Thursday, August 05, 2004

Media got it wrong - again

Last week you might have heard about a video game called manhunter that was linked to a murder of a teenager in England I believe? If not here is a quick brief: A media outlet in the UK stated that police found a copy of the video game Manhunter in the possession of the alleged murderer and the family of the victim claimed that the murder was "obsessed" with the game and the game was a "how-to" manual to murder. Because of this the family of the victim was going to launch a lawsuit against the maker of the video game and retailers in the UK began taking the game off of their shelves in fear of being included in any on going lawsuits. As it turns out the media outlet was a very right wing organization and they had a not so hidden agenda when they began promoting this. Don't you know if you kill someone or commit a crime it can't be your fault? Hell no it must be someone else's fault. Sue everyone until you find out who. The media outlet is very much in favour of telling people what they should hear, see, read and play. Why would they be in favour of this? Well a reader who doesn't question anything and does what they're told is a good reader and a good reader is a loyal reader and a loyal reader will buy what the paper's advertisers are selling and if advertisers sell what they advertise they will continue to advertise. All the while the people in charge get to use their rags as a way of getting people to think the way they do. It works out very nice for all involved. Except for those of us who prefer to use our brains and believe there shouldn't be any such thing as censorship.

Further it turns out, the media outlet got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. They reported the story wrong, the murderer never had a copy of the game, it turns out the victim was the one with game. They also got the motive for the killing wrong the police reported that the motive was robbery, the murderer allegedly killed the victim for money to pay off bad debts not some psycopathic murder spree that the family of the victim and media would have had you believe.

Here are some links to the stories

Reg Article

Outing of the hand

Any bets that the media will go back and say oops the video game had nothing to do with the murder? At least they won't on the front page, perhaps a one liner in the middle of the paper that says " Victim had the game not the murder, but the game is still deadly"

Hegemon - Weapons of mass destruction.

Information is a weapon of mass destruction, News media is a weapon of mass persuasion. Well at least the lack of information is a weapon of mass destruction. What happens when someone in the media has a point of view and they want others to share that same point of view? What happens if the same people involved in the media think ethics in reporting aren't worth the breath it takes to utter "umm"? One thing that has bothered me is when an arrest is made, the media shows a photo of the "alleged" criminal and proudly displays their name and picture then goes to great lengths to explain in detail the pain and suffering of the victim and their families. It doesn't matter if you are innocent, guilty or a poop smith, once your name and face has been plastered all over the media you are guilty, the public have a face to associate to a horrific crime. All the media has to do is simply add the word "alleged" before the word criminal and they are doing no wrong. The court of public opinion is certainly not a fair and balanced court nor does it have due process. You are guilty! Why? Because the media said so! Well who tells the media? The police. Are the police ever wrong? Hell no they are perfect human beings. There shouldn't be such a thing as partial disclosure, there should only be full disclosure and because of due process and the need for a fair trial there should be no disclosure of information surrounding a case until it has been through the courts. With partial disclosure the police and prosecutors can use the media to sway public opinion in their favour. And what about simple name recognition? What if the person that the media feels is quilty of the crime has a common name? What if they have the same name as you? I grew up in Kingsville Ontario a small drive from Windsor Ontario. A few years my name was being plastered all over the news and they were saying "Endothermal has been arrested in connection with a nasty child molestation case" (name withheld, Endothermal used instead) or to some extent like that. Now once my family saw the picture of the person in question who had the exact same name as me which isn't all too common they realized it was not me, they (my family) were very relieved. But what about all those people that knew me in passing or went to grade school or high school with me? They would here the name, maybe see the picture but think "hey, I went to school with that guy, what a sick nutbar he turned out to be" but they didn't go to school with that guy they went to school with a completely different nutbar (me) with the same name, that is a very dangerous situation and typically that is why they always use a persons full name middle name included when they are talking about someone who is rather nasty. Think about how all the Lee Oswalds in the USA feel with a recognizable name that are thankful their middle name isn't Harvey.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


Hey know what the title means? Its just another three letter acronym and it can mean many things to many different people for example it could mean Point of Sale it could mean Peering over shoulder, but what it mostly means to me is Piece of Shit. For those who know me know that I am quick to critize products and services and well many things. I spend a lot of time calling many domestic automobiles pieces of shit. It doesn't win me many friends in certain circles but come on, if the best thing coming out of detroit these days is a hand me down over bloated, 4000 pound POS mecerdez benz otherwise known as a Chrysler 300C, then certainly domestics derserve their POS title. Its true Ford is doing their best to improve their image and products and GM, well GM what a wierd company, anyone seen the new Malibu lately? Dare I say POS? And sure there are numerous Asian and German POSs as well but much fewer and further between then what detroit has to offer. Anyway this post isn't about domestic POSs it's about database software and let me tell you there is a lot of stinky stuff in the database market. One of the biggest POS dbs is Oracle, many who know Oracle may disagree with me, however what makes a piece of software a POS? To me it is bad business practices more then anything, second bugs, third bad design for use and maintenance. The are many other aspects such as performance, reliablity, features, fault tolerance, etc but like cars all manufactures today can get you from a to b rather well and all database software can store and retrieve data rather well. I started my agonizing life with Oracle products about 8 years ago. I was tasked with learning Oracle administration, maintaining and installing many oracle databases for a former employer. I quickly realized that Oracle the company was a rather old school, big business kind of chump who firmly believes in pay for information. If you want any information from Oracle, like say "how do I use this overtly expensive software I just bought from you?" you must pay and pay dearly. When I started learning the first place I looked for information was in the documentation provided from Oracle. They were the books and online books that came with the product, I couldn't believe how bad their documentation was, so I had to figure most of how it worked out on my own through trial and error. My employer thought knowledge was only acquired through structured learning so they sent me on a one week Oracle database administration course. I attended the course and aside from the teacher not being able to speak a word of english and the fact that I didn't bother showing up for 3 out of 5 days of the course I got a perfect score on the final exam. Now I am definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer and I'm certainly not dog's gift to DB administration but the course book that they (Oracle) gave had all the information that any DB would need to administer their database(s). The course book was roughly 400 pages and was essentialy the same thickness as the administration manual that came with the database software however the manual had none of the information in it that the course book had. This to me was the first example of how they make you pay for information, why didn't they simply give you the course book as the administration manual? Once I started installing and using Oracle software I ran into a world of hurt. I have never had to apply so many patches and hot fixes and service packs in my life. At one point I had to download a patch then I had to download a patch that patched a bug in the installer of the original patch that I had previously downloaded then once that patch was applied I was able to apply 8 more patches that got me to a third level minor revision which allowed me to apply 6 hot fixes which got the software to the level that was supported by the product vendor. Once all the patches and hot fixes were applied I started installing the vendor software only to have a major crash within ten minutes, upon investigation I had discovered a bug, after spending hours upon hours with the support personnel I had to wait about a week for a fix then install another patch and then I was in business. Once all the rough stuff up front was done I was able to configure the database and server to run reliably for years after that. I did have to continue to work with Oracle products after that with much frustration. So I don't care what anyone says Oracle is a POS (Rather childish I know but I like to hide all the gory details)

Update: Found a little news article that tells me Oracle is still as buggy as it has ever been and that their business practices are no different now then they were 8 years ago. Click here Their slogan was "unbreakable" and most hackers had sploits within 24 hours of release, hmmm what should their new slogan be? "unbreakable, unless of course you take the cellophane off and install it"

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?