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A contrarian's view on security; a beginner's guide to Gov 2.0; how to navigate airport security

A Contrarian's View on Security
Source: Boston Globe

Ever wonder if all those annoying security measures computer users are urged to take, such as resetting your password every month, are worth it? Not really, says Cormac Herley, a principal researcher at Microsoft Research.

Herley recently studied the issue and concluded that the problem is not so much the quality of the advice but the quantity. “Most security advice simply offers a poor cost/benefit trade-off to users,” he wrote in the study.

Using an admittedly crude economic analysis, Herley estimated the approximate value of a user’s time, compared it to quantifiable damages resulting from security breaches, and found that making users spend a lot of time on security chores doesn't pay off. In addition, those loss numbers are hard to come by, so to users, it sounds like the security experts are crying wolf.

Herley doesn’t argue that all security orders are worthless — just that they need to be doled out judiciously and according to the odds that a particular security breach will take place.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Gov 2.0
Source: Social Media Strategery

The best way to get started in Government 2.0 is to “get your hands dirty and actually use these tools to interact with the people you’re trying to reach,” writes Steve Radick, an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton and a social media blogger.

Radick offers a beginner’s guide to Gov 2.0 that includes basic explanations and definitions, recommended reading and a bevy of advice. As a starting point, he advises newbies to forget what they know about mass media marketing. “Good fundamentals in interpersonal communication will serve you well,” he writes. “There are no audiences or eyeballs any more — you’re going to be dealing with real people here.”

Radick’s extensive resource guide includes links to 10 government policy and guidance documents. Contrary to what many people expect, some of the best examples in professional social media can be found in government, he writes. “The government — federal, state and local — isn’t some late adopter in social media. In many cases, they are leading the way."

How to Navigate Airport Security
Source: Bnet

Frequent travelers know they are always at risk of finding delays because of airport security. But they also know that there are ways to reduce the risks and make the experience less painful.

For example, avoid the security line right next to the one used by airline crews, writes Brett Snyder, who runs an air travel assistance business named the Cranky Concierge. The problem is that crew members have the option of jumping out of their line and right to the front of yours.

Also, be prepared to remove your laptop PC from its carrying case. In most instances, screening equipment works just fine with zipped computer bags, but not always, so be prepared to pull the laptop out at a moment’s notice. The same goes for liquids and nail clippers.

If you get stuck in a long line, stay calm. Many airports have behavior detection officers, who keep an eye out for anyone who looks agitated, Snyder writes. Furthermore, if you are rude to agents, “you might find yourself pleading for that dump-the-bag-and-empty-your-pockets search instead of the more thorough inspection.”

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