Note to Self: 2009 Holiday Gift List

From Computer World UK (here)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone. Now it’s time for Amrit Wednesday, or Thursday, or Friday—oh, whatever—to pay our industry back for all the dubious cheer it spread in 2009. Believe me, when it comes to this list, it’s much better to give than receive. Here goes:

A Junior Magic Kit to Gartner to help them with Magic Quadrants. Actually, I faced a dilemma here with the second choice gift being a subscription to The Wine Spectator, as the MQ has become the tech equivalent of the Robert Parker 100 point wine rating scale—a great aid to those too lazy or undiscerning to comprehend their own needs and how to satisfy them.

To the US Government, a Czyber Czecurity Czar–but someone else, not me or you. This is in line with industry consensus where we all think that someone, somewhere in charge of something cyber would be a great thing, but no one is exactly stepping forward to take a government salary with no stock option, bonus plan or clear direction.

A Lump of Coal to the RSA Conference. This is much more cost effective than spending $100,000s to stare at other vendors on the Moscone Convention Center floor. If RSA has become the tech security equivalent of dogs sniffing each other at the park, what hope do we have to advance the industry beyond tails wagging the dog and an industry with the attention span of…squirrel!

Crates of Scary Halloween Costumes, purchased on 1 November at deep discounts, to Sophos, McAfee, and Symantec to see them through another year of scare tactic marketing. Here, I’m making sure that I’m sending one in Graham Cluley’s size. We all love you Graham, you make security fun and scary and fun all at the same time.

A White Elephant to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards organisation. White elephants have nothing to do with PCI compliance. Neither does PCI compliance have any relationship to IT security.

I’m torn between a Burka or a Dominatrix Outfit for the net nannies at Websense. A Burka for their vision of how end users should behave when using organisational resources to access—shock!–Internet based services and information. A Dominitrix Outfit for the relationship of the IT department and end users that ensues. Come to think of it, sending both would be really kinky.

A CD of pirated Sex Pistols songs for the folks behind the Digital Economy Bill, God Save the Queen or at least prevent the common wealth from accidentally being exposed to digital content delivered through a digital medium without realizing they have not paid the hefty ransom levied by the media industry.

The Oxford Dictionary to the world’s cyber criminals, bot masters, virus breeders, and worm jockeys. Who, although have mastered all forms of digital manipulation, have no ability to grasp the basics of English speech, grammar and spelling.

Money to Johnny Long and Hackers for Charity. Someone somewhere really has given up his luxuries to help others – what have you and I done? Johnny does great work in Africa and I’m always amazed about the huge impacts that doing things we take for granted can make to the lives of people trying to do better for themselves. Besides, I thought I should do something sincere and helpful to atone for lapsing into snarkiness this holiday season.

After all this venting, I’m sure that there are many who will now shower me with similar recognitions. Thank goodness for regifting.

2 thoughts on “Note to Self: 2009 Holiday Gift List

  1. Hey Alan,

    The list was getting really long, but for the sake of brevity and limiting the number of people I piss off I decided to keep it short and sweet =)

    Have a great holiday!

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