Here are three TED Talks that illuminate today’s large-scale psychological warfare. The first talk is about how businesses created the perfect weapons for mass psychological warfare, the “persuasion platforms”. The next two talks are about how Russia has been using these persuasion platforms in the US, Great Britain, and increasingly in other parts of the world.Read More
Black Hat had invited Rep. Will Hurd to keynote the Black Hat security conference this year but quickly pulled the invitation after a backlash from some in the cyber security community who believed Hurd has a bad track record in supporting women’s rights. Critics pointed out Hurd’s position enacting legislation that
voted for allowing states to restrict abortions (which has gained momentum)
voted to defund Planned Parenthood (which does not use federal funding for abortion)
voted against a bill to support women in STEM fields
Rob Graham, a significant member of the computer security community, tweeted out that this was just “political correctness.”
The problem with this view is that it shows a complete lack of understanding or at least empathy of what it is like to be a woman, and especially a woman in tech these days.
Harassment and assaults against women is well documented, and the cyber security community has it in spades.
Bruce Schneier wrote about it back in a 2012 blog post “Sexual Harassment at DefCon (and Other Hacker Cons)”.
Last year Emily Chang’s book “Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley” highlighted how pervasive this horrible behavior by men is.
Last year Ava Kofman wrote about the horrible treatment many women are still experiencing in the cyber security community - “CAN #METOO CHANGE THE TOXIC CULTURE OF SEXISM AND HARASSMENT AT CYBERSECURITY CONFERENCES?”
And Black Hat event tried to begin to address this problem last year. “BLACK HAT HACKER CONFERENCE BEGINS TO GRAPPLE WITH GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND SEXUAL ASSAULT IN CYBERSECURITY“.
Many women in cyber security that I follow on Twitter have posted about their #MeToo experiences.
Just listen to them.
So at a time when women’s rights across this country are being rolled back (mostly by men lawmakers and judges), and then Black Hat invites a keynote speaker who has been instrumental to rolling back those rights for women, only the ignorant should be surprised that many feel this was somewhere between a brain dead to offensive move by Black Hat organizers.
Having said that, I have to admit that I have been ignorant too. As a straight white male with an American sounding name, I honestly cannot remember ever being harassed (except by the occasional Trump troll) much less having to fear for my safety. I had been blind to how much of it was going on. But with the #MeToo movement I have had a chance to learn. And since then, several personal friends have told me their stories.
I encourage others, especially those like me who have had few to no negative experiences, to listen to the experiences of others and try to have a little empathy.
Using Apple’s ARKit to put a Mars crater on my kitchen table. This is my weekend project of visualizing digital terrain data. It’s nice to take a break from cyber security.Read More
There is a famous parable called the Scorpion and the Fox. Facebook is clearly a scorpion. Central to their business is the collection of as much information as possible about people, so Facebook can help their customers optimally manipulate you. Facebook just can’t help itself but behave the way it does.Read More
Corporate officers of Yahoo! have been successfully sued over their actions that led to multiple breaches at Yahoo! The officers (actually their insurance company) will pay $29 million.Read More
First test of my iOS app flying over Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data on my iPad Pro. Colors are based on elevation, and black is shown where there was no data.Read More
I woke up this morning, the first day of my winter holiday, thinking, while still in that quasi-dream-wake state, about the origins of life. This is what you get when going to sleep listening to biology books.Read More
When I was about 11 years old I learned two lessons: Sea-Monkeys were not really aquatic primates and marketing departments lie. The second was a good lesson to learn.Read More
In 1976 I learned what a googol was through a clever Richie Rich mystery. 21 years later the founders of a search engine botched the spelling of the word when they registered their new domain name, but I think they might approve of the villain’s words on the comic’s cover - NOTHING CAN STOP THE '“GOOGOL” NOW!Read More
Richie Rich comic book covers often showed what the creators imagined what the greatest wealth in the world could buy. In 1976 that included watches that could play music or make telephone calls. 42 years later, in some ways, I am living like the imagined richest kid in the world could.Read More
The new business models enabled by the Internet is highly effective platforms designed to manipulate us. We offer ourselves up for manipulation every day. Even if you think you are immune, the people around you are also being exposed to these manipulation platforms, and they have a very real vote in your life.Read More
Potato vine flower under the microscope.Read More
Looking at my network traffic reminds me that almost all North-South traffic is encrypted these days.Read More
Activating IPv6 on my eero Wi-Fi network.Read More
Sometimes a walk across a college campus can be a great productivity enhancer.Read More
Look in a mirror. There is a good chance you are looking at more than one “person”. It turns out that human chimeras exist. In fact, there are many different degrees of chimerism, and it is far more common than you might imagine. You may very well be one yourself.Read More
Photo stacking addresses the challenge of very limited depth of field in microscope photography. This post shows the result of my first experiment using this technique.Read More
Ciliates are protozoans that, despite being single cell critters, are surprisingly fast, large, and complex.Read More
Early experiments with microscope lighting - looking at coffee grounds lit from above and above.Read More