Archive for February 2008 - Page 1


    Charlie Bartlett vs. Ferris Bueller

    So, I went to go and see Charlie Bartlett tonight. I really liked the movie. It wasn't boring, or slow at any point. Anton Yelchin did a rather wonderful role opposite of Robert Downey Jr. The basis of the movie is as follows. Charlie Bartlett is a troubled teen who has been removed from many private schools. His mother decides to attempt to have Charlie go to a public school where he wants to be the 'coolest' kid in the world. As the film develops Charlie builds relationships with all types of kids at school and uses his talents to build himself.

    The film, like I said, wasn't boring, was absolutely hilarious and kept me laughing through most of the movie. Some people say it's a lot like Ferris Bueller's Day off. This is just completely inaccurate. Ferris Bueller's Day Off had almost nothing to do with the school, per se. It was mostly mayhem caused outside of the school in Chi-town. Charlie Bartlett, on the other hand, was almost entirely within the school with very few scenes not taking places within the school grounds. I found Charlie Bartlett to be more likable and significantly less annoying than Ferris Bueller. Charlie had a better story line and a more realistic plot line. While Ferris Bueller's plot line was possible most of it seemed out of the realm of possibility. While certain parts of Ferris Bueller were funny, say the part where they tried to run the car in reverse to 'take miles off' the car) it was not as comedic as Charlie Bartlett Overall I think Charlie Bartlett was a much better movie.


    Twitter Tools

    Twitter tools has stopped working on pulling in my tweets beginning on the 8th of February. I'm not sure what the hell happened to it. I've tried re-installing, deactivating and reactivating the plugin, but still no go. I'm not TOO worried about it, but it still bugs the hell out of me as to why it's not pulling. Unless, of course, Twitter has decided to not allow that to occur anymore. I'm not 100% sure as to why they would or if they could do that, but who knows, anything is possible. I don't know if I'm going to even to bother with it or not. we'll see...


    Security and the 'under 30' crowd

    Here is a response from the security-basics list-serv that I posted. The original person's email is at the bottom

    Just my thoughts...

    Being one of the 'Under 30' Crowd I have determined that this segment of 'my generation' comes down to lack of respect for authority and the whole "ME ME ME" complex. Many 'kids' my age do not have an any interest in anything other than social networking sites, and wasting time. Time management skills are nowhere to be found within this segment of the population. Now, don't think that I believe that ALL of the 'under 30' crowd is irresponsible and do not have any respect, I do know a fair number of people who do respect authority, and do know the consequences of their actions.

    The biggest issue I see is the lack of education amongst the 'under 30' group. Many believe as though 'it'll never happen to me'. Therefore they don't care what happens to them, their computer or their property. In Regards to the anti-virus or anti-spyware sentiments I myself do not run anti-virus on my home computer, but then again I don't use limewire, click on spam links in email and I know where everything I download is coming from. Most of the 'under 30' group tend to click on everything that pops up on their computer screen. Therefore when they get the 'A Virus has been detected click to download 'Trojan.exe' to clean it up.' appears, they'll click and download it, because they do not have any idea how to be security conscience.

    The ability to disable AV should be removed within these companies, this is just good security practice. The blame for the AV slowing down the computers comes down the vendors. They tend to pile more and more 'features' instead of attempting to educate their users with proper security practices. I find that products like Norton 360 are a complete waste and cause more hassles than they are worth. Don't try running any modern 'updated' version of an AV on an older computer, it spells trouble. For instance, we were running some 1.8GHz PCs with 256MB of RAM, and we couldn't use Trend Micro on these because as soon as you load up Trend it shoots the memory usage up to 350MB, and this was just anti-virus, not including the firewall. So I can understand this sentiment of AV slowing down systems.

    The claim of key logging is something to worry about, but usually you almost never download a key logger without some other form of malware already infecting your computer.

    On the subject of banks, I would refuse to pay $5 to $25 per transaction to combat fraud, that's too high. Why don't banks just implement multi-factor authentication. As in username (1), password (2), security question (3) and a security dongle (4). I realize that from a technical standpoint it is not simple nor is it inexpensive, but if it will combat fraud shouldn't it be implemented?

    As for the web content filtering, those who quit will only find that most employers do this (if they allow any internet access) and eventually they will have to either just deal with it or go to flipping burgers. Although part of me also thinks that the way that the 'under 30' crowd consumes media is an 'instant gratification' result and they may feel as though they are being singled out in that area. Many of the 'under 30' crowd tend to use RSS feeds to aggregate content instead of going to individual websites like CNN, MSNBC, or ABC. So blocking of certain types of content can be construed to be singling out a certain segment of the population. I myself prefer to have constant communication with people, and luckily I work in an environment where my boss does not argue with what I do and my employer and our board do not believe in filtering. (My boss knows the work will get done). Some of my own general thoughts.

    First being that this attitude stems from the lack of education, and funding for said education. Mainly, in the realm of Internet and computer security for the home user. Many users do not want to become security experts when dealing with their own home computers and they are increasingly becoming reliant on those of us who do know what is going and do keep up with the changes in technologies. So we become the first line of defense when something does happen. Great example is I went to my parents house for Super Bowl Sunday, and I spent half my time cleaning up computers and fixing their issues.

    Secondly many of the 'under 30' crowd do not care if their computer becomes infected with spyware/malware because it's not their own computer. They didn't purchase it with their own money, their parents did, therefore they do not feel compelled to take responsibility with it. They do not value items, it's all considered throw-away to them.

    Thirdly, while Email and phone calls are the 'norm' for the 'over 30' crowd, Text message, sending messages on either myspace, facebook, and more recently, twitter and like platforms, are the norm for the 'under 30' crowd. I myself do not talk on my cell phone that often. I text message more than I talk, I don't use myspace since it's a cesspool, and I'm constantly seeing what is going on with facebook and twitter.

    Finally, as a rant, I've heard many 'security experts' claim that libraries are a haven for 'hackers' and key loggers. While this may be true in some libraries, it is not the case is most libraries. Libraries are severely aware of security and do take steps to combat keystroke loggers, running of 'unapproved programs' and are very security conscience.

    The views that I have given are a generalization, not every 'under 30' person does all of this, I know many who do not. Feel free to contact me if you have a counterpoint or would like to challenge something I've stated. --------------------------------------------- Hi,

    First, the disclaimer: I am over 40, have never been 'cool' and I have always been considered 'the tall, lanky, four-eyed geek.' But I don't get the under-30 crowd's attitude towards IT security. Can someone please give me a clue? I am at a loss how to respond to the attitude I hear, and it impacts my client's security and my credibility.

    I have been doing network security consulting for over 15 years. I also do several public service IT security presentations to community and professional groups each month. In either environment, I consistently get a hostile reception from those under 30. The attitude I get is "IT security is a bunch of moronic bull (expletive deleted) dreamed up by paranoid moronic geezers to justify their existence."

    I my consulting practice, I often find where under 30 users either don't have anti-virus or anti-spyware installed. Or, if their company has installed it, they have disabled it. They label the AV concept 'stupid' and believe that malware is just a fact of life and you should 'get over it', and that it really isn't as bad as 'people like me' claim it is. I also find that the majority of the younger crowd has either disabled the anti-virus that came with their personal computer or did not renew the subscription when it expired.

    You mention key stoke loggers and other spyware, the attitude I get is "If you don't have anything to hide, then you have nothing to worry about." Or, "Why should I worry about privacy? Every aspect of my life is already out there for anyone to read in my blog on MySpace."

    If you bring up all the malware slowing down their computer, you get arguments that AV software slows it down worse. I also get the attitude that "Everything I need to keep is on my flash drive, so what whenever my performance starts to (expletive deleted), I just blow away the hard drive and reinstall."

    Mention Joe Lopez and his loss of bank funds, and the attitude is that his case is an anomaly; "Why haven't other cases made the news? He must have done something to p-o BoA." And it never fails that someone claims to have a friend that had money stolen from their bank account or credit card, and the bank put the money back. I bring up that we are all paying for such losses by lower interest rates on savings and higher credit card and bank free rates, they could care less. (A couple of side note to banks: 1) I have had many people claim that they would be willing to pay $5 to $25 per transaction just to be able to continue to use online banking if that was what was required to offset the fraud costs. When probing deeper, the per transaction cost appears to be about one-half hour's pay. Just for the convenience of not having to write a check or use snail mail. 2) I have heard several of the younger crowd claim that it is common practice that when you get mad at your bank, just post your credit card information on-line so that the bank gets a bunch of fraudulent charges against the card and cancels it. They see it as a way to punish the bank for upping their interest rate or imposing late fees.)

    In the corporate world, the attitude is even worse. I have a client that recently implemented web content filtering that blocks the social networking sites, blogs, chat rooms, and other non-business content. That resulted in the mass resignation of under 30 staff, because "I can't work here if I can't keep in contact with my friends while I work." Some are even screaming "age discrimination" because sites like FoxNews or CNN 'that the old geezers use' were not blocked.

    Can someone please explain this attitude? Why the fierce resistance to anything relating to security? Why the "I don't care about privacy" attitude? Why do they have to be in constant communication with their friends, to the point they would rather be unemployed than out of contact?

    I do not understand and cannot comprehend these attitudes!

    Please enlighten me!