Links, Links, Links - 26th December 2012

My regular collection of internet links and tidbits for your enjoyment…! Leave any recommendations or thoughts in the comments box below =)  Today we have 12 year old app developers, a little about Asian/Australian politics, why the password is defunct and much more!

The video below is a short, moving film dedicated to the children in Syria.

Forbes’ List of 30 under 30. Inspiring stuff! Makes you feel like you have underutilised your life perhaps…or just inspires you to do more – better late than never! =)

On another note, An All American Nightmare: Remember Guantanamo Bay? Yes. Torture as part of national policy isn’t acceptable, for any country. 

At what passes for trials at our prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba, disclosure of the details of torture is forbidden, effectively preventing anyone from learning anything about what the CIA did with its victims. We are encouraged to do what’s best for America and, as Barack Obama put it, “look forward, not backward,” with the same zeal as, after 9/11, we were encouraged to save America by going shopping.

Bradley Manning, by the way, the lad allegedly responsible for taking the Wikileaks files, is being held “like an animal”. He could spend the rest of his life in prison if charged.  Isn’t it interesting he isn’t awarded similar recognition along with Julian Assange?

More after the jump…

Overeating is now a bigger problem than malnutrition, according to “the most comprehensive disease report ever produced”.  So that diet you were going on is actually helping combat a global disease, nice! The story has some other (good) news though on how we have dealt with disease more generally. 


20 most influential women (in Australia) of 2012. Great to see a Muslim lady up in there!


Malala, runner up Time Person of the Year. A young girl who is truly the epitome of bravery.


A really interesting look at how a website like Wiki deals with a mass shooting…


A thought provoking article on the ‘anxious’ language Australia has used over the last 100 years in terms of its relationship with Asia 


The Conversation calls for scientists to use the trust placed in them by the public to talk about and push the agenda of “future energy solutions” as people haven’t made their minds yet…but soon do so.


This is a 12 year old kid who is an app developer…awesome. Also, he is exceptionally confident at speaking in front of a large group of people – I know at his age, I didn’t use hand gestures nearly as well… (oh and my hands and knees shook like mad. Eyebrows were all over the place as well…)


We know so little about the new leaders of China…and they aren’t all engineers anymore.

In a 2009 speech in Mexico, Xi Jinping said that "some foreigners with full bellies and nothing better to do engage in finger-pointing at us." He then added, "First, China does not export revolution; second, it does not export famine and poverty; and third, it does not mess around with you. So what else is there to say?"


This is fabulous reading: Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore

You have a secret that can ruin your life.

It’s not a well-kept secret, either. Just a simple string of characters—maybe six of them if you’re careless, 16 if you’re cautious—that can reveal everything about you.

Your email. Your bank account. Your address and credit card number. Photos of your kids or, worse, of yourself, naked. The precise location where you’re sitting right now as you read these words. Since the dawn of the information age, we’ve bought into the idea that a password, so long as it’s elaborate enough, is an adequate means of protecting all this precious data. But in 2012 that’s a fallacy, a fantasy, an outdated sales pitch. And anyone who still mouths it is a sucker—or someone who takesyou for one.

No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.


Pimp my aid: A tongue in cheek site on international aid.


Don’t want to research when you buy products? just gives you the single best product (in their opinion) of everything techy. Kinda awesome.


Jobs are hard to come by in this day and age.  Here are perhaps some ways you can use the awesome tool LinkedIn to network and help out (if you are looking for ideas…LinkedIn is a great tool. Seriously)


Freedom in the digital world? Questions Seth Godin wishes we were asking…

Should everyone, even the presumed innocent, be required to put their DNA in a databank so that violent criminals are much more likely to be found? If not, who should have their data shared? How many innocent people behind bars could we free (and guilty parties could we catch?)

China’s Changeover: Next Steps for the Region?

For anyone interested in regional politics: This week China starts its week long congress where they are going to begin the once-in-a-decade leadership transfer process.  Interesting stuff indeed...

So during the congress a new central committee is elected, and they then choose the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest decision making authority in the land.

The congress opened with the outgoing leader, Hu Jintao addressing the congress and stressing that the fight against corruption could ‘prove fatal’ to the party if not won.  It is said that the committees are already known before the congress begins, many decisions being made through “backroom politicking”.  Either way, what is important is what the leadership plans to do…and it definitely seems that holding on to power is one of their objectives (naturally).

The BBC reports a little more here, and says that in Beijing, more than 1.4 million volunteers have been brought in to help out with security for the congress. Wow.

China is the world’s second largest economy currently and is well on its way to becoming the world’s first.  The eyes of the world will be on the communist nation this week more than ever…

What do you think? Where will China’s leadership take it? Their system has clearly worked for what they want to achieve so far…right?

The Weekly Grapevine…

You know what it is! Every week, I link a few of the random quotes and articles that I have come across on the net that week… enjoy!

Since I recently started my working life, I have decided to take some time to sort out my Facebook persona…which is a little difficult but worth doing.  Check out this link for a good head start: How to lock down your Facebook Account for MAX PRIVACY AND SECURITY

On a totally different note, I love it when I see examples of beauty such as the example of Balpreet Kaur, who totally schooled a user on Reddit and possibly changed the hearts and minds of many others.  This quote is quite profound…

By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain: and, by not focusing on the physical beauty, I have time to cultivate those inner virtues and hopefully, focus my life on creating change and progress for this world in any way I can.

Religious beliefs aside, the way she put this reflects my thoughts on the matter.  Making that a reality is not always easy; it requires strong faith and belief in the personal choice as we are naturally influenced by society around us.  However, constantly reminding ourselves how temporary our physical being is in the grand scheme of things we can strive to remain humble and focus on ensuring our actions reflect the legacy we want to leave. 

Passengers board a plane in Bajul, Gambia, Aug 12, 2012. Photo by Holly Pickett (Taken with Instagram)

Love this site, wish I had thought of it while I was in Sudan! EverydayAfricaTumblr

What does this mean for the world of motorsport?

Please America, don’t vote this fella in?

If I were Iran, if I were Iran -- a crazed fanatic, I'd say let's get a little fissile material to Hezbollah, have them carry it to Chicago or some other place, and then if anything goes wrong, or America starts acting up, we'll just say, "Guess what? Unless you stand down, why, we're going to let off a dirty bomb." I mean this is where we have -- where America could be held up and blackmailed by Iran, by the mullahs, by crazy people. So we really don't have any option but to keep Iran from having a nuclear weapon.  Mitt Romney, May 17, 2012

…and I thought Sudanese hospitals were bad.  If medical errors were a disease, they would be the sixth leading cause of death in America—just behind accidents and ahead of Alzheimer's.

Interesting. Sometimes being top job, President, Prime Minister, whatever…is partly also about whether your body can handle it!

Interesting.  Those in control; military leaders, politicians, CEOs, are less stressed than their lower working counter parts…

Foreign Policy News: Interestingly, not only is the South China Sea a disputed state of affairs, so is the East China Sea, with interesting anti-Japanese protests springing up in China recently.  Sneaky Sneaky…

China reacted quickly to what it saw as Japan's reaffirmation of its sovereignty claim with a variety of measures, which state media called "combination punches."These ranged from Politburo members strongly denouncing Japan to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao vowing to "never yield an inch" to threats of economic retaliation to announcements of joint combat drills by China's navy, air force and strategic missile corps, including landing exercises in the Yellow Sea and the Gobi Desert.

But a quieter move may have more serious repercussions in the end. On Sept. 10, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced baselines to formally demarcate its territorial waters in the area. In Beijing's eyes, this move legally places the disputed islands under Chinese administration in a direct challenge to Japan's administration of the islands over the last four decades.

Ahh, someone has put my feelings into precise words. Where has this man been?!

"When I first heard about the [July 7] bombings, I thought: ‘Please God, [let the bombers] be some bloody foreigners’," he said. "The reality which slowly unfolded was as bad as it could possibly be — three of the bombers were British men of Pakistani origin. I had absolutely nothing else in common with them, but I still felt a guilty connection.

"I think, as with 9/11, we get sucked into a no-win situation due to tribalism. Even though we have nothing in common with these people — in terms of values, culture, beliefs, intellect, profession — we find ourselves being identified with them because of one or two specific characteristics, and then we are expected to express our apologies for what they did (and thus confirm the tribal commonality) or be condemned for not expressing enough outrage.

"I won’t be defined by my DNA or by anyone else’s preconceptions." – Imran Ahmad

Final quote for the afternoon…

So if you want to keep the blood flowing through as many parts of your brain as possible, you need to read for fun, read for information, listen to music, look closely at art ... only by embracing a wide range of intellectual challenges can we help our minds to be all they should, and can, be. Alan Jacobs, The Atlantic