Friday Summary: September 9, 2011

By Rich

I suppose that, all things considered, I’m a pretty nice guy. I tip well, stop my car so people can cross the street, and always put my laptop bag under the seat in front of me, instead of taking up valuable overhead luggage space.

While I have had plenty of jobs that required the use of physical force over the years, I always made sure to keep my professional detachment and use the minimum amount necessary. (Okay, that’s to keep my ass out of jail as much as anything else, but still…).

And animals? I’m a total sucker for them. I don’t mean in an inappropriate way, but I think they are just so darn cute. We even donate a bunch to local shelters and the Phoenix Zoo. Heck, all our cats are basically rescues… one of which randomly showed up in a relative’s yard during a BBQ, severely injured, and which we nursed back to health and kept.

Which is why my current murderous rampage against the birds crapping on our patio is completely out of character.

We like birds. We even used to fill a bird feeder in the yard. Then all our trees grew out, and it seems we have the best shade in the neighborhood. On any given day, once the temperature tops 100 or so, our back patio is covered with dozens of birds doing nothing more than standing in the shade and crapping.

And you know what birds eat, don’t you? Berries. Lots and lots of berries. Think they digest it all? Think again. Our patio is stained so badly we will never be able to get it clean. How do I know? I paid someone to power spray and hand scrub it with the kinds of chemicals banned from Fukushima – all to no avail. Not even with the special stuff I smuggled across the border from Mexico.

They’ve even hit my grill. The bastards.

I’ve tried all sorts of things to keep them away, but I suspect I’ll need to build out something using an Arduino and chainsaw by next summer. This year is a loss – 2 weeks after the big cleaning, even with me spraying it down every few days, out patio is unusable.

I haven’t killed them yet. To be honest I don’t think that will work – more likely it would just land me on the local news. But I do grill a lot more chicken and turkey out there. Oh yeah, smell the sweet smell of superior birds roasting in agony.

Hey… did you hear some dudes named DigiNotar got hacked?

On to the Summary:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

Favorite Securosis Posts

  • Adrian Lane: Security Management 2.0: Vendor Evaluation. Mike’s pushing the envelope here, but this is the only way to figure out how the product really works.
  • Mike Rothman & David Mortman: Data Security Lifecycle 2.0. With this cloud stuff, our underlying computing foundation is changing. This post assembles a lot of the latest and greatest about how to protect the data.

Other Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

Research Reports and Presentations

Top News and Posts

Blog Comment of the Week

Remember, for every comment selected, Securosis makes a $25 donation to Hackers for Charity. This week’s best comment goes to Russ, in response to Incite 9/7/2011: Decisions, Decisions.

Re Please Stop! Dear Adrian, While I believe one of the useful roles Securosis can play in the industry is to help turn down the hype on over-blown issues, in this particular case I’m not sure I agree with your conclusion. I spent a career in aviation safety, and found that what the average line pilot was talking about every day had nowhere near the amount of aviation safety content we as aviation safety advocates thought to be adequate (an example would be the extraneous cockpit conversation prior to the Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash in Buffalo). Could it be that the fact APTs is not brought up in your daily conversations with firms could be an indication of how far we have to go in creating a better awareness of red-flag situations? Just a thought…

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Ah yes.. the never ending battle between nature and the homeowner.

Despite the “big picture” posting by mugabo, it’s legitimate to be distressed by your birds. The violence, poverty and lack of medical care will continue killing people whether you find a bird/deck solution or not, but in the big picture it would be nicer if you could at least use your deck. Perhaps you could roof it?

Killing them won’t help, as more birds will arrive to fill the vacated space. Accepting that they are going to be there forever and moving their crap target out of your way is your only choice.

By Rob

Many of the buildings we have in Johannesburg have a little device on the roof to ward off birds. It works in a similar way as a mirror/disco ball by taking light (in this case, the sun’s light) and making patterns on the floor. Apparently birds are not fond of this in the same way that 70s dancers were and they don’t land on the surface. You may want to try something like this on your floor. (Its a “green” solution because you don’t hurt the birds and you use very little electricity to spin the ball or triangle mirror device… some actually use solar power to be even more green).

By Allen Baranov

Foil paper, cover wherever they come to with foil paper. Have you tried this yet? Good luck :-)

By Yael

I sympathize with your bird problem.  I have a similar issue but it involves squirrels raiding the bird feeder rather than bird poop.  So far my most successful solution involves the biggest Super Soaker I could find.  The downside is that the Super Soaker only works when I’m home.  I’ve considered some Arduino options too, but mine involved catapults instead of chainsaws.  I’ll let you know if I have any breakthroughs in my Unwanted Animal Deterrence R&D lab.

Stay strong.

By Aaron Schaub

LMAO at your opening rant: First World Problems Meme.

In the time it took you to read this, two people died of violence, four of starvation or lack of clean drinking water, three dead because of lack of medical attention, and 0.0000009 of security breaches.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of the Big Picture, and enjoy how truly lucky we are.

By mugabo

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