Monthly Archives: June 2013

Keyword Stuffing for the DHS


This is an entry to this contest (click to enlarge):










I try to use as many words on DHS target keyword watch list from the “Cyber Terror” category as possible. Here goes:

I went to the bar and didn’t know what to think
But I’ve seen on TV
If you’re pretty like me
Ladies might buy you a drink

So I approach a fair lady who says she’s with DHS
Looking for hackers
And cyberattckers
I said, “That sounds like a mess!”

“Oh yes,” said she, “I’m all about cyber security,
You can get a virus from hoes
Trojan won’t protect you from those
And phreaking worms threaten our cyber purity!”

“Oh dear,” I replied, fearing she had too much liquor
I saw the bartender was too nervous
To give her denial of service
As she talked of China’s confickers

“Spammers and scammers, keyloggers and bloggers, all brute forcing my social media.
I need a MySQL injection
And rootkit protection,
Lest cyber command destroy Botnet and Wikipedia!”

I could see she was off her rocker but couldn’t bring myself to mock her
She was now phishing for compliments
And wanted to search my documents
Cain and Abel could not spare her from cyber terror

She complained about DDOS and I started not to care
She said, “You’ll be sorry! 
2600 is not about Atari!
You’ll soon be infected by malware!”

And isn’t this just what I should have expected from the DHS?
They will huff and puff
Threaten us with all kinds of stuff
I sure wish Janet would just give it a rest



Power and Market: What Can a Shopping Cart Tell Us about Political Efficacy?


Shopping Cart - Power and MarketSometimes I am really baffled by people’s proclivity to have a mistrust of free markets but a faith in government.

Let’s do a thought experiment.

Scenario 1:

You go into a grocery store. You need to stock up so you grab a shopping cart. You have so many choices. If you want apples, there are granny smith, gold delicious, red delicious, fuji, and so on. There are also mangos, papayas, peaches, strawberries, bananas, oranges, tangerines, nectarines, grapefruit, cherries, limes, blueberries, and many more. And this is just the fruit of the produce section!

Like most grocery stores, it also has many other types of food and beverage as well. You can get as little or as much of each, as long as it falls within your budget. You can also come back the next day or in a week or not at all. Your decision to patronize this grocery store is completely optional.

Scenario 2:

The grocery store you use has been decided for you since birth and it’s the only grocery store available in the country. You must use it since there are no other alternatives for food. Not only that, but the selection within the store isn’t very good. Instead of being able to select the contents of your shopping cart, it is decided by the democratic process. Everybody has to have the same items in their shopping cart for four years; after this time, people vote between two choices for a new shopping cart for the next four years.

It’s not as if the items in this shopping cart are very different. Instead of having distinct options, you might be able to change brands or switch to the diet version. Despite the intense battle over certain dessert items, both of these shopping carts are largely the same.

Which scenario would you prefer to live under?

In case it wasn’t obvious enough, Scenario 1 was intended to be an analogy for the amount of choice we have in the market, with the ultimate choice of whether we want to participate in it or not. Scenario 2 is the grocery store equivalent of the electoral process: you get two very similar choices which everyone must live with and no one has the option of opting out.

And yet, for some reason, many people have more trust in the government than they have in the market. Democracy is often held up as the bedrock of a free society. If we had to choose our food in the same way that we “choose” our governments, there would quickly be a revolt. I’ll acknowledge that the analogy presented above isn’t perfect, but I think it’s close enough to lead us to question how great our political system is.

So I leave you with this question: If our ability to choose our food is important enough to us to leave it to the market, why isn’t the legal system?

Power and Market