Incite 8/22/2012: Cassette Legends

The impact of technology cannot be overstated. Not compared to when I was a kid. So we were having dinner over the weekend and XX2 started changing the lyrics to Michael Jackson’s Beat It, by crooning out “Eat It.” Of course, I mentioned that she was creative but hardly original and that Weird Al Yankovic recorded that exact song some 20 years ago. Then the Boy piped in with the chorus to Weird Al’s other Michael Jackson parody, “Fat.” Wait, what? The Boss and I were amazed that he not only knew who Weird Al was, but another of his songs. Upon further interrogation, he admitted that a friend showed him Weird Al’s videos on the Internet. Then I launched into a story about how in the olden days, when MTV played actual music videos, you had to wait by the TV for a video you liked. That the first video I ever saw was the J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold”. I didn’t leave my room for a week after that. Not like today, where they just search YouTube and listen to what they want when they want. Then the Boss talked about how she had to sit by the radio with her little cassette recorder in hand, waiting for her favorite songs. The art was in hitting the Record button (or more likely Record and Play simultaneously) at the perfect time. Not too early or you got a bunch of DJ gibberish, and not too late or you’d miss the first few bars of the song. Stopping recording was a similar high-wire act. Then we described the magic of the double cassette deck/recorder and how that made life a zillion times easier, so we could dub tapes from our friends. I guess now I need to expect a retroactive Cease and Desist letter from the RIAA for 30 years ago, eh? The kid’s response was classic. What’s a cassette, Mommy? It’s hard to comprehend, but these kids have never actually seen a cassette tape. Well, they probably have, but had no idea what it was. I just traded in my old Acura that actually had a cassette player, but I last used it 7 years ago. They have no need to understand what a cassette is. Nor the hoops we jumped through to access the music we wanted. I didn’t have the heart to further complicate things by describing the setup my brother and I had to record music, which included an old condenser mic and a reel-to-reel tape deck. I saved up for months to buy a blank reel-to-reel tape and I remember recording from Casey Kasem’s Top 40 every Sunday. Then I got my portable Panasonic cassette recorder, bought Kiss Alive II and was forever changed. Then we told the story of the first Walkman units, and how liberating it was to be able to play cassettes without having to carry around a 30-pound boom box on your shoulder. And believe me – my boom box was huge, loud, and cool – requiring 8 D batteries. I’d get a hernia just lugging around extra batteries for that beast. Looking back, the Walkman was truly transformative. When I made the analogy to the iPod, but bigger and requiring tapes you could only fit 60 minutes of music on, they kind of got it. But not really. Replaying that conversation in my mind makes me excited for the kinds of crazy stories our kids will tell their kids about those iPods and iPhones back in the olden days. And it also makes me feel old. Really really old. But then again, I can’t even imagine what my folks feel like, remembering when they first got TV… –Mike Photo credits: Cassette Player originally uploaded by grundkonzept Heavy Research We’re back at work on a variety of blog series, so here is a list of the research currently underway. Remember you can get our Heavy Feed via RSS, where you can get all our content in its unabridged glory. And you can get all our research papers too. Endpoint Security Management Buyer’s Guide Summary: 10 Questions to Ask Your Endpoint Security Management Vendor Platform Buying Considerations Ongoing Controls – File Integrity Monitoring Ongoing Controls – Device Control Pragmatic WAF Management Application Lifecycle Integration Policy Management The WAF Management Process Incite 4 U Another vendor ranking grid. Oh, joy! Our friends at NSS Labs have introduced a new way to compare security vendors, specifically the network security folks: their security value map. One axis is Block Rate, and the other is price per protected mbps. No, I don’t get it either. Actually I do, but I suspect most customers will find this chart of limited value. Especially when 80% of the products are in the ‘good’ quadrant. They must know that way too many users use the quadrant charts to make decisions for them. This chart might help compare devices but it doesn’t help make decisions. In fairness, I really like the work NSS does. Hardly anyone else really tests devices objectively, and I applaud their efforts to remove the bias of vendor-sponsored tests. I also understand the need to have a chart that vendors will license and the genius to set up the tolerances so the greatest percentage of vendors are in the right quadrant to license the report. And their research is very useful to customers who do the work and actually need to understand how devices work. But the other 95% of their audience will ask how they can ‘short’ list just about everything. – MR Fixing a problem that doesn’t exist: Most users don’t regard mobile security problems as a big threat, notes Ben Wood, Director of Research at CCS Insight. No kidding. Even on Android viruses and malware are not generally considered a big threat. Antivirus vendors would like to point out the one or two instances where malware has appeared hoping the FUD will drive a new wave of adoption. AV has had it good for a

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