Friday, May 23, 2014

If China Were Smart, They'd Call Our Bluff

A poster at the Justice Department showing the five men charged this week with hacking the computers of American companies, presumably for the benefit of Chinese businesses. CreditJustice Department, via Associated Press

If China were smart, they'd call the State Department/FBI bluff and extradite these guys for trial in the U.S. Other than their so-called digital signatures, there's no way a U.S. jury would convict these guys. A public trial—where the accused could see the evidence against them—would seriously work to the benefit of the Chinese intelligence community. A big-time if-the-glove-doesn't-fit-you-must-acquit defense attorney could really make a name for himself. And China (or their proxies) could ignore any gag order and make their case along the lines stated in yesterday's New York Times story (read it here):

The Obama administration makes a distinction between hacking to protect national security, which it calls fair play, and hacking to obtain trade secrets that would give an edge to corporations, which it says is illegal. China and other nations accuse the United States of being the biggest perpetrator of both kinds of espionage.
Please don't misinterpret my post today as being the least bit sympathetic to China. The current Mad Magazine version of Spy-vs-Spy unfolding by our bumbling policy engine is really kind of funny, and demonstrates the ludicrous futility of playing defense only. We could…drum roll…eliminate international shenanigans virtually overnight by adopting The Morgan Doctrine of privatizing international cyber security with licensed and bonded cyber privateers.

Taman Shud.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Guerrilla Warfare and the 2016 Presidential Election

In today's SAND HILL article (read it here), I show my "sweet sixteen" dial-a-yield nukes I use in guerrilla warfare marketing. I also talk about two of my mentors. Dick Morris is the only guy I know who made the cover of Time Magazine two weeks in a row, first as the man behind Clinton, and a week later after he had to resign in disgrace:

My other mentor was the late Tony Schwartz, who created the television ad that ran only one time on one television network, yet destroyed Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign. Enjoy:

Given that I've just been retained by a man who wants to run for President of the United States (POTUS) in 2016, you might regard this as a preview of things to come. Or not.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Symantec Attempts Suicide

The big news this week is Symantec's articulation of antivirus futility (see the Register story here).  Given that antivirus is 40% of their business, this is a pretty good attempt at suicide. Especially since their plan going forward is to continue playing defense only:
Symantec will now concentrate on providing business customers with security as a service – tracking intrusions as they occur, advising on the best way to protect data from collection, and finding out who is doing the attacking.
My assertion of their attempted suicide is NOT their disavowal of antivirus products. It's their continuation of a defense-only strategy that would leave any athletic coaches hoarse from screaming epithets peppered with interspecies reproductive suggestions.

Get set for yet another Symantec management shakeup.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

In 2010, I Predicted Ellison Would Own An NBA Championship Team

Today's Wall Street Journal story (Page B1, below the fold, read yesterday's online WSJ piece here) talked about Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Captain of my Cyber Privateer Fantasy League team Larry Ellison putting together a bid to buy the LA Clippers. If the deal goes through, I make another prediction: The Clippers will win the NBA championship within 5 years. Back in October of 2010 I put Ellison into some historical context (read my complete piece here):
Larry is the real-life version of Iron Man Tony Stark. Ellison won the great database wars. This year, he won the America's Cup yacht race. I predict its only a matter of time before he owns an NBA basketball team and leads them to the championship. And one of the greatest moments in any U.S. confirmation hearing would be watching Larry do a Tony Stark in the Senate: "Ladies and gentlemen, I have successfully privatized international cyber security!" Whereupon he will raise his hands in victory and waltz out of the hearing room.
Naturally, Larry wanted to own the Golden State Warriors because they were near his stomping grounds. But his purchase of the Clippers and their LA location is consistent with yet another of my predictions of nearly a year later in October of 2011 (see it here):
So what do my predictive analytics forecast for the head of my Cyber Privateering Fantasy League leader? First, I believe Larry will eventually own an NBA-championship basketball team. Secondly, I predict that Larry will win an academy award as a movie producer. 
In a way, through his children David (executive producer of Ironman II) and Megan (producer of not one but two films nominated for Best Picture this year—Her and American Hustle), Larry has vicariously started his Oscar run. But let there be no doubt that he's in the race to personally take the stage on Oscar night sometime in the next 10 years. Larry plays to win. Whether in the great database wars, the America's Cup yacht race, the NBA, or as I predict, in the movie business. 

This message is brought to you by a mere bystander and part-time follower of a remarkable human specimen named Lawrence J. Ellison. To you doubters of my prediction, I can only say, "What other kind of legacy would you expect of Steve Jobs' best friend?"