Friday, December 29, 2006

stuff that sucked in 06

so usually i put stuff on my blog that i liked, which is nice. nonetheless, when swimming in the wild world of media, you occasionally bump into things that suck. here's my attempt to keep you from colliding with some of the lousy stuff i encountered in 06. note that i'm leaving off all the obvious stuff like the paris hilton album, anything on network television, and watching my wolverines drop yet another rosebowl to USC (arrrrrghhh!!!!)

cibelle - dry shine of electronic leaves
could be the most boring bossa nova ever. and perhaps the worst title for a brazilian cd. after a killer debut she cranked out a sophomore snoozer.

boozoo bajou -juke joint II
jj I was freakin' brilliant, it was a compilation which blended blues with downtempo and ragga beats. eclectic and unexpected yet very cohesive all the same. jj II is clumsy, tired and over-reliant on old soul tracks. i like the kick off track (rainy night in georgia, tony joe white rmx), but already had it from the also crappy "what is hip" comp. it's not terrible, but knowing what it should have been i just can't listen to it.

a guy called gerald - proto acid
after his mediocre last cd, we get this crap. i'll sell it to you for a buck. no wait, i'll fling it at you if you let me pay you a buck.

worst adaptation of a book i've seen in ages. the book was good, movie was no bueno. they left out big, material aspects of the story and simply forgot to develop any of the characters in a meaningful way. the casting was awful, case in point, ajihad and his daughter who were supposed to have an air of toughened nobility looked like they just got done shooting a rap video (not too mention his daughter looked about 2 years younger than him). the urgals looked like hells angels for the love of god. i hope paolini was well paid for letting them butcher his novel like this...

a scanner darkly
maybe i just don't get phillip k dick. i might not be clever enough to grasp the immensity of his anti-drug message, played out in a slightly futuristic orange county where ppl are hooked on the ultra-potent "substance d". btw, orange county in the future is a real shocker: more than 1/2 the women have their real boobs and it looks like they eliminated a healthy chunk of the strip malls. that's progress! anyways, this movie meandered its way through telling a story which boils down to "drugs are fun, but they squish yer brain and might even be sponsored by the govt so just go read a book instead". at least that's what i took away from it.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

fave albums of '06

in no particular order, here's my pics of '06.

fat freddy's drop - based on a true story
kraak & smaak - boogie angst
gnarls barkely - st. elsewhere
lily allen - alright still
keane - under an iron sea
easy dub allstars - radiodread
william orbit - hello waveform
radio citizen - berlin serengeti
hybrid - i choose noise
owusu & hannibal - living with ...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry xmas!

thought i'd take a moment to wish you all a merry christmas! and to pass along a pretty funny website, "scared of santa". check it out!

some of the better ones...

givin' santa the bizness!

"the omen"

santa's out on parole


Thursday, December 21, 2006

current playlist

baby it's cold outside | ella fitzgerald & louis jordan | hey! baba rebop
basketball jam | krafty kuts | freakshow
love endeavours | alice smith | for lovers, dreamers, & me
9 crimes | damien rice | 9 crimes
hooligan spirit | hybrid | i choose noise
lit by moonlight | susumu yukota | distant sounds of summer
a letter from home | ulrich schnauss | a strangely isolated place
herculean | the good, the bad, & the queen | herculean - single
syrian style | braintax | panorama
here comes tomorrow | ursula 1000 feat. robert conroy | here comes tomorrow
university of michigan fight song | go blue!

selection o' wedding pics

this is a small collection of what was over 800 (!!!) wedding pics. hosting courtesy of my good pals over at kodak :-)

link to pics

few of my fave pics below

2006, 2007 cnet podcast with me and mcafee

link to a very brief interview i did yesterday with cnet. sorta wacky and flyby but, hey, it's a podcast...

Link to podcast

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

breach bowl 2006

alright, here's a blog i whipped together for my "professional" info security blogging. not sure if they will actually post it, but thought i'd throw it out here...

If you’re like me, you’ve heard a bunch of different ways of picking the winning team for a football game, ranging from the absurdly analytical down to the flippant “who has the tougher looking mascot” approach my wife favors. In the spirit of the college football season coming to a close here in the U.S., I offer you yet another means of predicting who will rise to the top of the rankings this bowl season: data breach analysis. It’s pretty straight-forward: whoever loses the least amount of student and faculty data wins.

Given the rash of data loss incidents that have afflicted academia, this is no small feat. Universities face the very difficult challenge of managing sprawling, unique networks with thousands of intrepid students exploring their boundaries who have to be allowed more freedom than your corporate administrators would ever permit. So this is not an attempt to make light of the situation, only to show the extent of the problem in a light-hearted way.

Ohio State University vs. University of Florida
Winner: The gators edge out the buckeyes 3851 identities lost in 2005 in an incident at the Health Sciences Center versus Ohio States 17,800 identities lost or exposed in 2 separate incidents in 2005.

University of Michigan vs. University of Southern California (USC)
Winner: My alma mater, the wolverines, lay waste to the USC Trojans, 5,000 identities to 50,000. There were another potential 270,000 possibly accessed or exposed in a separate hacking incident in 2005 at USC.

Notre Dame vs. Louisiana State University (LSU)
Winner: LSU edges out Notre Dame by a thin margin. While Notre Dame has only suffered one public incident this year of unknown impact, LSU has kept them selves out of the headlines entirely.

Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia
Winner: West Virginia topples Georgia Tech as they suffered from a stolen computer incident in late 2005 putting 13,000 people at risk. The Mountaineers have not had any visible data breaches of late.

Louisville vs. Wake Forest
Winner: You’ll have to use a different method for this one, as breach rules show this one is a toss-up as neither team has had a publicly recorded data loss incident recently. My wife would tell you though that cardinal doesn’t really stand a chance against a demon deacon if they were to meet in a dark alley.

Data breach statistics courtesy of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse:

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

new study frontin' the low-pro

confirms china study findings to a degree, take it for what it's worth:

a.k.a. stop running and eat yer damn peas skippy!

Low-protein diet might reduce cancer risk
Wed Dec 13, 2:02 PM ET
Researchers studying a group of vegetarians who'd maintained a diet relatively low in protein and calories found that they had lower blood levels of several hormones and other substances that have been tied to certain cancers.

A comparison group of distance runners also had lower levels of most of these substances compared with sedentary adults who followed a typical American diet -- that is, relatively high in protein from meat and dairy.

However, the low-protein group also had a potential advantage over the runners: lower levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), a body protein that helps cells grow and multiply. High IGF-1 levels in the blood have been linked to breast, prostate and colon cancers.

It's not clear that this all translates into lower odds of developing cancer, but the findings are a "first step" in showing how lower-protein diets might alter cancer risk, according to the researchers.

"I believe our findings suggest that protein intake may be very important in regulating cancer risk," lead study author Dr. Luigi Fontana, an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a statement.

He and his colleagues report their findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The findings are based on a small sample of middle-aged adults, including 21 who'd been vegetarians for at least two years; they were recruited through a local vegetarian society and a magazine on "raw" foods.

They were compared with 21 long-time endurance runners the same age, and 21 sedentary adults who ate a typical American diet.

On average, the vegetarians ate just below the recommended daily amount of protein -- 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Both the runners and the sedentary group ate significantly more than the recommended amount.

Fontana's team found that, compared with their sedentary counterparts, the runners and vegetarians had lower levels of several hormones and inflammatory proteins linked to cancer risk.

When it came to IGF-1, specifically, the low-protein group had lower levels than runners did, even though they were equally lean -- suggesting an effect of diet and not just body weight, according to the researchers.

In addition, IGF-1 levels in the sedentary group generally rose in tandem with their protein intake.

"Many people are eating too many animal products," Fontana said, as well as too many processed foods and sugars.

He advised that people try to eat more fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, beans and fish, and less red meat. Doing so could bring the amount of calories and protein the average American eats closer to recommended levels -- and possibly lower IGF-I levels, according to Fontana.

"We hope to further clarify what happens to cancer risk when we are chronically eating more protein than we need," he said.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, December 2006.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

reflections on weddings, australia & stuff

have you ever had that dream where you find yourself in a room with your 3rd grade teacher, ex-girlfriend and uncle harry who always used to give you wedgies at family gatherings? usually they're prattling on like they've known each other for ages and you're struck dumbfounded at the bizarre grouping of people from your life who just don't "fit" together. this was one of the more curious aspects of getting married for me. all sorts of people from different areas of my life (and jane's) squished together.

if that was the surreal part of getting married (beyond the heavy clouds that rolled in all around us and gave the whole thing an "alice in wonderland" experience), one of the best parts was seeing all the great people who showed up to share the day with us. this probably sounds trite, but it was beyond flattering. if one can measure success by the relationships you build in life, we're very blessed. thanks again to everyone that came and made it a great day for us.

australia was nothing short of fantastic, what a great country. laidback people, great wine country, good restaurants, cool architecture, wacky and wonderful critters roaming about, fun twists on english (i.e. sunnies = sun glasses, brekkie = breakfast, etc.) the list goes on... i'd highly recommend melbourne to anyone (over sydney), to combines the best LA and SF has to offer.

of vino, we learned a few things on this trip. first, shiraz-viogner is a great blend. it's still red (not a rose), but the viogner does just enough to smooth out the shiraz. maybe we were lucky but each one we had was really nice. we visited a number of wineries there, including coldstream hills, which had a beatiful pinot noir and a stellar reserve chardonnay. while we were staying at pepper's palm bay (2nd leg of honeymoon), we stumbled onto innocent bystander's pinot noir rose, tasty stuff and pretty widely distributed.

of music, i picked up a bunch of new stuff for absurd non-US prices fearing i might not be able to score it back here in the US. i grabbed the jon butler trio, which i'm still forming opinions about but was also steered towards an ozzie hiphop outfit called the "hilltop hoods" which i like a fair bit (very listenable and some nice collabs). i also picked up kraty kuts new album "freakshow" and the freestyler's album "adventures in freestyle", both are labelmates and boy does it show. i played them back to back and while i thought they were both pretty good, it's a little like trying to eat a whole pound bag of m&ms in one sitting. too much of a good thing is just too much and they sound entirely too much alike, blending breaks with disco-house flavor, a splash of ragga and hiphop (kraft more hiphop, freestylers more ragga). aussies like their dance music as well as roots/reggae.

btw, fat freddy's drop is red hot in new zealand and oz. if you don't have "based on a true story" yet, you are missing out big time. you can get it from itunes as well as some decent remixes too (jazzanova is the best and MKL has a couple good ones too, steer clear of nextmen remixes of "roady" as they add little to the original).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

back from the honeymoon, farewell paul

sorry for the extended absence from blogging, though i suppose i'm excused given that i was disconnected while honeymooning :-) for anyone who's interested, here's a link to some of our photos, i'm just too damn lazy to keep giving it to people:

i've got a million things to blog about, not the least of which is the wedding of course (which was great), but for now my thoughts are consumed with my uncle paul who passed today, likely due to a heart attack. i'd be lying if i said this was a surprise-- paul likely wrote his own fate by failing to take care of himself throughout his life. he was chronically obese with a terrible diet accompanied by an aversion to exercise and doctors. needless to say, deadly combo.

paul had the mind and demeanor of a child until his death today. he grew up in a time and place where people with his mental limitations were often dealt with cruel indifference. i honestly don't know if this was the case for paul, but with 7 brothers and sisters living on my grandfather's plumber salary i really doubt he rec'd the attention and resources he needed to develop in spite of his condition.

i grew up with paul as a fixture when i lived in ohio and later at family gatherings after we moved to michigan. paul was also named my godfather by my mother (we have a traditional, catholic family). in spite of not always being treated kindly or even fairly by those who grew up around him and ultimately past him, paul was good to us. he lived at home with my grandmother throughout his 40 some odd years and never married. instead of the attentions of a wife, he lavished gifts on his nephews/nieces and served as a dependent yet constant companion to my grandmother following my grandfather succumbing to asbestos cancer when i was 13.

earlier in life when i was brimming with youthful arrogance and idealism i'd pondered the "shame that paul's life was", in that he had no friends really, and little chance of getting married, no career, and nothing notable to mention for his years on the planet. as the years rolled on, i realized the importance of paul's companionship to my grandmother and all the young children in the family as he doted on them in his own clumsy, but tender way. paul taught me that one's life mission and accomplishments are not always transparent or appreciated, but the role of each individual is important, no matter how they may seem to the gaze of the rest of the world.

farewell dear uncle, i hope you're in a better, more understanding place now. we'll miss you.

Uncle Paul (godfather) and My Aunt Mary (godmother) at my Confirmation at our first house in Battle Creek, MI

Aunt Mary and Uncle Paul at my High School graduation in Battle Creek, MI (@ our 2nd home)

Friday, November 17, 2006

last day of singledom - the onion

so, i was thinking of ruminating on a life of singledom completed but have decided against it. there's simply nothing i can say about it that anyone hasn't heard already. it was loads of fun, i've lived the life of several men combined but am more than happy to set those days aside and put on the ring tomorrow. piece of cake my friend, i'm ready.

now that i've got that out of the way, let me introduce you to my good pal, the onion. she joined the family as part of a mystery box of goodies that my aunt janet and uncle ed purchased at an auction in toledo, ohio (or somewhere nearby). from there, she has been given as a gift around the family so many times over she's become her own rich tradition. here's the little girl herself, stereophonically equipped.

so she has been handed over to me yet again (had her before and pawned her off on my god child as part of an easter basket!). jane and i have already managed to introduce her to a new friend, think he'll get lucky?

given the bridal veil, it's looking real good for my little pal i liberated from a tokyo toy shop to hold my loose coins many moons ago (about 6 years to be exact).

awww yeah, we warned 'em about what happens to an onion in LA... all blinged out with a new 'fro and chain. what's next?? just wait and see when the onion goes to oz and jane and i take off on the next big adventure of life 2gether...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

my experience as a pseudo-vegetarian

"you should probably lose 5-10 pounds this year". that's what set it in motion earlier this year. i couldn't believe what i was hearing from the doctor reading back my physical results but i understood it. my body mass index for my height was a little excessive, but not bad (5'8", 175lbs) given that i was fit and wearing a bit of that excess as muscle (but certainly not all). the rest of everything else (cholesterol, heart rate, etc.) was good, i just needed to shed a few pounds. i sort of knew this already, i'd made myself a promise i would stay at 32 waist pants back in college and had since crept up to a snug 33".

i had no interest in going on a diet but rather wanted to learn about nutrition. set out to find a book on nutrition and reading websites.

i admittedly started down a little bit of a rabbit hole by exploring colonic irrigation since it's been a hot topic of late. after reading about it, pros and cons, i have little interest. it's just not natural to shove a tube up yer can and pump gallons of water through your innards. chances are nothing will go wrong but if it does, you can perforate your colon (split the sucker in 2). bad idea, no matter how many marbles and sticks of swallowed chewing gum i might have in my gut. the interesting thing about it though was how much undigested or partially digested red meat ppl had in their systems. i made a mental note of this. i started eating more fish, less meat and dropped about 3 pounds over the next 2-3 months. not bad. little change that was easy, sustainable and had good results.

as i searched further, just about the only book i found about nutrition rather than a diet pitch was the china study. admittedly, even this author ends up advocating a vegan diet in the end. the book is a little dogmatic at times and you get the point about mid-way through, but well worth sticking it out through the end where campbell breaks down his conspiracy stories on the national dairy board and other govt/lobbying groups paid by companies to manipulate the nutritional facts to their benefit.

i won't give away the book, but the idea is that lots of bad things happen when you eat a diet rich in animal protein and not enough plants and whole foods. basically, the traditional american diet sucks, ppl are too fat, and doctors are stuck in a reactive mode and do not advocate nutrition which can prevent or mitigate many of the diseases of affluence afflicting westerners today (e.g. heart disease, diabetes).

after reading the book (truthfully i started reducing animal protein early in my reading), examining counter-arguments and dramatically reducing my animal protein intake (i eat meet every 2-3 days now and limit cheese and dairy), here's my personal take and experience on vegan/vegetarianism as well as the x-files style conspiracy theories:

- i've lost about 6-7 add'l pounds and am back down to a 32" waist size. i'm weighing in around 165 and feeling good. didn't happen over night but that's fine by me. i'd like to shave off another 4-5 but would need to cut back on booze to do this. that's gonna take a while, i like beer too much and want my glass of red at the end of the day :-)

- eat lots of fruits and vegetables and don't worry about calories or carbs so much. nothing wrong with wholegrains and the like. i eat more frequently than i did before, enjoy it just as much and don't sweat it when there's nothing but meat available. fine by me, i'm still ok with knowing an animal died to feed me. top of the food chain baby!!!!

- vegan is nearly impossible and likely unnecessary. it's not unnatural to eat meat and most benefits are obtained by simply reducing animal protein intake to 10% or less. anyone who is vegan does not travel for business much or starves.

- vegetarian is not that hard in cali but really hard in the austin airport (haven't these ppl ever heard of a bean burrito?) and was nigh impossible in south america. nonetheless, it's been a lot easier than i expected and a lot more natural than counting calories or trying to reduce carbs. alternatively, i think there's far too many vegetarians who end up unhealthy b/c they substitute eating meat for consuming lots of other animal proteins (mostly dairy) or junk starches. they'd be better off eating meat and a healthy diet in my estimation.

- supplements are unnecessary. just eat healthy stuff. the body is too complex to expect to properly absorb all the needed nutrients in a pill. not to mention this being a completely unnatural means of acquiring nutrients.

- western medicine seems largely broken. it is based on reactive measures, lacks any solid nutritional advocacy and is poisoned by big drug company motivations. prevention is not easy but a lot better than relying upon expensive drugs & doctors who know little or nothing about nutrition

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

new releases: hybrid, damien rice

before i get into the new stuff, i picked up the owusu and hannibal album and i'm favorably impressed. it's sort of experimental soul music, playing with broken beats and non-traditional song formats. truthfully not all of it works but i think it's well worth 10-15 bucks. great first release from the duo.

hybrid finally delivered another album worthy of the story they began to write with "wide angle", which is one of my fave dance albums of all time. "i choose noise" is a little darker than wide angle but it's a return to form for hybrid after a craptacular sophomore release (morning sci-fi) which was offensively boring. it's got all the big progressive breaks along with orchestral backing which provides a texture/lushness that few other dance artists come close to. it even has a collab with perry farrel (dogstar) which doesn't suck, which is no mean feat in my estimation. the track with Kirsty Hawkshaw is good, as to be expected. all told, this is the best dance album i've heard in a long time, smoking recent releases by a guy called gerald, lay and bushwacka as well as junkie XL.

i haven't had the chance to listen to it yet (pondering downloading it via itunes for our honeymoon) but damien rice has a new album out called "9". the reviews are fairly strong and from my sampling of the album it sounds like a worthy follow-up to the amazing album "O" which he debuted with. the lead track "9 Crimes" sounds like the stand-out. damien gets a little naughty on this album by dropping a bunch of f-bombs, scoring himself an "explicit lyrics" label. maybe a joint project with 50 cent and chingy is right around the corner?

Monday, November 06, 2006

da speakin' circuit

I’ve been on the speaking circuit of late, doing a workshop in sacramento on cyber satefy, another in Buenos aires on the threat landscape and how to protect yourself, and finally today in DC on “communicating in the next tech-ade” for the FTC. Everytime I hit the road and do a preso, I invest time in the content to make certain I know what I’m talking about. Seems pretty logical but you’d be staggered to find out how many ppl don’t do this. They’re either freakin’ brilliant, or careless. The latter is the case more so than the former. Having said all this, I figured I’d share a little bit of what I’ve learned over the last 3-4 weeks.

CA cybersummit
It’s time to own up to facts that kids are the new content creators and the de facto owners of the internet. Nothing spells this out like the interactive poll below taken at the cybersummit, stating that adults have much more to learn from kids than vice versa about online safety. Ouch. What’s clear though is that kids lack the life skills that adult’s have which allow them to sniff out bad actors. The question is how many kids will listen to adults who don’t have any clue about what’s happening online? Dunno.

Did you know that "cut and paste" aka Internet plagiarism is now an online business extending into the 8-figures? Crazy, eh? Just type in “free essay” and see what you get. Millions of entries touting online “copy and paste” plagiarism. There’s even one that sells an essay on ethics, including plagiarism, which costs just shy of 100 bucks. There’s some irony there somewhere…. Clearly that time you leaned over Suzy’s shoulder to scam her math test was all amateur work, we’ve got a whole new ballgame on our hands here.

IDC in Buenos aires
Ok, so I’ll admit that I didn’t learn as much prep’ing for this one. It was pretty much straight forward “what’s happening and how do I protect myself?” nonetheless, I can tell you that I learned that it’s perfectly ok to hire women in skimpy wardrobes to pitch your products. At least in South America. Have I mentioned this before? :-)

Unrelated non-work thought: You eat a cow in India and you get thrown out of the country, you don’t eat a cow in argentina and you risk the same punishment. Hmmmm….

FTC “next tech-ade” workshop
This one was interesting! Plenty of prep and some downright fascinating stats. I’ve already pretty much posted my preso but consider the following data…

-about 2.5 billion ppl carry a hand-held phone (mobile), this knocks the socks off of PCs
-there are 800 million registered IM users in China alone, 200 million of which are active
-the population of second life is growing at a little under 1000% per annum, 30%+ month over month!!!!
-The average age of the SL player is 32
-The economy of SL is growing at 270% annually or 15% month/month
-You can buy a Toyota car inside of SL for $2—even with zero % financing and a great trade-in, you’re not getting that from the dealer.

Extra cool thing is I got to meet Esther Dyson here, who I happen to think is pretty cool. She’s written some insightful stuff and has been a leading force behind the EFF. I always thought that if I met Esther I would let her know that I really liked her adware analogy which I’ve used from time to time. So when I met her, I told her such and then predictably someone asked her what it was. She proceeded to rattle off the wrong analogy. Argh. Ah well….

All told, a nice dialogue ensured following our little speeches at the event and the FTCers were brought up to speed on our crystal ball gazing.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

next tech-ade, thoughts now congealing...

alright, i've had the chance to think this one through over the past couple days and here's where i'm at with my little intro speech for the FTC hearings next week.

oh yeah, before we get into the serious stuff, happy belated halloween! here's a shot of the great jack-o-lantern carving contest of 2222 6th street 2006! we have all the skills of 4th grade art students who snorted too many smarties :-) jane's is the odd rendition of a W hotel as a pumpkin (car parked in the back no less), mine is the "country bumpkin pumpkin" with a tumorous forehead, and doug's is the slightly unnerving "throw-up, throw-back" jack-o-lantern.

alright back to the semi-serious stuff. ahem.

- to begin, there's good news. increasing user awareness of web-based hacks in addition to technical developments in web browsers and security software will put a serious dent in the number of successful web attacks within the next 12-24 months. this means less spyware, trojan horse programs, etc. installed in a "drive by" fashion with no semblance of user control or consent.

- nonetheless, after the white chess piece moves to block the black chess piece's latest affront, the black piece maneuvers yet again to the offensive: instant messaging. what makes it attractive?
a) increasing usage, esp. among teens
b) increasingly used to xfer potentially executable content (images, movies, etc.) which can be malware or infected with malware
c) readily available buddy list for spreading to others with a convincing message (it will appear to come from the victim)
d) relatively virgin ground, gets under the radar
e) compatibility barriers are dropping across IM networks allowing for more widespread attacks across networks (i.e. Yahoo + MSN)

let's look a little further ahead. convergence is happening. the smart device is a few years away from allowing us to use a phone, media player, web, IM, payment/wallet, tv, office apps, etc. in a reasonably sized hand-held device. these won't be the only communications devices we use, kiosk, laptops and PCs will also be used without a doubt, but the potential mkt for handheld devices (e.g. smart phones and otherwise) is greater than that of dedicated computing devices.

more importantly though, bandwidth is rapidly expanding and high speed access costs are diminishing. high speed wifi will be the reality in contrast to today's low speed mobile networks. online services are improving thanks to AJAX and other web 2.0 technologies as well as a stiff competition and a strong pioneering spirit. what does this mean for future threats?

it means they will not focus on attacking devices, but on attacking online services since the network, esp. the web, becomes the platform rather than the device as the PC was in the past. (devices are difficult to exploit b/c there will be so many different types, this has already greatly limited mobile malware) we saw the first serious web 2.0 style worms this year ripple through webmail, affecting over 100,000 users in 24 hours. it never touched a single system, it only existed in webspace on the affected service's computers.

nonetheless, threats will not focus so much on exploiting *security* flaws in the future as they will focus on exploiting user error and naivety. there are far more vulnerable ppl than there are vulnerable web services, esp. considering the constant influx of new internet users and the ramp-up required to develop online street smarts. phishing and other forms of online fraud, false security programs such as rogue antispyware, 419 scams and all sorts of other online sleaze are already moving in to take the place of today's drive-by installs, network worms and mass mailers. the white chess piece blocks, the black chess piece moves to the next advantageous square.

the real wildcard here is what happens with the exciting arena of virtual worlds, such as Second Life and World of WarCraft. they're growing at a blistering pace and we've only begun to scratch the surface of the security, privacy and safety issues we'll encounter in these alternate domains. before you dismiss them as niche services for the socially inept, consider that the most vibrant community of users are not teens but young adults. and that the most popular activities are not slaying dragons, but social interaction such as chatting, solving puzzles, and teaching. moreover, consider that there are *real* exchange rates and economics in these worlds. already the black market has seized upon these virtual worlds and stricken them with hyper-inflation as "gold farms" in China flood them with currency that is available for real-world dollars in online auctions.

so what happens when our communications and interactions in these virtual worlds and interrupted by the same attacks we've seen in other corners of cyberspace? the ante is considerably greater given the richness of the communication possible, amount of virtual possessions we'd accumulate, the serious businesses that will emerge. bullying, harassment, stalking, destruction of property, theft, simulated murder-- all of these have already happened but have yet to be well understood by the general populace b/c most of us are not using these services-- yet. the safety, security and privacy issues we're just beginning to understand for virtual worlds will match and ultimately exceed the complexity of those we experience in the real world today since they seamlessly cross international and cultural boundaries. they'll make the destructive worms of the early years of the internet look like comically simple. nonetheless, the importance of these issues depend upon the success and mainstream adoption of these virtual worlds and communities, which is one of the greatest wildcards in the near-term of our future communications.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

failing the test of time

oh man, look what's happened to me over the years. i've gone from a badass, ohio state lovin' rebel to a pansy wolverine bizness dude who hangs out with fluffy cats...

btw, if you look closely you can see a mini-mullet :-)

next tech-ade on the horizon...

so i've been invited to speak at these FTC hearings next week that are a pretty big deal. yeah, i wasn't their 1st choice from symantec, i can admit this (i think the 1st request when to john thompson, our ceo). honestly i'm not even sure i was their 3rd but it doesn't matter 'cause they're stuck with me :-) it's a pretty prestigious line-up which includes vint cerf and esther dyson, i think i'm pretty much the low performer amongst the crowd without a high-flying title or dr. next to my name. check out the agenda:

so our chat is on communicating in the next tech-ade, and i'm intended to be the "threats" guy, i.e. what will the bad ppl do as we're getting our next gen communications groove on? i figured i'd try to hammer out some of my thoughts here before putting together my succinct speaking points for the event. here it goes...

i think the next gen comm'ns are about the following "big concepts"-- and i don't think any of them are revolutionary to be honest. i see us simply smushing together a lot of the stuff that's already been out there where we really have only begun to tap the potential. so no big game changers but taking all the stuff (smart phones, mmorpgs, IM, wi-fi, etc.) and integrating it. but, the integration of this stuff, much of which we've only seen a glimpse of its real promise, ends up being pretty darn special. oh yeah, here's the concepts!

blah blah blah. buzz word crapola, i know. but this time it's real dammit. your browser will actually work on your phone. tried using the browser on yer treo? give up early, it sucks. now imagine that it works. and it's fast. and the screen is bigger. and you can type on it w/o developing unsightly calluses on yer thumbs. oh, and IM works too. not the odd, frankenstein IM we have today where you have a web client (which also sucks), but real IM. you'd use it in much the same way as ppl text today, and perhaps it ends up killing SMS since you can send files and block ppl you don't want via yer buddy list. sayoonara psycho chick/guy you met the other nite who ending up being downright creepy, just drop the packets.

and none of this is using gprs data services but bonafide wi-fi at high speeds. soooo... what do you do with this wonder device?
- interact online (buy stuff, swap files, share things, etc.)
- talk to ppl, but see them at the same time
- do real work-> leave heavy laptop home for trip thx to projection keyboard and monitor
- login to physical areas, the device becomes a transit point for yer identity but it is only temp storage (it's actually stored on the network through federated services)

[ok, foto interlude. this is me consulting the japanese radish god for wisdom on communications of the future.]

the question that always gets asked is "doesn't this put all your eggs in 1 basket? what happens if you lose it? drop in the toilet?" etc. the answer is... you lose yer hardware, which stinks (depending on how much you paid for it). but all yer real info is stored on a network somewhere given the availability of real web apps, fast connections and widely available connectivity. we're going to be accessing our identity and data from many different types of devices, all of which are connected to the greater 'net, so why would you store things on a single device? some stuff you will still keep local, but all the important stuff will be sent out to the cloud and accessible via secure web services. so you lose yer device, send out a msg like lo-jack and it shuts down. done (or close enough).

so what about converged device attacks? they don't attack the device itself in most cases since it's more effective to attack the more ubiquitous platform: the web. other internet services and apps will be targeted too, especially IM and MMORPG interactions (more on this later). and the weakness they exploit is not a buffer overflow or other coding error in most cases, but it is user mistakes and naiveté. the reality is our platforms are going to be quite safe, but due to the rate of technology change and the massive influx of new ppl to these services, the proverbial sucker will be virtually born every minute for the bad guys to exploit.

alright, i'm off to bed but there's plenty more to go. lemme know if you have any feedback or thoughts to share on the topic, i'd welcome the help!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

owusu & hannibal full length finally out

i've been tracking these guys a bit all year. all they've had up until now is a few singles, but nearly all of them were killer (blue jay, what it's about). sort of a soul/house sound but pick it up and make the call yourself. ubiquity has had a good final stretch of '06 as the radio citizen album, berlin serengeti, was top notch as well.

Link to album description @ ubiquity

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

adios argentina, hola brazil

off to sao paulo today, which looked like a short trip but took from 11am in the morning to nearly 7pm to make the full trip. this was following some serious white-knuckling on the flight over, courtesy of air lineas, an argentinian airline with no apparent fear of turbulence. i've flown a lot of miles and i nearly thought my short time on this spinning globe was over today. damn...

more thoughts on leaving buenos aires, sao paulo and south america in general:

- airport security in south america rocks! keep your shoes on, take as many liquids as you want, leave yer laptop in yer bag, and the whole process only chews up about 5 minutes. 100% less irritating and prolly only 10% less secure than our follies.

- turns out there was a complete collapse of the argentinian economy about 5 years ago. you couldn't withdraw $$$ from the banks if you wanted to, everything was frozen. this pushed prices for real estate way down and the peso went from being 1:1 with the dollar to 1:4. today it's about 1:3 and they are about recovered. there's still a fair amount of civil unrest and even last night a group of protestors showed up at a fashion event demanding to "eat the food that they're eating". given this and the govt's propensity for an occasional socialist agenda, what looks like a great opp'ty to buy land on the cheap and make easy $$$ could end up in you losing yer shirt as your buenos aires land/home are snatched up by the govt and given to others.

- we had a fantastic local wine last night called "torrontes" (the style, not the vintner). it's a moderately sweet, white Argentinian varietal. good stuff! we also hung out at an old-school tango club which was an interesting mix of young and old dancers out to have a good time. the band was very cool as well, it consisted of a single bassist with 4 guys on accordions and another 4 on violins. great sound!

- they are completely unafraid to parade the female body at tradeshows. who are we kidding ourselves, america? guys at conferences sit in crappy halls listening to what are mostly terrible speeches then eating too much mediocre food. after tolerating all that crap, of course we all want to see a booth babe! helluvalot better than chatting it up with some smarmy, sweaty dork in bad loafers. my jaw nearly hit the floor when i saw the symantec booth babes in argentina. sure enough they had skin tight black pants with bright yellow tube tops with the symantec logo on them. our branding and hr department would shit themselves. the girls may not know a thing about the products or the company, but no one pays attention even when you do, so why bother? and what did we see right after entering customs in sao paulo? cute little brazilian booth babes handing out fliers for a show here for consumer electronics. score one for south america. call it exploitation but dammit, it works.

- we ate dinner at a stunning place tonight, check out the pic below. the whole restaurant is built around a gargantuan 100 year old fig tree. food, service and ambience were amazing. if you ever come here, don't miss out:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

buenos dias de buenos aires

greets from south america! down here on a biz trip to speak at a conference, chat with the media and meet with ppl from the local office. there's not a whole lotta time before we had out for the evening over here but thought i'd jot down a few interesting things from my short trip here:

- it's the birthplace of tango. how did i not know this? bought 3 tango cds, 2 modern elecrofied ones and one classic. so far so good! mai: i'll burn 'em for you as long as you don't tell the riia :-)

- it's cheap! finally, after getting raped in dublin and tokyo, i've found a place where the dollar still means something. and there's nice stuff to buy too.

- in argentina, meat is a perfectly acceptable appetizer before you eat more meat. dear lord almighty, my now pseudo-vegetarian stomach is in shock. rather than be rude, i'm eating the cow. and paying the price. they've never heard of hummus down here.

- the bottom level of the hotel is floor "0". why didn't we think of that?

- it's ok to drink wine for lunch and the wine is fan-flippin'-tastic. this is the home of malbec, and it's superb. had a bottle of "alta vista premium" yesterday for lunch and a bottle of "fond du cave" malbec for dinner. both were good, i slightly preferred the alta vista. funny story: when the argentinean man was asked if he wanted water for dinner, he replied "no, that's ok, i already washed my hands". they love their vino, and for good reason.

- damn near no traffic lights nor ipods here. not sure if there's a connection, but they seem to be alright with both of these.

here's a shot of my hotel. off to sao paulo, brazil tomorrow. hasta pronto!

Friday, October 13, 2006

opinions of questionable value for ray

garmin roadrunner 201
it's a gps pedometer you wear on your wrist. great for tracking how far you've really run and how fast. it's increased the length i run substantially since i can no longer fool myself. for example, what i used to be certain was a 4 mile run was more like 2.5 (!) it's also given me swift kick in the butt when running half marathons as i found out i was hitting mid run lulls and slowing down. result? faster halfies all around. there's a newer, cooler version but this one is good enough for me.

little miss sunshine
dear lord almighty was this funny. just about the only comedy i've seen in a long time that was worth the time and $$$. nearly as good as whiling away boring conference calls with
i like my dress shoes to have a little edge to them. not a lot, but a little. an exceptionally pointy toe, a little different color, a cool pattern in a place you wouldn't normally expect one, etc. it's damn near impossible to find this in a store without paying $300+, which is outrageous for men's shoes to me (but a cheap pair of jimmy choo's, ironically). zappos is the place to be my friend. easy, fair prices and huge selection. found my ben sherman sherbourne's there and i'm a happy camper. i don't plan on going back into a shoe store in search of dress shoes again.

fat freddy's drop
brilliant gem of band that has thus far been criminally overlooked. they fall somewhere b/w reggae and jazz. fave tracks are "hope", "roady" and "little ones". no live shows in the us apparently (uk band) and it's hard to find their stuff (offline at least). i found "based on a true story" at amoeba.

ipod mini
who needs a nano anyways? this little sucker is good enough. i still don't see why i need anything more than a monochrome screen on my mpg3 player and 4GB. and i easily have 60GB+ of music. step off the ipod treadmill.

the illusionist
not an incredible story but really well cast and played. ed norton and paul giamatti were fantastic. i was expecting very little and was pleasantly surprised.

mike doughty
he's the former front-man for soul coughing. some ppl will know them as the band who did the song "super bon bon" and "circles" which both got some airplay on major radio stations. he's been described as "street poet" more than a vocalist and i think that's not too far from the truth; his lyrics are wacky/abstract but insightful and unexpected. he doesn't take himself nearly as seriously as saul williams and ursula rucker who i like but let their opinions get in the way of simply creating something enjoyable and fun (prolly not their goal). he recently joined dave matthew's record label, RTO, and released an album of mostly older material called "haughty melodic". not sure how much more he'll do (he's been in and out of rehab for a heroin addiction), but the album is worth picking up if you like "alternative" rock and enjoyed soul coughing.

just checked, he's opening for the barenaked ladies. perfect for irene :-)

nobody knows
eerie little japanese flick about a mother who progressively abandons her kids. a little slow (i feel asleep in the middle, but i almost always do), but well worth it. beautiful and disturbing at the same time. there's a few scenes that still sort of haunt me and it's been months since we watched this on dvd.

lyrics born
the man is unstoppable. if you see something he's done, buy it. he does a large number of collabs (r.l. burnside, tommy guerrero, z-trip, etc.) and his tracks are nearly always the best on the album. oh yeah, he's a hip hop star from SF on the quannum label which is also host to blackalicious, lateef, and other rock solid underground players. he's moody in concert (i don't think he likes LA much) but he's still fantastic. joyo velarde, his female vocalist and girlfriend, is top notch. he's playing LA next week with cut chemist and has a new live album out on 10/31.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

current playlist

Linea de Luz | Kinky | Reina
Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard | Paul Simon | Negotiations & Love Songs
Rub a Dub Style | Love Trio feat U-Roy | Love Trio in Dub
Soldier Jane | Beck | The Information
Crane Wife 1 & 2 | The Decemberists | The Crane Wife
Tanto Tempo | Peter Kruder Remix, Bebel Gilberto | Tanto Tempo Remixed
Roady | Fat Freddy's Drop | Based on a True Story
Broken Levee Blues | DJ Shadow | The Oustider
Deep in the Cut | J Boogie | Dubtronic Science
Breath Control | DJ Presto | Magic LP
Terence Trent D'Arby | Sign Your Name | -
Useless Wooden Toys | Jon Kennedy | Useless Wooden Toys

Monday, October 09, 2006

finally: my clip on npr

here it is! it's not great for the 60 minutes i spent on the phone with her and i share air-time with jeff moss but it's great exposure dammit and i'll take it :-)

Link to News Clip

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

world's first medford, oregon bachelor party

alright, so maybe not the real first, but i'm pretty sure it's the first for a group of fellas from los angeles and beyond.

welcome to medford!!! step right onto the tarmac and let the fun begin. we chose medford not for the wild night life, but for the ragin' rivers within near proximity.

the upper klamath river raftin' posse., a.k.a. many of my best pals on the planet (and anywhere, but i'm biased of course).

go go gadget telescope arm!!! super action photos courtesy of matthew's king kong-sized limbs.

our little camping ground while rafting the klamath.

a lost member of the beastie boys taunting a napping uy.

gathered round the evening campfire.

those roadies seemed like such a good idea at the time... an emergency pitstop on the way home.

gents, thanks for a fantastic journey!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

hurrah!!! dc on npr

update: looks like the producer hurt her back during editing and the story is going to run later this week. i'll let you know when i get the details. thx!

i did an hour-long interview with national public radio this morning to talk about my life as a virus slayer, spyware smusher, fraud foiler & general security wonk. fooled them into thinking i do real work ;-)

here are the shots from my treo while recording the spot with the reporter up in seattle. very cool lady named wendy kaufman and lotsa fun. as a long time NPR supporter, this was the cat's meow.

NPR says it's a three- to five-minute segment and will air at 6:50 and 8:50 a.m. in the United States on member stations that carry Morning Edition.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

disaster movies & plane trips

alright, this should really be pretty obvious. it's one of those things that you figure would have been sorted out by now. i'm sitting on the plane cranking through email, reviewing documents, slogging through the to-do list and i glance up at the in flight movie. i was expecting to see something along the lines of "the wild", "eight below" or one of the many unoffensive movies you see while taking a long plane ride. not today. merely a glance revealed people, chandeliers and dinner plates careening off the walls of an ocean liner that was in the midst of plunging down to davey jone's locker. they're playing the remake of the old move poseidon featuring a prolonged cruise ship catastrophe.

why in God's name would you do this? apparently traveling on airplanes today is so dangerous that nary a bottle of aquafina nor a chapstick can be allowed onboard lest we leave the terrorists an opening to attack by undertaking feats with hairpins, ipods, and deodorants that would make macguyver look like a 6th grade science student. people's nerves are understandably on edge these days. so you're going to show them a movie about people in a general state of hysteria, slowing dying on another vehicle of mass transportation?

well, this summer's round of would-be blockbusters are going to offer a whole host of chances for the airlines to make not just minor mistakes like this one, but the type of colossal mistakes that are usually reserved for the french military and the us government. check out this summer's line-up:

World Trade Center: 'Nuff said.

United 93: Again, no need to explain.

Snakes on a Plane: Extraordinary. Can you imagine sitting on a plane while watching hundreds of lethal reptiles squirm their way around the economy section? (first class might offer some form of snake repellent seats, one would hope. prolly the best we can hope for now that steve irwin is gone.)

alright, back to work. maybe i can finish up in time to catch the next show. i'm hoping for "nacho libre". i've heard it's lousy but just like there's something naturally disturbing about watching people drown en masse, there's something naturally funny about seeing a fat man in a unitard.

current playlist

Hey You | Basement Jaxx | Crazy Itch Radio
Aguas De Marco | Antonio Carlos Jobim | The Best of Antonio Carlos Jobim
The Hop | Radio Citizen | Berlin Serengeti
Airbag | Easy Star feat. Horace Andy | Radiodread
B-Boy Stance | K-os | Joyful Rebellion
Take Me Out | Franz Ferdinand - Hot Chip Remix | Hot Chip Remixes
Nausea | Beck | The Information
Leaving So Soon | Keane | Under the Iron Sea
What Are You Afraid of? | West Indian Girl | ?
CobraStyle | Teddybears | Fresh
Fun For Me | Moloko | The Catalogue
Lotus Above Water | Telefon Tel Aviv | Fahrenheit Fair Enough
Tremendous Brunettes | Mike Doughty | Haughty Melodic

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

zymotic benjamin crump! & dangerous animal jobs

or in other words, i've now rec'd my 18th 5th 3rd phishing message in the past 30 days. happy tuesday!!!

and in the wake of the croc hunter's death, i openly wonder why are we surprised when people are injured/killed by wild animals when that's what they do for a living?

first roy of siegfried & roy fame gets bitch-slapped by a white tiger, ending their longstanding vegas stint since 1972 of getting tigers to behave like well-trained house cats in front of bright lights and loads of gawking turistas. count 'em, that's 33 years of getting carnivorous, giant cats to not eat them while balancing on a ball and growling out "b-i-n-g-o". an impressive run that should shock us more than a white tiger turning roy's neck into a little debbie snack cake. roy is doing better, thank you very much, and now they run the secret garden and dolphin habitat in place of the scary tiger show. all the better for them, the chances that flipper is going to go au naturelle and rip off yer head are pretty low provided that you steer clear of sardine cologne. and serious issues in the secret garden probably amount to gardenias sprouting up where you expected cantaloupes, neither of which is going to maul you if you don't water them properly. think of what they're saving on life insurance! in their own words (and mine):
"Long ago, Roy and I realized that everything that happens to this planet is man's responsibility. Our responsibility," says Siegfried. "After living and working with some of the world's most magnificent [and occasionally unfriendly] creatures, we have felt the threat of their loss [not to mention the damage their molars can inflict]. So we felt compelled to create a safe environment [for us]– an environment in which these animals could live in serenity [where we won't have to dramatically imperil ourselves to amuse you] ," says Roy.
and now the crocodile hunter, steve irwin. dear dear dear. this one is tragic and i will never look at another sting ray in the same way again. poor guy got impaled when the bugger stuck him with venemous barb right in the heart when he coasted over it while scuba diving in oz. he didn't harrass it any way, just was in the wrong place at the wrong time, startled the sting ray and it moved to defend itself by sending up its tail into the chest of the unsuspecting irwin. as a diver myself, i have to confess this is a little scary since he was supposedly just cruising the reef playing with the sponges (no reason to believe he wasn't).

an important factoid is that there have been only 17 recorded stingray deaths in Australia since 1969. rotten luck to say the least. nonethless, consider for a moment the number of things he'd done up until this point where the odds were very much in favor of something really bad [re: likely fatal] happening. the man made a living by taunting alligators, crocs, poisonous snakes, deadly spiders, etc. on video. not the type of thing that leads to longevity, right next to making yer 3 square meals a day out of snickers in a fry daddy.

so was mother nature playing a cruel joke on steve irwin or simply catching up with him for past debts like a bulldog collections agency? i haven't a clue. but what i do know, is that there is now one heckuva of a market for underwater kevlar jackets to repel sting ray barbs. if you know where i can score one, drop me a line.

Monday, August 28, 2006

jose gonzales, herbert, zero 7 with sia, & gotan project @ the hollywood bowl

this one long looked like the best of the bowl this summer with a heavyweight, fairly diverse line-up. alright, all hipster fodder but diverse nonetheless. all in all, it didn't disappoint. not everyone carried their weight, but it was a great show regardless.

jose gonzales
we missed most of him playing solo. happens far too often since it's hard getting that many people moving quickly and after the booze starts flowing nobody is in much of a hurry anymore. nonetheless, we did catch 2 of his songs and he was better than what i had expected. the duo of his acoustic guitar and mellow voice carried a lot better than i had thought it would at the bowl. i still don't feel like veneer is a stand-out album, but he's a capable performer (if not an exciting one).

oh boy, what can one say about matthew herbert? the man has made entire tracks out of sending a full starbucks latte down the garbage disposal. that'll teach 'em! 4 bucks down the drain my man and you didn't get so much as a caffeine buzz from it, someone in seattle is smiling right now and it's not your aunt myrtle. but i digresss...

herbert started out with a fruity pseudo-electric welcome message. it got better from there. he seems to have returned to his house music roots and cranked out some infectious beats. not bad at all. he brought along a vocalist with him who actually sounded pretty good, however, he was so dispassionate (or maybe terrified?) that it was hard to watch him. both he and herbert were in their finest bathrobes for the event. i understand the desire to do something different; to make a statement versus the iconic rockstar model, however, the robes just looked silly. someone should hook him up with Devo, they could lend his group little plastic pyramid hats so that he can still look silly (and cover up his balding head) without looking completely ridiculous and having to waste a perfectly good bathrobe.

oh, and he did squish a canned frappucino to make scrunchy noises at the start of one song. not surprisingly, it didn't add a lot to the track which ended up being good inspite of the can crunching noises. score: starbucks 2, herbert 0.

zero 7
i'll have to say i'm completely puzzled by gotan project headlining in front of zero 7. now i could argue all i want based on my opinion, but shall we consult the all seeing Google for the answer of whom should have headlined? observe:

Google hits for Zero 7:
Google Hits for Gotan Project:

That's a 2 million hit difference!? I suspect Gotan Project is really a mafia front of some sort and leaned on 'em to score the top billing in order to legitimize their Sicilian money laundering scheme.

Regardless of the order they played it, it was easy to see who the best of the evening was. zero 7 was stellar, alternating between the best of simple things and the garden. sia started it off with my flame and moved onto distractions from there. she was a star performer, belting out soulful vocals and dancing around the stage jubilantly. the highlights were back-to-back performances of the stand-out tracks from both albums: destinypageant of the bizarre. jose gonzales did a couple tracks and turned in another nice performance but was eclipsed by the obvious charisma and talent of sia. the guys worked the decks and played live instruments capably, they were clearly enjoying themselves up there. all told, great performance!!

gotan project
nothing really to say here, they sounded good but not great. to be fair, we listened to a few tracks and bailed since jane was not feeling well. i truthfully have a hard time distinguishing many of their tracks from one another-- they have a nice sound but i'm not sure how much range they have or what more they can do with it.

next up: feist in a couple weeks and then paul simon at the greek in october.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

red fish, blue fish, dumb phish

so the infosec buzz right now (among other things) is about how sophisticated online fraud attacks are getting. "vishing", blog-based enticements, IM enticements, and highly targeted attacks. i've heard some pretty good ones of late that target people who lost an ebay bid and get a follow-up message (supposedly from the seller) that alls they have to do is send them the $$$ and they'll send them the desired item as the original seller bailed out. clever.

well, my inbox tells a different story. stretching back to around the middle of last month i've been the recipient of routine, silly phishing attacks for 5th 3rd bank (where i do not bank). check out the screen cappie below, shows 14 since July 20th. each one has a wacky combo of words or excepts from a story of some sort coupled with an image containing the enticement. check it out:

who in god's name would trust this and cough up their identity? do ppl really rush so fast to attachments that they don't read the message? i doubt it.

i would have more sympathy for someone who was suckered into helping general ungawa recover his 20 million from the nigerian government than the person that thought that just maybe they're account really was suspended in a message that starts with the words "fishy gimp, pus gamy awe, slue bosh pax ...".

on the flip-side, phishing messages like this would provide an ingenious starting point for coming up with creative, new indie band names. think about it. "she wants revenge" and "clap your hands and say yeah" could have just as easily been "ramage bagpipe brokerage" if they had been cruising my spambox. has a nice ring to it eh? how about "pain roof opal" instead of "death cab for cutie"? maybe these guys missed their real calling...

current playlist

Solitary | Skye Edwards | Mind How You Go
Is It Any Wonder | Keane | Under the Iron Sea
Zueri - Lindstrom & Prins Thomas Nortic Flav Mix | Tosca | Souvenirs (J.A.C remix album)
Funk Box | Visioneers feat. Capital A | Dirty Old Hiphop
Throw Your Hands in the Air | Teddybears | Rock n' Roll Highschool
Blower's Daughter | Damien Rice | O
Storm | Cut Chemist feat. Edan & Mr. Lif | The Audience's Listening
Bullitproof | Breakbeat Era | Ultra Obscene
Canto De Ossanha | Jurassic 5 | Feedback
Lemon Tree - Thievery Corporation Remix | Herb Alpert | Rewhipped
Tippy Tip Toe | Crackpot | Tummy Touch Compilation
Red Umbrella | Kostars | Klassics with a K

Friday, August 18, 2006

w00t detroit city

first the superbowl and now a detroit judge is the first to officially decry the ludicrous levels of surveillance we have been under since 9/11. personally, the surveillance doesn't bother me nearly as much as the thought that i'm paying someone with my tax dollars to sift through millions of calls and emails to do something that could be accomplished much more intelligently through other, more efficient means.

"The landmark decision makes U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's once-secret program. The American Civil Liberties Union had filed suit against the government, claiming the program "ran roughshod" over the constitutional rights of millions of Americans and ran afoul of federal wiretapping law."

Link to full article at

Monday, August 07, 2006

infosec? it's more glamorous than a hotel heiress...

this post is for all of you who wondered what a real security conference looks like (all 2 of you out there). think it would be cool to hang with a group of "hackers"? look no further as i provide a brief look at the dorkstravaganza that is one of the industry's longest running infosec conferences: defcon.

this is a glance at the crowd in the riviera hotel in las vegas where defcon is hosted. for those of you who have not been to the riviera, it is located on the 7th layer of hell, which is oddly right next to circus circus. suckarama. it's cheap even by the standards of lima, ohio. while nearly every hotel worth its salt in vegas is adding marquis chef restaurants, the riviera just added a new "subway" sandwich joint and knocked another 50 cents off of footlong chili dogs.

this my friends is a robot contest. a fight to the digital death for a series of mechnical 'bots created by hacker types for a nail-biting duel at defcon. grab your cheetos and strap yerself in amigo, it's a bout to the finish that would make C3PO blush....

this is the message board and agenda displayed at defcon. it was about 15 feet tall, go big or go home. if you could read the text on the right-hand side (snapped this with my treo like the rest, the camera sucks), you'd chuckle in delight at adolescent humor such as the following winner i read on the big board:

What's the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern fairy tale?
A Northern fairy tale begins, "Once upon a time..."
A Southern fairytale begins, "Y'all ain't gonna believe this shit..."

i've saved the best for last. this is the wonderful wall of sheep, which displays those naive enough to connect to the defcon network without using some form of encryption to protect their communications. this is sort of like taking your chances with a hooker in botswana. bad idea. most of what ends up on the screen is people's passwords for email, ftp and other popular internet activities.

you might be able to see the image of young fella on the left-hand, bottom corner of the screen. the title of this photo is "MySpace Lover!"-- this poor sucker was caught connecting to his myspace account while at defcon. this was greeted with howls of laughter and widespread derision. to think that anyone would use the internet to connect socially!!! absurd.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

current playlist

The Garden | Cut Chemist | Audience's Listening
Alfie | Lily Allen | Alright Still
- | Paul Simon | Surprise
Sugar Boy | Beth Orton | Pass in Time
Don't Break | Ellen Alien & Apparat | Orchestra of Bubbles
Smith Street | Layo & Bushwacka | Feels Closer
Heartstopper | Emilianna Torrini | Fisherman's Woman
A Danca da Moda | DJ Dolores | Favela Chic
Hope | Fat Freddy's Drop | Best 7 Selections
Work it Out | Jurassic 5 | Feedback
Ladyfingers | Herb Alpert | Re-Whipped
Eany Meany | Jim Noir | Tower of Love
Overdue | Bitter:sweet | The Mating Game

Monday, July 24, 2006

flaming lips, os mutantes & thievery corporation @ the hollywood bowl

i wanted to like the flaming lips. i really did. even though i admittedly think nearly all the "indie" groups are crap, the kooky psychedelica of the 'lips and their substantial history clearly set them apart. for a bunch of cats from oklahoma city, they've done alright for themselves. but they pretty much sucked at tbe bowl. the main problem was wayne coyne, the vocalist. no matter how symmetrical his name may be, or how much we liked his "golden path" collab with chemical bros, he just doesn't have the pipes to belt it out at the 'bowl. she swallowed the poor fella up whole, with only some muted, whiney noises making it out of his throat. lo siento my man, i'm sure you can find plenty of small clubs where you sound perfectly fine (given considerable amounts of booze).

os mutantes were cool, but they sounded a little rusty to be honest. the bebel gilberto cover (baby, i *think* she did the original) was a nice touch and well done. thievery sounded good and marched out their normal parade of vocalists to match their live band. they come a long ways since they were 2 guys stoically playing records behind the turntables in fancy suits. i don't think they nailed it quite as well as their show last year at the wiltern, but it was a solid performance and much more worthy of the headliner spot than the boys from oklahoma city...

next up: gotan project, zero 7, jose gonzales in late august

Monday, July 17, 2006

lily allen

if you have checked out her stuff yet, yer missing out. contagious beats and sly lyrics, perfect summer-time tunes.

she's apparently already blowing up in the UK, LDN is getting some play on kcrw, but don't miss her mixtape. It's about as eclectic as it comes: dizzee rascal, odb, creedence clearwater revival, rod stewart, and even some good ole' fashioned yodeling. it gets no more eclectic than that, but somehow it all works together. All available off of her site, gratis.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

summer shows, take I

opening night @ the hollywoodbowl
big win here was surprising not santana, who turned in a solid but forgettable performance, but rather the blue man group performing with the LA philharmonic. george lopez is still funny as hell, he intro'd santana and was the most charasmatic presence of the event. nice start to the 'bowl season.

om summer sessions @ vanguard
i went to this with little expectations, hoping that the new, larger venue hadn't ruined "deep', LA's version of NYC's body and soul sunday house music party. true enough, the new venue is a little larger but the crowd fills it out nicely by midnight and the extra space works out just fine. the star of the evening (for as long as i lasted, it was a school nite) was chuck love. he not only dj'd a solid set of soulful house, but played the guitar, french horn, flute, and belted out a few tracks with his pipes. excellent stuff!! i'd almost bought om summer sessions before and now i'm planning to pick it up on my next amoeba pilgramage (i like it, but i like used prices even better).

kinky & sidestepper @ california plaza (downtown lala land)
best event of the summer thus far and free, courtesy of kcrw. sidestepper churned out a great performance which was not dissimilar to their performance at the bowl last year. fun, slightly electric latin beats and vocals. kinky on the other hand, was out of this world. i'd heard they were good live but we were blown away. for those of you unacquainted with kinky, they've been around for a while now making partytime electrorock from a latin perspective. we'd arrived early to make sure we got good seats but even the people at the back were dancing by the end of the show. i'd highly recommend catching their show.

karsh kale, dhamaal sound system @ the getty center (los angeles)
i had high hopes for karsh kale and little other expectations for others on the bill. again, the price was right (free!) so even if it was mediocre it's tough to complain. karsh kale wasn't bad but never really hit a crescendo, i expected a little more from him live. the crowd kept expecting him to go big but he turned out a decent but relatively uninspired performance of electro-indian tracks. the highlight of the evening for me was dhamaal sound system from SF, who were clearly engaged with the audience and having fun while playing funky world beats. the dj and vocalist were focal points, freestyling with the crowd and playing right to their audience.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

why i can't live in nyc

... when medjool dates run over 150 bucks, it's just too damn expensive!!! good lawd almighty. hats off to mai for the catch while shopping for picnic grub near central park. i know organic stuff is a little pricier but this seems over the top ;-)

sunsets at home

taken by dad last year

take by tim during his visit