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Current Topic: Miscellaneous

it's an open invitation
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:07 am EDT, Mar 23, 2015

Bob Work:

The third offset strategy is an open invitation for everyone to come to the table ... to creatively disrupt our defense ecosystem. Because we'll either creatively disrupt ourselves or be disrupted by someone else.

Jane Harman:

The CIA should remember that just because it can do something doesn't mean it should.

Cisco's John Stewart:

We ship [boxes] to an address that has nothing to do with the customer, and then you have no idea who ultimately it is going to.

Ashton Carter:

Ensuring that cyber troops have the training, equipment and resources they need is a high priority for the department.

Ellen Nakashima:

The government's efforts to deter computer attacks against the United States are not working and it is time to consider boosting the military's cyber-offensive capability, the head of U.S. Cyber Command told Congress on Thursday.

Gina Chon, Hannah Kuchler, and Kara Scannell:

Hackers, who appear to have stolen network and employee passwords, have accessed Register's network for about a year, said people familiar with the probe.

Brian Krebs:

Premera Blue Cross, a major provider of health care services, disclosed today that an intrusion into its network may have resulted in the breach of financial and medical records of 11 million customers. Although Premera isn't saying so just yet, there are independent indicators that this intrusion is once again the work of state-sponsored espionage groups based in China.

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee:

Some security experts say the attack on Premera may have begun months earlier than May 2014, as the insurer reports. For instance, ThreatConnect, a threat intelligence product and services vendor, says it has found evidence that an attack on the health insurer's infrastructure may have started as early as December 2013, or at least a month before OPM OIG began its onsite audit.

Kate Knibbs:

In the latest update to a PLA publication called The Science of Military Strategy, China broke from its tradition of denying everything related to digital spying and network attack capabilities and explicitly revealed that it has specialized units devoted to using computers as weapons.

at the ragged edge
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:24 pm EDT, Mar 21, 2015

Astro Teller, on Google Glass:

I'm amazed by how sensitively people responded to some of the privacy issues. When someone walks into a bar wearing Glass ... there are video cameras all over that bar recording everything.

Robert Graham:

While CISA won't prevent attacks, it will cause mass surveillance. CISA isn't about prevention, it's about gathering information after the fact while prosecuting a crime.


Every time you slip that phone into your pocket, you're making a deal with the carrier: you get to use it, but the company gets your data. All of your data: where you are, where you travel, where you shop, who you're with, where you sleep -- even who you sleep with.

James Robertson:

In a sense, we are all under surveillance, all the time -- our whereabouts, activities, and transactions reduced to metadata and available to anyone who can break the code -- and we have brought it upon ourselves.

Jane Harman:

Cyber competence isn't just a set of technical skills; it's a state of mind. Be wary of writing code you wouldn't want thrown back against your own networks.

Bob Work:

Our technological dominance is no longer assured. Quite frankly, we're at the ragged edge of what is manageable.

competing visions of the technological future
Topic: Miscellaneous 8:05 am EDT, Mar 19, 2015

Chris Betz:

Forces often seek to undermine and disrupt technology and people, attempting to weaken the very devices and services people have come to depend on and trust.

Ashton Carter:

The cyber mission force represents American ideals in cyberspace. Keeping cyberspace open and free for everyone is its central focus.

Eugene Kaspersky:

This is how we save the world: by making the cyberworld safe and secure for everyone. We detect, research and disclose any malware -- regardless of origin or purpose.

The Balkanization of IT security will have a very significant long-term negative impact on global IT security, so let's do what we do best: analyze cyberthreats, reveal the digital villains, and protect our future. And let's do this all together.

Joseph Menn:

The balkanization of the security industry reflects broader rifts in the technology markets ...

Sue Halpern:

If the "calamity prophets" are finally right, and this time the machines really will win out, this is why. It's not just that computers seem to be infiltrating every aspect of our lives, it's that they have infiltrated them and are infiltrating them with breathless rapidity. It's not just that life seems to have sped up, it's that it has. And that speed, and that infiltration, appear to have a life of their own.

What Brynjolfsson and McAfee are also saying is that while technological progress is going to force many people to submit to tightly monitored control of their movements, with their productivity clearly measured, that progress is also going to benefit perhaps just a few as it races ahead. And that, it appears, is what is happening.

It is naive to believe that government is competent, let alone in a position, to control the development and deployment of robots, self-generating algorithms, and artificial intelligence. Government has too many constituent parts that have their own, sometimes competing, visions of the technological future. Business, of course, is self-interested and resists regulation. We, the people, are on our own here -- though if the AI developers have their way, not for long.

Lisa Lieberman:

Fear is democracy's undoing, and the unraveling begins at home.

the fundamental issue of the information age
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:50 pm EDT, Mar 16, 2015

Ashton Carter:

The cyber mission force represents American ideals in cyberspace. Keeping cyberspace open and free for everyone is its central focus.

Dmitri Alperovitch:

You can't play both sides.

Bruce Schneier:

We need to choose, as a matter of policy, communications systems that are secure for all users, or ones that are vulnerable to all attackers. It's security or surveillance.


We're still our own greatest threat.

Whit Diffie:

You really should not live in fear of opening an attachment to a message. It ought to be confined; your computer ought to be able to handle it. And the fact that we have persisted for decades without solving these problems is partly because they're very difficult, but partly because there are lots of people who want you to be secure against everyone but them.

Bruce Schneier:

Again and again, it's the same trade-off: individual value versus group value. I believe this is the fundamental issue of the information age, and solving it means careful thinking about the specific issues and a moral analysis of how they affect our core values. If we don't figure this out for ourselves, others will decide what they want to do with us and our data.

Eric Schmidt, in 2014:

If you have important information, the safest place to keep it is in Google.

Eric Schmidt, in 2009:

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Theodor Holm Nelson:

We are in a world nobody designed or expected, driving full tilt toward -- a wall? a cliff? a new dawn? We must choose wisely, as if we could.

The Horrror:

Owner: It comes with a free Frogurt!

Homer: [relieved] That's good.

Owner: The Frogurt is also cursed.

Homer: [worried] That's bad.

enjoy every ounce
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:01 am EDT, Mar 16, 2015


Noticing is easier in a foreign place because mundane things are unusual. It's the sameness of the familiar that closes minds.

Michael Lopp:

As quickly as possible, your brain wants a framework that efficiently predicts what is going to happen next. Your initial framework is a calming hodgepodge of past experience combined with your three most recent epiphanies ...

Danny Bradbury:

When you walk into your room for the hundredth time, you're not really looking at your wallpaper. Instead, your brain is painting a picture of it for you from memory.

Nick Paumgarten:

If you're the type to count the steps you take each morning on the trek from apartment to subway platform (third I-beam in, rear car), and then on to lobby and desk, you find that the number hardly varies. After a while, you stop looking around.

Arika Okrent:

The ginger in gingerly is not related to the spice identified by the genus Zingiber but to Old French gensor, which is related to gent, as in "well-born." It referred to small, elegant steps, like those a gentleman would make.

David Foster Wallace:

Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you've never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it's like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.

Jan Chipchase:

Every object we leave behind is one less predetermined outcome. If you want your heart to leap at the possibility of what the journey can hold, park the wheels, pack less, and enjoy every ounce of weight.

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?

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