When I visit the homes of friends who are Formula One fans on race day, I am amazed. At how fanatical they are – worse than NFL and college football fans. They have the TV on for pre-race action hours before it starts. And this year’s finale was at least in a friendly time zone – otherwise they would have been up all night. But what really amazes me is not the dedication – it’s how they watch.

Big screen TV is on, but the sound is turned off. The audio portion comes from a live feed from some other service, through their stereo – complete with subwoofer – to make sure they hear their favorite commentator. Laptop is on lap, browsers fired up so they can look up stats, peruse multiple team and fan sites, check weather conditions, and just heckle friends over IM. An iPad sits next to them with TweetDeck up, watching their friends tweet. If a yellow flag pops up, they are instantly on the cell phone talking to someone about what happened. They are literally surrounded by multiple media platforms, each one assigned the task it is best suited for.

But their interest in tech goes beyond that. Ask them stats about F1 engine development programs, ‘tyre’ development, or how individual drivers do on certain tracks, and they pour data forth like they get paid to tell you everything they know. They can tell you about the in-car telemetry systems that constantly send tire pressure, gear box temp, G-force analysis, and 100 other data feeds. Ask them a question and you get both a factual list of events and a personal analysis of what these people are doing wrong. It’s a layman’s perspective but they are on top of every nuance.

God forbid should they have to work over the weekend and only have access to a Slingbox and headphones. That’s just freakin’ torture. Those fantasy baseball people look like ignorant sissies next to F1 fans. They may not have Sabermetrics but they watch car telemetry like they’re in the Matrix. Perhaps it’s because in the US we don’t have many opportunities to attend F1 events that the ultimate experience is at home, but the degree to which fans have leveraged technology to maximize the experience is pretty cool to watch – or rather to watch them watch the race.

So when I get a call from one of these friends asking, “How do I secure my computer?”, or something like “Which Antivirus product should I use” or “Does Life Lock help keep me secure?” I am shocked. They immerse themselves in all sorts of tech and apps and hardware, but have no clue to the simplest security settings or approaches. So I’m sitting here typing up a “personal home computer security 101” email.

And congratulations to Sebastian Vettel for winning his third world championship – that puts him in very select company.

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Blog Comment of the Week

Remember, for every comment selected, Securosis makes a $25 donation to Hackers for Charity. This week’s best comment goes to Sashank Dara, in response to Key Manager Technical Features.

Is there really a need to move Key Management to a public cloud (of course with encryption etc like that of por ticor s)? they claim scalability would be one issue as the data grows the keys grow too , so better move KM too to cloud , is this valid ?