BBC video: App that detects naked pictures on your smartphone

It may be a meme nowadays but “Send nudes” or “sexting” has been a phenomenon that’s giving parents nightmares specially that younger children are getting online much earlier than before. I’m a parent and whenever my 6-year-old daughter grabs hold of my phone and I don’t anything from it, I quickly go over and have a look at what she’s doing, watching or looking at.

The good folks over at YIPO Technologies has come up with an app that aims to help parents stop their kids from sending or receiving naked photos: Gallery Guardian. The BBC was able to take it for a spin and came up with some interesting results, check out their video below:

Gallery Guardian is still in development but clearly it has great potential. Can’t wait to have it installed on my daughter’s tablet device. If it will be made available in the Philippines that is.

Raising a child: tradition vs post-modernism

First of all, I’m no expert on parenting. I’m just on my 12th day of being one. Right away though, the arrival of Julia brought a new breath of joy and warm feelings in our household. My aunt and mother, both are now grandmothers, can’t help but be elated whenever they see, touch and carry my new born daughter.

From their experience of raising me and my siblings, they are the authorities on child-rearing in our house. That’s why most of the time, I listen to them whenever I’m taking care of Julia. Be it from changing diapers in a fast, efficient and less stressful way for my daughter to mastering the different ways of carrying her around without risk of breaking her neck or mangling her spine.

However, there are simply some practices and beliefs of theirs that I cannot agree with and thus practice on my daughter. Like what I’ve said before, I may not be an expert on raising a child but I do know a thing or two about the subject.

My disagreement comes from the following:

  • My first major is Human Biology which includes health care courses which then gives me a working foundation on know how the human body works and caring for humans, infants included.
  • My Humanities training which gave me a logical-positivist thinking cannot simply accept the superstitions and traditional practices they give to me as advice in raising my new born daughter.

One such old practice that I encounter almost everyday is the traditional remedy for hiccups. They keep on telling me to take a piece of thread, wet it with my saliva then stick it on my daughter’s forehead.

Right off the bat, I ask myself in silence, how is that going to get rid of my daughter’s hiccups? Second, isn’t it ironic that after everyone who wants to touch my daughter would diligently put rubbing alcohol on their hands and arms then here I come with a piece of thread soaking in my own saliva and place it on her forehead?

No, thank you. My wife and I would say no objections and won’t follow their advice. We would just use our own remedy, giving our daughter a drink of distilled water. After a while the hiccups are gone and our Julia had just been hydrated.

Now, I would just like to clear out that I do not blame nor do I look down upon such old beliefs and superstitions. It is part of our culture and my aunt and mother ‘teaching’ it to me is simply one generation handing down its knowledge and wisdom to another. After all, they have been in use for so long it’s hard to dispel them completely.

However, it is my daughter after all and until she can decide on her own, my wife and I would have the final say on how to take care of her. Besides, it’s a lot more hygienic and beneficial to give her water instead of putting my or someone else’s saliva on her forehead!

Hello, it’s the blogosphere

I tried to ignore this but hey, the commotions and agonies and some mud-slinging has finally provoked me to share my two-cents.

As Sir Yuga summarizes, it all started out when Noemi rang the bells after finding out(?) that the blog of a 13-year-old kid who’s been making money, making it big in the blogosphere and helping other bloggers to be the same has not been totally honest in terms of blog ownership and authorship, or so the critics cry out.

“Honesty is the best policy”

Or so the convention says, this is at the core of this entire brou-ha-ha in the Philippine blogosphere.

Mix in ethics or the morals of parenting (Christian morality in this case), making money online from a popular blog and that “Blogger’s Code of Ethics” is being tested once more. More so, this controversy has revealed some interesting inner-workings of the Philippine blogosphere. Something we’ve seen last year in the aftershocks of Philippine Blog Awards. And just recently from the mixed, yet profound reactions about the results of the recently-concluded search for the most influential bloggers in the Philippine blogosphere.

I agree that “honesty is the best policy.” But it’s a custom, a norm, a common practice; it’s just like the “Blogger’s Code of Ethics.” Sociology teaches us that customs, norms and common practices change over time as society changes. What could be right or morally acceptable today (again this depends on what morals are we talking here) could be the opposite tomorrow.

Plugin in the internets

Just now, as this latest controversy is showing us courtesy of the blogging and the blogosphere, the norms, morals, and ethics of our society has changed, and continues to do so. To drive home my point, I quote the comment I made on SexyMom’s say on this controversy;

It’s the price of being famous at such a young age. A completely honest disclosure is a remedy here. Hopefully it will close this chapter and help people, especially the concerned bloggers to move on.

A side of me is saying it’s “The old refusing to give way to the new.” -Avlin Toffler, Future Shock

Besides, it’s their own blog [so] unless they’re spamming you or hacking your own blog, let them be. If you can’t stand the way they blog, don’t read their posts, [and just] delete their feed from your reader.

Sure there’s that “Blogger’s Code of Ethics” but it’s not a binding contract or law or convention on all bloggers. It’s a ‘guideline’ a reminder of some sorts on how one should blog or should not.

But here’s where our dilemma starts, “Ang tama sa iyo ay mali sa tingin ng iba” this is from Joey Ayala’s song “Magkabilaan” it basically translates into “to each his own”. Now if you’re going to impose your own view of what’s ethical or not on somone just because you view yourself as a standard or vangaurd of that particular ethics, customs or norms and you don’t approve of others’ own view of what’s ethical or not; what’s your right to do so?

[inserted just now]
Is it because we’re famous or influential? Is it because we’re better-off than others? Is it because we’re surrounded by people who nods to almost everything we do or say?

And so we ask ‘who’s being unethical now?’

I know by this time I might be drawing some flak now, but I’ll go back to what SexyMom has pointed out [and has cleverly observed], it’s the parental instincts that are clashing here. One set of parenting standards and practices standing against another.

But hold on, do they really need to be opposing each other?

More so, should we tell parents what to do with their own child considering the fact parents would [inserted]almost always act in the best interest of their child?

Should we cast judgement on mere hearsay or observations?

It’s a good thing Sir Abe has done something which is what should’ve been done in the first place; meet and talk with the 13-year-old-blogger and his dad.

Hopefully things will be sorted out.

UPDATE:

Finally, something more sensible and more just has been done. Sir Abe has just shared some enlightening truths about Carl and his ‘partner-in-crime’ father.

Hopefully, in closing, it will end as I agree with what Dave Starr said;

One of the reasons I live in the Philippines is because there are not 10,000 “go-gooder” busybodies telling me what to do (and what not to do) every minute of the day. Now, do to the “magic” of the Internet … and a lot of people with too much time on their hands … it appears the suffocating US-style “child-smothering” approach to life has followed me here. I wonder why these crusaders aren’t worried about the 14 yo girl with forged papers who is working as a GRO or the 14yo boy with 2 years of schooling who spends 14 hours a day in his uncle’s jeepney collecting fares or the 14 yo girl who cleaned our house yesterday because her mom )who usual works for us one day a week) was sick and if the girl didn’t come by and work … and get paid … they wouldn’t have eaten last night?

Let’s put things in perspective here. A bright and interesting 14yo boy and his dad are collaborating on a blogging effort. How much does Carl do and how much does his dad do? Yuga took the time to give us a pretty decent perspective, but the bottom line is .. what difference does it make? If you think using a 14yo’s persona to make a blog better read and more interesting is ‘exploitive” of the child then I would submit you have a _lot_ to learn about exploitive behavior. Carl is not being “exploited” at all. How I wish I could have worked together on something like that with my dad when I was 14 … no matter which of us was the better “wordsmith”.

Here’s one last tip, go out into the streets, look for a sari-sari store and you’ll see that a vast majority has named their litlle businesses after their favorite child.

Should we call Bantay Bata now?