Kevin

Author's details

Name: Kevin O'Brien
Date registered: December 26, 2009
URL: http://www.zwilnik.com

Latest posts

  1. Penguicon 2017 Report — May 12, 2017
  2. Changing passwords frequently reduces security — August 4, 2016
  3. Penguicon 2016 Report — June 16, 2016
  4. Penguicon 2015 Report — May 10, 2015
  5. Penguicon 2015 Call for Talks — October 9, 2014

Author's posts listings

May 12

Penguicon 2017 Report

As always, this is my report on the things I did at Penguicon over the weekend of April 28-30, 2017. Penguicon is a huge event, with probably 500 hours of programming over all of the tracks, so joining in even a fraction of the possible activities is about the best you can do. This was …

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Aug 04

Changing passwords frequently reduces security

I’ve been saying this for a few years now. There is no reasonable threat for which this is a good counter-measure. And now the Chief Technologist at the FTC agrees with me:   http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/08/frequent-password-changes-are-the-enemy-of-security-ftc-technologist-says/

Jun 16

Penguicon 2016 Report

As in previous posts on this topic, I want to emphasize that this is not a review of the entire range of Penguicon, but simply a report on what I did and the panels and presentations I attended. Since I was responsible for the Tech Track, you shouldn’t be surprised to find that most of …

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May 10

Penguicon 2015 Report

Penguicon 2015 was a great success, and far more happened than I could have been part of. We had about 500 hours of programming, and even my track, the Tech Track, had 100 hours of content. So this report is my own diary of my particular experience of Penguicon 2015. Each person would have their …

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Oct 09

Penguicon 2015 Call for Talks

I am the coordinator for the Tech Track at Penguicon 2015, which is a combined FOSS/Science Fiction convention held every spring in the Metro-Detroit area. The 2015 event will happen April 24-26 at the Westin Hotel in Southfield, MI. The theme for the upcoming year’s event is Biotechnology and Medicine, looking at how technology is …

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May 12

Penguicon 2014

I have recovered from the weekend and this seems like a good time to recap my own experience of Penguicon 2014, my first as part of the team. I had been associated with Ohio Linux Fest for a few years, but Penguicon actually came first. In fact, I was recruited for OLF by Beth Lynn …

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Apr 29

Turning Off Comments

I wish this was not necessary, but the fact is that virtually all of the comments that people attempt to post on my site are spam. I was manually moderating, but it seems like a waste of time at this point. If you are  a real person you can probably figure out how to reach …

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Dec 13

Statistics and Polling

This is a bit of a change of pace, but I got some inquiries about this and thought I would offer my own two cents on something that often confuses people. My qualifications for this are two-fold: In my past life I was a professor who taught classes in Statistics; I have worked for a …

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Nov 04

Review of Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security In An Uncertain World

Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World by Bruce Schneier My rating: 5 of 5 stars Bruce wrote this book in 2003 as a response to 9/11 and how it lead to changes in security practices in the U.S. He criticizes many of the security measures taken as “security theater” that makes …

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Nov 04

Review of The Code Book

The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography by Simon Singh My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is a very good review of the history on encryption and explains the basic principles involved. It is a lot like David Kahn’s The Code Breakers, but is available for a …

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