Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Maybe I’m just feeling a little childish today

Filed under: — adam @ 1:57 pm

There’s something deeply wrong with this product image.

Memory foam

.XXX domain coming

Filed under: — adam @ 10:33 am

ICANN has approved the creation of a .xxx domain.

There’s one thing that really troubles me about this.

WHY is the cost $60 per year?

Everything else, I can understand – it’s a voluntary labeling solution for content not meant for kids. As long as it’s voluntary, I think it’s fine. I don’t think it’ll help, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. If it becomes mandatory, that’s a problem. I think it would be much more useful to have a sanitized .kids domain. The problem with that is this – there’s huge disagreement over what isn’t suitable for kids, but it’s fairly obvious what is. The right solution is to identify the things that are, and let kids go to town on that stuff, instead of trying to corral everything that isn’t, which no one’s going to agree on.

But the thing that gets me is this – why should people pay up to ten times the price just for the privilege of presenting content just to a smaller audience (and the adults that will seek out .xxx domains will be a smaller audience than those that don’t understand the difference). That alone makes me think the entire justification is complete bullshit, and it’s just a grab for more money.

Citibank loses data on four million customers

Filed under: — adam @ 9:58 am

Barn door, meet horse-shaped vacuum.

Identifying data on 4 million Citigroup customers was “lost” when a UPS package containing unencrypted tapes went missing in early May.

CitiFinancial said in its statement that the data loss “occurred in spite of the enhanced security procedures we require of our couriers.”

It said there was little risk of the accounts being compromised because most customers already had received their loans and that no additional credit could be issued without the customers’ approval.

Debby Hopkins, chief operations and technology officer for Citigroup, said that the tapes were produced “in a sophisticated mainframe data center environment” and would be difficult to decode without the right equipment and special software.

Hopkins said most Citigroup units send data electronically in encrypted form and that CitiFinancial data will be sent that way starting in July.,1848,67766,00.html

Basically, what this tells me is that “secure” financial identification data on every American with a bank or brokerage account has been stolen or very likely will be in the next two years. There’s nothing that anyone is doing that can stop it. It’s time we turned our attention towards making that data useless for fraud. I propose a two-pronged attack:

1) The end of the instant credit era.
2) Flood the system with garbage data that looks like real data, but is meaningless.

[Update: I've been thinking about this. WHY DID THIS SET OF TAPES EVEN EXIST? Is there any possible good reason for a company to have all of this data in one place?]

Watchmen movie canceled

Filed under: — adam @ 9:19 am

I have a sick fantasy about locking Peter Jackson, Robert Rodriguez, and George Clooney in a room together and telling them they can’t come out until they finish the Watchmen movie and it’s good.

I steadfastly believe that it’s possible to make a good Watchmen film, but really – it needs to be 12 hours or more. I’m glad they canceled this half-hearted attempt that was doomed from the start.

Bacterial control without antibiotics

Filed under: — adam @ 9:09 am

Seems like pretty big news.

‘Only recently has it been discovered that the bacteria assembled in biofilms have a network of communication between them called “quorum sensing,” which controls their collective activity (or lack thereof). These sensing signals control the physiology and pathogenicity of the bacteria in the biofilms. A boron-based molecule that is produced by these bacteria, called auto inducer-2, controls the signals in this quorum sensing process.’

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