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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

no one states what they mean
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:14 am EST, Feb 17, 2015

William Lynn:

Google's market value, nearly $400 billion, is more than double that of General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon put together. And with the $60 billion it has on hand, Google could buy all the outstanding shares of any one of them.

The combined R & D budgets of five of the largest U.S. defense contractors (about $4 billion, according to the research firm Capital Alpha Partners) amount to less than half of what companies such as Microsoft or Toyota spend on R & D in a single year.

Kate Brannen:

In Silicon Valley, Peter Newell said, "problems are currency." The challenge, he added, is that the Pentagon does a "crappy job" explaining those challenges to the bright minds likely to be most energized about trying to solve them.

At the Pentagon, "they make rules designed to save them a dime and end up wasting a million dollars in the process," he added.

Anthony Cordesman:

The end result is a military debate that borders on strategic infantilism. No one defines their terms, their objectives, the cost-benefits they expect, or any other aspect of a real strategy. The debate is essentially meaningless because no one states what they mean -- or in most cases seems to bother to have asked themselves what they mean before they have taken a position.

Rosa Brooks:

When did we come to believe that crucial national security decisions are best made by people too tired to think straight?

Daniel J. Levitin:

One of the first things we lose [when multitasking] is impulse control. This rapidly spirals into a depleted state in which, after making lots of insignificant decisions, we can end up making truly bad decisions about something important.


what's the big idea?
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:13 am EST, Feb 17, 2015

Rikki Rogers:

At the end of your day -- every day! -- write down two things that you did that someone else could have done for you. They might be administrative tasks, housework, or simply to-do items that someone else could have accomplished just as easily. The next day, delegate those items.

Richard Hamming:

The day your vision, what you think needs to be done, is bigger than what you can do single-handedly, then you have to move toward management. And the bigger the vision is, the farther in management you have to go.

Jony Ive:

You go from something that you feel very protective of, and you feel great ownership of, and suddenly it's not yours anymore, and it's everybody else's. And it's a very -- I think the word 'traumatic' is probably overstated, but it's a really significant point in time.

Lorde / Ella:

the feeling of something very solitary that i had worked on spinning around and around further away from me, becoming someone else's, everyone's.

Penelope Trunk:

The thing that gets you past the career plateau of a high-performer is a big idea.

Evan Ackerman:

Big ideas are valuable, especially technological big ideas, and sharing your big ideas with the government without any clear and tangible benefit is a lot to ask. We're not suggesting that the DoD is going to take your idea and run with it or anything like that; it's more like, without a well-defined upside, why would anyone bother?

Johannes (Hanno) Bock:

It would be an interesting (and time consuming) project to take a package like PHP and check for all the security vulnerabilities whether they are fixed in the latest packages in Debian Squeeze/Wheezy, all Red Hat Enterprise versions and other long term support systems. PHP is probably more interesting than browsers, because the high profile targets for these vulnerabilities are servers. What worries me: I'm pretty sure some people already do that. They just won't tell you and me, instead they'll write their exploits and sell them to repressive governments or botnet operators.


a fuller appreciation for our place in the greater scheme of things
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:11 am EST, Feb 17, 2015

Akiko Busch:

Invisibility can be about finding a sense of fit with the immediate landscape, be it social, cultural or environmental. It can be about adaptability and the recognition that assertiveness may not always be in our best interest. Most of all, it can reflect a sense of vigilance, a sensitivity to and respect for external conditions.

Escaping notice need not be about complacent isolation, mindless conformity or humiliating anonymity. When circumstance confers invisibility upon us, perhaps it is something to appreciate and even welcome, as some iteration of the small imprint, low-impact living it makes sense to aspire to. Or possibly as a more profound poise, a fuller appreciation for our place in the greater scheme of things.

Ian Parker, on Jony Ive:

His manner suggests the burden of being fully appreciated.


essential to the relationship
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:10 am EST, Feb 17, 2015

Alexis Madrigal:

We could stick to trying to win the Facebook lottery, building audience in the spreadsheets of record. But we're going our own way, making most of it up as we go along, and we hope you're excited to help us create something that's worth caring about.

Paul Jaskunas:

All questions, H.R. has advised, should relate to three core concerns: Can the applicant do the work? Will the applicant fit in? Will the applicant love the job?

I was surprised to learn that love is now considered essential to the employment relationship.

Mark Manson:

In my life, I have given a fuck about many people and many things. I have also not given a fuck about many people and many things. And those fucks I have not given have made all the difference.


the burdens of ownership
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:13 am EST, Feb 16, 2015

Barack Obama:

I think I own my data ...

Evgeny Morozov:

Verizon ... joins many other champions of the "sharing economy" in insisting that "people today are embracing a sharing society" ... Gone are the burdens of ownership!

Kim Zetter:

Obama did not elaborate on what kinds of privacy and civil liberties protections would be put in place for the information-sharing program.

Alistair Gray:

Cyber attacks now present such a danger to global business that governments should step in to cover the risks, the head of the largest Lloyd's of London insurer has warned.

David Sanger:

Kaspersky Lab says it has seen evidence of $300 million in theft through clients, and believes the total could be triple that. The majority of the targets were in Russia, but many were in Japan, the United States and Europe. The silence around the investigation appears motivated in part by the reluctance of banks to concede that their systems were so easily penetrated, and in part by the fact that the attacks appear to be continuing.

Joseph M. Demarest Jr., assistant director of the F.B.I.'s cyberdivision:

We're fighting Ph.D.s on the other side of the world.

Barack Obama:

There's no scenario in which we don't want really strong encryption.

Gwen Harkness:

New York-based Senior Health Partners has notified 2,700 members of a breach after a registered nurse employed by its business associates had a laptop and mobile phone stolen. The laptop was encrypted, but the encryption key was in the laptop bag and also stolen.

The Horror, The Horror:

Owner: Take this object, but beware it carries a terrible curse!

Homer: [worried] Ooooh, that's bad.

Owner: But it comes with a free Frogurt!

Homer: [relieved] That's good.

Owner: The Frogurt is also cursed.

Homer: [worried] That's bad.


practically speaking
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:34 pm EST, Feb 15, 2015

Patricia Princehouse's friend:

It takes half a second for a baby to throw up all over your sweater. It takes hours to get it clean.

Eric Grosse:

Our business depends on trust. If you lose it, it takes years to regain.

Jennifer Granick:

When I talk to people in D.C., they really do approach the cybersecurity issue with a default belief that government has something to offer and that government's going to be helping. And when you talk to people out here in Silicon Valley, they approach it with the default belief that the government has no idea what they're doing when it comes to computer security and can't be trusted.

Chris Strohm:

Law enforcement agencies have been trying to convince the companies to make the data available for legitimate investigations.

Francois Hollande:

The big operators, and we know who they are, can no longer close their eyes if they are considered accomplices of what they host.

Robert Graham:

This War on Hackers is likely to be no more effective than the War on Drugs.

Tom Abate:

When asked what individuals could do to protect themselves, Parisa Tabriz, who leads the Chrome security team, recommended strong passwords.

John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology:

New attack vectors are opening faster than we can identify them.

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

The theme of the language is to increase penalties in a number of places without really clarifying the vagueness or uncertainty that has been problematic in prosecutions.

Shawn Tuma:

Practically speaking, whether the penalties are lowered or increased, they will probably not have a significant deterrent effect that would have any measurable impact on cybersecurity.

Practically speaking, unless the government can get a lot better at definitively attributing these cyber attacks to ascertainable people or organizations, these proposed changes will have very little real world impact on cybersecurity.

Practically speaking, when the bad actors who are conducting these cyber attacks against the US and US companies are sponsored by foreign states -- or are the foreign states themselves -- these proposed changes will have very little real world impact on cybersecurity.


your own private entrance
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:32 pm EST, Feb 15, 2015

Andy Baio:

As it turns out, organizing the world's information isn't always profitable.

Elizabeth Holmes:

Hundreds of bloggers earn tens of thousands of dollars a year from affiliate relationships, people familiar with the industry say. A few make that much in a month.

Andrew Sullivan:

I want to let you know I've decided to stop blogging in the near future.

Tyler Cowen:

The "problem" is that the web gives people what they want. Those who survive as bloggers will be those who do not care too much about what other people want.

Matt Webb:

Let's be clear... this is all about me: What I get out of this is that somehow, by typing, four unrelated things that have caught my eye sometimes show signs of coherence. I get glimpses of the gestalt. So that's why I type.

JoAnn Wypijewski:

James Baldwin does not say that systems of power are unimportant. He insists that liberation is also a mandate on individuality: how one separates oneself from the "habits of thought [that] reinforce and sustain the habits of power" -- in essence, how one comes into his or her humanity.

Ursula K. Le Guin:

The man is all that is civilized -- learned, kindly, idealistic, decent. The shadow is all that gets suppressed in the process of becoming a decent, civilized adult. The shadow is the man's thwarted selfishness, his unadmitted desires, the swear-words he never spoke, the murders he didn't commit. The shadow is the dark side of his soul, the unadmitted, the inadmissible. And what Hans Christian Andersen is saying is that this monster is an integral part of the man and cannot be denied -- not if the man wants to enter the House of Poetry.

How do you get there? How do you find your own private entrance to the collective unconscious?


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.


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