Thursday, December 4, 2014

The New Cold War

In the New Cold War, everyone is invited.

A few weeks ago, a buddy told me about a site that shows hack attacks across a world map.  (Please see  Now the Norse Corporation that sponsors the site probably feels that the scary map is good advertising for their security products, and I’m sure it is.  The map portrays the country where an attack originates, the country that is its target, and the type of attack.  There is also a helpful stock ticker of attacks as they take place.  Frightening, interesting stuff.

I also began reading Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet by Joseph Menn.  The book was published in 2010, so it’s a bit out of date, but it does a fine job of making the reader realize just how widespread and sophisticated cyber attacks are now.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Does Dark Matter Exist?

Dark Matter is one of those things you hear about, but you’re not quite sure what it is.  Supposedly, there is a bunch of this stuff that we can’t see, but somehow it makes up most of the universe--more stuff than the stars and the planets combined can account for.  For folks of a certain age, Dark Matter wasn’t taught in school because no one had proved its existence.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I finally understand Doctor Who

At the risk of alarming many friends, I confess I never really got Dr. Who.  My first exposure to the character wasn’t the TV show.  As a boy, I found a Dr. Who novel in a bookstore.  The guy on the cover had a mop of hair and an improbably long scarf.  He looked like a bandmate from Led Zeppelin.  I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, but it looked...interesting.  Maybe.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Are individuals becoming hard cyber targets?

Last week I made some changes to my home wireless network, including changing the password.  When I booted up the laptop to type (and re-type) the crazy long password in, I noticed something.  Two years ago, one third of the networks in my neighborhood were not password protected.  Now they all are.  All of them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Drake Equation

Don’t let the formula above scare you.  The Drake Equation is one of the most fun equations you’ll ever meet because it deals with a cool idea and serves as a starter gun to get people thinking.

Astrobiology is the study of life on other planets.  Alien life! Maybe friendly little green dudes, maybe hostile xenomorphs that will tear your face off.  But it’s all conjecture until you put something down on paper.  That’s what the Drake Equation does--it’s a way of estimating the number of intelligent civilizations in our Milky Way galaxy (assuming you want to count us, of course.)