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Posts published in “Lame Excuses”

A Story

Back in the 20th Century, when I was a young assistant financial editor of a Great Metropolitan Newspaper, the newspaper was making enough money to replace the ratty carpeting in our section of the newsroom. This was before The Crisis. The business editor surveyed the new carpet, and nodded. “Very nice,” he said. Then he tossed the contents of his coffee cup onto the floor. “Okay, now we don’t have to worry about spilling anything on the new rug,” he said. “Let’s get back to work.” In that spirit I’m tossing a bucket full of old, fermented blog posts…

Big Data Breach (2012)

ENCRYPTION: IT IS VERY COMPLICATED, CUMBERSOME, AND THERE’S A LOT OF NUMBERS INVOLVED WITH IT. Someone snuck into the South Carolina Department of Revenue database in August and made off with the names and Social Security numbers of 3.6 million South Carolinians. (To put it in perspective, the population of the entire state is 4.6 million.) Some 387,000 of those names and Social Security numbers were paired with credit card information. All of the Social Security numbers and thousands of the credit card numbers were unencrypted. Why would any government agency — or private company, for that matter –…

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