Flying Spaghetti Monster

In Praise of Spaghetti Code

Spaghetti code is not getting any respect. Software experts denigrate it; coding classes avoid it like the plague; and when students go out into the world, they spend inordinate amounts of time trying to follow their mentors’ instructions. This unalloyed disparagement of spaghetti code is unfortunate, because we owe so much to it. Continue reading

Change Direction - Management Business Concept Blackboard

Is Computing in Reverse the Next Big Thing?

As Moore’s Law runs out of steam, and fabrication of Boolean circuits on silicon appears to be reaching its limits, some computer scientists and physicists are looking beyond the limits of current computing to “reversible computing.” That is, instead of one-way circuits that produce a deterministic output from given inputs, reversible computing works both ways: Inputs can be obtained from outputs by running the circuits in reverse. Generally speaking, computation runs in one direction, producing outputs from inputs, without the ability to run backwards and compute inputs from outputs. Continue reading

Text Post Truth typed on retro typewriter

How to Deal with Post-truthism

The Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed “post-truth” as its 2016 word of the year. It defines post-truth as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” According to the editors, use of the term “post-truth” had increased by around 2,000 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, largely in relation to Brexit—the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union—and the United States presidential election. Continue reading

security concept  with a lock

Insider Attacks Are A Bigger and Harder Threat?

There is a new trend apparently emerging to defend against data loss and data damage as a result of external hacking. Some organizations have been removing their sensitive data from the Internet or isolating such data on “private” networks. This trend reminds me of Willie Sutton’s answer when he was asked, “Why do you rob banks?” His answer was, “Because that’s where the money is.” If this trend is real and if it spreads further, expect the hackers to simply move from external hacking to insider hacking. If you ask a hacker, “Why do you rob computer systems?”, he or she would likely answer, “Because that’s where the data is.” I doubt hackers care whether it requires an external hack or an insider hack. As you will see later, removing or isolating sensitive data from the Internet has apparently not stopped the CIA from being either the hack-er or the hack-ee. Continue reading