Category: Uncategorized

Penguicon 2018 Report

Friday, May 4, 2018 As I usually do, I went to work on Friday, then grabbed dinner before heading over to Penguicon. This year was going to be different because I was not responsible for running anything other than my two talks. Last year, after 4 years of running the Tech Track, I stepped down …

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Ohio LinuxFest 2017

I made the trek to Columbus yet again for my annual visit to Ohio LinuxFest, and once again I was impressed by a good event. I took the afternoon off from work to drive down from Michigan (about a 3 hour drive) and made sure to get there on time for the opening Keynote, which …

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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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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/

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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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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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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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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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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Review of The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal

The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal by M. Mitchell Waldrop My rating: 5 of 5 stars Having just read Katie Hafner’s Where Wizard’s Stay Up Late I was ready to tackle this book, which is both deeper and more ambitious. Where Hafner’s book was purely about the origin of …

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