Another step towards employment salvation

As I move along the timeline of my 90-day letter, my current “manager” is releasing me to my next team.

My new manager is someone that I have known for about 13 years. He is one that helped train me at a previous job and has been a man that I look to for technical leadership.

I am very lucky that he tossed me a life ring. I suppose that it is a testament to my working/living right. He knows my work ethic and has been a facebook friend all these years so he knows who I am outside of work as well. Had I been an ass to work, with the help simply would not have been offered.

There is a ton for me to learn so that I can help add to my new team’s successes, while I try to minimize my drag on their resources during the learning curve.

Major changes at work

For those that have been watching over the years, you know that I no longer discuss who my daytime employer is.

Our company was acquired but another company that had a different business focus. Since our business has elements that are very different, it is causing great challenges in integrating the two.

My team was thought to be safe, and would remain in tact. We ended up getting blindsided and my team was picked apart. My role specifically was divided by two sides of the new company. The big dollar customers went to one, and the rest were going to a portion that they recently bought. Well that second group did not want my role, they were getting rid of my counterpart from their network.

In the end, the team that I was on years ago scooped my role back up and interestingly enough, my wife is taking it over. It was a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. I met her when she was hired by our previous employer. I trained her there and fell in love with her. We were laid off and she was hired here, and helped get me onto the team. It was her turn, she helped train me. Here we are almost ten years later and the cycle continues, my turn to train.

In some ways, this shift is a major setback in my career. On the positive, it is far better than being laid off. They gave me a 90 day project letter. The intent is to keep me if they can find a home for me. The team that was to absorb my role, hem hawed around their desire for my talents, so I started networking. I was in communication with a man that help train me at my previous employer. I had recently congratulated him on his work anniversary and expressed optimism to work in the same company with him again. He asked that I call him and ended up taking me in. I will be working the front lines again as the oldest member of the team. I lose two cool titles, but retain a paycheck. The new team has been very welcoming. From what I have heard, they are young enough to be my kids. Out of all of the jobs that my career has covered, the technical sector has brought me the best friends.

I do need to reflect on if I will continue my cybersecurity studies, but I suspect that I will. I enjoyed the field while I was in it. It falls in well with my history and desires. It helps feed my blackhat side while keeping me busy in the white (and near white) hat. This new team has quite the set of products that it supports, one of which I have a certification in, but am still early in my education on how to manage. There are a couple of products that I am aware of, but do not know and many that I know nothing about. I will miss the SOC and her staff. Being surrounded by vets was very comforting in a way. Our minds blend better, even with the branch rivalries.

Hang on, as this will be a ride.

Facebook Jail (only 24 hours)

So, I landed in Facebook Jail again.

The same day that Facebook announced that they were adding 3000 staffers to patrol Facebook they deemed one of the images on a page that I run to be in violation of their community standards.

Since it has been a while since that page ran afoul of their standards, I only incurred a 24 hour sentence. I have had three days and possibly a week before. I suspect that the team that does this is overseas and not applying an American standard. The last time that this happened, I removed Gigglez as an admin on the page as they were blocking her as well.

I have appealed but do not expect any movement, but they can kiss my ass, as I do not care.

If you have never been in FB Jail, you can view your page, but not do anything other than read or play the games etc. No comments, no shares, not even something as simple as a like on something.

This is a very similar image. I believe that mine was even more covered by the underwear. I do not recall seeing any of the “nose” at all. It was just alluding to the nose. Since they delete the image, I cannot remember for sure. I posted it weeks/months ago on an 18+ only page, as in your account must say that you are 18+ to view the page.

A Bill of Rights issue for Oregon

Well this was certainly unexpected…

Another of many reasons that I continue to no longer be an Oregon resident.

How can any state feel that they are above the U.S. Constitution? Do inalienable rights mean so little to Oregon and her residents that they should be easily cast aside?

Lawsuit Challenges Oregon Law Prohibiting Mathematical Criticism Without a License

What is the controversy in 13 Reasons Why?

Over the last couple of days Gigglez and I have binge watched “13 Reasons Why” (https://www.netflix.com/title/80117470). The general premise is simple, yet quite complex.  A high school junior commits suicide, but before she does, records a series of audio tapes. These tapes involve all of those that contributed to her decision to end her life. Each person on the tapes are to listen to them and pass them onto the next person.

I think that this may be the most important series that I have watched in quite some time. The level of passion in the work harkens back to Dead Poets Society. Reaching deeply into the high school minds.

I am a fan of what Stephen King says about banned or censored works:

“Censorship and the suppression of reading materials are rarely about family values and almost always about control about who is
snapping the whip, who is saying no, and who is saying go. Censorship’s bottom line is this: if the novel Christine offends me, I don’t want just to make sure it’s kept from my kid; I want to make sure it’s kept from your kid, as well, and all the kids. This bit of intellectual arrogance, undemocratic and as old as time, is best expressed this way: “If it’s bad for me and my family, it’s bad for everyone’s family.”

Yet when books are run out of school classrooms and even out
of school libraries as a result of this idea, I’m never much disturbed not as a citizen, not as a writer, not even as a schoolteacher . . . which I used to be. What I tell kids is, Don’t get mad, get even. Don’t spend time waving signs or carrying petitions around the neighborhood. Instead, run, don’t walk, to the nearest nonschool library or to the local bookstore and get whatever it was that they banned. Read whatever they’re trying to keep out of your eyes and your brain, because that’s exactly what you need to know.” 
― Stephen King

So, as controversy is starting to stir, we decided to see why. What is the idea that “they” did not want us to see?  Was it the sex, drugs, suicide, free thought, bullying, or what? The negative press is asserting that the show is somehow condoning suicide, rape, drugs, and alcohol.  We simply did not find that to be the case. We found it to be illuminating the problems rather than glorifying them.

This series draws you in tightly with a broad spectrum of demographics and personalities. The cast was convincing in their roles.  Their portrayals caused emotional response and reflection for me.  It may be too hot of a topic for the various award giving entities to give the appropriate accolades.

Katherine Langford plays the role of the girl who chose to end her life. The life, death, and everything in between had such vibrancy it was the girl next door.

Dylan Minnette, the male lead, pulled of his role to such quality that it had me thinking of my youth. Back came the memories of the girls that I wished that I had the courage to approach. The cheerleader in math class, everyday taunting my middle school mind.

I think the one who stood out most for me was Kate Walsh. She played the grieving mother, struggling to come to terms with what happened with her cherished daughter. Why did she lose her daughter and could there have been anything that she or the school could have done to prevent it.  I could see in her the pain of all of the mothers who have lost a child. I have enjoyed her work since Gray’s Anatomy, but this role was far beyond the characters that I have seen her in before.  I know that she has kids, and that may have been part of what propelled the emotional buy-in that we saw. It was an utterly stunning role to see her play out.

As the series unfolds and we see more and more of the factors come to light it is difficult to watch as you know what is about to happen.  I am being mindful of spoilers so there is much more that I would like to say, but, it would be better for you to watch for yourself.  The episodes delve into areas that we wish did not exist, and for some, pretend that they don’t.  Guess what people, kids are mean, bullies exist, sex is had (consensual and rape), drugs and alcohol gets consumed.  When you watch this series (and I hope that you do if you have the strength) take the time to watch the follow-up episode.  The breakdown of the rationale for the way that certain scenes were carried out was quite valuable.

My wife and I were both reminded of those that we lost in our youth. The names, and faces from the past. We lost people, almost lost people and have had some that we reached out to when we were worried. In the end we cannot help but wonder how many times we missed a friend in need.  We also have to think about how something we may have said, or NOT said could have nudged someone to a darker place without meaning to, or realizing it.

Where does this leave our society? We need to be more thoughtful in how we interact and raise our kids. We have to be open, mindful, watchful, and communicative.  It is too bad that we cannot instill the golden rule upon our kids and have it stick with them for their entire lives. We are not perfect, nor are our kids.

 

inappropriate discussions

So in my office there are very inappropriate discussions.

one co-worker broke out in the theme from Bonanza but ended it with dildo…

I asked if it was with a suction cup or without. He seemed confused as to why it mattered. one is much better for use on the shower wall than the other.

The Bonanza singer lost it. I then piped up with that it was just a towel holder. Poor bystander bowed his head chucking as he blushed.

Sextortion – are you aware of it?

As so many are flocking to cell phones and the ages of the users are getting younger, there is a topic that parents need to be aware of.

Sextortion is a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort sexual favors from the victim. Sextortion refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion, as well as to the category of sexual exploitation in which threatened release of sexual images or information is the means of coercion.[1]

We as a society need to be able to band together to combat this psychological attack against our youth. 83% of the victims are female, and 46% are minors. Like physical sexual assault, it is estimated that only a third or less of the victims report the crime. 60% of the perpetrators knew the victim before the incident.

I have reviewed the evidence of one of these cases personally. No, I will not share that data as the victim does not deserve that. The portrayal below is based on that incident but is sanitized for her privacy. This was properly reported to the appropriate authorities.

Here is how this abuse occurred:

  • Victim received a text from an unknown source
  • criminal claimed that they had nude photos of the victim
  • They also recited her street address, including which room within her apartment was hers
  • the pictures were going to be shared on all forms of social media unless she complied with the criminal
  • the criminal wanted her to disrobe for more pictures
  • on a the second day the criminal resumed texting with a more aggressive tone
  • the same intent of getting more pictures
  • Criminal escalated to calling the victim and pressuring her to an online video chat service in Scandinavia (I believe in Norway) to excuse herself from family to go to a bathroom to disrobe and put herself on display.

As I and my colleagues tried to trace the evidence and find the personal data exposure, we were impressed with the victim’s awareness of protecting her data. She does not have her college address shared with any databases other than Amazon, and even they did not have which room was hers.

Text messages are very hard to trace unless you are law enforcement. Even for them, they are not easy. Because of my role, I was able to provide the FBI with the owner (not the user) of the phone numbers used to text and call the victim.  I was also able to  alert the abuse team at the video chat service so that they could review the actions of their users. Since I did not have a subpoena, I was unable to get data to relay to the FBI.

When the victim returned to campus, she found that her roommates were also victims. Since the issue was clearly involving a local perp, the apartment management was advised. They had a very lame excuse that this was a data breach when someone restarted the internet. I am still stunned with how stupid this answer is. The apartment management company did say that seven women had come forward. This number ended up rising to twenty when published by a local media source. The article was a plea for other victims to come forward. It is my personal opinion that the apartment complex has a rogue employee that needs to be identified, arrested, and prosecuted. So far this particular incident is limited to the complex.

When I asked if the abuse has continued, the victim stated that there has not been a peep since the police report was filed. The situation is getting great exposure on campus so the student body is much more aware.

If you check the links below, you will find that this situation is not isolated, but becoming more and more common.

Parents need the same level of awareness. This is the tool that you need to arm your kids (regardless of how grown that they are) so that they can fend off these pond scum samples.

Obviously the first line is to make sure that they do not have these kinds of pictures TO BE shared in the first place. I also know that this is wishful thinking, just like abstaining from sex before committed relationships. It is talking to them so that they know if they do not have content for the criminals to share, then why co-operate with their demands. Do not delete the texts, call logs or any other evidence. The local police (and likely the FBI) need to be contacted. Take the time to file the report. The perp needs to be caught. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Even if your kids DID have content that could be exposed, this is not the time to blame the victim. They did nothing to deserve this. My thought is to treat that situation as you would when your kid calls form a party/bar after drinking. Get them to safety then discuss when it is more mentally safe to do so. If your kids know without a doubt that you will stand with them, then they will be more likely to tell you of the incident so you can help them through it.

I hope that nobody that you know has to go through this, but the numbers indicate that it will hit close to home.

Related useful links:

https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/sextortion

https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/news-podcasts-inside-sextortion-and-the-lucas-chansler-case.mp3/view

Prosecutors: ‘Sextortion’ Cases Targeting Young Women At Alarming Rate

Sextortion

Well, I broke her again.

As part of my daily job, I have to caution people to do frequent patching and updating on their websites. I do follow my own teaching with one exception. My WordPress theme was badly out of date. It was several years old, but due to how much slicing and dicing that I did on the code, I did not want to perform the updates in fear of breaking her.

Well tonight, I felt that I was not being smart on a cybersecurity level so I pulled the lever and did the update. The theme that I had has gone to a premium scheme.  In the end, I am down to two columns, but it seems more equipped for mobile devices.

Please explore and see what you think. If it is crap, that is fine, I will hunt for another.

However if we decide that this one is suitable, I will see if I can tweak it into shape.

The PissedOffPirate YouTube Channel

Since I have been learning the YouTube system form the other direction, here is a link to the PissedOffPirate YouTube channel.

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7opIYQqFL_hpXTGejsek8g

 

There are a couple of sub-channels thus far, let me know if you have an areas covered that is not already there.