Home' Greymouth Star : May 3rd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, May 3, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and - except for e-mails - your signature. Noms de
plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
email to firstname.lastname@example.org
uLetters to the editor
1841 - New Zealand is formally proclaimed a
1916 - Irish nationalist Padraic Pearse and
two others are executed by the British for their
roles in the Easter Rising.
1937 - Margaret Mitchell wins a
Pulitzer Prize for her novel Gone
with the Wind.
1948 - The US Supreme Court
rules that covenants prohibiting the
sale of real estate to blacks and other
minorities are legally unenforceable.
1971 - Anti-war protesters calling
themselves the Mayday Tribe begin four days
of demonstrations in Washington, DC, aimed
at shutting down the nation’s capital.
1979 - Conser vative Party leader Margaret
Thatcher becomes Britain’s first female prime
1995 - Large cache of ammunition and
weapons is found in Canberra belonging to
a group of right-wing extremists within the
Australian Defence Force.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Golda Meir, Israeli statesman (1898-1978);
William Inge, US playwright (1913-1973);
Betty Comden, US songwriter-entertainer
(1919-2006); Pete Seeger, US folk singer (1919-
2014); Sugar Ray Robinson, US
boxer (1920-1989); James Brown, US
soul musician (1933-2006); Frankie
Valli, American singer (The Four
Seasons) (1934-); Christopher Cross,
US singer (1951-); David Hookes,
Australian cricketer (1955-2004);
Ben Elton, British comedian and
author (1959-); Christina Hendricks, American
actress (1975-) .
“ If you want anything said, ask a man; if
you want anything done, ask a woman.” —
Margaret Thatcher, former British prime
“ While they were talking about this, Jesus
Himself stood among them and said to them,
‘Peace be with you’.” — (Luke 24.36
A Hokitika man is at
present taking part in
the all-New Zealand
film Runaway, part of
which is being filmed in South Westland. Mr
Don Ramsay is taking the part of a policeman
in the Pacific Film Unit’s production. Filming
is in progress on the western side of Lake
Mapourika. Scenes being filmed there include
the landing of a float plane on the lake.
Mr Ramsay, who has filled many important
roles in Hokitika Dramatic Society
productions, is working alongside well-known
New Zealand author Barry Crump, one of the
main stars of the film.
Twelve young West Coast men will leave
tomorrow morning to join the seventh intake
of National Military Ser vice trainees in
Burnham Military Camp. Seven traines are
from Greymouth, two from Westport, one
from Hokitika and two from Ross.They will be
in camp for 14 weeks.
Those entering camp are, D R Watson, M
Rattray, A Jones, D P Jones, M H S Hunter, R
J Burrell, B Beckett (Greymouth); L B Halsall,
F J Clarke (Westport); J N Lehany (Hokitika);
P J Foster, J L Jones (Ross).
Dr B W Nixon, Greymouth, has been
appointed regional medical officer under the
National Military Training Act, in place of the
late Dr D H Symes, Westport.
Operations are again under way at the Shell-
BP-Todd Oil Ser vices second West Coast
drilling rig at Arahura, and at noon today
a depth of 800ft had been reached. Project
manager Mr G Veldhuis said today that “most
satisfactory progress” was being made.
When drilling stopped last week, a depth
of 180ft had been reached. Work resumed
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
s each new computer virus
attack or vulnerability
comes to light, millions
instinctively check their
computer to see if their
anti-malware application is
up to date. This is a good idea and they are
wise to do it but a large number of us still
forget about their smartphone.
Whether you use Android, iOS,
Blackberry or another system, you are
vulnerable. On some systems, more than
40,000 pieces of malware exist to infect
the computer in your pocket.
While you should not panic, it does no
harm to become more aware and cautious.
Should I be paranoid about my Android?
Android now leads on smartphones and
has around 80% of the total market share.
This is accomplished in part due to price
and the range of devices that use it as an
The bad news is that the Android
platform has the most malware.
Google does control which apps go on
sale on its official Google Play store, but
there are many rogue unofficial Google
Play sites hosting a collection of free
applications that will compromise your
phone as well as give away personal details
such as your credit card number if you use
Even Google’s claims that the official
store is secure have been challenged by
The problem with Android is that
because of its popularity and the open
source nature of the platform, it is an easy
target for any organised cyber criminal. So
if you get an Android phone or tablet, you
should consider installing an anti-malware
Is my Apple rotten?
If you have not jailbroken your iPhone,
removing all the restrictions implemented
by Apple, you are very safe from malware.
But these restrictions are one of the most
frustrating issues for iPhone users and
many are jailbreaking to enable them to
add apps that Apple does not allow.
If you have jailbroken your iPhone, I
wish you luck. Not only have you voided
any warranty and support from Apple, you
have a very exposed smartphone.
While Apple is not perfect, the company
has proven over the past 10 years that it is
very reliable when managing the quality
of the apps that make their way into the
iTunes app store. As part of the quality
assurance process, Apple checks for rogue
code and unintended vulnerabilities. A
small number of determined experts have
exposed flaws but this is the exception
rather than the rule.
The iOS operating system used by the
iPhone has many inbuilt features to reduce
risk. When flaws have appeared, Apple has
been quick to issue repairs, which is why
it is essential that you always update your
phone when Apple suggests.
Is my Windows phone clean?
To put it simply, you do not have to
worry too much about Windows phones
for now. Microsoft has not yet gained
market significance in this sector, and still
only holds around 2.3% of the market.
Microsoft has taken a leaf from Apple’s
book and tightly controlled which
apps can be included in its system.
That is a good thing for users because
cybercriminals are interested in the cost/
benefit payoff when creating malware.
A relatively tight approach to what is
allowed in its app store combined with
such a small share of the market combine
to make producing malware for Microsoft
phones not really worth the effort.
Should I have picked Blackberry?
Once very popular, Blackberry has been
overtaken by Android and iPhone on the
smartphone market. But its diminishing
cool in fact makes it safer to use.
Blackberry has been largely unaffected by
malware, partly because of its diminishing
Blackberries use Java and developer RIM
does give advice on potential threats. There
have been some noted attacks relying on
spam to trick users into downloading a
Trojan which then compromises their
phone. So if there are any Blackberry users
left, they should take a look at the advice
and apply the same caution to opening
e-mails as they would normally.
In the long term
The key to being a smart smartphone
user is to move with the times. You should
never be complacent because new attacks
are a constant threat. You do need to
be aware that maybe tomorrow or the
day after, someone may devise a way of
compromising your phone.
If your phone needs an anti-malware
application, make sure you have installed
one. It is also equally important you ensure
it is kept up to date. Other wise you may
unintentionally become another victim of
Andrew Smith does not work for,
consult to, own shares in or receive
funding from any company or organisation
that would benefit from this article.
— New Zealand Herald
Which phone’s most vulnerable
would never have
used the word
when she was
Secretary of State,
because she still
Kerry, the current
State, has no
further ambitions in that direction,
which may be why he dared to use the
words ‘apartheid’and ‘Israel’ in the same
sentence. Or maybe he just did not realise
that the world would hear about it.
Kerry spoke last week to a group of
high-ranking officials from the US,
Europe and Japan known as the Trilateral
Commission about the failure of his
year-long attempt to revive the “peace
talks” between Israel and the Palestinians.
Somebody at the meeting secretly
recorded his comments, which were
published by the Daily Beast on Monday,
and suddenly he was in very hot water.
What he said was that the long-sought
“two-state solution” was the only real
alternative to a “unitary” Israeli-ruled state
that included all the territory between the
Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea
— and ruled over millions of Palestinians
in the territories that have been under
Israeli military occupation since 1967.
Those Palestinians, most of whom
cannot remember a time when they did
not live under Israeli control, have no
political rights within Israel. The two-
State solution, under negotiation off and
on for the past 20 years, would give them
a state of their own, but most people had
despaired some time ago of getting Israel
to agree to an independent Palestine.
Kerry had not, so he was surprised and
disappointed when his efforts came to
naught. That was why he blurted out
the truth that American politicians are
never supposed to acknowledge. He said
that without the two-state solution, “a
unitary (Israeli) state winds up either
being an apartheid state with second-class
(Palestinian) citizens — or it ends up
being a state that destroys the capacity of
Israel to be a Jewish state.”
It was clumsily phrased, but the basic
idea is common in both Israeli and
Palestinian political discourse. Even
if Israel never formally annexes the
occupied territories, it has been building
Jewish settlements all over them for
decades, and the Palestinian inhabitants
are effectively controlled by the Israeli
If this situation continues indefinitely,
and the Palestinians must live out their
lives as mere residents without no political
rights, then they are in the same position
as the black South Africans who lived
all their lives under white rule without
citizenship or the vote. That was the very
essence of apartheid.
Alternatively, of course, Israel might
grant them citizenship and the vote: that
is what happened when apartheid ended
in South Africa in 1994. But there are
already a great many Palestinians living
under Israeli rule, and their higher birth
rate would make them a majority in that
unitary Israel in less than a generation.
That might or might not be a state where
Jews were happy to live, but it would
definitely no longer be a Jewish state.
That ’s all Kerry was saying: if you do not
accept the two-state solution then willy-
nilly you get the one-state solution, in
one of two flavours — an apartheid state
in which the great majority of the actual
citizens are Jews and the Palestinians have
no voice in how they are ruled, or a more
broadly defined state in which everybody
is a citizen but Jews are no longer the
Many Israel senior politicians who
favour the two-State solution, including
former prime ministers Ehud Olmert and
Ehud Barak, have made exactly this point,
even using that same inflammatory word,
“apartheid”, to underline the gravity of the
choice. Senior Palestinian politicians talk
about it all the time. But senior American
politicians are not allowed to talk like that
State Department officials tried to
defend their boss’s comments for a few
hours, but as the firestorm of protest by
American Zionist organisations grew
the Obama administration realised that
Kerry had to be forced to apologise for
speaking the truth. The story that they
took him down into the White House
basement and beat him with rubber hoses
is probably untrue, but on Tuesday he
recanted his heresy.
“I do not believe,” Kerry said, “nor have
I ever stated, publicly or privately, that
Israel is an apartheid State or that it
intends to become one.”
Well, of course not. It is not an
apartheid State now because the non-
citizen status of the Palestinians for
the past 47 years is technically only
temporary, pending the creation of their
And Israel has no intention of ever
meeting the technical definition of an
apartheid State, either, because that would
be a public-relations disaster. However,
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
seems convinced that he can avoid that
outcome simply by hanging on to the
occupied territories indefinitely but
never formally annexing them, and many
Israelis agree with him.
They might even be right, but John
Kerry does not think so. Or at least, he
did not until his own people worked him
over a bit.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
Kerry: Israel and apartheid
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
If you believe honesty is the best policy,
you would have a hard time convincing
the forked-tailed drongo. This tricky
African bird is the pathological liar of the
Scientists described this week how this
medium-sized bird brazenly deceives other
animals by mimicking alarm calls made
by numerous bird species — and even
meerkats — to warn of an approaching
predator in a ruse to frighten them off and
steal food they leave behind.
The researchers tracked 64 forked-tailed
drongos over a span of nearly 850 hours in
the Kalahari Desert in South Africa close
to the Botswana border to unravel this
“They ’re rather demonic little black birds
with red eyes, a hooked beak and a forked
tail,” evolutionary biologist Tom Flower
of the University of Cape Town in South
“They ’re also highly aggressive and are
renowned for attacking eagles and hawks,
for which they apparently have no fear,”
added Flower, whose study appears in the
These birds, common in southern Africa,
usually get meals the honest way, such as
capturing insects in mid-air using their
superb aerial skills.
But at other times, like on cold mornings
when few insects are flitting around, the
drongos turn to a life of crime.
The drongos are able to mimic the
sounds made by many different species
that inhabit its desert environment,
including birds such as pied babblers,
glossy starlings, sociable weavers and pale
chanting goshawks as well as mammals
The drongos carry out an elaborate con.
They give their own genuine alarm call
when they spot a predator approaching
— e s s entially behaving as sentries — and
other animals come to trust that this call
signals real danger.
But they sometimes give this alarm
call when no danger exists to fool other
animals into fleeing and abandoning their
Then the drongos swoop down for a free
“All the animals in the Kalahari
eavesdrop on each other’s alarm calls,
which provide invaluable information
about potential predators. It’s a bit of an
information superhighway where all the
animals speak each other’s language,”
“ Because drongos give reliable predator
information some of the time, it maintains
host responsiveness (of other animals)
since they can never know if the drongo is
lying or telling the truth,” added Amanda
Ridley, an evolutionary biologist at the
University of Western Australia, another
of the researchers.
The scientists noticed that sometimes
the other animals ‘get wise’ to the con and
ignore repeated false alarm calls. But then
the wily drongos simply grab another tool
from their toolbox of trickery — they
mimic the alarm calls made by other
animals, once again conning them into
fleeing and leaving their chow behind.
Flower obser ved drongos mimicking
more than 50 calls.
When stealing food from other animals,
drongos are able to eat larger prey than
they normally would be able to capture on
their own like scorpions, beetle lar vae and
“Crime pays,” Flower said, noting that
the stolen stuff accounted for about a
quarter of the food eaten by the
“One could argue that the strategy of the
drongo to steal food from others seems
very dishonorable in human standards.
But, yes, if it has found such a crafty way
to catch food, which is usually much larger
than the food items it catches itself, then
we cannot help but admire this clever little
bird’s adaptiveness,” Ridley added.
The researchers classify the drongo as “a
There are many examples of mimicry and
deception in the animal kingdom. About
20% of song birds mimic the calls of other
birds, F lower noted.
“ However, drongos are the only ones
to flexibly produce the specific signals
that best deceive their different hosts and
to maintain their deception racket by
changing signal when the previous signal
failed,” F lower added. — Reuters
African bird pathological liar of the animal kingdom
Links Archive May 2nd 2014 May 5th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page