Category: life

AT&T IPhone “Direct Fulfillment” is Flawed.

My wife and I waited in line early morning the day of the IPhone 3G launch.  By the time we got in the AT&T store they had sold out of all 16gig models so they put them on order for “direct fulfillment”.

She got the white model and received hers two days ago.  I got the black one and still have not received mine.

My buddy, Billy, went into the same store after work the day of the launch and signed up for the direct fulfillment of the same model I ordered.  He just received confirmation that his is at the ATT store ready to be picked up.

So why did I wait in line?!

iPhone 3G

Missy and I hopped in the line at our local AT&T store this morning at 7am to try and get ourselves two iPhone 3Gs (16gig).  At this point the line already wrapped around the side of the building.  We finally got into the store at about 11am to find that they had sold out of the 16G version.

They set us up with “direct shippment” of the phones so they should arrive within 5-10 days.
I can’t wait!

Traveling is a Hoot

Today I left from Battle Creek, MI to Chicago, IL via the Amtrack train. This is my preferred method of travel when going to Chicago as plane trips costs literally 10x as much and are down right scary. If you have ever heard the term “puddle jumper” you will know exactly what I mean.

Leaving from East Lansing means leaving around 7 in the morning and loosing a whole day or work, so I either take the bus (super scary) or have someone drive me to battle creek.

Each time I leave from Battle Creek I have a unique and enlightening experience. Today was no different.

A young man got off the train muttering something in the standard ghetto slang about being kicked off for “cuss’en out the train people” and wanting to know where he was and how far from ‘Dee-troit” he was.

A couple minutes later police descend on him from both exits and take him away in cuffs.

I always have to wonder about people like that. Are they intentionally seeking attention or do they just not have that filter that the rest of us have? It just seems counter productive if you plan on getting to Detroit to spend the night in jail. All it would have taken is to keep his mouth shut and he would have been there in a matter of hours. Is this attention or lack of filter worth that? I would think not, but then again I guess these are the type of people that jails/prisons are made for.

Luck o’ the Irish

I have to present at a meeting today and spilled coffee on myself. Tied Stain Stick didn’t do the trick so I went to the rest room to get the stain out with water.

As I was wiping up the coffee I tore open a hang-nail and got blood all over myself.

I give up. I just give up.

SSH on a Non Standard Port

I recently posted a comment on in response to other comments condeming the author for suggesting moving ssh to a port besides 22 was “security through obscurity” and a worthless security measure.

I have argued this topic many times with many different people and felt that comment bears repeating for my audience.

— snip —

Gah! I have heard that argument over and over again about changing ssh to a non-standard port.

“security through obscurity is no security at all” Says the broken record.

I believe heavily in security metrics because numbers are awfully hard to argue with.

In a university environment a machine with ssh on port 22 in my DMZ would receive an average of ~100 invalid login attempts per day (averaged over the course of 2 months).

This same machine in the same DMZ running SSH on port 51234 received an average of zero… no, not a average of zero… just zero.

This effectively eliminates all scripted attacks, worms, Trojans, bots and most uninitiated real attackers.

In fact if you run it on a very high port — say 51234 — most people won’t even find it with a port scanner.

One would have to statically define the port range as most port scanners quit far before 51234.

At that rate scanning ports 1-51234 would take an insane amount of time per host, and most attackers scan huge blocks of hosts.

At that point hopefully an IDS/IPS would pick up the port scan and make the whole thing moot.

Seriously. Its not a fool proof security measure and I certainly wouldn’t use it as the only means of protecting SSH, but its an effective layer. And those same people that are so quick to spew out the “Security through obscurity” cliche are also the same that are quick to pull out the “Layered Security” ones.

— snip —

This Week in Links: 12/31/07 – 1/6/08

Best of 2007





Busy as all get out

Sorry I havn’t posted in a week.  I have been working on some gigantic project funding requests at work.  They are eating all of my home and work time.  Once this is over with things will normalize and I will post again.

And who uses the term “as all get out”?!  I hate that term.  I’m now a self-loather.

Acronyms will be the death of me.

You can use NSM (Netscreen Security Manager) to manager your Netscreen firewalls.

You can use <a onclick="javascript:pageTracker._trackPageview('/outgoing/');" href="http://www generic” target=”_blank”>OpenNMS to monitor your servers.

You can use NSM (Network Security Monitoring) to monitor your network.

From now on you’re Bob, you’re Fred and you’re Julio… I hope you all can play nice together.

Vista makes CNET’s “Top Ten Terrible Tech Products”

For those of you wondering why I havent beaten up Vista yet… I have. I ran it from mid-beta to early-release and had a very well written and thought out evaluation of its security and usability features. It was quite negative. I wrote the entire article in notepad on my Vista machine.

One day I went to open the file to add finishing touches and proof it and the file disappeared. I know how silly and impossible this sounds. But its true. I have never seen anything like it under any operating system.

That pretty much cinched it for me. I downgraded back to XP and impatiently awaited the arrival of my new mac.

That being said, I laughed aloud as I read the CNET article. It contained many lines that I couldnt help but agree with such as…

Any operating system that provokes a campaign for its predecessor’s reintroduction deserves to be classed as terrible technology. Any operating system that quietly has a downgrade-to- previous-edition option introduced for PC makers deserves to be classed as terrible technology. Any operating system that takes six years of development but is instantly hated by hordes of PC professionals and enthusiasts deserves to be classed as terrible technology.

It’s suffering from painfully slow adoption by users and corporations alike for good reason. I often hear the argument “All operating new operating systems have slow corporate adoption rates” however compared to 2000 and XP as well as planned adoption surveys… its dismal.

Conversely adoption rates of Linux and OS X on the desktop are way up. Microsoft may finally be loosing its foothold of absolute dominance and as any industry can prove this… real competition makes for better products all around.

A priest a rabi and a chicken

I had this posted a long time ago but removed it while interviewing with the DoD. I just didnt think that they would find the same humor in it that I did. 🙂

The LAPD, the FBI, and the CIA are all trying to prove that they are the best at apprehending criminals. The President decides to give them a test and releases a rabbit into a forest and each of them has to catch it.

The CIA goes in. They place animal informants throughout the forest. They question all plant and mineral witnesses. After three months of extensive investigation they conclude that rabbits do not exist.

The FBI goes in. After two weeks with no leads they burn the forest, killing everything in it, including the rabbit and they make no apologies. The rabbit had it coming.

The LAPD goes in. They come out two hours later with a badly beaten bear. The bear is yelling: “Okay, okay, I ‘m a rabbit! I ‘m a rabbit!”