Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ex?

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/ex-cia-officer-trumps-horrifying-incompetence-poses-worst-threat-to-us-since-the-civil-war/

I do not get stories like these. People who work in the intelligence community never reveal who they worked for. Even years after being in the community. There are crazy people out there who want to kill them. I have a hard time believing stories like these because either these people are idiots and never read the manuals or they are outright liars. I think more like liars than truth but who can fact check? No one who can post publicly.  At least not until we are dead or the 25 years has passed on our classification.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Impact of a certain class of work.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/10/the_psychologic_1.html

This links to an interesting video and article. And with the OPM breech... the story just gets worse.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Online bully William Senat exposed (he has since been kicked off Nextdoor along with MIchael Joson)

It is not often I have to deal with online bullies. However, my experience on nextdoor[dot]com has to be exposed for what it is, online bullying. This person lives on N Central Avenue in Indianapolis. To provide more context. Four of us who volunteered for the HMP neighborhood cleanup (out of the 100+ people who showed up) were assigned to clean up near 16th and Central ave. While we were cleaning apparently someone rang everyones doorbell at an apartment building. We were accused in an online discussion on nextdoor[dot]com and then I received the following private message through their site/app.


Fuck you asshole, he asked a simple question. When we looked out the window we saw the group cleaning and the guys ringing everybody's doorbell so we wanted to know if they were with you or not. You're the reason people hate this fucking app.
3 days ago

No. You are the reason people hate this app. Accusing us of disturbing you. Next time we won't clean your block so we are not accused of disturbing you.
3 days ago

Haha! If you really think having four people wander around for awhile is helping anything then you really are a dumbass. Instead of potentially befriending someone to help with your "cleaning" group, you decided to criticize and attack them because you think someone is accusing you. Paranoid much? It's a simple fucking question idiot, literally all you had to say was "No, they weren't with us. Would you like to help next time?" Instead, you decided to be an asshole. Go fuck yourself, moron.
3 days ago

It wasn't my group. And it was an accusation. Don't worry I won't be back to clean your block.
3 days ago

Oh no, how will I go on? You clean twice a year. Get off your high horse and stop being such a pretentious asshole and you might have a better turnout. Do you think every question you ever get asked is an accusation? You must be fun to be around.
3 days ago

Your foul language certainly says volumes about you.
3 days ago

I just wanted to make sure you understood my tone, since you seem to have a problem with that.
3 days ago

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck
3 days ago

Oops, I slipped.
3 days ago

Sorry, did that offend you?
3 days ago

I hope you're ok.
3 days ago


I'm going to turn you off now William. Goodbye and good luck with whatever you were trying to accomplish with this pointless conversation.

PS
After many emails with Nextdoor I finally submitted to having to report William Senat and Michael Joson for online bullying on the Nextdoor app. They then signed up at an address without an apartment number and I had to report them again. Finally they have been kicked off the site completely. Also, Michael Joson posted a comment to this site saying he was going to prosecute me. Continued persecution by an online bully? 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How not to provide customer service (aka airberlin)

I arrived Berlin TXL on Sunday for a 4 day conferences that started Monday.  I am speaking all four days of the conference.  I flew airBerlin (a oneWorld alliance member) connecting from American Airlines.

My luggage did not arrive.  I filled out the missing bag form and headed to the hotel.

Today it is Tuesday.  I haven't seen my luggage since I gave it over to the AA staff at BMI on Saturday morning.    Fortunately as an AA Executive Platinum I managed to put some crucial clothing into my carry-on bag.  However, it won't see me past today.  I am fortunate Hotel Berlin,Berlin has same day laundry service so I can do laundry in the morning and get it by the evening for my next day's presentation.

So far airBerlin has been able to give me no clue where my luggage is.  Every time I get someone from the hotel to call the telephone number I was given the response they get is "there is no information on bags from the United States".  Really?

My fear is what happens if my bag doesn't arrive?  I leave Friday morning (very early at 4am) to catch a 7am flight home via LHR and British Airways.  I have 3 very expensive, unworn suits in that suitcase.  I'm afraid I'll never get to wear them at this point.  And from other posts on facebook and http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/airberlin-topbonus-696/  I fear that I may also not be compensated for my missing suitcase.

In over 20 years of flying I have never had such terrible customer service from an airline.  How airBerlin made it into the oneWorld alliance is simply beyond comprehension.

[Note:  The bag finally arrived on the 16th.  However, it was re-tagged and arrived DUS 14th and tagged to arrive TXL 15th but then had another "rush" tag put on for the 16th.  It could have been here yesterday and it wasn't. ]

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Liars and Outliers - the book

A blog I have kept on my radar for many years is the one from Bruce Schneier.  Security, specifically for me around computers and networks, has always been an interest to me.  I've seen how exploits worked and studied them to better understand the underlying principles that make them work.  Mostly to better understand how to defend against them.  For example, one of the first exploits I worked on was understanding forging IP addresses in TCP/IP packets and HTTP headers back in the 90s.  And yet I'm still surprised by how many programmers continue to put information they use to establish "trust" into easily forged headers.  Fortunately I've been involved early enough on some projects to squash misguided efforts like that.

Bruce authored the book "Liars and Outliers" and it was one of the few books I purchased for my Kindle as a pre-order because I have not been disappointed by his previous works.  It is a well thought out and methodical book that builds and builds one block at a time.  I highly recommend it (as do several other reviewers).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When dogma deludes reason

On the evening of Aug 28, 2012 we attended a meeting with around 20+ people from my neighborhood and some city employees, the Police Chief (who lives on East Washington Street) and the Mayor.  The premise of the meeting was to convince the City of Bloomington, IL they should provide an exception to existing Traffic Calming Policy and remove speed humps installed in 1999 on nearby Country Club Place (a road that connects East Washington Street and Towanda).

Country Club Place was suffering from a traffic problem.  Specifically speeding which the City measured and calculated a 76% violation rate (the highest violation rate measured in 1999 among all the traffic studies conducted in Bloomington, IL).  The speed humps had the intended effect and reduced the violation rate to 8% and reduced the number of vehicles on Country Club Place from over 4000 to around 1800.  Country Club Place also has no sidewalks so pedestrians are either walking on the street, on the Country Club grounds or someone's front lawn.

The FGNA (Founders Grove Neighborhood Association) Secretary also provided a petition signed by over 150 people supporting an exception to existing policy.  The petition was also available to sign at an FGNA ice cream social event (Disclosure: I never actually saw the petition but the FGNA Secretary asserted the petition at the beginning of the meeting and the FGNA posted on their facebook page that the petition would be available to sign at the ice cream social which I also did not attend).

Some of the "facts" (and I use the term loosely) presented to support the premise of granting an exception to existing policy by various meeting attendees including the FGNA Secretary include:
  1. The speed humps on Country Club Place meant that the vehicles that used to take Country Club Place were now taking East Washington instead.  
  2. That the speed humps should not have been placed on Country Club Place because the policy was for streets with less than 2000 vehicles a day.  
  3. That traffic studies were not conducted on East Washington Street after the speed humps were installed.  Implying the City traffic engineers had not done their due diligence analyzing traffic patterns after the fact.  Thereby letting the traffic problem fester on E Washington for over a decade.
  4. There are no speed limit signs on East Washington Street between Clinton and Veterans Parkway.  The implication being that people do not know the speed limit is 30 MPH.
  5. Because of the high volume of vehicles on East Washington Street it is dangerous for children in the neighborhood going to/from Washington Elementary School.  
  6. The traffic calming never should have been conducted on Country Club Place because of the location of the Washington Elementary School.  The assertion that traffic was diverted from Country Club Place onto East Washington thereby negating the necessity to have traffic calming.
  7. Recent legislation introduced to the State of Illinois to allow for speed cameras in downstate Illinois had been passed.  We should use speed cameras on Country Club Place instead of speed humps.
The City does have one option which is to widen Washington Street (and possibly raise the speed limit).  People questioned why would you widen a street that is so dangerous to begin with?

The City Manager conceded that he could hire an external traffic engineer to review the situation and see if what the City is doing in terms of traffic calming and if may be some other "creative solutions" this independent engineer could recommend.  There was no time left to discuss how much this independent engineer is going to cost the City.  

The Rest of the Story

As provided in the previous link the City of Bloomington, IL has a well defined Traffic Calming Policy and it is used by the City when traffic calming is needed.  Let us look at some of the "facts" presented by attendees:  

  1. The speed humps on Country Club Place meant that the vehicles that used to take Country Club Place were now taking East Washington instead.

    This turned out to be false.  Although the data from 1999 is not posted online the most current data from 2009 counted a total of 10,600 vehicles on the section of East Washington people were concerned about.  In 1999 before the speed humps were installed the count was over 11,000.  There was a brief spike in the measurement taken after the speed humps were installed (in 2001 if I remember correctly) but soon fell.
    .
  2. That the speed humps should not have been placed on Country Club Place because the policy was for streets with less than 2000 vehicles a day.

    This fact is debatable.  Current traffic calming policy states no more than 2000 vehicles a day.  No one had a copy of the 1999 Traffic Calming Policy and so we don't know if the policy had been revised since 1999.  Or even if there was a policy in 1999.  We don't know what we don't know.  Either way, traffic today on Country Club Place is at less than 2000 vehicles a day and within policy.
    .
  3. That traffic studies were not conducted on East Washington Street after the speed humps were installed.  Implying the City traffic engineers had not done their due diligence analyzing traffic patterns after the fact.  Thereby letting the traffic problem fester on E Washington for over a decade.

    As we saw from point #1 this assertion was false. Traffic analysis had been conducted in subsequent years with the latest data from 2009.  Needless to say people then vocalized they did not think the vehicle counts the City provided were accurate. The City traffic engineer can't win, can he?
    .
  4. There are no speed limit signs on East Washington Street between Clinton and Veterans Parkway.  The implication being that people do not know the speed limit is 30 MPH.

    This one I was scratching my head on.  There is a speed limit sign just a few feet east of Washington Elementary School.  False.
    .
  5. Because of the high volume of vehicles on East Washington Street it is dangerous for children in the neighborhood going to/from Washington Elementary School.

    Safety is a concern to most reasonable people.  And certainly having children in a dangerous situation is not good.  However, if East Washington Street is so dangerous where are the accident and fatality statistics?  Have children been run over since the speed humps were installed on Country Club Place in 1999?  No data was presented at the meeting in support of this assertion.

    Likewise, as previously stated, there was less traffic in 2009 than there was a decade earlier.  The streets are no more dangerous due to vehicular volume than they were in 1999.
    .
  6. The traffic calming never should have been conducted on Country Club Place because of the location of the Washington Elementary School.  The assertion that traffic was diverted from Country Club Place onto East Washington thereby negating the necessity to have traffic calming.

    We already know from the vehicle count data that the latter part of the assertion is not true.  Traffic was not diverted to the Towanda/Washington intersection because current vehicle counts are less than they were in 1999 before the speed humps were installed.

    As for the location of Washington Elementary school it is actually two blocks away from Country Club Place and the street in between is East Jefferson.  Therefore the school really isn't located that close.
    .
  7. Recent legislation introduced to the State of Illinois to allow for speed cameras in downstate Illinois had been passed.  We should use speed cameras on Country Club Place instead of speed humps.

    I'm still waiting on confirmation of this fact.  While legislation was introduced by our State Representative, Dan Brady, no one from the City was aware the legislation had passed and were positive they would have been contacted if that was the case.  One can only conclude this was a falsehood provided as a bargaining chip against the use of speed humps when the alternative to use speed cameras is currently not available to the City.

    Update from Dan Brady's office:  Illinois General Assembly bill passed the House and failed in the Senate.  Our own Sen Bill Brady voted against.  
Overall, it was interesting to see how many neighbors were ready to trample established City policy and deny the residents of Country Club Place a remedy to what was a serious speeding problem with legal traffic calming devices.  Especially when the traffic problems on East Washington have nothing to do with speed humps.  In fact, the primary problem in our neighborhood is that people do not drive the speed limit.  More than one neighbor stated they purposely drove 30 MPH to slow down the speeders behind them.  Hm, where have I heard about a speeding problem before?  

Conclusion
This is where dogma (a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds) deluded reason.  We could have discussed productive traffic management solutions for our neighborhood and we did not.  Instead we wasted an hour of our day.  That is the sad reality.  Even worse, the concession to have an independent traffic engineer review the situation is more tax dollars being spent (or wasted depending on your viewpoint).  Quite frankly, unless the City engineers have made some serious mistake (which I highly doubt because I know for a fact the traffic patterns were reviewed in 2007 over another controversial neighborhood traffic issue) so this data has been looked at several times.  In addition, the Mayor and City Manager both said speeding is a problem all over Bloomington.  

A footnote here.  The City Manager mentioned that the Country Club Place residents (which the traffic calming policy states 90% of them have to agree to remove the speed humps) "got wind" of what the Founders Grove neighborhood (including the FGNA Secretary) were plotting and were mobilizing their own counter effort to keep the speed humps.  Let us hope they don't find a policy exception for East Washington Street the independent traffic engineer can hang his hat on...