Remember (or more Shmoo)

Cats hate people, and would kill them if they were big enough to do so.

Listening to this one, which ended up being more about §230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996.

I’m not sure what to say about it. I get sidetracked by thinking about my idea that every law should expire after a fixed amount of time, and every regulation based on that law should similarly expire in a fixed period of time.

Then we wouldn’t have to worry about a law that’s nearly a quarter-century old in the case of the CDA.

Or care at all about any of the bad things that passed during the Wilson Administration. (See: The Jones Act, which is very bad for Hawaii and Puerto Rico).

Congress wants lots of content on the Intertubes. Well, the right content. You know, not bad stuff like prostitution ads, or kiddie pr0n.

Or Alex Jones; won’t someone think of the frogs??!?

Is there an answer? I’m skeptical, and it’s a lot easier for these 535 people to not work at all than to do anything that might not be permanent and effective.

Does there need to be protection for platforms? Yes. Are there some real problems with platforms? Yes. Have there been some instances where platforms are really overreacting due to both political and corporate pressure?


The next one was this. As someone who’s not a professional code-slinger, I was having a bit of trouble following completely, and staying interested.

The commentary accompanying the livestream was fascinating.

I participated.

It is really incredible what people are doing with client-side code.

*slips on a-hole Sekurity Mastar pants*

You can fix a lot of that stuff with centralized management.

DoD, something which I am all too familiar, has managed to render nearly COTS browser basically unusable.

I’m actually okay with this.

And the next one. Very good talk, but I’m not sure I understand enough about where the “spam” calls are coming from to know whether this would actually be an effective solution.

It would seem to me that having a client/gateway setup would be nearly as effective. You could authenticate the device using something like a hardware token, then do the traffic over L2TP.

I understand there’s overhead there.

I also know that pure SIP voice traffic consumes very little bandwidth. Hell, I was doing GSM calls over a 9600bps INMARSAT connection nearly fifteen years ago.

Yes, the quality sucked.

But that was true of lots of things in 2006.

What this protocol does is encrypt the data channel, so very much like what would happen over L2TP.

Six of one, half-dozen of the other, I suppose.

Not going to write about the Firetalks. Just listen.

And the last one about robots storing data. Pepper and Mao isn’t a dish at your favorite Chinese joint.

Questions about privacy policy application; the robots are owned by someone else, and the data is sent offsite.

And you wonder why I don’t have an Alexa. Or why Siri is disabled on my Apple devices.

Her main point is she has concerns.

Maybe I’ll be feeling well enough to sit through things in person tomorrow.

I’m done for now. Hopefully I’ll be feeling well enough to venture in to the District for tomorrow’s talks.

Shmoo II; wildlife boogaloo

Watched the stream of this on moose and woodchucks.

I guess my big take-away is that in situations like that, increasing the size of the dataset actually probably does improve results.

The problem you run into, and I didn’t hear her address, is that eventually your dataset exceeds what you’ve got to analyze it.

You could build something that’s damn near perfect in differentiating between woodchucks and moose, but does that matter when it takes three years to do the analysis?

Shmoo Open

I’m watching the livestream from home because I’m not feeling well, and don’t have a bed tonight.

Of course, a lot of the standard administrivia, but Bruce did hit on some of the sorts of things I’ve been thinking and writing about for a long time.

For the vast, vast, vast majority of organizations, Infosec is a parasitic function on another parasitic function.

McDonalds doesn’t exist to do Infosec; don’t treat the folks behind the counter like morons because they don’t do Infosec.

I sure as hell couldn’t make the pink goo be very edible; why would I presume the guy who can is an idiot because he has to write down his 95-character password?

It is a tool that lets people do what they’re hired to do more effectively. If it gets to the point where we’re keeping them from operating at all, why the hell are they paying us?

And the next talk is starting, so I’m gonna go.

So Shmoo

Sitting around waiting for my short bus ride off to Shmoocon.

We’ll see how it goes.

My plan for this year is to watch, take notes, then write.

I think the past couple of times I went I laid out all the things I was going to see ahead of time, and wrote pretty much as I went.

Then I’d inevitably end up going to see something different than I’d originally planned.

I’ve perused the schedule, and put them in my phone calendar.

But there may be changes.

I just need to start drafting something as I sit there, then complete it after the talk.

I don’t have a hotel room for tonight, so I may have to take the WMATA Short Bus home tonight. We’ll see.

So off to it….

Bad News Repruhshent

I am back in Tidewater, visiting my recuperating mother, and my grandfather who came up to visit.

It is strange being here, certainly.

I’m also prepping for Shmoocon next weekend, and tying up loose ends from yet another rebuild on this server.

I can’t find a lot of what I wrote between 2015 and 2o18.

I have SQL dumps that I can pick through, but I really haven’t had the energy or patience to do it.

I am still trying, too, to really pull out everything I’d put in for a job search during my periods of unemployment.

I really do love where I work, now. I wish I was healthier so I could move off on to something they’re doing that’s different than what I’ve done since 2005.

I got distracted just now by a friend on Facebook appealing to the usual sources for fact-checking before posting of stories.

Um. Okay. So only check facts from sites that are biased as hell before you share something. Perhaps SPLC should have been on that list.

It did distract me from something else I wanted to talk about the Apple backup story.

At first, I was disturbed by this, what with AG Barr’s misguided attempts to have backdoors engineered into encryption.

That, of course, was a bit of a knee-jerk response. I’d missed the part about these backup sets being store on an iCloud Drive.

Wanna keep shit suparsekret? Encrypt it yourself, and store it on physical media under your control.

Yes, that Apple made the decision after FBI pressure bothers me, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is technically-possible to keep whatever it is you have from prying eyes, government or otherwise.

Settling Down

Reply to a note left for me on my last entry:

No, it was me going home for Thanksgiving.  I really kind of was having a breakdown when I wrote twenty-nine.  But I’ve kind of been cloistering at home the past couple of weeks, trying to get my head back together.

I think it worked, but I am very much in need of my next Tysabri infusion.  Tuesday can’t get here soon enough.  Ugh.

I did the trip, and ended up on the train thinking my psychologist didn’t want to see me anymore, and I should blow up just about everything in my life.

So I emailed her.

For whatever reason, I convinced myself she was trying to get rid of me as a patient.

No, really.

We discussed it, and it might come down to my life as a kid.  Things suck?  Okay, just hang on for a few more months, and you’ll be able to start anew, somewhere else.

That also might speak to my longtime urge to always build from scratch, and nothing is, or maybe, nothing should ever be permanent.

I think that the resistance to that might be rooted in the desire to improve on something previously good.  Or perfect.

Speaks to my admiration of certain sports figures.  Will anyone ever match Brett Favre’s interception record?  Would anyone ever be allowed to play long enough to break it?

And that speaks to my subtitle — Everything Gets Deleted, Eventually.



Ten years’ worth of month-long writing, and I”m finished.

Today, as I’m writing, I’ve been tweeting back-and-forth with someone about the place I tweeted a photo of on my train ride out yesterday.

But back to the topic, yeah, I don’t know if I’ll do this next year. Part of the reason I was so into doing it was that I felt like it was something that helped me prepare for the down part of the year.

I almost wrote that it “felt like a chore,” but that isn’t true. It’s something I can still do, which is important.

I could provide the resignation that I’ve reached about as high as I’m going to go, but, if so, that’s fine, too.

I think I’ve started to figure out why I like what I like.

Do I think I can still crank some things out when I need to? Yes. Do I know exactly what I’d like to crank out? No.

*deletes bit that I don’t want to share…nothing embarrassing, but just something I want to keep to myself*

I can still write. Even if I can’t see that well. The muscle memory of typing is something that I do remember. And, no, I won’t quit putting two spaces after sentences, even if the modern practice is a single space.

The next question is how do I make money doing it. Hmmm….

Regardless, thirty days down, so Fin.

I have some things I’d like to do today. Get my hair cut, maybe shave this, and get my hair cut.

*checks nearby barber my wife recommended*

No, they don’t take credit cards, so that won’t work for my Small Business Saturday purchase.

Nope, they don’t take credit cards. So much for that.

I’m finished, though. Despite two travel stretches, I’ve gotten them all out this month.

Merry Christmas.



I’ve not done much shopping, as as I write this, I’m on a train headed back to Alexandrai.

It’s so strange how I can now talk myself out of just about anything that I might have wanted for a moment.

Even momentary urgest to maintain are fleeting.

I could fire everyone right now.

What does that say about me?

Yes, I’m going to do that some, at least.

I need to find a new dentist, PCP, and dermatologist. I’d be working on that right now, if I wasn’t on the quiet car.

I would say that I’m very dissatisfied with many things in my life, but that’s not true. I’m just so ambivalent towards pretty much everything that I don’t do anything.

I guess the question ought to be whether dissatisfaction might be preferable.

I just don’t know. And I’m not interested enough to find out.

Tomorrow is the final day of this.

I’m not sure what I should think or feel. Ten straight Novembers.

I think I should feel some sort of accomplishment to say that.

But I don’t.



So, I’m writing this from my inlaws’ couch, with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

We left out at about 0630, and got down without too many issues.

My wife got the turkey in, and we’re waiting for my mom to show up.

This is the first time I’ve been down here since I left last May. No feelings of comfort at all, whatsoever.

So, the plan is do dinner, go to a hotel for the night, then I get on the train to go home in the morning.

But I do what I’m expected to do.


I should be looking forward to the football games. Even moreso with the Saints playing the Failcons tonight. But I’m having trouble being excited. About that, or much of anything.

*thinks of turkey*

Nope, that doesn’t work, either.

Maybe I’ll have some inspiration while I’m on the train tomorrow.


Write about social media. What are your accounts? What have you set aside?

I’ve heard a lot of discussion over the past few months saying that social media is very destructive. Maybe that’s too much listening to Bridget Phetasy.

Still, there’s been the thought that’s been going through my head for some time now that you can leave.

I stick with things longer than I should too often; just how I roll. Still, when I do leave, it’s a decision I’m not often going to reconsider.

For the social media sites, it’s probably more difficult because of what they do to make things addictive.

But, as is the case with some of the therapy I’m doing lately, I am able to resist.

What’s going on on Facebook?

Uh. Maybe I’ll look later.

Or maybe I won’t look at all, because fuck them.

Choose something different.

You’re free to do that until the men with guns come and tell you to submit, or get locked in a cage.

A nastier follow-on comment to that just got deleted.

I’m self-censoring, even without the ginger, or the totes-didn’t-used-to-be-evil company’s urging.

With the self-censoringediting, though, I wonder if it’s really a problem. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who’s as much of a free speech absolutist as I, but I really don’t see a problem with people watching what they say.

Yes, you can shout “fuck” in a crowded theater. Yes, the proprietor is free to kick you out. Yes, you can shout “fuck” on a street corner. Yes, you can probably be ticketed for doing that. Yes, you can shout “fuck” in your own living room, and nobody, other than the gathered assemblage, should know or object to it. Alexa, please divide your microphone gain level by zero.

Tomorrow is going to be a very long day. We’ll see if I have energy to stay up to watch the Saints in Atlanta. Tryptophan and travel may have taken me out by then. That, and I have an early train to catch Friday.

But, as far as what I use.

I still look at Twitter quite a bit.

I check Facebook every couple of days. The FB app is gone from my phone. So’s FB Messenger.

I’ve deleted the Instagram app because I really don’t like some of the privacy things FB’s done lately, or their please-regulate-us-and-cement-our-market-dominance credo

I’ve messed around some with Gab and Minds.

I still check Fark, mainly on the weekends.

I’ve developed a hatred, perhaps irrational, for Reddit. It was slightly less pretentious when it was called Digg.

So that’s about it. I’m sure there’s things I’m leaving out, but I’m leaving myself out, too.