Aug 172019

There is a quite amusing social media feed shaming the poor behaviour of airline passengers which is fair enough – some of the behaviour is quite nasty and shaming it is quite reasonable.

But they also seem to have a foot phobia – naked feet are themselves considered sufficient to be worthy of public shaming. Why?

Now I am not talking about sticking your naked feet in someone’s ear, or anywhere else that closer to someone’s nose than necessary. But on the floor? Why not?

Well there are those who are horrified by the sight of naked feet, and without a good reason there is no harm in not horrifying them.

But there are sometimes good reasons – I have psoriasis and wearing socks and shoes in a warm environment results in sweaty feet. Which in turn results in socks feeling like a cheese grater on my suppurating sores on my feet.

So screw your anti-foot fetish; I’m getting my feet naked whenever I feel the need for it.

The Window

Sep 042014

So apparently a whole bunch of celebrities have had their naked selfies leaked by some “hacker”. As to how this was done, we don’t really know and will probably never know given that Apple is so secretive. But we can guess some possibilities :-

  1. The hacker built up a list of possible account names – jennifer (Jennifer Lawrence) might be a good one to try – and then tried the top 100 dumbest passwords against each one in turn. You would not get every single account this way, and a fair few would turn out to be a fan of Jennifer Lawrence rather than the celebrity herself. But you would get a few that way.
  2. The hacker targeted the celebrities with a phishing attack – basically asking the celebrity what their account password is. This sounds too unlikely to succeed, but with a plausible looking login page it does work surprisingly often. It’s not just the terminally stupid that fall victim to such attacks; the victims are really those who are too trusting and often in too much of a hurry.
  3. The next method a hacker might use is to tackle Apple’s password reset service which uses “memorable information” such as the name of your first school, your mother’s maiden name, etc. There is always a bit of a problem with “memorable information” such as this – it isn’t really that private, and a celebrity is likely to have “leaked” all such private information over time.
  4. Through some unknown vulnerability in Apple’s iCloud service. Given that we suspect that iCloud has certain “issues” with security (apparently Apple has no intruder lock out to make password guessing attacks harder), this isn’t impossible but I would guess that it is less likely that the two more obvious attacks above.

There’s a great deal of hateful “slut-shaming” going on over this celebrity leak which apart from anything else is really missing the point. It may be embarrassing for naked selfies to be leaked, but other personal information could be dangerous if leaked – the celebrity’s home address and alarm codes?

It is not the victim’s fault; it’s the fault of the anonymous (at the moment) hacker.

But the victim can improve their behaviour to make it harder to victimise them :-

  1. First of all if you’re called Jennifer Lawrence, don’t use any permutation of your name as a username; or even enter that as your full name into any cloud service. Make one up.
  2. Make sure you are using a sensible password. It needn’t be excessive, but anything that is just a single word is just not good enough.
  3. Be less trusting with your acount credentials. Make sure you know what the location bar in your browser is and where it is, and check it when you login. And don’t click on links in emails.
  4. If the service you are using offers two-factor authentication, turn it on.
  5. Learn about security; you are a target. Don’t go overboard (but see step 6), but spend an hour a week doing a little reading and taking steps to improve your personal security.
  6. Hire or befriend a geek who can act as your early warning system for threats. And someone you can go to for advice.

Note that I haven’t said “don’t take naked selfies” – it may be a bit foolish, but a life without a bit of foolishness is hardly a life at all.

And of course most of those suggestions work for ordinary people and not just celebrities!

Aug 242012

So the Sun have decided to print naked photos of Prince Harry claiming that it is about ‘freedom of the press’. Well maybe.

Now I’m hardly an ardent royalist – it is a really daft way of picking a head of state, but it does at least have the advantage of keeping politicians out of the role. And of course helps the tourism industry.

Bear in mind that if a photographer makes images of a person for commercial purposes, then they need to obtain a model release form before publishing the photos. There are of course public interest exceptions (plus artistic and personal use exceptions). But is re-publishing Harry’s naked pics, news?

We all know that Harry was caught at a party by a photographer naked, and that those photos have been published on a web site (or two) in the US. So whatever the Sun was doing couldn’t be called breaking news, where there might be a justification to publish the naked pics just to demonstrate that they do in fact exist. Hence there was no call to publish the photos to tell us that Harry was caught partying naked.

So if this item published by the Sun isn’t news, then what is it ? Well it’s just porn designed to increase the circulation of the Sun “news” paper – or in other words these photos were published for commercial reasons. So they really need the permission of Harry to publish them. I somehow doubt they have that.

Perhaps Harry could sue the Sun for publishing these photos without permission!

And is it really proper news anyway? The fact that he was partying naked might seem shocking to some of us, but let’s be honest – he’s of an age where he’s going to be a bit of an arse from time to time. And most of us were just the same at his age. Royals (at least the males – Kate perhaps needs to redress the balance slightly) have a long history of partying hard, and that is hardly surprising.

I don’t see this story as real news; a proper newspaper might well publish a story about Harry partying naked and add some po-faced opinion about how this is no way for a royal to behave, but there is no reason to publish the photos. Which pretty much demonstrates that the Sun no longer has the right to call itself a newspaper – it is merely a pornographic periodical concentrating on unauthorised photos of celebrities.

Jun 102011

No, there’s no pictures here.

Today Portsmouth had it’s very first World Naked Bike ride to demonstrate against the car culture. I’m not a cyclist so didn’t take part (perhaps we should have a World Naked Walker day!), but thought it was a worthy protest done in a fun way. The organisers were troubled by the activities of a certain group of fundamentalist christians who were upset that anybody would dare to bare.

I happened to catch them riding past as I was walking back into work. And the reaction of the onlookers? From what I could see from the reactions of the “crowd”, pretty much everyone thought it was fun – nobody seemed upset and nobody seemed overly “excited”. It brightened up an otherwise somewhat gloomy day – it certainly wasn’t the best weather for naked anything!

Those fundamentalists who were more concerned with what others might be doing, than their own “issues” should learn that it was just fun. There was no widespread wailing and gnashing of teeth at the horrendous sight of a bunch of pervy old exhibitionists. Yes it was a bit exhibitionist – in the same way that any protest is because people won’t pay any attention to your statement if you don’t attract attention. And frankly a naked protest is a good deal more peaceful and fun than any other kind.

Any “perversion” is solely within the mind of anyone who thought that there was anything perverted about it. Nudity can be sexual, but only in the right context – and someone cycling isn’t being sexual.

Most of us have grown up enough to realise this was just good clean fun. It’s about time that the others grew up and minded their own business (at least).

One of the specific points that the fundamentalists made was that children might be upset by the nakedness – either seeing naked people, or being naked themselves after the ride when it was claimed that one of the riders had a naked child in a seat behind her. Taking that last point first … I saw the relevant rider, and there’s no way you could know that the child was naked unless you saw him or her being put into the seat.

Whilst I have no children, I do have some experience with them, and in my experience children are likely to find naked adults to be funny and be curious as to why they’re naked. And many of us have seen toddlers who whilst being changed think it’s funny to run around naked. Older children may react differently, and of course sexual exhibitionism is an entirely different matter. But this wasn’t sexual exhibitionism!

To those who took part, I raise my glass. And hope it takes place next year.

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