https://www.darrenpopham.com is my personal website expressing opinions and ideas that may amuse some, offend others, and perhaps be ignored by many. All I can promise is that I might write something that you might read. If you don’t read it then it really doesn’t matter much then does it? If you did read it then consider yourself lucky to have graduated school with a teacher who cared enough to teach you how.

I am and have been a software engineer, Engineering VP, CTO, Engineering Director, QA Director, Web Developer, Automation Engineer, Serial Startup Entrepreneur, Published Research Scientist, Volunteer Crisis Hotline Worker, Trainer and Coordinator, Systems Engineer and a Teacher as well.

My resume could fuel multiple websites with content spanning years of experience ranging from the first Internet Application Catalog driven from a database source to developing an entire secure release platform for security product updates.

One item I am particularly proud of is that I am the co-creator of the current desktop PC firewall market that exists in every Windows system, every Mac, every Android device, and every Internet of Things doohickie. Hats off to James Grant (the amazing lead developer) and Phil Attfield (co-founder with an idea) – the three of us as a team changed the Internet without even realizing it. McAfee bought us and from there my Internet career has never looked back.

All other firewalls such as the Windows Firewall, ZoneAlarm, McAfee Firewall and Symantec’s firewall all came from our simple idea. We did it first and everyone else copied the idea. ConSeal PC Firewall – the first consumer firewall for Windows that was also EAL-1 certified for military
use!!!! And those popup warnings about an app trying to access the Internet? My idea. Sorry about that 🙂

Due to my security background I have been known to write about and dabble in Internet security from time to time. Visitors can benefit from this by browsing through the years of accumulated intruder data and maps showing where they originated. Intruders have been consistently trying to gain access to my servers since 2009. All of this data is collected and analyzed automatically and then made available in a summary form for you to browse through.

Have you ever wondered which country’s citizens attack websites more frequently than any others? It could have been Russia (they are high but mostly bots), but alas China wins that prize for focused break-in attempts (so far). You didn’t hear me express an opinion, just providing the traffic facts that I have collected 24×7 365 days a year for over a decade…..

Ideas and Beliefs

Security though is not just limited to the Internet and takes on many forms, including security of thought and knowledge.

Ever since mankind lived in caves trembling in fear of the thunder, we have had the uncanny ability to make up stupid shit to make us feel better about stuff we do not understand. However when these small-minded ancient ideas continue to persist today, even when proven repeatedly to be
outright wrong, and we then turn around and protect the silly ideas by calling them “religion”, then I like to call Bullshit. Bad ideas perpetuated by ignorant people who refuse to ask questions because it threatens their sacred beliefs are still bad ideas whether people want to admit
it or not.

Is it protected to teach people that gravity is only a theory that we can dismiss because there are other ideas, such as the truth being that magic invisible fairies sit on our feet holding us down?

Is it protected to teach people that when you turn on a light switch an angel lights its farts with a match to illuminate the bulb?

Those ideas are ludicrous, and so are those of a talking snake, an ark full of animals that walked all the way from Australia, living inside a big fish, and believing that the most recent telling of the son of a god born of a virgin rose from the dead? (what is it, the 5th version of the same story over the past 5000 years or something like that? Get it right guys decide on one version)

I do not support these dumb ideas. Period. They are made up crap that have no evidence, are misleading and are potentially dangerous. Wishing on a fairy god mother that cancer goes away doesn’t make it go away. If it did, there wouldn’t be cancer. Instead immune responses, modern medicines and surgeries make it go away – wish on that instead. Don’t spend the effort on crap ideas but instead find ways to work with the working ideas and make them better.

It is not up to me to blindly accept weird beliefs on “faith” just because some ancient pedophile in a book says I should, but instead it is up to the snake-oil salesmen to provide the evidence for their claims. Prove it.  And if you think I have insulted some magic fairies then they can file an injunction in court and then show up. Not you. Them. Or better yet, Strike Me Down With your Magic Light Saber! Good luck with that.

Alas none of this ever happens – no proof is ever provided. There is no such evidence for fart angels (and saying “it was written in [insert your favorite Goat Herder Instruction Manual here]” does not count as evidence). Instead what we get are false arguments that target and try to confuse us about scientific theories that do offer proof. Gravity works, go jump off a bridge if you doubt me. Magic fat guy in the sky watching my every move is bullcrap. Prove otherwise.

But rather than prove the outlandish stories, all that happens instead is falsehoods are created against observable phenomena that confuse people. That’s all they can offer. They cannot offer proof for their weird ideas, so instead they try to confuse and mislead people about the observable facts. I saw someone miraculously get cured of their cancer! Who? The woman used to justify Mother Theresa getting Sainthood? The same one who claimed to have cancer that went away when she touched a picture of Mother Theresa? The same woman who never had cancer but instead had a cyst for which she had been taking medication for months? Or did that little detail confuse someone…….

How about the World Is Flat (disproven by people thousands of years ago)? In fact people have measured the size of the Earth for thousands of years. Heck if you have a long stick and time to travel to different parts of the world on a yearly basis you too can prove the world is round and measure its size – with a stick????? Welcome to high school math…….. [trigonometry, measure the shadow length at different latitudes on the same day of the year, simple things like that]

And there IS recorded evidence of evolution. There are unimaginably many remains of transitionary species. So why do people froth at the mouth that there are no transitionary species? Anyone who knows anything about evolution knows that the fossil records are full of transitionary species!

Theories such as the “Theory of Gravity” do not go away by simply believing something else in its place, like whether you can fly or not. When you turn on your cell phone it’s not Angel farts carrying smoke signals to other phones in the ether, it’s the electromagnetism that is used to
send and receive the signals. The scientific theories exist because they are statements based on observable and repeatable phenomena. The observed evidence is there, it doesn’t go away when it’s inconvenient, it can be found by anyone and it supports the theory that best describes the
evidence. When’s the last time you smelled an Angel fart?

So ideas like religion, homeopathy, psychic claims and other supernatural phenomenon are dangerous. They provide pat and incorrect answers that are easily disprovable but still appeal to simple minded people who stopped asking questions. Believing in these ideas deludes people from looking for real answers that could be more helpful. I feel sorry for these people and hope that someday they can break out of their oppressive views and start asking meaningful questions and join the rest of us in this Universe, not the cartoon one.

In the meantime they keep on believing in Fairy Farts and still they benefit from all the science that surrounds them. Where do they think their cars came from? Must have been bigfoot engineering. Their cell phones and TVs? Aliens of course. How about their homogenized milk that prevents the deaths of uncountable children? The tooth fairy of course, how could I forget. And the flu vaccine or anti-biotics? They weren’t found by someone praying so hard that the solution magically fell out of their arse. It was a lot of hard work, trial and error, discoveries and most of all, repeatable and observable science.

If you are open minded, not trying to convince me of some ludicrous idea without providing the evidence to back it up, and you are interested in the things that interest me, then I welcome you to visit my site. If you have something to say, be patient, don’t write in all caps, be nice and try to write your messages as clear as possible. If you’re a bible thumping believer then I wish you luck, hope that someday you will learn more and politely I’ll just ignore you for now.

Site Etiquette

I try to leave content alone for the most part, but realize that this is <strong>my site, not yours</strong>. If a comment is particularly unhelpful, insulting, or otherwise rude enough that you’d have your teeth caved in had you said it in public, then I will remove it, edit it, forward it to the Internet community for ridicule, or do whatever the hell I want with it without any warning whatsoever. You might think that your immaturity or moral outrage is normal Internet etiquette, but I am sorry, if you do that here then you sir are an a-hole. Keep trying to contribute in this way and I’ll blacklist you. As I said above, this is my site, not yours. I can make the site, take it down, change its colors or switch the language to Finnish if I wish. Pucker up buttercup and live with that.

The same warning goes for spam. Spam based comments are deleted automatically, often without my even noticing them, and the server that tried to post the spam is automatically blacklisted by the security software I wrote. Spammers in my opinion contribute less to society than splinters woven into cheap toilet paper. While selling hope and promise they simply lead to a rather unpleasant outcome.

I also reserve the right to remove or edit any article I have written in the past. Ideas change, new information becomes available all the time, and I couldn’t stand by if something I said in the past comes out to be inaccurate. Unlike religions, I’ll change. Take that idea and mull over it for a bit – I can change my mind when new information arrives. Provide real evidence that a flying spaghetti monster exists and drops his noodley blessings from on high then sign me up – given evidence then I would believe. Until then, I’ll enjoy eating the pasta on my plate.

And last but not least, and perhaps the most important of all: enjoy life.

It is after all the only one you’ve got.