Bruce Schneier put up a post about the inescapable truth that systems need trusted users, and the dangers inherent therein. He observes, “Replacing trusted people with computers doesn’t make the problem go away; it just moves it around and makes it even more complex.” He suggests a number of ways to reduce the risk of a breach by a trusted user, but also cautions that trying to cover every angle is ultimately a bad idea. The post concludes as follows:

In the end, systems will always have trusted people who can subvert them. It’s important to keep in mind that incidents like this don’t happen very often; that most people are honest and honorable. Security is very much designed to protect against the dishonest minority. And often little things—like disabling access immediately upon termination—can go a long way.

Of course, these precautions are applied to people who actually, you know, do things. Once you get far enough up the ladder that you aren’t really doing anything, you’re just figuring out ways to magically make money appear out of air, all bets are off and there’s no impetus of any kind to be either honest or honorable.

Hard to imagine how you can convince corporate types to behave any better on the basis of stuff like this.

Good News for a Change

In a dramatic coup, the collection of Kim’s Video will be saved from what seemed to be inevitable oblivion by being shipped to Italy, where it will be cared for in a town that is being run as a social experiment by artists and their fruity ilk.

I am deeply favorably inclined towards advances in technology, and it always makes me very sad when something bad happens as a direct result of progress (as such.) The Kim’s shutdown announcement fell into this category, and at the time I was pretty pessimistic that anything would come of it. The fact of the matter is, a massive archive like Kim’s possesses is a ton of work, especially as its new owner is obliged to expand it. In this day and age, this sort of thing seems increasingly impractical. Of course, as David Lynch notes, the advances in convenience can come at the expense of quality, which is the most important reason for preserving something like the Kim’s archive. Somebody has to remember how this stuff is supposed to look.

Apparently there has been a lot of bitching about the collection leaving NYC, and the US. Of course, none of these people were consistent enough customers that this didn’t have to happen in the first place, and on balance I think it’s just another example of how stupid New York has become. Fuck that dead-end town, move that stuff somewhere where it will be appreciated.

The latest chapter in the saga of Joaquin’s ambivalent relationship with momus

This one’s a doozy, and in a good way. He points out a bunch of good things that are (probably) the result of ye olde globale turn-downe, and bites his thumb at the sanctimoniously wealthy who want you to know that you were better off when they were living high off the hog.

The downside is that it makes me really miss Berlin.

Stately, Plump

So yeah, that’s a pretty sweet Web 2.0/iPhone theme there. In my defense, it beats the default hands down, and I am, for whatever reason, not in the mood to whip up something new. Actually, not really whatever reason. It’s because I’m feeling a bit cloudy these days. This too is directly attributable to some stuff, but not necessarily public forum stuff. Upshot: need more variety in terms of certain activities. Hopefully this will involve course work. Developing.