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Sunrise from Sungate

January 8th, 2017

Untitled

Due to a snow storm in Istanbul my flight was diverted to Antalya [wikipedia.org] yesterday. After several hours crammed in the too small airport (some people were there 16 hours! I only spent 6ish hours,) we were transferred to hotels. I ended up in Rixos Sungate. An everything included vacation site that seems to cater mostly for Russians. The place has a spa, water park, theater, plenty of beach. More bars than you can shake a vodka at… much of it closed this time of year mind you. But all the food and booze was included, must have cost the airline a fortune. This morning on the way to breakfast I snapped the above photo with my iPhone. The scenery is beautiful. The ocean was amazing shades of blue. Too bad I didn’t bring my big camera on this trip. Too bad I only had one afternoon. There are some Roman ruins and beautiful landscapes around. Maybe one day. 

Right now I’m in the lounge at Istanbul waiting on the final leg of my flight. And for that I had to buy a extra business class ticket because there are something like 30 thousand people here trying to reissue their tickets for the flights that got canceled or because they got diverted. It’s complete chaos. I saw two near fights, exhausted and confused people trying to get home or to their destination. Typically, no one knows what’s going on, everybody has a different story…

This is the third year in a row going for a annual event held in January I have had flight issues due to weather. Can we do this some other time next year?

Lost and Found

December 19th, 2016

This morning a colleague handed me two DVDs: The Shining and Blade Runner. He borrowed them from me nine — NINE — years ago. When we worked together at a different company! Thanks R—-! I have digital copies of both that I bought in the interim… but at least the Kubrick boxed set is complete again.

Now, has anyone seen my Criterion Collection copy of Seven Samurai?

A Post Trumpian World 

November 9th, 2016

I am genuinely ashamed at the triumph of bigotry in the US tonight. I am terrified by the effect this will have for the world. In global warming, free trade and liberalism in general and to the US in the long term shift from open to close this most likely signals. To the make up of the Supreme  Court and its impact on the lives of people for a generation to come.  

October 4th, 2016

File under story I will never actually write:
In a not so far off future, an increasingly elderly society is decimated when massive numbers of people over 65 suddenly overdose. After much investigstion to culprit turns out to be a group of young political activists who seek to save their future by eliminating retired people who are cost more and more in public health expenditure and dominate the political process through their numbers. How? By hacking into internet connected automatic pill despensers everyone uses…

Welcome to the aged, connected society.

There is no security

October 2nd, 2016

Recently there have been a number of very interesting security stories out there. Last.fm and Dropbox password hashes and email addresses from hacks in 2012 were offered up – both of which include my email address. (And if you don’t understand the whole password/hashes/email address and why your password sucks, whatcha this: Password Cracking – Computerphile

The most recent story (a few days old now, because I’m slow posting things) is on using hacked IoT devices for DDoS attacks. This harks back to Stuxnet. A bunch of inetrnet connected things that no one ever thought to secure. Because, security is hard and, at least when I was in school, not properly taught to programmers. I hope they have fixed that.

Anyway, if you don’t know the details of Stuxnet, read Countdown to Zero Day. It’s amazing.

With Stuxnet, somebody went through a lot of trouble to attack Uranium Centrifuges. Somebody was willing to spend a lot of time and money on that, that’s for nukes so it makes sense. Spending that kind of money and time for a single high value target makes sense. The newest hack is more mass market, hack a million home security cameras and use them to launch DDoS attacks. The growth of IoT combined with our laziness in updating our devices (phones aside, when was the last time you updates your <insert connect but screenless device here>… your refrigerator may be responsible for the next major website take down. As Matthew Prince says in the Wall Street Journal’s article on the camera hack:

“It’s going to be very difficult to convince consumers to patch their refrigerator,”

Matthew Prince, CEO of CloudFlare, quoted in “Hackers Infect Army of Cameras, DVRs for Massive Internet Attacks” [wsj.com], on The Wall Street Journal