Monday, January 12, 2009

Secure Eateries

Malaysia is a very secure place. Especially at eateries. In the days of free Wifi hotspots, one can never be too careful as we go about our virtual daily lives amongst the interwebs while chomping down on food. This is a review of a new special breed of restaurants which offer something special to the security paranoid.

SSLurping your food.

Along the bustling row of shophouses down Desa Setapak, where a multitude of TAR college students hang out, an enterprising shop owner has taken the latest encryption technologies and married it to the ancient Chinese art of making flour, egg and rice into yummy goodness.

Restoran SSL Noodle - cannot be stopped by the NSA

One can hardly describe the splendours of munching on the 64bit versions, or nowadays the more commonly consumed 128bit strands of noodles. For those who have a hearty appetite, 256 and 512bit noodles, the noodly equivalent of the Double and Quadruple Whoppers, are also available. However because of the high overhead, diners are warned that byting 32 times or 64 times per noodle strand respectively can take alot more time than just slurping it down. To each his own.

Each serving comes with a sizeable ball of entangled noodles which would leave most crackers crying like babies. There's no way but the brute force method to get through the servings.

I can't wait for more SSL type noodles houses to open around the city. Of course please make sure that you check on their Certificates to check on their authenticity, as checked by trusted Authorisors, and not make do with mere Self Signed Certificates.

Eventually one would expect that in more upmarket places like Bangsar, a rename would be required to reflect the newer and trendier direction of this form of eating: TLS Noodles, or if going international with ready merchandise and quirky branding available, The Flying SSL Spaghetti Monster would be a ready hit.

SSH, people are eating.

Down in the sunny beachside town of Port Dickson, there exists a Curry House which fulfills every sys-admins dream. It may be a very small niche market, but I believe that these guys are on to a real winner.
Secure Dining at Niva SSH Curry House

Imagine of more entrepreneurs like Niva's were just as enterprising all around the world: There wont be the Great Firewall of China, outsourced SysAdmins would flourish and Net Neutrality would be a no brainer. Forget Cyber-Cafes; that is way too 90's. Today, SSH Cafes are definitely the way to go, dude!

The great thing about Niva is that you can "single sign on" to his entire franchised outlets around the country. Assuming of course you have valid private and public generated keys. This means that from here, you can make orders, execute deliveries and pay remotely all from one establishment.

Ditesh has got a great resource to fully maximise Niva's franchise: "That bag of SSH tips and tricks," and I can attest to the fact that Niva supports all the features and benefits of SSH.

Reverse SSH tunnels? No problem! Niva will deliver your chapatis directly to your office even though there is a "No eating in your cubicle" policy enforced by management. Forwarding goodness? definitely: Niva can hop skip and jump through those tight firewall hoops to get those vadais where you want them.

Secrecy? All the foodstuff is encrypted to ensure that nobody knows whats inside. So that smelly Thosai bawang tambah garlic will never be detected by anyone until it gets reconstituted at your desktop.

The Good

Eating in these restaurants guarantee that no eavesdropping will occur. This makes Cabal meetings super convenient (take that, Pelita!) The food itself is mediocre, but it is the added service which makes the experience totally Awesome.

The Bad

The waitressing service. They either expect every browser to do all the heavy lifting, or each patron to type out every order themselves. They just provide the freely available Ports.

There are far too few secure eateries in Malaysia. Once would expect that with the growing IT literacy in the general public would encourage more SSL and SSH type shops to thrive. I believe its the dropping regard for terminal based commands.

The Future

The Government should do more to promote these establishments. Triple tax deductions, science or government grants and Preferential policies should apply. The promotion of these eateries is crucial for the success of the Multimedia Supper Corridor.

There's only upside to this market, and its wonderful that Malaysia has taken a lead on this. I don't expect any other country to have Security as their main selling theme to their eateries now do you ... ?

["Thank Gawd Its not Vista" - TGIV does not count.]


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