Logs, Links, Life and Lexicon

Daily Thesis

Scary Stuff

Today I stumbled an extremely disturbing article that hit the mainstream. At least the “Wired” mainstream.

In early August, the enterprise security firm Armis got a confusing call from a hospital that uses the company’s security monitoring platform. One of its infusion pumps contained a type of networking vulnerability that the researchers had discovered in a few weeks prior. But that vulnerability had been found in an operating system called VxWorks—which the infusion pump didn’t run.

Today Armis, the Department of Homeland Security, the Food and Drug Administration, and a broad swath of so-called real-time operating system and device companies disclosed that Urgent/11, a suite of network protocol bugs, exist in far more platforms than originally believed. The RTO systems are used in the always-on devices common to the industrial control or health care industries. And while they’re distinct platforms, many of them incorporate the same decades-old networking code that leaves them vulnerable to denial of service attacks or even full takeovers. There are at least seven affected operating systems that run in countless IoT devices across the industry.

“It’s a mess and it illustrates the problem of unmanaged embedded devices,” says Ben Seri, vice president of research at Armis. “The amount of code changes that have happened in these 15 years are enormous, but the vulnerabilities are the only thing that has remained the same. That’s the challenge.”

Translation. This means that most systems that are used for your medical care are being hacked as I write this. If not now, soon.

Further, this is not a manageable problem. It gets scarier. If hospitals and ICR units were to throw out their existing hackable systems and replace the with BRAND NEW product. They would still be hackable. While there has been enormous change in the usability and the functionality of these devices in short periods of time, security is ALWAYS and after-thought. Nobody wants to pay for security. It should be included.

It’s not. It will never be.

It’s called Biohacking. Adding security to BioTech to prevent Biohacking ( and everything else) is an Identity Problem. We need and Identity Metasystem (as Phil Windley so articulately outlines.)

Here is the disconnect. Identity is complicated and highly political. All the big boys (Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook [I would add IBM but the don’t matter anymore]) want to “own” your identity. Silliness. It will never happen.

In the meantime, we are all at high risk.

You think Biotech is the only problem? Think again.

It goes on forever.

Try cell phone systems. Not cell phones. But cell phonetech. The towers. The system that your phone uses for seamless connectivity. It will be hacked. Not if. But when.

Seoul Smog

There is a serious smog problem in Seoul Korea. Sensitive to this issue since we live here in Seoul. ( I love it here, but the pollution scares me.)

I’ve been dismissing the masks being worn as useless. I decided I need to speak from real information not assumption.

NPR published a study in 2016 to show just how serious things are.

2016 Particulate Index

Koreans worry much more about environmental issues (air pollution is #1 concern) that danger from North Korea. In fact, North Korean threats rank #5 in importance. Seoul has 10.1m people in an area that covers 12% of South Korea. One of the most densely populated and homogeneous cities in the world. There are some 22.8m cars in Seoul. Korean car emissions and manufacturing produce the most harmful emissions in Seoul.

To contrast, there are barely 3m people total in the state of Utah. There 8.6m people living in New York City.

The bottom line is to be protected from air pollution in Seoul, you must wear a mask capable of filtering out what is referred in international standards as PM 2.5. (particles 2.5 microns or larger) The cheap face masks most people wear do not even meet the requirements for PM 10 (particles of 10 microns or larger and according to Reuters–only 32% of the particulates are being filtered. That’s whopping 68% leakage.

Hardly being protective. In general, my assumptions were correct. Most masks are not effective and are merely a weak fashion statement. But after doing this quick study, I learned there are affordable solutions. There are usable masks (more expensive but effective) that can meet the PM 2.5 specs.

Know Your Mask Effectiveness Index–N95 or better.

Make sure you have masks that have a rating of N95 or better.

One of the touted benefits of iOS 12 is a new feature built into the system: Screen Time.

Screen Time is designed to help you manage the time you spend in front of your mobile device.

I fell for it. I admit.

I believed the hype that is telling us that we are globally out of control—duped by our smart phones.

Here is an example of the pervasive sentiment:

How to use Apple’s new Screen Time and App Limits features in iOS 12
Apple is making it easier than ever to cut back on app overload

We are being sold that we need to cut back on our use of social media and technology. This has become a common belief.

Like I said, I fell for it. I cringe when Screen Time reminds me every week how much time I spend on my mobile devices.

But something just doesn’t feel right to me about the whole idea that technology is bad for you.

Then I stumbled on a book that resonates with how I feel and think about technology and popular culture.

Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter—Steven Johnson

This book has completely changed how I feel about Screen Time. I now revel in the numbers. We will need to change how we think about technology and popular culture—everything we know is wrong.

This is not a new book—2006. So, some of the references are stale, especially in light of what is happening in our culture right now. But if he were to go back and rewrite sections of the book to reflect what is happening now with social media, his case would just be stronger.

The Sleeper Curve

Mr. Johnson introduces the concept of the Sleeper Curve.

The Sleeper Curve: The most debased forms of mass diversion—video games and violent television dramas and juvenile sitcoms—turn out to be nutritional after all. For decades, we’ve worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a steadily declining path towards lowest-common-denominator standards, presumably because the “masses” want dumb, simple pleasures and big media companies want to give the masses what they want. But in fact, the exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more intellectually demanding, not less.

 

The rest of the book makes the case why the hypothesis has merit.

This works for me on an abundance of levels.

I haven’t made the complete transition yet, but I finally found some language and discussion that is in alignment with how I feel.

AI Will Save the World

There, I said it. We are on the fertile verge of understanding how to use AI to our benefit like never before. To astronomically increase our ability to increase—not just our intellectual intelligence—but our emotional and social intelligence.

People often ask me about the future of AI. Most people believe AI is dangerous and will cause irreparable damage to humanity.

The exact opposite is happening. AI—more specifically AEI—will be a tool humanity uses to increase emotional and social intelligence like we have never imagined.

Years ago we were sharing stories about our children. I was recounting to Natalie my favorite funny stories about her. She share with me a funny story about Miles. This little animation is my attempt to keep that memory in animation form.

I hope it is close to what you told me Nat.

We recently moved to Korea.

We are adapting quickly. What an adventure.

Excellent TED Talk on how the Blockchain technology will play a role in managing trust and identity.

The Thesis

Rachel Botsman is studying the defines trust as a “confident relationship to the unknown.” She is studying how technology is transforming the social glue of society.

Human beings are incredible in being able to take trust leaps.

She then introduces the concept of “climbing the trust stack.”

She then posits that we are going thru a massive change in the trust model, one from an instituionalized model to a distributed model.

She goes on to say that the blockchain technology will play a major role in how we effect digital trust. So much so, that the trust stack can be simplified, and the need for institutionalized trust intermediaries can sometimes be mitigated.

Watch the entire video. Very enlightening and provides a clear and consice explanation on how the blockchain works.

What Ms. Botsman omitted—clearly not intentionally—is the role sentiment analysis plays in the future of digital trust.

The Role of Sentiment Analysis and Trust

In the future, the ability to understand the sentiment or the “spectrum of intention” of another person or entity will be highly valuable in determining trust values.

In a recent series of blog posts by Phil Windley, the concept of a self-soveriegn identity system is introduced.

SIS purpose is just like it sounds. An independent identity system managed by users.

The series leads up to the announcement last week of Sovrin.org. (But I will get to that later.) Since these are in a series of blog posts, they are in reverse chronological order. So here they are in order.

  1. Service Integration Via a Distributed Ledger
  2. Governance for Distributed Ledgers
  3. An Internet for Identity
  4. Self-Sovereign Identity and the Legitamacy of Permissioned Ledgers

Some of these are lengthy. The topic is complicated, but fundamental to the future. Take your time. Dont let TL;DR syndrome sidetrack you.

In World of Ends, Doc Searls and
Dave Weinberger enumerate the Internet’s three virtues:

Kevin Marks

At the most recent Internet Identity Workshop (#iiw), I was watching the #iiw twitter feed. As the keybote speaker began (Kim Cameron), a barrage of insightful tweets from Kevin Marks ensued.

I looked over at Kevin Marks tapping away on his laptop. Something didn’t make sense. There was just no way the number of keystrokes he was making was matching the prodigious output of tweets.

WTF?

So I aksed him how in the world he was doing that. He happily reavealed a tool for tweeting events that he and some others had developed.

Noter Live

Brilliant. Love it.

Since then, I have noticed others starting to use it with astounding results. Phil Windley.

I attended Internet Identity Workshop 22 in Mountain View last week. Fabulous conference. There is always lively discussion for experienced identity people and newbies.

Above is a shot of our beloved Doc Searls. Thanks Doc.

Everyone is interested in learning and sharing information.

This is my favorite conference to attend.

2015 has been a most difficult year for me. Lots of oppourtinity for growth. Ugh.
Robbed, evicted, and hospitalized.
To finish it, one of my dearest friends, mentor and advocate died from a staph infection last week.

On the good side, I have lost alot of weight. I feel better and am getting around much better.

Looking forward to a wild 2016.
cb

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