Monday, October 11, 2004

Perceived (sp?) Value

Listen carefully, because this is going to make you a lot of money...

I do pen testing for our customers, this consists on doing some generic footprinting some port scanning, and kicking off a nessus scan.

The next morning you reap the results and mold it into a 5 page (webpage) report, which includes a "manager summary" inwhich you present the results in an understandable (read: as non-technical as you can get) fashion.

For one of these reports we charge somewhere around two large.

Other "security firms" are doing the same but charging up to 100 times more.

Why? How?

Because they submit their results with a FAT report. When it's presented to the board that "hey we just spent 200 grand on this report" and the report isn't thicker than your head you got problems.

Will it be read? I'd wager not. But the perceived value is what matters. Other than that, it's all fluff.

Will the IT manager request the readers digest version and some actions items? Definitely.

But this is BIG business. In small business, they want it to be cheap and quick, which is yet another service we offer... but if you want to make bank... one big hit and a whole lot of BS later, you got a fat wad in your business pocket.

Guess what I want to do for a living...?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

This morning

This morning I was rather tired, somehow the shower failed to wake me up sufficiently.

Before I knew it I was pulling into the parking lot and into my spot.
which kinda made me worry about my driving manner on the way over

I got in early, early being fifteen minutes after eight (heh, heh... hmm). When I get in that early I get to see the morning security guard sweep up the walk. As I walked up I found myself suprised at the fervor with which I wished he would not talk to me.

To no avail



Just one more day till we can start up another weekend!

Oh yeah!

I'd hoped I would have just snapped at him but "hey" and "oh yeah" seemed to be as far as I managed to get.

I didn't speak with sarcasm, my "oh yeah" was sincere. At least, I think it was sincere. I wondered what made me pander to his pointlessly innane statement. I didn't have to be polite, I didn't even have to say anything. But I did.

We co-locate at this facility which makes us some kind of tenant in their house.

As a result we suffered a congenital gap between us and the staff working here. You can almost feel the people talking about you after you leave a room.

It's wierd.

Anyways, I make an effort to bridge the gap with pleasant conversation and innane responces to innane comments. Why? I don't know.

Humans are social creatures and even when we don't want to affirm it, we do. You mean we don't THINK we want to...

But then...

I went to the restroom and while standing at the urinal, I heard someone come in and turn on the sink. I finished up and walked around to the sinks. The gentleman was washing his glasses.

As I approached the sink I, noting my personal resentment for the innane conversation which took place shortly prior, nodded very slightly to him and addressed the sink. As I washed my hands (which usually takes me about 20 seconds) it became obvious the other gentleman was having some trouble and taking a while. So...

We washed in silence.

I think we caught eyes once more before I dried my hands and left.
What was odd was that an exchange like that usually left me feeling disconnected, but this time, not really.

There definitely wasn't the same feeling in quiet presence of that gentleman than the feeling I get when I walk into the lobby to get a soda.

I concluded that there IS a way to be social (or at least a sickly version of "social") without the idiotic prattle.

We acknowledge eachother's existance, and move on.

If we have relevant information to convey, we do so.

If not, I don't wanna hear it!

I'd like to point out that the employees in the lobby did not acknowledge my existance in the same manner the gentleman did. How do you know if your acknowledgement is a gentlemanly one or an akward one? You don't need to know, you do before you even walk in the room.

Guess that's it. Sorry if you thought I was going somewhere with this...

Signing off...

Tea of the day

Green Tea.

Per a request from a friend that I just try my tea with sugar I added one packet of Equal to my tea.


Until next time...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Thankless Hacking...

It sucks when you go through all the
trouble of hacking into someone's
network and they get all pissy about it!
Guy changes our account password with negative five mintes notice, hey guys, fyi i just changed ur pass to this about five minutes ago! hava nice day! ass. Our monitors poll for network stats like every minute, so their passwords were out of date and they locked out our account... so we can't get back in. no big, just call him... nope, he just went on 5 day vacation. Seriously! What idiot makes ANY change before becoming unreachable for more than a day?! That's an excellent way to get fired! So I hack our way back in and let him know in case he decides to look at the security logs and he gets all pissed off! geez, If I never said a thing he never would have known...

Random Quote

Let's set the record straight. There is no argument
over the choice between peace and war, but there is
only one guaranteed way you can have peace - and you
can have it in the next second - surrender.
- Reagan

Monday, October 04, 2004

Interesting trick...

I was reading a magazine article about a study that they did
did on whether or not people really paid attention to what they
they were reading. The results of which seemed to prove that
that people don't really comprehend what they're reading about
about, but another study proved that the original test was
was flawed, because it ran a test similar to this paragraph and
and it did not really test comprehension, rather it proved that
that our brains gloss over this type of trick because that's just
just the way it works.

75% of people didn't notice that the word that ended one line
line was repeated in the beginning of the next line.

2 Ninjas + Tape = One HUGE ninja!

Henchmen over VidPhone:Some kind of animal just got number 27!!! It was horrible! It was like two ninjas taped together to form one HUGE ninja!!

Venture Brothers, Saturday nights at 12:30 on Adult Swim

Mt. St. Helens Live Eruption shots

Click for full sized view!

Refresh page for live webcam image of the eruptions!

Corperate Economy BS Generator

Amaze your friends, laugh with your coworkers, produce presentations that use a lot of jargon but make no sense (impressing your audience), miraculously get a raise!

BS generation is a very important facet of business.
Web Economy BS Generator

Like it or not, this actually kind of makes sense...

"To productize out-of-the-box synergies our integrated infomediaries must monetize mission-critical channel communities proactively or back-end cross-media schemas will incentivize dynamic best-of-breed application/architecture relational supply-chain paradigms. Effectively whiteboarding our bleeding-edge leverage matrix and recontextualizing their enterprise extensible platform convergence functionalities."

Tea of the day

The tea of the day is Plantation Mint.

...yeah. I know... Lay off.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Monopolistic tendencies

Free enterprise.

Ain't it great.

It is the obvious reason why a nation under 300 years old is arguably the world's economic leader.

Stop Microsoft from buying up new technologies.
the open source community is gaining momentum and will never "sell out" to M$

Stop them from holding your small business hostage
M$ has a history of doing this, with licensing audits and by discontinuing support for their older software in an attempt to make you pay their price, or find yourself operating a publicly unsecure system with no way of fixing it.

The truth is that Microsoft's Monopolistic Behavior is a detriment to our way of life, and our nation's ideals.
As soon as we all are armed with this kind of information, change can begin.

Take Back the Internet

What kind of question is that? the internet is already free (if you want some free ISP and toolbar banner ads).
No, I'm not talking about paying for access, I'm talking about just surfing the web!

You may think that surfing your favorite web site is free, but it's not.

If you must endure ads, banners, pop-ups, redirects, etc. to see your fave site, it is not free.

let me repeat that.


We are all bombarded by ads during our lives, buy this, buy that, we've been turned into demographics by huge corperations who gather our data and sell it to the highest bidder!

Unfortunately the internet is ripe with this kind of spying. Which is why these programs were called spyware... they report your surfing habits to internet companies who sell you as a percentage on a pie chart.

There is one near perfect way to begin affecting a change:
Use the Mozilla web browser instead of Internet Explorer

With all the latest security threats and weaknesses found in Internet Explorer it's no wonder the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) advised that one of the best ways to keep your computer safe and secure is to stop using internet explorer. Read for yourself (strangely enough, the final solution listed on the page under "solutions" is this suggestion)

But I digress.

Since I've switched browser to Mozilla Firefox and installed the AdBlock Extension, I have not seen an ad (banner, popup, flash, or redirect) for about 8 weeks. Whenever I see one I just tighten the adblock by adding the new ad to the block list. Additionally, I haven't encountered any popups since I made the switch.

Imagine, all those little annoyances that we've all just ignorantly accepted... GONE

"Ads, banners, pop-ups. Oh well. I guess that's just how the internet is and always will be..."

Not any more.

Empower yourself. Don't be their unwitting pawn.

Take back the internet.

Don't we find it odd...


Don't we find it odd that Google is the unquestioned master of all things web?


Keep your fork! There's CAKE!

I love this thing. I bought it at the Orange County Museum of Art Gift Shop

... too funny

Phenomenon (existing Thing) - Dictionary Definition by freesearch

Phenomenon (existing Thing) - Dictionary Definition by freesearch

heh, cool. I just thought it was a creative name, turns out it actually has special meaning! go fig.

something that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc., especially something which is unusual or interesting:

answering machine

A window with a view

A bit of refreshment in the morning...

I woke up. I looked at the clock. early.

I lay in bed contemplating absolutely nothing.
Wondering if I should sleep...

I love the warmth of my girlfriend on my back. I love how she snores lightly, like a baby.

ok, enough of that.

I drove to work listening to the new Modest Mouse CD (I played the 8th song over 4 times). I pulled into the lot and parked. I checked that my ID card was still clipped to me.
I gathered my phone, pda, swiss card
got out of the car and walked to the building
I walked back to my car to get my keys out of the ignition
they are cleaning the bbq, i guess if you own a building and
a company you can bbq your food on a friday if you want.

for some strange reason friday seems to be
"Wear a hawaiian shirt day"
the security guard has one on
he looks like an idiot.
the entrance security door
is propped open by a server box
I grab a mug from the cabinet.
The mugs they have here are glass
I like watching my tea spreading into the hot water
I thumb through the selection and choose "Plantation Mint"

I hold my card up to the door, it buzzes and clicks unlocked.
I walk through the door and am surrounded by the noise of a data center.
but my next door is just around the corner and soon I return to silence.

I walk up to our room, on my right; a fleeting glance inside through the window just before the door. A scrolling view of the monitors on the 5 stations and the images projected onto the three screens on the wall.
I pull my card from under my untucked shirt where it it clipped to my beltloop. I pull it out with my left hand and hold it to the reader.
my waist moves slightly forward and to the left
as I streach the cord on my ID retractor to reach
the reader.
I stopped a little short.
The fraction-of-a-second-too-long beep is as shrill as it was yesterday.

As I enter the room and my eyes scan the area in which I'll spend 9 hours of my day. My focus comes to rest on the projector screen on the left on the far wall.

On this screen was something that had the power to change my day.
Maybe even all the days following this one.

Roger got back from his week vacation to niagra falls about a week an a half ago. Since then he's been showing us (on the projector) some webcams he was able to find of places he was going to be. He said he was going to try to get on them, but I'm not sure if he did. After his return he seemed to retain the interest in the webcams. This interest is what may change every day after this one.

The NOC I work in is a thin wall away from another data center. thousands of blowing servers and humming machinery and AC units pumping cold air into the raised floor. The noise is a droning reminder of where we spend our day.
Inside a facility with no name on it, made to withstand a 9.0 earthquake, capable of sustaining all its data centers for 24 hours on one of it's two generators with diesel delivered within 3 hours in the case of a catastrophic power outage, mantraps, guards, Infra Red sensors guarding parts of the building you're not allowed to enter (including under the raised floor), but...
for all its features

we moved here from a smaller NOC with a window.
with a window with a view
a view of greenery
Frank from fedex
that one guy who always parks in that one spot
and after he gets out of his car he walks
around it inspecting it three times like he has
OCD and doesn't know it

You don't realize it but when you move into a place like this and the excitement wares off you are left wanting something imperceptible.
Completely unknown to you...
Until you get it back.

Which leads me back to the projector.

On that screen on the left with the streached little wobbles on it from when Ryan left it leaning against the corner of the table was a view a spectacular view.
it was mountains with a little bit of snow on top
it was valleys shrouded in mist and fog
it was clouds settling before and behind mountains
accentuating each peak and blending each base into
it was beauty it was nature it was a view

It was a webcam 150 feet above the top of Mt. Wilson

it was yosemite valley and half-dome

It was what I'd been missing. It was what WE'D been missing.

i feel like having some tapioca pudding right now.

-The Existing Thing out

Tea for the day...

The tea for the day is Plantation Mint by Bigelow Inc.

"In Plantation Mint we use only the finest mountin-grown tea blended with natural spearmint. I hope you enjoy it."

I wonder if they really have to go to the mountains every time they need to get their tea.