Jack Barnaby … died? or made die?

Jack Barnaby was a hacker specializing in ATMs and medical equipment. He was working on the medical implant and hospital equipment security. He was scheduled to give a talk titled “Implantable medical devices: hacking humans” at the BlackHat USA 2013 tomorrow. The talk would focus on the security of wireless implantable medical devices, of which there are millions in the world. Jack planned to reveal software that uses a common transmitter to scan for and “interrogate” individual medical implants and discuss how they may be abused. And he is dead.

“The San Francisco Medical Examiner’s Office said Jack died in the city on Thursday. It gave no details. He was believed to be in his mid-30s.”

Interesting. We are 4 days after now and still there is no information whatsoever. Some reporters say he was 35, some – 36. Nobody has any details on why he has died, of what causes. Not even a statement like “from natural causes”. Simply no information. Weird accidents happen. But being in security we are entitled to an unhealthy bit of paranoia.

At the time when medical equipment is riddled with viruses and malware, disclosing more problems with the medical equipment, demonstrating how people could die from a remote network attack on their implants, all that is a serious crime against good business. I would not be surprised if his death was “nothing personal, just good business.”… -->

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BOFH vs. Inkjet Printer

Ah, an excellent piece at the Reg where the Bastard Operator from Hell and his assistant neatly summarize all of the frustration I have for the inkjet printers of today. And then they deal with that inkjet printer, too! Head over and read it:

BOFH: Don’t be afraid – we won’t hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer

I just wish I had access to one of those good old drums to feed it my inkjet…… -->

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A dream job: Chief Pornography Identification Officer

This is so cool. There exists a dream job for everyone, they say. I bet many will now want this job: the “Chief Pornography Identification Officer” is wanted. It is not spectacularly paid but, hey, imagine the job satisfaction level you get!

Job ResponsibilitiesQuickly and accurately identifying pornographic and obscene websites.

Job Description1. Research and study pornographic videos and images, formulate criteria for determining obscenity. 2. Deploy courseware on the standards of obscenity determination, and study materials such as educational videos on pornography. 3. Manage and rate pornographic resources (including BT seeds, images, and online videos).

Job Requirements: 1. Familiarity with the different standards of determination of pornographic content of different countries; 2. Familiarity with the standards of determination and express regulations concerning pornography in China’s law; 3. Familiarity with the standards of pornography identification used by CNNIC (China Internet Network Information Center) and various major internet providers; 4. A bachelor’s degree or above; age between 20-35; all genders; 5. Possesses good teamwork skills, and a strong sense of responsibility.

If you are interested, the position is open, send an email to hr@anquan.org.… -->

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Consensus vs. Collaboration

I came across a very interesting discussion of “Consensus vs. Collaboration” which summarizes neatly why consensus isn’t always the best approach:

In consensus cultures people are rarely excited or supportive.  Mostly because they are very frustrated at how slow things move, how risk-averse the company is, how hard it is to make a decision, and especially how unimpressive the products are.

I saw quite a lot of that, and not only in Japan, so, yeah, that’s the way things are. And the bigger the company, the more pronounced this effect becomes.… -->

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Life expectancy

I was reading Plato’s “The Republic” and it is a very worthwhile read. I highly recommend it to everyone, although that’s besides the point now. I want to talk about something else than the functioning of our society and its destination. In the very last chapter he managed to surprise me once again. Plato says:

“…once in a hundred years — such being reckoned to be the length of man’s life…”

And that small part of a sentence spoke mountains to me. I heard already from several sources that the length of human life is diminishing slowly over centuries, quite opposite to what the official science teaches us. But to hear from Plato that in his time (roughly 2400 years ago) the life expectancy was 100 years is stunning.

You see, Plato preaches philosophy as the basis for all human endeavors and he insists that everyone must study mathematics as the beginning of all other science and harmony. So, for him, to say the life expectancy is 100 years if it was not would be unacceptable. He speaks the truth in this case as in all other cases, mentioning it as a simple well-known fact of life.

So in his time to live to a hundred years was the same as now to live to sixty. We are down about one third in just two and a half centuries. This simple fact is hidden from us and we are taught that people live longer and longer while quite the opposite is the truth. People are dying.… -->

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Surveillance and resistance

Quite interestingly, it seems there is some resistance to total surveillance, both in the minds and in the reality. Yes, the surveillance is increasing and the automated processes for surveillance, linking of events, things and people and follow-up and recognition is driving the technological advances now in the so-called “big data” processing. Not only your shopping habits but also all of your whereabouts can be linked together and clearly identified with sufficient data and processing power.… -->

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Irrelevance of search

I suddenly noticed a spike in the number of visitors here over the weekend. Being a curious one, I naturally wanted to figure out what prompted the sudden attention. Well, it turns out that I had many visitors searching for nothing else but “sex party” and I have a post about that silly sex party by Ergo last year. So I guess the visitors were fairly disappointed with what they saw here.

Makes you think how relevant the search results actually are. We have no idea how to compare them and what to compare them to. When people get this site and they are looking for sex parties, they definitely not getting their time’s worth in information. Search engines by now are very advanced, I hear, they have been around for at least a couple of decades. And still, we get disappointing results. This must be a really hard problem without a good solution yet.

My hunch from here is simple: do not discount the lists of subjects and other alternatives to search engines yet. All the hype about search engines ruling the Internet is just hype, looking for the information is still not simple and we should not limit ourselves to just a search engine.… -->

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