We dip into the swirl of stories and comment in the ether and offer some for further enlightenment and comment, so feel free …
Mind-Wiping Welcome or Appalling?
Did you ever see the film, Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004)? And did you ever think, even for a moment, that you’d like to have your mind wiped clean of painful memories?
Well, soon it may be reality. Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are working on the gene Tet 1 which could lead to extinguishing the memories associated with painful events.
Of course enthusiasts of the Mind Games, particularly of the international, competitive kind will not be keen on this idea.
But exponents think it will help develop the treatment of people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. Let’s hope they’re right and it doesn’t get abused and become a weapon of control in a future totalitarian state.
China’s Great Firewall Allows Small Crack?
And speaking of controlling states. China has long been at the forefront of trying to to control the access its citizens can make to the benefits of the world wide web.
In a MBF blog in February 2013 we posted about China banning Facebook and Twitter since 2009. ‘Instead Chinese people and advertisers keen to reach them have their own hybrid. Sina Weibo is the biggest by a mile with 368 million users who post over 100 million messages each and every day.’
We explained that Weibo (it’s pronounced as ‘way-bore’) means microblog. It seems to get round the Chinese administration’s strict censorship laws allowing users to devise puns and disguised words to talk about topics that wouldn’t slip through the authoritarian regime’s systems otherwise. ‘People become inventive online, that is what happens.’
Now comes news that a new free trade zone around Shanghai is set to allow residents uncensored web access in an 11-mile square area. They hope to extend this in due course, but it is significant ‘concession’ in Chinese terms.
Now people will be able to get onto Facebook, Twitter and the site of the New York Times according to rumours.
Presumably if access is truly unfettered, they’ll be able to get onto any site bearing in mind that in other parts of China you can be internet-cut off for six months if you are caught ‘spreading online rumours’!
Worst Online Banking Security Revealed
And speaking of online rumours, you hear lots about which banks are best for fees/interest and service.
Now Which? has produced a thorough test which may make you want to take advantage of the much-highlighted 7-day account switching service. Don’t forget that actually means 7 working days and several people have tried it and discovered it still takes up to 30 days to switch.
Anyway it seems that Santander is the worst bank when it comes to protecting the online security of customers.
RBS/Natwest topped the test with 76% while Santander languished on a paltry 47% success rate.
The Which? survey was reported by Yahoo! News among others: ‘Which? asked one customer from each bank to log into their current accounts using a test computer and perform a range of normal tasks. The banks were scored on: login security, logout security, transferring money, changing account details, navigation and the level of encryption used to protect information transmitted across the internet.’
Which? said that ‘the bank’s downfall was ‘the way it dealt with logout security, but it also scored poorly on navigation and the login procedure.’
It is not reported if they did anything well.
So, we’ll leave it to you whether you want your mind wiped, controlled or blown or just want it left alone.