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Monday, December 24, 2012

Will 2013 be "The Year of the Cyber Privateer?"

Here's wishing you the best from "The Pirate's Cottage" on a Utah mountainside. Maybe 2013 will be "The Year of the Cyber Privateer."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Laugh for The Day: Yahoo Takes Aim at Gmail

You've got to hand it to the PR flacks at Yahoo. The Time Magazine Techland headline (read the full story here) reads: "Yahoo Revamps Email in Bid to Catch Up With Gmail." It's like Yahoo has a chance to catch up with anybody, given their horrible security track record. I have yet to get spam or malware from someone whose Gmail account has been hacked. Yet I get many such emails each day from friends (and former friends who are now dead) on Yahoo. The likelihood of Yahoo doing anything to close the gap with Gmail is on a par with North Korea declaring and winning a war against…oh, let me think of a good one…Katmandu. Ok, make it Taiwan. Or Philadelphia. That's it! Philadelphia. "I Kim Jong Un hereby claim this here Liberty Bell…Wahoo!" No, that's "Yahoo!" you idiot.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Yahoo Still the Gang That Can't Shoot Straight

For several months now, I've been marveling at how many of my acquaintances Yahoo email accounts have been hacked. No one I really care about uses Yahoo email, since they've since migrated away from them, and I've debated blocking all email originating from Yahoo accounts. Reason: Only idiots use Yahoo email. Alas, I haven't yet. Probably for the same reason I haven't blocked AOL. You see, my mom uses AOL. She's 87 years old and the prospect of getting her to change just isn't worth the wear and tear on our relationship. Oh, I've tried. I got her her own domain name, and even set up the email account for her. That was a couple of years ago, and she still insists that the only way she can get onto the Internet and to her email is with the AOL browser. Simply put, getting people to change their daily routine is nearly impossible. Malcolm Gladwell calls it "stickiness" in his seminal book, The Tipping Point. And yep, AOL sticks. To some lesser extent, so does Yahoo.

I apologize for kicking Yahoo so much (type "Yahoo" in the Search box to the right of this screen and you can see my devotion to them). Today's Computerworld story (read it here) reconfirmed that Yahoo deserves every single piece of bad press that has chronicled their downward spiral. Why apologize, then?

Computer security in the U.S. is analogous to being the man with no arms who is playing dodgeball with a sadist. You can't throw your own shots at him. All you can do is yell "Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah, Nyah-yah!" until he finally clocks you in the noggin. So while I can single out Yahoo today for riducule, fear, and loathing, I'm still the dodgeball player with no arms. Sooner or later, simply playing defense is going to get me nailed, too. Paraphrasing John F. Kennedy, "Ich bin ein Yahooer!"

Wake up, Congress!