Regime change for Iran

Newt Gingrich argues in today’s Guardian that attacking Iran is not a long-term solution. He does however believe that a regime change in Iran is needed in order to stabilise the Middle East and maintain the security of the US and the rest of the world.

Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear program in defiance of the United Nations has led some to call for military strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent the terror-sponsoring regime from obtaining a nuclear weapon. While I agree that a military option to replace the regime must be left on the table, I worry that some believe a military strike on Iran’s nuclear installations is a viable long-term solution to stopping the Iranian regime’s pursuit of greater power in the region.

In truth, until the Iranian regime itself is replaced with one that does not sponsor terrorism and does not seek a nuclear program, then the threat will remain and grow.

I agree with his assessment that military strikes are not the most sensible option. Such strikes would undoubtedly have to come from the US and its allies all of whom are currently overstretched as it is and even at full capacity those military forces would face a massive challenge to neutralise Iran.

But I disagree on his other points. Gingrich states that Iran must be stopped not because of its weapons and its pursuit of nuclear weapons but because of its evil intent. I believe it is the characterisation of Iran as evil by the US that is to some extent to blame for this situation.

It is because of the disengagement from Iran by the US that it suffers from significant gaps’ in intelligence, which would undermine any attempts to force Iran to comply with UN directives. I don’t believe that I’m an expert on Iran but even I can see that President Ahmadinejad’s commitment to seeing Israel “wiped off the map” is empty rhetoric to gain public support in a country where such statements can be heard everyday on the streets of Tehran.

I too believe regime change must occur in Iran but I believe it will come from within in fact I believe that it must come from within for it to hold fast. The population of Iran is a young one and the old guard will fall under the liberalising westernised attitudes of that youth. But as Iran is a country with a long history of being manipulated and oppressed by western powers the regime change must be initiated from within or else it will be rejected as yet another intervention from outside powers for the pursuit of their own ends.

It can be seen from the examples of Iraq and the current crisis within the Labour party that forcing regime change ends badly with unforseen long term repurcussions and no one comes out of it smelling of roses.

Your Thoughts Are Your Password

Your Thoughts Are Your Password

What if you could one day unlock your door or access your bank account by simply “thinking” your password? Too far out? Perhaps not.

Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, are exploring the possibility of a biometric security device that will use a person’s thoughts to authenticate her or his identity.

This is a remarkable and very interesting method of authentication although it is clearly in the very early stages and may never become a real world solution to this problem.

Cinema DRM nightmare

Tarmle imagines the future of cinema-going in Burnoff: Part 1 – The Bad Guys Win

Going to the movies is not what it used to be. Security at the studio-owned theatres is heavy, it’s not a trip to be taken lightly. But if you want to see the film everyone is talking about without waiting a year for the home release, you have little choice. When you enter the lobby the first thing you see are long ranks of tiny, thumbprint activated lockers. This is where you must leave all of your electronics, your personal server and peripherals, even your watch, and you had better not be wearing smart spectacles or contacts.

I don’t see the real future being like that but I think the future does look bleak for cinemas.

Mark Cuban asks What Business are theaters in ?

I think Cuban makes great points. Cinema owners need to embrace the changes in the industry and innovate and possibly diversify, create an environment that people want to experience. Going to the cinema should be more than just a chance to see the latest blockbuster. Because if the only competitive advantage cinemas can offer is that of seeing the movie first then they’ve already lost because ‘pirates’ are always going to find a way to videotape the movie.

The hyper-secure cinema that Tarmle imagines will never work because customers will simply not put up with it. They might put up and shut up when it comes to the ridiculous restrictions placed upon them in order to take a plane flight but they will draw a line when it comes to their entertainment.

The cinema and movie industry need to embrace a world where if you missed it in the theater today you could see it on DVD tonight.

The lead time between the theatrical release and the DVD release has shrunk to only a few months now in many cases that I think there is an argument to be made that they should go the whole way and have simultaneous releases.

However before that they need to get on board with simultaneous worldwide releases and get rid of the DVD region system. With some movies getting released on DVD in the US before they even hit cinemas in the UK they have undermined their own business model. They argue that piracy is killing the industry but they are fueling it by having staggered releases as the globalising effect of the internet means that the US release of a movie creates an instant desire to see the movie in the rest of the world. This desire to see the movie is not being satisfied by the official release as that might be months off so the consumer turns to the pirates that can satisfy the desire with a dodgy looking video that was taped in an American cinema.

Review: Identity Theft: What it is, How to Prevent it, and What to Do if it Happens to You

Cory Doctorow of BoingBoing reviews the book Identity Theft: What it is, How to Prevent it, and What to Do if it Happens to You

Hamadi assembles dozens of identity-theft cases in short narrative form, like little cautionary tales, and then strings them together with some interconnecting material to show you who commits identity theft, who falls victim to it, how identity thieves work, and what steps are most likely to mitigate the threats.

Amazon.co.uk link