In memory of a local reporter who made small stories big

In memory of a local reporter who made small stories big:

Nikki, 30, was found dead in a suspected homicide on Monday.

(Via Poynter – A global leader in journalism.)

This was in paragraph 4, sentence 2 of an otherwise nice piece. Not sure what message was intended by Kristen Hare and/or her editor(s). I am keen to learn.

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The Value of a “Good Old Newsletter”

The Value of a “Good Old Newsletter”:

From Kai Brach, Publisher of Offscreen magazine and the Dense Discovery newsletter:

“Funny enough though, the good old email newsletter is currently experiencing a bit of a comeback. Perhaps as a reaction to the bottomless, anxiety-inducing social feeds, the email sits patiently in your inbox until you deem it worthy of your attention. Not able to read it now? No problem, come back to it later, it’s right there where you left it.

That’s why I’ve always loved email as a medium. Sure, I spend a lot of time reading and writing them – which arguably is not the most creatively productive time of my day – but it’s still the one digital medium that abides by my rules (or filters). No sudden change in algorithm; no YOU-NEED-THIS product plugs; no strangers chiming in with rude comments. I decide what and when to read. Perhaps best of all: I can have constructive, civilised conversations with other people. Imagine that?!”

Amen. And it’s a really good time to subscribe to mine.

(Via Blog – CJ Chilvers)

Nah … I still prefer full-text ATOM RSS over email newsletters. I prefer summary RSS over email newsletters.

I think if more people knew this option was an option, they’d opt in.

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Information Attacks on Democracies

Information Attacks on Democracies:

Democracy is an information system.

That’s the starting place of our new paper: “Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy.” In it, we look at democracy through the lens of information security, trying to understand the current waves of Internet disinformation attacks. Specifically, we wanted to explain why the same disinformation campaigns that act as a stabilizing influence in Russia are destabilizing in the United States.

(Via Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices)

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MIA Emacs Writers

I have a bunch of TODO entries in my orgmode files for improving all kinds of bits of my Emacs config. I was looking through them for a minor issue (which I solved) when I realized three of the sites I value for Emacs content are mostly or completely silent.

Sacha Chua is busy with family and life. I appreciate that she still puts out a weekly Emacs News post.

The other two, unless you follow them on Reddit and GitHub, you’d be worried that they were trapped under something heavy.

Oleh Krehel, a.k.a. abo-abo, has a site at (or emacs. His last post was in March 2018.

Artur Malabarba, a.k.a. Malabarba, has a site at Endless Parenthesis. His last post was in October 2017!

The stuff all of these folks posted are still valuable and enrich the Emacs and Org-Mode community. I think it would be better if they were still writing on a regular basis. But, you know, life and work and family and stuff happen.

I, for one, look forward to their return.

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Two Years in Japan!

Hey, Kids!

Today is my official second anniversary of my living in Japan. I spent it at a Spanish festival and an American craft beer festival in different parts of Tokyo.

The weather was delightful. The people, friendly. I enjoyed being here.

Thank you to my friends and colleagues and those others who’ve made my time here so much fun. And thank you to my family for your support.

Sugoi!

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A Security Tale in Japan (a.k.a. The Cheese Shop)

(a customer walks in the door of the Japanese Ministry of Cybersecurity.)

Customer: Good Morning.

Owner/Minister: Good morning, Sir. Welcome to the Japanese National Cybersecurity Emporium, uh, Ministry.

Customer: Ah, thank you, my good man.

Owner/Minister: What can I do for you, Sir?

C: Well, I was, uh, sitting in the public library on Meiji dori just now, skimming through ‘Secrets and Lies‘, by Bruce Schneier, and I suddenly came over all peckish.

O: Peckish, sir?

C: Esuriant.

O: Eh?

C: ‘Ee I were all ‘ungry-like!

O: Ah, hungry!

C: In a nutshell. And I thought to myself, ‘a little dose of InfoSec will do the trick’, so, I curtailed my Schneier-ing activites, sallied forth, and infiltrated your place of purveyance to negotiate the vending of some security comestibles!

O: Come again?

C: I want some Cybersecurity.

O: Oh, I thought you were complaining about the bouzouki player!

C: Oh, heaven forbid: I am one who delights in all manifestations of the Terpsichorean muse!

O: Sorry?

C: ‘Ooo, Ah lahk a nice tune, ‘yer forced to!

O: So he can go on playing, can he?

C: Most certainly! Now then, some Cybersecurity please, my good man.

O: (lustily) Certainly, sir. What would you like?

C: Well, eh, how about a little AI?

O: I’m, a-fraid we’re fresh out of AI, sir.

C: Oh, never mind, how are you on Multifactor Authentication?

O: I’m afraid we never have that at the end of the week, sir, we get it fresh on Monday.

C: Tish tish. No matter. Well, stout yeoman, facial biometrics, if you please.

O: Ah! It’s beeeen on order, sir, for two weeks. Was expecting it this morning.

C: ‘T’s Not my lucky day, is it? Aah, DDoS protection?

O: Sorry, sir.

C: User Behavioral Analytics?

O: Normally, sir, yes. Today the van broke down.

C: Ah. Forensics?

O: Sorry.

C: Access management? Monitoring?

O: No.

C: Any SIEM, per chance?

O: No.

C: Endpont Detection and Response?

O: No.

C: Encryption?

O: No.

C: IP Blacklist?

O: No.

C: Threat intelligence?

O: No.

C: Threat hunting?

O: (pause) No.

C: Social engineering?

O: No.

C: Penetration testing?

O: No.

C: Firewalls, ACLs, WAF, Proxies, IDS, IDP, A.V., Anti-Malware, file integrity checking, SSL?

O: No.

C: Incident response, perhaps?

O: Ah! We have IR, yessir.

C: (suprised) You do! Excellent.

O: Yessir. It’s ah… it’s a bit runny.

C: Oh, I like it runny.

O: Well,.. It’s very runny, actually, sir.

C: No matter. Fetch hither the fromage de la IR! Mmmwah!

O: I…think it’s a bit runnier than you’ll like it, sir.

C: I don’t care how f-ing runny it is. Hand it over with all speed.

O: Oooooooooohhh……..! (pause)

C: What now?

O: The cat’s eaten it.

C: (pause) Has he?

O: She, sir.

(pause)

C: MD5 hash checking?

O: No.

C: User accounts?

O: No.

C: Deep inspection?

O: No.

C: IR badges?

O: No.

C: Japanese robotic sentry?

O: No sir.

C: You… do have some Cybersecurity, don’t you?

O: (brightly) Of course, sir. It’s a Cybersecurity shop, sir. We’ve got-

C: No no… don’t tell me. I’m keen to guess.

O: Fair enough.

C: Uuuuuh, Indicators Of Compromise.

O: Yes?

C: Ah, well, I’ll have some of that!

O: Oh! I thought you were talking to me, sir. Mister Indicature de Comprimize, that’s my name.

(pause)

C: Pin?

O: Uh, not as such.

C: Uuh, passcode?

O: No

C: Pass phrase?

O: No

C: Fingerprint biometrics?

O: No

C: Mobile device management?

O: No

C: Phishing?

O: No

C: Hardware hacking?

O: No

C: Lock picking?

O: Not -today-, sir, no.

(pause)

C: Aah, how about passwords?

O: Well, we don’t get much call for it around here, sir.

C: Not much ca–It’s the single most popular bit of Cybersecurity in the world!

O: Not ’round here, sir.

C: (slight pause) and what, prey tell, IS the most popular bit of Cybersecurity ’round hyah?

O: NFC, sir.

C: Is it?

O: Oh, yes! It’s staggeringly popular in this country, squire.

C: Is it?

O: It’s our number one best seller, sir!

C: I see. Uuh… NFC, eh?

O: Right, sir.

C: All right. Okay. ‘Have you got any?’ He asked, expecting the answer ‘no’.

O: I’ll have a look, sir.. nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno.

C: It’s not much of a Cybersecurity shop, is it?

O: Finest in the country sir!

C: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please.

O: Well, it’s so clean, sir!

C: It’s certainly uncontaminated by Cybersecurity.

O: (brightly) You haven’t asked me about palm biometrics, sir.

C: Would it be worth it?

O: Could be.

C: Have you –SHUT THAT BLOODY BOUZOUKI UP!

O: Told you sir…

C: (slowly) Have you got any palm biometrics?

O: No.

C: Figures. Predictable, really I suppose. It was an act of purest optimism to have posed the question in the first place……. Tell me:

O: Yessir?

C: (deliberately) Have you in fact got any Cybersecurity here at all?

O: Yes,sir.

C: Really?

(pause)

O: No. Not really, sir.

C: You haven’t.

O: Nosir. Not a scrap. I was deliberately wasting your time,sir. I’ve never actually worked a computer.

C: Well I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to (verbally reprimanded) you.

O: Right-0, sir.

C: What a senseless waste of human life.

Thanks and apologies to Monty Python.

Also on:

‘I don’t use computers,’ Japan’s minister in charge of cybersecurity tells Diet | The Japan Times

The minister in charge of cybersecurity said he doesn’t use computers. Yoshitaka Sakurada, who just last week was criticized for stumbling over basic quest
— Read on www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/15/national/politics-diplomacy/dont-use-computers-says-japans-minister-charge-cybersecurity/

It’s crazy that someone in such an important role doesn’t know, well, anything about the sector they oversee.

Then you have people who oversee a sector where they have too much invested from one side. What happens when that side isn’t your side?

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Apologies To The Guy On The Yamanote Line

Transit from Yoyogi Park’s Spanish Festival 2018 near Harajuku Station to Takeshiba New Pier Hall, by the Hamamatsucho Station, hosting the American Craft Beer Festival 2018 had me travel on the Yamanote Line.

The train was crowded. I put my backpack on the baggage shelf and set in for the 20+ minute ride standing up.

My trousers’ zipper was down.

To the young man sitting in front of me, I apologize that I failed to tend to this. While these jeans have an unfortunate propensity to let my gait and gravity open my zipper, I knew this is a problem. I failed to make sure the pull was fully raised.

I only hope that the combination of my dark underwear and my tweed sport coat kept … who am I kidding: The eye contact that guy made with me should have triggered a double check.

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Some Hachioji Ginkgo Festival 2018 Picures

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