So there’s a health and safety type course that is required in Canada called WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System). its intended to help people understand what products in their workplace are hazardous in a uniform way through labelling and information sheets. Its a requirement to train your staff on it.

It strikes me that in 2020 many workers are more commonly using the Internet and IT Applications than they are using Solvents and Pesticides. And that there is no standardised requirement for training on the dangers of the World Wide Weirdos.

Perhaps it is time to standardise on training and labelling around risks and make that a national educational requirement for the workforce. How to recognise Phishing, how to use 2-factor authentication, how to report a problem. How to avoid the temptation to insert that USB flash you found in the parking lot into the payroll server.

What do you think? We could probably come up with a 1/2 hour self-paced training course. A standard taxonomy using some of the great work that NIST has done (https://www.nist.gov/cyberframework). Make it mandatory to take it within 30 days of starting work, and annually, for any company with more than 20 team members. I’m not talking PhD multi-year SANS level material here, I’m talking Cyber Security best practises 101 for the front-line.

I think the payback to the national economy would be large. It would reduce effort in policing (less incidents, more standardised reporting of the ones that occur). Cyber espionage would go down, productivity would go up.

Who’s in? I’ll help develop and deliver the material.

Well this is kind of fun. A few people decided to test the bounds of artificial intelligence in society by getting their Neural Networks to create patents.

Now, instead of coming up with something useful to society, like e.g. this artificial grass in video game updates, the patents talked about fractal containers and blinking lights.

The US Patent Office dusted off a bunch of rules and regulations and determined, based on ‘whoever’ and pronouns, that a machine is not a person, and, only a person can apply for a patent. I’m not sure of they relied on Obiter Dicta and Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co or not, seems kind of obvious to me, not a huge leap from a corporation as a non-person person to an algorithm.

But joking and armchair lawyering aside, this is yet another step along the path to the Bicentennial Man of Asimov fame. Some believe there is a future where machines have rights and are recognised as persons.

Time for our robot overlords to start paying tax I say! You want representation? It comes with taxation.

So this is kind of fun. A well known uptown Waterloo establishment has had a notice posted in its window. And, its like an archeological dig.

  • Handwriting: ~5000 years
  • Tractor-Feed Computer Paper: ~110 years
  • Ball-Point-Pen: ~70 years
  • Twitter: ~14 years
  • Smart phone with twitter + camera + LTE: 10 years

Now, who has the time and wherewithal to combine these? To write out, long-hand, 2 full pages, with a pen, on fan-fold paper? I mean, you have the fan-fold so we know there is at least a CP/M Z80 machine lurking around with perhaps a dot-matrix or daisywheel.

Something inside me hopes that you used a law firm to create this magnum opus!

The the backyard wild-life includes this fox. Comes around a few times a day. Given that all the humans are indoors, probably bolder than usual (although normally it is pretty bold).

Now my cat is not much of an outdoor creature. He likes to go out for an hour or so once in a while, until he gets scolded by squirrels or crows (the crows are his real concern). Then he comes streaking in to safety.

Tonight he was out snooping around when the fox came by. I was surprised to see him stand his ground (he’s petrified of dogs). There was a brief face to face encounter, and then as you might imagine, discretion proved the better part of valour and the fence was hopped and cat came in.

Now I would have thought a fox would be dangerous for cats, but online wisdom suggests they are not. Anyone care to comment on this?

Somewhere in the universe of bad decisions lies the guy who decided to wager $500K on a best 2 out of 3 game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. He lost. He took a mortgage out on his house to pay.

Well, good news if this has happened to you, it turns out that a) Roshambo is a game of skill (so sayeth the judge!), and b) $500K is excessive (so sayeth, well, everyone).

So now that you’ve learned this you can mark today a success, take the rest of the afternoon off.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/500-k-bet-on-rock-paper-scissors-1.5543533