Musings Archive

Bucket List

Posted August 16, 2014 By Landis V

It’s difficult for me to start a specific “bucket list”, as I want to do just about everything that can be done, and see just about everything that can be seen, but I realized this afternoon that I didn’t have a central repository for these kinds of “someday” things.  So I decided to start one.

Places To See/Visit

This is a list of places I’d like to see or visit in my travels, both in the continental US and worldwide.

Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, AZ

Ran across a few pictures of this area while surfing around today.  Beautiful.

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Linux has finally achieved enough market penetration to be worthwhile to attack.  Not desktop market penetration per se, but market penetration nonetheless.  The particular platforms where it can be found with relative frequency fundamentally contribute to the reasons the attacks are successful – they are home user devices that aren’t likely to be updated.  I surmise that within the next three to five years, we’ll see a tipping point where many of these network devices will default to automatically update themselves in much the same manner our operating systems, browsers, and many applications in both the mobile and desktop realm do today.

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And the award goes to…

Posted April 17, 2013 By Landis V

AT&T MIS wins the award for “most laughable use of an automated hold message”.  Called in today to close some auto-generated tickets for circuits that I’m in the process of shutting down. While holding to speak to an agent, their automated attendant chimed in every 20 seconds to apologize for the wait and to let me know they were “searching for an available agent to take my call”.  I know attention spans are short these days, but that just might be overkill.

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Worth or value criteria

Posted April 1, 2013 By Landis V

I was reading an article on ComputerWorld today that considered changes to the way technical employees are evaluated. The thought that crossed my mind was, perhaps we should also be thinking about similar changes in the way we compensate employees – and not just technical employees, but across the board. The hourly and salary based models are as broken as paying by lines of code produced or shortest development time to test. They have been gamed and gamified to the point where their viability as metrics of worth and utility are questionable at best, and quite possibly contributory to our inflationary spiral at worst. Just an interesting thought that came to mind and I wanted to make a quick note of in case I have time to come back and ponder it in the future.

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Posted January 29, 2013 By Landis V

Technically it’s the 29th.  It has been a busy day for a vacation.  Received and tested three new-to-me Ubiquiti M5 radios and antennas as well as two M5 radios that I previously didn’t have antennas for.  Noticed as I was looking up some audiobooks for some “can’t do anything else at all” time tomorrow that Librivox‘s favicon is remarkably similar to mine.  Hope they don’t mind, I really did create it without influence… and it’s my initials, so I do have some solid tie to it!  Hoping I might finally get around to listening to books 3 and 4 of Leviathan, though I might also be able to go for some Locke.

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This malware is indeed a clever devil, and the Kaspersky article here dives into further detail, describing the setup and use of the man-in-the-middle vector employed to further the infection.  I did note in the Kaspersky article that the fake Windows Update server looks for a PHP extension, which struck me just a bit funny and a little bit shoddy on behalf of the developers.  Granted it’s background and not highly visible (as evidenced by the fact that this information hadn’t been discovered until now), but if I were to notice PHP in use with a Microsoft service, I think I’d be inclined to say “That’s interesting… why not ASP?”

That’s the reason this strikes me as a shoddy oversight in what has otherwise (at least from the small amount I’ve had the time to read on the topic) been a very polished and well-built platform.  Unless something has changed significantly in the past couple of years since I’ve really played with these things, a couple of minor modifications to the config files for the web server would have allowed the files to easily have been served with an ASP extension, yet still have been processed server side by PHP.  Just strikes me as a little bit out of character.

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I’ve been thinking about enrolling in some form of higher education program for several years.  I do have concerns about being able to devote the required time to the program, but I feel that I am in a much more “learning oriented” mindset than I was at age 18.  Not sure whether I would pursue a degree related to my current field; though it would make logical sense, I’ve already assembled a collection of domain experience that serves me well in what I do.  In some ways, I think it would be more logical to pursue other areas of interest where I haven’t had the same level of opportunity to learn it from the inside out.

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