My Fun Socks

Just wanted to share some of my new fun socks. 


You don’t always have to take yourself so serious. 


It’s okay to let go and just be you. 


From Dragon Ball Z to Super Mario, I feel so empowered!


Hope you do too.  😉


(Source Photo:  Andy Blumenthal)

Learning IT Security By Consequences

This is a brilliant little video on IT Security.

What I like about it is that it doesn’t just tell you what not to do to stay safe, but rather it shows you the consequences of not doing the right things.

Whether you are letting someone into your office, allowing them borrow your badge, leaving your computer unsecured, posting your passwords, and more–this short animated video shows you how these vulnerabilities will be exploited.

It is also effective how they show “Larry” doing these security no-no’s with signs everywhere saying don’t do this.

Finally, the video does a nice job summing up key points at the end to reinforce what you learned.

I think that while this is simpler than many longer and more detailed security videos that I have seen, in a way it is more successful in delivering the message in a practical, down-to-earth approach that anyone can quickly learn core basic practices from.

Moreover, this video could be expanded to teach additional useful IT security tips, such as password strengthening, social engineering, and much more.

I believe that even Larry, the unsuspecting office guy, can learn his lesson here. 😉

(Note: This is not an endorsement of any product or service.)

Tweet On, Dead Or Alive

Tweet On, Dead Or Alive

So recently, I saw the movie Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise who plays a wealthy playboy who has everything, but has a horrible disfiguring accident as a result of a disgruntled girlfriend, and Cruise ends up in despair, overdosing, and ultimately in cryonic suspension–but with the added package of being in a lucid dream while in frozen suspension for 150 years.

The idea of somehow being placed in suspended animation after death in the hope of eventually being brought back to life with technologies in the future has been an interest of many who naturally seek immortality.

A company called Alcor Life Extension, not only researches cryonics, but also actually performs it and has over 100 patients preserved and frozen in liquid nitrogen (as well as over 30 pets).
Understanding the great desire for people to somehow defeat death, I was not completely surprised to read about LivesOn in the New York Times (2, March 2013), which is an algorithm being developed to continue Tweeting even after you are dead!

You can sign up at the website to join their beta trials–no, you don’t have to be dead yet!

But LivesOn will start learning what and how you normally Tweet and through artificial intelligence will start to tweet on its own for you and you can give it feedback to refine its performance.

It’s slogan of “When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting,” seems more than a little crude.

Given all the distress about accessing a person’s social media account after they die to learn more about them, their friends, perhaps the circumstances of their death, or even to post a closing to account–the legal and policy issues are still being worked out in terms of privacy and the user agreements for the sites.

With artificial intelligence now being able to, in a sense, take over for you and continue your posts even when you are dead, this practically begs the question of who you are and what makes you distinct from a computer that can mimic you to the world?

Can a computer or robot one day be able to assume your identity? How difficult would it really be? Would anyone even know the difference? And would they care? Are we all just patterns of thoughts and behaviors that can be predicted and mimicked, and if so what are we really? 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Anders Sandberg)

Paperman, For Dannielle

Valentines Day is next week, but I wanted to share this with someone very special to me, Dannielle.

This wonderful movie short by Disney called Paperman shows the amazing chemistry between two people that draws them to each other.

I love how the man and women laugh on the train platform holding the paper with the lipstick on it and how from his office when he sees her in the skyscraper across the street, he jumps up and down waving trying to get her attention.

The movie reminds me of another favorite, The Red Balloon, where a little boy Pascal at the end is carried off by a cluster of sentient balloons, just as in this movie the man is carried off to his love by the paper airplanes he made to try to connect with her.

While I am usually not one for animation, this one captures it just right! 😉

What Number Are You?

This is an amazing video that has won 15 awards and was translated into 27 languages.

It is an animation film and moves a little slowly from my perspective, but the message is terrific!

The short film is about us–all people–we live in the ever present “caste” society, not of yesteryear, but of all time.

It is about where people are (or aren’t) in the pecking order of life and that despite our “place,” we can still find success.

Some are born “Zero’s” and live a life of prejudice, persecution, bullying, and torment.

Others are born high numbers, and they are the elites in society–given the best educational and professional, materialistic, and networking opportunities.

Many in our age have recognized that this trend continues unabated–only now it’s called things like Occupy Wall Street and referred to as the 99% and 1%.

In the past, it was variations of slaves and masters; fiefs, vassals, and lords, and now-a-days even average workers and the C-Suite.

In the video, “A Zero is a zero”–he is bullied in school, and thrown into the gutter as an adult by “the higher numbers.”

I am certain that many of us can relate to this…in fact, this video has been viewed almost 1.3 million times on Youtube already.

Only when Zero meets another zero and has a baby–who is born an “infinite,” does everyone else stop and literally bow down.

While I believe that we all need to work hard and contribute and in no way, believe that anyone who is able to contribute should be given a “free ride,” I do believe firmly that we are all human beings, G-d’s children, and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Everyone has a value in society and from nothing (or Zero) can come something amazing, if we only give people a fighting chance.

Personally, I am a child of Holocaust survivors, and my family came over with nothing. My grandmother cried that they didn’t have a chair to sit on when they came to this country.

The Nazis took everything, lives and things. As the presumed high and mighty “Aryan race,” everyone else was zero fodder for the ovens in the concentration camps or to be shot through the head while begging for mercy on their knees.

Like my grandparents, my uncle by marriage and his brother came over on a children’s transport train, alone and completely on their own, to try and “make it,” after being orphaned by Nazi murderers.

In the holocaust, the Nazis treated all their victims as Zero’s by tattooing numbers on their arms to dehumanize them.

This is part of a long historical plot of the strong and the weak, the haves and the have nots–the high numbers and the zeros in this world.

When as a 10-year old, we moved to Riverdale, New York, a very affluent neighborhood in the Bronx bordering Westchester, most of my classmates lived in million-dollar mansions, while we lived on “the other side of town.”

I grew up understanding that I had to be determined, work hard, and pray hard to try and climb up the ladder and it’s numbered stairs–in fact, like “Rocky,” I used to run the stairs–hundreds of times!

But to me, determination and hard work seem to come natural–thank G-d–but even more important to me was not monetary success but decency, integrity, speaking truth, and working for the advancement of all on as level a playing field as we can get.

I will not bow to “infinity” as the others in the movie and in real life have done, but I will try and help make infinity a place that we all can aspire to.

Becoming Technological Dinosaurs?

Tech_camp

I was most impressed at the graduation of my daughter from Tech Camp today.

She became fairly proficient with Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, and more, and built her own website with animation–it was really very cool.

Here is a photo of kids at the computers–they are showing their parents how totech.

It is truly the young teaching the old–no disrespect intended.

But the kids are amazing–they are digital natives and are learning things quickly and with ease that prior generations still must struggle with.

I jokedwith my friend who is also a CIO of another company–that we are not only “old farts,” but tech dinosaurs as well. 😉

Okay not quite–but what these kids can do is nothing short of amazing, eye-opening, and I think “we ain’t seen nothing yet!”

The Star Wars Internet

I just love the creativity of this Star Wars-like animation video to explain how we communicate over the Internet (using the guidelines of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, TCP/IP).From the initiation of the data packets to the transport over the LAN, WAN, and Internet, and through the routers, switches, proxy servers, and firewalls.

The data is packed, addressed, transmitted, routed, inspected, and ultimately received.

This 13 minutes video explains Internet communications in a simple, user-centric approach. It helps anyone to understand the many actors and roles involved in ensuring that our communication get to where it’s going accurately, timely, and hopefully safely.

I guess to make this really like Star Wars, we need the evil Darth Vader to (cyber) attack and see how this system all holds up. Where is Luke Skywalker when we need him? 😉

Great job by Medialab!