The “honest and reasonable mistake”

Regarding the incident where Howard Shaw pleaded guilty to having paid sex with an underage girl, I like how the lawyer puts it:

His lawyer Mr Harpreet Singh argued that Shaw had made an “honest and reasonable mistake.” He said that there was “no pre-meditation nor intention” as the offence was committed “unwittingly”. Mr Singh called for a non-custodial sentence as Shaw’s case “falls at or very near, the lowest end of the culpability spectrum”.

The former Singapore Environment Council executive director was among 48 men who were earlier charged with paid sex with the 17-year-old.

India government to access Blackberry encrypted messages

Seems like another loss for privacy advocates. On a lighter note, at least Blackberry can continue to function.

CrackBerry addicts rejoice: No ban in India. For now.

At an eleventh hour meeting with government officials Monday, Research in Motion (RIM) caved in to India’s demands for access to users’ emails and other data to avoid an immediate ban on its encrypted data services.

Under the agreement, RIM will immediately implement systems to grant “lawful access by law enforcement agencies” to customer data, India’s Home Ministry said in a statement. The
regulatory bodies will evaluate the feasibility of this arrangement for the next 60 days, even as India presses forward with demands to force not only RIM, but also Google and Skype to set up servers for hosting customer accounts in India — which would facilitate easier access to private data and wire tapping of voice-over-Internet-protocol (VoIP) phone calls. (via Globalpost)

To be honest, I don’t think this would work. If users are really going to send something really secret, there are still ways to do that unless encryption is entirely outlawed. What if the government monitor these supposedly encrypted messages and use them to gain competitive advantage in business that they have an interest in? I would rather trust corporations than government here.

Going against Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games

Not everyone is merry over Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG). Even as the YOG comes to a closing today, I still hear the resentment. I am largely indifferent over the matter and I don’t know enough of it to contribute an opinion.

Singaporean arrested after Facebook attack on govt

In a statement, police said they had arrested a “man in his late 20s” on Tuesday “in connection with investigations into offences related to incitement of violence”.

…Abdul Malik Ghazali, 27, who posted a series of comments on the social networking site critical of how Singapore is hosting the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

The August 14-26 event, held for competitors aged from 14 to 18, has generated limited public interest, with many events blighted by empty seats and the host country’s athletes faring badly.

Vivian Balakrishnan, the minister for community development, youth and sports, has come under particular fire from online critics over the games.

Abdul Malik’s postings on his own Facebook page and on a separate group account called “I hate the Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee” are also critical of Singapore’s ruling People’s Action Party (PAP).

He said it was time to “burn” the sports minister and the PAP. “Rally together and vote them out!!!” he wrote.

“I did not intend for it to be taken literally. I did not mean for someone to actually burn,” he said. –AFP (Source: Asiaone)

Here’s what the group has to say and what they describe themselves to be:

We are Singaporeans who are disappointed and angry with the YOG organising Committee (SYOGOC).

The SYOGOC ballooned its initial budget of S$105 million for the YOG to S$387 million. In contrast, this government allocated only $92 million to the ComCare and Social Support Programme for needy Singaporeans in 2010.

The SYOGOC chose to fake its ticket sales results by having MOE to purchase the bulk of the tickets. This has led to the strange phenomenon of the half-filled stadiums and competition halls, despite tickets being fully “sold out”!

Students were coerced by their schools to support the torch relays and to attend YOG events. The volunteers were badly treated with substandard and even unsafe food!

It is an event organised by the politicians for the politicians to look good in front of foreigners, and the government is splurging on taxpayers’ money like nobody’s business.

We hate the YOG Organising Committee!

The group has 2,796 members currently.

Okay time for Merly:

Merly Youth Olympics Singapore 2010

(Merly Youth Olympics Singapore 2010.)

Game ends: Swedish court found The Pirate Bay guilty

The four men connected with The Pirate Bay were found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement by a Swedish court on Friday, delivering a symbolic victory in the entertainment industry’s efforts to put a stop to the sharing of copyrighted material on the internet. The four defendants in the case, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström, were each sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.56 million) in damages. Does this spells the end of The Pirate Bay?

Pirate Bay guilty

The four men connected with The Pirate Bay were found guilty of being accessories to copyright infringement by a Swedish court on Friday, delivering a symbolic victory in the entertainment industry’s efforts to put a stop to the sharing of copyrighted material on the internet.

“The Stockholm district court has today convicted the four people charged with promoting other people’s infringement of copyright laws,” the court said in a statement.

The four defendants in the case, Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström, were each sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay 30 million kronor ($3.56 million) in damages.

The trial attracted wide international attention, with file sharers and copyright holders around the world wondering what sort or precedent may be set by the Stockholm court as it assessed arguments by the entertainment industry that the four men behind The Pirate Bay had been accessories to copyright infringement.

The Stockholm District Court printed up 250 copies of the judgment to meet the expected interest from media outlets.

“By providing a website with … well-developed search functions, easy uploading and storage possibilities, and with a tracker linked to the website, the accused have incited the crimes that the filesharers have committed,” the court said in a statement to the media.

The court added that the four “knew that copyrighted material was being fileshared.”

The one-year jail sentences were motivated by the “extensive accessibility of others’ (copy)rights and the fact that the operation was conducted commercially and in an organized fashion.” (Source: The Local)

Robber of luxury watch retailer Cortina turns himself in

So Jerry Ee has turned himself in, probably pleads to be forgiven. His little victory-sign photographs is all over the news last December and that I guess he didn’t quite win this round.

Ex-staff surrenders

THE man believed to have robbed luxury watch retailer Cortina of $13 million in timepieces has turned himself in.

Mr Jerry Ee, 35, surfaced at the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok yesterday morning with a friend and Singapore lawyer Amarick Gill.

In one of Singapore’s biggest robbery cases ever, Cortina lost 386 watches in six designer brands – Audemars Piguet, Girard-Perregaux, Panerai, Patek Philippe, Rolex and Vacheron Constantin – and 194 guarantee cards.

Yesterday, the three men hauled three large suitcases and three backpacks out of a dark grey Toyota Fortuner sports utility vehicle and made their way into the embassy.

The driver, who left almost immediately, is understood to be a childhood friend of Mr Ee’s named Chang Jun.

Mr Chang, a Singaporean in his mid-30s, has a Thai wife from a town about a two-hour drive outside Bangkok.

Mr Gill told The Straits Times that Mr Ee, who worked at the Raffles City store where the robbery occurred, would hand over a ‘substantial number’ of the timepieces. (Source: The Straits Times)

The lawyer says he would hand over a ‘substantial number’ of timepieces? As if he is donating timepieces.

I am just wondering what was he thinking when he made the decision to rob the store. What actually made him do it? I mean it’s a rather crazy act don’t you think?

Bloggers can only quote Associated Press 4 words free

Think you can just quote news for free? It’s only half true only. Associated Press allows you special package of 4 words free, with 5 words just costing a ultra-reasonable $12.50. More below:

  • 5-25 words: $12.50
  • 26-50 words: $17.50
  • 51-100 words: $25.00
  • 101-250 words: $50.00
  • 251 words and up: $100.00

(Source: TechDirt)

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I understand Associated Press is merely trying to protect it’s placing in news spreading but this mentality has to change. AP went after the Drudge Retort for quoting less than 100 words.