Thanksgiving wine!

Every year we drink for Thanksgiving this stunning amber wine called Veto — both made by our wonderful friend, Sara Meneguz, whose winery is in the Prosecco Hills district of Veneto (just north of Venice). The color of Veto is mind-blowing. The taste is indescribable, unlike any other wine I have ever tasted. And it’s the only wine I know of that pairs with all our Thanksgiving foods. I always try, but fail, to capture the color in photographs. But I love the way this Italian wine sparkles in the California sunshine. I’ll keep trying. 

Thanksgiving apple pie!

Fermented whole spelt, white spelt and emmer flour crust. “Nutty bottom” is pecans with kefir drizzle. Apple coated with cinnamon, brown sugar, home-made chai spice mix and corn starch and topped with butter. Egg wash for the top of the crust. 

I miss the goats in Morocco

If you drive around the parts of Morocco where they grow argan trees for argon oil, you'll always find herds of goats that love to climb the trees. They're cute and I miss them. But the good news is that we'll be going back to Morocco in February! 

Why every region of the world has its own cybersecurity problems

Cybersecurity threats, risks and challenges vary a lot from one region to the next and one nation to the next. Targets vary based on local resources to exploit. Cyber criminals and nation-state attackers zero in on specific nations, companies and organizations for varying incentives. 

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated cybersecurity threats. Attackers might launch remote work-enabled attacks or social engineering attacks using COVID-19 fears as the content. The pandemic caused supply chain and economic woes, too. 

Here are the top cybersecurity issues in each corner of the globe today. 

Wait, what is "proactive cybersecurity," exactly?

Most organizations take what you might call an active approach to cybersecurity, They’re prepared to do certain things once an attack happens. Or, they take a reactive approach, taking action after an attack is completed. A proactive cybersecurity strategy is about acting before any attack occurs; it’s a good cybersecurity posture of readiness.

Take a look at the policies, tools and practices that make up proactive cybersecurity measures.

Witchcraft in the shadow of Monte Alban

Amira and I went hiking with a friend near Monte Alban, which is a fantastic ruin and the site of the Zapotec capital for a thousand years or so. Our friend told us that the whole mountain is used by local witches, who come up at night and perform rituals at specific places. This one, he said, was the site of a fertility ritual. 

Why engineers should study cybersecurity

Engineering and cybersecurity are two distinct disciplines, each demanding its own rigorous education and training. But should there be crossover? Should engineers or engineering students invest in cybersecurity education as well? What are the opportunities for engineers to gain expertise in protecting against threat actors in the software realm?

As the world becomes more complex and the use of cyberattacks grows, the world of cybersecurity benefits more and more from engineering expertise, and vice versa. Here’s why.

Why I own plates made in “occupied Japan“

My sister yesterday gave me a box of these plates, which belonged to our grandmother, who died nearly 10 years ago. The imprint on the bottom says they were made in occupied Japan.

During World War II, my grandparents had a friend, a Japanese American who had a farm that grew greenhouse flowers. They lived in Long Beach, California.

When troops came to drag their friend and his family to an internment camp, my grandparents bought his farm for one dollar. After he was released, they sold it back to him for one dollar after having taken care of it during his internment.

Later, the friend went back to Japan to visit relatives and upon his return gave these plates to my grandparents. 

I wonder why they labeled them as “occupied Japan,“ instead of just “Japan.“

What I wrote about Steve Jobs on the day he died 10 years ago today

When Steve Jobs died I was moved to write this piece for Cult of Mac about what Steve Jobs meant to Silicon Valley. An excerpt: 

"Steve Jobs’ career is the gold standard for how to launch a startup, how to invent a product, how to give a presentation, how to market consumer products, how to design a web site, how to design anything, how to develop and build products, how to build a company, how to create a retail experience, how to create a development ecosystem and above all, how to create passion in the hearts of users. He always gave Apple fans everything they wanted. And then one more thing.

Everybody in Silicon Valley is trying to do what Steve Jobs did. But Jobs was the perfect person at the perfect time in the perfect place to accomplish what he did in his incredible life. He can never be equaled.

Steve Jobs was born and raised a child of Silicon Valley. But he died in a Silicon Valley that was in many ways a child of Steve Jobs."

Read the rest

I just finished the original "Pinocchio" last night and it was amazing: dark, mysterious, magical and violent

The Adventures of Pinocchio was written by Carlo Collodi in 1883. I just read the hardcover version with Robert Ingpen illustrations to my granddaughter, and we finished it last night. The original story is almost as random and bizarre as Alice in Wonderland. All the animals talk. In this scene, the "monkey" is a judge that sentences Pinocchio to prison for being the victim of a crime. The fairy dies and takes different forms. Pinocchio murders the cricket in the first scene where he appears, but he reappears alive. As with most Victorian-era children's stories, it's designed to be instructive to children: Be obedient to your parents and work hard in school, or your life will come to devastating ruin. In general, the story is totally bonkers, but highly recommended.