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Tag Archives: people
Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:49 am
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his address during the PMA alumni homecoming in Baguio City. SCREENGRAB FROM RTVM
FORT DEL PILAR, BAGUIO CITYPresident Duterte on Saturday called for stronger military support for his war on drugs and terrorism and his program to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.
In a speech before Philippine Military Academy (PMA) alumni, Mr. Duterte said that when he was Davao City mayor he kept on harping on peace and order because if there is peace and order, businesses and everything else will follow.
This could happen to the rest of the country as it did in Davao, he added.
But I need the help of each one, especially the military, not for social control but [for the] protection of the citizens from the lawless, the reckless and the selfish, he said.
He made the call a week before the country marked the 31st anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who used the military to enforce iron rule.
What I desire for the Philippines is a prosperous country that includes everyone a peace loving citizenry and people with different beliefs who chose to get along with one another, he said.
He said government must serve the people not just the interest of the few.
In the past, our government verged on failure because those who were in the position to help deliberately made wrong decisions, which favored only themselves, he said. We will always uphold the sanctity of the common good as the highest good.
Two main threats
He said military support was needed in battling two main threatsthe complex problem of illegal drugs and terrorism from the Abu Sayyaf, which is engaged in ransom-kidnappings and in bringing the extremism of the Islamic State group into the Philippines from the Middle East.
The Presidents appeal to the military comes not long after he sidelined the police from the war on drugs and blasted the corruption in the Philippine National Police.
The President said he had directed government forces to continue to intensify operations using all available assets and resources against militants. He added that it was the only way to secure Mindanao.
Land of Promise
But he said Mindanao, the Land of Promise where his family had migrated from the Visayas, is threatened by climate change caused by man-made diseases like extractive industries, referring to some mining operations that wreck the environment.
The rest of the nation, he added, is threatened by the widening gap between the rich and the poor, crime, corruption, criminality and illegal drugs.
The President is an adopted member of PMA Class of 1967. He was formally adopted as an honorary alumnus of the countrys premier military academy, which he held up as a model for the nation.
While I never pretended to be a saint, I note that righteousness and discipline are the foundations of a nation. That is why I appreciate the PMA. You have the template of discipline and civility, he said.
In response to the Presidents call, the PMA Alumni Association Inc. issued a manifesto supporting his initiatives, advocacies and decisions in the war against corruptionand criminality in general, most particularly against illegal drugs, heinous crimes and terrorism, [and] for his pursuit for lasting peace.
We call on the Filipino citizens to support the President and other leaders in the governing of the country toward attaining lasting peace and economic prosperity, said the statement, which was read by association chair Anselmo Avenido Jr.
The President has been cultivating close ties with the military, visiting many military camps around the country in his first months in office, promising troops medical and combat equipment and increased benefits.
He had also explained to the troops his decision to initiate peace talks with communist insurgents, which he did not touch on in his speech.
He had also condoled with families of slain soldiers, and visited the wounded in hospitals. WITH A REPORT FROM LEILA B. SALAVERRIA
See the rest here:
Posted: at 11:49 am
KEARNEY From online poker and slot machines to daily fantasy sports, the Internet has made gambling accessible to anyone interested in logging on.
That easy access has changed the face of gambling, according to Deb Hammond, a provider with the state of Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Program. Hammond will be conducting a public forum in Kearney Saturday afternoon at First Baptist Church to raise awareness and spark a discussion about problem gambling.
What were seeing now is a different generation of gambling. Millenials are who are having problems. Theyre gambling on the phone not casinos. Its a population that isnt going to a casino in another state anymore. They can gamble at anything they want on the Internet, Hammond said.
Gamblings shift from table games to tablets has made it harder to recognize the traditional problem signs, Hammond said. Thats why its important to open up a dialogue in forums where experts, community members and, of course, gamblers can collaborate.
The goal of Saturdays forum is to talk about how we can talk about this together, said Hammond. How can we open up a dialogue between political leaders, community leaders, problem gamblers and the gaming community? Its not the gaming communitys fault anyone loses control, but we should talk about how they can help.
The forum also will address how the Gamblers Assistance Program can help those who may be in over their heads. The program uses a portion of the proceeds from the Nebraska State Lottery to certify and train gambling counselors and pay for problem gambling counseling, making it easier for people with financial barriers to receive treatment.
Problem gambling is not isolated to just the gambler, Hammond said. Family members, employer and friends of problem gamblers can all be affected, and all are eligible for counseling services with the help of the program.
GAP is available, and its free to anyone whos affected by a problem gambler, Hammond said.
People need to figure out how to gamble responsibly, Hammond said. Were never going to get rid of gambling, and I dont think we should. Gambling isnt wrong or a moral issue, but it can get out of control, and we need to be sure to talk about that, and offer help when its needed.
There are three Gamblers Assistance Program providers directly serving the Kearney area as well as several in McCook, North Platte, Scottsbluff and Norfolk. All have certified gambling counselors.
The providers with the program are allowed to treat at no charge to the client whatsoever, according to Hammond. There are no limits to the amount of counseling sessions people can receive through the Gamblers Assistance Program, she said.
State Sen. John Lowe of Kearney is expected to attend, Hammond said.
Brigit Forsyth on euthanasia, internet dating and whether she’d consider Likely Lads revival – ChronicleLive
Posted: at 11:49 am
Likely Lads star Brigit Forsyth has revealed her GP grandfather helped dying patients end their lives – and that she supports euthanasia.
Brigit is playing a terminally ill musician in her latest venture, so perhaps it is that which sparked her bare all interview.
The star, who played Thelma Harris in Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? disclosed that her grandad helped patients end their lives.
Her mother, Anne, told her that Dr Noel Forsyth carried out a long line of mercy killings.
The actress says: I know for a fact, and Im sure its true of all doctors at the time, he bumped off probably loads of people with doses of morphine.
When they were having a horrific death from cancer or something, in terrible pain.
He would just up the morphine and then they died. I dont see anything wrong with that. Hed be called a murderer today, but thats what people were doing.
The law says youre not allowed to help people get off this planet. Well, I think it probably needs to be looked at.
Brigit was delivered by her grandfather, who brought hundreds of infants into the world during the time he practised, from around 1906 up to his death in 1948.
But she believes Dr Forsyth also helped hundreds of people to die, in and around the town of Malton, North Yorkshire.
He probably did. But surely its better people go nicely than have a horrible, strung-out death.
I think its terrific that he did that. I think euthanasia is a very good idea. To me, its a nightmare if youre kept going as a sort of vegetable, or in pain.
Is it so bad to say, I cant walk, I cant see, I cant hear so Id like to get off this planet now. I would take myself off to Dignitas . I would make it very clear that was what I wanted.
Brigit, 76, spoke about euthanasia as she was preparing to star as a dying musician in Killing Time, which is now playing in London.
Discussing death also prompted another revelation, this time about her late husband, the TV director Brian Mills.
After they wed in 1975, he became an alcoholic, which destroyed their marriage and eventually killed him in 2006, aged 72.
For the first time, Brigit says it was his addiction that led to her walking out on him in 1999.
She said: I woke up one morning and I thought, Im going to have to go. I never, ever thought I would leave him and it was awful. But it was the right thing to do.
I would have stayed if hed gone for help. But he didnt want to stop drinking. He didnt think there was a problem. You cant live with it I couldnt.
We had some super laughs before the booze kicked in. He was such a lovely guy and the humour was terrific.
But its just heartbreaking, it completely alters peoples personalities.
After I left we became friends. We never divorced, we just separated. He was still my husband when he died. I thought, We dont need to do that. I just dont want to live with him anymore.
The couple had a son, Ben, and daughter, Zoe, and Brigit now has grandchildren.
But despite having her family around her, she still mourns the loss of a partner.
I never thought Id be in my 70s and not have a partner. Thats the sad bit, but Ive got used to it, she reveals.
Brigit feels the absence of a man particularly keenly as she hasnt lost her sex drive.
Things do change. Im talking about sex, she says. It fades, but not entirely.
Theres still a bit of me thats still ticking. I see a lot of men and think, I wouldnt kick you out of bed. And if Brad Pitt turned up on my doorstep, I wouldnt close the door. Id invite him in for a drink.
Brigit has tried internet dating, but its yet to prove successful.
My daughter and niece made me do it. I never would have done it by myself, she admits.
Unfortunately, Ive met some boring old sods who just want to talk about themselves.
But while she may not have an active love life, Brigits works keeps her busy.
Along with Killing Time, shes currently on TV screens as Madge in BBC Ones Still Open All Hours. Born in 1940, she trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
She starred in TV drama Adam Smith, where she met Brian, in 1972.
A year later she got her big break, as Thelma in the hit BBC sitcom, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?, which ran from 1973 to 1974, with a film in 1976.
Since then, shes been in everything from Boon and Poirot to Coronation Street and Holby City. On stage, shes starred in Calendar Girls and Single Spies, Alan Bennetts acclaimed stage show, in which she played the Queen.
But would she consider taking part in a revival of Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?
She replies: I cant imagine wanting to play Thelma again. It was wonderful for its time and its the reason why Im still working today. Theyre obsessed with bringing stuff back. I think its because theyre terrified of not having a hit. But they should explore new material, because theres loads of talented people out there.
Speaking of talented people, Brigits daughter, Zoe Mills, is both the author of Killing Time and her co-star in the show. Brigit plays the terminally ill former cellist, Hester, while Zoe takes on the role of her social worker.
And, despite the dark subject matter, the play is actually a comedy.
Brigit explains: Theres this woman is a feisty ex-musician whos very sorted about it all. She thinks, Oh well Im dying, so what?. But everybody around her is saying, Oh dear, it must be awful for you. But these two women gradually form a very prickly friendship and thats where the comedy comes from, which was a huge relief.
Because I was worried about it simply being advertised as a play about a woman dying because I thought, People need this like a hole in the head.
Killing Time is on at the Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, London, until March 4.
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Posted: at 11:46 am
Appearing before reporters earlier this week to explain that the Liberal government would be putting its authority behind a Liberal MP’s motion calling for a parliamentarycondemnation and study of Islamophobia,Heritage Minister Melanie Joly said a “question of leadership” was at hand.
Shereturned to the theme Thursday as she explainedwhy the Liberals would not support a Conservative counter-proposalthat drops references to Islamophobia in favour of a general focus on religious discrimination.
“Those of us in leadership positions have a social responsibility to take a strong stance on these matters, to be clear, to be courageous, to lead,” she said.
There were echoes here of something Justin Trudeau said two weeks ago when he rose inthe House of Commons to addressthe shooting at a mosque in Quebec City that left six men dead.
“I want to remind each and every one of my 337 colleagues that we are all leaders in our communities,” the prime ministersaid. “It is at times like these that our communities need our leadership the most.”
People attend a vigil on Jan. 30 for victims of the deadly mosque shooting in Quebec City. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)
So, at a moment of anxiety, the Liberals see a moment to define leadership.
Conservatives, meanwhile, have drawn a line under Islamophobia and want to see the word defined.
But, beyond the semantics of Motion 103, the Conservatives now seem in danger of being defined by theloudest voices of objection in their midst.
M-103was tabledin December, following an e-petition on the same topicposted in June.
Less than two months after Liberal MP Iqra Khalid brought the motion forward, a gunman opened fire during prayers at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre. And in the Houseon Thursday, Joly could cite a list of other hateful acts.
Still, the motion came to the floor of the House for debate this week with loud voices of opposition claiming that an attack on free speech is at hand.
The motion requests that the heritage committee conduct a study ofIslamophobiaand religious discrimination and provide recommendations for how the government could respond to such prejudice. To critics, thisisthe first step toward a prohibition against any criticism of Islamic practice or belief.
Some Conservative MPs allowed the House to unanimously adopt a motioncondemning Islamophobia in October on a quick voice vote. But now Conservatives are concerned thatIslamophobianeeds to be defined: aliteral reading of the word would suggest that criticism ofthe religion, not merely its adherents, is at issue.
During debate on Wednesday, Khalid and the Conservative critic, David Anderson, actually offered similar definitions: “the irrational hatred of Muslims that leads to discrimination” and “hatred against Muslims,” respectively.
Saskatchewan Conservative MP David Anderson tabled a counter-proposal to Motion 103 that focuses on all religious discrimination, rather than Islamophobia specifically. (CBC)
ButKhalidhasn’t added that to her motion. And the Conservative proposal, tabled by Anderson on Thursday, suggests merely focusing on all religious discrimination instead.
Jolydismissed thatas a”watered down” and “cynical” offer,meant to cover up internal Conservative divisions. She insistedMPs shouldn’t be afraid to say the word.
Rising shortly after question period to address the Conservative motion,Khalidread aloud the threats and hateshe has been subjected to.
“lslamophobiais real,” she said.
Motion 103 is another opportunity for Trudeau to embrace thelatest flashpoint in the long story of Canadian multiculturalism: the immigration, integration and acceptance of those of the Muslim faith.
As a candidate for leadership of the Liberal Party,Trudeauaddressed an Islamic conferenceand used the opportunity todiscuss Wilfrid Laurier’s efforts tounite cultures and religions.
Two years later, in March 2015, he used alongaddress on liberty and diversityto condemnthe Conservative government’s attempt to ban the niqab during the swearing of the citizenship oath.
The election campaign that brought Trudeau’s Liberals to government was then defined, in part, by the niqab and Conservative proposals tostripcitizenship from dual nationals when convicted of terrorism and to create a hotline for reporting “barbaric cultural practices.”
Celebrating his victory on election night,Trudeau recalled his encounter with a Muslim woman in a hijabwho told him of her hope that her child wouldn’tbe a second-class citizen.
Justin Trudeau gives his election victory speech in Montreal on Oct. 19, 2015. (Jim Young/Reuters)
There are philosophical underpinnings toTrudeau’s thinking based on the guarantees of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, an argument that diversity creates strength and an acknowledgement that core values must persist alongside multiculturalism but an outspoken commitment to pluralismhas also become a powerful piece of Trudeau’s brand.
All the more so now that Donald Trump, Brexit and tensions in Europe seem to cast doubt on the success of multiculturalism.
Conservative leadership contender Michael Chong has voiced support for Motion 103, but four of his rivalshave touted their opposition in fundraising appeals. Kellie Leitch created a website, with an image from the October 2014 attack on Parliament Hill visible in the background, where those who oppose the motion can sign a petition.
Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch created a website to organize opposition to Motion 103. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)
Speakingin the House on Thursday, Joly took aim at those actions and the appearance offour Conservative leadership candidates at a “freedom rally” organized by a conservative activist to defend free speech and “stand against sharia law in this country.”
At that rally on Wednesday night, the organizer, Ezra Levant,warned that the prime minister was pursuing”massive unvetted, un-integrateable Muslim migration.”
Any Conservative who believes their party’s losses in 2015 werelinked to theniqab, “barbaric cultural practices” and citizenship revocation might see reason to worry in all that.
And the Liberals are pressing the issue.
On Thursday, several Liberal MPs tweeted a link to Trudeau’s speech on the niqab. Video of the remarks was then posted to the prime minister’s account.
By late in the afternoon, two Liberals had tweeted a graphic touting that “condemning hate is as Canadian as” maple syrup, the charter and Tim Horton’s.
“Call your MP and say yes to #M103,” it reads.”#MakeItAwkward.”
The serious matters of justice and dignity are no doubt difficult to separate from the politics of the situation.
In terms of leadership, it is to wonder whether some kind of compromise, perhaps merelyadding a definition to the existing text of Motion 103, might result in a more united expression of support
Posted: at 11:41 am
A group of Hendrix College students spent part of their winter break on a mission trip to Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas.
Associate Vice President for Development Wayne Clark, who accompanied the ten students, said they partnered with One Eleuthera Foundation. He said the group spent time working in a garden and recycling center, conducted breast cancer awareness surveys, taught in local schools, assisted with plumbing work and conducted research to help start a junior college.
Clark said hes been at Hendrix College for 22 years and every year the school takes a mission trip.
He said around 15 years ago, the school started making the trips more affordable to students and numbers went up. Since then, the college has committed that those mission trips are such a good idea that costs have remained low enough for students to go.
Clark said they feel strongly that these trips are providing multiple benefits to students including the impact they have.
While they have been criticized for spending money on the trip instead of sending the finances straight to the nonprofit, he said what cant be measured is the change in the students when they realize their love and desire to serve.
Its those kind of things you cant measure, Clark said.
Hendrix has worked with the Eleuthera Foundation for more than 15 years and five mission trips have traveled to the island.
Clark said the teams dont go there to teach the people how to do something the right way, but they are there to learn from the residents and their way of life while serving and helping them with whatever they need.
We feel like its building bridges and building relationships and learning from other cultures and other people, he said. [Eleuthera Foundation is] such a great nonprofit that practices that same philosophy.
Clark said the students did a great job and were challenged in multiple ways.
Theres emotional things you deal with and theres physical stuff you go through, he said.
Clark said he often has students who are impacted so much that they return for a longer time frame to serve, which is inspiring to him. He said he loves getting to be a part of that.
You see that growth all the ways peoples eyes are opened, Clark said.
The ten students who participated in the trip were Ethny Ashcraft, Katie Bell, Graydon Carter, Isabella Crang, Miracline Ebijoyeldhas, Andrew Fleming, Mackenzie Gearin, Amanda Jimerson, Claire Nissen and Melissa Sorby.
The Miller Center trip has helped me form meaningful relationships with my Hendrix peers and the community members of Eleuthera, Ebijoyeldhas said. This trip has opened my eyes to the needs of communities other than my own and my potential role in serving those needs I hope to take the kindness and compassion the people of Eleuthera have showed me back to our Hendrix home.
Through the trip, Jimerson said she learned about the importance of starting conversations with just the intent of listening.
I have learned that we all have something to gain from one another, even if just through sharing experiences and ideas, she said.
After traveling with Hendrix on more than 20 mission trips, Clark said he learns something new about himself each time.
He said hes learned a lot about people society often dismisses.
I look at people different now, Clark said. Ive had some pretty great experiences.
Govt mulls abolition of parallel degree programs in public varsities – Capital FM Kenya (press release) (blog)
Posted: at 11:08 am
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu noted that this might be one of the issues contributing to the current lecturers strike/FILE
By SIMON NDONGA, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 The government is mulling the abolition of parallel degree programs in public universities across the country as a result of what it terms as a lack of accountability of the monies generated.
State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu noted that this might be one of the issues contributing to the current lecturers strike.
Speaking during his weekly briefing on Sunday, Esipisu indicated that such a move would be in line with the exam reform process currently being undertaken by the Education Ministry.
You know with this reform of the exam system, one of the results of that is the potential complete removal of the Parallel structure, he stated. You know very well that there have been issues about accountability in terms of the resources coming out of that parallel structure.
The Spokesman further indicated that funds raised through these programs have not been accounted for.
The absence of funding from that parallel structure obviously is something that needs to be looked at in terms of the underlying reasons for the current problems, he said.
Money that is paid from those programs to lecturers and to universities is not exactly in the public view and has not probably been accounted for in the way you would expect other government resources to be, he stated.
He however expressed confidence that Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi will be able to deal with the situation.
People do feel that all these things need to be put on the table as part of the discussions. What is it that is driving unrest in terms of the lecturers position? But this is a matter that I think the Cabinet Secretary is seized with and he has shown that he does get his work done so we do not think it is out of his hands, he stated.
University lecturers rejected a Sh10 billion pay deal that would see the lowest paid teaching staff earn Sh91,593.
Under the package, professors pay bracket will open up to an upper limit of Sh240,491 per month.
University Academic Staff Union (UASU) last week deal as a drop in the ocean and announced massive nationwide strike starting Monday.
UASU is insisting on a 30 percent pay rise as opposed to the 3 percent they would get under the proposed deal.
Posted: at 10:56 am
Imagine you are in the middle of your typical day-to-day activities. Maybe you are driving, spending time with family, or working. If you are like most people, your phone is at your side on a daily basis. Little do you know that, at any time, police and law enforcement could be looking at information stored on your phone. You havent done anything wrong. You havent been asked for permission. You arent suspected of any crime.
Police have the power to collect your location along with the numbers of your incoming and outgoing calls and intercept the content of call and text communication. They can do all of this without you ever knowing about it.
How? They use a shoebox-sized device called a StingRay. This device (also called an IMSI catcher) mimics cell phone towers, prompting all the phones in the area to connect to it even if the phones arent in use.
The police use StingRays to track down and implicate perpetrators of mainly domestic crimes. The devices can be mounted in vehicles, drones, helicopters, and airplanes, allowing police to gain highly specific information on the location of any particular phone, down to a particular apartment complex or hotel room.
Quietly, StingRay use is growing throughout local and federal law enforcement with little to no oversight. The ACLU has discovered that at least 68 agencies in 23 different states own StingRays, but says that this dramatically underrepresents the actual use of StingRays by law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Information from potentially thousands of phones is being collected every time a StingRay is used. Signals are sent into the homes, bags, and pockets of innocent individuals. The Electronic Frontier Foundation likens this to the Pre-Revolutionary War practice of soldiers going door-to-door, searching without suspicion.
Richard Tynan, a technologist with Privacy International notes that, there really isnt any place for innocent people to hide from a device such as this.
The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution states that, the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The StingRay clearly violates these standards. The drafters of the Constitution recognized that restricting the government from violating privacy is essential for a free society. Thats why the Fourth Amendment exists. The StingRay is creating a dangerous precedent that tells the government that its okay for them to violate our rights. Because of this, freedom is quietly slipping out the window.
Law Enforcement is using StingRays without a warrant in most cases. For example, the San Bernardino Police Department used their StingRay 300 times without a warrant in a little over a year.
A handful of states have passed laws requiring police and federal agents to get a warrant before using a StingRay. They must show probable cause for one of the thousands of phones that they are actually searching. This is far from enough.
Additionally, there are many concerns that agents are withholding information from federal judges to monitor subjects without approval bypassing the probable cause standard laid out in the Constitution. They even go as far as to let criminals go to avoid disclosing information about these devices to the courts.
If the public doesnt become aware of this issue, the police will continue to use StingRays to infringe on our rights in secret and with impunity.
Olivia Donaldson is a recent high school graduate that is currently opting out of college and participating in an entrepreneurial program called Praxis. Originally published at fee.org.
Posted: at 10:54 am
Banks, retailers and advertisers can track your online activity using Web “fingerprinting” techniques, but these methods usually only work across a single browser. Now, however, new technology can follow you anywhere online — even if you switch browsers.
The new tech makes it possible to establish a unique online fingerprint based not on browser features but on features of a user’s operating system and computer hardware, according to a new study by researchers at Lehigh University and Washington University. The cross-browser fingerprinting technique identifies users with an accuracy of 99.24 percent, compared to AmIUnique’s “state-of-the-art” accuracy of 90.84 percent across a single browser, according to the researchers.
While acknowledging the fingerprinting method could be used for undesirable purposes that violate online privacy, the researchers said the technique could also help service providers authenticate users for improved security.
Tracking Tech Evolving Fast
In their paper, researchers Yinzhi Cao and Song Li of Lehigh University and Erik Wijmans of Washington University in St. Louis described their cross-browser fingerprinting technique as the first to use “many novel OS and hardware features, especially computer graphics ones” to establish identities and track individual online users. They provided both a working demo and open source code online.
“Web tracking is a debatable technique used to remember and recognize past website visitors,” the researchers noted. “On the one hand, web tracking can authenticate users — and particularly a combination of different web tracking techniques can be used for multifactor authentication to strengthen security. On the other hand, web tracking can also be used to deliver personalized service — if the service is undesirable, e.g., some unwanted, targeted ads, such tracking is a violation of privacy.”
Whether people like it or not, Web tracking technology is widely used and evolving quickly, the researchers added, noting that “more than 90 [percent] of Alexa Top 500 Web sites adopt web tracking.”
Possible Defenses: Tor, Virtualization
Cao, Li and Wijmans said their tracking technique outperforms the only other cross-browser fingerprinting technique, which uses IP (Internet Protocol) addresses to track user activity. That technique doesn’t work when IP addresses are dynamically allocated — as when users browse via mobile networks — or changed by switching from home networks to office networks, they said.
By contrast, the new cross-browser tracking technique might even work with some installations of the Tor browser, which normally prevents browser fingerprinting, according to the researchers. They said their technique could probably be blocked by using the Tor browser with its default settings intact or by using machine virtualization, although the latter technique has the disadvantage of being “heavyweight.”
For many online users, Web tracking is a daily issue. The most common sign of being tracked online is when users see ads on different Web sites for products or services they searched for earlier on different sites.
Privacy-focused organizations have developed a number of tools to help users minimize the impact of such tracking. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, for example, offers a tracking tester called Panopticlick that lets users analyze and tweak their browsers and add-ons to maximize privacy protections.
Cao, Li and Wijmans plan to present their research at the Network and Distributed System Security Symposium scheduled for Feb. 26 through March 1 in San Diego.
Image Credit: iStock.
Posted: at 10:53 am
Chris Hill and Simon Erickson
In this episode of Market Foolery, Chris Hill and Simon Erickson review Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA)after its solid quarter; talk about where bitcoin is headed — possibly into an ETF; and reflect on the rumors that Burger King’s parent has been testing the waters for an acquisition of spicy fried chicken specialist Popeyes(NASDAQ:PLKI).
A full transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on Feb. 14, 2017.
Chris Hill: We’ve gotearnings to get to. We’re going to follow up on yesterday’s storythat we did onRestaurant Brands(NYSE:QSR),because the news continues there, and we’regoing to share some Market Foolery newsat the end of this episode. We’ve got a little bit of an announcement. But let’s start with fourth-quarter profits fromDiscovery Communications, whichcame in a little higher than expected. When you’relooking at media companies,I think it’s safe to say that the thesis for Discovery Communications,as much as anything, is this is a global play. If youlive in the United States and you have cable, you’refamiliar with at least some of their networks –Animal Planet, TLC, theDiscovery Channel, that sort of thing. But when you look at the global footprint of whereDiscovery Communications operates,I think that’s part of the thesis, isn’t it?
Simon Erickson: Absolutely,it is. I think that’s probably whatinvestors are looking at for this company right now. Like you said,there’s some definitely established channels here in the United States. We actually saw aslight decline in U.S.subscribers. So the real story here is that international growth. The one thatreally sticks out for me, Chris, it’s actually in Europe of all places. Discovery Communications hasEurosport,which is kind of broadcasting live events. They have done Wimbledon. They’ve done Formula 1. They’ve donea variety of other events. Typically not soccer, because that’s expensive, but otherlive sports in Europe. And they’ve got theexclusive rights for the Winter Olympics of 2018, tobroadcast nearly 740 million peopleacross in Europe. Great, right?
Erickson: Butthe other thing that’s really interesting to me is,there’s various ways that you can reach people. They’re going to,of course, do the free network TV. They’regoing to do some other paid TV events like that. But the thing that’s interesting to me is the over-the-top offering, thedigital streaming that they’re going to be doingin the next few years. They’re usingBAMtechtechnology to create this. We know BAMtech becauseDisney is also working with them for live sports here in the U.S.Discovery is using them in Europe. They have the guy fromDirecTV. They built out theNFL Sunday Ticket,incredibly successful here in this country.
Hill: I was going to say…that’s a nice thing to have on your resume.
Erickson: Yeah,the right guy on the right project. I think that more and more,you and I talk quite a bit aboutwhere the media industry is heading. It’s not just that linear free TV anymore, butstuff you could watch at any timeover computer andhave it streamed directly to youfor a certain price.
Hill: I want to go back to the first point you hit, which is decliningsubscriber ship in the U.S. Nice reminder that, for all of the headlines that Disney hasgotten over the last 18 months aboutthe following subscribership of ESPN,this is a nice reminder thatit’s not just ESPN. Whenpeople are cutting the cord, it’s also affecting companies likeDiscovery Communications.
Erickson: Absolutely. The subscriber numberis only one piece of this puzzle. As thatcontinues to evolve over time,you can’t just look at that and that’s the only thing that you’re following as aninvestor, there’s a lot of other things going on, too. Andlet’s not forget currency, too. A lot of this is revenue that’s generated overseas. When youtranslate that back to a strong dollar in U.S. dollar,it doesn’t look, sometimes, as strong as it really is out there.
Hill: Where is this stockin terms of its valuation? This is a good quarter,but I think the declining cable subscriber numbermight be a little bit of why we’reseeing the stock fall 2.5% today. That’snot a big drop, and this is a stock that was trading near a 52-week high. But it’s really been in the 20s for a year now,and I’m just wondering if it’s pricey,if that has anything to do with the drop today,or if it’s really all just about the cable subscribers?
Erickson: Well,I mean, a $13 billion valuation for a media company — that’s asmaller media company than the juggernauts — but obviously larger than a smaller regional one would be oranything like that. So, Istill think it has room to run, Chris. I think a lot of that over-the-top anddigital streaming stuff really isn’t priced into the stock at this point, but we stillneed to continue to see them gain traction on that,especially with that Eurosport in Europe.
Hill: All right. Here’ssomething we haven’t talked about in…I don’t even remember the last time wetalked about bitcoin,but we’re going to talk about bitcoin.
I feel like, if he’s listening over in Germany,Matt Koppenheffer is smiling, if not outright laughing at me, because I’ve been bearish on bitcoin from the start, and over the past year, the price of bitcoin has quadrupled. It broke the $1,000 mark last week, and it’s dipped back down. But you’re someone, likeMatt Koppenheffer, who’s beenpretty bullish on bitcoin. First, before we diginto the news with bitcoin, tell me why. Why the bull case for bitcoin? Because, to me, it just seems likeMonopoly money, it seems like a made-up currency, andas I have admitted before,the fact that the Winklevoss twins wereinvolved in this doesn’thelp the bull case, in my opinion.
Erickson: Right. This iskind of an ethereal discussion here, Chris. There’s a lot ofspeculation in bitcoin right now. Wedon’t have any stocks tied to this —
Hill: Not yet. We’ll get to that.
Erickson: Yes,exactly. But it is a very interesting story. Just, generally,my personal thesis,disclaimer, I own one bitcoin, have had quite a year with that.[laughs]
Hill: Congratulations, that’s worked out well for you.
Erickson: But,I think there’s just a lot of transactionalfriction in the way that we buy and sell things today. Think about it, we’rebuild off of a financing infrastructure. You have a bank account thatyou have a credit card that ties into, youpay your statement at the end of the month, andevery step along the way, somebody is taking a small piece of this. Butit’s the way that we built it out over the last several decades. And if you build adigital infrastructurecorrectly, as bitcoin did andBlockchain is trying to do, you don’t needa lot of those steps. It’s basically digital cash. I always think about it as, you’rehanding a digital dollar to somebody, and that’s it. There’sno statements. There’s no financing. There’s no APR at the end of the year, anything like that. But to do that, there’s a lot ofregulators who don’t like thatbecause you can do bad things with that. Youcan’t track the person giving you the cash at the end of the day and various other things. That’s hadbitcoin held back on what its true potential, possibly, could be. Butat the end of the day, you’restarting to see more and more transactions using bitcoin allacross the globe, not just in the United States, but in China andJapan and a bunch of different places. Because bitcoin isgoing to tap out at 21 million bitcoins, once they’re mined, you have a fixed supply and increasing demand, and that’s pushing the value of each one bitcoin up over the years.
Hill: We’ve seen this run up over the past 12 months,and you look at the fact that the SEC is considering threeseparate potential bitcoin ETFs. Considering approval of any one of the three. Let’s say one of them gets approved — what kind of run-up are we going to see then? Becauseif we’re seeing this run-up now…this actually gets me,I don’t want to say bullish on bitcoin,but it gets me slightly less bearish as an investor, because ETFs are a way that a lot of people investif they’re looking to get exposure to something without really having the concentrated upside and, therefore, downside of a single stock.I’m not looking to buy a bitcoin, but I’mslightly more interestedin a bitcoin ETF. What happens if they actually approve one of these things?
Erickson: Sure. On thecontinuum of uncertainty, it goes down a notch. If the SEC is going to say, “This is alright, to create bitcoin ETFs,” andthey have until March 11th, I believe, to approve of this, but the people who said, “No way, this is too early, I haveso many questions about this even being possible,”those people will start saying, “You know,this still sounds speculative to me, but I think it’s interesting now that the SEC is behind it.” Basically, anything new, almost all of innovation has got a zillionquestions when it first gets introduced that, over time, as it grows and getsmore and more approvals or people behind it, the questions tend to either linger or go away. And I thinkthat’s what you’re seeing with bitcoin. That’s what the SEC decisionis going to have an impact on this.
Hill: Yesterday,we talked about the latest earnings from Restaurant Brands,which is the parent company of Burger King andTim Hortons. After we taped the episode, Restaurant Brands wasback in the news reportedly talking toPopeyes Louisiana Kitchenabout apotential acquisition, andas a result of those reports,shares of Popeyes are up 14% at one point yesterday. They have sincecome back down to earth, so they are basically flat day to day. This isinteresting to me, though. We were talking about this earlier this morning –it seems like, in the restaurant business, anyway, that if you’re good atmanaging one type of restaurant,keeping in the category of quick-serve restaurants, if you’re good at that, thenthat’s a skill that translates to others.
So, without knowing what they were looking to buyPopeyes for, just on the surface of it,assuming they got the right price, I saw that news and I thought, “You know what? That could work out well for Restaurant Brands.” Ultimately, theywalked away because they didn’t want to pay the price, becausePopeyes is a stock that has done wellrecently, and as a result of that,the company is more expensive. I guess, the larger question for me is, when you think aboutacquisitions, when you just see, “Company X is thinking about acquiring Company Y,” what goes through your mind? Do you have any gut feeling in terms of “That makes sense” or “I need to see the terms first?” What’sthe first thing that you think of?
Erickson: Sure. First of all, to step back,there’s definitely different types of acquisitions going on. Themost speculative, if you will, ofacquisitions is technology acquisitions,especially softwareacquisitions, because things change so quickly. There’sa lot of unknowns ofwhat’s going to happen five years from now. It’svery difficult to tell. And maybeHPis the poster child of making bad acquisitions, very large, $10 billion acquisitions that they write downsignificantly in a couple of years.
Hill:[laughs] Ifthey’re not the poster child, they’re onMount Rushmore.
Erickson: [laughs] So manyuncertainties for that. But then you have more predictablebusinesses like we’re talking aboutin the restaurant industry. Restaurantsare not software companies, they’remuch more predictableas far as the traffic andhow the business looks. At that point, the acquisition ismuch more predictable for the acquirer, and if they’relarger and can scale the business, and be moreefficient than they were previously, thenyou can drop a lot more moneyto the bottom line to your shareholders and your investors. AndI think that’s what Restaurant Brands,who was actually majority-owned by3G Capitalin Brazil, is after in this. They want thepredictable, steady cash flows of a restaurant, but they want to be a little bit more creative, I think, on how they’re raising financing and taking what I would call non-strategic costs out of this business to drop more down to the bottom line.
Hill: I don’t think this is over, in terms of theirpursuit of Popeyes. I think,at the right price, and today is clearly not the right price because,again, this is a stock that has done very well over the last few years, I think ifthere was some sort of short-term hit the stock took,I could see Restaurant Brands going back to them. In the meantime, they clearly seem like they are looking for,Warren Buffett talks about the elephant gun,I don’t know if they have an elephant gun,because they don’t have that amount of cash on hand thatBerkshire Hathawaydoes. But they clearly seem like they are looking toexpand their portfolio.
Erickson: I’m glad you mentioned Warren Buffett,because Berkshire Hathaway is kind of partners with 3G Capital. Theygo after and make big deals like these together,which is kind of interesting because I think 3G isclearly a leader in the food spaceand the restaurant space, and that’sdirecting a lot of Warren Buffett’s,the greatest investor we have in theUnited States, capital. And they’relooking to build an empire here,and they got creative in doingdeals in the past. If you look at theacquisition of Tim Hortons,people were calling that a taxinversion deal, you’re avoiding a lot of U.S.-based taxes byacquiring and moving the company to Canada. The Popeyes one isgoing to be interesting because that’s based here in the U.S. That’snot something you have to worry about, the inversions. But,there’s a reason that they’re looking at it for doing this. Theyhave a price and their mind. Yousee them walking away now as Popeyesstock price has increased significantlyover the last four or five months or so. But,it’ll be interesting to see what they’re going after on this one. It’snot as obvious to me, but they see something they like.
Hill:Well,I think it’s probably just the category. Yes, it’s a quick-serverestaurant, but it’s not burgers,it’s not coffee and donuts. Quick-serve chicken makes upsomewhere in the neighborhood of 10-15% of quick-serverestaurants. And,as we were talking about with our man behind the glass, Dan Boyd, beforehand, yes, you can haveKFC. IfJason Moser were here,I’m sure he would be talking aboutBojangles. Give me Popeyes every day. Their biscuits. And the honey, oh!
Erickson: Theirbiscuits are great. So good.
Hill: AsChris Rock said, it’s too good. It’s too good! That was hiscomment to Jerry Seinfeld onSeinfeld’s web series, that Popeyes is so good that you actually need one of those memory sticks from theMen in Black movies to erase your memory,because otherwise you would just go back every single day.
Erickson: Right. Now,do they do significantly more business today because it’sValentine’s Day?
Hill: [laughs]I don’t know. I don’t knowif they’re doing any sort of big promotion. Look,you could do a lot worsefor that special someone in your life thantake them to Popeyes. Dan,you’re a Popeyes fan, aren’t you?
Dan Boyd: I am, yes.
Hill:Any chance you’re going to be thinkingValentine’s Day or anything like that?
Boyd: Ifmy girlfriend was amenable to the idea, which,I’m sure she’s not,I would love to go to Popeyes forValentine’s Day.
Hill: Let’sflip this around. If she came to you and said, “Hey,here’s what I’m thinking for Valentine’s Day.I’m taking you to Popeyes,” you’reeven more in love?
Boyd: We’d make a short stopon the way to Popeyes to a jewelry storeso I could buy her an engagement ring.
Hill: [laughs] All right. Before we wrap up,as I mentioned,a little something, apropos thatSimon is in the studio for this, becauseI’m happy to say that next month, we are going back toSouth by Southwest. If you’re in theGreater Austin Texas area or you’re going toSouth by Southwest, drop us an email, email@example.com, or hit us up on Twitter, because Simon, Dylan Lewis, who you may know from the Industry Focus podcast, Dan Boyd and I will be going. We’regoing to be recording from thebrand new podcast center that they have atSouth by Southwest. Excited to check that out. Simon, I know thatyou have only begun to look at –I mean, we’re going to be doing a whole week’s worth of Market Foolery there,but there are also breakout sessions,there are keynote speakers that you’re going to be checking out. Do you have an early sense of what’s going to be on your agenda?
Erickson: Absolutely, Chris. This isone of my favorite events in the entire year. It has such a window towhat the future is going to bring in, especially in the tech world.Kimbal Musk will be speaking about trust.I saw that on the agenda. I saw Ray Kurzweil, going to betalking about collaboration. And two topics that I’m very personally interested in isconnected health and the future of wearable technology. Those are both going to be tracks atSouth by Southwest in Austin.I’m super stoked about the event.
Hill: AndI should say,just as we did last year, we’regoing to try and put together a little meet and greet. Stay tuned formore details on that,but we did that last year, we went to Guero’s.
Erickson: Guero’s Taco Bar.
Hill: Abunch of listeners came out,a bunch of Motley Fool members. It was a great time, and we’re looking to do that again. In terms of dates, we’re lookingbroadly at March 11th through the 15th. Again,if you’re going to South by Southwest,if you’re in the Austin area,we would love to see you. More details to come. Dan Boyd, are there food truckson your agenda that you’re looking to hit?
Boyd: Absolutely, Keith’s Barbecue is the main one. Theyoperate out of an old school bus, and I think I ate there every single day last year in Austin, because it was amazing.
Hill: All right! Simon Erickson,thanks for being here!
Erickson: Thanks, Chris!
Hill: Asalways, people on the program may have interestsin the stocks that they talk about,and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against,so don’t buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. That’sgoing to do it for this edition of Market Foolery. The show was mixed byDan Boyd. I’m Chris Hill. Thanks for listening. We’llsee you tomorrow!
Chris Hill has no position in any stocks mentioned. Simon Erickson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway (B shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Berkshire Hathaway (B shares) and Twitter. The Motley Fool recommends Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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How Strong Is the Bull Case for Bitcoin? — The Motley Fool – Motley Fool