Saturday, February 15, 2014

UK Storm 2014

Since the new year, the UK as been hit by one storm after the other.

I've known storms like this before but not one after the other like this, the ferocity of the wind as been at times scary. It's a case of waiting for the crash of a fence or a chimney stack coming down.

In all fairness in the East Midlands where I live we have been lucky, but in South west England, South Wales and the North west of England the storm have literally deadly for some people. 

The government as been it's usual self, slow to be bothered and when they come in for criticism they respond with what seems like minimal help. They have postponed the loss of jobs at the environmental agency for a while. Mind you the floods are getting close to the south east, so now that some of the MPs second, third and fourth homes might be affected then we might see some more urgent help being given out.

The only silver lining is that it is not that cold, if it had of been, all of this rain will be falling as snow. Then WTF.....

How safe are your apps

I have recently read an article on Yahoo about how safe are your apps? This report was specifically about Android Apps, on Andoid your can look at your app permissions. Has far as I can see you can't see the permissions on Apple so I don't know if the same applies, chances are it does.

You will see from the three photos below that I screen grabbed from my Samsung Galaxy note 3 that the app in question can listen to my calls, see who I call and even make calls using my number and at my expense. The same is exactly true and the same for SMS messages. Other bizarre permissions include being able to monitor, access and delete info from my sd card, turn my phone off, turn my wifi off, connect to my home network, look through all my photos and the most worrying of all, the app as full network permissions, one can only think about what that means.

I've deleted the above app from my phone, I've also gone through all my apps and uninstalled any that can make use of my phone at my cost. Unfortunately, this includes most anti virus apps which seems a bit ironic....

I've looked on certain web forums where the app developers have been asked why they need all these permissions? The stock answer seems to be "don't worry, we'll never use them". Which isn't really answering the question.

Oh yes, and just to let you know, the app in question in the pics is Facebook. So now I'm only using the mobile Internet Facebook site..


Saturday, February 01, 2014

At it again...

I've posted several times over the last few years about the political strife that happens periodically in Thailand.

2006 - (Whilst I was living there) military coup to oust Thaksin Shinawatra (TS)

2008 - Blockade of main airport by PAD (Anti Thaksin)

2010 - Occupation of Bangkok by Red Shirts (Pro Thaksin) many killed in its defeat

2013-14 Disruption by PDRC (same as PAD) of Bangkok and boycott of Elections

Unfortunately today, it as taken a sinister turn, whilst there have been several deaths through clashes. Today there was a full on clash between the PDRC who are blocking ballot boxes at Lak Si and the UDD (Red Shirts) who want the right to vote the latest addition of the Shinawatra family in to power.

It seems to me that any organisation who doesn't want to vote is entitled to that right, however you can't stop other people from voting. The main reason why the PDRC don't wont a vote is that they represent the so called Elite of Bangkok are sick of the people they call the un educated voting for the Shinawatra clan and bringing them to power. Their attitude towards the other parts of Thailand is one of old fashioned feudalism. The Master and Serfs.....

We'll it seems that the serfs aren't to happy about the elite ruling them from Bangkok and having their vote taken away from them and are beginning to stare.

The scenes today were shocking, I know the area very well. It's very close to were my in-laws live and we hope they keep safe.

Tomorrow is Election Day, in Bangkok and a few areas in the south where the PDRC have allies are going to be flash points. The rest of Thailand will be out to vote and won't be stopped. A good analogy would be London and the south east of England thinking that are better than us (wait a minute, they do) and trying to take the bulk of investment (which they do) and then dictating whether or not we could vote. The PDRC also want an un elected house of their own to be a second chamber, (which we also have)...

Anyway, as per normal in Thailand, it is seen as a weakness to respect anyone else's opinion, this is from high government down to the normal Jo in the street and until other people views are respected or even tolerated then this cycle will continue.

A PDRC gunman opens fire at Lak Si

A PDRC guard using a paper bag to hide his M4....

A group of PDRC guards pose for a pic, and above the one in the centre firing a vintage M1A1...