Resignation with the breach

March 6, 2014

Target’s CIO has resigned following their massive credit card breach. This is pretty unsurprising. When I did security management I knew I’d be out the door if we had a credit card breach, and the worst-possible outcome of what I could have been associated with is dwarfed by Target’s incident. What’s interesting to me, though, is all of the talk about responsibility, the value of PCI, and whose failing it was. There is no question that Target (and Neiman Marcus, and plenty of other merchants) failed at security when they lost control of sensitive data they were trusted and required [...]

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Did you plan to include any advice in your advice?

June 20, 2013

Yesterday I started listening to a new writing podcast. It features interviews with writers and covers fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, and probably anything else you can scribble down.The first episode I pulled down was on “Selling your work”. Unfortunately, it lacked a critical subtitle: “We know nothing about this.” I’m dramatizing here, but it’s remarkably close. Host: How did you sell that first novel? Interviewee: Well, it was associated with a TV show, so I called up an agent, and a week later he called me back and said it was sold. Host: Wow, that seems fast! Interviewee: Does it? Cool. [...]

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Put Google Reader In Yahoo’s Pipe and Smoke It

March 19, 2013

Google Reader’s move from active product to Google Hospice caused a great mix of despair at the loss of a great tool and hope for the future. Without a highly-functional but traditionally oriented market dominator, RSS will finally have a chance to grow up and be everything Reader users never knew was possible. I’m a big Reader users and I’m going to continue to use it until the last possible moment. I think one place to watch for direction on RSS’s rebirth, if they can get their act together, is Yahoo. Lots of companies make RSS readers that give me [...]

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Electronic Voting Is A Stupid Idea

November 6, 2012

MSNBC posted a story with video about an electronic touch-screen voting machine changing a clear selection for one US presidential candidate into (at least apparently) a vote for another. This pretty well lays the groundwork for the reasons electronic voting is a bad idea. There are all kinds of great things we can do — and do better — with electronic systems than with traditional pen and paper. Many of these are highly sensitive jobs with a lot of time, money, personal, professional, or national interest at stake. Finance, health care, even launching nuclear missiles are all better and more [...]

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Why Microsoft Should Have Invested in Nook

May 2, 2012

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? I imagine anyone taking a large investment from Microsoft spends at least a moment wondering what The Shadow knows that they don’t. Microsoft’s $300 million investment in Barnes and Noble’s Nook subsidiary turned heads, and is seen as an interesting, if confusing effort for Microsoft to get back into ebooks, and to find early traction for Windows 8 devices. I think there’s a much better reason for them to have made the investment. Apple’s wild success with its mobile devices is closely tied to the strength of iTunes stores: apps, music, [...]

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Apple Updates iBooks Author EULA, Surprising No One

February 3, 2012

In a move that should have shocked no one, Apple updated their iBooks Author EULA. The new EULA clearly confirms what calm and patient folks said from the beginning: Apple isn’t interested in restricting your ability to distribute your content. They only want a piece of what is built specifically with iBA: this restriction will not apply to the content of the work when distributed in a form that does not include files in the .ibooks format generated using iBooks Author. You retain all your rights in the content of your works, and you may distribute such content by any means when it [...]

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Big Publishing Pretends Not To Talk About Risk

January 4, 2012

In an interview with Digital Book World, Hyperion CEO Ellen Archer spoke candidly (for a CEO, at least) about the changes to publishing caused by the growth of digital media. It’s a good interview, and well worth a read. Some of her points showed that she understood the concerns propelling indie publishers better than traditional publishers are expected to understand them. What interested me the most was around funding, sales, and advances. The quote which has been singled out is We’ve been able to provide advances to authors and unfortunately most of those [advances] don’t drive revenue. Most of the [...]

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Google Bookstore – Now With Engineering

November 1, 2011

Google’s launched its online bookstore. It’s a storefront inside Google Books, so much of it should be familiar to the three people who use Google Books. The bookstore is clearly commercial, with new titles and prices which look roughly comparable to Amazon’s for electronic editions. What struck me was what Google included in the ebook descriptions (this taken from their listing for Steve Jobs). I’m glad to no what devices can handle their ebook file, but the explicit disclaiming of scanned pages is something new to me. It’s a really nice piece of information. Too many ebooks are scanned from [...]

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Apple Made Siri for Minnesotans

October 26, 2011

I own many pairs of gloves. With so many weeks of winter, most Minnesotans do. Only one of them allows me to use my iPhone. It’s a really nice pair with a conductive thread pad at the fingertip lets me do basic things when it’s cold: answer a call, start a playlist, launch an app. It’s not fine enough to type, but it beats freezing. It hit me today, though. Siri was built for me. Gloves don’t prevent me from hitting the home button. Without the touch gloves, it never mattered. I couldn’t work the unlock slider. (OK, I could [...]

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Pick Three Words from my Hat

September 16, 2011

I tackle another Chuck Wendig challenge: The Numbers Game. My entry is Final Round. Enjoy.

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