Let’s see…we have the big SONY scandal, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, world hunger, environmental disasters, questionably lawful police shootings….the list goes on and on yet the biggest thing on some people’s minds is the fact that Blue Buffalo All-Natural Pet Food is using a photograph of a wolf on one of their dog food products. The anti-wolf crowd is calling for all pet owners to boycott the product until they remove the ‘offending’ photograph. My God…cyber ransom over a photograph on a bag of dog food? Get a life people!
Okay that was my little rant for the day. I don’t know how far this ‘boycott’ will go and I hope that Blue Buffalo doesn’t bend to what I would assume will be minor pressure from a small group of brave individuals hiding behind their laptops but it does demonstrate the power of the internet, as does the SONY debacle.
The son of a friend of mine is a “Hacker for Hire”. For obvious reasons I won’t disclose names but he’s one of the good guys. Large corporations hire him to try and break their on-line security and offer any advice to improve any weak areas. Typically he works with police departments instructing law enforcement officers on how to break into the bad guys computers and judging by how busy he is, he must be good at it. Three years ago he said that if there’s to be a Third World War it will be fought in cyber-space. Nations will fall when all of their systems fail. I think he may be right.
The kafuffle over SONY could have been the first volley. To me the speculation that North Korea was behind it seems sound but really…is it? How many times have students hacked into school computers to try and change exam marks? We know of a few that got caught but how many are never found out? Over the past few years banks and other financial institutions have been hacked, department store credit card machines have been infiltrated, iphone codes are regularly stolen…who’s to say that the SONY hack wasn’t pulled off by some fifteen-year-old straight A student in his mum’s basement? Personally I don’t understand computers enough to present an educated opinion on this and I would guess that ninety-percent of people that use computers are in the same boat but this should be a bit of a warning to us all. Put it up on the internet and it doesn’t ever go away.
Moving along…try a little kindness. I love this time of year. There are always ‘feel good’ stories about strangers stopping to help out the less fortunate and it’s nice to hear that a homeless person had a new (to him) coat dropped in his lap. I did my small RAOK yesterday and the appreciation and emotion I received from both the elderly woman involved and a total stranger who observed my action gave me that warm holiday feeling. It was small to me, seemingly insignificant really, but it meant the world to someone else. It doesn’t take much, sometimes just a cheery greeting, but it can change someone’s day for the better and when you make someone else feel better….
To each of you Merry Christmas or, if you prefer, Happy Holidays!