Thursday, August 30, 2012

3 Lessons from a Breach, a War Game, and a Password Corpus

Posted on the Bit9 blog: 3 Lessons from a Breach, a War Game, and a Password Corpus

See all my Bit9 blog posts here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Why it's awesome to work at Bit9

I recently had the pleasure of attending some instruction from retired four-star General Bruce Carlson. The material covered a number of things, including some important life lessons. He emphasized the importance of making sure you love what you do, saying something along the lines of: “my wife tells me I had a job, but I don’t remember doing a single day of work. I got to fly planes for a living.” I suspect some degree of hyperbole, but it still made me think about where I currently choose to earn my living. Not only do I enjoy working at Bit9 (CrunchBase Profile), but I feel others should know that so they will join the company if given the opportunity.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Romney's faith and my vote

A month or so ago I made a comment on Facebook about a campaign ad by Obama for America. At the time I felt that the Obama campaign attempted to call attention to Romney's religion in the phrasing of the ad. This sparked a rather lengthy discussion over the rest of the evening, during most of which I slept. After some initial good discussion of the actual point I made, the comments rapidly degenerated into a general discussion of Obama vs. Romney along party-line talking points. I should have expected that, but when I woke up the next day I had neither the time nor the energy to address the feedback. Now I do.

I'll start with the original comment. My colleagues from the University of Utah immediately pointed out how much of a leap I had made, and I admitted that fairly quickly. My main concern was that this represented a oblique line of attack going forward. It appears that the concern was misguided. More significantly, it appears that the Romney campaign is using the "belief" heavily in its campaign. If Romney wants to "believe in America," I think it's fair for Obama to talk about Romney's core beliefs as they relate to America. There is still some nuance there, but I expect the official rhetoric to stay clean on the aspects of religious beliefs.

That lead's to the question of what significance a candidate's religion should play in a political race. Does it matter what Obama's preacher teaches from the pulpit? What does it mean that Romney is a Mormon? I think that the answer to both of those questions depends on an individual's religious convictions. How I feel about it may not be the way others feel about it, and it definitely doesn't necessarily represent the way people "should" feel about it. Below I'll discuss my thoughts.

Really, the comforting side in most conspiracy theory arguments is the one claiming that anyone who's in power has any plan at all.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life Lessons

Sometime during my LDS mission in McAllen Texas, I started collecting catch phrases which represented philosophies and ideals I held. I kept them on a 3x5 card (I kept everything on 3x5 cards during my mission) and eventually created a nice laminated version of the catch phrases. It served as a great reminder for myself, but couldn't really help anybody else.

I tried writing down explanations for a friend while he was on his mission, but the process was tedious and slow. I sent him one that was only about a third of the way done. Since that time I have added even more phrases, but I decided to try and expound on them again for my little brother. He is now serving a mission, and even though I missed passing it on for both my other brother and my sister, I wanted to get this done for my third sibling. My goal was to get it to him by his hump day. I missed that by a couple weeks, but still got pretty close.

I have copied the list down into this post (below the break). I don't live all of these ideas all of the time, but I think they sum up what motivates me and how I try to act. The list is open ended, with the latest one just being added a few weeks ago:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Priesthood Responsibilities

Notes for lesson I led on 8/5/2012 in Billerica Ward Elders Quorum

Brother Harrison’s SS comments: death by powerpoint poisoning, too much material

Progression of recent 1st Sunday lessons:

  • April - General Conference
  • May - Priesthood ordinances
  • June - Honoring the Priesthood
  • July - Individual worth
  • August - Priesthood responsibilities - General Conference, Stake Conference, August Ensign
  • September - Real church growth
Continuing the theme. Summarizing and re-emphasizing. Amazing how it works out. . .

Emphasize what to do, as opposed to what to not do - Blacklisting and whitelisting in the gospel
Pendulum - last time I taught
Beacons of Gondor - “Lift where you stand” by President Uchtdorf. D&C 107:99 (apostles about to leave on missions)
Bishop from LesMis - Sacrifice, worth of souls D&C 18:13-16 (asking about Melchizedek Priesthood)
But remember this, my brother
See in this some higher plan
You must use this precious silver
To become an honest man
By the witness of the martyrs
By the Passion and the Blood
God has raised you out of darkness
I have bought your soul for God!
Doing what we need to do

3 Ne 27:27 (disciples seeking direction later) - Know > Do > Am - How do we increase the “Am” bar?
"People of integrity and honesty not only practice what they preach, they are what they preach." - Elder David A. Bednar

Abraham seeking after the priesthood - Abraham 1:1-3 (Father trying to kill him)
What is the priesthood? Why do we have it? How do we use it?
D&C 84:20 (Joyous reports at returning from eastern states missions) - “the power of Godliness is manifest” - Moses 1:39
D&C 84:19
D&C 84:33-40 - Oath & Covenant of the Priesthood

The War by Ken Burns. American Anthem by Gene Scheer and performed by Norah Jones
All we've been given
By those who came before
The dream of a nation
Where freedom would endure
The work and prayers
Of centuries
Have brought us to this day
What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?

Let them say of me
I was one who believed
In sharing the blessings
I received