Time to conserve Helium. Earth is running out of Helium.

It is Time to conserve Helium. Earth is running out of Helium.

Did you know that Helium is used in MRI scanners and other technology? It is used by NASA for fuel as well. Yet the supply of Helium is running low, and using it to fill balloons is being considered to being discontinued.

Time to conserve Helium. Earth is running out of Helium.Helium is projected to run out between 2030 to 2040. Isn’t that amazing? It is a simple element and to think we could run out of it is just shocking. The nearest supply the article says is Jupiter. That is a reason to explore space isn’t it?

Besides MRI, it is also used in the LHC. I wonder if we will one day be able to create elements to replace what we have used. Or better yet, find other things that can replace their unique properties.

It will be strange to explain Helium one day to children. To tell them that we used to suck it to make our voices sound funny instead of using it for MRI’s and scientific instruments. I wonder if they will understand how ignorant we once were and thought that everything could be consumed without limit?

It is surprising isn’t it? We consume things like helium that could help us understand the world and heal ourselves. We allow money to determine how helium should be used instead of the greater good. What use is money when people are dying from cancer, or if we can’t understand physics well enough for interplanetary travel?

Therefore what does the future hold? It is really scary for people who are on the younger side and have to live in the future. I wish that the people who got us into this situation had to deal with the fallout of their decisions. Is is sad that those people who are most concerned about the future are the least positioned to make change.

More importantly, Helium is a gift we let slip through our fingers. No scratch that. We let it dissipate through our breath.

Is punishing people for a lack of computer security useful?

Is punishing people for a lack of computer security useful? A professor from RIT wants to do this to reduce the amount of cybercrime.

In the link above she gives some reasons why she believes this is important. The more I think about this idea the more I don’t like it. Here is why.

Is punishing people for a lack of computer security useful?Unsecured computer resources are a huge problem in cyber-crime. Yet the same problem happens in the real world. Criminals steal cars so that they can’t be tracked. Hackers steal computers and set up complicated networks so they can’t be tracked.

In the real world, trying to hold victims accountable doesn’t make sense. If we criminalize ignorance, then we all are guilty. Why not change those systems that allow this criminal behavior to happen.

For example, for years credit card companies said that magnetic strips were safe enough for credit card users. It turns out that billions of dollars was stolen and countless lives disrupted because of this. Now with chip technology this is much harder to steal money and cause problems. We didn’t hold those people accountable because the system gave them a card that was insecure. Why would we do it for a computer or technology?

If anyone is guilty here of helping criminals, it would be those companies that didn’t put security as a priority. We can’t punish Microsoft and Oracle can we? Why punish the person who has the least amount of power and knowledge about a situation?

Lets say that people want to be responsible and secure their computer. They would need to turn into an IT person to do that. The amount and types of security threats has never been greater. It isn’t enough anymore to just install some endpoint security, they would need to pay to have a very expensive firewall, layers of defense and a dedicated IT person to monitor and respond to any risk. While IT people like me would love this for job security, it is a hard sell for the average person or company.

It is really fascinating to be an IT person and see the huge amount of risk that companies and individuals take with their security. Even though the news almost weekly shows a huge break in and compromised system, companies are still shy to spend money on securing their infrastructure. The ones who do spend money like Chase, still get hacked, so at some point the average person might say “What is the point? It will get hacked anyway.” Understandable point of view but incomplete.

Even the smallest of companies are getting probed and attacked dozens or hundreds of times per day. Firewalls pay for themselves many times over protecting people from things they aren’t even aware of. Firewalls are the robot bouncer that silently does his job and no one is the wiser except IT people.

Asking everyone to bear the cost to support a secure technical structure would be ideal, but is impractical. What would be better would be to legislate that companies whose software is used in hacking to be financially responsible for restitution. That would clear up the problem really quick. Yet when software is secure, then the government will want access to it. So perhaps having insecure software that allows hacking, also allows surveillance. Hmm. Something to think about.