Thursday, January 22, 2009


Last night I stopped by the liquor store to pick up a six pack of Sierra Nevada ESB. As I walked up the counter the store owner slid me a $20. Without something to compare to, it looked legitimate. After he gave me a true $20 I could note the difference in texture, and the sloppy printing. Once I had a comparison point it was obvious it came from an inkjet printer.
The problem here isn't that technology has progressed far enough that it can cheaply reproduce a good imitation that a layperson can't spot. The problem is that technology doesn't exist that can quickly and easily validate it's legitimacy. The reliance on sight and texture as validation just won't be able to keep pace with technology. This will only become more of an issue as the economy keeps tanking.
Visa and Mastercard must be thrilled.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shmoocon 2009 hype

Quick note: I'll be at Shmoocon this year, had my ticket for a few months. I'm sure I'll be tweet-commenting on every talk. The popularity of twitter should be entertaining, they appear to have an official twitter account which I hope will be used well during the event.
There's no single talk that stands out this year. I'm glad that the typical talks are gone; the only repeat speaker I recognize from last year is Charlie Miller. This is a good thing; as much as I love johnny or kaminksy, the freshness will be nice.

Watch out for lots of geeks with tweets.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 Books

Some books I have on my bookshelf and will be focusing on in the first half of 2009.

On War by Carl Von Clausewitz
I've read the first two books, however I'd still like to complete the entire thing. The Chicago Boyz blogis hosting a roundtable covering the book through January and February. I hope to lurk and keep up with the discussions.

Strategies for Creative Problem Solving by Fogler & LeBlanc
I saw this this book referenced by redteam journal and managed to receive it as a gift for Christmas. I'm nearly halfway through it and am taking notes for a future discussion. I definitely already finding value in some of the techniques discussed.

The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments by George Johnson
Just sounds like it'll be a fun read

Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene

200 pages into this. My mind is already blown.

Illicit by Moises Naim

On Leadership by HBS
I received this paperback as part of a course in late 2007 as recommended reading. It's high time I read the last half.

Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
I generally enjoyed Blink and expect this to be another light and interesting read.

Some items that have been on my antilibrary for too long and I'd like to flip through

Beautiful Evidence by Edward Tufte

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Albert Einstein: A Biography by Fosling

Patton, A Soldiers Life by Stanley Hirshson

Blackhawk Down by Mark Bowden

Others in the hopper:

The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why by Amanda Ripley

Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Dialog Mapping by Jeff Conklin

Reinventing Collapse by Dmitry Orlov

The Rise and Decline of the State by Martin van Creveld

The Starfish and the Spider by Brafman and Beckstrom

The Exploit by Galloway and Thacker

John Boyd Roundtable by Mark Safranski