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Comment Re:R00tz Asylum @ defcon FTW (Score 1) 88

Be that as it may, I find it hard to concieve of any situation in life where she will be at in a worse position for having:

a) Had an involved parent who spent time with her doing such things
b) Be a more informed human being.

I cannot predict the future. The FSM knows that I couldn't have predicted mine when I was seven, but I do know I never did more poorly for being better informed.


Comment R00tz Asylum @ defcon FTW (Score 3, Interesting) 88

This is why I'm glad I've been taking my 7 yr old daughter to defcon's kids track since she was 4. She's been taught the importance of online privacy by the type of folks who could perform this hack. She'd yell at me for buying her this type of gift.

Seriously, EFF co-sponsors the track each year and it's a good annual inoculation against the dumb messages society tries to pump into her head. She's way more sensible about such things then most adults, nevermind 7 yr olds, and we have a shared vocabulary for having discussions around privacy and maintaining control of her own personal information.


Comment Re:Dam failures and ecosystem loss... (Score 2) 195

"Data centers require reliable power 24x7, and the sun does not provide that, no matter how much wishful thinking is applied."

Wishful thinking might not help, but speaking at least for myself, I'd rather use one of the many solutions available to store solar power during the day for use at night:


Still thinking, maybe a little less wishful :)


Comment If you're interested in helping.... (Score 1) 116

If you're interested in helping with problems like this one, check out this group: https://www.iamthecavalry.org/

They are attempting to make changes in critical infrastructure/industries (think medicial, automotive, etc) which have not had the 'benefit' of learning the lessons yet that we have learned in the web-based IT world over the last 20 years. Let's face it, we can't afford to have a slammer type incident that involves cars or hospitals to open the local Microsoft-equivalent vendor's eyes and have them find religion around security. Some people literally can't survive that.

It's not glamorous, but it's important work.


Comment Re:Or. (Score 1) 358

I'm with you here. And I'm with you despite understanding that a good portion of the community has social issues that might not be in their control. For some those people having a community say "Hey, there's a line here and you crossed it" may be the 'saving throw vs wisdom' (as I've seen it described) that allows them to hold up a mirror and start realizing that behaving in a manner that is perceived by others as being anti-social has consequences. Empathy can be a learned skill, but it's hard to learn, and unless you realize that your lack of empathy is a problem, you won't undertake the learning process. //* For those who might be reading this and seeing themselves in a mirror, the advice I'd give (speaking form some experience here) is to spend some time in the psych area of your library. After you're done with that, book on social engineering will allow you to translate what you have as theoretical knowledge into practical advice on how to behave in such a way as to get what you want, and as a side effect, behave in a manner more acceptable to the community to which you wish to belong. (Because shockingly people you tell to F* off are less likely to help you out). The end result will either be an empathetic understanding, or a pattern of behavior that is indistinguishable from empathy from the external viewpoint. Either way, you win, because you WILL find out that you were playing the social game on hard mode.*//


Comment Re:Stupid people are stupid (Score 5, Insightful) 956

Then at least the cops should have taken the time to check to see if there was a CRIME committed before taking the poor kid into custody. That being, you know, their job and all.

Last I checked, building an alarm clock is not a crime. Having it go off in class is disruptive, but also not a crime.

At the very least some sincere apologies are owed the kid from the 'adults' involved.


Comment Welcome to management! (Score 2) 198

Weather or not your overseeing people you are overseeing projects and larger scale strategic strategy, which makes you a manager.

You don't have the luxury anymore of being able to do things yourself. Context switching from strategic to tactical mode and back has a huge cost. Humans suck at multitasking. That's the reason that in most human endeavors over the millennia we've settled on the idea that organizations work most effectively when you have a few people overseeing the larger scale picture and many people managing the day to day tactical situation and reporting the information that the leaders need in order to make decisions up.

You can no more be successful if you're in systems typing ps to discover what's going on as a general can be if they had to write every field report by hand. At best you'll burn yourself out and then everyone will be in trouble.

Instead my advice would be to take this as a coaching opportunity. "Hey, I'd like to take a peek at this config file. Mind bringing it up for me? Ah, see, that's where the problem is, you how that quotation mark is missing? The next line is being included int he string. Thanks, I'll raise a change to fix that." You've just taught someone something. Next time they will remember to check their string terminators. It's a win-win.

And I know this because I was in EXACTLY the same spot and mindset as you about 10 years ago. It's time to shift your mental viewpoint. It's not easy, but the fact that you were given this responsible suggests your fellow leaders believe you're up for it.


Comment Re:You still go through HR for jobs? (Score 1) 242

I suppose you could view it slightly differently as "What is merit". If you define someone's worth solely by the quality and quantity of work they turn out, maybe. The thing is the "who you know" bit often times is a helpful proxy for "soft skills".

As a manager, if one of my team comes up to me and say "Hey, I worked with Joe at Acme, and he worked well with us, turned out high quality code, participated in the scrum, and wrote tight test cases." I'm going to take that interview. Now if Joe was a right asshat, he'd not have gotten the reference.

As a hiring manager, soft skills are important in my team, they reduce friction, and as any engineer knows, friction is wasted energy. Social friction is no different.


Comment Research (Score 1) 373

I recommend Charlie Miller's talk from DC 22 - in which he goes through the architecture of a number of vehicles. His goal was the opposite of yours, to find the most hack-able car to set up for his talk this year (and the preceding Jeep recall) but if you turn the crank in the other direction, you should be able to get to the conclusion you want:



Comment Seems like there's a simple middle ground solution (Score 4, Interesting) 139

Do a timed release. Once the FOIA request is completed, the requester gets X months of exclusivity to publish, and then it gets released publicly. This preserves the inventive for the journalists, while at the same time ensuring that even FOIA requests that don't produce something sexy enough to publish still become public access at the end of the exclusivity period.


"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain