Bill Cosby likes my first Computer

My dad got one of these for Father’s Day when I was 6.  It was the TI-99-4a. I still have it and it still works.


Most influential movie of my life: Wargames

For me, the inspiration for the project was a TV special Peter Ustinov did on several geniuses, including Hawking. I found the predicament Hawking was in fascinating — that he might one day figure out the unified field theory and not be able to tell anyone, because of his progressive ALS. So there was this idea that he’d need a successor. And who would that be? Maybe this kid, a juvenile delinquent whose problem was that nobody realized he was too smart for his environment. That resonated with Walter. So I said, let’s actually go talk to people about how a kid could get in trouble and get discovered by a brainy scientist and take it from there.

Wargames was one of my favorite movies.  I was just getting into hacking and phreaking at the time while running a BBS.  I soon found my self at 2600 meetings and eventually getting interviewed by the feds (it wasn’t a job interview).  The only movie that comes close is Sneakers.  Wired has done a great job digging up some great interviews, and while I usually roll my eyes when Mitnick gets interviewed, he was impacted directly with this movie:

Mitnick: That movie had a significant effect on my treatment by the federal government. I was held in solitary confinement for nearly a year because a prosecutor told a judge that if I got near a phone, I could dial up Norad and launch a nuclear missile. I never hacked into Norad. And when the prosecutor said that, I laughed — in open court. I thought, “This guy just burned all his credibility.” But the court believed it. I think the movie convinced people that this stuff was real. They tried to make me into a fictional character.

Read the full article.

Bejtlich points out Gartner Wisdom

2003: “IDSs [intrusion detection systems] have failed to provide value relative to its costs and will be obsolete by 2005.” (Gartner, “Gartner Information Security Hype Cycle Declares Intrusion Detection Systems a Market Failure”)

2008: “Our adversaries are very adept at hiding attacks in normal traffic. The only true way to protect our networks is to have an intrusion detection system.” (Robert Jamison, Under Secretary of the National Protection and Programs Directorate at DHS)

From TaoSecurity.

Bill Gates’ last day at Microsoft (spoof)

A video spoof shown during the CES 2008 keynote by Bill Gates about his last full day at Microsoft in July starring himself, Brian Williams, Steve Ballmer, Matthew McConaugheyr, Robbie Bach, Jay-Z, Bono, Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Jon Stewart, Kevin Turner, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Ray Ozzie and Craig Mundie,

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Amazing who they can call for a guest appearance in the name of Bill Gates.