Isn't it Ironic...Camouflaged Distractions & Privacy Issues
October 3, 2002, 2:24 PM

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn't it ironic... don't you think

It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
Well, isn't this nice
And Isn't this ironic ... don't you think?

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything's ok and everythings going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think evertyhing's gone wrong and everthing blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you're already late
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic.. and yeah I really do think...
It's like rain on your wedding day
It's a free ride when you've already paid
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Who would've thought... it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
And life has a funny way of helping you out

Alanis Morissette,
Ironic, Jagged Little Pill

I know, it’s been a while. I’ve been working like crazy — and writing and rewriting a few controversial book proposals. Was on Adrenaline with the fabulous Mark Kellner and last Friday on CNET Radio with John Adams on Monday, and writing like a mad woman…. Also had a bit of love in between, but that’s over now. Now I have enough angst to work for quite some time with my usual edge ];-> It’s funny, a friend of mine hadn’t heard from me in a while and called and said, “Which P is it, Penis or Project?” (my friends have potty mouths, what can I say! Don't shoot the messenger). Yeah, yeah, I know…. It’s either time to start one, leave one, or complete another (I'm talking about projects, gutter mind). Whoever created us has never made a more camouflaged distraction than man. Isn’t it ironic?

I’ve been having lots of fun at Jeff Ubios’ dinners – it was great seeing Dave Winer up and about after his heart surgery. And always good to see that whole Brewster Kahle crowed fighting the good fight. Also getting ready to start a privacy lawsuit against Verisign — that, my dears, will be a ton of fun. One more in the stack of lawsuits to keep the Internet a safe place to play — isn’t it ironic that it’s not the people who are playing that need to be watched, but the corps giving away your information wholesale? Going to put an end to that if I can.

The funniest thing happened the other day – I heard from an old, old boyfriend (I mean, not an older man, but an old long forgotten boyfriend) who apparently wrote me only to say that he has a startup and has raised many millions, said some nice things about watching my career for the last some-odd years and then promptly didn’t return my email when I responded…perhaps he was doing a 12 step program, or ate a gun directly after hitting send…. Hmmmm, very strange indeed. What’s up with that? Pat says it was typical man/male behavior. I say, Typical, like I usually leave former boyfriends with any impression that I ever want to hear from them again…. I’m not one of those gals who keeps old boyfriends close at hand so they can become points of contention later on for someone trying to fill their shoes (I just don’t get that). That’s not me, and I usually do not hear from them again — although I do see them cruise my site from the backend of my server (kind of creepy if you ask me - my thoughts are exactly the same for old X husbands who creep around electronically and track down your number and breathe into the phone waiting for you to say something). Ick.

So anyway, Pat is just saying it’s typical because all of her old boyfriends seem to pop up like those clown punching bags with the sand on the bottom to weight them, when a few days later a guy I went out with ONCE, and thankfully for a short evening sent me an email. I had given him a Philip K. Dick book in the beginning of the date because he had expressed some interest in the author before we went out. Well, the date was five miles up in the sky at Mt. Hamilton – three years ago. Well, it was for a very cool event – something, frankly, that would take an idiot to screw up. It was an astronomy event, nighttime, stars, warm night, my friends were hanging out. Well, I freaked out when he pulled out his Palm and looked at all these notes so he could start ARGUING with people — professional astronomers because he thought he knew something about black holes that they didn’t. We had gone up there in this Corvette — I have to say I usually steer clear of men in Vettes because typically they have egos I don’t want to have the challenge of working with. So we drove up lightening quick (and remember, Vettes do not handle that well…it kept cutting loose on turns) five miles on the windiest road you’ve ever seen, cutting over into oncoming traffic lane (actually for most of that route it is only 1.5 lanes), and I nearly ripped his head off on the way down. By the end of the night my feet were so glad to touch payment that I promptly slammed his Vette door and never looked back. So, I get this email from his saying, My name is such and such, you may not remember me but we went out three years ago, I just came across a book you loaned me, can I get it back to you?” Yeah, right! Like that’s ever going to happen. I my email was one line “Keep it.”

So what’s up with men? Are they short circuiting all over the world, or is it just me? Let me know if you have the answer.

My 20 year reunion is coming up…I’m wondering if I’ll be in town, and if I am if I should go, or hold a competing event at the hotel across the street. I’ve pretty much kept in contact with everyone I’ve wanted to see — there is this one guy who was on the chess team with me, Michael Miller, a young Bill Gates type. Instead I went out with the cool guy, and I kind have always regretted that — I didn’t understand the beauty of geekdom until several years later. I’ve tried to track him, but the name is so common. So Pat and I are wondering if we should go to our reunion just to see if Michael Miller comes. We’re still thinking about it.

On a much more fun note — Donna Compton and Carla Rayacich had a fabulous birthday party out at Ocean Beach for me. The beach was warm and wonderful that evening with everyone bringing their instruments, food and drink. Many of the WiWoWoans showed up <> and the LiLoTe (Life, Love, Technology) tribe. What a great party! I am so lucky to be here and now in the Valley where there are so many very cool and intelligent people. Believe me, it makes up for the walking mishaps you run into by virtue of just being here and now. Then, last Thursday Anny Cleven over at Border’s in Palo Alto hosted a big book signing for FutureNet, and I turned it into a LiLoTe meeting. The invite with all of the contact information read as below. If you want to get onto the LiLoTe list, send me an email at

And on this note, I shall head out the door for a meeting in Palo Alto with the sun shining through my sunroof and a warm wind blowing, and great tunes blasting as I wind my way south on the 280.


Check out the great speakers, their bios and websites below:

September 26, 2002
Prepare yourself for the strategic battle ahead that will determine the way we create and use technology in the future: Sally Richards & Special Guests (see below) LiLoTe (LIfe, LOve, TEchnology) is Back! Border's Books PA, 7-9 or? A big thanks to our hostess extraordinaire Anny Cleven!

I'm doing a book signing for "FutureNet," -recent review: - concentrating on government intervention in technology, which is where my next book "At Risk" is headed. No matter who you are, the current legislation will have consequences on your use of technology, and/or your ability to create it. See for FutureNet description (Wiley designed; image is huge-sorry).

LiLoTe Lineup: Sally Richards discusses the weirdness of having to rewrite a book about the Internet post 9/11 when everything in technology changed. Not important that you purchase a book-just that you come and hear what's in store for your future. Knowledge is power, find out what you can do & meet the people fighting for your technology rights.

•Brad Templeton: Chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF, entrepreneur & technologist addresses government legislation designed to impede and control technology. Find out how you can get involved with an organization that is fighting to protect your right to create and use technology.

•Jeff Klaben CISSP CISA: Jeff discusses InfraGard, a cooperative undertaking between the U.S. Gov. and an association of businesses, academic institutions, law enforcement agencies, and other participants dedicated to increasing the security of the United State's critical infrastructures. Klaben is Manager, Global Information Security, Applied Materials. He is on the Exec. Board of the SF Bay Area chapter of InfraGard, and participates on the American Bar Association's Information Security Committee and the High Technology Crime Investigators Assoc.

Ames Cornish is a founder and partner of Montebello Partners, a consulting firm specializing in technology strategy, development, and security. Montebello Partners's clients include Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurial start-up companies, and venture capital firms. Ames is a member of the executive council of the Software Development Forum (SDForum), Silicon Valley's leading developer organization, and a founder and co-chairman of SDForum's Internet Security special interest group.

•Alan Cooper: Alan took part in FutureNet and discusses the future of interaction between humans and computers. Alan is considered the "Father" of Visual Basic, and a longtime champion for the interaction design discipline. He is the author of "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum."

•Another special guest may or may not include Phil Zimmermann, the creator of PGP, who has an extremely tight schedule, but may drop in.

Hope you can make it!
>>Dress warm, courtyard event<<