Thursday nightCap

You got to be kidding me. Nope. Nope nope nope

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Today’s Trivia

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Welcome to Daily Trivia. There is a game to play here. The photo above relates to one of the items below. The first reader to correctly tell us in the comments what item the photo belongs to, and why, gets bragging rights. Sometimes they are obvious, other times the obvious answer is the decoy. Can you figure it out tonight?

Billy Joel married Christie Brinkley, the woman who played the title character in the music video of ‘Uptown Girl’. (Source)

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Confused? You will be

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I guess where there is a will, and a lack of tools, there is a way

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Daily Roundup

Whaleoil Backchat

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Clare Curran shows how not to hold ministers to account

Clare Curran thinks she is something special. The reality is she is something dreadful.

Look at the question above and wonder no more at her utter stupidity.

She went down to the house thinking she had a gotcha for the minister regarding the appointment of Bill Francis to Radio NZ’s board.   Read more »

You want 3 Strikes for burglary?

ACT Leader David Seymour will seek leave to introduce a Three Strikes for Burglary Bill to Parliament today, in the face of declining burglary resolution rates.

“By saying burglars have a 90% chance of getting away with it, Phil Goff is actually understating things,” says Mr Seymour. “Firstly, because uninsured victims typically do not report this crime, the reported rate of burglaries represents only about 45% of actual occurrences, according to a 2006 Treasury estimate.

“Then, around one in 10 are resolved, but ‘resolution’ does not even mean charges are laid.  It just means the likely perpetrator has been identified and a decision is made how the deal with them. So somewhat less than 10% of burglaries result in charges.

“Only a proportion of those charges (about 30%) result in conviction. Only 40% of those convicted of burglary are imprisoned. So in the end, less than 2% of reported burglaries result in any burglar serving a term of imprisonment, and when they do, it is generally a term of only a few months.

“Burglary is peculiar among crimes in that it is planned, not spontaneous. So incentives matter. A one percent chance of prison provides almost no deterrent.

“Burglary is also committed by a small group of chronic recidivists. ACT would provide a strong incentive against this recidivism. Read more »

Paypal blocking payments to VPN and SmartDNS services but you can use it to buy other ‘bad’ stuff

Paypal has announced that they are stopping processing payments for users of VPN and SmartDNS services ostensibly because they say it is enabling copyright infringement, such as geo-blockades, which are violating its terms of service.

PayPal is widely known for their aggressive stance towards BitTorrent sites, Usenet providers and file-hosting services, but VPN, proxy and SmartDNS providers might now suffer the same fate too.

This week PayPal stopped accepting payments for a company that provides VPN and SmartDNS tools, stating that these may facilitate copyright infringement.

So-called “unblocker” tools can be used to bypass geo-filtering blockades which Netflix and other video platforms have in place.

According to the message PayPal sent to UnoTelly and possibly others, these services are against the company’s policies because they help users to bypass copyright restrictions.

“Under the PayPal Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that infringe or violate any copyright, trademark, right of publicity or privacy, or any other proprietary right under the laws of any jurisdiction,” PayPal’s email reads.

“This includes transactions for any device or technological measure that descrambles a scrambled work, decrypts an encrypted work or otherwise avoids, bypasses, removes, deactivates or impairs a technological measure without the authority of the copyright owner.”    Read more »