1995, USENIX Security: Marcus Ranum pulls out a Hasselblad, a ringflash and asks me to sit for a portrait


Pose is as the photographer wanted. Do what the man wants, he has the camera. My print arrived in the post a few weeks later.

Subsequently he did a whole pile of other security geek portraits; where they are I don’t know, but the one of Bob Morris Sr is epic, and spattered around the web in several places; the one of Morris Jr is far from bad, likewise.

Ranum’s stuff is more radical, nowadays.

My sister Mandy on BBC Radio discussing Taxation and the Elderly in who are in care #JeremyHunt

Follow this link to iPlayer and scroll to the 2:18:45 mark.

Regards Jeremy Hunt and the news of the day

How Aaron Kramer helped get me into Opera…



…attached to a CD-set of the Pavarotti/Sutherland La Traviata.

That was one of the nice things about Sun – most of the people were generous as well as nice…

Warning: We believe that attackers backed by certain states may be attempting to compromise your account or computer.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 23.52.46

Sigh. A little more info would be helpful as to what has triggered this…

Your account could be at risk of state-sponsored attacks
About the security threat

If you were directed to this page from a warning displayed above your Gmail inbox, we believe that state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer.
It’s likely that you received emails containing malicious attachments, links to malicious software downloads, or links to fake websites that are designed to steal your passwords or other personal information. For example, attackers have often been known to send PDF files, Office documents, or RAR files with malicious contents. We strongly recommend that you avoid clicking links or attachments in suspicious messages.

It’s important to note that Google’s internal systems are not compromised and that this message does not refer to one specific campaign. We routinely receive abuse reports from users, as well as from our internal systems that monitor for suspicious login attempts and other activity. To help defend the integrity of these systems, we aren’t sharing more details about these attacks. However, after carefully studying the abuse reports, we decided to show you the message in Gmail to help warn and protect you from potential attacks.

Nos habebit humus, nos habebit humus

Just back from the village shops, where I bought a thoughtful ice-cream.

Big thoughts. Small ice-cream.

Walking back I looked up, and the sky tonight is blazing with stars; all I need is a winter night sky to be thirteen again, suffering insomnia and fairly convinced that with the impending death of Brezhnev I would die in some fireball; this neurosis a side-effect of reading up on nuclear physics aged 12 before I was equipped to deal with geopolitics.

This is why I know my way around the night sky – being awake late and with nothing to do in rural Worcestershire.

Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor – how can anyone make two dots into an entire dog – Taurus, Aries, Perseus, Cassiopeia… and when you reach the cover of the trees you can just make out Praesepe/M44 in Cancer. And you walk past the church and the organist is practicing actual church music, not yet succumbing to the Star Wars March which she/he plays when feeling whimsical.

Being alive is good, not least because the alternative is boring:

Gaudeamus igitur.
Iuvenes dum sumus.
Post iucundam iuventutem.
Post molestam senectutem.
Nos habebit humus,
Nos habebit humus.

Let us rejoice,
while we’re young;
after a pleasant youth,
and a troublesome old age,
we shall be in the earth,
pushing up daisies.

…taking a little bit of liberty on that last line.

Party on, dudes.

Skodas, Car Batteries, Sleet and Hot Chocolate

My Skoda Octavia has been bombproof for over 10 years – with the exception of being hit by third parties the only issues have been with door-windows dropping out of their raising-mechanism seats.

However a fault with the central locking this week drained the battery – or so I thought. This morning a neighbour and I tried jumpstarting it but he MX-5 – albeit equipped with a new battery – was not able to turn over the hefty 1.9L VAG TDi.  I considered stripping the battery out until I found the battery clip’s retainer bolt corroded in place, with which I did not want to mess while it was raining.

So I called the AA – who after taking £130 of my earth pounds upgraded me to “Home Start” and sent an engineer who arrived within 20 minutes.  Colour me impressed.

Diagnosis: there is a fault with the central locking, yes, but the battery itself is naturally shot. We jumped it, tested it, and basically it’s a replacement job; thus I drove to Aldershot, left the car with my favourite Skoda service team with a ticklist of issues, and Brompton’d a mile or two to Aldershot station there to catch a bus home.

Then it started sleeting. Wet, nasty stuff.

The trains were/are up the duff due to a broken-down engine somewhere, so I was doubly happy to be taking the bus. Stayed in the station for 30 mins watching the wet flakes go plop, got my bus, and one hour later, via a roundabout route, I’m home. And freezing.


  • a walnut-sized chunk of bitter cooking chocolate
  • 3x teaspoons of dark raw muscovado sugar
  • 1x teaspoon spanish cocoa mix (ie: cocoa and a touch of cornflour)
  • mug of milk
  • into saucepan, whisk while bringing to just below simmer, allow the cornflour to thicken slightly.
  • Serve in mug.

…which is what I am sipping now. The world is a nicer place. It may involve a duvet a bit later on.

Self-assessment tax forms can wait for tomorrow.

Dear Lazyweb: Do I a) Buy a Dell Display b) Buy an Apple Thunderbolt Display c) Wait for an upgrade to the latter?

Decisions, decisions.

  1. http://www.itproportal.com/hardware/displays/reviews/dell-ultrasharp-u2713hm-review/
  2. http://www.itproportal.com/hardware/displays/reviews/dell-s2740l-review/
  3. http://www.macworld.com/article/1162442/apples_thunderbolt_display_a_compelling_device_for_2011_macbook_air.html

…or maybe there will be something huge and retina-like, real soon now? <hope/>


Happy New Year, Everybody…

…and best wishes for friends old and new.

A very merry, very digital Christmas Eve

…and now for a very chilled-out Christmas Day 🙂

Photos by Alec Muffett & Brian Micklethwait

Surevine Christmas Party: Dinner at The Cabinet War Rooms /ht @surevine