Thursday, April 24, 2014

Drivers: Don't "creep" towards bicyclists!

Riding into to work this morning, I encountered an all too common event: I have the right-of-way, I'm in the intersection and a car who does NOT have the right-of-way starts.... creeping in.

I'm sure the driver is creeping into the intersection because they want to save that 1/2 a millisecond after I've cleared the intersection to enter it.

Please do not do this!
  1. As a cyclist, it is impossible for me to distinguish between you seeing me and thinking it's okay to creep into the intersection and you not seeing me and starting your move into the intersection.
  2. What if you sneeze, cough, or your foot just slips on the throttle and it goes from creeping to fast acceleration?
  3. As I usually ride with 1-2 other folks, and you're stopped when one of them passes and then you start creeping - I really don't think you see me. I am the slowest in the pack, so there is often a small gap (about one car length - which is NOT enough space for you to pull through).
  4. Bicyclists are going faster than you think.  Or slower. It depends on the rider. Pay attention, please.
When this happens, I will yell (I've already dinged my bell as I approached the intersection).  Do NOT rev your engine in response. See #2 above.

I'm lucky that much of my commute is on quiet neighborhood streets and trails, but I've even encountered the "creeper" in parks!

Please just stay stationary as bicycles pass you. Look at them so that they can see your eyes and know you see them.  If your windows are darkly tinted and I can't see you - I don't know that you saw me.

The worst creepers are those who are clearly playing with their phone or radio (ie NOT looking).  While it's illegal to play with your phone while stationary, if you MUST do it - please have your foot on the break.

Right now, my regular trail is closed due to construction on the new SF 49ers Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, so I have to ride through a parking lot for a park/tennis courts/golf course/ACE Train/SF 49ers construction (yes, that IS the official bike detour).  That is scary enough. Drivers not stopping at the T intersection (which is a 1 way stop - I do not have a stop sign) is pretty scary, especially when they are large construction trucks or employees running late.

There is always a Santa Clara police officer there, but he seems to be on break as he's always at the far end of the parking lot where the bike trail begins again and not where everyone is running their stop sign and revving their engines at bicyclists.

Be careful out there, y'all! :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Congratulations to Radia Perlman: Inductee to the Internet Hall of Fame

Radia Perlman was just inducted to the Internet Hall of Fame asa pioneer in Internet technologies.  Radia also frequently shared her genius with the security teams as well at Sun.

She's a brilliant and fascinating person that I've always been very excited to work with. I know many of you have worked with her in the past, so I wanted to share this with you.

Ms. Perlman has been such an inspiration to me and my area of focus.

Line in the Sand: Metric Century Here I Come!

As many of you have been following my troubles with my leg injury (and everything that stemmed from that) and keeping my asthma and PIC in control, you'll know how big of a deal it is that I've signed up for the Marin Century for this August!

Bicycling is an important part of who I am - I am excited to get back into training mode!

Okay, so I'm just signed up for the metric (62 miles), but that will be the most that I will have cycled since I injured myself in 2010.  Who else wants to join me? I miss riding with a group of friends and even if you can't do the ride, let's get together for summer rides or virtual training. Who's in?

Kevin D. Mitnick: The Art of Intrusion

The Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and DeceiversThe Art of Intrusion: The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers by Kevin D. Mitnick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an interesting book that reminds you, in several different ways, of the importance of defense in depth. A few of the attacks were vague (as warned of by the author who collated the tales), and others just lacked relevant technical details. For example, "the outfit was running a Sun workstation, which is familiar ground for every hacker." - which type of hardware? What was the OS level? Was it unpatched? Still, the stories were entertaining.

My biggest gripe with the book was the lack of date ranges. The book was published in 2004, so I know they're all older than that - but with very few exceptions, I didn't know if an individual tale was taking place in 1992 or 2002. This makes a difference for understanding what types of attacks were being used and how relevant such an attack would still be today.

An overall fun read - not condescending to technical readers, but also provides details on the subject matter for a non expert. My friends and I did get some pretty good discussions out of a few of the stories.

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