Tools Rule! Make Mine A Hammer, Please - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
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8/22/2006
03:17 PM
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Tools Rule! Make Mine A Hammer, Please

I'm thinking this can be an Olympic-style event at the next Black Hat. One recent year, I hear tell, some of the conference attendees headed out to the desert to skeet-shoot those discs a certain annoying Internet service provider insists on sending to 3 million of its closest friends.

Sometimes, even in this high-tech era, the right tool for a computer-related job is still something without a plug or a battery.

Or so says one consultant, who advises pounding no-longer-wanted hard drives with, you guessed it, the business end of a hammer. "Remove the disks and crush the cases, making sure that you break or bend the actual platters," says Richard Stiennon of IT-Harvest. He issued this advice after the BBC reported that scammers in Nigeria are buying up old hard drives, on the prowl for personal data about former owners.OK, I have to admit it: The prospect of crushing anything from an old PC into submission does give me some pleasure, even if it's only a theory for now. Next time I'm stressed out, I'll try that instead of baking bread. (Kneading dough, even REALLY REALLY hard, has the double benefit of making the bread taste better as well as releasing stress.)

I'm thinking this can be an Olympic-style event at the next Black Hat. One recent year, I hear tell, some of the conference attendees headed out to the desert to skeet-shoot those discs a certain annoying Internet service provider insists on sending to 3 million of its closest friends. Multiple times a year. Whether we want them or not.

I mean, who among us hasn't thought of inflicting some physical damage on our PCs at some point? Come on now, be honest. The trick here is to time it correctly so that the destruction elicits some reaction from an unsuspecting someone, be it a spouse, co-worker, or boss. Taking the hard drive into the back room or garage shop just wouldn't elicit maximum effect. No, I'm thinking company cafeteria. With appropriate safety garb, of course.

If and when you try it, please e-mail photos. I think it would make a heck of a gallery.

As excited as I am to give this newest security measure a whirl, I just can't get my mind around the actual use of mobile-phone maps. Maybe it's a generational thing, or the related fact that I'd need to grope for my reading glasses and then figure out how to use the phone keys to navigate around. All while driving.

Our reviewer of Google's newest mobile-map software says users can navigate around the map via the phone's arrow keys. "Another option is 'get directions,' which requires you to enter your starting point and destination," our reviewer says. "Each time you need the next stage of your directions, you hit the '3' button on your phone for 'next.'"

Uh-huh. All while driving? I don't think so. And if you can do all that while on the road, it's little wonder you need directions.

If I'm lost enough to need a map, I've got another low-tech answer. I'll find the nearest coffee shop or convenience store, go in and load myself up on sugar and caffeine, and ask the friendly clerk how to get out of, or around, his or her lovely town.

What do you think? Would you actually take a hammer to an old hard drive, or do you think that's crazy talk? And what about mobile maps--are those devices you can see yourself actually using? Please respond below.I'm thinking this can be an Olympic-style event at the next Black Hat. One recent year, I hear tell, some of the conference attendees headed out to the desert to skeet-shoot those discs a certain annoying Internet service provider insists on sending to 3 million of its closest friends.

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