TaN: To store data in the Cloud is to be at your own risk. Because it is a common storage area and is accessible 24/7/365, it is vulnerable to cyber attacks, This is because only files that are open are susceptible because open files will always be found or loaded into primary storage.
Because the file storage structure — i.e., how the (sub-)directories or folders are organized — (normally) varies according to the preferences of the user, it is very difficult to navigate through these maze of levels of file storage areas. Erroneous navigation (to non-existent directory structure/s) by an intruder will cause the system to generate and post error messages and this will arouse suspicion or attract attention and give away to the system administrator that there is an attempt to breach security.
Storing data in a cloud is tantamount to “putting all eggs in one basket” and this is very risky — as the recent spate of cloud hacking has convincingly proven. Cloud storage should only be done with data intended to be retrieved somewhere else either by someone else or by the same uploader because s/he does not want to bring it/them during transit. Moreover and especially if the data is sensitive or confidential, data in the cloud must be downloaded and permanently (and unconditionally) purged after its purpose for uploading has been accomplished and been rendered moot.
As a last word, use the cloud at your own risk and any breach in security should be expected and no one can be blamed but ourselves — for putting so much trust in it. It must be remembered that security or control and convenience are diametrically opposed — i.e., the more convenience, the more control must be ceded and the greater its vulnerability.
TaN: In a world where the wealth gap or inequality is kilometric, people listen only when money talks — and when that is the case, Money is (usually) God. It is not uncommon to hear the comment that something cannot be done because there are no funds. No one is willing to exert effort or spent resources without a guarantee of compensation or monetary gain or funding.
It is sad that there is prevailing perception that people feel so helpless, so dependent on money that they feel nothing can be accomplished without it. People seem to have accepted the false reality that money is essential if anything needs to be done. We seem to have lost our confidence in our innate abilities and talents in working together (with others) to achieve the seemingly most insurmountable tasks or projects for the common good — even public services and projects like roads, bridges, and parks.
I just cannot fathom why people find it difficult to (voluntarily) do or participate in any activity for the common good — i.e., without monetary or other self-centered or selfish pre-conditions (like “What’s in it for me?”). Remember that this was how early man started out — cooperating with each other for mutual benefit. As a member of a tribe, clan, or society, people pull their own weight and give of their talents and skills for the survival and prosperity of all. Somewhere along the way, money got into the picture and it was downhill from there on.
TaN: “The Death Penalty is a Hate Crime” — Bob Autobee, father of victim. I agree completely. The only reason victims or relatives of victims would want the death penalty is for revenge. Because it is prohibited to take the law into one’s own hands, the death penalty becomes the aggrieved parties to exact revenge on the perpetrator of a crime. The state beccomes or acts as the proxy of the victim or the relatives to get satisfaction because of emotions. Even if, after the execution and sufficient time has elapsed, the victim or the relatives do not feel any remorse over the death of the perpetrator of the crime, it, nevertheless, remains a fact that it is all out of hatred.
TaN: It is deceptive and misleading to say that the (financial) performance of such things as creative works — such as cinema films, songs, and books — is better than their predecessors unless the total consumer population sizes respective to the previous time period is taken into consideration. In other words, to say that a certain film, song, or book grossed the highest in sales revenue of all time by basing the claim merely on the income generated is inaccuate and unfair to the others (whether the current rivals or against those of the past). To be able to make such a claim, aside from the total amount, a standard and consistent time frame or duration must be taken into consideration and likewise the proportional size of the consumer population or target market (you intend to sell to) as well as adjustment in the inflation rate and the unit selling price (i.e., per theater ticket, song, or book selling price). Unless and until these are taken into account, claims of being the top grosser of all time as simply empty bragging and should not even be given the slightest importance or consideration.
TaN: The problem with the pork barrel is not so much that it can be used and prone to corruption but that there is no transparency and effective accountability. It must be unerstood that there are certain items in a (national) budget that cannot be specific — i.e., whose purpose cannot be very specific by virtue to its nature.
If the apprehension is that the funds will be used on spurious projects or will just be diverted to the pockets of some unscrupulous politician, there is a very simple and effectively solution. Make it — if legislation is needed, so be it — mandatory that unallocated funds or budget item must be made available for public scrutiny within a specified limited period of time (which must be a stringent, calculated, and pre-determined schedule to ensure there will not be enough time to “massage” the details).
For as long as the details are complete and properly itemized and accounted for and they are made public — voluntarily or by force of law — for all to see and examine, there should be no problem. For as long as the public is informed as to where every sentimo/centavo went, there should be no complaints or apprehension.
It cannot be denied that there is no way for people to foresee future events that may require funding so one cannot expect that every budgetary item will be pre-allocated or pre-purposed. Even so-called oracles and seers cannot predict what the future may bring — so it will be expecting too much, even by detractors, to require budgetary items for purposes of contigency to be clearly given a specific purpose. [Btw, the essence of the term “contigency” means “unforeseen or in the case of”.] It is therefore natural for lump sums and unpurposed budgetary items — in the form of pork barrel — to be allocated to address situations that may or may not happen. This is elementary.