difficult for people to find out where you live. They generally provide better security than residential mailboxes, and they offer a permanent mailing address in this day and age when people are moving all the time. For a variety of reasons, I believe that mail drops are superior to post office boxes.

6. Thou shalt inspect thy credit, medical and other personal information files often.
You would be surprised to know what kind of information is kept about you. And much of the time, it's not accurate. Mistakes can lead to financial ruin as well as emotional distress, so request your credit and medical reports often, and use the Freedom of Information Act to inspect any federal files involving you. When inspecting and repairing personal data, you're up against a huge bureaucracy. But if you develop a consistent strategy, you can wipe the slate clean.

7. Thou shalt be circumspect in thy computer affairs.
Make no bones about it: the Government wants your data. And so do a few hackers and other riffraff who have no respect for your privacy. They want your spreadsheets, your databases and your word processing files. They want to know what you are sending and receiving on your fax/modem, and they want to decrypt any files that you have encrypted. They have the best encryption programs off the market, making their task easier. What can you do? For starters, encrypt files using the best encryption software you can find (we
like PGP [Pretty Good Privacy], developed by Phil Zimmerman).

8. Thou shalt be extremely discreet when communicating.
Whether you are using a normal phone, portable phone, Mobile phone, fax, modem or some other high-tech device, be careful what you say. You never know who is listening. When in doubt, remember what your parents told you when you were a kid -- "Don't say it over the phone unless you are prepared to see it on the front page of the newspaper."

9. Thou shalt be diligent when choosing passwords and shalt change them periodically.
Passwords are critical in today's world. Automated Teller Machine cards, computer accounts, home security systems. . . you name it. But many of us choose the wrong passwords and never change them.

10. Thou shalt make a lifetime commitment to protecting your privacy.
Protecting one's privacy does not mean being a hermit. It does mean keeping abreast of new technology and its ramifications (i.e., Caller ID etc.); encouraging privacy legislation; and using common sense. The Privacy Newsletter offers you a forum for mutual support and the exchange of useful ideas. Privacy advocates -- let's join forces!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Jeffrey Robinson-Three Stages of Money Laundering

A fantastic piece of film explaining the three stages of Money Laundering.  I highly recommend both the books 'The Laundrymen' and 'The Sink' by Jeffrey Robinson.

Bench-sit like Beckham? No thanks

Follow suit: David Beckham (centre) hogging the limelight, but he's no Fabio Capello (right)From Piers Morgan in the Mail on Sunday

I've given this matter some considerable thought and still cannot come up with any answer that makes the remotest sense.

What IS David Beckham doing at this World Cup?

Each England game, he appears in the dugout in a suit exactly like Fabio Capello's and spends the next 90 minutes leaping up and down and shouting like Fabio Capello.

The only problem is that he's NOT Fabio Capello. He's just one of several players, including the desperately unfortunate Rio Ferdinand, who got injured before the tournament.

But instead of taking his bad luck like a man and retiring into the shadows, Beckham's doing what he always does – still trying to hog all the limelight like a petulant schoolkid. It's embarrassing.

Read more:

Friday, 25 June 2010

Graff Diamonds trial: man found guilty over Britain's biggest robbery - Telegraph

Well, here's the problem.  Six defendants.  The black guy in the picture has been found 'guilty'.  The trial continues and they await the verdict on the other five.  It might just be me but surely, if the guy that was second into the showroom is guilty, the guy at the front has two hopes..No hope and Bob Hope!!!

Graff Diamonds trial: man found guilty over Britain's biggest robbery - Telegraph

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

World Cup News Flash

NEWS FLASH ... On the eve of Englands crucial group C world cup match England coach Fabio Capello took the England squad away from the media spotlight and took time out to visit an orphanage in South Africa this morning. "It's good to put a smile on the faces of people with no hope, constantly struggling and facing the impossible" said Oludare Umboto, aged 6."

Jeffrey Archer talks about Prison

A very interesting conversation by Jeffrey Archer and Raychel Harvey Jones regarding Prison.

Jeffrey Archer Quickfire Q&A

A Quick Fire Q&A at the end of an interview

Diane Abbott - Hypocritical Racist

A master class of political hypocrisy. It is amazing that this nasty piece of work is spouting racist comments when, if she heard anyone else, ie: white, say the same thing she would land on them like a sumo wrestler. I really do hope that this racist becomes leader of the Labour(ed) party as it will guarantee the Conservatives in office for a very long time. A classic case of opening her mouth before whatever brain she has kicks in.

Diane Abbott plays race card to excuse her decision to send her son to private school Mail Online

Monday, 21 June 2010

As thick as thieves? Not likely - Life & Style - The Independent

An interesting expose on the cultural divide within an open prison. I believe that the prisoners featured in this had to wait until next day to watch it as they were locked up. The residents of Latchmere House watched it live as they are not locked in cells...So much for Ford!!

As thick as thieves? Not likely - Life & Style - The Independent

Sunday, 20 June 2010

In Plain Sight

I am working on the third draft of a novel called In Plain Sight which I hope to have published in 2011.  I will keep you posted on the project as we progress...

Sing up Ray...

I suppose nearly everyone experiences this, a feeling that anything you say falls on deaf ears?  Will we, as a nation of football fans, get the result we want on Wednesday?  Will our Manager switch the team around? Will he listen to the players?  Will the players listen to him?  Or, will we all be like the people in the audience at this Ray Charles gig.   

Capello to resign?

That's right Fab, that's what I think too!!

I cannot believe this comment in one of the Sunday red tops.  Why on earth would a Manager of the England team resign because of the poor performance in a high pressure game by the players of the England team?  The Manager trains the team, and he has support and advisors surrounding him.  He picks the team because of their performance during training.  If they elect not to perform as well as they did in training when they are on the pitch in a very important match, I would sack the players.

Having watched the qualifying games and seen the performance of England to qualify for the World Cup I am stumped.  England played so well that they beat opposing teams to qualify.  Now they are playing so badly they couldn't beat the teams thay have already beaten to qualify.  The Manager hasn't changed.  The training hasn't changed.  The team hasn't changed.  So, what has?  I think the individuals in the team have changed.  Their minds are either not there, not right or, as usual in international games, the England team believe they are so good they don't have to do too much for the opposition to crumble.  How many times have we seen british sportsmen rest on their laurels?  Frank Bruno was notorious for hitting his opponent and, when they were hurt, standing back and admiring his handywork.  Maybe England think they are unbeatable and don't need to do anything to confirm that?  More likely, the team are a group of overpaid individual prima donnas who are not bothered either way...

If heads roll after Wednesday I only hope it will be some of the players who are sacked and not the Manager.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

A Real Villa

I don't care what you say...having seen this in todays Times supplement...this has to be the ultimate villa...and this is just the pool.

Capello and England or Capello v England?

Move the team into their right positions...get rid of the 4-4-2...put Rooney up front and put Green back in goal. Attack, attack, attack, throw EVERYTHING into the penalty area...England have nothing to lose and ALL to win, including the fans respect!

According to my good friend, Peter Shram: "I've always said that whatever Capello thinks is best we should all shut up and let him get on with it, but when it's obvious it's not working on the pitch like it does in training he ought to let the players play where they feel more comfortable; to do what's best for the team, rather than his own stubborn ego."   I couldn't put it better myself.

Capello is a great GREAT Manager, probably, in my opinion, the best for England right now.  The only area of concern is the lack of flexibilty.  In NLP it is well know that: The person with flexibility within the situation CONTROLS the situation.  This is what Fab has to do.  Put the players where they work best, put Rooney up front and change from 4-4-2.  If he doesn't, I fear he will be Fab no more!

Jail where inmates pay rent and carry their own keys - UK, News - The Independent

I recommend two weeks every August! Even John Morgan gets a mention...the man who said (quote) "Let yourselves in lads, the gates are unlocked!"

Jail where inmates pay rent and carry their own keys - UK, News - The Independent

Charity fraudster Peter Sainsbury jailed for five years - Times Online

Some people never change...

Charity fraudster Peter Sainsbury jailed for five years - Times Online

Click above and read a very interesting story which proves that sometimes a leopard never changes its spots...though it does disguise them sometimes...

Instead of Sport, why not read?

Putting aside my frustrations over the England teams performance last night (Let's not tar and feather Capello...not yet a least.  he is a quality Manager and the Team are just not playing.  Underworked and overpaid?  Maybe...)

I thought I would take time to recommend a book.  Jeffrey Archer is an Author, among other things, and I have read many of his novels and his prison diaries.  I met him many years ago when I was toying with the idea of hitting the West End with a musical version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  I spoke to him on Sunday when he was on LBC talking about education in Prison and whether or not ALL crimes should warrant a custodial sentence.  We both agree that minor offences should be non custodial in many cases and that there is a very good and sound argument for the catagorisation of prisoners to be dealt with in court on the basis of the facts and the charge.  This would alleviate the unnecessary time clogging up the system in the holding prisons of London.

I have just completed his novel A Prisoner of Birth and I recommend it to you highly.  It is an exceptionally well crafted update of Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo.  There are enough twists and turns and cliff hangers in the book to make you want to read it in one sitting.  I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.  In fact I plan to read it again soon.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Go Green!

Well I have read a lot of descriptions of Robert Green in the press, from idiot to hapless.  From inexperienced to should have known better.
As usual we are kicking a guy when he is down.  The whole England team are standing behind him (I know, pity they weren't doing that last Saturday!) and we as a nation must stop all of this negative commentary and get behind the team.  Capello has been described as a great manager, the best manager for England, and the ONLY person who can lead England to victory.  Now he is being described as weird, secretive, not instilling confidence, not knowing what he is doing, goes on and on.  Why?  Because England didn't go out and hammer 5 goals into the USA's net.

Capello is the best manager for the team, as proved by his decision to keep the wretched WAGs at home.  A bunch of attention seeking orange shop window dummies who seem to think that marrying, or just sleeping with. a footballer allows you to give your opinion on everything from Jimmy Choo shoes to world peace and global warming when in fact, the truth is, they can barely walk and think at the same time. 

Robert Green has played for England before and he did a great job.  If he hadn't, Capello wouldn't have picked him. 

How many times has a striker, or indeed any player, missed an open goal from 5 feet?  Lots of times.  Do we remember them?  No. We concentrate on the goals they scored.  Let's concentrate on what a great goalkeeper Robert Green is (well he does play for West Ham United) and forget that in the first half of his last game he let the ball slip through his hands and into the net.

And let's also forget that last October when England played the Ukraine he became the first England goalkeeper to be sent off!  Sssssh!