Wednesday, December 28, 2016

RIP Carrie Fisher - What I am Reading 12/28/2016

Carrie Fisher died yesterday at the age of 60.  I wasn't as enamored of her as many people but she was still a big part of one of the most memorable events of my early teenage years, Star Wars (and the Blues Brothers where she was funny as hell).  She was a cultural icon who was also a flawed human being but instead of denying those flaws she confronted them.  She may not have been a perfect human being but she seems to have tried to be a decent one and in the end the fact that she tried, and as far as I know mostly succeeded, is really more important.  RIP.

Washington Post - Navy repeatedly dismissed evidence that ‘Fat Leonard’ was cheating the 7th Fleet -
The Navy allowed the worst corruption scandal in its history to fester for several years by dismissing a flood of evidence that the rotund Asian defense contractor was cheating the service out of millions of dollars and bribing officers with booze, sex and lavish dinners, newly released ­documents show.

The Singapore-based contractor, Leonard Glenn Francis, found it especially easy to outwit the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), the renowned law enforcement agency that has inspired one of the longest-running cop shows on television.

I wish I could say I found this surprising, but I don't.  Two reasons - If you wear Khaki in the US Navy, you are basically immune to questioning.  Blue Shirts are treated like idiots of the maybe second highest order.  (The Naval Officer's creed used to contain a line "The enlisted man is stupid but cunning and bears watching at all times") And, cuts made in the 1990s after the fall of the USSR means that jobs that used to be handled by sailors were passed over to civilians greatly increasing contracting workloads.  It was a recipe for disaster.

Endgadget - FDA issues final guidance on medical devices' cybersecurity -

According to the FDA, this final guidance "recognizes today's reality" that "cybersecurity threats are real, ever-present and continuously changing." It applies to all medical devices, including those already out on the market 
Good, but now get ready for the ongoing regulatory tweaking.

Politico - Donald Trump Names Thomas Bossert Chief Adviser on Cybersecurity and Elevates Role - 
President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday that Tom Bossert, a former national security aide to President George W. Bush, will serve as his homeland security adviser in the White House.
...
The Trump transition team said that Bossert’s post of assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, formerly filled by a deputy to the national security adviser, will be “elevated and restored to its independent status.”
I don't really know anything about Thomas Bossert, but the fact that he a) has experience in the area and b) has had the post's status elevated are good signs.  Maybe the guy is an absolute idiot, but early indications are good.

GizmodoReddit Is Tearing Itself Apart -

...Reddit, in its goal to be a laissez-faire haven of (relatively) free expression, has been overrun by nationalist trolls. Its staff of volunteer moderators is losing hope in the site’s future.
Gizmodo spoke with five high-ranking volunteer moderators of some of Reddit’s biggest communities, as well as a Reddit spokesperson. We discovered the site’s unusual working relationship with its most problematic community—r/The_Donald—a community which, by exploiting poor enforcement of Reddit’s already limp user protections, has effectively been holding the rest of the site hostage.
Maybe if Reddit's CEO hadn't manipulated user comments and didn't have a (at least perceived) history of being in the tank for the social justice crowd, they might be able to be a little more effective here.  Exert a little moral authority as it were.  Instead if they try they are seen as biased and not living up to the sites ideals.  Hoist by their own petard.


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