Friday, June 29, 2018

Never Again Has a Whole New Meaning

The Talmud references the first line of self defense:

"If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first."

I've just spent the past near couple of weeks pounding through the hefty 600+ page book: Rise and Kill First.

It's the type of book that's so intricate, you can't speed read it. It's impossible to skip a paragraph or sentence nor any word because it's not laid out in the typical, easy chapter format. Each chapter is absolutely loaded with facts, stats, data and history so all sentences interlink, irrelevant of the chapter's more vague title. Race through it and you'll miss critical hooks, especially the toothpaste section that totally threw me for a loop!

It was riveting and un-put-downable. I highly suggest it, if you want a serious blast-from-the-past lesson of what's transpired in Israel throughout the past 70 years that answers the what's, why's and how's. No stone is unturned, the name dropping of all parties involved and research (over the author's 7+ years in aggregating information) is quite astonishing. Israel's failures are blatant and there's no bias, so don't expect a warm fuzzy image of the country as the book's foundation. You won't get it. But you will see the psychology behind Israel's aggression towards enemies and the multitude of irritating mistakes they made, leading to today's success while still knee deep in attacks.

The biggest takeaway I got from this is seeing the phrase 'Never Again' in a whole new light. The Israelis were so (beyond) livid that Jews during WWII didn't (or couldn't) defend themselves, that 'Never Again' is not just a reminder about never repeating the atrocities of the Holocaust...but that going on the pure offensive is the default foundation of the country's survival tactic. It's not just to remind ourselves that the persecuted Jews failed to protect themselves during Nazi Germany, but that Israel will never, ever be in a situation where they are within one percent chance of another Holocaust. Even reaching half a percent is a pure abomination. Because that half sneaks up quickly to 100 percent and that's not an option. So serpents, cells and tentacles of terrorists need to be axed immediately, to slow them down and show them that Israel will never be messed with.

The book is riddled with citing errors that Israel has acknowledged as embarrassing and humiliating through their rocky years, even up to recently. As the, now, most powerful Intelligence system on the planet, those mistakes accelerated their Intelligence divisions to step it up faster and harder than any country has achieved in just a few decades: because they were being bombarded left and right from day one, so on-the-job-training took a whole new meaning. 

Pre 9/11, the U.S. made it clear that Israel was overreacting to terrorism. Post 9/11, the U.S. and other civilized countries clambered to learn from the Mossad, Shin Bet, IAF and IDF who had nailed the formula of counter terrorism to staggeringly degrees.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Israel's intention over the past 70 years was to be feared. The more that terrorists feared their incredible technology, Intelligence and unique approaches in hard-lined International Law to dismantle the bad eggs, the more Israel's security know-how was applauded by same industry good guys. And that has come at a cost to Israel's PR image in the media. But the Israelis don't care. Because it's a case of being safe and protecting Jews around the world as priority, over being adored on the planet with a favourable image. They'll most likely always lose the factually incorrect media bias battle, but will always win the war. And that's all they care about, rightly so.

BDS means nothing to them because for every ignorant person that refuses to buy cherry tomatoes, they are using Israel's technology, medicine and environmental inventions ALL THE TIME.

Hypocrisy goes a long way when it suits BDS'ers on picking and choosing what affects their easy lifestyle, while turning a blind eye to the fact that many Arabs happily live and work for Israeli companies so a boycott would affect their own Arab brothers and sisters income. Israel doesn't give a hoot because they have bigger terrorism fish to fry, while their innovations are integrated in our every being so you can continue tweeting, Facebooking, Googling, Intel'ing, banking, popping medicinal pills, Waze'ing, Wix'ing, flushing toilets, using voicemail...and that list just doesn't stop.

So the next time you want to bash Israel, read this book first and educate yourself. Because without knowledge, demanding answers or learning, you're just hating because someone told you to.

NB: Keshet & HBO are turning ‘Rise And Kill First’ into a limited TV series. Mazel tov to Ronen Bergman.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Facebook Gave 155 Random Advertisers My Contact Info

I was feeling a bit nosey after reading mainstream media articles referring to horrified Facebook users, sharing skin crawling stories about how this corporation had captured all their contact info, emails outside of Facebook, history of non Facebook activity and pretty much everything they've breathed since becoming a Facebook user. Jumping on the horrified bandwagon without running your own due diligence simply makes you an uneducated sheep.

So I was curious and downloaded my data to see exactly what this current-state crisis business has been doing with my information, what they have and what they should not have. I've not seen anything that's made me projectile vomit so far but then again, I'd need to click each of the messaging files individually for a thorough investigation. I have hundreds of these, yet from clicking random files so far, nothing drastic has come up that's non Facebook communication. I did see a massive list of my phone contact information - a feature I turned off many years ago. That, in itself is a privacy violation yet I have to play devils here that they captured this before I repeatedly kept turning off the feature, when they repeatedly 'bug defect?' kept turning it back on.

But...I did see that Facebook gave my contact information to 155 random advertisers. What contact information? All my contacts, just my name and email, all my data?  Here's the link to the companies that Facebook gladly shared my 'contact' details with. Which may oppose Facebook's terms of privacy.

Not being a lawyer but having great experience in this arena, the word 'sell' is ambiguous in relation to this topic. They state clearly they won't sell my information, but there's no reference about 'giving it away for free.' And the word 'information' is intentionally vague. What information? Then again, Facebook and these 155 advertisers cocked up royally in their next step intentions. They've not targeted me directly, spammed me or caused havoc in my life as a result of having this big data. Every global corporation has admitted they have no idea what to do with big data. It's futile sharing. Then again, I know exactly what to do with big data so I know how to positively make it work.

Facebook has to be free for users to join because it affects their stock value when investors know they have nearly 300m fake user accounts - most likely a great number more. Therefore, their valuation is warped and inaccurate yet investors know this when they're injecting cash. Distortion is part of the game.

If you're going to use a social platform, don't be startled when you download your account and all its bells & whistles of information. Free is never free because users pay a price regardless. To be appalled by what you download means you're naively blind sighted. The moment you signed up to Facebook, you willingly gave them the key to your online & offline life door.

So take it with a pinch of salt. They're screwing up repeatedly at the moment and the can of worms are spilling out at a staggering rate that's truly damaging their brand reputation. But I'd rather have this than join a shyster social platform, that will vanish with my life door key and cash in greatly at my expense. Wouldn't you?

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What Do You Get When A Company Admits Data Breach & Hides It...

... Facebook. And they didn't disclose this over two years ago when it took place. They just admitted it today, publicly from the 'notoriously always hide from the public yet demand connectivity' founder: Mark Z. Sending out releases the past few days of this issue is spineless. The statement should have come from the CEO/founder horses mouth...over two years ago. Cowardly at its highest.

And today's Zuck post came ONLY because they've been slammed sideways by the media recently or I highly suspect they'd never have even made a public statement. The post discluded the most important factors: sincere apology, remorse and emotion. What needs to happen now? The full team in charge of crisis PR needs firing.

What should have happened?

The complete posse that were immediately aware of this issue, when Cambridge Analytica had access to dozens of millions of users privacy data, should have spoken directly to Sheryl and Mark. Both of them, with half a brain cell between them (it seems now), should have informed ALL users. Through their own posts, press releases and a Facebook user notification - in case anyone was hiding under a rock and missed the publicity circus. They should have immediately updated users of the situation, how it came about, the instant steps they've taken to revoke 3rd party apps from direct user access & associated friends access. And they should've given at least three more timely updates to all users (through the above methods - in case anyone was hiding under multiple rocks) within 30 days. All those 'should's' never took place.

But what they did was abhorrent on the highest, untrustworthy level

They knew privacy data was breached and refused to tell their own customers for over 24 months. Again, this is a corporation that screams for the world to communicate through their platform, yet no one can ever get hold of them and they lack the basic social skills in even using their OWN platform when it's critically needed: the strongest form of 'connectivity' was ignored by the people that built it. They live in a protective shield, away from the planet and hide in a ridiculous, unnatural bubble. Maybe because since they have over two billion users, a few hundred thousand or few dozens of millions is scraps to them. If so, they then have zero respect for any users.

I haven't posted on Facebook for a long time and the only posts I publish are public. Because I don't trust 'privacy' technology that, within a second, can bug out by an overpaid, under experienced 'tech' kid and the world can see. So I always kept it safe and controlled by posting only publicly, since I gave myself approval to be exposed.

This evening's ignorance & future of FB

Tonight's CNN 360 interview with Zuck will most likely be a replicated, elaborated version of his post today. 360 will try weed out information yet Zuck won't give it, claiming that Facebook has more safety objectives underway...but he can't legally disclose it. Irony at its highest for a business that screams the world must be transparent.

Will users start bailing on Facebook and closing their accounts? Most likely not. Will brands stop using company pages? Most likely not. Will advertisers slow down on spend? Absolutely yes. Will these advertisers spend their budget through Twitter? Absolutely not. Twitter still can't even manage the basics and call their 'now you see who read your DM' as revolutionary. Poor, unimaginative and uncreative sods who are forever 23 steps behind everyone else and never gets their act together. But will Facebook's stock continue to tumble? Absolutely yes. Will it bounce back up again? Yes. But the damage is done. Facebook is officially not to be trusted and their brand reputation is tarnished. Until the next social network totally botches up and gives Facebook a breather to quietly try restore their shattered image. Until Facebook cocks up again and the stupidity cycle continues.

The summary was the whole story... 

But here's the clincher: when Brian Acton tells you to delete Facebook, well, the inner circle is now making it loud and clear they don't even trust the corporation that acquired them. And that's really all you needed to know so you could have just read this paragraph and bypassed the above. But you didn't and you'll never get those minutes back again. Sorry... but not sorry :)