Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Do Games Teach Security?

There’s a new paper from Mark Thompson and Hassan Takabi of the University of North Texas. The title captures the question: Effectiveness Of Using Card Games To Teach Threat Modeling For Secure Web Application Developments Gamification of classroom assignments and online tools has grown significantly in recent years. There have been a number of card […]


Incentives, Insurance and Root Cause

Over the decade or so since The New School book came out, there’s been a sea change in how we talk about breaches, and how we talk about those who got breached. We agree that understanding what’s going wrong should be a bigger part of how we learn. I’m pleased to have played some part […]


Why Don't We Have an Incident Repository?

Steve Bellovin and I provided some “Input to the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity.” It opens: We are writing after 25 years of calls for a “NTSB for Security” have failed to result in action. As early as 1991, a National Research Council report called for “build[ing] a repository of incident data” and said “one […]


Journal of Terrorism and Cyber Insurance

At the RMS blog, we learn they are “Launching a New Journal for Terrorism and Cyber Insurance:” Natural hazard science is commonly studied at college, and to some level in the insurance industry’s further education and training courses. But this is not the case with terrorism risk. Even if insurance professionals learn about terrorism in […]


"Better Safe than Sorry!"

“Better safe than sorry” are the closing words in a NYT story, “A Colorado Town Tests Positive for Marijuana (in Its Water).” Now, I’m in favor of safety, and there’s a tradeoff being made. Shutting down a well reduces safety by limiting the supply of water, and in this case, they closed a pool, which […]


Security Lessons from

There’s a great “long read” at CIO, “6 Software Development Lessons From’s Failed Launch.” It opens: This article tries to go further than the typical coverage of The amazing thing about this story isn’t the failure. That was fairly obvious. No, the strange thing is the manner in which often conflicting information is […]


What Happened At OPM?

I want to discuss some elements of the OPM breach and what we know and what we don’t. Before I do, I want to acknowledge the tremendous and justified distress that those who’ve filled out the SF-86 form are experiencing. I also want to acknowledge the tremendous concern that those who employ those with clearances […]


The Cliffs of Insanity!

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 […]


The Future Is So Cool

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 […]


Security Lessons from Drug Trials

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 […]


Small thoughts on Doug Engelbart

I just re-read “A few words on Doug Engelbart.” If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’re probably seen a headline like “Douglas C. Engelbart, Inventor of the Computer Mouse, Dies at 88,” or seen him referred to as the fellow who gave the “mother of all demos.” But as Bret Victor points out, to […]


Lunar Oribter Image Recovery Project

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project needs help to recover data from the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. Frankly, it’s a bit of a disgrace that Congress funds, well, all sorts of things, over this element of our history, but that’s besides the point. Do I want to get angry, or do I want to see this […]


Guns, Homicides and Data

I came across a fascinating post at Jon Udell’s blog, “Homicide rates in context ,” which starts out with this graph of 2007 data: Jon’s post says more than I care to on this subject right now, and points out questions worth asking. As I said in my post on “Thoughts on the Tragedies of […]


Negative temperatures?

Absolute zero is often thought to be the coldest temperature possible. But now researchers show they can achieve even lower temperatures for a strange realm of “negative temperatures.” Oddly, another way to look at these negative temperatures is to consider them hotter than infinity, researchers added. (“Atoms Reach Record Temperature, Colder than Absolute Zero“, Charles […]


Usable Security: Timing of Information?

As I’ve read Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” I’ve been thinking a lot about “what you see is all there is” and the difference between someone’s state of mind when they’re trying to decide on an action, and once they’ve selected and are executing a plan. I think that as you’re trying to figure out […]


Can Science Improvise?

My friend Raquell Holmes is doing some really interesting work at using improv to unlock creativity. There’s some really interesting ties between the use of games and the use of improv to get people to approach problems in a new light, and I’m bummed that I won’t be able to make this event: Monday Dec […]


Neil Armstrong, RIP

Neil Armstrong died August 25, aged 82. It’s difficult to properly memorialize this man, because, to a degree almost unheard of in our media-saturated times, he avoided the limelight. A statement by his family notes: As much as Neil cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world […]


New Species Discovered on Flickr

There’s a very cool story on NPR about “A New Species Discovered … On Flickr“. A entomologist was looking at some photos, and saw a bug he’d never seen. Check out the photographer’s site or Flickr pages. The paper is “A charismatic new species of green lacewing discovered in Malaysia (Neuroptera, Chrysopidae): the confluence of […]


The Problem With Pollution

National Geographic reports “Caffeinated Seas Found off U.S. Pacific Northwest.” The problem, of course, is salinity. They should totally be pumping that caffine into somewhere we can make good use of it.


The Evolution of Information Security

A little while back, a colleague at the NSA reached out to me for an article for their “Next Wave” journal, with a special topic of the science of information security. I’m pleased with the way the article and the entire issue came out, and so I’m glad that the NSA has decided to release […]


Active Defense: Show me the Money!

Over the last few days, there’s been a lot of folks in my twitter feed talking about “active defense.” Since I can’t compress this into 140 characters, I wanted to comment quickly: show me the money. And if you can’t show me the money, show me the data. First, I’m unsure what’s actually meant by […]


Feynman on Cargo Cult Science

On Twitter, Phil Venables said “More new school thinking from the Feynman archives. Listen to this while thinking of InfoSec.” During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas–which was to try one […]


How to get my vote for the ACM Board

I’m concerned about issues of research being locked behind paywalls. The core of my reason is that research builds on other research, and wide availability helps science move forward. There’s also an issue that a great deal of science is funded by taxpayers, who are prevented from seeing their work. One of the organizations which […]


Cool Optics Flash Applets

Photographers should check out Flash applets on some technical aspects of photography at Stanford. The apps help you understand things like “Variables that Affect Exposure” (the aperture/time/ISO tradeoffs) as well as how lenses work, create depth of field, or how a telephoto lens bends the light. Very cool.


Browser Privacy & Fingerprinting

Ivan Szekely writes in email: A team of young researchers – my colleagues – at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics developed a cross-browser fingerprinting system in order to demonstrate the weaknesses of the most popular browsers. Taking Panopticlick’s idea as a starting point, they developed a new, browser-independent fingerprinting algorithm and started to […]


And there may be many others but they haven't been discovered

Three newly discovered elements were given names on Friday by the General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics at a meeting in London. They are Darmstadtium, or Ds, which has 110 protons in its nucleus and was named after the town in which it was discovered; Roentgenium, or Rg, with 111 […]


Goodbye, Rinderpest, we're probably better off without you

On Tuesday in a ceremony in Rome, the United Nations is officially declaring that for only the second time in history, a disease has been wiped off the face of the earth. The disease is rinderpest. Everyone has heard of smallpox. Very few have heard of the runner-up. That’s because rinderpest is an epizootic, an […]


Copyrighted Science

In “Shaking Down Science,” Matt Blaze takes issue with academic copyright policies. This is something I’ve been meaning to write about since Elsevier, a “reputable scientific publisher,” was caught publishing a full line of fake journals. Matt concludes: So from now on, I’m adopting my own copyright policies. In a perfect world, I’d simply refuse […]


Animals and Engineers

It’s been hard to miss the story on cat tongues (“For Cats, a Big Gulp With a Touch of the Tongue:)” Writing in the Thursday issue of Science, the four engineers report that the cat’s lapping method depends on its instinctive ability to calculate the balance between opposing gravitational and inertial forces. …After calculating things […]


Ambrose Bierce Punks Richard Feynman

Via Boing Boing, where Maggie Koerth-Baker gave a delightful pointer to this film of Feynman explaining for seven-and-a-half minutes why he can’t really explain why magnets repel each other. Or attract, either. And trumping him in time and space, Bierce gave us this in 1906: MAGNET, n. Something acted upon by magnetism. MAGNETISM, n. Something […]


UC San Francisco Faculty on Nudatrons

A number of faculty at UCSF have a letter to John Holdren, the President’s advisor on science and technology. There’s a related story on, but I’d missed the letter. It appears the concerns of 3 members of the National Academy of Sciences have been completely ignored.


Turning off the lights: Chaos Emerges.

See what happened when Portishead, England turned off their traffic lights in September 2009 in this video. And don’t miss “Portishead traffic lights set to stay out after trial” in the Bristol Evening Post.


Collective Smarts: Diversity Emerges

Researchers in the United States have found that putting individual geniuses together into a team doesn’t add up to one intelligent whole. Instead, they found, group intelligence is linked to social skills, taking turns, and the proportion of women in the group. […] “We didn’t expect that the proportion of women would be a significant […]


6502 Visual Simulator

In 6502 visual simulator, Bunnie Huang writes: It makes my head spin to think that the CPU from the first real computer I used, the Apple II, is now simulateable at the mask level as a browser plug-in. Nothing to install, and it’s Open-licensed. How far we have come…a little more than a decade ago, […]


Quantum Crypto is Quantum Backdoored, But It's Not a Problem

Nature reports that Quantum Cryptography has been completely broken in “Hackers blind quantum cryptographers.” Researcher Vadim Makarov of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology constructed an attack on a quantum cryptography system that “gave 100% knowledge of the key, with zero disturbance to the system,” as Makarov put it. There have been other attacks […]


Lady Ada books opening May 11

Ada’s Technical Books is Seattle’s only technical book store located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Ada’s specifically carries new, used, & rare books on Computers, Electronics, Physics, Math, and Science as well as hand-picked inspirational and leisure reading, puzzles, brain teasers, and gadgets geared toward the technically minded customer. From the store’s […]



Today will be remembered along with the landing on the moon and the creation of the internet: Researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, published results today describing the successful construction of the first self-replicating, synthetic bacterial cell. The team synthesized the 1.08 million base pair chromosome of a […]


This is what science is for

In “The Quest for French Fry Supremacy 2: Blanching Armageddon,” Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute writes: Blanching fries does a lot for you – such as: killing the enzymes that make the potatoes turn purpley-brown. Blanching is always necessary if the potatoes will be air-dried before frying. gelatinizing the starch. During frying, pre-cooked […]


It's Hard to Nudge

There’s a notion that government can ‘nudge’ people to do the right thing. Big examples include letting people opt-out of organ donorship, rather than opting in (rates of organ donorship go from 10-20% to 80-90%, which is pretty clearly a better thing than putting those organs in the ground or crematoria). Another classic example was […]


The Liquids ban is a worse idea than you thought

According to new research at Duke University, identifying an easy-to-spot prohibited item such as a water bottle may hinder the discovery of other, harder-to-spot items in the same scan. Missing items in a complex visual search is not a new idea: in the medical field, it has been known since the 1960s that radiologists tend […]



Courtesy of the BBC.


Things Darwin Didn't Say

There’s a great line attributed to Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” The trouble is, he never said it. Background here. Original sources are important and fun.


Monkeys krak-oo krak-oo

According to “Campbell’s Monkeys Use Affixation to Alter Call Meaning:” We found that male alarm calls are composed of an acoustically variable stem, which can be followed by an acoustically invariable suffix. Using long-term observations and predator simulation experiments, we show that suffixation in this species functions to broaden the calls’ meaning by transforming a […]


Deny thy father and refuse thy gene sequence?

There’s a fascinating article in the NYTimes magazine, “Who Knew I Was Not the Father?” It’s all the impact of cheap paternity testing on conceptions of fatherhood. Men now have a cheap and easy way to discovering that children they thought were theirs really carry someone else’s genes. This raises the question, what is fatherhood? […]


Another good metaphor, killed by science

Wired has a First Look: Dyson’s Blade-Free Wonder Fan Blows Our Minds: Future generations will have no idea why the shit hitting the fan is any worse than it hitting anything else.


Atoms, Photographed

The pictures, soon to be published in the journal Physical Review B, show the detailed images of a single carbon atom’s electron cloud, taken by Ukrainian researchers at the Kharkov Institute for Physics and Technology in Kharkov, Ukraine….To create these images, the researchers used a field-emission electron microscope, or FEEM. They placed a rigid chain […]


Caster Semenya, Alan Turing and "ID Management" products

South African runner Caster Semenya won the womens 800-meter, and the attention raised questions about her gender. Most of us tend to think of gender as pretty simple. You’re male or you’re female, and that’s all there is to it. The issue is black and white, if you’ll excuse the irony. There are reports that: […]


Not because it is easy, but because it is hard

Forty years ago today, Apollo 11 lifted off for the moon, carrying Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins. The Boston Globe has a great selection of photos, “Remembering Apollo 11.” (Thanks to Deb for the link.)


The Art of Mathematics

Paul Nylander has some amazingly beautiful mathematical constructs which he’s ray-tracing. Via Aleks Jakulin.


My Wolfram Alpha Demo

I got the opportunity a couple days ago to get a demo of Wolfram Alpha from Stephen Wolfram himself. It’s an impressive thing, and I can sympathize a bit with them on the overblown publicity. Wolfram said that they didn’t expect the press reaction, which I both empathize with and cast a raised eyebrow at. […]


It’s hard to change a market

This is quite possibly the DEA’s greatest success in disrupting the supply of a major illicit substance. The focus on disrupting the supply of inputs rather than of the drug itself proved extremely successful. This success was the result of a highly concentrated input supply market and consequently may be difficult to replicate for drugs […]


Building Security In, Maturely

While I was running around between the Berkeley Data Breaches conference and SOURCE Boston, Gary McGraw and Brian Chess were releasing the Building Security In Maturity Model. Lots has been said, so I’d just like to quote one little bit: One could build a maturity model for software security theoretically (by pondering what organizations should […]


Torture is a Best Practice

I was going to title this “Painful Mistakes: Torture, Boyd and Lessons for Infosec,” but then decided that I wanted to talk about torture in a slightly different way. The Washington Post reports that “Detainee’s Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots” and [UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office] Finally Admits To Receiving Intelligence From Torture. From the […]


Suspect and Unusual Photographs

This picture was taken by 4 high school kids with no budget: The Telegraph has the story at Teens capture images of space with £56 camera and balloon. You can click the photo for their amazing Flickr page. It’s a good thing they were in Spain. In the UK, they’d probably have been arrested for […]


"A Scientific R&D Approach to Cyber Security"

Charlie Catlett, CIO of Argonne National Labs has released a report on “A Scientific R&D Approach to Cyber Security” (Powerpoint summary, community wiki). It’s a very interesting report. There’s a lot to agree with in terms of a research agenda. They’re looking to compose trustworthy systems from untrusted components, to create self-protective data and software, […]


Will Proof-of-Work Die a Green Death?

In the Cryptography mailing list, John Gilmore recently brought up and interesting point. One of the oft-debated ways to fight spam is to put a form of proof-of-work postage on it. Spam is an emergent property of the very low cost of email combined with the effect that most of the cost is pushed to […]


"EPC RFID Tags in Security Applications"

I just finished an interesting paper, K. Koscher, A. Juels, T. Kohno, and V. Brajkovic. “EPC RFID Tags in Security Applications: Passport Cards, Enhanced Drivers Licenses, and Beyond.” In the paper, they analyze issues of cloning (easy) read ranges (longer than the government would have you believe) and `design drift’ (a nice way of saying […]


A nudge in the right direction?

I am surprised I hadn’t heard about the book Nudge, by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. I haven’t read it yet, but from the web page it seems to be about how policymakers can take into account the heuristics and biases characteristic of human decision-makers and create a choice architecture which yields “proper” decision-making. I […]



40 years ago, NASA released this first [human-taken] photo of the Earth from far away: [Update: The BBC has a nice story.]


December 21, 1968

It was even more exciting on a black and white Zenith. Image: Nasa photo 6871798


Ephemeral Anniversary

Yesterday, Nov 17, was the sesquicentenary of the zero-date of the American Ephemeris. I meant to write, but got distracted. Astronomical ephemeris counts forward from this date. That particular date was picked because it was (approximately) Julian Day 1,000,000, but given calendar shifts and all, one could argue for other zero dates as well. The […]


You talk like a delinquent

This is interesting. Not sure how robust the finding is, but according to an analysis of LendingClub data on all past loans, including descriptions of the use for the money, applicants using certain words in their descriptions are much more likely to default. For our purposes define a Delinquency as either being late in your […]


Fake Fish and Security

There was a very interesting article in the New York Times, “Fish Tale has DNA Hook,” in which two high school students used DNA testing to discover that nearly 1/4 of the sushi they tested and identified was mis-labeled. The article only identifies one of the vendors: Dr. Stoeckle was willing to divulge the name […]


Security is an Empirical and Social Science

In reading Mordaxus’ post “Quantum Crypto Broken Again,” I was struck by his comment: It is a serious flaw because one of the main arguments about quantum cryptography is that because it is “physics” based as opposed to “computer” based, that it is more secure than software cryptography.” Firstly, security is almost always an outcome […]


Researchers Two-Faced over Facebook Data Release

[Update: Michael Zimmer points out that it wasn’t Facebook, but outside researchers who released the data.] I wanted to comment quickly on an interesting post by Michael Zimmer, “ On the “Anonymity” of the Facebook Dataset.” He discusses how A group of researchers have released a dataset of Facebook profile information from a group of […]


Quantum Crypto Broken Again

The New Scientist reports that researchers Vadim Makarov, Andrey Anisimov, and Sebastien Sauge have broken quantum key distribution. The attack is described in their paper, “Can Eve control PerkinElmer actively-quenched single-photon detector?” Spoiler Warning: Yes. She can. The attack is brilliant in its elegance. They essentially jam the receiver. A bright pulse of laser light […]


University of Lake Wobegon?

Spaf has an excellent post up about Purdue’s decision to no longer be an NSA Center of Academic Excellence. He makes a number of thought-provoking points, among them that “excellence” loses its meaning if the bar is set too low, and that being an academic center and having a training (as opposed to educating) curriculum […]


More on Confirmation Bias

Devan Desai has a really interesting post, Baffled By Community Organizing: First, it appears that hardcore left-wing and hardcore right-wing folks don’t process new data. An fMRI study found that confirmation bias — “whereby we seek and find confirmatory evidence in support of already existing beliefs and ignore or reinterpret disconfirmatory evidence” — is real. […]


Instant Ice Age

Science reports in, “The Year the World Froze Over:” It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but nearly 13 millennia ago Europe was plunged suddenly into a deep freeze that lasted 1300 years–and the change happened in little more than a year, according to new data. The evidence also suggests that strong winds, not […]


Reproducibility, sharing, and data sensitivity

What made this particular work different was that the packets we captured came through a Tor node. Because of this difference, we took extreme caution in managing these traces and have not and will not plan to share them with other researchers. Response to Tor Study I won’t get into parsing what “have not and […]


Ethics, Information Security Research, and Institutional Review Boards

Several weeks ago, in “A Question of Ethics“, I asked EC readers whether it would be ethical “to deliberately seek out files containing PII as made available via P2P networks”. I had recently read an academic research paper that did just that, and was left conflicted. Part of me wondered whether a review board would […]


Sounds Like — Chomsky

The New Scientist reports that “Charades reveals a universal sentence structure.” Susan Golden-Meadow, a linguistic psychologist at the University of Chicago, led a team that found that speakers of most languages use the same simple sentence structure when miming, regardless of the structure of the language they speak. A demonstration movie is here. That structure […]


Science isn't about Checklists

Over at Zero in a Bit, Chris Eng has a post, “Art vs. Science“: A client chastised me once for making a statement that penetration testing is a mixture of art and science. He wanted to believe that it was completely scientific and could be distilled down to a checklist type approach. I explained that […]


Water on Mars!

Mars Phoenix Tweets: “We Have ICE!” And yes, they really did announce on Twitter and a press release.


Quantum Pride

One of the curious features of Quantum Cryptographers is the way they harumph at mathematics. “Don’t trust that math stuff, you should trust physics.” It’s easy to sneer at this attitude because physics has traditionally gotten its cred because of its foundations in math. Physicists are just mathematicians who don’t squick at canceling dxes. Quantum […]


Can You Hear Me Now?

Debix, Verizon, the ID Theft Research Center and the Department of Justice have all released really interesting reports in the last few days, and what makes them interesting is their data about what’s going wrong in security. This is new. We don’t have equivalents of the National Crime Victimization Surveys for cyberspace. We don’t have […]


Quanta In Space!

What’s the biggest problem with quantum cryptography? That it’s too expensive, of course. Quantum anything is inherently cool, just as certain things are inherently funny. Ducks, for example. However, it’s hard to justify a point-to-point quantum crypto link that starts at one-hundred grand just for the encryptors (fiber link not included, some assembly required), when […]


Because it is the weekend and I am lazy

Chris’s beach reading recommendations John Maynard Smith, Evolution and the Theory of Games James S. Coleman, Foundations of Social Theory Ken Binmore, Natural Justice


Visualizing Risk

I really like this picture from Jack Jones, “Communicating about risk – part 2:” Using frequency, we can account for events that occur many times within the defined timeframe as well as those that occur fewer than once in the timeframe (e.g., .01 times per year, or once in one hundred years). Of course, this […]


Let's not ask the experts?

Can Sips at Home Prevent Binges? is a fascinating article in the New York Times. It turns out there’s very solid evidence about this: “The best evidence shows that teaching kids to drink responsibly is better than shutting them off entirely from it,” he told me. “You want to introduce your kids to it, and […]


A question of ethics

Various estimates have been made regarding the quantity of personal identifying information which has been exposed by various mechanisms. Obviously, though, we only know about what we can see, so seeing more would make such estimates better. One way to see more would be to look in more places, for example on peer-to-peer file sharing […]


Quantum Debate

The debate about Shor’s Algorithm (which I blogged about a couple days ago) continues. Rod Van Meter has a good blog post about it here. While there are plenty of people who have just wholesale dismissed the Hill/Viamontes paper outright, apparently because they know Shor’s algorithm works and that building a working quantum computer is […]


Quantum Uncertainty

Technology Review has a pair of articles on D-Wave‘s adiabatic quantum computer. Quantum pioneer Seth Lloyd writes in “Riding D-Wave” about quantum computing in general, adiabatic quantum computing, and D-Wave’s efforts to show that they’ve actually built a quantum computer. Linked to that is Scott Aaronson’s article, “Desultory D-Wave,” in which Lloyd’s nail-biting is made […]


Quantum Cryptography Broken and Fixed

Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden have found flaws in quantum cryptography. They also supply a fix. The announcement is here; a FAQ is here; full paper is at the IEEE here (but requires an IEEE membership). The announcement says: Jan-Åke Larsson, associate professor of applied mathematics at Linköping University, working with his student Jörgen […]


Science in Action

The New Scientist reports in, “Have peacock tails lost their sexual allure?” A controversial study has found no evidence for the traditional view – practically enshrined in evolutionary lore – that peahens choose their partners depending on the quality of the peacocks’ tails. Obviously, traditionalists have many things to say about the quality of the […]


Thank you, Usenix!

I’m delighted to report that USENIX, probably the most important technical society at which I publish (and on whose board I serve), has taken a long-overdue lead toward openly disseminating scientific research. Effective immediately, all USENIX proceedings and papers will be freely available on the USENIX web site as soon as they are published. (Previously, […]


Quantum Progress

What is it about the word “quantum” that sucks the brains out of otherwise reasonable people? There has to be some sort of Heisenberg-Schödinger Credulity Principle that makes all the ideons in their brains go spin-up at the same time, and I’m quite sure that the Many Worlds Interpretation of it has the most merit. […]



Via Michael Froomkin.


Guinness is Good For You, but don’t tell anyone

A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks. Drinking lager does not yield the same benefits, experts from University of Wisconsin told a conference in the US. … The researchers told a meeting of the American Heart […]


"There’s supposed to be a Mars-shattering Ka-boom!"

Here at Emergent Chaos, we’re big fans of large objects hitting other large objects at high speed. Which is why it’s important to tell you that 2007-WD5 is a 50 meter asteroid that’s set to pass within 48,000 kilometers of Mars next month. “We estimate such impacts occur on Mars every thousand years or so,” […]



Check out this amazing video from TED.


Laboratories of Security?

There’s a story in USA Today, “Most fake bombs missed by screeners.” It describes how screeners at LAX find only 25% of bombs, at ORD, they find 40%, and at SFO, 80%: At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, screeners missed about 60% of hidden bomb materials that were packed in everyday carry-ons — including toiletry kits, […]


Links of the day (Also useful as a reading list for a possible upcoming cage match between Hutton and Bejtlich ;^))


Typical British overstatement

I saw a BBC headline, “Huge payout in US stuttering case“, and figured that somebody who stutters must have been harassed at work or something, and got a settlement of $5 mil. WRONG. What happened is this: Six US citizens who, as children, were used in an experiment that tried to induce stuttering have been […]


Doctors want more study on overuse of books

(Adds psychiatrist interview, industry comment, paragraphs 4, 7-17) CHICAGO, June 27 (EmergentChaos)- The American Medical Association called for more research into the public health risks of books and reading on Wednesday but stopped short of declaring them addictive. The AMA, which recommended a review of the current publishing system, also said it would leave it […]


She’s Such A Geek

Longtime geek author Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders, published She’s Such A Geek last year. I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while It’s a collection of over 20 essays by women geeks. These essays cover the trials, tribulations and joys of being a female geek. At times entertaining and other times depressing, […]


Portuguese Got to Australia in 1522

Portuguese seafarer Christopher de Mendonca led a fleet of four ships into Botany Bay in 1522. No one noticed before because the map was oriented wrong when it was copied. This is a nice article from


The Antikythera Machine

So it was a busy week, and I was behind everyone and their brother blogging about the Antikythera machine. Most of the articles only gave a few pictures. The one shown here is from Philip Coppens, who has great background. Also, courtesy of Stefan Geens, here are 3d views, courtesy of HP and Scientific American.



How’d you like to be the person at British Airways who has to write the letter to 30,000 people explaining that they might have been exposed to a radioactive poison while traveling on BA flights? Remarkably, authorities will not confirm that the substance detected was Polonium, yet passengers on the flights are being asked to […]


Topology Editors Resign En Mass

The New York Sun reports, “A Rebellion Erupts over Journals of Academia:” “Elsevier’s prices are very high,” said an emerita mathematics professor at Barnard College, Joan Birman, who resigned a few years ago from the board of an Elsevier journal, Topology and Its Applications. She said her feeling was, “We do the work, we check […]


Public Library of Science and The Journal System

Dave Weinstien has a really interesting article, “PLOS – Open Access science:” PLoS has an “intrinsic tension” [Hemai Parthasarathy] says because most of the people who started the journal don’t believe in elite publishing. “We think it’s wrong for tenure committees to pass the buck” to the editors of the top-tier journals. That’s why they’ve […]


Long Term Impact of Youthful Decisions

There’s a fascinating article in the New York Times last week, “Expunged Criminal Records Live to Tell Tales” about how companies like Choicepoint which collect and sell public records don’t pick up orders to expunge those records. I didn’t have much to add, and figured the Times doesn’t need me to pimp their articles (they […]


Periodic Spiral

The periodic table is under-appreciated as a design masterpiece, and as an iconic representation of science. The table works as a taxonomy, showing someone who knows how to read it a great deal of information about the elements based on their arrangement in space. So it’s pretty audacious to come out with a re-design: The […]


Do Kings Play Chess on Folding Glass Stools?

Over at the OSVDB blog, blogauthor writes: On September 29, Stefan Esser posted an advisory in which he said “While searching for applications that are vulnerable to a new class of vulnerabilities inside PHP applications we took a quick look…“. This lead me to remember an article last year titled Microsoft unveils details of software […]



There are a bunch of ways to estimate how many people have died in the Iraq war.  One is to keep track of news stories and official reports of combatant and civilian deaths, and add them up. Another is to employ the tools of epidemiology and demography.  Until now, we’ve had essentially only the former […]


Voyager 1 passes 100 AU

            Voyager 1 has passed 100 AU. It’s a stunning feat of engineering. (Story via Slashdot.)


Homo Economicus?

Researchers have identified brain cells involved in economic choice behavior: The scientists, who reported the findings in the journal Nature, located the neurons in an area of the brain known as the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) while studying macaque monkeys which had to choose between different flavours and quantities of juices. They correlated the animals’ choices […]


Vengeful God Hurts Those With Demands

I forgot to blog this at the time, so will simply say that “Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer,” as reported in the NY Times and elsewhere, demonstrates that if there is a god, he prefers those who help themselves.


Deep Impact, Deep Analysis

The Nasa projectile that slammed into Comet Tempel 1 last year kicked out at least 250,000 tonnes of water. The figure comes from UK/US scientists on the Swift telescope, one of many observatories called on to study the US space agency’s Deep Impact event. Swift’s X-ray Telescope (XRT) saw the comet continue to release water […]


Lab-Grown Bladders

I’m a little behind in posting this, but modern medical science can be so cool: US scientists have successfully implanted bladders grown in the laboratory from patients’ own cells into people with bladder disease. The researchers, from North Carolina’s Wake Forest University, have carried out seven transplants, and in some the organ is working well […]


Audio Surveillance Can Be Cool, or a Hoax

[Update: Everyone says I’m being taken, in the comments.] French archaeologists have taken pottery from ancient Pompeii and played the grooves back like a record to get the sounds of the pottery workshop, including laughter. Click “Telecharger la video” to play the short video which contains a sample of the audio. Audio from ancient Pompeii, […]


Worth Reading, 2.0

The news that one of “Saturn’s moons is spewing water vapor” is worth reading because the universe is cool, Enceladus will have life found on it, and life will get more interesting. “Fix My Settings in IE7” is worth reading for user interface designers. I hope to see the idea exposed to some user testing […]


Not Because It Is Easy, But Because We Can

Twelve barrels of the world’s most alcoholic whisky, or enough to wipe out a medium-size army, will be produced when the Bruichladdich distillery revives the ancient tradition of quadruple-distilling today. With an alcohol content of 92 per cent, the drink may not be the most delicate single malt ever produced but it is by far […]


Octopus vs. Submarine

Rare video footage shows a giant octopus attacking a small submarine off the west coast of Vancouver Island. Salmon researchers working on the Brooks Peninsula were shocked last November when an octopus attacked their expensive and sensitive equipment. The giant Pacific octopus weighs about 45 kilograms, powerful enough to damage Mike Wood’s remote-controlled submarine. From […]


Roll Clouds

These rare long clouds may form near advancing cold fronts. In particular, a downdraft from an advancing storm front can cause moist warm air to rise, cool below its dew point, and so form a cloud. When this happens uniformly along an extended front, a roll cloud may form. Image and text from “Astronomy Picture […]


Brain fingerprint clears prisoner

Wow. An innocent man has been freed based upon his “brain fingerprint”. This happened over a year ago, but hey, I’ve been busy. The murder conviction of an Iowa man was overturned last year by that state’s highest court on the basis of a new technique called “brain fingerprinting”. Terry Harrington had served more than […]


Totally unforeseeable.

Herbicide-resistant genetically-modified crops cross-breeding with weeds? Shocking. Via Slashdot.


Those Boy Scouts…Always Building Nuclear Reactors

Now 17, David hit on the idea of building a model breeder reactor, a nuclear reactor that not only generates electricity, but also produces new fuel. His model would use the actual radioactive elements and produce real reactions. His blueprint was a schematic in one of his father’s textbooks. Ignoring safety, David mixed his radium […]


Apollo 8

From the good old days, when science was not a matter of press releases, perception management or “long held beliefs.” Click the picture for a larger version at Astronomy Picture of the Day.


Dodo bones

Scientists have discovered the “beautifully preserved” bones of about 20 dodos at a dig site in Mauritius. Little is known about the dodo, a famous flightless bird thought to have become extinct in the 17th century. No complete skeleton has ever been found in Mauritius, and the last full set of bones was destroyed in […]


Shark Video

Watch this astounding video of a shark in the Seattle aquarium. I suggest turning down the volume, the only really useful thing you’ll learn is that the shark in question was about 3-4 feet long. Via TEDBlog        


It's Chaos Out There!

In “Play Break,” Hilzoy writes: Here’s what it’s about: as most parents know, little boys tend to be more interested in toys like trucks, and little girls in toys like dolls. (I was an exception: someone gave me a doll once, and I dissected it.) There is no obvious way to decide whether this is […]


A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

Bruce Schneier demonstrates the truth of the old saying in a must-read blog entry. In a nutshell, Nature published an article written by a physicist with little or no background in cryptography, claiming to have devised a mechanism foroptically transmitting encrypted messages using a “chaotic carrier”. Bruce trains his skeptical and expert eye on the […]


Nick Szabo Blogging

Nick is a premier thinker about history, law and economics, and the lessons they have for security. Take this brief sample from “Origins of the joint-stock corporation:” The modern joint-stock corporation has many sources in medieval Europe. First among these was corporate law itself. Although the era is commonly referred to as “feudalism,” for the […]


The Future of Scientific Research

There’s a fascinating set of articles in Nature this week on openness, sharing, and new publication models. From “Science in the web age: Joint efforts:” “Science is too hung up on the notion of ‘the paper’ as the exclusive means of scientific communication,” says Leigh Dodds, a web expert at the publisher Ingenta. Publication and […]


Data Destroying Anonymity

New Scientist reports “Anonymous sperm donor traced on internet:” LATE last year, a 15-year-old boy rubbed a swab along the inside of his cheek, popped it into a vial and sent it off to an online genealogy DNA-testing service. But unlike most people who contact the service, he was not interested in sketching the far […]


Fall Back

Its that time of year again, when Congress decrees that you shift your clock back an hour to save miniscule amounts of energy. The fine folks of Arizona and Indiana have noticed that Congress doesn’t really have the power to regulate time, and don’t like playing along. But if you think about it, time is […]


Archimedes' Death Ray?

Boingboing directs us to “Archimedes Death Ray: Idea Feasibility Testing,” in which an MIT class decides to test Archimedes’ ray: The use of mirrors to set warships on fire. Mythbusters claimed it was a myth, that the idea couldn’t be made to work. Well, the MIT class gave it a shot, and it turns out […]


Fishermen's Friend, Breathalyzers

It comes after a 24-year-old driver was found to be over the legal drink-drive limit during a routine control in Munich. He was taken to the police station where blood tests found he had no alcohol in his system. The man was released after officers found the strongest thing he had taken was a Fisherman’s […]


Bugger Productivity

It’s not like I was getting any work done anyway. (Ok, actually I was: Five of yesterday’s six posts took under 10 minutes, and four took 5 minutes or less.) But: Scientists invade the privacy of Giant squid, intruding on their long-preserved solitude. Also be sure to notice National Geographic’s beautiful user interface for selecting […]


Speaking of Hot Knives, Butter

It seems that Zylon “bulletproof” vests are not nearly as effective as Kevlar ones, and the Justice department may pull funding for purchasing them. (All the press releases and reports are at the DOJ site.) They are, however, more effective than not wearing a vest. I am routinely outraged here by poor technology decisions that […]


Small Bits: Alex Haislip, Chinese Censorship, TSA Xrays

Alex Haislip is blogging up a storm at VC Action. I love journalist bloggers; there’s so much interesting backstory that they talk about. And working at Red Herring, Alex has more dirt than he could dish and stay in business. 😉 Curt Hopkins points to a fascinating story about the folks who run the great […]


Make Fire With Water, Electricity

This Aqueon Fireplace, from Heat and Glo separates water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then burns them. Because the hydrogen burns cleanly (unlike, say wood or gas), there’s no need to ventilate. As if you needed more proof that science trumps idiocy. I look forward to having six hydrogen burners in my stove. Because that […]


Deep Impact

We’re about 4 hours from Deep Impact making a large hole in Comet Tempel 1. The National Business Review in New Zealand has an excellent links roundup in “Comet impact: See it online.”


Small Bits: Soviet Realism at DHS and in China, Going Public, Lameness, and Curves

Artiloop reports on a security poster on the Marc commuter trains. Its clearly the work of a thoughtcriminal, encouraging ironic responses. I want to heroically help plan the tractor factory. I’ve been meaning to discuss the Chinese blog crackdown, but instead I’ll just juxtapose it with Soviet Realism. The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled […]


Reporters without…Mathematics

DM pointed me to this Register story, “Fraud expert becomes victim of credit card crime.” Its a nice bit of irony, but my favorite bit is the very end: CNP (Cardholder Not Present) fraud in the UK has grown nearly 50 times between 1994 and 2003 to £116.4 million. Goodwill wants the government to recognise […]



Over at “Statistical Modelling,” Sam discusses “Sabermetricians vs. Gut-metricians:” There’s a little debate going on in baseball right now about whether decisions should be made using statistics (a sabermetrician is a person who studies baseball statistics) or instincts. Two books are widely considered illustrative of the two sides of the debate. Moneyball, by Michael Lewis, […]


Alien Spacecraft Captured…in Orbit Around Mars

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft appears twice in the same frame in this image from the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor. The camera’s successful imaging of Odyssey and of the European Space Agency’s Mars Express in April 2005 produced the first pictures of any spacecraft orbiting a foreign planet taken by another spacecraft […]


20Q: Emergent Databases

20Q is a website and now a handheld electronic toy that plays 20 questions. But the web site doesn’t just play 20 questions, it learns as it goes. It decides which questions are good, and which questions are bad. Alex Tabarrok writes on Marginal Revolution: I was skeptical when my wife handed me a small […]


"It's the Medicine Talking"

Dr Jim Swan, a consultant to the drinks industry, said: “There has been much in the news about the health benefits of antioxidants in red wine. By contrast, very little has been said about malt whisky distillery science. “However, research has shown that there are even greater health benefits to people who drink single malt […]



Speaker B: And the helmets are shaking their purple-dyed crests, and for the wearers of breast-plates the weavers are striking up the wise shuttle’s songs, that wakes up those who are asleep. is a pretty unexceptional line of a play, unless you happen to be a classicist, familiar enough with the works of Sophocles to […]


Small Bits: Digitizing Art, Making Sense, Wages of Sin, Pookmail

Capturing the Unicorn is an article at the New Yorker about the hubris of technologists trying to capture art. (The technologists win, but the archivist in me asks: CDs?) 13 things that do not make sense is a New Scientist article about, well, 13 things that don’t make sense. Some foolish people might look at […]


Terror Suspects and Firearms

The New York Times is running a somewhat alarmist article, Terror Suspects Buying Firearms, Report Finds. The report says that At least 44 times from February 2004 to June, people whom the F.B.I. regards as known or suspected members of terrorist groups sought permission to buy or carry a gun, the investigation found. In all […]


Small Bits of Chaos: Advertising and The Gulag Evolution

Scrivner points out that the Golden Palace is winning all bids to advertise on people’s bodies, and asks “What is all this telling us? Ummm, Scrivner, it’s telling us…Visit Golden Palace! These foxes are being bred for tameness by scientists in Siberia. (I hope that URL is resilient?) I guess that’s what happens when you’re […]


MMR & Autism

There’s a belief out there that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination is linked to autism, with some scientific sounding hypothesis as to what the causal link is. The BBC is reporting on a study done by Hideo Honda of the Yokohama Rehabilitation Center, along with Yasuo Shimizu and Michael Rutter of the Institute […]


It's Not About Not Feeling Pain

On Monday, I had the opportunity to see Ed Tufte teach. Much of his analysis revolves around failures to think clearly. Things like poor presentation of data, or selection of data to not include enough context. He said he was in Houston last week, giving a class to the people who were responsible for the […]


Astrologers and National ID Cards

I often hear folks who believe in astrology saying things like “That’s just the scorpio in her.” Or, “All Leos act that way.” I rarely hear them say “That’s so unlike a scorpio.” Underlying this is a mind-set which searches for ‘evidence in favor’ of a proposition. This search is a fundamental, and common, misunderstanding […]


Finding Security Issues

In Today’s Choicepoint Roundup, I mentioned that Richard Smith had found a number of issues with Choicepoint’s web sites. In discussion, Richard told me that the issues included (but were not limited to) robots.txt files and directory listings enabled. The robots.txt standard is a way to tell search engines “please don’t go here.” That’s useful, […]


Small Bits: Research, Web Security, Saturn's Moon

Uncle Sam is trying to restrict basic research. This approach comes from such a foreign orientation I’m not even going to comment. Jerimiah Grossman has an article on easy things to do to protect your locally developed application. I still think you should look at your code, but that’s still unfortunately expensive and difficult. Finally, […]


"Analysis of the Texas Instruments DST RFID"

A group at Johns Hopkins and RSA security have interesting new attacks on the RFID chips used in Mobil Speedpass. They’ve put up a web site at, and gotten some press at the New York Times.   [Edited 29/4/2017 to unlink because Google claims its distributing malware.]


Small Bits of Chaos: Taxes, Orientation, Liberty, Fraudulent Licenses

Scrivner writes about the perverse nature of the AMT. Chuck Spinney at D-N-I asks “Is America Inside Its Own OODA Loop?” The article contains some very clear writing on the meaning of orientation, and applies that idea: He showed why the most dangerous internal state of an OODA loop occurs when the Orientation process becomes […]


Ben Rothke on Best Practices

Best practices look at what everyone else is doing, crunch numbers—and come up with what everyone else is doing. Using the same method, one would conclude that best practices for nutrition mandates a diet high in fat, cholesterol and sugar, with the average male being 35 pounds overweight. Writes Ben Rothke in a short, incisive […]


I Am So A Dinosaur…

…and I was one before it was cool. Crit Jarvis responds to my comment that my views on disclosure have ossified by claiming that I’m evolving. The trouble is, I have documented proof it’s not true. From my homepage: Apparent Weaknesses in the Security Dynamics Client Server Protocol. This paper was presented at the DIMACS […]


CCS Industry Track

I’m excited to be a part of the ACM’s 2005 Computer and Communication Security Conference, which has an Industry Track this year. We’re working to foster more interplay and collaboration between industry, the public sector, and academia: The track aims to foster tighter interplay between the demands of real-world security systems and the efforts of […]


Small Bits: Secret Law and Security, Root-Fu, New Blog, and Canadians Stagnate

Cory Doctrow points to a letter he’s sent American Airlines about The security officer then handed me a blank piece of paper and said, “Please write down the names and addresses of everyone you’re staying with in the USA.” and his Kafka-esque experience in trying to find out why they were asking. Good on Cory […]


Symposium on Usable Privacy And Security CFP

The Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security will be July 6-8 at CMU: The Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS) will bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners in human computer interaction, security, and privacy. The program will feature refereed papers, tutorials, a poster session, panels and invited talks, and discussion sessions.


Trouble with Surveying Cybercrime

In a comment yesterday, Chris Walsh said: In any case, this should not be a difficult nut to crack, in principle. The US government conducts surveys of businesses all the time, and is capable of obtaining quality samples and high response rates in which academics justly have confidence. In theory, I agree with Chris. In […]


DHS to Survey Cybercrime

In what they hope will become the premier measure of national cybercrime statistics, officials at the Homeland Security and Justice departments plan to survey 36,000 businesses this spring to examine the type and frequency of computer security incidents. This is a really exciting development. DHS seems to be taking a good approach, and in a […]


What Makes Good Science?

Over at the Volokh conspiracy, Jim Lindgren writes: Crichton then describes scientific consensuses that turned out to be wrong. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with talking about the consensus of scientists or social scientists (and I certainly do so myself), but one must remember that it is the quality of the evidence […]


DNA Dragnets and Criminal Signaling

In responding to my comments about Truro’s DNA dragnet, with a fascinating discussion of signaling, Eric Rescorla writes: Even if they’re not the perp, they may have other reasons not to have their DNA collected–for instance they’ve committed another crime that their DNA might match to. (The police say they’re only going to use the […]


Evaluating Security

The study, published in the January issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, concluded that the estimated $7.55 million spent on [SARS] screening at several Canadian airports failed to detect one case of the disease. … “Sometimes what seems like a reasonable thing to do doesn’t turn out that way,” the report’s lead author, Dr. […]


Clever criminals

Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok quotes a letter from an inmate: [Inmate:] A privately owned and publicly traded company like CCA has no incentive to rehabilitate criminals.  It is in the best interests of the company for even more criminals to exist.  Unfortunately, the same is true of government run prisons.  And contrary to […]


Code analysis and safe languages

Ekr writes: These tools aren’t perfect and it certainly would be nice to have better tooling, but it’s worth noting that a lot of the bugs they find are the kind of thing that could be entirely eliminated if people would just program in safer languages. For instance, the buffer overflow vulnerabilities which have been […]


Evidence based…cooking

The curiosity that fueled the experiments in Mr. McGee’s first book is undiminished after 20 years, and his approach to cooking is still skeptical. He tries to take as little as possible for granted, asking at each step: Why am I doing this? Is there a better way? All this questioning has yielded conclusions, some […]


A market for journal articles, again

George Akerlof shared the 2001 Nobel prize in economics for his paper on “Lemon markets.” While reading Akerlof’s Nobel Prize essay, I was struck by the comment: I submitted “Lemons” there, which was again rejected on the grounds that the The Review did not publish papers on topics of such triviality. It seems to me […]


Travel Plans: Shmoocon

Crispin Cowan and I will be running a BOF at Shmoocon, on Evidence Based Security. Shmoocon is in DC, Feb 4-6 of next year.


Informed? comment

Experts tend to know that when journalists report on their subject, things get twisted up and wrong. You start to evaluate a publication by looking at how it does on subjects you know, and assume that its work is consistently at the same level. I’ve been (cautiously) reading Informed Comment, by Juan Cole. He tends […]


A Market for Journal Articles?

In A Market for Journal Articles, Alex Tabarrok refers to a paper by David Zetland on A Market for journal articles. Zetland suggests that journal publishers should buy manuscripts in an auction.  You probably already have some objections, Where would the money come from?  Why would journal editors buy what they can get for free? […]


DETER testbed

There’s a coalition of universities working on a security testbed, called DETER. It’s an excellent idea, and apparently, they’re up and running. I look forward to the output from the conference. I hope they’ll ensure that all papers are online and available to the public.


"I am searching for the truth as long as I can"

I recently blogged about Ted Taylor, and the book he inspired. He passed away recently: Thirty-one years ago, The New Yorker published a profile of nuclear weapon designer Ted Taylor, written by John McPhee. Published in book form as “The Curve of Binding Energy,” this was the first time the prospect of nuclear terrorism was […]


The Curve of Binding Energy

Is the story of Ted Taylor, one of the cleverest of the very clever men who designed nuclear bombs. He designed the largest bomb ever set off by the US, and the smallest. He once used a nuclear bomb to light a cigarette. And in the early 1970s, he was very concerned that terrorists could […]


Hackers sabotage Waikato (NZ) food company

Computer hackers have emailed 3000 of the company’s customers, saying a company product – lamb chips – are being recalled due to an infectious agent, and the warning has since been posted on internet message boards. Sad as it is for Erik Arndt and Aria Farm that this has happened, I think this is interesting […]


More on Patches & EULAs

In a comment below, Nudecybot mentions Mark Rasch’s “You Need A Cyber-Lawyer” article in Wired News. I don’t buy this line of reasoning. Making a decent auto-lawyer requires being able to parse legalese, which is a hard problem. Now, legalese is a subset of English, so you might think that the weather parsers, or similar […]


Bush's Certainty

A few days ago, I commented on Bush’s lack of self doubt. Now Ron Suskind takes on the theme in a 10 page article in The New York Times, entitled “Without A Doubt.”


Financial Cryptography: The Medici Effect

Gramme has a long interview with the author of the Medici Effect over at Financial Cryptography. The book focuses on how the Medicis helped drive the Renaissance by bringing together a slew of people from different cultures and backgrounds. Far too often people become narrowly focused on issues that their peers agree are important. They […]