Ah, summer. That time of year where our brains naturally start checking out, even if it’s inconvenient.
You have probably noticed a bit of a slowdown on the blog as we succumb to the sweet call of adventure. And by ‘adventure’ I mean the delicate balance of being way freaking behind while trying to squeeze in family vacations and a few conferences.
Since my kids are too young for school I can’t really use them as the excuse for taking time off. No, in my case it is the temperatures over 100F that started a month or so ago and won’t subside until sometime close to Halloween. Phoenix is not fun in the summer if you get my drift. Today, for example, when I do my short run after my hour on the bike trainer, the temp will be somewhere around 104F.
So I was super excited to spend last week in my home town of Boulder, Colorado. I grew up in New Jersey, but moved to Boulder when I was 18, spent the next 16 years there, and consider Boulder the place I really grew up. Some places just fit a person, and Boulder appealed to me on more levels that I can explain. The culture, physical environment, and social scene all aligned with that perfect cosmic center of the Universe all the new-age freaks claim is somewhere behind Pasta Jay’s.
This was the first time I had been back for any length of time in about 5 years, and it was was my first time back since becoming a parent. It was sort of funny – when I lived there I didn’t think there was much for kids to do until they were old enough to climb, hike, ski, and ride. I was all worried my kids would be bored out of their gourds. Sure, I know where all 20+ bars near the Pearl St. Mall are located, but I had to email friends to find a single playground. But man, they are all over the place! And the best part? A lot are located really close to all those bars… which were coincidentally a reasonable bike ride from the house we rented. Yep, total coincidence. I mean, it isn’t like we’d plan that sort of thing.
On the downside, instead of escaping from 100+ in Phoenix to Boulder’s typical 60-80F this time of year, we landed in a heat wave. As in 90F+. The technical term for that is “extreme suckage”.
They always say you can’t go home, and to some extent that’s true. The life I had in Boulder is long dead. Friends have moved on, the ones who stayed got old (like me), the bars of our youth are now – if they exist at all – the bars of someone else’s youth, and if I tried to spend my leisure time doing everything I did back then I would soon be hunting for a good divorce lawyer in between those mountain rescues.
In some ways it is good that I left Boulder, even if I miss it every day. I was instantly pulled out of my single/childless life and forced to drop things – like 5 martial arts classes a week, on top of dozens of mountain rescues, and ski patrol every other weekend, and all the other ways I passed my time. They were instantly severed instead of being drawn out in a long, painful process of separation and personal realizations that life changed and I need to back off. For me, life changed instantly instead of slowly. I know this because it is 100+ fracking degrees at 9am where I live, which is an excellent reminder. I have seen how most of my other friends with kids struggled to balance their lives through this transition, and ripping off the Band-Aid isn’t a bad way to do it.
On the other hand, Boulder is still Boulder. Some of the buildings change, but I felt just as at home there last week as I did 6 years ago when I left. The 15 minute rain still comes in every day between 4 and 4:30, the convenience store in Jamestown is still a perfect place to stop for some coffee while riding a (rented) road bike in the hills, and the annoying-ass Rainbow Family kids – who you know have loaded parents – still camp out on the Pearl St. Mall begging for cash.
You can go home. It’s just that someone else lives there now – even if you never left.
With that, daycare just called and I need to go pick up a little kid with a fever and end my work day.
On to the Summary:
Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences
- We have been on vacation – nothing to see here.
Favorite Securosis Posts
- Adrian Lane: Market Share Nonsense.
- Mike Rothman: Malware Analysis Quant [Final Paper]. Check out the final paper for the epic Malware Analysis Quant research. And then play a drinking game for every step in the process you don’t do. Make sure you don’t drive after that.
- Rich: What Adrian said. I need to write a follow-up on some of the BS vendors have tried to pull on me over the years. Like paying cash under the table for references. I tried my best, but I know at least once I was fooled… and it probably happened more than that.
Other Securosis Posts
- Evolving Endpoint Malware Detection: Providing Context.
- New Paper: Defending Data on iOS.
- Incite 6/13/2012: Tweeting Idiocy.
- Understanding and Selecting Data Masking: Management and Advanced Features.
- Upcoming: Tokenization Webcast This Week.
- Evolving Endpoint Malware Detection: Behavioral Indicators.
Favorite Outside Posts
- Adrian Lane: Mistakes Were Made: Incident Response. An informative rant on incident response and preparedness.
- Mike Rothman: Pre to postmortem: the inside story of the death of Palm and webOS. As a student of business, I love stories that dig into how anything can go from the top to the bottom within a few short years. I suspect we’ll be reading a similar post-mortem about RIMM before too long.
- Rich: Is LinkedIn lying about their new password salting?. JJ shows the importance of not jumping to conclusions. And, you know, being smart.
Project Quant Posts
- Malware Analysis Quant: Index of Posts.
- Malware Analysis Quant: Metrics – Monitor for Reinfection.
- Malware Analysis Quant: Metrics – Remediate.
- Malware Analysis Quant: Metrics – Find Infected Devices.
- Malware Analysis Quant: Metrics – Define Rules and Search Queries.
- Malware Analysis Quant: Metrics – The Malware Profile.
- Malware Analysis Quant: Metrics – Dynamic Analysis.
Research Reports and Presentations
- Defending Data on iOS.
- Malware Analysis Quant Report.
- Report: Understanding and Selecting a Database Security Platform.
- Vulnerability Management Evolution: From Tactical Scanner to Strategic Platform.
- Watching the Watchers: Guarding the Keys to the Kingdom.
- Network-Based Malware Detection: Filling the Gaps of AV.
- Tokenization Guidance Analysis: Jan 2012.
Top News and Posts
- How Companies Can Beef Up Password Security. A review of the (often missed and botched) basics by Thomas Ptacek.
- Windows Azure Security Guidance. Well done.
- Apple issues Java update in sync with Oracle for the first time.
- US-CERT issues warning of a multi-platform guest to host break in virtualization products.
Blog Comment of the Week
I take a bit of exception to your ending lines about customers expecting feedback from the social site. It’s really cool when it happens, but real complaints should still always be sent on through their advertised channels. Maybe B&N has their ear to the talk, but opts not to respond to every hit, or perhaps they had nothing to say that would help the situation, or have had plenty of degenerating exchanges by the internet trolls? 🙂 Then again, what’s the point of their social media presence? Announce deals? Marketing? Banter with customers? I can’t say I’m familiar with it.
It’s possible B&N knows what they’re doing. I’ve always thought it strange that someone like Best Buy has to honor online prices in-store, when it clearly should cost more in-store to provide the product to customers. There’s still some value, to me, to be able to inspect goods before purchase as well, and walk out with it immediately.
Of note, I had the pleasure of making mention of two things in the past week, and creators/owners of them responding back to me, either to add to my knowledge or say thanks. That was pretty nice, and unexpected. Though, these were small players, not major corps.