Secure communications

So, I have recently taken a new job (it is a kick ass place to work too), and have moved.  In the process of buying a house, a lot of sensitive infomation is exchanged.  Particularly around the documentation required for a home loan.

Email has become the de-facto standard for exchange.  Nobody seems to worry about sending things with social security numbers, EIN, and other identity information. 

Alas, I query the mortgage broker, asking for their public key, and I get a big “huh?” in response.

I know that email encryption is not trivial, and that it takes some effort to get your certificate (for free from comodo.com for personal use), and to distribute your public key.  But you would think that someone who handles thousands of personal financial documents daily would have it in place.

Sigh.

Things that drive a “car guy” crazy

I am a tech head, and I do have a thing for cars.  I drive a pretty sweet Honda S2000, and I have ridden performance motorcycles for most of my life.  So I know a thing or two about a well running car. 

This morning, while walking my dogs, I walked by a house where someone was leaving for work. He gets into a 2010 BMW M3.  Just about every M3 I have ever been near or in is a supremely functioning machine.  Fast, functional, and about as well tuned as you will fine.  The perfectly balanced inline 6 cylinder, mated to a 5 or 6 speed Getrag transmission equals a butter smooth ride, and more than a little “go”.

This car however ran ratty.  It would barely idle (usually an indication of someone screwing with the program of the ECU), and it had a loud exhaust.  Nothing wrong with increasing the breathing of the engine, but on something as highly tuned as an M3, you need to balance intake and exhaust modifications to keep the fine balance.

Alas, this example was poorly executed.  It ran about as rough as a 396CI 1969 Ford Mustang fastback.  Barely idled, and popped and backfired a lot as he (barely) got it away from the curb.

Sad really.  At least it wasn’t an automatic…