Andrew Pollack's Blog

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I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...

By Andrew Pollack on 10/19/2008 at 10:59 PM EDT

I do a lot of security review work, I write a lot of software in a lot of different languages. I sit in meetings with I.T. executives arguing about security issues. Do you know how many people make the same mistakes? Nearly all of them.

When I do penetration testing for a major company, about 90% of the time I end up with a whole category of findings that comes down to "big new lock on a rusty old chain." Essentially, it comes down to the idea that you should never ever halfway lock something. You're setting a challenge to a would be transgressor but you're not doing the full job of making sure you lock up the goods. Its a bit like leaving a tray of fresh pastries out in an empty conference room next to the I.T. help desk. You're just begging for some smart ass to come along steal all the pastries -- even if he doesn't like them.

I don't know which -- if any -- of my submitted topics will get picked up by Rocky for Lotusphere 2009; but I sure hope one of the security ones gets in. I have a new story to put in this year. Those of you who'll be at Rudi's conference a week from Monday may get the first chance to hear it. I think you'll laugh.

P.S. -- Yeah, the political signs in the yard are funny too. They make you look at your neighbors and think "Are they really that stupid?" No matter which side you're on, everyone on the other side is clearly an idiot. You can't help thinking it. That means putting one of those signs up is telling half your neighbors that you're an idiot. Is it worth it? Do the signs really convince anyone of anything?


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re: I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...By David Vasta on 10/20/2008 at 07:23 AM EDT
Signs - I have none in my front year and never have, but it's funny you think
that someone opinion on a candidate automatically makes them stupid. I see the
yard signs as this; people have thrown their support behind the person they
approve of and have gone the extra mile, allowed themselves to be criticized by
their neighbors (like you), and put their political views out on the corner.
It's is American as apple pie and hot dogs. Just take them down as soon after
Nov 4th, as you can so I don't have to look at them.

Don't look down your nose to hard at other people, you might go crossed eyed.
Well, David, I'm impressed.By Andrew Pollack on 10/20/2008 at 07:48 AM EDT
(toned down on advice of a friend)

I've said before that attacks on ideas are welcome, attacks on personality are
not at this site. You seem to be unable to distinguish the two. I strongly
advise you to go elsewhere, as you're doing yourself a very big disservice.
re: Well, David, I'm impressed.By David Vasta on 10/20/2008 at 08:56 AM EDT
Maybe you failed to see the humor in my point. Please, your so modest.

At what point am I attacking you. Every time I post you claim it's an attack?
How is that? No one is attacking you, just pointing out your Superior-ness to
the rest of the human race.

Here is the issue, I posted something I think was in line with yours. You
pointed out how stupid people are for putting up signs and i pointed out how
it's not stupid, just American. Maybe your reading to far into my post. While I
would love to consider myself a very deep and thoughtful person, I'm really
not. I try to keep it very high level.

I would gladly go elsewhere but the northeaster-seaboard-uppity-ness smell from
this blog keeps me coming back.

(not toned down, since I don't have to call friends to ask them before I post.)
re: Well, David, I'm impressed.By Andrew Pollack on 10/20/2008 at 09:05 AM EDT
Ok. You were warned repeatedly.

Please consider this notice that you are not welcome to post here now or at any
time in the future. Having read this, which is logged, you may now consider
any transgression of that request to be one of trespass. You are advised to
take it as a polite request and honor it, as my patience with you is at an end.

You have the nerve to attempt blocking my IP on your own site (which surely you
must know cannot hope to be effective), and figure you can carry an insult
laden argument here. You will find that not a good approach. Any further
posting here by you will be met with a strongly negative and very public
reaction.
re: Well, David, I'm impressed.By David Vasta on 10/20/2008 at 09:28 AM EDT
Sorry you feel that way. Thanks!
re: Well, David, I'm impressed.By Jo Grant on 10/20/2008 at 12:15 PM EDT
It's like this guy who posted an objection on someone else's blog that they had
posted about politics. His argument: the blog was supposed to be inclusive and
posting something political was exclusive of those who didn't agree.
Ooooook. So we're protecting inclusiveness by excluding those who aren't
inclusive...?
re: Well, David, I'm impressed.By David Vasta on 10/20/2008 at 01:07 PM EDT
EDITOR: Post deleted. Mr. Vasta has been asked repeatedly not to post on
this site. Any comments he makes will be removed, and further action may be
taken.
re: Well, David, I'm impressed.By Jim Firenze on 10/23/2008 at 04:09 PM EDT
haha, Pollack you are a thin-skinned tool. Unfortunately your misguided blog
posting came up on an oddly dissimilar Google search and I made the mistake of
reading it. While you might have ongoing issues with Vasta, within this
context you, sir, come off as a tool. First you cast stones on your neighbours
via your post then lash out at someone who responds in kind. You, sir, come
off as the disinclusive idiot that you disparage in your post. Have a good
day.
Interesting.By Andrew Pollack on 10/23/2008 at 05:42 PM EDT
Well, Surely you're welcome to that opinion. I'll sleep ok anyway. I think
its interesting looking at the logs to see where this came from. I'm traveling
right now, so didn't look long, but what I did see is...interesting. I'll know
more when I have a few minutes to spend on the puzzle later tonight.
re: Well, David, I'm impressed.By Dwight Wilbanks on 10/20/2008 at 10:36 AM EDT
>> i pointed out how it's not stupid, just American

Stupid = virtue of having or being indicative of low intelligence or poor
learning abilities ( Wikipedia )

Stupid = re-elect George Bush (at a minimum a lot of people voted for him even
after he proved himself incapable)

Stupid = American

American = Putting up yard signs

Stupid = Putting up yard signs

The transitive property of stupid.
re: I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...By mdmadph on 10/20/2008 at 05:08 PM EDT
Good gracious I can't wait until this election is over. I don't even care who
wins by this point, though I still have a preference.
re: I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...By Erik Brooks on 10/20/2008 at 10:41 PM EDT
For the record, I'm not a fan of Obama (especially with the congress he's about
to have behind him when he's elected), and I'm not a fan of McCain. But on a
funny note...

My wife and I are having a garage sale the other day. Our neighbor has a
McCain sign, and my wife (die-hard libertarian at the time of this post) asks
him "Where do you get the signs?" She was simply curious about where people
obtain those things.

That night we come back from dinner and there's a "McCain/Palin 2008" sign
planted firmly in the very front of our yard. LOL
re: I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...By Dave Harris on 10/21/2008 at 06:01 AM EDT
"Do the signs really convince anyone of anything?"

I think they can. Not in an "ok I'm changing my vote because my neighbour has
that yard sign" way, but it can give people more confidence about holding the
opinion that they do. For example, if your in a predominantly Republican area,
but you're a Democrat, it's easy to just keep your head down. If there are a
few Democrat yard signs around, that can give you the sense that you're not the
only one, and you may be more confident about expressing your views in public,
hell, may be even volunteering. And I think that's a good thing. And you can
swap the colours round in that example and I'd say the same (but challenge your
political opinions).
re: I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...By Betsy Thiede on 10/21/2008 at 06:44 AM EDT
I've had a Ron Paul sign in my yard since the primaries. My neighbor told me he
had never heard of Ron Paul before my sign. So he did some research and decided
he liked Ron Paul too. He said he voted for Ron Paul in the primaries because
of my sign.
re: I see dumb people! -- And not just the ones with with the wrong political signs in their yards...By mdmadph on 10/21/2008 at 04:33 PM EDT
I had the very same thing happen to me several times. Turns out a lot people
actually like what Dr. Paul has to say, when they're given a chance to actually
listen to it (a chance you don't get watching news on TV).


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