April 17, 2003

In CNET News article: Mitnick: You can trust a hacker:
While some security experts learned their craft in the government sector or through school, many of today's consultants and researchers were yesterday's hackers. In many cases, the person may not have done anything illegal, but in other instances, it was a matter of not having been caught, Mitnick said.

Of course, the missing irony here is: Are you sure you want to hire a hacker that got caught? Obviously, if you hacked computers, and got caught, you must have overlooked something while you were doing your thing, no? Industry pundits may have it right when they say that convicted hackers have nothing to add to the security mix, but for the wrong reason. Saying that the hacker community has nothing to add to the 'security posture' of the network as a whole may be wrong, but it turns out that this can be a completely different statement than saying "We don't hire ex-con hackers".

April 15, 2003

In the New Scientist today,
Snail mail attack could be launched online
I remember LONG ago, when I were a young lad....ok, not that long ago, when waging a junk mail war on someone seemed like a fun practical joke, like calling up the Army and telling them maybe you wanted to enlist, giving off your friend/enemies mailing address and phone number...then subscribing them to all kinds of catalogs. But, with the Internet, you can take practical joking to a new level.

In fact, there are dozens of practical joke sites on the Internet, like The Gag Works, and The Prank Place. There have been lists of Practical Jokes since the dawn of the net, like on alt.shenanigans. The Internet is a great place to merge technology with things that you could only do by hand years ago, and automating things with no morally redeeming value seems to be what drives technology. Some of these are pretty funny, folks, like >the fake lottery tickets...
Did the timing belt (and water pump while we were in there) on the van. Next thing I 'may' do is some body work - but I'm waiting for my paint to come in that I ordered from Mopar. Once it does, I'm going to hit a few rusted/peeled spots and see whether it's something I want to spend my time on. In other news, I've got to paint the front of my house this year. Not something I'm looking forward to, but it really should be done. The cheap-ass paint job they did initially is already peeling where it rained hard on it. Last year I did the front of my garage, but this time I'll be up on the ladder...ugh.

April 12, 2003

Took a long scenic drive on the Shenandoh Skyline drive today - it was clear and good weather, but the trees haven't regained their leaves yet. They have a stable at the 51 mile marker that you can go horseback riding, provided you knew enough to reserve in advance (that's one day early) - Skyline Stables...540-999-2210. On the way back, a strange odor starting coming out of the right side of the van. It smelled like something burning, but it wasn't quite as acrid as rubber burning, although it had a rubber 'flavor' about the smell. I stopped the car, and it seemed to be coming more from the exhaust than anywhere else. We let the van cool down, and I looked for the source, but couldn't find it. Then we drove home without recurrence...:sigh: - buying a used vehicle is one big crap shoot...but I'm going to stick with this van...put enough money into it to keep it running - not so much good money after bad (if the engine blows, forget it), but in standard maintenance items the last owner didn't bother with, like changing the serpentine belt, the PVC valve, the spark plugs, various filters, radiator cap, trans fluid, fuel filter, etc, etc. Buying the parts myself seems to be saving me some money - I just need to find a fairly inexpensive mechanic who will do reliable cheap labor.
Why does it take men an average of 10 minutes to get ready to leave the house, while it takes a woman an average of 687576327362876397 years? Just curious...

April 06, 2003

I bought a 1996 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE with 136,000 miles on it - to replace my 1993 Honda Civic that had been stolen and crashed. All told, it cost me a few hundred bucks to upgrade to a van, but I think it's going to be worth it. I bought it at Woodbridge Auto Auction, and I've had the systems checked. Timing belt looks good, but it needs a new serpentine (not immediately...) belt due to some cracks in it. Replaced the PCV valve, air filter, had the radiator flushed and the transmission looked at. It's got some bumps and bruises, but fairly minor (I could use a new left front quarter panel (misleading - only about an eighth panel on the van..), but I can live without). I think Im going to experiment with this car. Having not paid much for it, and wanting to learn more about cars, I'm going to be a lot more apt to tinker with it. Besides, at the auto auction I saw cars going for $700 that were about in the same shape as my Honda was....I can afford that to just get to work... Yet another hobby ;)

April 01, 2003

I was reading CNN tonight - and came across this: CNN.com - 'Idol' contestant booted over scandal - Apr. 1, 2003
A month after Fox disqualified a singer from the show amid revelations that she had posed topless on an Internet porn site, the network said Monday it was expelling another finalist, Corey Clark, who is facing trial on misdemeanor charges of battery against his sister and resisting arrest.
Wait a minute? Wouldn't that make them better contestants? Isn't scandal a part of being a celebrity? Instead of pushing them off the show, shouldn't that immediately qualify them to be finalists? You know, a free pass for the round, like on Survivor?
"What, You dealt drugs to orphans in east L.A.?" To hell with what Simon thinks of your singing, you're a BORN SUPERSTAR!!!!