Take This Cheat Sheet To The Ballpark To Decide When To Leave ←

Take This Cheat Sheet To The Ballpark To Decide When To Leave:

 … baseball is not exactly packing the extra minutes [of a typically 3:05 long game] with scoring and excitement — unless pitchers jogging in from the bullpen is exciting to you. Plus, the stakes are low. They play 162 of these things. Add it all up and you understand why lines of fans hit the exits to beat the traffic home.
Of course, as any purist will tell you, a fan who leaves a ballpark early risks missing out on heart-pumping late-inning action: Just ask the owner of the car whose taillights were visible just outside Dodger Stadium as Kirk Gibson’s walk-off homer to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series landed in the right-field stands.
We can’t advocate ever leaving early from the World Series.2 But at an average, middle-of-the-season, low-stakes game, exceptions can be made. The decision of when to exit is delicate: You want to leave games in which the outcomes are more or less predictable given the current score, but you don’t want to miss out on late-inning heroics. This decision is the kind of problem that data scientists are equipped to solve.

(Via Features – FiveThirtyEight)
Tl;dr – Leaving in the 6th inning if there is a 4+ run lead is the sweet spot.
Also, I love this stuff.

Facebook Lenses ←

Facebook Lenses:

Back when Stratechery started I wrote in the very first post that one of the topics I looked forward to exploring was “Why Wall Street is not completely insane”; I was thinking at the time about Apple, a company that, especially at that time, was regularly posting eye-popping revenue and profit numbers that did not necessarily lead to corresponding increases in the stock price, much to the consternation of Apple shareholders. The underlying point should be an obvious one: a stock price is about future earnings, not already realized ones; that the iPhone maker had just had a great quarter was an important signal about the future, but not a determinant factor, and that those pointing to the past to complain about a price predicated on the future were missing the point.
Of course that is exactly what I did in that tweet.

(Via Stratechery by Ben Thompson)
Ben has a long write-up on the Facebook financial news and how one can look at the data:

To be clear, I agreed with the Apple-investor sentiment all along: several of my early articles — Apple the Black Swan, Two Bears, and especially What Clayton Christensen Got Wrong — were about making the case that Apple’s business was far more sustainable with much deeper moats than most people realized, and it was that sustainability and defensibility that mattered more than any one quarter’s results.
The question is if a similar case can be made for Facebook: certainly my tweet taken literally was naive for the exact reasons those Apple investor complaints missed the point five years ago; what about the sentiment, though? Just how good of a business is Facebook?
As with many such things, it all depends on what lens you use to examine the question.

He looks at Facebook using several different “lenses”:  finances, products, ad infrastructure, multiplying moats, and reason for being (Facebook’s Raison D’être). While I follow his various lines of thinking, I think Ben spends a little too much effort on linking back to things he already said and not enough on expanding upon those thoughts. This is most apparent in his moats lens which needs fleshing out (it feels half-baked).
As it stands it’s a useful exercise in understanding a company’s financial and business drivers. Obviously, any discussion of Facebook will include security and privacy (and GDPR and …). Too often professionals in our industry fail to consider these things fully which leads us to the cyber security startup VC and blockchain bubbles we’re in.

A Spectre is Haunting Unicode ←

A Spectre is Haunting Unicode:

In 1978 Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry established the encoding that would later be known as JIS X 0208, which still serves as an important reference for all Japanese encodings. However, after the JIS standard was released people noticed something strange – several of the added characters had no obvious sources, and nobody could tell what they meant or how they should be pronounced. Nobody was sure where they came from. These are what came to be known as the ghost characters (幽霊文字).

(Via dampfkraft.com)
Ohhh … I like this kind of mystery! Thx to @InfoSecSherpa for the heads up!
UPDATE: & thanks to @polm23 for the original write up!

Government Spying While You're Flying Is Getting Worse: Reason Roundup ←

Government Spying While You’re Flying Is Getting Worse: Reason Roundup:

It’s not just federal employees who are spying while you’re flying. The Department of Homeland Security has been training airline and airport staff on how to “spot the signs” of human trafficking, with a list about as asinine and broad as the above TSA criteria. So far, this has led to an array of travelers getting harassed and detained because some airline attendant had a “hunch” that interracial families are probably human traffickers.
The latest example, told in full absurdist splendor by the Daily Mail, involves Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant Wesley Hirata informing the authorities that there was an Asian man with three Caucasian girls on a flight. The Mail calls Hirata and her colleagues “heroes” for “alerting cops to [a] human trafficking suspect who boarded a flight with three young girls.”
Two of the “young girls” were adults. The FBI investigated and found no evidence of anything bad going on. “Regardless,” the Mail reports, “Hirata has said he’s pleased” with himself for calling the FBI on some totally innocent travelers.

(Via Hit & Run)
Sadly, this is only one of many ridiculous examples. There are valid, useful ways to address human trafficking on airplanes. Giving flight attendants criteria that basically describes “people” and then celebrating them for being wildly wrong is not one of them.

John Oliver Calls Facebook 'History's Most Profitable Data-Harvesting Machine'


John Oliver Calls Facebook ‘History’s Most Profitable Data-Harvesting Machine’:

“We came here for your data and the data of everyone you’ve ever come into contact with,” the ad’s narrator says. “Your data allowed us to make a fuckton of ad money … but here’s the thing. Nothing’s going to change. We’ve got your data, we’ve got your friends. And really, where are you going to go?”

(Via Motherboard)

[Orin Kerr] How to Read a Legal Opinion ←

[Orin Kerr] How to Read a Legal Opinion:

A guide for new law students — and others.
With law schools set to open their doors in a few weeks to a new 1L class, it’s time for my annual posting of my 2007 essay, How to Read a Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students. As the abstract explains:

This essay is designed to help new law students prepare for the first few weeks of class. It explains what judicial opinions are, how they are structured, and what law students should look for when reading them.

I’m told that some non-lawyers also have found the essay valuable as an introduction to reading cases.

(Via The Volokh Conspiracy)
This is a free to download PDF.
As more and more cybersecurity case law is established and while more and more existing case law is pressed into cybersecurity service, being able to read and understand the basics of legal opinions isn’t just the realm of compliance team any more.

How Cloudflare Uses Lava Lamps to Guard Against Hackers ←

How Cloudflare Uses Lava Lamps to Guard Against Hackers:

Edward Craven Walker lived to see his greatest invention, the lava lamp, make its late-’90s cultural comeback. But the British tinkerer (and famed nudist, incidentally) died before he could witness the 21st- century digital potential of his analog creation. Inside the San Francisco office of the web security company Cloudflare, 100 units of Craven Walker’s groovy hardware help protect wide swaths of the internet from infiltration.
Here’s how it works. Every time you log in to any website, you’re assigned a unique identification number. It should be random, because if hackers can predict the number, they’ll impersonate you. Computers, relying as they do on human-coded patterns, can’t generate true randomness—but nobody can predict the goopy mesmeric swirlings of oil, water, and wax. Cloudflare films the lamps 24/7 and uses the ever-changing arrangement of pixels to help create a superpowered cryptographic key. “Anything that the camera captures gets incorporated into the randomness,” says Nick Sullivan, the company’s head of cryptography, and that includes visitors milling about and light streaming through the windows. (Any change in heat subtly affects the undulations of those glistening globules.)
Sure, theoretically, bad guys could sneak their own camera into Cloudflare’s lobby to capture the same scene, but the company’s prepared for such trickery. It films the movements of a pendulum in its London office and records the measurements of a Geiger counter in Singapore to add more chaos to the equation. Crack that, Russians.

(Via Security Latest)
I love the analog nature of this plus the additional geographically disbursed randomness in the system.
I think I first heard about the use of lava lamps for RNG operations in the late ‘90s or early 2000’s. I went so far as to buy a few to set up a smaller version of the Cloudflare rig, but my ex-wife “borrowed” them permanently. Sadly, I’ve lived without strong randomness ever since.

Secret Quiet Skies surveillance program tracks citizens not suspected of wrongdoing ←

Secret Quiet Skies surveillance program tracks citizens not suspected of wrongdoing:

Federal air marshals (FAMs) told the Globe that the program is a waste of taxpayer dollars and actually makes the U.S. less safe as they are not working on “legitimate, potential threats.” Many are not even sure if it is legal, but the TSA told the Globe it is part of its “mission to ensure the safety and security of passengers, crewmembers, and aircraft throughout the aviation sector. As its assessment capabilities continue to enhance, FAMS leverages multiple internal and external intelligence sources in its deployment strategy.”
But John Casaretti, president of the Air Marshal Association, said, “Currently the Quiet Skies program does not meet the criteria we find acceptable.” He added, “The American public would be better served if these [air marshals] were instead assigned to airport screening and check in areas so that active shooter events can be swiftly ended, and violations of federal crimes can be properly and consistently addressed.”

(Via CSO Online)
I almost understand the false sense of security current airport practices provide the average Jane and John Doe.
But super secret security theater busywork?

The Blockchain Bubble will Pop, What Next? ←

The Blockchain Bubble will Pop, What Next?:

Bubbles are characterized by the marriage of excitement and ignorance, with markets flooded with eager but naive actors motivated by the perception of momentum.

The blockchain boom is characterized by a massive interest in cryptography-based technology — and yet too often, neither the investors specializing in the market, nor the founders of crypto-based ventures seem to possess a coherent vision, or even expertise. While I’ve suspected this for a long time, my brief contact with the AI+Blockchain world affirms that a significant portion of the blockchain boom has no legs.

(Via Approximately Correct)