Subject: Re: NetBSD poster
To: MLH <>
From: Harry Waddell <>
List: netbsd-advocacy
Date: 02/24/2003 01:27:30
On 24 Feb 2003 01:11:06 GMT
MLH <> wrote:

> On 23 Feb 2003 18:00:00 -0600, Harry Waddell wrote:
> > On Mon, 24 Feb 2003 09:41:20 +1300 (NZDT)
> > Patrick Mackey <> wrote:
> > 
> >> > I think that just putting a spiked collar on the demon or such
> >> > portrays more (and in a better light) than the blowfish.
> >> 
> >> Or how about a demon dressed like a bouncer or a special agent?
> > 
> > The only thing I worry about, albeit not to any great degree, is that in
> > some parts of the world law enforcement isn't met with the same feeling
> > as warm-fuzziness as in others. Your idea matches with my initial
> > thoughts, but then again as a white male living the U.S. I've only been
> > hassled by the police for no good reason twice in my life.
> > 
> > Although it's another u.s.-centric reference how about a daemon with a
> > tan leather vest and a sheriff's star. Or, a police badge with the
> > words, 
> > 
> > "to SERVE and PROTECT" 
> You were doing pretty well until you got here. :^) This statement
> is implicitly political.

I'll admit that a reasonable person could construe it as political, but my
hope as that if people see it as political, at least it's not political in
a negative way. I was aiming for something more nostalgic, since many people
seem to be of the opinion that the past is usually better/purer, etc...
Maybe that's why my company designs mostly retro stuff. :-)

> As a local Federal Judge once reminded us, off of the record,
> "Complete the phrase in order to understand who you are dealing
> with". As he further explained, it isn't 'the People' that he is
> serving and protecting, but his employer. In his case, The Legislature.

Don't get me started on the american legal system. None of us have the
time or patience. Hopefully, it's just a case of the third estate casting a
jaundiced look at it's counterparts.

> Security isn't a Thing. It isn't someThing you can purchase, trade,
> invent or incorporate. Security is a process among us. You have to
> be actively involved with it. That's why I think that an image of
> a hired gun is a poor image for attempting to reference security.
> You are responsible for your own security. We are responsible for
> the security of our own systems, and as a community, we have decided
> to work together to steel ourselves for the task (maybe :^). How
> do you portray that?

A fair question. Here are some few thoughts, peppered with lots of opinion.

We feel good about "netbsd's security" because of past performance and
because we have developed some level of faith that the processes, people and
"culture" in place will continue to produce a system that is more secure in
it's default configuration than other OS'es. Unfortunately, the latter
belief is based on induction, which makes for good rhetoric, and is
commonplce in marketing. I find myself in agreement with your assessment,
but marketing doesn't have to be logically consistent. I know when I buy
shares in a mutual fund that I am basing my decision on the past performance
of the fund and it's manager. So, although the fund is required by law to
make a discolure that "past performance is not a guarantee of future
basis of my "informed" decision. 

I would suggest that the answer to your question of "how do we portray that"
is to point out our past performance and the processes in place to help
insure the best possible future performance in the area of security. It may
only be necessary for a marketing piece to simply focus on the past
performance aspects. If people are intrigued, they can get more information
from the website. 

Of course that just covers the words. Coming up with a graphic that
embodies all these principles is much harder. Maybe we should just give up
and put something completely abstract there. [like the word HACKERS with the
international "not" symbol over it. lame, I know] So far, it seems like a
few good ideas have been proposed. It would be nice to incorporate the
daemon, which I consider more a mascot than a logo, but some sort of animal,
e.g. a porcupine, hedgehog or rhino, is probably less likely to offend,
frighten or annoy anyone.

Harry Waddell
Caravan Electronic Publishing

"No one wants advice, only corroboration." -- John Steinbeck