May 2009

No, not really! But it is the number worry that crosses my mind whenever I take out my laptop from its case and put it on an open tray before it passes through X-rays at US airports. Mind you I don’t worry as much when I do the same thing at Asia’s airports. Maybe it has to do with the ssssllllooooowwwwww process by which people line up to get pass the metal detectors at most US airports.

Anyway, a recent posting on govinfosecurity says that The U.S. Interior Department can’t locate 20% of its PCs (mostly laptops), ‘potentially exposing sensitive and personally identifiable information’ according to a new department inspector general report.

And I thought some of Hong Kong government departments were laxed with regards to the safeguard of citizen’s data. Hey, the DOI people are losing laptops, not memory sticks!

The same report claims that most departmental-issued computers are not encrypted. Michael Colombo, Western regional manager of Interior’s IG office, noted in a memo: “Compounded by the department’s lack of computer accountability, its absence of encryption requirements leaves the department vulnerable to sensitive and personally identifiable information being lost, stolen or misused.”

I understand the recent spate of embarrasing moments regarding the lost of sensitive data by the Hong Kong Police and the Hospital Authority is forcing the Hong Kong Government to react more swiftly.

At the recently concluded Info-Security Summit in Hong Kong, Stephen Mak, Deputy Government Chief Information Officer, Hong Kong SAR, stressed the importance of information security in the public sector. Although he cites the Hong Kong Government’s efforts in putting forth policy on security and data privacy, he warns that sustainability of a security strategy is on ongoing challange.

But having a policy and enforcing it are two different matters. Much as you can have the safest car in the world but if you drive while intoxicated, you are inviting trouble. (more…)


I know this is very late. I meant to post this well before Mother’s Day but I let less than worthy distractions in my life (like work) get in the way. I remember reading an article on Reader’s Digest when I was in my early teens about the day God was constructing mothers. I’ve always cherished it. I found that article again and thought I’d paste it below:

“Specs” for Mother Stymied Even God
by Erma Bombeck

When the Good Lord was creating Mothers He was into his sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said, “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And the Lord said, “Have you read the spec on this order?”

She has to be completely washable, but not plastic.

Have 180 moveable parts . . . all replaceable.

Run on black coffee and leftovers.

Have a lap that disappears when she stands up.

A kiss that cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair.

And six pair of hands.

The angel shook his head slowly and said, “Six pair of hands . . . no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems, “ said the Lord. “It’s the three pair of eyes that Mothers have to have.”

That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. “One pair sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are the kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones in the front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

“Lord,” said the angel touching His sleeve gently, “Come to bed. Tomorrow . . .”

“I can’t,” said the Lord, “I’m so close to creating something so close to Myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick . . can feed a family of six on a pound of hamburger . . . and can get a 9-year-old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a Mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” he sighed.

“But tough!” said the Lord excitedly. “You cannot imagine what this Mother can do or endure.”

“Not only think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran his finger across the cheek. “There’s a leak,” he pronounced. “I told you You were trying to put too much into this model.”

It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?”

“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride.”

“You are a genius,” said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. “I didn’t put it there.”

One more thing… my daughter showed me this youtube posting and I thought it would be a reminder to all of us who have moms, what she expects from her children.