Archive for the 'Medien' Category

The Dark Side of Cloud Computing

Companies tapping into virtual infrastructure through cloud computing should take another look at their security plans, say experts at the Black Hat Security Conference. From legal protection to phishing, here are five cloud security issues to consider.

Here are they:

  1. Cloud offers less legal protection
  2. You don’t own the hardware
  3. Strong policies and user education required
  4. Don’t trust machine instances
  5. Rethink your assumptions

Interesting slides from the recent Black Hat conference here. Unfortunately the paper is missing, but probably need just a recheck next week here (or see for Haroon Meer under the speaker on the right side here.


Ganz ohne Internetsperren

Hallo Ursula, geht doch auch so:

Gesuchter Kinderschänder stellt sich

Und das nach nicht mal einem Tag Öffentlichkeitsfahndung. Beeindruckend. Da hätten die Internetsperren auch nicht schneller sein können.

Aber darum geht es ja in Wirklichkeit gar nicht. Danke Udo für die klaren Worte.

various picks

Paul Graham: Maker´s Schedule, Manager´s Schedule – and why they don´t go well together

Umair Haque: The Nichepaper Manifesto

Journalists didn’t make 20th century newspapers profitable — readers did.

Nichepapers, in contrast, do meaningful stuff that matters the most. The great failing of 20th century news is that monopoly power became a substitute for meaningful value creation. At root, that’s the lesson that newspapers are learning the hard way.

Vanity Fair: Palin’s Resignation: The Edited Version – interesting to see what can be made with some editing of a poor speech.

Cory Doctorow in the Guardian: Chris Anderson’s Free adds much to The Long Tail, but falls short – thoughtful critique

myMoleskine – make your own pages: MSK

Web Worker Daily: 10 Useful Thunderbird Add-ons for Almost Everybody – a lot of things I yet did not know about (but so far have not looked for as well)

LifeHacker:  The First 10 Free Apps to Install on a New Windows PC – you could argue about some picks, but there is also a lot of must-haves in the comments

BoS 2008: Seth Godin on why marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Der Unterschied zwischen Leistung und Erfolg

Michael Groß im Gespräch mit der FAZ:

Sie haben innerhalb von 24 Stunden zweimal Gold gewonnen. Waren das die zwei intensivsten Tage ihres Lebens?

Nein. Was intensiv war, war der 30. Juli. Da habe ich die 100 Meter Delfin mit Weltrekord gewonnen, relativ überraschend, es war ein Kopf-an-Kopf-Rennen mit dem damaligen Weltrekordhalter Pablo Morales. Wenn ich ein Rennen nennen sollte, das nahezu perfekt gelaufen ist in meinem Leben, dann ist es dieses. Dann war eineinviertel Stunden später die 4×200-Meter-Kraulstaffel. Da sind wir viereinhalb Sekunden unter dem Weltrekord gewesen, ein traumhaftes Rennen, es hat eigentlich alles gepasst. Und trotzdem sind wir nur Zweiter geworden, hinter den Amerikanern. Das hat mich bis heute insofern geprägt, weil ich den Unterschied zwischen Leistung und Erfolg gelernt habe. Du kannst die höchste Leistung bringen und trotzdem nicht erfolgreich sein.

Recipe for Disaster

Felix Salmon in Wired 17.03: Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street:

For five years, Li’s formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.

His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.

Then the model fell apart. Cracks started appearing early on, when financial markets began behaving in ways that users of Li’s formula hadn’t expected. The cracks became full-fledged canyons in 2008—when ruptures in the financial system’s foundation swallowed up trillions of dollars and put the survival of the global banking system in serious peril.

The damage was foreseeable and, in fact, foreseen. In 1998, before Li had even invented his copula function, Paul Wilmott wrote that “the correlations between financial quantities are notoriously unstable.” Wilmott, a quantitative-finance consultant and lecturer, argued that no theory should be built on such unpredictable parameters. And he wasn’t alone. During the boom years, everybody could reel off reasons why the Gaussian copula function wasn’t perfect. Li’s approach made no allowance for unpredictability: It assumed that correlation was a constant rather than something mercurial. Investment banks would regularly phone Stanford’s Duffie and ask him to come in and talk to them about exactly what Li’s copula was. Every time, he would warn them that it was not suitable for use in risk management or valuation.

…In finance, you can never reduce risk outright; you can only try to set up a market in which people who don’t want risk sell it to those who do. But in the CDO market, people used the Gaussian copula model to convince themselves they didn’t have any risk at all, when in fact they just didn’t have any risk 99 percent of the time. The other 1 percent of the time they blew up. Those explosions may have been rare, but they could destroy all previous gains, and then some.

In the world of finance, too many quants see only the numbers before them and forget about the concrete reality the figures are supposed to represent. They think they can model just a few years’ worth of data and come up with probabilities for things that may happen only once every 10,000 years. Then people invest on the basis of those probabilities, without stopping to wonder whether the numbers make any sense at all.

As Li himself said of his own model: “The most dangerous part is when people believe everything coming out of it.”

One learning: always read the fine print, folks.

Kindle 2

I had the same thought.

Peter Kafka in Media Memo on All Things Digital commenting on Jeff Bezos pitch lately in “The Daily Show” with host Jon Stewart:

That is: For some folks, the ability to download books over the air, store a gazillion titles on a single device and have a “freaky” voice read them aloud to you are compelling reasons to shell out $359 for the gadget. For skeptics like Stewart, it’s hard to see how Amazon (AMZN) has improved upon the ink-and-paper book, which uses technology that has worked pretty well for several hundred years.

And cnet Crave on Designing the Kindle 2:

“One of the great things about Kindle is it doesn’t ever get hot,” Amazon Vice President Ian Freed said in an interview at Amazon’s downtown office here. That’s important, Freed said, given that the company has one main goal with the Kindle–making the product as invisible to users as possible when they are reading.

“The most important thing for the Kindle to do is to disappear,” Freed said. That was the goal with the first device and was also a key factor in deciding what would go in the sequel, which started shipping on Monday. There are the obvious factors, like the thinner, sleeker design. But there are also things like an improved cellular modem. As a result, Kindle users will find themselves out of range in fewer places to get updates or buy a new book.

Well, for us Europeans it is anyway not yet available. I will have a look at it, when it comes over, but for the time being I like my dead tree library.


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Dies ist das private Blog von Armin Auth, Krefeld, Deutschland. Regular und Irregular. In Deutsch und Englisch. Enjoy!

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