Mutual Assured Destruction

nukeMutual Assured Destruction is a nuclear war strategy to ensure that everyone dies.   In the immortal words of  WOPR, “The only winning move is not to play.”  We still engage in that strategy, maintaining thousands of nuclear weapons.

We’re playing again in a different space.  MAD is the new strategy for cyberwar.

House of Cards, Season 3: Meh.

Spoiler alert, maybe.

Francis Underwood
Francis Urquhart

Before I watched the US version of House of Cards on Netflix, I watched the British version*. The arcs of the first two seasons  were similar, similar enough that I feared how the American season 3 would end.

Underwood’s first season was a slam-bang ride, a politicial thriller with wit and Shakespearean undertones (as well as Richard III asides).  The second season lost some of the first season’s power, but kept me binging on into Season 3.  I wanted to love it; I was not impressed by the arc of season 3 and its finale.  The British version made a definite statement about the absolutes of ambition, loyalty and love: What would Elizabeth do for Francis? The American version swung into a predictable domestic drama: What does Claire want?.

Season 4?  I’m not so sure I’m watching.

* The British version appeared as three separate series, House of Cards, To Play The King, and The Final Cut.

No Jam Today

Alice_and_white_queenSome things just never seem to come around.  Sorry, but not today.

Alice couldn’t help laughing, as she said, ‘I don’t want you to hire ME—and I don’t care for jam.’

‘It’s very good jam,’ said the Queen.

‘Well, I don’t want any TO-DAY, at any rate.’

‘You couldn’t have it if you DID want it,’ the Queen said. ‘The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday—but never jam to-day.’

‘It MUST come sometimes to “jam to-day,”‘ Alice objected.

‘No, it can’t,’ said the Queen. ‘It’s jam every OTHER day: to-day isn’t any OTHER day, you know.’

Paypal SMS Phishing: Do not follow the links

If you get something similar, do NOT follow the link.  If you have any questions about Paypal, login directly to Paypal, not any other site.

2015-02-09 10.40.33
A real text message! URL obscured.


Response from Paypal:

Thank you for being a proactive contributor by reporting
suspicious-looking emails to PayPal’s Abuse Department. Our security team is working to identify if the email you forwarded to us is a malicious email.

Paypal Will Always:

– Address our customers by their first and last name or business name of their PayPal account

Paypal Will Never:

– Send an email to: “Undisclosed Recipients” or more than one email address
– Ask you to download a form or file to resolve an issue
– Ask in an email to verify an account using Personal Information such as Name, Date of Birth, Driver’s License, or Address
– Ask in an email to verify an account using Bank Account Information such as Bank Name, Routing Number, or Bank Account PIN Number
– Ask in an email to verify an account using Credit Card Information such as Credit Card Number or Type, Expiration Date, ATM PIN Number, or CVV2 Security Code
– Ask for your full credit card number without displaying the type of card and the last two digits
– Ask you for your full bank account number without displaying your bank name, type of account (Checking/Savings) and the last two digits
– Ask you for your security question answers without displaying each security question you created
– Ask you to ship an item, pay a shipping fee, send a Western Union Money Transfer, or provide a tracking number before the payment received is available in your transaction history


Any time you receive an email about changes to your PayPal account, the  safest way to confirm the email’s validity is to log in to your PayPal account where any of the activity reported in the email will be available to view. DO NOT USE THE LINKS IN THE EMAIL RECEIVED TO VISIT  THE PAYPAL WEBSITE. Instead, enter into your browser to log in to your account.

What is a phishing email?

You may have received an email falsely claiming to be from PayPal or another known entity. This is called “phishing” because the sender is “fishing” for your personal data. The goal is to trick you into clickingthrough to a fake or “spoofed” website, or into calling a bogus customer service number where they can collect and steal your sensitive personal
or financial information.

We will carefully review the content reported to us to certify that the content is legitimate. We will contact you if we need any additional information for investigating the matter. Please take note to the security tips provided above as they may help to answer any questions that you may have about the email you are reporting to us.

Help! I responded to a phishing email!

If you have responded to a phishing email and provided any personal information, or if you think someone has used your account without permission, you should immediately change your password and security questions.

You should also report it to PayPal immediately and we’ll help protect you as much as possible.
1. Open a new browser and type in
2. Log in to your PayPal account.
3. Click “Security and Protection” near the top of the page.
4. Click “Identify a problem.”
5. Click “I think someone may be using my account without permission.”
6. Click “Unauthorized Account Activity.”

Thank you for your help making a difference.

Every email counts. By forwarding a suspicious-looking email to, you have helped keep yourself and others safe from identity theft.

The PayPal Team


Net Neutrality: FCC to do good!

In Net Neutrality Plan, F.C.C. Chief Sees Internet Service Regulated as Public Utility — The New York Times

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s statement:

The internet must be fast, fair and open. That is the message I’ve heard from consumers and innovators across this nation. That is the principle that has enabled the internet to become an unprecedented platform for innovation and human expression.
— Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman

What is Net Neutrality? Techy, boring, and extremely important.