Security vs. Privacy: Telecoms & Apple

The first time I had thought about security and privacy beyond skimming the paranoid rustlings of people on internet forums was when a team and I won an AT&T case competition with the issue of using Big Data pitching an idea similar to something that the company actually rolled out within months of the end of the competition. Link to the Prezi we presented, names removed.

We were pretty proud of ourselves, generally ignoring our fellow peers when they made the case that the bulk of our idea was nothing less than an illusory tactic. The ones that tried to come up with cloud solutions and more technical advancements were especially miffed that what won that competition was essentially a huge marketing campaign, though as a marketing major, all I can really say about that is “well, they bought it.” Read More

Things I adored about Iceland


A picture Mr. Chokkattu took of me while we were on a kayak.

This will be my last post explicitly about Iceland!

So we all know now that I adored the country of Iceland, and I want to go back some day really, really badly, with maybe a job long enough to support me for a few months or just some more cash in my pocket. And that the scenery is beautiful and the landscape breathtaking, etc. But I have to share some of the specifics I jotted down. Some of them are important, some of them are surprising, some are less about Iceland and more about trips in general, and some are pretty stupid but whatever they seemed important enough to write down at the time. This list is a little long, so let’s get started:

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Musical plagiarism, misuse, and KPop

Basically, Tasha (legally, Yoonmirae, but I know her as the stage name Tasha and I like it), an old-school KPop/KRap star from the US is suing Sony for the use of her song “Payday” in The Interview. “Payday” is a great song, so I understand why they used it, and it makes sense in context when you read the lyrics. But, of course, the issue is that they didn’t get permission, and I’m pretty sure no SK star wants to be associated with something as belligerent to NK as The Interview. Especially if they don’t even technically have a stake in it, because Tasha is a quarter black, a quarter white, and from the US.

There have been a few weak responses surrounding this, including that she samples “a” Jackson5 song in “Payday”, and that Sony owns the rights to Jackson5 music, but I’m pretty sure, since no one I’ve read so far has been able to identify which song, it would fall under fair use because what’s sampled is too little to prosecute.

And anyway, music companies don’t even go after South Korean anymore because of the 2011 Korean Copyright Act, which opened up seemingly all copyrighted music to be used without the copyrighter’s permission. Whether or not this is only in-country (which I’m leaning towards) or not is unclear, though I’m sure it makes much harder for indie groups to succeed, which is unfortunate. This, of course, does not apply to Sony, because Sony is a Japanese company and the movie is a US movie; they still have to comply with international fair use laws and whatever they have in their system, and since the US is one of the only countries to fully recognize fair use, well.

With that in mind, there’s one more KPop-related scandal I wanted to touch upon. I’m not quite sure what the intention of the allegations are, since allegations against KPop stars don’t usually work out, and it can’t be publicity because taking on KPop fans is a bad idea (Mr. Bullock’s single is now rated 1 star on iTunes), but apparently YG is taking countermeasures against the allegations and it’s going to be fun to see a small guy take on one of the big three. It’s usually just Sony.