After a two year hiatus, I am writing again a small post for the 5th ISACA Athens Chapter Conference which I had the joy to attend in full. The previous two, I tried to attend but in 2013 I got dragged out of the conference due to an emergency and in 2014 I got sick.
The conference had a great start with Prof. D. Gritzalis delivering a speech with his usual performance (worth studying when you speak in front of an audience). His address was focused around Aristotle’s «high honors are awarded to one who kills a tyrant, but not to one who kills a thief«.
Then the floor was given to Jim Manico who spoke about the development of the OWASP Application Security Verification Standard 3.0 [pdf]. If there’s one thing to grab from Jim’s keynote, that would be «have dedicated security sprints» to address problems in your code.
Vasilis Katos gave once more a stellar performance on stuff they work on at Bournemouth University. A true loss for Greece, he traded war stories of stuff they have dealt with online regarding criminal activity. He covered stuff ranging from cyber-psychology, the fading distinction between online and offline life up to money laundering and murder.
Generally I get bored when leadership talks are given. They take more than 20 minutes to arrive to the conclusion (most of the time obvious to me) if any. But this time. Artemis Miropoulos after eating away his twenty and more minutes (of course) left the audience with two valuable pieces of advice: (a) If you feel you ever wronged someone, go and ask for forgiveness. Grudges, even for the most idiotic reason tend to stay unresolved for years and (b) take care of your profile and have one in the first place. Not having any, which in Engineering often is the result of humility, not only harms your career, but also the careers of the people working under you. You owe it at least to them.
My longtime friend from college years, Dr. Athena Bourka delivered a speech about Big Data and Privacy and the effort needed to keep those two in balance. Like many others before me, I believe this is a lost game (she doesn’t) but I too believe we need to work on this, despite the game being lost.
The closing keynote was delivered by ISACA’s Vice President Rosemary Amato. I wish I had her notes because the first five minutes summarised all of the conference and I would have written a better post than just hailing stuff I loved listening to.
That’s just about it. I tried to blog how I felt during the conference since you can find all the slides at the conference site. If you want to see what was being twitted the whole time, just inspect #isacaathconf15.
Up until a month ago I never knew about the book. Good friend Nikos mentioned it over beer. I was sold on it immediately and bought the kindle version.
I’ve read two more books that cover a lot of the political and technological situation of this era (that is when Eisenhower and Khrushchev held the helms). Where Wizards Stay Up Late about Internet’s prehistory and even more Red Plenty provide angles on what was happening in the US and the USSR at the time.
Among all the people who know who von Braun is, how many have ever heard of Korolev? A man whose name was a state secret? What was it that made him sell the Sputnik to the Premier where in fact he demanded ICBMs? And why did the USSR had such a pressing need for missiles? What was the engineering gap that the two superpowers wanted to bridge? How did the military-industrial complex, or big egos, ambitions and personal rivalries affect the space race? Because nothing was done in the name of science.
If you are like me and remember the SALT II and the SDI here is a glimpse on why these ever happened. The book comes with a lot of notes if you want to delve more into the history, biographies, physics, engineering, politics or even economics of rocketry. The book is literally a launchpad to many directions itself.
PS: How were trajectories calculated without computers? Would you be able to fly a «steampunk» drone today with a slide-rule like they did with their rockets? Think about that.
200 χρόνια σήμερα από την γέννηση του George Boole (σε περίπτωση που δεν καταλάβατε το σημερινό Google Doodle δηλαδή) και θυμήθηκα μια ιστορία:
Κάπου 20 χρόνια πριν εξετάστηκε ένας φίλος μου στην διδακτορική του διατριβή και κάποια στιγμή φτάνει η ώρα των ερωτήσεων. Υπήρχε ένας μέλος ΔΕΠ που ήταν κάπως πιο επιθετικό στις ερωτήσεις (χωρίς να υπάρχει κάποιος ιδιαίτερος λόγος) και κάνει την κλασική ερώτηση:
– Και που μπορεί να είναι χρήσιμα όλα αυτά στον πραγματικό κόσμο;
– Τι να σας πω. Και ο Boole όταν έφτιαξε την Άλγεβρα του, δεν περίμενε να υπάρχουν ηλεκτρονικοί υπολογιστές!
– Τολμάς να συγκρίνεις τον εαυτό σου με τον Boole;
Για όποιον ενδιαφέρεται, An Investigation in the Laws of Thought.
It’s been a while since I’ve written any blog post and even more since I’ve written ten lines or more, so today I will copy something from this pdf that popped in my twitter stream (unfortunately, I didn’t keep a note of the tweet):
- Insist on doing everything through «channels.» Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
- Make «speeches,» Talk as frequently as possible and at great length., Illustrate your. «points.. by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate «patriotic»-comments.
- When possible, refer all matters to committees, for «further study and consideration.» Attempt to make the committees as large as possible – never less than five.
- Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
- Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
- Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
- Advocate «caution.» Be unreasonable and urge your fellow-conferees to be «reasonable» and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
- Be worried about the propriety of any decision – raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated Hes within the jurisdiction of the group 01’whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.