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!

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Implementation suggestions for THE MORGAN DOCTRINE are most welcome. What are the "Got'chas!"? What questions would some future Cyber Privateering Czar have to answer about this in a Senate confirmation hearing?