employment update

The last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster ride; the next few will prove to be one also (although very different; wooden vs. steel, maybe? anyway…)

The Monday after the Century Cruise (back in February) my boss called to inform me that HP was placing me in their Work Force Redeployment program, which gave me four weeks to find another job, after which I would be placed in the Work Force Reduction program. There were no other useful jobs in Toronto (not even over at EDS), and so at the end of March I became an ex-employee of HP.

It took all of April for me to process this change. Rock Band 2 helped quite a bit! In May I started attending seminars and clinics at Knightsbridge, to work on my networking skills, update my resume, and so on. In the middle of that process (and before I actually finished polishing the resume), I found out about a 1-year contract position working for Irving at the University Health Network. I actually started yesterday, but my contract wasn’t completely signed until today, and somewhere in the last couple of weeks it became a 4-month engagement with a promise of an extension, but that’s Ontario politics that you can read all about in the media, so I won’t repeat it here.

Still, I have an income again, and I’m getting out of the house (which is the more important of the two; working at home for the long term isn’t healthy for me). The projects I’m going to be working on sound very interesting, and the people here are wonderful!

posted at 5:01 pm on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 in Personal | Comments Off on employment update

outside the box

Apparently there are many secret cables buried in and around Washington, DC. The “call before you dig” guys don’t know about them, so if you dig one up, guys in suits driving black SUVs arrive. Which of course creates a social engineering attack:

So if I want to stop a construction project in the DC area, all I need to do is drive up in a black SUV, wear a suit and sunglasses, and refuse to identify myself.

Secret Government Communications Cables Buried Around Washington, DC

posted at 9:39 am on Monday, June 08, 2009 in Links, Security | Comments Off on outside the box

Fear of Aerial Images

Schneier on Security: Fear of Aerial Images

Yet another “refuse to be terrorized” article from Bruce Schneier, this time about satellite images in online mapping services…

“It struck me that a person in a tent halfway around the world could target an attack like that with a laptop computer,” said Anderson, a Republican legislator who represents San Diego’s East County. Anderson said he doesn’t want to limit technology, but added, “There’s got to be some common sense.”

The usual rebuttal applies:

Criminals have used telephones and mobile phones since they were invented. Drug smugglers use airplanes and boats, radios and satellite phones. Bank robbers have long used cars and motorcycles as getaway vehicles, and horses before then. I haven’t seen it talked about yet, but the Mumbai terrorists used boats as well. They also wore boots. They ate lunch at restaurants, drank bottled water, and breathed the air. Society survives all of this because the good uses of infrastructure far outweigh the bad uses, even though the good uses are — by and large — small and pedestrian and the bad uses are rare and spectacular. And while terrorism turns society’s very infrastructure against itself, we only harm ourselves by dismantling that infrastructure in response — just as we would if we banned cars because bank robbers used them too.

(the last quote is from http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2009/01/helping_the_ter.html).

posted at 9:35 am on Monday, June 08, 2009 in Links, Security | Comments Off on Fear of Aerial Images


In my random walk through the Internet this morning, I visited several news articles with comments sections.

Why are people so hateful, so judgmental, so prejudiced (in the classic sense, i.e. making up their minds without facts)? People write that they’ll hate a (good) TV show after reading an interview with one of the actors. People heaping vitriol on a woman they’ve never met, and don’t know anything about. It’s ugly. YouTube is awful for this, although at least people are talking about that.

Maybe most people are like me, and simply move on when the conversation degenerates (which it usually does), and so I’m only seeing the vocal minority…

posted at 8:50 am on Tuesday, June 02, 2009 in Rants | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    The problem with a vocal minority like the peanut gallery on youtube, is that they account for most of the comments you see there, so in a sense, it is not a minority of comments. Its so bad, I don’t usually read comments on youtube at all.