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Apology

Not a lot of updates recently, I know.

There’s been a combination of general life suckitude and my having had some health issues — relatively minor, but I’ve just been dopey and grumpy (a two-dwarf day) for a while. Things are, I hope and believe, getting better.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Zwerg | 2009-Apr-08 at 01:05 (@086) | Permalink

    I hope things get better for you real soon, Charlie — I know how life can kick you where it hurts the most. Meanwhile, a suggestion that might provoke you to do some writing for us.

    I see by
    http://online.wsj.com/article
    /SB123914805204099085.html
    that the US power grid is very conveniently hooked up to the telephone lines, so if you are a skilled cracker, you can get in and poke around in the control system. Well, I’d like you to tell us two things:

    1. Why it is best to have things set up this way. I can see no need for it at all, but there it is. If the networks must be linked, it seems to me they could be by any number of media that the public cannot enter: microwave transmissions, cable laid by the electric utilities, encrypted transmissions over phone lines, or — I dunno.

    2. If it is too late or too difficult to set up something like the hardware described in 1, why can’t the entire system be safeguarded NOW with encryption? I won’t go into all the measures that could frustrate crackers no end. You get the idea.

    As things stand, the naive openness of so many critical control systems strikes me as prima facie evidence of carelessness if not incompetence on the part of the folks who manage the electrical grid. They are lucky I’m not running the country! It would be great if you could explain — in terms even I can understand — what is wrong, how to fix it, and then WHY it is wrong (who screwed up, in other words).

    Wouldn’t that make a useful article for any number of internet publications, not just for this weblog alone?

    If you want to drop me a line, you will find that you and I have corresponded before.

    TIA

    Zwerg

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