The Week in Perspective

Dame Judi

Dame Judi will have none of your bullshit

Yes, it’s only Tuesday but my week tends to run from Friday to Tuesday, at least as far as DramaSec is concerned, so it’s time for a little perspective. Apparently some rando on Reddit was calling me out the other day for…commenting on Gawker. Well, guilty as charged, I do that a lot. I found out because of…a comment on Gawker.

Now, just today I was on the radio talking about money laundering and Bitcoin and the BitInstant arrests and said something like, “I’m no expert, I’ve just seen a lot of money laundering trials….gee, that sounds sort of nefarious, doesn’t it?” And indeed it did (But I have!).

As does what I said about those randos on Reddit. To wit:

Ah, so they were talking about me, were they? That doesn’t bother me. As I remarked to Magister, The Jester wants my head on a platter, the Syrian Electronic Army has been trying to hack into my accounts for months, and there’s still an #OpRaincoaster kicking around sub-groups of Anonymous. What do I care what a bunch of randos on Reddit say?

Speaking of randos, some Jester fangirls didn’t get the memo and slept in till today. Then they apparently misread the memo entirely:

https://twitter.com/Z_BIRD_79/status/428269084501737472

To which one could only reply (as one did) with the truth.

I imagine there is yet more consternation in Jesterville tonight over that fact. The crow? Does it burn going down?

Operation Global Media Domination: The Bright Side of the Dark Side

The Dark Lord welcomes you, recruit

The Dark Lord welcomes you, recruit

Before there was Voldemort, there was Vader. And before there was Vader, the world knew another as “The Dark Lord,” and I’m not even talking about Conrad Black.

He lives yet.

In fact, he owns Gawker.

And today, he broke me.

After how many years of me refusing to write for him for free (while still contributing thousands of words a week in the form of snippy comments and tips) tonight I finally gave in and….Kinja‘d. Twice!

It was…scary.

But it’s about the highest-profile outlet I have since I let this poor blog peter down to virtually nothing, so I posted a couple of articles that have had, through no fault of their own, failed to find a home.

Relive the Cold War for Fun and Profit:

how the Russian government hacked the US energy industry, and why the Ukrainian uprising might make the entire three-year project entirely moot

and

Snitching for Dollars: The BSA wants you to rat out your boss!

In my own defence, it did take something like eight years to wear me down. Should the posts get zero momentum despite being on a Gawker platform, the experiment will not be repeated. While I was at it, I updated my Media and Public Speaking page. You know I’m all about Operation Global Media Domination! Now, bring me that audience!

Hail Vader! Hail Operation Global Media Domination!

Hail Vader! Hail Operation Global Media Domination!

Tech Support Response o’ the Day: Molotov Cocktails for Two Edition

in Ukraine, tech supports...the revolution!

in Ukraine, tech supports…the revolution!

Still, you KNOW someone out there is bitching about tech support being slow. You just know it.

Monday #DramaSec

This came more or less out of nowhere in a Valleywag post about a sexist presentation at TechCrunch. I know plenty of dirty-minded hackers, but I don’t know any who are stupid enough to make a presentation like Titstare in front of actual investors: that’s the province of entitled Brogrammers who’ve been funded more or less since birth and think they’re god’s gift to marketing. But anyway, occasionally a groupie comes in and claims band cred and that appears to be what happened here.

2 participants

PetticoatDespotSam Biddle

24

Wow. This is creepy even for a hackathon.

Since the guys seem to want to have gender-segregated hackathons by acting like sexist dicks, we’re just going to have to have more hackathons for ladies. At this point, I get weirded out going to most programming meetups without a male escort. Sunday 5:43pm

raincoasterPetticoatDespot

5

I know a lot of hackers. They might snicker at this, but they’d never in a million years get up on stage and do that. These are the actions of coddled “you’re soooo brilliant” capitalist developers, not hackers.

Hackers would be too busy pulling the nudes off your phone. Yesterday 6:02am

PetticoatDespotraincoaster

1

Sigh.

White hat? Grey hat? Black hat? Security hacker? Internet hacker? Gadget hacker? Code hacker? Life hacker?

You might know some hackers but you don’t seem to know what the word hacker means and the wide variety of people that the term includes. But please, mansplain to me again about hackers since I tend to date them.

Part of the problem is age-specific and part of it is sometimes cultural. If you think that hackers wouldn’t do this, you have not paid any attention at all to the sexual harassment at DevCon, including sexist presentations treating women as objects. Now shoo. Yesterday 11:28pm

raincoasterPetticoatDespot

Honey, I don’t fuck them, but I do write about them for a living. No matter what colour of hat, I know maybe five male hackers who wouldn’t have snickered at this.

If you think I’m going to “mansplain” anything to you, you’re a bigger sexist than these guys onstage. Today 1:35am

PetticoatDespotraincoaster

1

Ah, so you write about the white hat social justice activist segment of Anonymous and extrapolate from that, their values and thus the values of the set of all hackers, even black hats.

I know the people who write some of the tools that they use, who lecture to them about security, and who fund some of their work projects. And no, I haven’t fucked any of those but thanks for your implication that I’m a hacker groupie because I called you on your bullshit while stating that I date hackers. I’ve been dating hackers of various varieties for over 20 years, but I do only date white hats because I value ethics. I date the kind of hacker that you write about, as well as others who share their values even if they do not do computer security work. I date hackers because I appreciate smart ethical men with opinions and there tends to be a lot of crossover.

As I mentioned, there are multiple types of hackers. I am a white hat code hacker. I also reverse engineer business rules. It’s a thing. I do penetration testing and security fixes for websites. I have been a professional programmer for 15 years and I’ve taught programming. I go to hackathons and run meetups about coding. I socialize with hackers: white and grey, security and otherwise. I am currently working on opening a feminist hackerspace with other lady hackers.

You still don’t realize that you don’t know what the term hacker means. At best, you interview hackers who want to issue a press release. At best, any information that I give about my contacts is name-dropping.

And while you’re writing about what a white hat social activist Anonymous hacker fed you which you then extrapolate to the set of all hackers, the actual topic of sexism in hacking, which I mentioned above?

http://pandodaily.com/2013/08/31/hac…

It’s funny, Ms I Know Hackers, you didn’t even correct DevCon to DefCon, which was a typo but a very significant one. DefCon, “the” hacker conference has had sexist content as part of its official programming as recent as this year. That’s that I was referencing and what you contradicted.

If you don’t know about the sexism at hacker conferences, and will contradict women when they point it out, you shouldn’t be paid to write about hackers. Today 2:13am

PetticoatDespotraincoaster

Note to mods: she exposed her name and employer previously in this thread. She is the one who volunteered that information, thus this is not doxxing in any way. This is merely a screenshot of the publicly available LinkedIn profile that links her name with the employer that she linked to.

WordPress is not a company for which one can work; it is a product made by a company of another name. I can check with my contacts there to verify your employment status, if you like.

I couldn’t find any articles by you on a Gawker site that pays for content, which is what would make them your employer. In fact, paid Gawker writers have a handle that reflects the writer’s legal name, which yours does not, most likely for legal reasons. Commenting on Gawker sites doesn’t make you an employee, so perhaps you can link to an article that Gawker Media paid you to write?

33 minutes ago

raincoasterPetticoatDespot

“This is not doxxing in any way.”

You are adorable!

Pretty much everyone who works for Gawker, and certainly everyone who works for Valleywag, knows who I am. Valleywag’s former editor Owen Thomas gave me my break into tech journalism.

Also, you don’t know how to read a LinkedIn profile if you didn’t click through and see that it said “Volunteer Tester” on both the Gawker and WordPress entries. When doxing, thoroughness is so important!

If you want to know who I am, ask some of those men you date. 13 minutes ago

This could get amusing. It could get amusing FAST.

Lloyd and Matt from WordPress

Fast Food, Slow Progress

Can your family survive on fast food worker wages? That’s the question do-gooder icon Mother Jones put to readers recently, and although it’s a cliche, the answer really might surprise you. It might, in fact, horrify you. It sure did me.

Struggles by fast food workers for a living wage have been in the news for some time. Unlike waitstaff in traditional restaurants, they either don’t earn tips or earn negligible amounts ($15 a week was average when I worked for Starbucks twenty years ago).

Minimum wage is survivable provided one has a secure, affordable living situation and guaranteed hours, but guaranteed hours are a rarity in the industry. In the UK, McDonalds has made front page news for its commitment to so-called zero hour contracts which offer the workers anything from no work to overtime, as it suits the employer. Labour MP Andy Sawford responds, “In the ordering of their food they know how to identify customer levels so they cook the right amount, so they could use that same information with staff levels and give employees more certainty.”

This week, fast food workers around the country are set for escalating job action in New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, Kansas City and Flint, demanding a wage of $15 an hour and the right to unionize without management interference. The actions are supported and coordinated by the Service Employees International Union. “We are slowly dying,” striker Terrence Wise told Democracy Now.

So what does it actually take to live on a fast food salary, if the right wing media is to be believed and granting the wage increase would cripple the nation’s Happy Meal capability, leading to a dangerous international burger imbalance?

The Mother Jones calculator queries your household size (just me and the cats, but they’re big eaters), your state (Canuckistan, but I picked Washington because, well, I’ve been there and it looks a lot like Vancouver), your city (provided your household is larger than one; singles it seems can fit in anywhere), and how much you make in a year (good question; I estimated $30,000 this year). Then it spits out a rather shocking statistic.

To earn $30,000 a year working as a fast food worker, I’d have to work 64 hours a week. The average number of hours a fast food employee receives is less than 25, and I have seven years at Starbucks that confirm it.

A household like yours in Washington needs to earn $18,245 annually to make a secure yet modest living. A fast-food worker working full time would have to earn $8.74 an hour to make that much.

The average fast-food employee works less than 25 hours a week. To make a living wage in Washington at current median wages, s/he would have to work 39 hours a week.

In 39 hours, McDonald’s serves 112,125,000 customers and makes $122,394,480. That’s about 30,598,620 Big Macs.

As author Barbara Ehrenreich pointed out in her book Nickel and Dimed, while companies repeatedly claim their employees like the flexibility of the scheduling, interviews with the actual employees indicate a labor force that would prefer standardized hours, preferably full time. With an increasing proportion of breadwinners vs students in the staffing pool, that demand is a very real call to action and challenge to the industry. ThinkProgress reports that if hourly wages on the front line doubled, the price of a Big Mac would go up a whopping (see what I did there) 68 cents.

While six-figure think tankers continue to wrestle with the problem, the Pew Research Center reveals that women are the primary breadwinners in 40% of US families, and that the average income for a single mother who has never married is $17,400.

She’d better get a second, or a third, job.