Life is not a dress rehearsal. There are no do overs or second takes. Whatever you are going to do you better do it now and do it right.
Yesterday was my 2nd day at Dell World and I spent a lot of to time talking to some really smart people about the future of the company.
One of the coolest things I did was get some hands on time with Dell’s new ChromeBook the will come out next year.
I also spent some time walking around the expo until the live music got to migraine inducing level and I had to leave. In a blog post for Dellwold.com I asked if they were really going to be the world’s biggest startup, I am not sure yet but they do have Foosball tables.
Someone will have to explain to me what “Out-Connect the Hacktivists” means.
I also got a chance to talk to Michael Dell (or M.C. MD as I like to call him, Please dont tell him.)
Yesterday was my first full day in Austin. I took some time early in the day to walk to the Capitol and discuss some security related issues with a friend of mine who works there.
In the evening I was lucky enough to hop on the Dell DP bus and attend the #vBBQ at the Salt Lick in Driftwood.
Scott Hanson (who works for Cisco?!) did a great job putting this together:
(Small Rant: The fact that the #vBBQ isnt an “official” Dell World event is crazy!)
I dont think you are allowed to go to the Salt Lick without posting food porn:
Over all it was a great day at Dell World hanging out with old and new friends. I am really looking forward to the rest of the week!
I am lucky enough to be an invited guest of Dell this week at DellWorld. They picked up the flights and hotel this week so I can share with you guys as a “social influencer”.
I was scheduled to fly to Austin this morning but due to an ice storm in Dallas on Sunday my flight was canceled but thanks to some fast thinking by the travel team at Dell they were able to get me a seat on a flight last night.
One of my all-time favorite travel quotes is:
The journey is half the destination.
That is definitely true for getting here last night.
1) My plane was delayed for 2 hours before even boarding.
2) Once we got on the plane we had to get off so in the words of the captain they could “reboot the plane to get the lights to work”
3) Once in Dallas we had to sit on the tarmac for about 30 minutes waiting for a gate as the lady next to me started to cry. She had been trying to get home for the last 4 days and just missed the only flight home due to not getting to the gate in time.
We did finally get to Austin a little after midnight last night and I caught 4 hours of sleep and this beautiful south Texas sunrise.
Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. - W.J. Cameron
I stumbled across this quote late last week and it has kind of stuck with me while I get ready for some much needed time off and some quality family time.
I don’t spend enough time heading that call to action beyond some basic lip service. I am blessed beyond what I fairly deserve and don’t take the time to tell the people who helped me get here how thankful I truly am for their help and guidance. So don’t be surprised if you get an email, phone call, text message or carrier pigeon from me in the next couple of days.
I am going to be a little less Peppermint Patty and a little more Linus this Thanksgiving.
Please Vote For My Ugly Sweater!
Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.
From time to time I get called by small organizations, law firms and companies in my local area to do some consulting on security issues. Yesterday afternoon <redacted organization> called me and told me they were getting this pop up on one of their computers:
That pop-up is known as CryptoLocker and once your machine is infected with CryptoLocker it will then begin to scan all physical or mapped network drives on your computer for common picture and office files and when it finds these types of files it encrypts them with a basically unbreakable encryption and gives you 72 hours to send them $300 or they will destroy the key to unlock your files.
I had a hard time figuring out what to suggest <redacted organization> do. They only backed up their files on Friday evenings and so they were looking at loosing 3 full days worth of work if they didn’t pay.
After a lot of back and fourth they decided that it was worth a $300 gamble to try to pay off the hackers knowing that it might not work. So they went down to WalMart and bought a Green Dot MoneyPak loaded with $300 and followed the somewhat complicated instructions to transfer the money.
<redacted organization>’s IT guy called me this morning when he got back into the office and said their files had been decrypted successfully and they removed the infected machine from the network.
I think this is a turning point in Security. There were some steps that <redacted organization> could have done to protect themselves better:
Overall <redacted organization> is just a normal small company though. They try to be security aware but they dont have the time or resources to do everything the way they should and in the end it made sense for them to pay $300 to recover their files.
If I had to guess Cryptolocker is just the start of a wave of malware that holds your files hostage until you pay. I dont like it but I doubt this is the last company I help pay off hackers.
If you want to win, stop underestimating others.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
Either you run the day or the day runs you.
I’d rather be a failure in something that I love than a success in something that I hate.
People always need empathy before advice.
You write your own destiny.
One of my close British friends said I had one of the most naturally ebullient personalities of anyone he ever met. After I looked up the word “ebullient” to make sure he wasn’t insulting me I came to understand that it defines my character better than any other single English word.
Cheerful and full of energy is exactly what I am… It is also exactly what my 4 year old hockey playing, gun shooting, dad wrestling, mom kissing, pumpkin growing, four wheeler driving son is.
He started preschool last month and he gets a color code for the day that describes how his day was. Red is an excellent day, Orange is a good day, Yellow is an OK Day and Green means that he tried to form his own terrorist cell in the classroom and overthrow the school.
Mostly he gets Red days but sometimes like yesterday he slips to Orange (or Yellow).
I don’t like it when he isn’t “perfect” and gets a non-red day. I talk to him about it and threaten to take away McDonalds, or his tablet, or just about anything I can to make him behave in class. The truth is though walking slow and playing when they shouldn’t is what four year old boys with naturally ebullient personalities do.
I have (unreasonably) high expectations for my son to excel in academics, sports, relationships, and life. I just have to remind myself that he can have those things but that he is always going to be like me and talk when he shouldn’t, run when he should walk, be the loudest guy in the room and get wrapped up in playing and not know when to stop.
The hardest part about raising a son is when you realize that he is just like you and that there is nothing wrong with it.