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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

as it always was
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:02 pm EST, Feb 14, 2015

Chelsea Handler:

I need help with my electronics. It's the biggest disaster. I don't even understand what apps are on my phone.

Taylor Swift:

I have to stop myself from thinking about how many aspects of technology I don't understand.

Jelani Cobb:

The problem is not technology. It is, as it always was, us.

it's not going to recover anytime soon
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:02 pm EST, Feb 14, 2015

Lisa Monaco:

I worry that malicious attacks ... will increasingly become the norm unless we adapt quickly and take a comprehensive approach.

Herb Lin:

The relationship has been poisoned, and it's not going to recover anytime soon.

Jelani Cobb:

We increasingly glance at one another through a veil of suspicion, doubt and fear.

The problem is not technology. It is, as it always was, us.

the chastening age we live in now
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:05 am EST, Feb 13, 2015

Donovan Hohn:

Like many modern wonders, Chicago's canal solved the problem it was engineered to solve -- the city's sewage crisis -- but it did so by sending the consequences downstream, to the Mississippi Valley and, in unanticipated ways, to all of us. In hindsight, it looks less like a triumph of the heroic age of civil engineering than like a prologue to the chastening age we live in now, the epoch geologists have proposed calling the Anthropocene, the age of the sixth extinction.

DCMA spokesman David Wray:

A [CPT] from [JFHQ-DODIN] is working with DCMA to enhance network security.

Julian Sanchez:

If firewalls made of acronyms could keep malware out, we'd be in fantastic shape.

Eli Dourado and Andrea Castillo:

OMB reports that the federal government spent $78.8 billion on FISMA cybersecurity investments from FY 2006 to FY 2013.

[But] the number of federal cybersecurity failures has increased every year since 2006.

The number of reported federal cybersecurity incidents increased by an astounding 1,012% over the selected years, from 5,503 in 2006 to 61,214 in 2013.

Lucian Constantin:

The vulnerability is actually a fundamental design flaw in Group Policy that remained undiscovered for at least a decade.

According to Microsoft, it wasn't feasible to build the fix for Windows Server 2003.

There are still millions of systems running Windows Server 2003 worldwide and analysts predict that migrating them to newer OS versions will be difficult, because an entire business software ecosystem has been built around the aging OS.

Cormac McCarthy, "Blood Meridian":

At dusk they halted and built a fire and roasted the deer. The night was much enclosed about them and there were no stars. To the north they could see other fires that burned red and sullen along the invisible ridges. They ate and moved on, leaving the fire on the ground behind them, and as they rode up into the mountains this fire seemed to become altered of its location, now here, now there, drawing away, or shifting unaccountably along the flank of their movement. Like some ignis fatuus belated upon the road behind them which all could see and of which none spoke. For this will to deceive that is in things luminous may manifest itself likewise in retrospect and so by sleight of some fixed part of a journey already accomplished may also post men to fraudulent destinies.

the thrill of the chase
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:29 pm EST, Feb 11, 2015

The Economist:

There is a distinct correlation between privilege and pressure. In part, this is a conundrum of wealth: though people may be earning more money to spend, they are not simultaneously earning more time to spend it in. This makes time -- that frustratingly finite, unrenewable resource -- feel more precious.

Christopher Mims:

In 1979 the average worker put in 1,687 hours a year, according to the Economic Policy Institute, and by 2007 that number was 1,868. The net difference, 181 hours a year, represents more than a month of extra work every year.

RadioShack was once a cultural phenomenon -- a place with a unique geographic but also psychological reach, a hub of one of the many leisure-time activities Americans once enjoyed to a degree it's hard to fathom now, in a time when apps allow those of us with more money than time to outsource even the minutest details of our lives.

How did we arrive at a culture of disposable everything? The simplest answer is that we no longer have time for anything else.

Harry McCracken:

The payment process -- which involved a clerk writing down your name and address even if you were 9 years old and had come in to buy a single D-cell battery -- made every purchase into a joyless time sink.

Danielle Paquette:

The lesson is clear: Chase the proverbial carrot while you're young. Save your money while it's coming in. Or ask for that raise -- sooner, rather than later.

Molly Young:

I have never chased a woman down the street to ask where her bag was from and found out that it was Rebecca Minkoff.

Jeff Williams, chief technology officer at Contrast Security:

Are they going to pay market salaries, not government salaries for this expertise? They are going to need an army of experts and they're not going to be able to find them.

Lizzie Widdecombe:

"What kind of price range are we talking about?" Stephen Bradley asked.

"Ballpark, for this role you're talking a hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars an hour."

Nadav Zafrir:

Mandatory conscription can be an economic burden; it can also be an economic boon.

the one who carries the light
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:29 pm EST, Feb 11, 2015

Lisa Monaco:

Cybersecurity is and will remain a defining challenge of the 21st century. There is simply no putting this genie back in the bottle.

Damian Paletta and Danny Yadron:

The creation of the new office suggests a recognition by the Obama administration that the status quo isn't working ...

Many companies claim the government doesn't share enough intelligence with them ...

T. C. Sottek:

At minimum, the data dump shows a serious ignorance of the volume of sensitive information in the records and a carelessness about their disclosure. And while a Florida bureaucrat may ultimately be to blame, it's not a good look for Jeb Bush -- someone who called himself the first "eGovernor," and a man who may want to sit in the White House.

Spencer Ackerman:

A report last month from the former senator Tom Coburn claimed it was "unclear" if the $700m DHS spends on cybersecurity to aid "the private sector in preventing, mitigating, or recovering from cybersecurity incidents are providing significant value or are worth the tax dollars spent on them."

Dennis Fisher:

This is not a group that is likely to smack its collective forehead at the release of a senator's report and say, We'll get right on that for you.

Ursula K. Le Guin:

"Lucifer" means the one who carries the light.

True Detectives:

Martin Hart: Do you wonder ever if you're a bad man?

Rustin Cohle: No. I don't wonder, Marty. The world needs bad men. We keep the other bad men from the door.

a proven model
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:29 pm EST, Feb 11, 2015

Natasha Singer:

In the study, titled "Unique in the Shopping Mall: On the Reidentifiability of Credit Card Metadata," a group of data scientists analyzed credit card transactions made by 1.1 million people in 10,000 stores over a three-month period. The data set contained details including the date of each transaction, amount charged and name of the store. Although the information had been "anonymized" by removing personal details like names and account numbers, the uniqueness of people's behavior made it easy to single them out.

Chris Cillizza:

There is simply no hiding things anymore.

Lisa Monaco:

We want this flow of information to go both ways.

Ursula K. Le Guin:

If you listen, what do you hear?

Andy Greenberg:

When asked if their vehicles monitored the CAN bus -- the network of digitally-controlled components in the car -- for malicious activity, half of the 16 automakers failed to respond to the question, many claiming that the answer was "confidential."

Cory Bennett:

It's a proven model, Lisa Monaco said.


The Administration has not yet developed, as the Board recommended, a methodology for gauging the value of its counterterrorism programs.

Ursula K. Le Guin:

The first step is often the most important, and Jung says that the first step is to turn around and follow your own shadow.

Richard Hamming:

You can tell other people all the alibis you want. But to yourself try to be honest.

the key to stopping all your hacking woes
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:20 pm EST, Feb 10, 2015


Today we have businesses selling intelligence wholesale to corporations that are not mature enough to use the data they are being sold. While a mature organization might have use of these feeds and reports on various groups the average company out there today just cannot use the data because they lack the practices and people to truly understand the information as well as apply it to their orgs.

... These companies perpetuate the idea that attribution is the key to stopping all your hacking woes ...

Peter Stephenson:

If you really want to make this tool dance you will need to have a rather full understanding of where you want to go and how you think that you need to get there. There are some things that take a human, and it leverages its resources to make that effective. But to get the most out of it you need to be a pretty effective human in your own right.

Paul Braterman:

There is one important difference between human and animal arms races that Emlen does not discuss. Natural selection is brutal but rational, and expensive armament does not survive unless it does in reality contribute to its owner's individual fitness. Human weaponry is very different, because it is the result of political choices ... Dung beetles have better sense.

Marc Rogers:

Let's face it -- most of today's so-called "cutting edge" security defenses are either so specific, or so brittle, that they really don't offer much meaningful protection against a sophisticated attacker or group of attackers.

everything is communicable now
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:19 pm EST, Feb 10, 2015

Donovan Hohn:

"The [Chicago] canal is the only remaining link wanting to complete the most stupendous chain of inland communications in the world," one visitor to Chicago wrote in 1834. That use of the word "communications" sounds archaic to our ears, but there's a furtive meaning bottom-dwelling in those etymological channels. Ideas, goods, images, species -- everything is communicable now.

Robert Moore:

Guys, I wanted to let you know about a personal decision I recently made. I don't really feel like discussing it, but I want to put my position out there. Please be respectful. This is a really long post, but please read the whole thing.

I'm taking the brakes off my car. This isn't a rash decision, so please listen up.

Julia Angwin:

The fact that so much of the Internet's security software is underfunded is becoming increasingly problematic.

Game of Thrones:

Send a raven.

Megan Graham:

What qualifies as an emergency for these purposes? We don't know.

Michael Riley and Jordan Robertson:

The attack appears to follow a pattern of thefts of medical data by foreigners seeking a pathway into the personal lives and computers of a select group -- defense contractors, government workers and others, according to a U.S. government official familiar with a more than year-long investigation into the evidence of a broader campaign.

Paul McLeary:

The $585 billion fiscal year 2016 defense budget request -- so painstakingly sculpted by White House and Pentagon before being sent to Capitol Hill this week -- will likely die a long, complicated death as it winds its way through the congressional committees, analysts say.

If Congress begins cutting, it will likely leave the accounts that fund the politically sensitive compensation and benefits for service members alone, meaning the procurement and modernization lines will be on the chopping block.

bureaucrats are just what you need
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:18 pm EST, Feb 10, 2015

Damian Paletta and Dion Nissenbaum:

President Barack Obama is expected to meet with business executives in California on Friday to urge them to work more closely with the government to bolster their defenses.

The Economist:

Sometimes bureaucrats are just what you need.

Tyson Ho:

Bureaucracies and bloggers are ready to gut you at every turn.

Robert Hansen:

The harsh reality is that offensive research always draws more asses-into-seats than defensive research.

Ursula K. Le Guin:

The person who denies his own profound relationship with evil denies his own reality. He cannot do, or make; he can only undo, unmake.

Kyle Balluck:

"I think the things we put on the Internet are broken. What we're doing is we're putting a lotta devices on it that are unsecure," said Dan Kaufman.

When asked for an example of those unsecure devices, Kaufman answered, "Pretty much everything."

Kevin Poulsen:

It's easy to see lawmakers and regulators jumping on DJI's mandatory update as an easy cure, and mandating geofencing industrywide. When that happens, you can expect that circumventing drone firmware, for any reason, will become illegal, the same way hacking your car's programming is illegal. One thing is for certain: Nobody willing to strap a bomb to a toy drone will be deterred.

not as easy as it looks
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:42 am EST, Feb  8, 2015

Robert Pogue Harrison:

We like to think of ourselves as the stewards or even saviors of nature, yet the fact of the matter is, for the animal world at large, the human race represents nothing less than a natural disaster.

William H. Gass:

When I've wormed through a fence to reach a meadow, do I ever feel the same about the field?

Emrys Westacott:

When hope and evidence arm wrestle, hope usually comes out on top.

Sendhil Mullainathan:

The urge to find and call out the bigot is powerful, and doing so is satisfying. But it is also a way to let ourselves off the hook. Rather than point fingers outward, we should look inward -- and examine how, despite best intentions, we discriminate in ways big and small.

Doc Searls and David Weinberger:

Apparently knowing how to find one another interesting is not as easy as it looks.

Daniel J. Levitin:

It turns out the brain is very good at this deluding business.

Ursula K. Le Guin:

It is very hard not to be able to blame anybody else. But it may be worth it.

Ta-Nehisi Coates:

The interest in power is almost always accompanied by the need to sanctify that power.

Melinda Gates:

Let your heart break. It will change what you do with your optimism.

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