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"The future masters of technology will have to be lighthearted and intelligent. The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb." -- Marshall McLuhan, 1969

China Expands Cyberspying in U.S., Report Says -
Topic: Computer Security 3:52 pm EDT, Oct 30, 2009

The Chinese government is ratcheting up its cyberspying operations against the U.S., a congressional advisory panel found, citing an example of a carefully orchestrated campaign against one U.S. company that appears to have been sponsored by Beijing.

The unnamed company was just one of several successfully penetrated by a campaign of cyberespionage, according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission report to be released Thursday. Chinese espionage operations are "straining the U.S. capacity to respond," the report concludes.

The report highlights several departments of China's military, the People's Liberation Army, responsible for components of cyberspying. Together these divisions oversee electronic spying and attack efforts, as well as research and development.

The PLA has also been creating a number of cyberwarfare militia units, which draw on civilians in the telecommunications and technology sectors, as well as academia, the report found.

The Chinese have proven to be very good at cyber-espionage. They are patient and extremely persistent. Everything they do is carefully targeted and planned. They conduct their activities at times and in a manor that is very hard to detect, effectively blending in with normal user activity. They don't make many mistakes, and they rarely miss mistakes they can take advantage of. They are extremely crafty when it comes to regaining access after being caught.

I highly respect my opponents. They play a good game.

China Expands Cyberspying in U.S., Report Says -

Zoompf: Or, Why Billy Hoffman Left Security To Work On Web Performance
Topic: Miscellaneous 12:09 pm EDT, Oct 30, 2009

Today I'm launching Zoompf, a new kind of web performance company. We don't deploy sensors, simulate user load, or monitor your application from data centers around the global. We don't try to answer the question "How fast are my web apps?" We answer the next logical and frankly more important question: "How do I make my web applications go faster?"

Zoompf's technology crawls and identifies over 150 specific problems with your web application that impacts web performance. You can learn more by downloading our Optimizing Web Performance presentation. Bu this post is not about what Zoompf does. It's about why I'm doing Zoompf.

Why on earth would I leave an amazing career in a successful industry and resign from an awesome job in a down economy? A lot of close friends have asked whether I'm crazy or not in the last month. But after I've explained the incredible opportunity behind what I'm doing their outlook completely changes and they become very supportive, offering time, funding, and recommendations.

The business case for performance is obvious. Faster apps increase revenue. Using resources more efficiently reduces operational costs. This is why the performance testing market is huge. But there is a gap in this market when it comes to performance testing of modern web applications. Talk to anyone about web performance and they start talking about the usual suspects:

-Refactoring, optimizing, JITing, caching application code and data
-Database tuning, queries, store procedures, indexes, denormalizing tables
-Reverse proxies, memcached, Varnish, load balancers, SSL accelerators, etc.

But recent research has found generating dynamic content accounts for typically less than 10% of page load times. The vast majority of page load time is spent downloading, parsing, and rendering all the components that make up a modern application. It is on the front end, and not on the back end, where optimizations can be made that drop seconds off load times. JavaScript code, CSS, the inner workings of browsers, HTTP voodoo. I am a thought leader in exactly this space.

The majority of widely known web performance optimization practices today focus on the application tier or the database tier. Traditional performance testings tools do no front end optimization testing. And yet the front end has the biggest impact on web application performance in modern applications. Do you see the disconnect yet?

This is an enormous opportunity.

This is why I created Zoompf.

Billy, I wish you the best of luck, and I'm here to help in any way I'm able.

Zoompf: Or, Why Billy Hoffman Left Security To Work On Web Performance

Not a FAIL, very much so a WIN
Topic: Humor 11:30 am EDT, Oct 29, 2009

Looks like one stop shopping to me!

(via FailBlog)

Not a FAIL, very much so a WIN

The post TI censored has been reposted.
Topic: MemeStreams 10:23 pm EDT, Oct 26, 2009

From Decius:

As many of you know, about two months ago TI sent me an email referencing the DMCA and demanding that I take down one of my blog posts. I complied at the time, but I also sent TI a response, requesting that they reconsider their position. They did not respond.

Two weeks ago Jennifer Granick at the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent TI an email on behalf of myself, and several other bloggers who received similar notices from TI. In that email Jennifer told TI that we would repost our censored blog posts today if TI did not respond and clarify their position. TI has not responded.

Therefore, the original blog post has been restored, and if you didn't read it before, you can read it now. Its hardly the best post I've ever written. It was jotted down at 9:30 in the morning while I was getting ready for work. I tend to shoot first on this blog and ask questions later, and that certainly leads to posts which are poorly articulated and easily misinterpreted. In a later post I did a much better job explaining the technical concept which drew my interest to this calculator key cracking effort in the first place.

I'd like to thank the EFF and particularly Jennifer Granick for working with me as well as the other bloggers in this case. My blog post is not important, but it is important that people have a right to blog without worrying about receiving legal threats when they haven't done anything wrong. Its important that people stand up for that right, and we're fortunate that there are people out there who are willing to do it. Thank you EFF.

The post TI censored has been reposted.

Life at the Top - House of Sweden
Topic: Miscellaneous 2:18 pm EDT, Oct 26, 2009

The top two floors of House of Sweden have 19 corporate apartments, ranging in size from 800–2600 square feet (68-242 kvm). The apartments all have an open floor plan with generous living rooms, dining rooms and master bedrooms with their own bathrooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows and spacious balconies offer spectacular views of either the Potomac River or the lush Rock Creek Park. The standard of the apartments is very high, featuring carefully chosen, solid materials composed with Swedish design expertise. Bedrooms can easily be converted into offices and single apartments can also be combined to create even larger spaces if required.

It's well known that the Swedish Embassy in Washington, DC has it's own night club... Apparently it also has apartments you can lease. Yes, it's apparently possible to live in Sweden without leaving North America.

Update: I have not been able to find out if the apartments come with health care...

Life at the Top - House of Sweden

"Drupal causes AIDS"
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:32 am EDT, Oct 26, 2009

This meme is growing...

Drupal causes AIDS. Not HIV, but full-blown AIDS.

Warn all your friends. We just stop the spread of this disease.

Crazy Girl's Kitchen
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:42 pm EDT, Oct 23, 2009

My wife recently started a cooking blog with recipes she has been developing. Seriously good eats contained within. Get cooking!

I am so lame for not posting this earlier. I thought I had done so...

Crazy Girl's Kitchen

Think Progress » Roger Ailes for president in 2012?
Topic: Politics and Law 1:04 pm EDT, Oct 23, 2009

In Playbook today, Mike Allen reports that “friends and associates” are encouraging Fox News CEO Roger Ailes to run for president in 2012:

“Ailes knows how to frame an issue better anybody and that’s what we need now,” says one Ailes friend who is encouraging him to run. Frank Luntz, for one, tells Playbook that Ailes could be a force if does it. “I have known Roger Ailes for 29 years,” says Luntz. “No one knows how to win better than Roger.”

Perhaps Ailes thinks that since he runs Fox, he’s prepared to face al Qaeda.

Oh yeah, that's just what we need.. An American version of Silvio Berlusconi...

Think Progress » Roger Ailes for president in 2012?

EFF Warns Texas Instruments to Stop Harassing Calculator Hobbyists | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Topic: Miscellaneous 4:13 pm EDT, Oct 14, 2009

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned Texas Instruments (TI) today not to pursue its baseless legal threats against calculator hobbyists who blogged about potential modifications to the company's programmable graphing calculators....

"The DMCA should not be abused to censor online discussion by people who are behaving perfectly legally," said Tom Cross, who blogs at "It's legal to engage in reverse engineering, and its legal to talk about reverse engineering."

Coverage on Slashdot, CNET, Ars, BoingBoing.

EFF Warns Texas Instruments to Stop Harassing Calculator Hobbyists | Electronic Frontier Foundation

All of Mojo Nixon in free, legal MP3 - Boing Boing
Topic: Miscellaneous 11:00 pm EDT, Oct 10, 2009

"For three weeks only, Amazon and Mojo Nixon are offering his entire catalog in MP3 format completely free, including his latest album, Whiskey Rebellion."

All of Mojo Nixon in free, legal MP3 - Boing Boing

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