2014

Looking for something festive, holiday-like and chaotic for the blog, I came across color-changing cats. The history of color-changing cats is a fascinating one, involving Carl Sagan and accurate predictions of unfathomable chaos over the next ten thousand years. Because while we don’t know what life will be like that far in the future, consider…

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Today’s “the future is cool” entry is the cliffs of insanity: Actually, I’m lying to you, they’re the Cliffs of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko, as photographed by the Rosetta spacecraft. I just think its cool similar they look, and how the physical processes which created the Cliffs of Moher may also have been at work on a…

Read More The Cliffs of Insanity!

When you were growing up, 2014 was the future. And it’s become cliche to bemoan that we don’t have the flying cars we were promised, but did get early delivery on a dystopian surveillance state. So living here in the future, I just wanted to point out how cool it is that you can detect…

Read More The Future Is So Cool

When people don’t take their drugs as prescribed, it’s for very human reasons. Typically they can’t tolerate the side effects, the cost is too high, they don’t perceive any benefit, or they’re just too much hassle. Put these very human (and very subjective) reasons together, and they create a problem that medicine refers to as…

Read More Security Lessons from Drug Trials

Listening to the radio, there was a discussion of how the folks at NBC were worried that people were going to “hatewatch” their new version of Peter Pan. Hatewatch. Like it’s a word. It’s fascinating. They discussed how people wanted to watch it to tweet cynically at its expense. The builder/breaker split isn’t just present…

Read More Hate-watching, breaking and building

At BruCon 0x06, I was awoken from a nap to the sound of canons, and looked out my window to see soldiers marching through the streets. It turns out they were celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Treaty of Ghent. As I’m sure you’ll recall from history class Wikipedia, the Treaty of Ghent ended the…

Read More Chaos and Legitimacy

I’ve been threat modeling for a long time, and at Microsoft, had the lovely opportunity to put some rigor into not only threat modeling, but into threat modeling in a consistent, predictable, repeatable way. Because I did that work at Microsoft, sometimes people question how it would work for a startup, and I want to…

Read More Threat Modeling At a Startup

Simson Garfinkel and Heather Lipford’s Usable Security: History, Themes, and Challenges should be on the shelf of anyone who is developing software that asks people to make decisions about computer security. We have to ask people to make decisions because they have information that the computer doesn’t. My favorite example is the Windows “new network”…

Read More Usable Security: History, Themes, and Challenges (Book Review)