Thoughts on Bali 9 Killings

Yesterday Indonesia murdered two Australian citizens convicted of drug smuggling.

The two Australians have been in prison for over 10 years and by all accounts were completely rehabilitated. The killings are unjust and show complete arrogance on behalf of the Indonesian government to the social norms regarding crime and punishment.

Almost ten years ago I blogged on how inhumane the Indonesian execution process is and over the last four months we have seen it in all its torturous glory. The process over the past few months has been even more horrible than first described.

The Indonesians have ignored all international pressure to stop the executions, this is their sovereign right to do so. However, they have also made deliberate choices to offend the Australian and international community. The President and the government have deployed army commandos and fighter jets to transport the prisoners, they have deployed naval frigates to patrol the small island on which the executions took place, and police chiefs have taken smiling photos with the masked condemned men.The worst of this was the announcement of the date of executions on ANZAC day.

In response to the killings Australia has withdrawn its ambassador to Indonesia. While this is a very strong action in political terms in real action it seems like so little. The damage left behind by the Indonesian government is more than two dead bodies, there are geopolitical wounds that will take a long time to heal.

iTunes not saving credit card details

For over a year now each time I buy music from the iTunes store I am informed that “Your account has been accessed from a new computer or device”. I am then asked to renter my credit card information.

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The first time this happened I thought that it was possible that my account had been compromised so I got iTunes to deactivate all my computers. But then this message came back again and again and again. I next wondered if it was happening when I was switching between computers and downloading music on two different systems. But no this wasn’t the case either.

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I have finally figured it out. iTunes is not allowed to store the CVC2 or CVV2 code from your credit card (the 3 numbers on the back of the card). In fact no provider is allowed to store the three number code. But some credit card providers require this code for purchases (such as my bank). Because of this each time you purchase something on iTunes you are asked to reenter this code.

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The problem remains that iTunes prompts for handling this situation are completely wrong. First you are asked to confirm your purchase, second you are asked to verify your billing information, third you are told that you have accessed iTunes from a new device – which is wrong. Finally you are emailed that your recent purchase was made from “a computer or device that had not previously been associated with that Apple ID” – again wrong.

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Clearly iTunes knows and is correctly not storing the CVC2/CVV2 code but its messages for handling this situation are not only wrong but completely misleading and worrying. The fact that it has been over a year and they haven’t fixed the problem – or even have any help on the problem is also alarming.