It’s Tisha B’Av tonight.
But this is a good one for Rosh Hashanah in 2 months.
Got to contain the spray from the blowing of the shofar.
It’s a coronavirus time of year. 😉
(Source Photo: Facebook)
I understand the absolute need to reopen the country from this Coronavirus.
We can’t shelter in place forever and watch our economy go into the toilet and our national debt bankrupt us!
Therefore, once we have the mechanisms to control the deadly spread, we must open up offices and stores again gradually to get people working and our economy going again.
At the same time, I am pissed by those corporate executives that actually have the chutzpah and are pushing for us to open up crowded theaters, stadiums, and other such entertainment or other venues that are NOT critical and pose a greater risk for contagion to masses of people.
Instead of these CEOs understanding the need to hold off on this pending a vaccination or adequate disease control measures, these greedy corporate chieftain seem to care little to nothing about the health of their customers, and only about lining their fat pocketbooks with more ticket sales.
I think it’s criminal type behavior to push our government to open prematurely and irresponsibly those venues that are of greatest risk to potentially millions of people to get sick or dead in order for them to profit from it! 😉
Note: It’s reported that COVID-19 compared to the flu in 22 fewer days infected 11x as many people and killed 60 times as many.
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
As the deadline for the now 2nd round of current negotiations with the dangerous Iranian mullahs fast approaches on November 24, we need to remember who we are dealing with over there.
Despite nearly endless negotiations that have gone on since 2002 (or for almost 13 years), including yet another round of new talks that began 14 months ago and which were already extended once again…
Just this week, no less than Iran’s Foreign Minister and lead negotiator made clear their position on nukes and it is not favorable to coming to any real agreement:
Here in his own words:
While our goal may be for a peaceful Iran without nuclear WMD, “a goal without a [genuine] plan is just a wish!”
Hmm…is this a real partner for peace?
It is recognized that:
1) Iran has one of the world’s worst records of human right abuses of their own people!
2) “Iran is the single largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”
3) Iran threatens “annihilation” and Genocide to their neighbors in the West.
We cannot fool ourselves anymore that Iran will ever voluntarily give up their desire or pursuit of The Bomb!
Enough rewarding Iran with billions of dollars in incentives just for coming to the table with no meaningful results.
Yes ideally, we would all love to celebrate this Thanksgiving with a REAL deal for peace.
However, we don’t need a bogus agreement or another meaningless extension that gets the Iranians that much closer to nuclear breakout capability and the world to the next major regional or even global war.
Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Perhaps it’s time to change the playbook then…
Engagement is an excellent opportunity with a partner that is willing to seriously negotiate, but containment and ultimately military intervention is necessary when talks are simply a long-running ruse or sham to dangerous nuclear WMD and world terror.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Watching this video of an ebola patient escaping quarantine and the panic in Liberia, it is hard not to be concerned about it coming here.
Additionally, with a third American infected with Ebola overseas coming back home for treatment, and the CDC retesting a Miami patient negative for Ebola after having shown some symptoms, the stakes seem to be going up with this deadly disease.
Just last Friday, GovExec reported that Ebola has a 18% chance of reaching the U.S. in September.
Moreover, if the outbreak is not contained the risk of it coming here is said to “increase consistently.”
My daughter asked me the other day why commercial flights to/from the infected countries (not including aid delvieries) have not been cut off for now to help prevent the spread of the disease and save lives.
Unfortunately, I did not have a good answer to this, except that certainly there are economic and social implications to those countries in the short-term, but what are the potential costs to countless other global citizens if we do not do everything we can to adequately contain this outbreak?
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Here’s a riddle: When is a computer virus not a dangerous piece of malware? Answer: when it is hidden as Frankenstein code.
The Economist(25 August 2012) describes how computer viruses are now being secretly passed into computers, by simply sending a blueprint for the virus rather than the harmful code itself into your computer–then the code is harvested from innocuous programs and assembled to form the virus itself.
Like the fictional character, Frankenstein, that is stitched together out of scavenged body parts, the semantic blueprint pulls together code from host programs to form the viruses.
This results is a polymorphic viruses, where based on the actual code being drawn from other programs, each virus ends up appearing a little different and can potentially mask itself–bypassing antivirus, firewall, and other security barriers.
Flipping this strategy around, in a sense, Bloomberg Businessweek (20 June 2012) reports on a new IT security product by Bromiumthat prevents software downloads from entering the entire computer, and instead sets aside a virtual compartment to contain the code and ensure it is not malicious, and if the code is deemed dangerous, the cordoned-off compartment will dissolve preventing damage to the overall system.
So while on the offensive side, Frankenstein viruses stitch together parts of code to make a dangerous whole–here on the defensive side, we separate out dangerous code from potentially infecting the whole computer.
Computer attacks are getting more sinister as they attempt to do an end-run around standardized security mechanisms, leading to continually evolving computer defenses to keep the Frankensteins out there, harmless, at bay.
(Source Photo: herewith attribution to Dougal McGuire)
This week, we as humankind were renewed by the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile.
“Viva Chile! They Left No Man Behind” writes Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal (16-17, Oct. 2010).
The Chileans took what was a human tragedy and instead turned it upside down and inside out into a worldwide victory!
Yet, as the rescue unfolded first with the search for the miners, their discovery, their being sustained while rescue tunnels were dug, and then ultimately as each miner—one by one—was brought to the surface safely—clean-shaven and smiling, I couldn’t help thinking to myself how perfectly everything was going—each time again and again—and then starting to worry that something has got to go wrong here (almost by Murphy’s Law)—this is too perfect!
Yet, nothing went wrong, it was a watertight rescue of all the miners.
As flawed human beings with all our warts and all, I think we were at some level shocked with disbelief by the flawless events that unfolded.
No cost overruns, no schedule delays, no one was hurt, no glitches in equipment or otherwise. It was a run of complete success that almost never happens in real life and yet, we all saw it unfold one, two, three…thirty-three before our very eyes.
This doesn’t happen in real life—only in fairy tales, right? This certainly doesn’t happen in most information technology projects! 😉
But even more stunning to us than the success of the rescue itself was the undercurrent of the prevailing of good over evil manifesting before us—almost like G-d was revealing himself to us again, as he did in Biblical times. As one of the miners poetically said: “I met G-d. I met the devil. G-d won.”
The shocker here was that a people, nation, and in effect the entire world was focused on saving these 33 simple miners. This in our day and age, when we have become more accustomed to those who dehumanize and devalue human life, rather than those who genuinely value and safeguard it as the Chileans did.
As Ms. Noonan puts it: “They used the human brain and spirit to save life. All we get every day is scandal.”
Recent events remind us of the huge contrast between those who value life and those who don’t, such as 9-11, almost daily suicide (read “homicide”) bombings for political aims, the blatant proliferation and threats of WMD (and now cyber warfare), the violation of human rights by dictatorships and thugs around the world, including political imprisonments, rigged elections, restrictions of free information flow, and more violent acts such as mass rapes, female genital mutilation, genocide, slave prison camps, and more.
Moreover, while we witness events going wrong everyday and governments, companies, and peoples seeming unable to set things right, in Chile, we saw a nation and a people that set their minds and might to bringing the miners home safely and they did, period.
There are some important lessons here for us for the future:
As the article states: the Chileans “set to doing something hard, specific, physical, demanding of commitment, precision, and expertise. And they did it.” And we can again do it too.
There was a terrific keynote at the 1105 Government Information Group enterprise architecture conference this week in Washington, DC by Mr. Armando Ortiz, who presented “An Executive Architect’s View of IT Asset Investment and EA Governance Strategies.”
The highlight for me was Mr. Ortiz, view of EA gap analysis, which goes something like this (i.e. in my words):
Enterprise architects, supported by business and technical subject matter experts across the organization, develop the current and target architectures. The difference between these is what I would call, the architecture gap, from which is developed the transition plan (so far not much new here).
But here comes the rest…
The gap between the current IT assets and the target IT assets results in one of two things, either:
New IT investments are a strategic, long-term strategy and retooling the existing IT assets is an operational, short-term strategy.
In terms of the corporate actors, you can have either:
For new IT investments:
For existing IT assets:
What the difference who is managing the IT assets?
Both approaches are important in establishing a solid, holistic, federated IT governance.
Mr. Ortiz went on to describe the EA plans developing three CIO WIFMS (what’s in it for me):
The link between IT assets, investment/containment strategies, business and enterprise IT actors, and the benefits to the CIO and the enterprise was a well articulated and perceptive examination of enterprise architecture and gap analysis.