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Scott Granneman

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Security analogies: the key to educating laymen

Comment The following is a written version of a speech I gave at The Open Solutions Summit (AKA LinuxWorld NY) in New York City in February. It's long, but I think you will find it interesting. If you want to get to the website I announced, jump to the last section. I'm not a sports guy, by any means. I leave that up to my brother, …
Scott Granneman, 31 May 2007
Vogon

The Fear biz is the computer security biz

Comment Scott Granneman looks at the use of fear in computer security, from misleading media reports and gross exaggeration by industry leaders to the use of fear in order to sell new computers and software. What are you afraid of? What causes you real fear, the kind that causes your heart to beat faster involuntarily, your stomach to …
Scott Granneman, 11 Feb 2007
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Security, privacy and DRM: My wishes for 2007

Holiday time is a bit weird in my family. My brother Gus is the Equipment Manager for the New York Jets (yeah, I know ... tough game last weekend), so we can't celebrate Festivus ... uh, I mean Chrismakkuh until after the football season is over for his team. That means that a bad year for the Jets means Chrismakkuh in January, …
Scott Granneman, 13 Jan 2007
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A hard lesson in privacy

Comment Sometimes I hear a story that is simply breathtaking in its stupidity and potential for disaster. For your delectation, horror, and amazement, here is one relayed to me by a good friend a few days ago. He's living in a European country that shall remain unnamed; in addition, the names and some details have been changed to …
Scott Granneman, 28 Nov 2006
For Sale sign detail

Surprises inside Microsoft Vista's EULA

Analysis It's Autumn in St. Louis, my favorite time of year in Missouri. Coats are getting progressively thicker as the temperature drops, trees are changing their leaves in a final show of brilliant color before their skeletons show, and darkness is starting to scare away the sun a bit earlier every day. Every Thursday night this …
Scott Granneman, 29 Oct 2006
globalisation

LinuxWorld, virtually speaking

Woody Allen once famously said, "80 per cent of success is showing up". And often, showing up means you're in the right place at the right time to take advantage of new opportunities. Nowadays, for instance, we take the talking heads that deliver the news to us on TV and radio for granted. But it wasn't always so. In fact, it's …
Scott Granneman, 19 Aug 2006
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CafePress for wall art?

Review ImageKind, a site that offers users the ability to upload art (which can be in the form of digital photography, digital/computer generated artwork and scanned traditional artwork) and then have it professionally printed/framed/mounted, has launched in beta. Real humans do the printing and do their utmost to ensure the prints …
Scott Granneman, 01 Aug 2006
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Moore's the modern Weegee

One of the most interesting characters to live and thrive in New York City between the Depression and the end of World War II - a time when interesting characters seemed to make up the lion's share of dwellers in that great American city - was Weegee. A photographer by trade, a dweller in the night by temperament, and a …
Scott Granneman, 26 Jul 2006
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WiMAX in the UK. Here's why it won't fly

Comment WiMAX is another specification that has come out of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the US, like Wi-Fi which comes under the 802.11 group. There are two variants of WiMAX, 802.16d which covers fixed installations and 802.16e covering mobile use. Fixed means point-to-point or point-to-multipoint …
Scott Granneman, 03 Jul 2006
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MySpace, a place without MyParents

Comment Like, ohmigod! Have you heard? About MySpace? LOL MySpace is the second most popular web property in the world. Since appearing in January 2004, the site currently has 87m accounts, and it's adding around 270,000 new users a day. Of those 87m, about one-fourth are minors. In fact, the site grew 752 per cent in one year, one of …
Scott Granneman, 03 Jul 2006
The Register breaking news

Why phishing catches punters

Comment Occasionally a criminal is so, well, clever that you have to admire him even as you wish that he spends the rest of his life in jail. Take Arnold Rothstein, for instance. One of the kingpins of organised crime in New York City during Prohibition and before. The "Great Brain", as he was termed, was more than likely behind the …
Scott Granneman, 07 Jun 2006
cloud

Virtualization for security

Sometimes we don't really see what our eyes are viewing. That's true with your computer screen, and it's true in nature as well. Oh sure, we can say what we think we're seeing, but we're missing the big story such as the man behind the curtain, to recall a famous phrase from an even more beloved movie. For instance, it's a …
Scott Granneman, 13 Apr 2006
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As Emperor of Security, I hereby decree...

Comment Ever since I was a little kid, I've been interested in Roman history. It still amazes me when I think about ancient Rome: the most powerful empire the world had ever seen, bringing countless advances to far-flung nations, yet still barbaric in astonishing ways, finally brought low due to a wide variety of causes and plunging the …
Scott Granneman, 28 Mar 2006
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The big DRM mistake

Comment Digital Rights Managements hurts paying customers, destroys Fair Use rights, renders customers' investments worthless, and can always be defeated. Why are consumers and publishers being forced to use DRM? One of my favorite magazines is The New Yorker. I've been reading it for years, and it never fails to impress me with its …
Scott Granneman, 03 Mar 2006
cloud

Wi-Fi for dummies

The average user has no idea of the risks associated with public Wi-Fi hotspots. Here are some very simple tips to keep network access secure. My friend Philip is an expert at community activism and is a cracker-jack financial advisor as well. One thing he is not, however - and he would be the first to admit this - is a …
Scott Granneman, 10 Feb 2006
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Users inundated with pop-ups

There are many examples where users are now being inundated with pop-up messages asking them to respond to things they don't know about or don't understand, and it leads to weaker security overall. Context and knowledge is everything. With it, the strangest things can make sense; without it, the strangest things sound, well, …
Scott Granneman, 13 Dec 2005
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Sony fiasco: More questions than answers

The big story the last few weeks has been the Sony BMG rootkit and in fact, it's the kind of story for which columnists drool: a big company does something unbelievably dumb that violates basic security principles. Many questions have arisen in my mind over the past few weeks as I've watched this story unfold. I'd like to share …
Scott Granneman, 23 Nov 2005
graph up

Beware eBay bearing Skype

Comment One of my stranger hobbies is collecting interesting and weird anecdotes I find in the news. I have a few areas that always fascinate me, such as finding people who miraculously escape certain death, or items about human memory and cognition, or eccentric individuals who embody some strange aspect of the human condition. Some …
Scott Granneman, 23 Sep 2005
channel

On blocking Chinese IP addresses

Comment In the 1980s, I was unbeatable in Trivial Pursuit, and to this day, I still possess a love of trivia. Here's some neat facts about the Great Wall of China. Did you know... The Great Wall sprawls more than 1500 miles in length. You can see the Great Wall from low orbit, but not from the Moon (urban legend!). With the materials …
Scott Granneman, 31 Aug 2005
The Register breaking news

Greasemonkey wobbles but it doesn't fall down

Analysis I have nothing but the greatest respect for Jon Udell. His "Strategic Developer" column is the first thing I read when my copy of InfoWorld magazine arrives in the mail, and his blog is one of the best if you're interested in the technical aspects of web development, standards, and practices. If blogging is enjoyable because it …
Scott Granneman, 09 Aug 2005
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Microsoft and Claria: together at last?

Comment I don't get mad too easily, but there's one thing guaranteed to really get me steaming, and that's when someone is lying to me. Right now I'm feeling lied to, and while I could be wrong, I don't think I am. Worse, I don't think I'm the only one who's the victim here. I think virtually all of you are having your chains yanked as …
Scott Granneman, 15 Jul 2005
cloud

Your fingerprints are everywhere

Comment How much do you trust your government? That's a question that all of us have to ask, perhaps the more often the better. In 1787, Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of the United States and its third President, wrote to Abigail Adams sentences that may seem incredible to many people today: "The spirit of resistance to …
Scott Granneman, 16 Jun 2005
channel

Live CD paradise

Whether you need to sniff for wireless networks or carry Nessus, Nmap and the Metasploit Framework with you in your pocket, there's a security-based Live CD out there for you. My grandfather, Edgar Scott, was known as a fix-it man around Marshall, Missouri, the small Midwestern town in which I grew up. Folks brought cracked …
Scott Granneman, 07 May 2005
homeless man with sign

Privacy from the trenches

The recent string of high profile security breaches doesn't even hit the radar of the average user worried about the privacy of his personal information. Sometimes the timing of events is off... ironically, painfully off. One of the best poets to come out of World War I was Wilfred Owen, a young, sensitive Englishman who went …
Scott Granneman, 20 Apr 2005
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How shall I own your mobile phone today?

Comment It pains me to give this woman any more publicity, but Paris Hilton and her cracked cell phone, the Sidekick II, really woke a lot of people up. For those of you who recently returned from a stay in a monastary somewhere high up in the Himalayas, last month Paris Hilton had her Sidekick II hacked and the contents spread all over …
Scott Granneman, 25 Mar 2005