About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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The problem with most attempts to make products on the web is that developers assume that they only way to beat the competition is through laundry lists of new features. The reality is that people spend the majority of their time using the core of your product and ignore most of the extraneous fluff.

Steven Spalding



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 11/16/2018

Totals
Posts - 2532
Comments - 2584
Hits - 2,096,524

Averages
Entries/day - 0.45
Comments/entry - 1.02
Hits/day - 373

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 12:45 AM Pacific


  04:44 PM

I'm reading Bruce Schneier's Beyond Fear, which concerns "thinking sensibly about security in an uncertain world," as he subtitles it. He talks generically about security -- not just computers -- and describes a framework for thinking about security in many contexts, like protecting the home, the car, your bank account, and the nation.

There's lots of thought-provoking stuff in there, and the book is recommended. Before I take it back to the library, I wanted to type out this little passage. He's talking about the security arms race that has occurred in the animal and plant kingdoms:
It's no accident that insects provide such interesting security examples. Over the eons they have tried just about everything. The techniques of attack and defense that proved to work were repeated, and the techniques that failed weren't. Because they tried them at random and stopped at the first workable solution they found, they tended to arrive at interesting and surprising solutions. It's not unusual to find insect countermeasures that are nonobvious, but effective nonetheless. Insects are good at cheating.
Here's just one way:


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