Monday, 31 December 2007

1 + 1 = 74:: Abstract maths teaches intelligence students to think beyond the obvious?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
I watched as he wrote patterns on the window. Formulas, Variables, Graphs and Models.
I watched as the problem was scoped, deconstructed, translated, interpreted, transposed, remodeled and whatever.
I watched as solutions and alternative solutions were demonstrated.
I watched as the audience gasped in amazement in witnessing the process, the outcome and the eventual euforia that ensued afterwards.

I watched it all - and yet although i did not understand the gesticulations of the symbolic number festival - i knew - i just knew that this mathematician was not nearly as smart as he thought he was.

After all, what he had just solved was a problem that thousands of other mathematicians could solve, that robots could solve much faster and that had no real application anyway.

So one day when i was teaching a class of academics how to think about the world in abstract ways I asked them to solve one simple problem. The problem was to consider how 1 + 1 might equal 74 (1 + 1= 74). Many of these students were bound for careers in computer programming, in competitive and business intelligence and others in information security.
I asked them to consider how 1 + 1 might equal 74 and not 2.

Suffice to say - not one student solved the problem.

Here is the answer and workings out.
First you take the number 74 to be an arbitrary number.
If you substract 72 from 74 you get 2, meaning 1 + 1 = 2 and not 1 + 1 =74.
So (1 + 1) is the same as (74 - 72) which = 2.

Here is an application
Say you were auditing a company and you found that there were 72 major risks inside the organisation - you could say that - 1 + 1 = 74 and unless all 72 risks were mitigated 1 + 1 would always equal 74. If all 72 risks were mitigated you could then say that the organisation really added up and therefore the calculation 1 + 1 would then evaulate as expected (1+1= 2).
Mathematics is an interesting language, but you don't always need to take language so literately. Sometimes you need to bend language in ways in which it was never intended.

In any case, in the world of intelligence - students need to learn how to think beyond the obvious. That was the whole point of the exercise.

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Counter-Strike TV - The Revenge of the Viewer!!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
For those of you who have switched on to Dragons Den, a TV programme that consistents of a panel of wealthy businessmen looking to invest in opportunities presented to them by a bunch of seemingly unprepared entrepreneurs (jester/clown/fool type characters), you will know what we mean when we say "SLAY THE DRAGONS".

We think the undersigned would present a much more interesting and comical programme format than Dragons Den.

Take one Jester.
Introduce him into the boardroom of a major corporation.
Lets say - a company owned by the Dragons - called "Red Letter Days".
[Jester] says lots of speculative, yet funny things about how the directors don't have a clue - in front of their shareholders
[Jester] waits for a response
If it is clear from the response that Jester has identified weak points
[Jester] homes in on weak points - until Jester has clearly paid for his time (and more)

Now that really would be educational and fun.

Why, we could call it - Counter-Strike TV. The Revenge of the Viewer!

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Build your own language - don't just accept the language of others?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Janey went through school and ended up with a Masters degree in Marketing. Janey became a marketer. Janey knew who she was. She was a marketer.

Tony went through school and ended up with a BA degree in Politics. Tony became a politician. Tony knew who he was. He was a politician.

Paul went through school and ended up with a MA degree in Law. Paul became a lawyer. Paul knew who he was. He was a lawyer.

Percy didn't go through school, but ended up with the will to find out who he really was.
Percy rejected the language of others, in favour of developing his own language.
Because of this, Percy was rejected - time and time again.
But Percy's will survived the test of being a misfit. Of wanting to be a misfit, yet also wanting to find a place to belong.

One day Percy awoke to realise that he did have a place on the shelf - albeit a new place - and he knew that he would now be accepted for what he truly was.

Whatsmore Percy had carved his own unique place in the sand - rather than to simply validate himself against the status quo.

The benefits of a poor education - and a strong will to find your own language.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Smart Integrity: Theorists unleash counter-systems-resiliency strategies

Brand Security Expert reveals::
As discussed on the Kent's Imperative blog, under the article "Systems of systems analysis, with zombies", we would like to draw your attention to a very important and often overlooked (perhaps less sexy) area of security intelligence, that is "systems resiliance and counter strategies". Many of us in the security business are concentrated on digging up the next exploit or security vulnerability or publishing the next exciting revelation to consider, where the real art lies in taking your knowhow and employing it in creative ways to build systems encorporating what we call "smart integrity".

Smart integrity is where the security strategist and intelligence operatives expertise really comes in to play.

Visualise this. If the world was going to come against you, how would you prepare a defense? How would you prepare to counter their reconnaisance efforts? How would you prepare for a billion lines of attack? When, how and where would you consider deploying intelligence resources?

When they do attack, how will your troop formations be styled? What strategies will you use to counter the attack? Are there other ways of manipulating the outcome, such as political, diplomatic or economic incentives you can use? Do you understand the enemies motivational characteristics, their weak points and the potential conflict points of the enemy and their allies? Do you know how to calculate and weigh the likely outcome of your moves relative to your enemy? Whatif, whatif, whatif!!!!

Smart Integrity is all about security posture management, tactical warfare and strategic communications and intelligence deployment. It is about mapping the intellect and tradecraft of the best military brains in the world, into the body of technology, to produce hydra-headed gatekeeper features which when attacked - shape-shift in formation, whilst they bite the head off the opposition, who perplexed by this smart integrity begin to atrophy, until they are nothing more than a shadow of what they were when they arrived on the battlefield.

Dumb integrity ready to be out-fought by smart integrity!

Geek challenges Gates and Jobs to a public webchat dual!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
A geek from Kent, England has thrown his hat in the ring to challenge the worlds greatest minds in the software industry to a battle of innovative words. Stephen Ryan, editor of Brand Killer Robots and designer of the worlds first blog server said that he wanted to show the world just how far behind the curve these supposed innovators had fallen from the heady days of the 80's and 90's.

Ryan said that he believed that much of todays innovative technologies were being stifled by these people, rather than embraced. He said that Gates and Jobs and others had effectively ringfenced the current level of innovation and were effectively slowing its progress in favour of chasing the all important amercian dollar.
Ryan said that he believed that challenging them to a dual would reveal one of two things.
1. That they are no longer really innovative.
2. That they are innovative, but are effectively slowing the rate of progression of innovation in the world (for whatever reason)

Ryan said, "I don't expect them to take up the challenge and from that we can assume more than you could ever know. If they do take up the challenge" :: "better make sure the world is ready to hear about 100 new paradigms in computing".

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Analysis of Analysis:: Transparent Frameworks or Stupid Subversive Political Survival Games?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Mr Robot once got fired when he dared to enquire why the commercial organisation he was working for at the time had no formal framework for managing the analysis process. Mr Robot was not as naive as you might think because he knew his days were numbered anyway and thought such a request might put a final shot across their bows and enable them to hemorrhage much more information than they had already. As you might expect, the management team eventually closed ranks on him and he was soundly, constructively and publicly ejected.

Mr Robot knew that the analysis function in the business was highly politicized and guarded greedly by a small group of analysts - who were effectively holding the CEO to ransom. Without market, business and competitive analysis input, it was evident that this CEO would effectively be running the organisation blind. Whilst the desire of the CEO was to have a formal, open and transparent analysis communication process, the sensitive nature of the balance of power required the CEO to manage her business in an entirely inefficient and risky manner - in order to make a few select business analysts feel safer in their jobs.

This lack of introspection and transparency effectively choked the potential for innovation in the business and destroyed its ability to scale - beyond the capabilities of a few insecure, yet powerful middle managers.

When Mr Robot left the company, he spent some time designing a formal framework for "business analysis: communications process and performance measurement" and for introducing elements of opennest, honesty and transparency into the process.

Whatsmore this "analysis of analysis" template can be applied at almost no expense.

Except for the obvious cost of getting rid of a few of your most disagreeable middle managers - of course.

Monday, 24 December 2007

The Recipe for turning Human Beings into Killer Robots

Brand Killer Robots reveal:::
Take one loving, caring human being
Place it in solitary confinement
Rid it of its need for human senses
For touch, for taste, for sight, for smell, for hearing
Rid it of its need for human desire
For love, for compassion, for sex
Rid it of its sense of direction, its spirit, its will to live

Then with one large hammer, smash it
At first, just ever so slightly
Then let it recover a little
Whilst it looks like it will get up again
Smash its legs from underneath it
Then repeat this exercise until it can no longer support itself

Then set to work rebuilding the human - "Into a Killer Robot"
Start by reworking the skeletal systems
Then move on to building the nervous systems
The muscle systems and finally integrate the hardware into what's left of the brain matter
Plug your laptop into its head and upload the program marked "Target = Competitive Brands".

Pull the console up and activate the killer.exe program
Pass the program the target variables
Executive the program............
running.....
running.....
running.....
...................

......Saatchi brand.....reported deactivated
......Coca cola brand.reported deactivated
......Rebok brand...... reported deactivated

:\killer.exe process complete

Return to Killer Robot inactive state and await next assignment

Sunday, 23 December 2007

UK Entrepreneur Pays for Trevor Bayliss Inventions

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Can you invent beautiful things for the third world? Can you design things of beauty like Trevor Bayliss did? Can you design amazing things like "water calibrated" reading glasses or wind up radios and computers? Are you an inventor who designs from the heart? A designer who loves first and thinks second? A designer who wants to make his mark in the world? Who wants to die knowing that you really touched peoples hearts? Do you want help from people who know and who care? There is a way of designing for people in the third world that only a very few inventors have the formula too. If you are one of those - please share your dream with the world.

Please don't let your dreams die with you!!!

You could save millions of peoples lives.

For more information email intrench@gmail.com

Zillion Dollar IT Security Industry made for Kids!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
My father said that when the Internet first came out and the web got started that it was really easy to kill a website dead by running a 10 line script against the target IP or IPX address. He said that with 5 lines of code he could hack a company's webpage and turn the logo from pink to green. He said with 20 lines of code, he could seize control of a remote windows server and use its CPU and harddrives to backup his own music collection files. He said in 25 lines of code he could control hundreds of machines and use them to test worms out as they traversed through the Internet. Funny thing is - after all these years and all the money invested in the IT security industry - i found out at university that nothing has changed. In fact i found out that in many instances, i could reduce the number of lines of code required to carry out the exploit.

HELLO IS ANYBODY OUT THERE????? HELLO IT SECURITY INDUSTRY!!!! DID YOU KNOW THAT NOTHING HAS CHANGED????? HELLO - HELLO GOVERNMENTS!!!! DID YOU KNOW THAT NOTHING HAS CHANGED??????

Saturday, 22 December 2007

British Managers:: Rather play "Political Games" than develop Responsible Businesses?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
The one good thing about being a robot is that you never need to play politics. That's not to say that we don't play politics - its just to say that we know we always have the choice.

Sifting through our research a general pattern has emerged in the way British managers conduct themselves in business. A pattern that highlights worrying signs for the future of corporate UK.

It is true that this pattern has been alive within the british establishment for decades, but never on the scale as in the business world today.

Every business is comprised of a variety of different systems, including information systems, human management systems, corporate vision dissemenation systems, marketing systems, fianancial accounting systems, customer relation management systems, health & safety systems and legal and compliance management systems, to name but a few. Regardless of whatever size of business you run, your MD will most likely be responsible for maintaining all these complex structures and your own performance as a manager will be measured against how well each of these systems are developed. To achieve this you may well implement performance appraisal systems such as KPI (Key Performance Indicator) analysis systems, CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) measures and transparent, open and authoratitive reporting to the shareholders of the company.

With so many systems to maintain and be responsible for, you'd have thought that there would be little room for introducing ever greater complexity. Especially where this complexity involves the establishment of systems that are not open, not transparent, not ethical and not based on good business practices, but rather rampant - self-interest. "Political Games Systems".

Again, we're not saying that rampant self-interest isn't good. Rather, that there is a place for self-interest and that place falls generally outside the context of something owned by somebody else. In other words, if you want to be self-interested, go and build your own business. Don't play politics inside someone elses company.

When managers feel pressured by the responsibility of maintaining existing business systems, many of them fall into playing the game of politics. For many, this is a subconcious reaction to being squeezed. For others, it is a game to be relished. A game for lazy people, a game for con-men. For procrastinators. For people who would rather play games - than do things that make a real difference to the business.

We call this the "politics - replaces responsibility" syndrome.

Don't ask "is my company motivated - ask - what is it motivated by?".

Is Genius Won by man - Or is it Forced upon him?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Bang!, Clang, Perlang, Biff, Boff, Bippety Boo, Slick, Slush, Splickity Splock....

Can you hear it?

Bang!, Clang, Perlang, Biff, Boff, Bippety Boo, Slick, Slush, Splickity Splock....

Can you hear it? Someone dropped the problem down the lift shaft.

Bang!, Clang, Perlang, Biff, Boff, Bippety Boo, Slick, Slush, Splickity Splock....

"Can you hear the sound of the problem hitting the supports, struts and metal uprights in the lift shaft?" As each noise is heard, a spark is thrust into the air. The dark smelly lift shaft is lit up by patterns of light - sparking and fizzing into the night sky.

It was then from the illuminated light pattern that the answer to the problem became clear.

"I've got it"..... "I've found the answer!"

And as the noise ceased and the light faded - I knew....... I knew I was the only one in the world with the answer - and it was so so obvious.

So few of us are ever visited by the sound, the light and the strange reflections of Genius.

In closing, we find ourselves asking - "Is Genius Won by man - Or is it Forced upon him?"

Wonder what Isaac Newton would have said!

Friday, 21 December 2007

Saatchi & Saatchi:: Why LoveMarks didn't go far enough???

Brand Killer Robots reveals::
Ok, so Kevin Roberts idea was to tell the world that love is lovely and people love love and that because people love love, they might love your brand (if you make it love them) and that because you love them - they'll be much more drawn to your brand - and of course love is forever - so if they love you now and you keep loving them

-- THEN THEY WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER - WONT THEY?

Phew! So we take the concept of love, make your brand message speak the language of love and from there on in - everything is fine and dandy.

Problem with this theory is that it relies on the known things that people love. It does not ask the question "what is it that you know that you love - that isn't available?" "What invention do you love - that isn't available"? "What would you love to have - that isn't currently available"?

Love isn't just about yesterday or today - its also about tomorrow. It's not just about loving the things that are available. Its also about loving the things that aren't currently available. About sharing the inventive genius love with your fellow man. Sure, i might like to drink Coca Cola - but what i really love - hasn't been invented yet!

That's what the biggest most respected brand agency in the world - Forgot!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Real innovation or innovation according to Microsoft and IBM?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Just what is all this about innovation? What innovation? What do you mean by innovation? Do you mean yesterdays innovation, innovation according to Microsoft or IBM - or do you mean innovation beyond the current Windows and computing paradigms? Innovation today is at best "innovation according to the 1980's /1990's paradigm" i.e the same cognitive computing paradigms - but smaller, prettier and faster. There is no real leap of science involved in the technology arena. Today's high-tech products are simply a variation on the same theme we've known about for 20 - 30 years. There is a lot more hype and noise and a lot less innovation involved. So where is the real innovation? Like in the medical profession or with bio-sciences?

So we ask - when you talk about innovation - really focus on the algorithms that are applied and the meaning of the word "innovation" and ask....

Is this innovation according to Microsoft and IBM - or am i looking at "real innovation"?

300 "Totally Secure Laptop" Ideas can't be wrong - can they?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::

In November this year (2007) we asked that you consider joining us in the race to find the most securist computer in the world!

We also asked you If there were such a thing as "Total Security" - would it really be a good thing? and told you that a British Hacker Cell has invented the worlds first totally secure laptop computer!

Apart from the usual stupid responses we got back from stupid people, we received well over 300 emails from Linux Gurus, SE companies and hardware genius's, with ideas for building such a device. Unfortunately, no one so far has come up with a broad enough solution to the problem that we all face and the IT fraternity has to date failed to solve.

Thanks to everyone for their input, but we are still on course to deliver Proteus in the new year (2008). If you would like to know more follow the link or email me at sryan@intrench.com.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Effective CI Analysts = Matrix Mentality + Human Subtleties

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Have you heard of the Matrix Luk Luk's? Apparently they are super natural beings with Xray eyes. Apparently they can stand outside your company and see right through the walls right into your offices, through your staff, into the computer, finally right down inside your telecommunications networks - right down into the content and context or your data. They can sense the human / computer relationships, the security posture of the organisation, the formal (or not so formal) strategic management frameworks and policies - right up to understanding the performance metrics, accounts forensics and KPI's of your organisation.

Where you and i have senses and see objects, colours and visual movement - the Luk Luk's see data, patterns, systems and formulae.

Unfortunately the Luk Luk's weak points are that whilst they are good at reading and evaluating the data that is available, they are pretty bad at using human intelligence techniques to acquire new fresh data, which could be the difference between win or lose.

So bad luck - Luk Luk's - we still need you - but you need us "Human CIA's" - much, much more.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Lotus Notes:: Where IBM lost the PC Marketplace

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
In 1999 (MrRobot) was on the verge of selling IBM a strategy for the PC software marketplace that would have seen Lotus Notes blow holes in Microsoft's position in the marketplace. He knew that Notes had a feature set way beyond its years, although a great deal needed to be done under the hood to make it robust. But at the time, this feature set presented the world with "killer features", such as replication, rapid application development and fast web deployment capabilities - amongst others.

It is true Notes wasn't for the purist programmer or for the relational database thinker.
But Notes was a strategists dream and with it IBM could have created some serious disruption in the PC Software Marketplace. Problem was, IBM was missing one important attribute — strategic intent!

Had IBM repostured Lotus towards a PC Software Marketplace takeover — there would have been a lot more yellow and black on the software landscape — than Microsoft white and blue.

Poor strategy IBM."

Monday, 17 December 2007

Letter to an Inspirational Genius - John F. Nash (Mathematician)

Brand Killer Robots reveal::

John F. Nash, Jr.Fine Hall -- Washington Road, Princeton, NJ, 08544-1000, USA

15.12.2007

Dear Mr Nash,

Thank you for being such an inspiration in my (Mr Robots) life. I don’t know you, but I feel that you must have “a beautiful mind”.

What you managed to do with your life was to take the path of - 'most resistance' and face it out even if it drove you to mental illness. You decided to take risks that others would never take. You decided that it wasn't enough to reach the highest standards set by one of the greatest minds that ever lived (Albert Einstein). You decided it wasn't enough to contribute works to a standard where you would be acknowledged and safe.

You decided that your own worth was less than your art and nothing was going to stop you, not even your own mental illness.

God has truly been with you in your life and for this, I thank you for being the messenger.

I thank you for never giving up on the human spirit, for “your original idea” and for “the mysterious equations of love”.

Love & Light, Nobel prize winner (John F. Nash)

Mr Robot

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Technological Entrenchment for Hungry Players!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
It wasn't enough for them to be the best video games test house in the country. It wasn't enough for them to be the first to market. The first to sign contracts with the biggest mobile network providers in the world. It wasn't sufficient to have the most committed staff and be expanding at the rate of 100 new staff per year.

But they weren't happy with that. Something told them there was more to this movement than had already been achieved. They thought.......... surely there must be more to it than that?
And so it was, they came to realise that the impact they had already made in the market must be turned into permenant "entrenched positions", by utilising predatory marketing strategies.

So they created atomic technological contexts within which their clients and partners were encouraged to become fixed parts of their test management process - and so it was after many years of investment they managed to raise the barriers for new entrants to take them on and make it much more difficult for their clients to switch to the competition.

When you hunt your prey down, you don't ever allow them to get away - and you certaintly never allow your competition to feed on the prize.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

A Beautiful Mind:: We ask - what price Genius?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
If you haven't seen the film "A Beautiful Mind", then make sure you scan it soon. Starring Russell Crowe, a young but brilliant mathematician wins a place at one of Americas most prestigious universities, where he is expected to contribute works to the highest standard, in order to secure a position at one of U.S top military intelligence establishments. Unlike his peers, John Nash decides to reject the brief he is given by Professor Einstein, in favour of finding what he calls "his original idea". As he struggles to make any contribution at all, his peers are busy at work producing effective works, to the level required by the professor. Close to breaking point and entering a world of schizophrenia, where imaginary friends begin to enter his life, a series of events occur around John which brings him to the point of revelation - "his conception- a new form of bargaining strategy - where everybody wins, as long as they consider both themself and everybody else". His "orginal work" has stood the test of time and his strategies have been applied in many walks of life from financial markets to retail to biological studies.

What John had managed to do was to take the path of 'most resistance' and face it out until it drove him to mental illness. He decided to take risks that others would never take. He decided that it wasn't enough to reach the highest standards set by one of the greatest minds that ever lived. He decided it wasn't enough to contribute works to a standard where he would be acknowledged and safe.

He decided that his own worth was less than his own art and nothing was going to stop him, not even his own mental health.

So we ask - what price genius?

Problem Solving:: Heuristic Analysis vs. Formal Methods?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
You went to school! Some of you went for a very long time. The longer you went, the better you became at applying formal methods. The better you became at interpreting a problem then solving the problem by formally breaking it into logical structures, sequences and algorithms. For you, solving a problem is a simple process of start, middle and end. For you, given sufficient data and direction, solving a problem is a simple process of start, middle and end. About starting your day at 9.00am, solving problems til lunchtime and working from after lunch to five o'clock solving more problems. Given sufficient data and direction, it is all a simple process of start, middle and end.

As the years go by your databank of logical structures, sequences and algorithms become larger and so burnt into your memory, that the speed of your RAM increases, so that you can solve known problem patterns faster and faster.

Your mind becomes stronger and stronger at solving known problems and for most businesses -- this is just the type of mind that is required.

But what happens when the "formal methods brain" is confronted by a problem pattern that it has never seen before? What happens when the formal methods brain is confronted with an "unknown problem". Where there is not necessarily a start, a middle and an end?

What happens is the formal method brain switches to "trial n error" mode, in other words - "switches in to heuristic thinking mode". Problem is, the formal method brain is not used to operating in the uncertain world of the "heurstic thinker". The formal thinker has ingrained patterns and biases which constantly try to override the heuristic process, making it much more difficult for formal methods thinkers to solve problems in a world of uncertainty.

But the heuristic thinker is trained to think in terms of 'trial n error' and is no stranger to solving problems within a domain of uncertaintly. In fact, the heuristic thinker has the reverse problem of the formal methods thinker, because whilst they are strong in a world of uncertainty - they are generally pretty weak at solving problems, in a world of certainty.

Conclusion is "that there is room for both types of thinker - just make sure you assess which of your staff are which type of thinker - and employ each to work on the problems that are most relevant to the way they think".

Why Nerds are Nerds!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Research by the Institute of Weird Thinkers has today published their conclusions on the causes of Nerdhood. Apparently, the study which investigated over 200 famous nerds found that 95% of those studied were in fact weird because they had a weirdly complicated childhood. Many sought refuge in a life of Nerdhood because they never felt in control as a child. Others took up Nerdhood to avoid social situations and more still became nerds because they wished to avoid this stupid, pointless life altogether - but didn't want to hurt themselves to do it.

Whatever the reason Nerds, keep doing it - or go and find a shrink.

Time for IBM to set Lotus Notes Free!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
"Ok, upon seeing the call for IBM to set OS/2 free, we thought we'd jump on the bandwagon and ask IBM to go Open Source with Lotus Notes/Domino. Ever since they acquired Lotus Inc and Notes they have marginalised its potential, choosing rather to chop the brand about so it fits in with the exclusive, yet uncool blue and white stripes. Notes was once a ferocious monster waiting to be unleashed, but without Ray Ozzie & co for direction it became a shadow of its real potential — "A real Microsoft Killer", was hung out to dry. So we say, unleash the monster IBM and let the open source community feed its hunger and make this Linux Demon

"A real Microsoft Killler" again..."

Friday, 14 December 2007

Brand Loyalty:: Are YES MEN really so bad?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Ok, we know that Robots like us shouldn't have an opinion on human loyalty - but somehow we do. So we feel compelled to share it with you.

Here goes. You know when you're this genius person or some chief executive type who is meant to be in charge of this or that. You know those times when you can just see things more clearly than anyone else - and everyone else knows you can. Those times when you feel like the world is there for the taking - and the rest of the world knows you could take it anytime that you want.

Well, hold those times in memory, whilst you visualise the people around you. Then ask the following questions -

1. who of these guys could i depend on in a fight?
2. who of these guys would defend me with their own life?
3. who of these guys really, really cares about me?
4. who of these guys couldn't care less about me?
5. who does this leave?

Once you've answered all these questions, sack the whole ruddy lot of them and hire a bunch of YES men. You know where you stand with YES men - and you can be sure that you only have yourself to blame when anything goes wrong.

After all - "in business" - you are the only person who will ever be truly loyal to your Brand - TO YOU!

Software vendors manufacturing security potholes: Should they pay to locate them?

Brand Killer Robots reveals::
We recall a security tester once asking the question whether it might be possible to get paid by the software industry for bugs and vulnerabilities that they found relating to the security of software programs.

The answer to his question was...........................

If you found a pothole in the road, would you call the city and tell them you'll give them the location... for a fee? They told him, why not just report problems for the greater good? You know.... be a good citizen and all that. They said, we're not against what you do, but we are wondering if the software industry will ever value your contribution enough for there to be any real money in it.

What they didn't tell him was how many of their clients were being blackmailed at that time. How many of their customers were paying for buggy software and security software patches - at the same time as paying hackers who were holding them to ransom, in return for information leading to the return of certain confidential data assets.

We don't believe in this good citizen crap. It is just a veil for allowing software vendors to operate sloppily. Best way to approach this is to push back on the software vendors - by hitting them in their pockets. When we are sloppy at work, we lose our job. When we are sloppy driving - we get fined. If they are not going to take responsibility for the quality of their products - someone else will - and in return they should get to pay a large fee.

They make the potholes - after all. They should pay professionals to find them.
Why should citizens pay for crap software products.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Intelligence is Not-Intelligence unless it is described effectively?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Ok, lets summise that many of the recent terrible astrocities in the world were a failure of the intelligence community. Where "intelligence community" means people within an organisation (Government, Educational, Non-Profit or commercial) responsible for the development of 'qualified intelligence' (from whatever source).

That all those employees and other assets global brands lost were because of failures by the intelligence community. That much of the corruption and lack of confidence in the commercial marketplace was down to failures in the intelligence community.

What then? With all the billions of dollars invested in the intelligence services, why are they failing to live up to our expectations?
If "intelligence is failing to live up to expectations", then one could further summise that "intelligence" is failing because it is "non-intelligence". In other words our collective "intelligence community" are "not-intelligent".

Now far be it for us to call the "intelligence community" stupid, but under such circumstances we feel we must ask them to explain why? Why is the intelligence community "not-intelligent"?

Is it because intelligence units actually are "not-intelligent" - or does it just appear this way?

Our own assessment has given us to reach the conclusion that the problem lies not in the targeting, acquisition and assimilation of intelligence. It does not lie in the specialist intelligence and operations fields designed into both government and commercial intelligence departments.

Rather the problems lies in the lack of effective descriptive analysis and presentation of intelligence.

Where situations are complex and multi-faceted, intelligence data must be summarized - and in a few pages or a few minutes' briefing, convey the essence of the thing in order to represent the collective knowledge and wisdom effectively. (partial quote Kent's imperative).

For "not-intelligence" to become "intelligence" we need to invest more in the field of "integrated, descriptive intelligence analysis and associated presentation styles".

Intelligence is Not-Intelligence unless it is integrated and described effectively?

Monday, 10 December 2007

Software Idea Patents::Can you get rich if you play the game?

Brand Security Expert reveals::
One of our finest legal minds and professor here in the UK reminded me ::

"that only 1% of patents produce any real income - 10% break even on costs of gaining protection and the rest lose money. Getting a patent is perhaps the easiest part of the process."

Founder of the GNU project and director of the Free Software Foundation movement, Richard Stallman once quoted an Economist as saying "you can compare the patent system to a time consuming lottery". Richard Stallman's experience is that only the smartest, most committed survive and even then there are a billion booby traps along the way.

In short, it is only worth entering the process of applying for a patent if :

A. Your idea is likely to be currently 'entirely unobvious' to the world community at large
B. Your idea can be leveraged significantly once you have obtained a patent
C. You are prepared for a long, but victorious intellectual battle

Even then there are dangers along the way - but as with many successful entrepreneurs - Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Woz, Ray Ozzie etc, you can get very, very rich if you play the patent game well!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Divorcing the Brand from the Company : Not good for business?

Brand Killer Robots reveals::
She built a multi-million empire over a period of some sixteen years. She was the brand - she was the player. Then in one brief moment in time, her adventure was over. She was cast adrift from the apparatus of her own success. Thrown off the stage. Seemingly never to return.

Some years later, in amongst the rubble of self-delusion, fame, hope, fear and fortune - she found a child. This child let others take the responsibility for once. This child didn't wear armour anymore. Didn't have to always be right. This child just was.

One day this child came to her and said - why don't you begin again? Why don't you just be you?

Upon hearing the child, she remembered who she was and decided to be herself again. And so it was that she built a new company, much bigger and more successful than the last. In fact it did so well, it put her first company out of business.

You can take the company away from the brand - but you should never take the brand away from the company. It is just not good business.

Listen only to your spirit:: Or Stop until you find it again?

Brand Killer Robots reveals::
Business is full of self-interested people - whether they say nice things or nasty things. Always has been - always will be. What the road to (so called) failure taught me was that we are all essentially alone in this world and that more importantly - we must take our ques from our own inner spirit. Under those conditions - it does not matter what other people say or think.
Problem comes when you lose your baby (and your spirit with it). I have spent 6 years grieving in the wilderness myself - but i know i will find it again.

Don't ask me how. I just know.

Listen only to your inner spirit - Or Stop until you find it again?

Saturday, 8 December 2007

You think outside the box:: WHAT BOX????

Brand Killer Robot reveals::
Someone once said to me "you know - you think outside the box. To which i replied "what box?". I wasn't trying to be smart and i wasn't trying to be arrogant. What i said, just came out, like an automatic reflex action. Like i was trying to defend myself from being hit by an oncoming train.

Years later, i had a chance to reflect on what i said. First my answer didn't really help me because at the time it added up to me losing my job as a systems integrator. Financial Directors don't like fuzzy calculations i guess, although my demise at the time was more to do with my lack of interest in playing the politics game than any functional deficit that i might have had.

But on reflection i did come to realise that my insistence to play the game from a blank sheet of paper was more annonying to my managers than i had first thought. I didn't respect what had been achieved thus far - i was far more interested in making new plays for the future.

For me that was where the real action was at. It didn't matter to me where they were now, (that was somebody elses play). I was much more interested in helping them to maneuvour the ship into much more profitable waters and i didn't care how i got there. I didn't think about being in the box, above or below the box. In fact i didn't even see a box at all. All i saw was a place where we needed to get to and when we got there - i'd be thinking of the next amazing place to get to.

I don't see a box, because there is no box. There is only the next best place to get to!

Friday, 7 December 2007

Competitive Intelligence Analysts::Hackers or MBA's - or both?

Brand Killer Robots reveals::
There was this guy who called himself a "Competitive Intelligence Analyst". He was the type of guy who sailed through school, picking up an MA in English, MSc in Pscyhology and MBA along the way. He could talk the hind legs of a donkey and was connected in all the right places. When he was in the office, you just knew that he was about to say or do something really intelligent. I guess, that's the way he liked it.

There was no doubt that he had read every book on CI under the sun and he was proud of his association with the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professional (SCIP), so much so he hung their organisational colours above his desk - for all too see. He also made sure that everyone knew that he was an ethical person and that he was following a strict process to ensure maximum CI efficiency.

People liked him because he fitted in well and gave everyone a sense of confidence that Competitive Intelligence was alive and well within the organisation. What they really liked about him was that he painted pictures of their business and marketplace that reinforced their understanding of the business and their competitors and this made them feel comfortable.

It was true, that Tim the CI Analyst really knew how to pump known intelligence sources and qualify CI - and was exceptional at articulating his findings, at the right time in the right context.

It all looked really good.

But somehow, you just knew, that Tim lacked an edge somewhere. Somehow you just knew that he was lacking in some way. In a way that would one day catch up on him. In a way that would not be so forgiving of his organisational style, his wardrobe of trophies or his finely tuned wit and charm.

And so it was that one day when he least expected it one of the company's competitors launched an all out attack on the marketplace. They deployed a "disruptive technology" strategy, gravely wounding his company in one quick blow.

At the post-mortem he was found to have been negligent of using outdated CI techniques and court marshalled for being an inflexible thinker who was stuck in his own ego and didn't even know how to program a computer.

Had he been a hacker..... the outcome might have been very different!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Identity Obscurity:: Is a new era of Mass Subversiveness on its way?

Brand Killer Robots reveals::
For much of the 20th Century citizens and employees were given one set of keys. Keys to the front door! In addition to these keys they contributed numerous pieces of information that described elements of their identity to the company, to the banks and to Government. As we advanced our journey into the Internet era the proliferation in keys, identity charateristics and biometric checks continued to increase and we now entering a world of rich virtual personas. So now we have keys, passes, biometrics and behavioural analytics.

Everywhere our people go they are confronted by - who are you? What are you? Is that you?

The greater the intrusion of system behaviours upon human behaviour the greater the anxiety and fear applied to the human condition. The greater the anxiety and fear, the greater the propensity for human beings to evolve from one identity and to begin to adopt multiple identities in multiple real and virtual worlds environments.

So Edna of 21 Grace Road, Wimbeldon, who used to be very definately Edna 21 of Grace Road, Wimbeldon - could easily be pushed to psychological breaking point, where her fear drives her to begin running away from her lifelong true identity and into the arms of multiple identity fabrications.

Why wouldn't she do this if she were pushed to a point where she felt that her true identity had been stolen away from her, in effect losing ownership and thereby control over it. Why wouldn't she begin developing new identities, most of which were known only to her? Why wouldn't she want to keep some part of her secret - even if it were deliberately artificial? Why wouldn't she want to use both new and old virtualworld and realworld personas in the hope she might just avoid the thunderous army of identity theives on her tail?

Why wouldn't Edna choose "identity obscurity" instead of becoming someone elses "fixed data reference point".

Business Executives should consider rationalising identity systems within the organisation in order to ensure they are not contributing to employees choosing the path of "identity obscurity".

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Reptilian Minds:: Why intelligence agencies should hire video game players?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
There is a part of our brain called the "reptilian cortex" that enables human beings to react more effectively to attacks by external predators. It is this part that helped our ancestors deal with fight or flight responses to attacks by sabre tooth tigers, tyranosaurs and the like. In todays modern society this part of our brain is rarely active. Whilst we are expected to deal with ever greater complexity, which creates new forms of stress and anxiety, we rarely have need to call upon the reptilian cortex. Soliders in battles, firefighters, the Police and the like will know it only too well, but to the general public, it is less used.

In an ideal world, there is little need for citizens to have a highly developed "reptilian brain". In an ideal world we don't want our citizens to have to be responding to terrorising events and shocking scenes. In an ideal world, we want our citizens to rely on us to protect them and for them to get on with their lives, their businesses and their hopes for the future.

Problem comes when you realise that we don't live in an ideal world. In fact such a world does not exist. Never did - never will? Then what?

One ethical answer to this problem is to recruit young people into the intelligence and security services who have particularly well developed reptilian brains. Young people who have for many years been conditioned to respond to external threat. Young people who know how to deal with adversity and who each and every day solve problems associated with uncertainty. Young people who know what it is like to play victim and more importantly to undertake a predatory role.

The role playing video game - shootem-up superstars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you represent a company and you want to hire field officers, sales people and the like - look to the end of their Resume - where it says "other interests".


You never know, you just might have a world champion reptilian in your midst!



The CEO who had integrity: But did he?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Frank used to say very little. He'd learnt to let everyone else do the talking for him. Frank knew that the more noise you make in life, the more ripples you make around you and the more ripples - the more crap that would stick to you.

People used to say. "That Frank, you always know where you stand with him". "He's straight down the line, the kind of guy everyone wants to be".
Problem was old Frankie boy didn't care less about anyone else. Wouldn't step over them if they were lying in the street bleeding to death.

Sure Frank was a straight down the line type of guy, but not the sort of guy you'd want beside you in a fight!

Years later i heard that Frank had risen to the dizzy heights of CEO for a major property development company. It appears that Frank stayed around long enough to finally bluff his way right to the top.

I just hope that when the real bad times come to his business, that his enlightening integrity will continue to shine through!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Entrepreneurs - looking into the Abyss?:: Take heart "Players are always Players!"

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
When your spirit is low, you switch to the higher mind which wants to control and classify everything around you.

You become an analyst of players, rather than a player yourself. You used to be a player and now you are an analyst of players!

You do this to occupy your time until you regain your spirit. This is a confusing, frustrating place, but it is essential you live through it - and most do.

Then you rise again.

Players are always Players.

Employee Disloyalty - A major threat to your brand?

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
Did you hear the latest news? Read all about it!!!

'Fresh benefit data lapse admitted'

An ex-contractor at the Department for Work and Pensions had two discs with thousands of benefit claimants' details for more than a year, the DWP says. The unencrypted discs revealed the type of benefits paid, but a DWP spokesman said they did not contain bank details.
The woman told the News of the World she forgot to return them after she stopped working for the DWP a year ago.

Wow, who's fault is that? Who needs to be strung up from the nearest lampost. Vilified by the general public! Shot at dawn? We ask you our readers. Who's fault is that?

1. The DWP
2. The Prime Minister
3. The Police
4. The Media
5. The stupid, disloyal moron who hacked the DWP security policy, then walked into News of the World to give them a sensational story - for which they presumably paid her very well for.

We ask, don't your employees have a part to play in safeguarding your brand?

We advise you to implement a security awareness campaign that encourages your staff - to not act like disloyal, selfish, money-grabbing - morons.

We believe this particular hack is a case of treason and the person who perpetrated this act - a traitor, serving none but themself.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

IDEATION:: The Magic of Visualising what you want before you do anything!!

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
What kind of company do you want to be? If you could wave a magic wand - how would your company look? Where would you be? What would you be doing? How would you be doing it? How many staff would you have? Who would they be? How would they be?

What kind of product or service would you be selling? How are you selling it? What kind of customer are you selling to? Are they helping you to spread your message still further? What is your message? How much turnover do you have? How much profit do you make? How much do you personally receive for the effort you put in?

When do you estimate that you will finally become financially independent?

Walk into most company's and you get a sense that they know what they don't want - but they don't know what they do want.

Why don't THEY try IDEATION? It's that simple!!!!!!!!!!!

Security Intelligence Officers consider the origins of competitive intelligence

Brand Killer Robots reveal::
From the Imperious "Kent's Imperative Blog"
We rarely touch directly upon our commercial brethren in the field, for we feel that much of our writings have relevance for this audience in their original form. We do not merely seek to write for a single group within the profession, and are fortunate to count among our readers many from the financial, pharmaceutical, and consulting set. We see their challenges and travails in applying the art and science of intelligence in often untrod territories as not so very different from those faced by a fusion center’s staff, or the senior intelligence officer who must stand up a new account-specific cell.

We have been too often struck however by the insistence of some in the commercial side of the profession that their work is entirely a new creature, divorced utterly from the precedents of the community that came before it. While we are the first to grant them respect for the unique conditions under which they operate, and for the sometimes serious challenges those conditions create, we would beg to differ most strenuously that the history of the community does not matter to them. We can point to the lessons of intelligence / decision-maker relationships or the experiences of communicating inference, evidence, judgment and uncertainty, along with any of a number of other areas in which the history should prove instructive in first principles.

There is nonetheless a too stubborn belief held by many competitive intelligence types that they have to be a “new” field, in order to carve out their place in the world and their relevance in the modern enterprise. And it is this insistence that makes us laugh, and reflect upon the length of the history underlying commercial intelligence activities. After all, most current literature cited by practitioners in the business intelligence world are indeed not that old in comparison to the national security side of the house, although we would question anyone citing what is now nearly 30 year old material as “new”.

To read more of this article see the 30 November 2007 article,
On the origins of competitive intelligence

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