Thursday, March 31, 2016

Way to stick Boston! Involving youth in government decision making. Sticky (19)

Since I am the chair for SANS Boston 2016, I keep a Google Alert for news concerning Boston. Today, I got a tip to an excellent article on a novel program in Boston involving kids, younger and older in government decision making. The article starts by saying, "When the city of Boston gave teenagers the power to allocate a million dollars a year on urban improvements, there was skepticism – not just from officials, but from youth who assumed they’d be ignored. The results surprised everyone"

The reason I think this is "sticky"(Simple/Unexpected/Concrete/Credible/Emotional)" 

  • Simple: a million bucks to allocate, let the kids figure it out. Now in truth, it *appears* to be simple, when we look under the hood we see it isn't quite that way. "Participatory budgeting does have costs and risks. Beyond the $1m of capital funds, the city spends $100,000 for staffing, consultant fees and materials. Logistics can be complicated, even for finding meeting times and locations that suit high schoolers’ schedules and transportation options. And Davis stresses that the involvement of city officials is required for educating and advising the youth on budget processes."
  • Unexpected: When was the last time you heard of a city giving kids a million dollars to invest in projects.
  • Concrete: "Concrete details allow us to imagine a scene and, crucially, imagine ourselves in it." [] "The change agents hail from many different high schools, neighbourhoods and backgrounds. They work in pairs, poring over printed pages of raw ideas. Some entries are overly grand (“Fix the transit system”); a few are silly; and a good number are not even eligible for the youth-controlled capital funds, which must go toward physical infrastructure or technology."
  • Credible. This is what they call internal credibility, "Internal credibility is the ability of our ideas themselves to convince through an appeal to our audience’s sense of how the world works and how they see it." [] It didn't come easy, they had to earn the credibility, but they did: "Youth Lead the Change has already garnered attention and honours. It made the shortlist of 15 finalists for the 2014 Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation." 
  • Emotional. "Boston has a strong tradition of involving young people in city government, says Shari Davis, an energetic 28-year-old who climbed the ranks of city government through a series of youth opportunities and summer jobs starting when she was 15 and has led Youth Lead the Change from its inception." Amazing yes?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Sticky (18) myIDcare (OPM)

Yes, I am one of those lucky people to get the OPM hacked love letter. But they gave me a service called myIDcare. The other day, I got a note from them.

Early Warning Service
This alert indicates that your Social Security number and personal information have been used to apply for a new credit card, open a credit card account, open a bank account, or make possible unauthorized changes to your bank account.

My "love letter" was back in December. It has been busy. I don't remember all the details. I didn't know if this was a phishing note and sure didn't want to pull a Seagate, (by way of @Brian Krebs: an employee fooled by a phishing note sent all current and past employee W-2s).
So I moused over the link, it was and a case number unique to me. OK, this might be real. Using a safe browser, (firefox/noscript), I logged in.
It turned out to be nothing, I had made a change to a bank account and that triggered the alert, but hey, way better to be safe than sorry.

So why is myIDcare sticky? Think about it. Don't you feel a bit helpless in the face of all this cybercrime? I have a friend, smart guy, successful businessman, great sailor, who keeps a substantial amount of his wealth in various safes and safety deposit boxes. I think that is nuts, but he just tells me, otherwise money is just a bunch of numbers. I am not ready to go that far, but working in cybersecurity I read story after story. I am glad there is a service like myIDcare!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Sticky (17) Hyatt Regency Waikiki Inroom Desk

We went to Waikiki last weekend for a memorial service and stayed at the Hyatt. I don't know about you, but I am so frustrated with hotels that do not provide enough outlets. This design provides enough and also accommodates adapters.