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Shawn Willden
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I think the controversy around this hunt is fascinating.

It seems to me that from a conservation perspective this is a no-brainer. The rhino killed wasn't contributing to the herd, he was damaging it, and the hunter's money will help the rhino herd in many other ways. But the emotional reaction clearly trumps reason for many, many people.
Corey Knowlton bid $350,000 in January 2014 for a permit to hunt and kill a black rhino in Namibia. At last, the hunt is over.
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Lowest resolution video I've ever watched. CNN needs to fix the auto quality. Did not see the rhino except the horn at the end.

If they could just hold off poaching, stop nebbing into the rhinos lives, maybe they would kill each other off. If so was the animal meant to be? I don't know but extinction is part of life I believe. That shit happens, and its bound to happen no matter what. The dominant animal is literally bound to killing all those in the way. Not that humans should do so as intelligence shows otherwise, but animals will kill off other animals.
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This is a cool bit of work that's been going on for a while now at Google, but it looks like it's now being publicized.

It makes a lot of sense, on several levels. From the perspective of flexibility for employees, it's fantastic. Being able to do your job anywhere without mucking with VPNs or other extra security steps is great. Another important point is that if we really believe that our existing web security infrastructure (HTTPS, OAuth, etc.) are secure enough for users, shouldn't it also be secure enough for internal corporate needs? Finally, there's the question of whether or not firewalled private networks are really private.

This last point is very interesting to me. When I started working for IBM years ago I was very surprised to see that IBM's corporate network had no access controls on it. Anyone could walk into a conference room in an IBM building, find an open network port and connect to it. When I pointed out to corporate ITSEC guy that this was crazy he told me simply that "Any network with 400,000 people on it is a public network". I was enlightened, because IBM was right. With that many regular users, any expectation that restricting access to the corporate network would achieve security would have been false. However, IBM still didn't make internal services available on the Internet.

The Snowden revelation that the NSA was tapping network connections between Google data centers points out another flaw in the "defended private network" theory... sophisticated attackers only need to sneak in some monitoring equipment and all of your carefully-configured firewalls become irrelevant. The only solution to that is end-to-end encryption and strong authentication of every connection.

In my years at Google I've been consistently impressed with the level of security. Google's internal network is actually two separate networks, corporate and production, with a very strong separation between them. The production network can be accessed from corp only by certain people, and only after going through an extra authentication process to get through the bastion hosts between them. Within the prod network, access is tightly restricted, audited and logged, too. But even the corp network is much more secure than is common. For example, every Ethernet port in the company corporate network uses 802.11x authentication, which means if a machine is plugged in it first has to prove its identity and permission to be on the network with a digital certificate, before the network will accept its packets at all. For Wifi, there are two networks, an open "Googleguest" network and a strongly-secured "Google" network. There are other layers of defense as well; for example every HTTP/HTTPS connection from any machine on the corporate network to any internal web server goes first through a deeply paranoid proxy server which checks user authentication (with mandatory two-factor auth). And there's more I won't go into, and all of it is exceedingly well done.

Keep in mind that I spent 15 years as a security consultant for the biggest companies on the planet, especially top-tier banks. Google's security infrastructure is head and shoulders above any bank I ever worked with.

This highlights just how huge a change the Beyondcorp initiative is. Google is moving from a model which is structurally-typical of corporate networks, but considerably more secure than is typical. So moving all of this to the open Internet seems on its face like an incredibly gutsy (or foolish) move.

But, really, it's not. It makes sense. As Google has grown, the argument that "Any network with 50,000 users is public" has strengthened and meant that internal systems have to assume that they must be well-defended against attack. And if you've done that job properly, there shouldn't be any difference opening it to the Internet as a whole.

That same paranoid web proxy that I mentioned, which validates machine certificates and doubly-authenticated user identities on every connection, is the key. Its design and implementation assume that it is the real defense, and the engineers who built it were properly paranoid and used the right set of modern security tools. It's also not a single system, but instead is layered, so a single buffer overflow (or similar) in the outer layers doesn't give an attacker access to anything useful.

So, rather than being a terribly gutsy move, Beyondcorp is just a recognition that the internal security infrastructure would work equally well as the external security infrastructure, and using it that way provides a host of benefits, from easier roaming by employees, to a unified security model (most of the same components are used for Google user security), to protection against network snoops.

It's also typical of Google's willingness to rethink problems from first principles and, when it makes sense, to go against common tech-sector wisdom.
The new approach represents a shift away from the idea of a secured corporate network perimeter and virtual private networks.
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+Alexej Muehlberg as someone who used to do certification reviews for other companies... I actually have much greater respect for Google's internal ITSEC review process than any of the industry certifications. It's more thorough and, frankly, the people are better. In the cases where Google does do external security audits (e.g. PCI), the existing practices nearly always far exceed the industry guidelines and requirements.

CC is quite good, I have to say, especially at the higher levels, but it's far too intensive and narrowly focused to provide any useful evaluation of a large, complex system. It's a process designed for certifying a specific product, and even that only in a narrowly-defined threat context, rather than a large, complex and dynamic system facing a broad variety of evolving threats.  Applying even EAL-2 to a system like Google's would take years (unless the threat model was ridiculously narrow), and by the time the evaluation was complete the system would have changed completely. The same is true of any large enterprise.

As for the point about who stands to lose... it's clearly Google that has the most to lose. Google's business is almost entirely based on user trust, and if Google ever has a serious security breach, that trust will be gone. However, Google actually has an outstanding -- nearly flawless -- track record in this regard, and the company is not sitting still. It's no accident that Google ITSEC engineers were responsible for the vast majority of the SSL flaws discovered over the last year, or that Google was the company that identified the Chinese hacking of hundreds of US corporations, or that Google has consistently lead the push for stronger encryption and better user authentication on the net. I could cite dozens of specifics.

Note that none of this means that Google doesn't believe in external security audits. My code underwent one audit by an external party a few months ago, and another is just about to start. In addition to all of the brilliant in-house security staff, Google constantly brings in outside experts to review, in the hope that they'll spot something that was missed. But that's not public review, and it's a good thing.

Security that relies on obscurity is broken at the outset. But, assuming that proper due diligence is being performed by a large enough variety of the right kinds of people, publishing for the sake of publishing achieves no additional security, and it actually does remove a layer of obscurity which acts as another obstacle to attackers.  What should and should not be made public is a subject for serious security analysis -- analysis which Google does all of the time, and which results in a great deal being published. But not everything.
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This Kia Soul EV buyer got a fairly shocking response from the salesman at the dealership, basically stating that EVs are nothing but an ill-informed political and social statement. His manager apologized... but said basically the same thing.

This tracks pretty closely with my experience of several Nissan dealerships. Boulder Nissan, where I leased my LEAFs, was by far the exception. They have a LEAF-focused salesman, Nigel Zeid,  who is very knowledgeable and easy to work with, and the dealership as a whole works hard to sell LEAFs. However, I also shopped a couple of other dealerships where my experience was terrible. Since I've moved from Colorado to Utah I've visited a handful of dealerships for charging and scheduled maintenance, and I see strong hints that they're also quite negative on the LEAF.
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All dealers want to sell existing inventory.  but cars today do not need much service. Oil and tire rotations and last for 20 years. So tesla is correct, do not need dealers for service. Why? They cause more problems than they fix. 
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We got one of these yesterday, and I think it's really going to be nice.

This is our first foray into the world of robotic vacuum cleaners (or any sort of home robots), so I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew it would be cool, because I think gadgets are cool, but I was less certain how effective or useful it would be.

After one day... I'm impressed. It has some quirks and I've realized that the main floor of the house is a little on the large side (~2000 sqft.) for one little robot vacuum to clean. I ran it some yesterday but didn't get the whole house covered. This morning I had it start work at 6 AM and it just finished at almost 2 PM.

Unlike the Roomba and similar, the notion of "finished" actually has meaning to the Neato. While the Roomba's algorithm is basically "clean in a straight line until hitting an obstacle, then pick a random direction and repeat", the Neato has a laser ranger it uses to figure out the shape of the house and then it uses a systematic method to clean until it's covered everything. It goes around edges first, then covers open areas with a back-and-forth pattern.

With the Roomba, I understand that you basically set a time range for cleaning and then it cleans randomly for that long. With the Neato, you set a start time and it cleans methodically until it's covered everything. When its battery runs low it heads back to its base station and recharges, then picks up where it left off.

That need to recharge is the main reason it takes the vacuum 8 hours to do my main floor. It has to recharge three times, and it spends more time charging than cleaning, though I noticed today that after the third recharge it only had about 5 minutes' work left to do. I'll put my Kill-a-Watt meter on it to find out how much power it uses.

So how good a job does it do?

Well, it does not get the floor as clean as a human with a decent vacuum cleaner. It seems to do better on carpet than on tile, but on both it sometimes misses a little here and there.

With that said, I think the floor as a whole is cleaner right now than it gets very often. Our floor gets spot-cleaned as necessary, and on most (well, some) Saturdays various areas get vacuumed more thoroughly, but it's pretty rare that the entire house is vacuumed all at once. It's quite nice to walk around and see that all of the floors are clean... no little piece of thread here, or lint ball there, etc. Finally, even if the robot doesn't do as good a job with a single cleaning as a person could do, it probably does a better job than my kids actually do, and the robot will do it every day, rather than once per week. Or two. Or three. I expect that repeated, daily coverage to make up for a lot.

Some other things I noted about it, in no particular order:

*  We have one piece of furniture that the Neato almost, but not quite, fits under. Worse, it's the top of the scanner module lump that catches, so the Neato seems to think it can fit, but then sometimes gets stuck. I put a strip of the "boundary marker" tape that came with it under the furniture in question. Problem solved.
*  The rest of the furniture is high enough off the floor that the low-profile Neato slides right under. This means that a lot of places that pretty much never get vacuumed, such as under couches and beds, will get cleaned daily.
*  The Neato generally seems to have litte trouble with cords lying on the floor. It goes over them without disturbing them too much. However, the nest of cords behind my desk (two computers, four monitors, three speakers, and a bunch of assorted accessories) traps it. It doesn't break anything, but it consistently gets caught. I need to bundle the cables up to fix that. For now I used another strip of boundary marker.
*  Loose papers on the floor will get chewed up, and various small clutter items will get pushed around and beat up. I think this may actually be an advantage from a tidiness perspective, because everyone will learn not to leave stuff on the floor where the robot will eat it.
*  I saw various reviewers on Amazon and other places who mentioned setting the Neato to run in the middle of the night, but it's too loud for that if your bedroom is part of the area it will clean. It's not terribly noisy, but enough to be bothersome while you're trying to sleep. It's loud enough that I close my office door when I'm on the phone or in a meeting and it's working nearby.
*  I think I may wish that the Neato did have an option to set a time limit on cleaning. For example, I think I might like it to clean every day just until it runs low on battery (an hour or so), then stop for the day, but pick up where it left off the next day. I think the systematic approach of the Neato is better than the random walk of the Roomba, but the latter does have the advantage of enabling regular partial cleaning.
*  The dust bin in the unit is small. Small enough that unless the volume of stuff it picks up drops off over time (which may happen, with daily cleaning) you have to empty it every day. What would be super awesome is a robot vacuum that can automatically connect itself to the central vacuum and empty its own bin. But emptying it is easy enough.
*  We had a challenging time finding a place to put the base station. It's small, and sits tight against a wall, but needs at least 3 feet of clear space on three sides, and we don't have six feet of bare wall in many places. It's in the hallway for now, which isn't working out too badly but may not be a good place long-term.

Anyway, if anyone is thinking of buying something like this, I think it's a great idea. Granted I've only had it for 24 hours, so my opinion could change. Time will tell.
Great for homes with pets—with the extras pet owners love.
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+Jeremy Zimmer that test will probably have to wait until we go on vacation or something. My house is almost never empty, so I doubt the robot will get stuck and go unnoticed for long enough to drain the battery. Assuming it gets stuck.
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Captain Puerto Rico is awesome!
 
Porque no los dos? Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States he can still be called Captain America.
 
#TheMoreYouKnow  
#Avengers  
#AvengersAgeOfUltron  
#PorQueNoLosDos  
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NASA should re-design the astronaut uniforms. This is a good look.
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Nasa should have the astronauts wear this outfit its more safer - the color variation makes it better to identify which astronaut is wearing the outfit - and its easier to clean.
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This made me laugh out loud, literally. I'm still chuckling.
 
#xkcd  









The flood of PermaCalNTP leap-second notifications was bad enough, but when people started asking for millisecond resolution, the resulting DDOS brought down the internet.
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And if you're not in sudoers, do you get a scary message saying "This incident has been reported" when you try to twist the cap?
Ivan Pierre originally shared to Jokes:
 
Japanese cola requires root privileges to open
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That's terrible, +Charlie Foxtrot. Almost as bad as the Abelian grape joke :)
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Heh. The pre-I/O rumor mill has begun.
 
The first feature spotlight for Android M?
A new report from Bloomberg claims Google is about to revamp the way privacy is handled in Android apps. The changes would allow users to approve permissio... by Ryan Whitwam in Applications, News, Rumors
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+Paul Rodgers, heh. I like my job :-)
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I got +Kristanne Willden​​'s birthday present put together. Almost. The blue slipcovers for the seat and ottoman cushions haven't arrived yet. The table expands in the center, adding about two feet. The photo of the two seat glide rocker and end table is pretty dark. This was a terrible time of day to take pictures.

Anyway, it should all be really nice for family get togethers, though we need to do something about the evening light on the back deck. The deck has a screen as you can see, but it is only partially effective and is a pain to put out and close up. I'm thinking maybe a better screen, weighted at the bottom so the wind doesn't blow it around so much, and motorized, or maybe just a large awning off the back of the house.
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What a good husband.  I love it!!!
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This is one of Kristanne's best shots. I really like it.
 
Had a few moments to kill this afternoon so I decided to go someplace beautiful and peaceful.  The grounds were so pretty.
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Goodbye, Lincoln.

Someone left the gate open and he got out a couple of days ago, and was hit by a car. We miss him.
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+Shawn Willden That can be incredibly difacult, and I am very sory for your loss.  Best wishes.
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Education
  • Weber State University
    Mathematics and Computer Science, 1988 - 1996
  • Layton High School
    1985 - 1987
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Professionally, I'm an experienced software engineer, focused on security and networking.  Personally, I've been married for 22 years and am a father of four.  For fun I like to snowboard, SCUBA dive, hunt, and play with firearms.  I really enjoy photography.  I'm also a certified NRA firearms instructor and teach concealed firearm permit courses for Utah and Colorado.
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Hot pools are adults only, families not welcome Note that this may change from day to day depending on which staff member is setting the rules, but yesterday my family and I had a terrible experience. About 20 of us (extended family) went out for a nice afternoon, with the kids. We were the only ones in the pool we were in, and the little kids were having a great time splashing around. They weren't being obnoxious, or loud, weren't roughhousing or doing anything dangerous and weren't bothering anyone, but the "pool walker" told us the pool was for soaking only, no splashing allowed, and if we didn't get them so sit still we'd have to leave. Yeah, six year olds really enjoy sitting still in a pool and soaking. I pointed out that we were the only ones there, and that no one was being bothered, but he insisted. I understand that rambunctious behavior can get out of hand and become obnoxious, if not downright dangerous, and that it's better to nip it in the bud so it doesn't grow out of control. But there is a line, and if you want to welcome kids (and collect money for their admission!), you have to allow them to _be_ kids. If that weren't enough, later a young couple joined us in our pool and began engaging in rather over-the-top PDA. They didn't quite have sex in the pool, but weren't too far from it. The staffer didn't seem bothered by this in the slightest. They were also drinking. So, my conclusion is that the hot springs pools are for adults only. If you have kids, don't bother. Next time we'll go back to Crystal Hot Springs or the hot springs in Garland at Camperworld. The facilities aren't quite as nice, but kids can play.
• • •
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
Food was mediocre to poor. The decor is cool, but jarringly wrong for a Mexican restaurant. Service was okay... but for a party of five they added a 22% tip to our bill!?! I might have tipped as much or more, but it's the height of obnoxious arrogance to simply include it in the bill. I understand why this is done for large parties, but for five people? Without the tip issue I'd probably have given them three stars. Maybe two.
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
This is all about the location -- a few hundred feet from the main lift of Powderhorn Ski Resort. The rooms are so-so, and the service... well, I don't think I can really evaluate the service. The staff had been completely replaced three weeks before our stay, so they weren't yet on top of things. They were all very friendly and helpful, but there were a lot of gaps. We stayed for four nights, in a "Family Room", which sleeps 7. It had a king-sized bed, a bunk bed with two doubles and a twin trundle. My family of six slept in the room, but it was pretty cramped. The food at the hotel was fairly good, though they don't have a menu; it's kind of cafeteria style with one or two dishes on offer, plus assorted sides. It was on the expensive side for what it was, but that's to be expected at a ski resort. There's a game room with some gaming consoles (Wiis and an Xbox), a pool table and some board games. My kids hung out there a lot when we weren't on the slopes. The lounge area in the lodge above is quite comfortable and we hung out there quite a bit. That's also where the food is. The real attraction, of course, is the skiing, and while that varies a lot with the weather, it was fantastic while we were there. At least a few inches of fresh, light powder every night got us all lining up waiting for the lift to open every morning. The resort isn't large, and the lifts are slow, but there also aren't a lot of people so there was never much waiting in line and most of the time there were no lines at all. There are runs for all ability levels, though if you're a snowboarder who likes steep hills but doesn't like moguls there's not much for you, since there seem to be a lot more skiers than boarders so the black runs are all carved into moguls. If being on the slopes is what you're after, and if you get a decent price on your stay, Slopside is a great place to be. In our case, I got a promotional offer (through Google Offers, I think it was) that let all six of us stay for four nights for $290. We spent about that much again on food, plus another $700 on lift tickets, so it cost about $1500 for a five-day ski vacation for a family of six. Great value, and we had a great time.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
One of my teens has ongoing struggles with various issues, so I'm (unfortunately) more than a little familiar with treatment facilities of various sorts, ranging from hospital mental health holding areas, to short-term and long-term residential facilities to day treatment programs and outpatient therapy. I mention that to explain where I'm coming from when I say AFIC isn't just bad, it's scary. Another reviewer commented that the founder has a God complex, and I can't think of a better description. It's possible that he manages to help some kids with his program, but at the expense of abusing the rest of the family. I understand and agree that most every family with a troubled teen can benefit from counseling and change, and that in many cases the (perhaps well-meaning, perhaps not) actions of the parents and family may be a big part of the cause of the teen's issues, but at AFIC the assumption going in is that the parents and the family are the cause of all that is wrong, and the "cause" is attacked very aggressively. Bottom line: Expect to pay exorbitant fees to be treated like crap. Perhaps it gets better later. I don't know. Our child only spent a few hours there, because our initial experience was so horrible that by the time we got home, we turned around and drove back. Our teen also reported feeling very uncomfortable and fearful of the founder and staff, and was very happy to leave. They treated our child well while abusing us... until we left. Unfortunately, I don't know of another place I'd recommend in Colorado. We had a much better experience and results -- at much lower cost -- from Life Line in Utah. They didn't "cure" my teen, but there are no cures for the condition, only skills to be learned to manage it and between Life Line and the outpatient therapist we found in Boulder, improvement is coming. I honestly don't think AFIC could have done any better, and fear they might have done much damage.
• • •
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
30 reviews
Map
Map
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Some of the best Indian/Nepalese food around. The service is always great, too. The place is kind of a hole in the wall, but clean. We visit often.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food: ExcellentDecor: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago
Fast, efficient and friendly. I don't think I've ever experienced that at a Verizon store, until this one. Great!
Quality: Very GoodAppeal: ExcellentService: Excellent
Public - 2 years ago
reviewed 2 years ago