The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

transactional Transparency

November2

with a life’s score card as a possible baring-point, I believe it’s fair for me to state that Richard Magrath is my friend.

while this particular blog post won’t really have a specific point, Rich is a great point-of-reference with something he taught me today representing a terrific lesson that has a poignant baring on my life, world-view, and the steps I take today in always being a better man than I was yesterday.

in any event, it’s likely been roughly a years since I’ve seen Rich. a great deal of many things have occurred in the world, and our respective lives, in that span – including Rich’s continuous evolution as the good steward.

we compared many solid notes along with stories around family, friends and updates with business. but, in the context of shared experiences Rich gave me (as in gift, I feel) an example of Transactional Transparency.

perhaps, I should pick up my iPhone, and right now, asking him to clarify his words. but, instead, I’m going to offer, here, my own interpretation of his words.

…why?

because, now it’s left to me to give power to those words; that gift.

to wit:

if you are in a board room, for example, and someone you know (or, something they do, or a business they have, or an idea that is theirs) is a point of discussion and you don’t defend them or help them in some form or fashion, you don’t have transactional transparency. but, if, even to your own potential detriment, or lost advantage, defend them, or help them, that is, indeed transactional transparency.

I make a lot of introductions in-and-amongst people I know. In fact, that is how I make my living. but, I am always surprised, always, when people try to side-step me in the process. it might be for their personal and/ or financial gain. this decision might be driven by ego. but it wounds, and creates an issue with the karma score card.

I give freely of myself, just not for free.

that’s it. I’ve put it out there. now everyone has scienter, and must needs do with this clarification as they best see fit.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

good vs evil vs intent

October25

loosely from macintouch:

looking at what is currently happening with Apple’s iCloud, I suppose you could always posit,

“there is something disturbing about my calendar, GPS location, address book, and my information in the address books of others being stored on an apple server.”

regarding the upload of contacts and related information to Apple’s iCloud may not have anything to do with social data mining. people need to know that Android’s own “Siri-like” voice recognition works via a Google server on the internet. the audio of what you say is sent to the server, and a list of possible meanings is sent back for processing by the handset.

and, I’m sure we can all rest easy believing that Google is not interested in personal data mining and private data retention…

sarcasm, me?

…of course, Google getting busted multiple times hacking private networks tends to show intent /1.

yet, any other attempts at theorizing, otherwise, in this age of privacy abdication and private data retention, is amazingly naive.

well look… Apple has been storing user calendars, address books, email, bookmarks, photos and more on their servers since the days of iTools, later known as .Mac, Mobile Me – and, now iCloud. that’s more than a decade of effort with no known issues that compromise anyone.

NOTE: I don’t recall hearing about any major privacy breaches, yet. we can wish the same could be said for banks, credit card companies, ISPs, mobile phone companies like RIM and even gaming companies like Sony.

maybe it’s funny how that track record has been a non-story.

on the other hand, any time Google stock is over $305 or $475 I’m a fan when we consider the reality that their insidious search capability gives them all manner of advantage when it comes to research and accumulated data.

go look up the word, scienter. I wonder how serious Google is about doing no evil? but then, who interprets what is good, and for whom, what is evil, and for whom, and how someone might define intent? the truth of the day changes with circumstances.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

—————

1/ 3rd Party Qualification of Statement. Please do your own research before any judgment is passed.

Check out the investigations by the German regional data protection authorities (which triggered the revelation of the program, after missing WiFi trawling hard disks were queried), the Canadian privacy commissioner (whose rulings triggered Google to introduce an internal privacy by design program), and regulators and advocates around the world.

For 6 years Google secretly used WiFi scanning tools unannounced on Streetview camera cars. They did everything short of encryption busting to take advantage of generally poor standards of technical security knowledge by home wifi access point operators (most of whom would have been unaware of the risk from an apparently responsible global corporation, and so could not have been assumed to have authorised this surveillance as they were never asked).

The result was to hoover up access point info (even where SSIDs where hidden, as I understand it, since they used techniques closer to sigint than ‘casual stumbling’ to ID the AP), and data stream fragments, apparently including snippets of private email messages, the odd login or password, and various online transactions.

That this was inadvertent beggars belief. If Google can ‘inadvertently’ install such a system on a global basis and operate it for 6 years, collating data for a key commercial purpose (Android etc. geolocation), especially when it’s hidden in an already controversial photographic tool pushing the boundaries of surveillance of ‘public’ spaces, then its management is either deceptive, deliberately blind, or seriously incompetent in the governance department.

None of these options is a basis for future trust.

It was ultimately confirmed as a deliberate, sustained global program, routinely capturing wifi traffic and location data, for routine use in collation of a cross reference database for GPS and phone tower geolocation augmentation (and whatever else they chose).

It represented an abuse of the ‘ask forgiveness, not permission’ idea behind software prototyping, because that cute philosophy does not apply to breaching personal information security and privacy, where data loss is often irrevocable. Hacking into real personal data is not consistent with the rapid prototyping method that works so well for disposable code versions. This was more along the lines of ‘see if we can get away with it’, which is the motto of the irresponsible teenager or junior crim.

It breached the trust of the global population (some of whom were legitimately concerned with the transfer of risk to unwitting people by the Streetview camera program) by not being also revealed when the details of Streetview were reluctantly revealed after being introduced without privacy impact analysis or any sort of permission. It breached privacy expectations, and in many cases privacy laws, around the world, though only some regulators were willing to address it robustly. It also potentially breached cybercrime laws in relation to unauthorised access to or possession of data, computers or communications networks.

Since Google had not disclosed what they were doing, and it had not been done or known before, no one could be implied to have given permission or authorisation. Excuses, or attempts to ‘blame the victim’, don’t change this.

why Facebook might be a great bad story

February17

a, not the, thing, about luck or success is we bring it on ourselves.

everyone loves a great American wealth-building story. especially if it has something to do with building a technology-oriented company.

and, that takes us, and today, it’s seemingly everyone, right to Facebook.

luck and success require fore-planning and a measure of accountability, because both are gifts.

I get to walk with people, daily, that change the world. hopefully for the good. some times, not so much.

there is a lot of potential in what Facebook is doing, or could do. for example: Facebook is on a Mission but not from God. but, while the company and people associated with it make for great press, it is absolutely part of a problem. a big one.

so…

if I saw Mark Zuckerberg today, I’d kick his ass. just give him a thorough beating.

in the writing of this I run the risk of someone coming to my door with a warrant for my arrest. but, I’ll allow myself to be a bit more clear, here.

he is not being responsible. or, if he is, we aren’t seeing evidence of it quick enough.

to wit…

a few months ago, at soccer practice, one of our younger players announced that she had permission from Mom and Dad to open up a Facebook profile. then one off her heads-up teammates quickly pointed out that she was too young. when opening up an account, first-timers are asked to verify their age.

…but,

“that’s no big deal”, chimed in another player, “just lie about your age. everyone does it”.

I kept both my peace, and my mouth shut even though I realized this and corollary issues had been piling up in the back of head, and it was only a matter of time before I would feel compelled to take sustained action.

then about a week ago it happened again at home with one of my daughters friends. the conversation was almost identical.

that did it for me. and, I’m swinging into motion with the same passion and tenacity that put me in the middle of the no texting and driving movement. read more about that here, so you know what to expect: texting and driving to death. do it!

you too, Oprah. get ready, again. as you read this your are muttering: “he’ll be calling”.

to open a Facebook account requires everyone to make a claim around age. but, young kids simply lie to start. right out of the gate, they are lying. and, its what many of them tend do on Facebook, every day.

and, adults. the example-setters that they are.

“It’s free…” [to start] – that’s what drug dealers tell kids to get them on crack. yes… I’m comparing Facebook to crack.

sure, parents can and should try to monitor and regulate this type of activity. and, I fully acknowledge that Zuckerberg is not a baby-sitter.

but, Zuckerberg, and the people around him, know this is a problem. and, every day makes it bigger and uglier.

follow this link and consider the facts: http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics/

excerpt:

People on Facebook

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

take a look at your kids Facebook profile. do it! have they altered their image in any form or fashion? are they engaged in dialogue that might surprise you? worse, do they take measures to hide some, or all of the information from you? are they at all defensive? what about the their “friends” – including the legions of people from all ages and walks of life that have direct access to your children and influence then hourly through a staggering number of chats, texts and other forms of communication? I recently parted company with an assistant coach over escalating issues that actually found their origins with Facebook. recently divorced, he was Facebooking teenage girls on our team and contacting them at odd hours. the content on his profile included images and references of things that I did not want my own daughter exposed to. I sincerely hope he reads this, or someone close to him does, and the scrutiny FORCES him to take the appropriate steps to now be part of the solution, and not the problem.

NOTE: under the rules of living an authentic life, and the expected transparency, I was not pleased with what I discovered on my own daughters profile. … more so information posed by “friends”, both near and far. but, I found her defensive of their actions which made me realize her perspective could put her in harms way.

I’ll have none of that.

Michelle Obama won’t let her daughters Facebook. security can be defined in many ways, eh.

so, Zuckerberg needs to implement better controls. otherwise, he is part of the problem. or, he is the problem because he is front-and-center on the cover of magazines and on the cinema marqee. so, all those kids are watching him. but, I am as well. and, I demand that you join me. we need to make sure he knows we are watching him and expect him to take measures to protect our kids that are the future decision-makers. they way they think about and see the world will be reflected in what this country does over the next fifty years.

Zuckerberg reads this blog. he knows this is true. people around him do as well. he now has scienter.

fix this Zuckerberg. do it!

suggestions:

implement an algorithm like magic elves. there is an algorithm for everything. if not, create it.

or, make a drivers license or some other verifiable form of identification, part of the registration process.

nothing is or will be perfect. but, make a HUGE effort.

figure it out. do it!

if not, I will come after you, and your stock (I know an IPO is imminent because the Godless bastards at Goldman Sachs have already contacted me). and, analysts are already signaling. I’ll hold you accountable like I’m doing with Larry Page at Google (yes, Mr. Brown, who is not Mr. Brown, that’s correct). I have a good heart, a well positioned blog, and the will to leverage those tools, and more.

…and, I am a Dad before I am anything else.

and, I don’t Facebook.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

life might not be fair but its mine

October1

If you’ve followed this Blog, or are my friend (and, sometimes it’s hard to do both), you know that my earthly father took his own life back in 1986 – most likely because he was heart-broken over the loss of my mother. If you’re so inclined, you can indulge yourself and learn a bit more about that by reading: My Dad: Story 22 – Married For Life.

That tragic reality is relevant to this current post for two reasons relative to myself, although it may well be relevant to you for more, other, or no cause or effect. One reason for me is that I can, or could, relate to my Dad’s mourning of Mom. I could never abide a life without Joanne in it. And, apples come from trees, as it were.

I don’t discuss it, broadly, but Dad might have been manic depressive, as well. I doubt I’m afflicted with such a curse. I’m generally much too optimistic for such things. In fact, my recent post: optimism is apparently quite popular with you, collectively. It’s hard and cruel to label people. And, probably unwise to attempt uncertain diagnosis. But, Dad was clearly head-and-shoulders above the crowd when it came to intelligence, drive, ambition, and a capacity to love while also being mean (but, like a lot of high-ranking Air Force Officers of his era, he drank a lot as well). And, that appears to be part of the profile. To be sure, the branches of my family tree (we seem to lead by many examples, with more good than bad) certainly have their own demons.

Me? I’m open-minded, pun intended.

So, that might be my lot. Maybe not. And, I don’t mean to over-analyze. I wonder if one can be a hypocondriac when it comes to mental illness? Or, is that paranoia? I’m trying to be light-hearted. But, God help me with both the journey and discovery.

One of the ironies, here, in this line-of-thinking, might include: if you have a form of mental illness, how could you, or would you know? Also, would you care? Or, if you did, would you be inclined or inhibited to take positive action? If conscience is involved, how would that be separated from “voices”?

But, I also have scienter. You see that term referenced on this Blog, fairly often. I think it’s part of living an authentic life (yes, another recurring theme), and being accountable and responsible. But, that torch brings with it a burden, of sorts. Just because there might be the potential for mental illness, or any problem (it took me ten minutes to ponder the word problem because I detest it, and strive to avoid using it. however, it’s apropos), for that matter, this doesn’t mean we can use it as an excuse – and therefore can’t be absolved of accountability. Thusly, It’s my position that if we know there might be a problem, we have to be willing to account for it and seek ways to overcome that challenge. Furthermore, if we’re to think such a burden exists, then I’m confident I have to realize extremes, if required, to compensate for it, for the betterment of others.

So, and ironically, this test might qualify as a form of super powers that must be used for good. Or, I’m just being delusional. But, I mean well.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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