6/29/07

Click here to install virus

The Fox news article, Hundreds of PC Users Click On 'Click Here to Get Infected' Ad brought back fond memories. Years and years and years ago (really), Bill Cheswick and I were talking about users and their tendancy to click on things. Bill suggested the image below and I created it and then used it in many classes and presentations when I had to 1) talk about the need for educating users as to what to do when presented with the unexpected and 2) their tendency to not even notice.

Vista Brings out the Passion in Users

Okay, so another former Windows-lover has moved to Mac after being "disappointed" by Vista. It's an interesting read at TechnologyReview.com. I even posted a comment, Subject: Passion:
I never cease to be surprised, maybe amazed, at the passion worked up by OS zealots. Now, I am not dissing anyone; passion is not a *bad* thing. I switched almost a year ago. I've not regretted it once. But... they really are just computers. I won't talk about what caused me to do it and what was "the last straw," as they say. I discuss those things at... [with a pointer to this blog]
The artcle by Erika Jonietz is very interesting, especially what she thinks of Vista. The comments that follow are ... just amazing.

6/23/07

Thoughts from a road trip with the radio blasting and the top down

Love is... Listening, with your daughter, to hours of Celine Dion on your iPod playing through the music system in your car on a multi-hour ride home. Wait... And singing along. Singing along and enjoying it. Singing along and enjoying it just because she's your daughter and she loves Celine Dion.

6/13/07

'Big Bang' project put off to 2008

I read a Reuters' story on CNN's web site that CERN is using giant magnets in "First tests in a scientific project aimed at solving mysteries of the universe and the "Big Bang" which created it ..."

Now, aside from the leap in faith in this science (they seem to know that the "Big Bang"—emphasis mine, capitalization theirs—caused all this, clever "Big Bang" that it was), I am a bit concerned. The article goes on to say, "Researchers on the project, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), say this will recreate in miniature the conditions which existed nanoseconds after the Big Bang some 15 billion years ago and should allow them to see what happened next." See, I am more interested in what happened a minute or two before. I mean, what if it is the case that scientists in the previous universe were running just such an experiment? You see them all excited. "Okay. Steady. Ready to throw the switch in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and."

KABLAM!

The stores and guns you laid up for Y2K won't help you with this one. :-)

Peter Curran, dropped me this note:
The world was due to end on 26th November 2007 when the CERN LMC inadvertently triggered a black hole. I rejoiced in this prospect, because the event would increase sales of my book, 'The Ancient Order of Moridura', with a similar theme, but then I realised that I couldn't collect my royalties because of the destruction of the planet. Life's a bitch sometimes!

However, the end of the world is postponed for a year because of problems with magnets - we must wait until April or May of 2008 for extinction and translation into another brane.

The Higgs boson must be laughing quietly, wherever it is hiding in interstellar space.
See his blog entries here and here.

6/12/07

Radio Free Security

Driving into the lab this morning, I listened to an installment of Radio Free Security, from WatchGuard Technologies. I'm an episode behind. This one, Radio Free Security unveils the Tip-O-Matic 650, is well-produced and full of solid technical security information, as are all of the podcasts I have heard. It reminded me that I Hate Network- and Computer-Security

Let me be clear. This is no fault of the Radio Free Security podcast, which is superb. Some of the topics they touched on—while important—have been said over and over, year after year. A few of the tips from the Tip-O-Matic 650 (hey, guys, is that trademarked?):
  • Sometimes you should use reduced user rights
  • Egress filtering is a good thing
  • You should have a log strategy
In particular, these topics are examples of my reason #2, we talk about The same old stuff.

Now I am not saying that these things are not worth repeating. They are. I'm just tired of saying them. I said them here, and (in a column for WatchGuard) here, and in a paper I wrote for WatchGuard here. Also, I—and many, many others— have talked about these things, and continue to talk about them, in courses, talks, etc. Having said that, I must remind you that I said just a few paragraphs ago, this podcast is "well produced and full of solid technical security information." And even though I've heard this particular stuff before, I enjoyed the podcast and will stay subscribed. Even if just for the installments of "IT Fantasy Help Desk: Calls that you will never get."

You can listen to it via an RSS news reader by going to www.watchguard.com/rss/watchguardrfs.xml. You can also subscribe to it via the iTunes store. Type "radio free security" in the search field. And enjoy.