Miniature Gardens Inside the Drainage of Japanese Retaining Walls

Miniature Gardens Inside the Drainage of Japanese Retaining Walls:

all photos by @sakanakudo

In hilly and mountainous Japan, retaining walls are a common sight. As the name implies, they’re designed to retain soil to a slope and keep it from spilling into streets and other areas that us humans use on a daily basis. And where there are retaining walls you’ll also likely find drainage systems: piping that’s essential to keeping water from building up behind the wall and creating unwanted pressure.

The sight of these walls and drainage are so common that most people would walk right past them without thinking twice. But for one Japanese amateur photographer who goes by the name sakanakudo, the drainage pipes and their constant moisture represented rich, miniature ecosystems. Here are some of sakanakudo’s recent shots of the miniature gardens he’s found growing inside the pipes.

The next time we walk past a retaining well, we’re definitely going to stop and poor into the drainage!

(Via Spoon & Tamago)

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Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses

Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses:

Infosec’s cool uncle says to hell with the carrot

Any sort of lasting security standard in IoT devices may only happen if governments start doling out stiff penalties.

So said author and security guru Bruce Schneier, who argued during a panel discussion at the Aspen Cyber Summit that without regulation, there is little hope the companies hooking their products up to the internet will implement proper security protections.

“Looking at every other industry, we don’t get security unless it is done by the government,” Schneier said.

“I challenge you to find an industry in the last 100 years that has improved security without being told [to do so] by the government.”

Schneier went on to point out that, as it stands, companies have little reason to implement safeguards into their products, while consumers aren’t interested in reading up about appliance vendors’ security policies.

“I don’t think it is going to be the market,” Schneier argued. “I don’t think people are going to say I’m going to choose my refrigerator based on the number of unwanted features that are in the device.”

Schneier is not alone in his assessment either. Fellow panellist Johnson & Johnson CISO Marene Allison noted that manufacturers have nothing akin to a bill of materials for their IP stacks, so even if customers want to know how their products and data are secured, they’re left in the dark.

“Most of the stuff out there, even as a security professional, I have to ask myself, what do they mean?” Allison said.

That isn’t to say that this is simply a matter of manufacturers being careless. Even if vendors want to do right by data security, a number of logistical hurdles will arise both short and long term.

Allison and Schneier agreed that simply trying to port over the data security policies and practices from the IT sector won’t work, thanks to the dramatically different time scales that both industrial and consumer IoT appliances tend to have.

“Manufacturers do not change all the IT out every five years,” Allison noted. “You are looking at a factory having a 25- to 45-year lifespan.”

Support will also be an issue for IoT appliances, many of which go decades between replacement.

“The lifespan for consumer goods is much more than our phones and computers, this is a very different way of maintaining lifecycle,” Schneier said.

“We have no way of maintaining consumer software for 40 years.”

Ultimately, addressing the IoT security question may need to be spearheaded by the government, but, as the panelists noted, any long-term solution will require a shift in culture and perception from manufacturers, retailers and consumers. ®

Sponsored: Following Bottomline’s journey to the Hybrid Cloud

(Via The Register – Security)

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The Org Chart Test

The Org Chart Test:

I believe the org chart is one of the three critical artifacts that must be easily discovered and well-maintained. Why? First, let’s start with a definition. In my favorite part of Managing Humans, the glossary, I define an org chart as:

A visual representation of who reports to whom. Org charts are handy in large organizations for figuring out who you’re dealing with.

That’s one good use case, but one is missing. An org chart should also effectively describe, at a high level, how the product is organized and also who is responsible for what. An org chart should be legible.

(Via Rands in Repose)

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Gorgeous, illustrated Japanese fireworks catalogs from the early 1900s

Gorgeous, illustrated Japanese fireworks catalogs from the early 1900s:

The Yokohama Board of Education has posted scans of six fantastic catalogs from Hirayama Fireworks and Yokoi Fireworks, dating from the early 1900s. The illustrated catalogs are superb, with minimal words: just beautiful colored drawings depicting the burst-pattern from each rocket.

(via Kottke)

(Via Boing Boing)

Also at Open Culture and Spoon & Tamago.

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