Monday, August 8, 2011

and I made me a ladder from a pawn shop marimba, and I leaned it up against a dandelion tree

I realize, as does Comics Alliance, that it is (sort of) a shift to a more equal playing field--after decades of leaping female crotch shots and high kicks in skirts or insanely tight tights, we finally have a male doing the same thing.

But there are more than a few problems. The main being, of course, did the world really need a flying shot of anyone's super-genitalia? And the second being, if that really is what it looks like, it's in the wrong place, so we're dealing with bad art (I can justify it's bad art, just look at the rest of the cover) on top of latex bits in play.

Whether intentional or not, there is a fair amount of bafflement over this one, because it just doesn't make any sense from any angle.

Meanwhile, remember the name trick in MMOs? You know the one--you sign up as Lord Fencivral the Lesser, and it turns out there's already one of those on your server? (Well. Maybe not another Fencivral, that's silly.) Say you signed up as SteveGod, and you couldn't get that name on one server, you could just switch to another, right?

Which is all well and good, unless you're DCU Online. Now, as they merge everyone's best and brightest into one of four "megaservers", they're going to be analyzing for duplicate names:
At a fan appreciation event at Comic-Con 2011, the DCUO staff laid out the rules. Basically, if there's a "collision" in name choice, whoever has an active subscription at the time of migration will get to keep the name. If two players have active subscriptions and the same name, then whoever has the most hours logged in the game gets to keep it.
Now, they're not being completely evil about this; they'll offer free Name Change tokens to anyone left in the dust, and instructions on how to rename yourself (because the system will automatically assign you a new name), but still, it's throwing a lot of people in the game.

In more local news, what the hell is wrong with the eyes on this horse? Also, a company that's trying to improve its image should not put "playful" on the ad, when the female avatar is staring lovingly at the bug-eyed horse. That's edging into The Love That Dare Not Neigh Its Name territory, just a bit.

Also, what does it say to those watching from the legal sidelines? That Ozimal bunnies were dropped like a hot rock, because the Lindens didn't want to show favoritism, but hey, they'll pick up weird freakish runt ponies for weirder love affairs, and obliquely advertise Amaretto?

More from the JIRA that will never die, but this time, it's more proof for the 'Why We Like Yoz Linden' fan club:
Kelley: As previously mentioned in this comment thread, the privacy - or rather, lack of it - of your self-contributed user profile is covered in section 6 of our Privacy Policy:
  • You may choose to disclose personal information in our online forums, via your Second Life profile, directly to other users in chat or otherwise while using Second Life. Please be aware that such information is public information and you should not expect privacy or confidentiality of this information.
This clause has been part of our publicly-visible privacy policy for over five years. As Lance and others have mentioned, the new web interface actually provides greater privacy control than profiles have ever had before, even though the clause above means we have no obligation to provide it.
Brilliant. Also, (mostly) accurate (I'll explain that after the following quote). As for the comment from Kelley Boyd he was responding to:
2.You cannot hide every part of your profile; you can only hide your feed.
3. You did not "opt in" to web profiles when you signed up, despite Lance's lies.
4. The new web profiles give you more privacy in the SL grid, but they give you unprecedented vulnerability outside the grid, especially on Facebook. They are a clear violation of the privacy laws of many nations; things that cannot be usurped by user agreements.
Now, let's break this down.

1. Obviously, the question from Lance Corrimal that Kelley chose not to answer.

2. You cannot entirely hide your profile, this is true. As proven by my ability to pull up Kelley Boyd under the website. The down side, though, of hiding your profile, is that--while it is still visible on the web--you then lose the ability to be found by anyone on the grid. That's not what Kelley's complaining about. The complaint is that Kelley--and a few notable others--don't want visible web-based profiles, but still want the abilit to be found in world.

This is a dilemma of epic proportions--how do you script code that will both conceal and reveal them? It may not be able to be coded, flat out.

3. Answered (again, brilliantly) by Yoz Linden above, and I think his words stand as both confirmation and accurate accounting.

4. Kelley keeps mentioning online privacy laws. Being an American, I know our laws, but I had to admit, I'm curious now.

Article 5 — (Consent).
1. Processing of personal data shall be unlawful if the holder has not given free, express and informed consent thereupon, in writing or evidenced by any other similar means, according to the relevant circumstances.
The above referred consent, given with other representations, shall be expressly stated and highlighted, with the prior notice to the person from which data is required, which notice shall include information described in Article 6 hereof.
Article I
§ 1.

(3) Everybody shall have, insofar as personal data concerning him are destined for automated processing or manual processing, i.e. in filing systems [Dateien] without automated processing, as provided for by law,
  1. the right to obtain information as to who processes what data concerning him, where the data originated, for which purpose they are used, as well as to whom the data are transmitted;
  2. the right to rectification of incorrect data and the right to erasure of illegally processed data.
8. Anonymity

Wherever it is lawful and practicable, individuals must have the option of not identifying themselves when entering transactions with an organisation.

Chapter II - General rules on the lawfulness of the processing of personal data.
Article 4
§ 1.
Personal data shall be:
1° processed fairly and lawfully;
2° collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a way
  1. incompatible with those purposes, taking into account all relevant factors, in particular the
  2. reasonable expectations of the data subject and the applicable legal and regulatory
  3. provisions. Under the terms established by the King after the advice of the Commission for
  4. the protection of privacy further processing of data for historical, statistical or scientific
  5. purposes shall not be considered incompatible
Article 5
the privacy, private life, honor and image of persons are inviolable, and the right to compensation for property or moral damages resulting from the violation thereof is ensured;
11. the home is the inviolable asylum of the individual, and no one may enter it without the dweller's consent, save in the case of "in flagrante delicto" or disaster, or to give help, or, during the day, by court order;
12. the secrecy of correspondence and of telegraphic, data and telephone communications is inviolable, except, in the latter case, by court order, in the events and in the manner established by the law for purposes of criminal investigation or criminal procedural discovery;

14. access to information is ensured to everyone and confidentiality of the source is protected whenever necessary for the professional activity.
Article 2. (suppl. - SG. 70 of 2004, with effect from 01.01.2005, amend. - SG. 103 of 2005)
(1) (Amended - SG. 91 2006) Personal data are any information relating to an individual who is identified or can be identified directly or indirectly by ID or by one or more specific signs.
(2) Personal data must:
  1. be processed lawfully and in good faith;
  2. collected for specified, specific, and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner incompatible with those purposes; further processing of personal data for historical, statistical or scientific purposes is permitted provided that the administrator provide adequate protection to ensure data are not processed for other purposes;
  3. (Amended - SG. 91 of 2006) are relevant, related and not exceeding the purposes for which they are processed;
  4. accurate and, where necessary updated;
  5. be deleted or corrected when found to be inaccurate or disproportionate to the purposes for which they are processed;
  6. maintained in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than necessary for the purposes for which those data are processed, data to be stored for longer periods for historical, statistical or scientific purposes, maintained in a form, precluding the identification of individuals.
5. (1) Subject to sections 6 to 9, every organization shall comply with the obligations set out in Schedule 1.
(2) The word "should", when used in Schedule 1, indicates a recommendation and does not impose an obligation.
(3) An organization may collect, use or disclose personal information only for purposes that a reasonable person would consider are appropriate in the circumstances.
6. The designation of an individual under clause 4.1 of Schedule 1 does not relieve the organization of the obligation to comply with the obligations set out in that Schedule.
7. (1) For the purpose of clause 4.3 of Schedule 1, and despite the note that accompanies that clause, an organization may collect personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual only if
(a) the collection is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;
(b) it is reasonable to expect that the collection with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the availability or the accuracy of the information and the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province;
(c) the collection is solely for journalistic, artistic or literary purposes; or
(d) the information is publicly available and is specified by the regulations.
Title I
The use of personal data
Article 4 .- Personal data may only be stored and utilized if expressly permitted by this law, or the data holder expressly consents to it.
The data holder must be correctly informed about the purpose of storing their personal data and possible communication to public.
This authorization must be in writing.
This authorization may be revoked, but without retroactive effect. This must also be made in writing.
Personal data collection and authorization arising out of, or collected from, sources accessible to the public when they are in nature economic, financial, banking or commercial, containing listings on a specific category, are allowed, but limited to the below:
  • such records indicate the individual as belonging to a certain group, a profession or personal activity, their educational qualifications, address or date of birth, or records necessary for direct response marketing communications or marketing or direct sales of goods or services.
  • Nor will authorization be required to process personal data gained by investigation of law (private or public), or by associates or entities affiliated with statistical purposes, pricing, or other sources which benefit investigation of law or authorized collection.
Article 269A: ABUSIVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER SYSTEM. Anyone who, without permission or outside the agreement, access in whole or in part, a computer system protected or not with a security measure, or keeps within the same, against the wishes of those who have the legitimate right to exclude it, will be held liable to a prison term of forty-eight (48) to ninety-six (96) months and a fine of $100 to $1,000 minimum statutory monthly wages.
Article 269B: ILLEGITIMATE OBSTRUCTION OF COMPUTING SYSTEMS OR TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS. Anyone who, without being authorized to do so, prevents from or hinders the normal operation of or access to a computer system, the data contained therein, or to a telecommunications network, will be held liable to a prison term of forty-eight (48) to ninety and six (96) months and a fine of $100 to $1,000 minimum statutory monthly wages, provided that the conduct does not constitutes an offense punishable by a higher penalty.
Czech Republic:
Chapter II
Rights and obligations in processing of personal data

Article 5

(1) The controller shall be obliged to:

(a) specify the purpose for which personal data are to be processed;

(b) specify the means and manner of personal data processing;

(c) process only accurate personal data, which he obtained in accordance with this Act. If necessary, the controller is obliged to update the data. If the controller finds that the data being processed thereby are not accurate with respect to the specified purpose, he takes adequate measures without undue delays, in particular he blocks the processing and corrects or supplements the personal data, or otherwise he must liquidate the personal data. Inaccurate personal data may be processed only within the limits of the provisions of Article 3(6) of this Act. Inaccurate personal data must be branded. The controller is obliged to provide all the recipients with the information about blocking, correction, supplementing or liquidation of personal data without undue delay;

(d) collect personal data corresponding exclusively to the specified purpose and in an extent that is necessary for fulfilment of the specified purpose;

(e) preserve personal data only for a period of time that is necessary for the purpose of their processing. After expiry of this period, personal data may be preserved only for purposes of the state statistical service, and for scientific and archival purposes. When using personal data for these purposes, it is necessary to respect the right to protection of private and personal life of the data subject from unauthorised interference and to make personal data anonymous as soon as possible;

(f) process personal data only in accordance with the purpose for which the data were collected. Personal data may be processed for some other purpose only within the limits of the provisions of Article 3(6) or if the data subject granted his consent herewith in advance;

(g) collect personal data only in an open manner. Collecting data under the pretext of some other purpose or activity shall be prohibited;

(h) ensure that personal data that were obtained for different purposes are not grouped.
Title II
Rules on processing of data
Chapter 4
Processing of data
5. - (1) Data must be processed in accordance with good practices for the processing of data.
(2) Data must be collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and further processing must not be incompatible with these purposes. Further processing of data which takes place exclusively for historical, statistical or scientific purposes shall not be considered incompatible with the purposes for which the data were collected.
(3) Data which are to be processed must be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purposes for which the data are collected and the purposes for which they are subsequently processed.
(4) The processing of data must be organised in a way which ensures the required up-dating of the data. Furthermore, necessary checks must be made to ensure that no inaccurate or misleading data are processed. Data which turn out to be inaccurate or misleading must be erased or rectified without delay.
(5) The data collected may not be kept in a form which makes it possible to identify the data subject for a longer period than is necessary for the purposes for which the data are processed.

6. - (1) Personal data may be processed only if:
  • the data subject has given his explicit consent; or
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract; or
  • processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject; or
  • processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject; or
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest; or
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller or in a third party to whom the data are disclosed; or
  • processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by the third party to whom the data are disclosed, and these interests are not overridden by the interests of the data subject.
And that's only to Denmark. Obviously, there are a lot of alternate applications of the use of personal data collection, so Kelley may well have a point there, too.

The issue is--whose rules are used? American company, American law, used to be the standard, but there are many international players. Whose law trumps?

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