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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

a signal of your suffering
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:47 am EDT, Mar 16, 2015

Mr. Money Mustache:

The good life is all about plenty of hard work doing stuff you love to do.

Peter Forbes:

For thousands of years natural philosophers speculated without ever measuring anything or doing experiments. When they did start to measure ... it never occurred to them to estimate the probable error in their measurements. They were often wildly wrong and now nothing in science is ever measured without an assessment of the likely plus or minus error.

The Economist:

It is no longer shameful to be seen swotting.

David Brooks:

The only way to stay fully alive is to dive down to your obsessions six fathoms deep.

Alastair Humphreys:

You need to be in this for the long run.

Cormac McCarthy:

Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing.

Maria Konnikova:

Pain becomes a signal of your suffering, which reveals your identity and your loyalty to the group. It makes us focus, to the exclusion of everything else, in a way that no other experience quite does.

Daniel Duane:

Allfrey and Honnold's time on the Triple Direct that day set yet another speed record, and Allfrey was giddy with pride and relief. Honnold, though, was frustrated that they hadn't gone faster still. At one point during the climb, Honnold said, he forgot about his day pack, left it attached to some hardware and had to backtrack to get it.

Allfrey laughed in disbelief. "That only cost us like 15 minutes!"

"No, it was two punk songs," Honnold said. "Punk's a good way to measure time."

Allfrey shook his head and said, grinning, "I'm actually pretty psyched we just did seven El Cap routes in seven days and broke the old speed record on our last route by an hour."

"All I'm saying is our time wasn't even close to what's objectively possible," Honnold replied.

Elizabeth Weil:

In 2001, only two high-school girls ran the 1,600 meters in under 4:50, and only one ran faster than 4:45. Last year, 46 girls ran faster than 4:50; eight broke 4:45.

Kevin Kelly:

Five years is what any project worth doing will take. So, how many 5 years do you have left? This clarifies your choices. What will they be?

they think we can win
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:18 pm EDT, Mar 14, 2015

Greg Shannon:

A long-term cyber threat or attack might be like a war of attrition and last 30 years. If that shaves 1 percent of GDP each year, do we care? Is that "economy threatening"? This may well be the sort of assessment that policymakers will have to make on our behalf.

Eva Dou:

Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the standing committee of China's National People's Congress, said in a work report Sunday that formulating laws for cybersecurity, antiterrorism and national security were major tasks for 2015.

Dan Kaminsky:

Some companies think we should be stopping all hackers. Others think we should stop only the other guy's hackers -- they think we can win the war ... Nobody wants to live in a war zone.

Bill Marczak, John Scott-Railton, and Sarah McKune:

We have documented a year-long campaign of spyware attacks against journalists at ESAT, using what appears to be Hacking Team's RCS spyware. Many of the journalists targeted in these attacks are legally considered US persons, and located in the US.

Jeremiah Grossman:

It is time to realize that the best form of defence is attack.

Charles Krauthammer:

[Hillary's] fear was that once someone is empowered to search, the searcher can roam freely.

Tim Cook:

We're always paranoid ... Everybody here lives on the edge.


The cybersecurity market is projected to expand from $95.6 billion in 2014 to $155.7 billion by 2019.

Erik Sherman:

Don't expect large companies to tighten down everywhere possible to keep your data beyond reach. The effort is just too expensive.

Eugene Kaspersky:

It is not possible to be the champion in every game.

Steven Bellovin:

We don't even have the right words.

no terror at all
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:41 pm EDT, Mar 12, 2015

Eric Fish:

Prediction sells. It's hard to get media outlets to give you op-ed space or air time if you just say "things are complicated and we don't really know what's going to happen."

Frank Chimero:

More technology only amplifies the problems created by an abundance of it. This leads to the most pressing question: How far out will technology grow? And when does it cross the line of comfort?

Julian Baggini:

A terrifying vision of the future may come to pass exactly as foreseen, but because people gradually get used to it, those who live there feel no terror at all. As long as we are worried by the prospect of a way of life which reduces human flourishing to a spreadsheet we will have the motivation to resist it. Once we come to love it, we are already lost.

James Gleick:

This is how the future really happens, so ordinary that we scarcely notice.

James Hamblin:

The machines are not too expensive as appliances go ... But once you have one, it has you, too.

Rene Ritchie:

The Apple Watch isn't an iPhone any more than the iPhone is a Mac. Computing has moved from the server room to the desktop to the laptop to the pocket and now onto the wrist. Every time that's happened, every time it's moved to a new, more personal place, those of us who were used to it in its old place have become slightly anxious, we've become subject to our own expectational debt.

Yet every time, over time, we've come to not only accept them, we've come to depend on them.

Frank Chimero:

In pursuit of convenience, we have opened the door to unscrupulous influence.

Cmdr. Sean Malinowski, who helped develop the predictive policing model the LAPD now uses:

The future of this thing is going to be how creative cops can be in using predictive or other data-driven strategies. That gets people pumped up to do something different. It kind of injects life into the crime fighting.

Nick Sweeney:

We have been given GPS receivers and three-axis accelerometers and proximity sensors for our pockets and purses, and the things we build for them urge us to keep moving. They are optimised to tell us that we're not where we want to be: miles from our destination, steps from our daily goal, seconds from our personal best, an immeasurable distance from our rose-gold aspirations.

special qualifications
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:46 am EDT, Mar 10, 2015

The Economist:

Mathematics applies to the just and unjust alike.

Russell Brandom:

They call this the attack surface. The bigger the surface, the harder it is to defend.


Although the government is projected to spend $65bn on cybersecurity contracts between 2015 and 2020, many experts believe the effort is not enough.

Doug Franklin:

The Coverity Scan reports from 2011, 2012 and 2013 showed the open source and proprietary projects having very similar defect densities when compared to similarly sized projects. The proprietary projects don't seem to get much added benefit from having more experienced "eyes," and the open projects don't seem to get much added benefit from having more "eyes." Other differences "level" the outcomes.

Jeff Williams, chief technology officer at Contrast Security:

Are they going to pay market salaries, not government salaries for this expertise?

Aliya Sternstein:

The pay scale for the new Defense positions starts at $42,399 and goes up to $132,122. Under the arrangement, the Pentagon can skip the process of rating applicants based on traditional competitive criteria. Instead, the department can offer jobs based on the candidate's unique skills and knowledge. The special qualifications include the ability to analyze malware, respond to incidents, manage cyber fire drills and detect vulnerabilities, among other things.

Charles Dunlap, a retired Air Force JAG general:

Some of those [non-uniformed] people might not realize it, but they are belligerents, they are targetable, and they are targetable in the same basis as active duty military.

Steven Bellovin:

We don't even have the right words.

see my yacht
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:20 am EDT, Mar 10, 2015

Pico Iyer:

I remember how, in the corporate world, I always knew there was some higher position I could attain, which meant that, like Zeno's arrow, I was guaranteed never to arrive and always to remain dissatisfied.

Jan Chipchase:

The money you turn down defines you as much as the work you take on.

Nick Romeo, on Frank Bruni:

He's not asking his readers to examine a cultural obsession with success, so much as assuring them that they can still impress others without attending highly selective undergraduate institutions. Just look at all the people who run huge companies or work at prestigious consulting or law firms, he says. Not all of them went to Ivy League schools! There are "myriad routes to a corner office," as he puts it. He never seriously considers the possibility that college might shape students into adults who are not interested in a corner office.


It was kind of the zenith of my manhood.

I was in the cafeteria line behind an old man who was all bent over and everything. I had asked him how old he was, and he said he was ninety three. He was by himself, and he kept getting one thing after another, putting a lot of food on his tray. I thought I would wise off to him a little bit, so I said, "How does a strapping young man like me get to be an old codger like you?" And he looked at me and said, "Do what you want to!" And at first I was thinking, this old man just made more sense to me than anything I'd ever heard in my life. It's just, do what you want to.

Here's The Thing:

Alec Baldwin: You wanna know, the truth is, I wanna be more like you.

Jerry Seinfeld: Really? How --

AB: Because you are a very, happy -- you know I look at you, and I say to myself, everything is always, like, why aren't you doing what other people do?

JS: Right ...

AB: Meaning, like, the first thing people would say -- in the business -- I mean, even outside the business if they have some savvy about it, was, they'd say, did Jerry want to ramp up a production company and just *print* TV shows? How many sitcoms could you have launched with the imprimatur of your name on it?

JS: Forget it!

AB: You could have your own channel. The Jerry channel.

JS: Yeah, but I didn't take that bait.

AB: Why?

JS: Cuz I know what it is. I know what it is, that's why.

AB: What is it?

JS: You can't pull that over on me! Cuz I've sat in all the chairs, I've been in all the rooms. I know what it is. Look, Alec, you've been there, right?

AB: Yes!

JS: You can't trick me into thinking ...

AB: Thinking what?! Share with the people.

JS: ... that that's good.

AB: That's not good why?

JS: Because most of it is not creative work. And not reaching an audience. You wanna be on the water? How do you wanna be on the water? You wanna be on a yacht or you wanna be on a surfboard? I wanna be on a surfboard. I don't wanna deal with a yacht. That's a yacht. Some people want a yacht to say "See my yacht."

Sterling Hayden:

Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

the norm is evolving
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:28 am EDT, Mar  9, 2015

Charles Dunlap, a retired Air Force JAG general:

I think the norm is evolving.

Mike Rogers:

I think we can work our way through this.

Alex Tabarrok:

Democracy constrains what governments do but it's a thin constraint easily capable of being pierced when stressed.

Devlin Barrettt and Danny Yadron:

Officials still are debating what lessons to learn from the attack and its aftermath. The administration seems to acknowledge more information needs to flow both ways.

Most of those who discussed the incident agree on one other matter. They expect other hackers to draw lessons from what happened to Sony, becoming more aggressive in how they target companies and the demands they make.

Charles Dunlap, a retired Air Force JAG general:

Some of those [non-uniformed] people might not realize it, but they are belligerents, they are targetable, and they are targetable in the same basis as active duty military.

The Economist:

"It became clear that no matter how ready you think you are, you are never ready enough," notes a draft report jointly compiled by the Estonian authorities and Microsoft.

Steven Bellovin:

We don't even have the right words.

the shaping of those to come
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:26 pm EDT, Mar  8, 2015

Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen:

These were children who were driven everywhere in SUVs with carefully managed after-school activities. The researchers noted that the moms were also "staging" their children's development. They were trying to shape children who were creative, fun, outgoing, humorous, intelligent, and quiet all at the same time.

Alan Jacobs:

By enforcing surveillance as the normative form of care, the state effectively erases the significance of all other forms of care. Parents might teach their children nothing of value, no moral standards, no self-discipline, no compassion for others -- but as long as those children are incessantly observed, then according to the state's standards the parents of those children are good parents. And they are good because they are training their children to accept a lifetime of passive acceptance of surveillance.

Peter Gray:

One playmate was blindfolded; then one of the others would step forward and hit him hard on the face; and then, with blindfold removed, the one who had been hit had to guess, from facial expressions or other evidence, who had hit him.

Esther Perel:

When there is nothing left to hide, there is nothing left to seek.

Jack Julian:

Alain Philippon, 38, of Ste-Anne-des-Plaines, Que., refused to divulge his cellphone password to Canada Border Services Agency during a customs search Monday night at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Philippon had arrived in Halifax on a flight from Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. He's been charged under section 153.1 (b) of the Customs Act for hindering or preventing border officers from performing their role under the act.

Hans de Zwart:

If your child is ignoring your calls and doesn't reply to your texts, you can use the 'Ignore no more' app. It will lock your child's phone until they call you back. This clearly shows that most surveillance is about control. Control is the reason why we take pleasure in surveilling ourselves more and more.

Rob Dunn:

Our shadows of shed life sustain multitudes.

Rachel Emma Silverman:

Under a Delaware law passed last summer, executors can now access online accounts without a court order, unless the deceased has instructed otherwise. So far this year, at least 13 states, including Florida, Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota and Washington, are considering versions of this digital data act.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

there's just something about this technology
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:12 am EST, Mar  7, 2015

Steven Levy:

The Internet is a vast lawn with billions of mole-holes.

Nicole Perlroth:

There is no indication that hackers have exploited the newly discovered flaw, and technology companies say they are working to fix the problem.

The Houston Chronicle:

There's just something about this technology that leads police to view transparency as the enemy.

The Economist:

A recent paper showed that the motion sensing gyroscopes in phones can be used to record speech even when the phone's microphone is switched off.


This malware hijacks the shutting down process of your mobile, so when the user turns the power off button to shut down their mobile, it doesn't really shut down.

After pressing the power button, you will see the real shutdown animation, and the phone appears off. Although the screen is black, it is still on.

Graham Cluley:

The good news is that Microsoft doesn't have any evidence to believe that the flaw has been exploited publicly to attack its customers. The bad news is that isn't proof that it hasn't happened, or that it won't happen now online criminals have been given the nod that such an attack might be possible.

The Economist:

"It became clear that no matter how ready you think you are, you are never ready enough," notes a draft report jointly compiled by the Estonian authorities and Microsoft.

Mark Foulon:

It has become clear that Internet access in itself is a vulnerability that we cannot mitigate. We have tried incremental steps and they have proven insufficient.

people seem to ignore more or less everything
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:02 pm EST, Mar  5, 2015

Herb Lin:

Every boardroom should be contemplating the possibility that its company's computer systems will be destroyed and private email, salary information, and much more publicly revealed. Executives need to decide what it's worth to defend against these outcomes.

Jason Koebler:

The State Department says that John Kerry is the "first Secretary of State to rely primarily on a email account;" all predecessors used their personal email (if any).


It has never been more important to follow security best practices and adopt the most recent technologies.

Danny Bradbury:

Fewer than one in four Chrome users follow SSL certificate warnings ... The problem goes beyond mere SSL certificate warnings, say experts. Many people seem to ignore more or less everything that their computers warn them about.


Although we are not aware of anyone abusing this certificate in the wild, it's a real risk and would be hard to detect.

Jason Szep:

In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing's plans for a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security "backdoors" in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access.

Matthew Green:

Encryption backdoors will always turn around and bite you in the ass. They are never worth it.

Mike Rogers:

I think we can work our way through this.

the thousandth clown theory
Topic: Miscellaneous 5:30 am EST, Mar  3, 2015

Ari Oliver:

The lone trader does his analysis and doesn't worry about being taken because he is just one guy trying to make a few trades. And then his setup happens and he takes his position ... and the market does exactly the thing that will cause him the biggest loss. How can this be? he thinks. He is just one clown trying to clip a few ticks or points, here and there, not worthy of being a target. But he starts to suspect that maybe he is just one of a thousand clowns, or ten thousand, who are all doing exactly the same analysis at precisely the same time and taking the same positions, which are exploited by a better algo in a box somewhere with huge backing. This "thousandth clown theory" starts to gnaw at him, make him doubt.

Man, in SMBC:

I know that the babysitter's club won't cook and eat my children, but I'd just relax more if a profit-motivated third party provided confirmation.

Christian Madsbjerg and Mikkel Rasmussen:

"We asked one kid to design his ideal room," another researcher told us. "And it had all sorts of covert elements: booby traps and CSI [from the Crime Scene Investigation TV series] secret doorways. Everything was communicating, 'Stay out!'" The anthropologists discerned that the box of poison mushrooms and the booby-trapped room were both reactions against the staging and surveillance happening in the children's lives.

Omid Safi:

How did we end up living like this? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we do this to our children? When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?

Stanley Kubrick:

Either you care, or you don't. There's no in-between. And if you care, then go all of the way.

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