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Avast, there, AV vendors …

Posted by Rob Slade on March 21, 2015

I noticed, recently, that some of my email was going out bearing the message: > This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software. > I use Avast, so I wasn’t too worried.  It’s (generally) a decent product, and has a “turn off temporarily” feature, even in the free version, which I […]

Data loss?

Posted by Rob Slade on March 18, 2015

I got a USB (aka jump, aka thumb) drive (aka stick, aka key) for free from a vendor at a conference a couple of days ago.  The thing is so small it comes with a little loop of string so you can attach it to something and not lose it.  Gloria wanted to know what […]

Cloudy assumptions

Posted by Rob Slade on March 16, 2015

The first surgeon wasn’t incompetent or careless.  In fact, when he ran into a problem, he took a lot of extra time to try and rectify the situation. He did the surgery laparoscopically.  There are very good reasons for this.  Laparoscopic surgery creates smaller incisions, and so creates less damage to the body.  Unfortunately, in […]

Lessons from a security awareness campaign

Posted by Rob Slade on March 12, 2015

We have recently had a campaign, in British Columbia, to promote information and awareness about computer security and privacy.  While this is not a full post-mortem of the event, here are some observations. Money, in the form of sponsorships from companies, is available.  We had no problem in raising funds, with some being donations in […]


Posted by Rob Slade on March 9, 2015

“Who put this in here?” he says, as he yanks out the packing. (He doesn’t even bother to clean up the steri strip he has broken in his pique.) We’ve just come from the wound clinic, where they were adamant that the packing should stay in. That thin gauze tape is important to ensure that […]

Security and Quantum Computing – Practical?

Posted by Rob Slade on March 8, 2015

I’m giving a talk at BSides in Vancouver. It’s on the implications, for security, of the coming field of quantum computing. It’s longer than the usual presentation, so somebody asked me: Wow. Three hours on quantum computing and security. Is this all ‘the theory of’ or is there practical detail? This is kind of an […]

Till We Have Faces

Posted by Rob Slade on February 24, 2015

I got a message the other day from an old friend.  He left the country over four decades ago, and I’ve only seen him once, since, fairly shortly after he left. I’m unfollowing a celebrity on Twitter today. (Yes, of course I am going to relate these two events to each other.  And to security.  […]