Friday, October 16, 2015

Maybe he was bored. Anti-Terrorism expert appears to have made it all up - What I am reading 10/16/2015

Washington Post - He claimed to be ex-CIA and was quoted as an expert on Fox News. Prosecutors say it was a lie. -
(...) In his public speaking engagements and frequent appearances on Fox News, the purported former CIA operative spoke authoritatively about terrorism and clandestine intelligence operations, which he claimed he helped run for nearly three decades.
“Nobody knew who I was,” Simmons said at one event. “Nobody was allowed to know who I was.”
But according to federal prosecutors, his claims of a 27-year career with the CIA were lies, and it was only by repeating such falsehoods that Simmons was able to briefly get actual security clearances and real government contracting work in more recent years.

That's a pretty convenient way of explaining away discrepancies.  "Oh yeah, that's all classified.  No one was allowed to know who I was.  Doesn't really explain the prior felony conviction though.

Stratechery - Venture Capital and the Internet’s Impact -
The more important takeaway, though, is that this upheaval is happening at all: even a seemingly impenetrable clubby human interaction-driven industry like venture capital is susceptible to change that, in retrospect, is really quite radical. You see it in industry after industry: hotels presumed that people wouldn’t stay in stranger’s homes, television networks presumed that programming schedules were constrained by time, and, speaking of Amazon Web Services, enterprise technology companies presumed that servers and software would live on corporate premises. Once that premise is removed, though — ratings commoditized trust, streaming commoditized time, scale commoditized data centers — everything else that you didn’t think mattered does. Airbnb has better selection and often cheaper prices, Netflix is cheaper and has a broader selection, Amazon offer customizability and flexibility.
Let's just take it as a given that the author is smarter than I am, and that I am missing something.  Even so all his examples here are maybes.  AirBNB may have a better selction depending on your location, Netflix may have a better selection depending on your tastes, Amazon may offer more flexibility depending on your needs.  Beyond that none of these products are new ideas.  The Bed and Breakfastes and boarding houses have been around for ever.  Same with video stores.  The disruption is in the product delivery not the product itself.  From what I see here the same applies to to his theory about VC's.  Maybe the role of VCs is about to decline significantly.  As an outsider I don't see it.  And really as an outsider I don't see the difference.

Network Computing - Dell-EMC Has Big Cybersecurity Implications -
With much of the talk focused on the storage play this adds to Dell’s portfolio, it’s easy to forget the security implications of the deal. But both sides of this marriage bring significant security assets to the table—Dell with components from SecureWorks, SonicWALL, and Quest Software and EMC with RSA. There’s significant opportunity for Dell to leverage this deal to make a serious bid for dominating the security market.
We were just discussing this at work yesterday.  Going to be interesting.

Ars Technica - How the NSA can break trillions of encrypted Web and VPN connections -

We talked about this yesterday, but this is a much better article so... read ... learn.

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