MA0-101 information source - McAfee Certified Product Specialist - ePO Certification Updated: 2024
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Exam Code: MA0-101 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - ePO Certification information source January 2024 by Killexams.com team
|McAfee Certified Product Specialist - ePO Certification
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Other McAfee examsIT0-035 McAfee Certified Intranet Defense Specialist
MA0-103 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - DLPE
MA0-100 McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO)
MA0-104 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - Security Information & Event Management / McAfee SIEM
MA0-101 McAfee Certified Product Specialist - ePO Certification
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McAfee Certified Product Specialist- NSP
Question: 83 As a recommended best practice, what is the total number of sensors that should be managed through a single Network Security Manager installation?
Question: 84 Which of the following options is the best practice to use if you need to edit all attacks with a specific seventy number within an IPS policy?
A. Use the Bulk Edit feature within the Policy Editor
B. Create and run the appropriate database query
C. Edit the attacks individually
D. Use the Bulk Edit feature within the Reconnaissance Editor
Question: 85 Identity Based Access Control cannot co-exist with which mode of NAC deployment on the same port?
A. DHCP based NAC
B. System Health based NAC
C. L2 & L3 Deployment modes
D. Mixed Deployment modes
What is the command to force the sensor out of Layer 2 Passthru mode?
A. Layer2 mode off
B. Layer2 mode on
C. Layer2 mode assert
D. Layer2 mode deassert
Which of the following CLI commands only removes trust between a sensor and manager?
Which of the following should be applied to policies in both Inbound and Outbound directions?
A. Policy rules
B. Reconnaissance rules
C. Attack parameters
D. Rule sets
Select the deployment method which enables the most effective Protection/Prevent on mode of operation.
Which NSP sensor models support VLAN Bridging? (Choose three)
Answer: C, D, E
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Today at the Open Hardware Summit in Portland, Alicia Gibb and Michael Weinberg of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) launched the Open Source Hardware Certification program. It’s live, and you can certify your own hardware as Open Hardware right now.
What Is Open Source Hardware?
Open Source Hardware can’t be defined without first discussing open source software. At its very core, open source software is just a copyright hack, enabled by a worldwide universal computer network. The rise of open source software is tied to the increasing ease of distributing said software, either through BBSes, Usenet, and the web. Likewise, Open Source Hardware is tied to the ease of distributing, modifying, and building hardware.
In the 1980s, there were no services that could deliver a custom circuit board to anywhere on the planet for a dollar per square inch. When open software began, CNC machines were expensive tools, now you can build a very good machine for just a week’s wages. We are currently living at the dawn of Open Source Hardware, enabled by the creation of Open Source design tools that have themselves been used to create physical tools. Inexpensive 3D printers, open source oscilloscopes, circuit board plotters, and the entire hackerspace movement are as revolutionary as the Internet. These devices and the Internet are the foundations for Open Hardware and software, respectively. The objections to why hardware is incompatible with Open Source no longer apply and small-scale manufacturing techniques are only going to get better.
Open source is a moral imperative in the truest Kantian sense of the word. It is a good unto itself. Of course, this means open source is also mind-numbingly prescriptivist. Holy scrolls have defined dozens of different open source licenses. The relevant license for Open Source Hardware has already been laid out to define the freedoms and responsibilities of all Open Source Hardware creators. Open Source Hardware is a tangible thing, from a laptop to a lampshade, whose design is available so anyone can make, modify, distribute, and sell that thing. Native documentation is required, and software required to run this thing must be based on an OSI-approved license.
The definition of Open Source Hardware has been around for a few years now, and since then the community has flourished, there’s a great gear logo, and you can buy real, functional hardware that bills itself as Open Source Hardware. It’s become a selling point, and this has become a problem.
Many hardware creators don’t adhere to the definition of Open Source Hardware. In some cases, the design files simply aren’t available. If they are, they could be unmodifiable. The software used to create these design files could cost thousands of dollars per seat. This is the problem the movement faces — Open Source Hardware must have a certification program. Unlike open source software, where the source is almost proof enough that a piece of software complies with an open source license, hardware does not have such obvious assurances.
Software Is Closed By Default, Hardware Is Open And The Licenses Are Harder
All software is closed by default. Anything written is covered by copyright, and the developers of open source software choose to license their works under an open source license. Open source software, then, is a copyright hack, enabled because all software is closed by default.
Hardware, on the other hand, is open by default. If you build a device to automatically inject epinephrine intramuscularly, you must go out of your way to patent your device. Only a patent will give you the ability to license your work, and before that patent is published anyone can make their own epinephrine pen. If you build something with an FPGA, the code that programs the FPGA is covered by copyright, but an arbitrary circuit that uses that FPGA isn’t. Any generic piece of Open Source Hardware could be covered under patents, trademarks, and a dozen licenses. Therefore, an Open Source Hardware license is impractical. This is why OSHWA is not releasing an Open Source Hardware license, and instead creating an Open Source Hardware certification program. No Open Source Hardware license could cover every edge case, and a certification is ultimately the only solution.
The Open Source Hardware Certification Program
At last year’s Open Hardware Summit, OSHWA formally announced the creation of the Open Hardware Certification program. Now, this program is live, and the certification database will growing very, very quickly. At its heart, the Open Source Hardware Certification program is pretty simple — create hardware that complies with the community definition of Open Source Hardware.
The theoretical basis for the need of an Open Source Hardware license is the fact that anyone is able to manufacture hardware. Of course, there are limits to technology and no one has a 14nm silicon fab line in their garage. This is a problem for any piece of Open Source Hardware, and the technical capability for anyone to recreate integrated circuits and other high technologies is the sole source of the traditional objections to any open hardware license. Garage-based fabrication is always improving, though, but closed hardware in the form of NDA’d chips will remain a problem for years to come.
The clearest example of the problem with closed-source chips is bunnie’s Novena laptop. This laptop is designed as both a hacker’s laptop and an artifact of Open Hardware. Although most of the chips used in the Novena are available without signing NDAs, open source, and blob-free 3D graphics acceleration was unavailable when the laptop launched. This non-open graphics problem will be fixed with open source drivers, but it does illustrate the problem of Open Source Hardware. Even though chips might be available, there might be binary blobs required for full functionality. You can build an Open Hardware chip in VHDL, but it’s not really open if you have to use closed-source FPGA dev tools.
OSHWA’s solution to this problem is simply asking for hardware creators to act in good faith. The certification program won’t knock points off for using closed source binary blobs if that’s the only way of doing something. Open Source Hardware is just slightly more aware of the pace of technical progress, and what is closed today may be open tomorrow. Building a piece of Open Source Hardware isn’t an all or nothing proposal; just give your best effort to make it open, and technology or reverse engineers will probably make it more open in the future.
Of course, with any certification program, there must be some effort given to enforcement. If an Open Hardware project is certified under the program but does not meet the guidelines of the certification program, fines may be levied against the project creators. Again, good faith of the project creator is assumed, and a project found not in compliance with the certification program will be given 90 days to either fix the problem or remove the project from the certification program. After 90 days, there’s a 120-day period of public shaming, and after that small fines of $500 per month. The worst offender will get a fine of up to $10,000 per month, but that would require years of non-compliance, and it’s very doubtful any conflict with OSHWA will ever reach that stage. It should be noted these fines have a legal basis in the trademark of the OSHW certification logo, and if you don’t use the OSHW logo or certify your project, there’s nothing OSHWA can do.
The old Open Source Hardware ‘gear’ logo — unquestionably a better logo — will still remain in use, and no one is going will look down on you for using it. Using the trademarked OSHW logo, though, is the only way any certification program can be enforced.
The Objections To Open Source Hardware
Of course, the Open Source Hardware Certification program has been more than two years in the making, and that’s time enough for a few people to start having very strong opinions about it. A few years ago, Saar Drimer of Boldport said he won’t be using the Open Source Hardware logo on his boards. This is despite the fact that he loves Open Source Hardware, has written open source PCB design software, and offers a 20% discount on open source contract work. His reason is simple: adding a logo brings baggage, and building Open Source Hardware is not mutually exclusive with putting a logo on a board. Dave Jones is a big supporter of Open Hardware, but he realizes the famous gear logo is becoming meaningless through abuse.
You need only look back on the last twenty or thirty years of the world of Open Source Software to get a sense of where Saar and Dave are coming from; Stallman does not believe in a moral imperative to Open Hardware, whereas most everyone in attendance of today’s Open Hardware Summit does. Gnome versus KDE is nothing compared to the religious war we potentially face between various Open Hardware philosophies. The Open Source Hardware community is relearning what the open source software community learned twenty years ago. We can only hope to learn from their missteps.
But Open Source Hardware has a much bigger obstacle to adoption than politicking and empire building. Open source software is a simple concept — you have a (copy) right to whatever software, music, words, or boat hull designs you create. You can, therefore, give others the right to use, study, share, and modify that work. Physical objects and artifacts do not have copyright, they have patents. Patent law in the United States is atrocious, and just because you were the first to create a useful invention doesn’t mean a patent would be invalidated. This is the greatest challenge to anything developed as Open Source Hardware. The only solution to this is prior art and patent inspectors that know where to look.
This Will Take a While to Work Out
The Open Source Hardware Certification program is going to take a while to unravel. OSHWA doesn’t believe this certification program will be a repository used by patent inspectors looking for prior art. The legal basis for the certification is literally built upon every piece of intellectual property law. It is, perhaps, an answer to the most complex legal questions ever: what is property, what is intellectual property and can the concept of physical things be given away.
No one has an answer to these questions, or at least an answer that can be summed up in one-page FAQ. The Open Source Hardware Certification program is an attempt to answer these questions, and so far it’s the best attempt yet.
None of this matters unless the community gets behind it, and if another competing Open Source Hardware certification or license pops up, the community may very well migrate to that. Judging from the last thirty years of open source software license drama, we can only hope that the community figures this out the first time, and we hope this certification program is a rousing success.
"This is one of the strangest cases I have seen in my career."
The stranger-than-fiction saga of cybersecurity mogul John McAfee is still developing more than seven months after he was found dead in a Spanish prison cell last year.
Now, according to MarketWatch, McAfee's body is the subject of a dramatic legal conflict involving his daughter, his ex-wife, and Barcelona investigators.
"To my knowledge, they have done nothing to the body," Joy Athanasiou, the lawyer representing McAfee's daughter, told MarketWatch. "It has been sitting there [in a freezer] all these months."
"This is one of the strangest cases I have seen in my career," added Nishay Sanan, who was McAfee's lawyer back when he was alive.
McAfee lived a famously colorful life, gaining prominence by starting McAfee AntiVirus before jumping into antics including claiming he'd been poisoned, spending years on the run and launching a bizarre presidential bid, and threatening to unmask the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, among many other fictional-sounding endeavors.
The drama even continued after he died last year, with his Instagram account posting a posthumous image that seemed to suggest his involvement in a ridiculous conspiracy theory.
And now, according to MarketWatch's reporting, his body seems to be in indeterminate limbo in Spain. But even in death, those close to McAfee warned the outlet, it's possible that not as is what it seems.
"It was usually smoke and mirrors with John," said Kyle Sandler, who managed McAfee's 2016 presidential run but was later convicted of stealing money from investors, told the publication from prison.
More on John McAfee: John McAfee's Manager Threatens to Release Secret Data "Payloads"
Pat McAfee has a message for Georgia fans who blame him for ESPN’s massive layoffs: go to hell.
McAfee went on a bizarre rant Tuesday on “First Take,” where he pushed back against those who blame him for ESPN’s layoffs, including Georgia fans upset about former Bulldogs star David Pollack’s ouster.
This past Saturday, the ex-punter tricked Georgia fans into thinking he would choose the Bulldogs to beat Alabama before selecting the Crimson Tide on “College GameDay.”
“I was very nice to them, I was very cordial to them, but in the biggest moment, in front of them all, it was a nice little reminder that hey, yeah, you can go to hell too for what you said to me all year,” McAfee said Tuesday.
Naturally, some connected how ESPN cleared payroll to hire McAfee.
One of those personalities was Pollack, whom McAfee replaced on “College GameDay.”
That did not sit well with Georgia fans, and McAfee claims they let him know it throughout the year.
“The whole narrative all year was that because my show came to ESPN, obviously we fired Steve Young, we fired all the people that were here and were great people at ESPN and it was my show’s fault,” McAfee said Tuesday. “And then on GameDay, David Pollack got let go. David Pollack, who I am a massive fan of, one of the greatest Bulldogs of all time, a dude who was very good to me, obviously I took his spot. So, Georgia fans all year not necessarily the biggest McAfee fans.”
During Saturday’s pregame show, McAfee played the Georgia fans by singing a Georgia chant before then choosing the Crimson Tide.
“Give me Alabama to break all of your hearts,” McAfee exclaimed.
McAfee is thankful the Crimson Tide knocked off the Bulldogs after his stunt.
Said McAfee: “Alabama wins that, it’s a huge ordeal, it’s always better than that because Georgia wins that I have to live with that forever.”
Andy McAfee is a principal research scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of a number of books, including The Geek Way. Motley Fool host Mary Long caught up with McAfee to discuss how culture shapes companies -- and brings about impressive returns along the way.
To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool's free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.
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Andy McAfee: Anyone who owns Amazon's stock would prefer for it not to have billion dollar failures but our prime goal is are they creating value or should we value them more highly over time? Yes, Bezos' point is a part of that. Is this willingness to take risks and do things that are not going to pan out and the scale at which you do that, at which you take those risks, needs to grow with the scale of the company? Amazon's a massive company now. Bezos said, if we're not incubating multi billion dollar failures we're not seeking enough we're not trying hard enough to deeply innovate.
Mary Long: I'm Mary Long, and that's Andy McAfee, a principal research scientist at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He's also the author of multiple books, including most recently, The Geek Way, The Radical Mindset That Drives Extraordinary Results. I caught up with McAfee to talk about why investors should pay attention to geeky companies. We discuss how Satya Nadella saved Microsoft from sclerosis, why communicating less may actually be a good thing, and how Amazon's ownership culture led to the start of an entire industry now worth hundreds of billions of dollars. You describe the path to geek dumb in the book as being fourfold. It's embodied by deeply valuing science, ownership, speed, and openness. How can investors, so outsiders to these companies, how can they spot those qualities in companies that they're interested in?
Andy McAfee: It's such a great question because it's hard. Because I'm talking about a company's culture and our ways to assess and detect a company's culture are weak. These four things that you described; science, ownership, speed, and openness, those are norms. Those are behaviors that the people around you expect out of you. We don't have a norm detector. I invent a hypothetical one in the book. We don't have norm detectors. As an investor, it's very hard to know what the ground truth is in a company about its culture and about its norms. reading the annual report is a deeply lousy way to do that because that's written by a very different group of people. Luckily, we are finally getting better tools to understand what a company's culture is actually like. In one of the chapters of the book where I'm making my argument, I rely heavily on this really fascinating body of research called The Culture 500 Research. Where a couple colleagues of mine at MIT, Don and Charlie Soul, two brothers, said, wait a minute, we have a lot of people talking online about their company's cultures in a free text, say whatever you want way, think about glass door reviews and they said what we can do is use machine learning. We can train a machine learning system to extract what the person is talking about in their review of the company where they work, and are they talking about it in favorable or unfavorable terms? Now, this isn't perfect, but nothing's perfect. This is a really cool way to systematically and consistently assess companies cultures. When you do that, the companies that I'm talking about and that I studied companies in what we call the tech space, although I hate that label, clustered in on the West Coast, primarily in Northern California. They jump off the page in terms of what people say about their agility, their innovation, and their execution ability. We used to think you could pick maybe two out of those three. But according to people who work at these companies, these companies are doing all three. We're getting better ways to assess culture and those more objective assessments line up, I believe, with where a huge amount of the value creation has been happening.
Mary Long: That value creation I think is illustrated. This might sound like an easy example, but in Amazon, which you cite as a premier example of ownership culture, and that despite the fact that it's one of the largest companies in the world and could in another world be plagued by bureaucracy. Bezos has a commitment to ownership culture and that leads not only to the development of a new business unit for the company, but effectively to the creation of the Cloud computing industry. Could you tell us that story of how that came to be?
Andy McAfee: It's such a wild story and I didn't know it before I started researching the book. Mary, I'm with you. Amazon has a profound culture of ownership. I think it's the first of their leadership principles that they articulate and Bezos and now I think Andy Jesse, are working very hard not to let bureaucracy creep in because that's what happens by default, it comes in like barnacles on the hull of a ship or kudzu on a tree. They fight against that super hard. But what I didn't know was that early in its history, Amazon was by design, a super top heavy bureaucracy. This was Bezos' first vision for how to do innovation. You submitted your proposed innovation to this set of committees that would pass judgment on it, and if it passed all the reviews, they would give you the resources that you need. If you didn't make that cut. Maybe you escaped having to provide resources to somebody else, or maybe you didn't get your request filled and you had to go provide resources to somebody else in addition to hitting all of your own targets. This was misery. People hated it at Amazon and Bezos, to his great credit, did about 180 degree shift and said, nope, if we want innovation we cannot manage it in this way. What we're learning is how to kill innovation. That sparked this movement at Amazon to have a very modular, very decoupled organization with very autonomous independent units.
As you point out, building a technology stack that could enable that was uncertain at the time. Didn't know if you could do that in a sizable company. They did. It led directly to AWS and to the birth of the Cloud, this very modular systems oriented architecture. Then they also had to decouple organizationally. They found that though teams that worked hardest, this is where two pizza teams came from. The teams that worked hardest on reducing their dependencies with the rest of the organization early on were the ones that had the best results later. What you wind up with is this directed swarm of companies. Think about a drone swarm all going after the target together. Amazon strikes me that way and there's a really good technology analyst. I'm sure a lot of your listeners follow Benedict Evans. He's fantastic. You get this great paragraph that I quote in The Geek Way. He said," Amazon is a machine for building more Amazons." I think that's if you can pull that off, that's really powerful because then you're just plugging more stuff in and letting the good stuff grow.
Mary Long: You mentioned that 180 degree shift from the way that things were at Amazon and then realizing that that was stifling innovation and pivoting to something new. Microsoft is another great example you give in the book of a company that swings back and forth on this pendulum of geekiness. That starts out really excelling in a lot of those categories that you mentioned and then is just wrecked by sclerosis and then manages to come back from that. How does that happen?
Andy McAfee: Not without a huge amount of leadership. I think what Satya Nadella has accomplished at Microsoft is up there. Neck and neck. I don't know if it's ahead or behind. It's at least neck and neck with what Steve Jobs did when he came back to Apple, took very different paths. But in terms of a corporate turnaround and unlocking crazy amounts of value, I can't think of anybody else that belongs in that league with Nadella and Microsoft. Because if some of your listeners are old enough to remember the first decade of this century, Microsoft was dead in the water. They were a large, profitable company. Their stock price was absolutely flat. They were and also ran in the industry. When you looked inside, there's very good reporting about Microsoft in these days. They were a massive sclerotic bureaucracy that killed good ideas for a living, and the in fighting and the politics was crazy.
Nadella inherits that when he becomes CEO in 2014. What he's done in not even a decade is pivot this gigantic company. I had the chance to interview him for the book and as I was listening to him, he's ticking off all the things that are in this geek playbook. Embracing decision making based on evidence, that's science. Being more agile, embracing agile methods for managing big projects, that's speed. Devolving authority, getting roadblocks out of the way, removing the need to ask permission from all gatekeepers inside the company, that's ownership. Then finally, and this might be the most clever thing of all, working to make a place where vulnerability, where not being right or not knowing the answer or not always having the perfect response at the tip of your tongue at a meeting, well that's actually OK. That is the opposite of the defensiveness that exists at most companies, and that was the rule of the day at Microsoft early on. As I was listening to Nadella and furiously trying to take notes, I kept on saying to myself, this is speed, this is ownership, this is openness, this is doing the stuff that geeks believe in.
Mary Long: Your book got me to think about communication a bit differently. Because I think there's a temptation to think all communication is good. What. The Geek Way emphasizes is, actually talking oftentimes gets in the way of doing. But you mentioned the Agile method. There's still communication happening, and the agile method is a great example of this. A lot of that communication is visual, it's not gatekeeping information or having a conversation just for the sake of talking.
Andy McAfee: Not running it by somebody. It's delivering something to them and seeing if it works or not. It's very outcome based, results based. Mary, I'm with you. This was one of the weirdest things that realizations that I came to as I was researching the book. This mania for coordination and communication and cross functional collaboration and all this stuff, we do way too much of it. Now, some of it's a good idea, but we got way too fond of it over the course of the industrial era because it just provides more opportunities to block progress, more opportunities to slow things down, more chances to grab turf and to become important. Because you got to run the idea by me either in a hard way or a soft way. There's plenty of soft bureaucracy out there. And what the geeks are doing is when they take this inherently modular approach and letting small teams do what they go do and iterate and try to accomplish big goals. An important part of that is stop as much of the coordination.
Can I run this by you? Is this OK with you? They do a huge amount less of that. I talked to Sebastian Thron, who's just an Alpha geek entrepreneur, innovator, scientist, and he said, I tell my teams to stop all the communicating. He had this great image. He said, a team's working on something fantastic. Then they decide they want to run it up the management flagpole and then back down. By the time it comes back down, it has so much added to it because everybody wants to add to it and make their own participation visible that it's almost unrecognizable, doesn't bear any relation to what they started with. If you spent any time in organizations, this happens all the time and the geeks are trying to not, they can't eliminate it entirely. It's not that communication is bad, but communication just for the sake of it and hey, let's make sure we're all coordinated. They do a lot less of that.
Mary Long: There's a lot of emphasis on the book as well on the importance of failure and shipping things before they're ready. Being unafraid to ideate and change and pivot, even if that pivot means completely abandoning the original idea. Do you have a favorite pivot story from a company that you've studied?
Andy McAfee: As I was researching, I learned how many really successful tech companies now started as something completely different. A weird number of them started as online games of some kind. YouTube was originally a dating site. I had no idea. I think Instagram started as a game. You hear these stories and the lore of the pivot in Silicon Valley. You can overdo it and the sitcom Silicon Valley made fun of it, but here's the thing. It's the opposite of defensiveness. It's the opposite of clinging to the status quo and saying, no, we're right. We just have to work a little bit harder. I need more resources. I need more time. My idea is right. That's the default. That's the norm. We humans don't want to admit that we're wrong. We have a very strong status quo bias. We are inherently defensive. I would much rather overemphasize the pivot than underemphasize it, because I think we've been underemphasizing it for all of corporate history until now and this notion that you're going to be wrong a lot if you're trying to accomplish big things in an uncertain environment. Not that failure is our goal, but failure is a thing that is going to happen on our way to our goal and we're not going to punish it. In some cases we're actually going to celebrate it and we want to build a company that is OK swinging for the fences, missing, pivoting, trying not to be so defensive. In addition to which, I think they're better places to work. I think non-defensive organizations are better places to work because they're not full of people digging in their heels and protecting their turf and trying at all costs not to ever lose budget headcount status, whatever. There's a lot of that going on and it's not very much fun.
Mary Long: There's another point in the book, and you quote Jeff Bezos, which I believe it's from an old Amazon earnings call in which he talks about how failures ought to grow at the same scale of the company. He said that he expects and hopes to one day see Amazon make multi-billion dollar failures. I think for investors, that's a really interesting point to focus on. How much should we look at the costs of failure, like real losses, as indicators of success and the future and foundation?
Andy McAfee: One way to do that is to look at the company's track record over a decent length of time. All of us, anyone who owns Amazon stock would prefer for it not to have billion dollar failures. But our prime goal is are they creating value? Should we value them more highly over time? Yes. Bezos's point is a part of that. Is this willingness to take risks and do things that are not going to pan out and the scale at which you do that, at which you take those risks, needs to grow with the scale of the company? Amazon's a massive company now. Bezos said, if we're not incubating multi-billion dollar failures, we're not being risk seeking enough, we're not trying hard enough to deeply innovate. I think we have just seen a multi-billion dollar failure with Alexa up to now which was not lighting the world on fire and now in this era of generative AI. The money they've spent training all those Alexa skills, man does that look like money that was not well spent. Now again, all of us who own Amazon stock would prefer for that not to be the case. But what I really want is for Amazon to maintain its innovation engine. That involves failure.
Mary Long: The book is effectively case study after case study of these companies that embody geekiness, and many of which we've talked about just now, so Netflix, Hubspot, Google, Amazon, SpaceX, etc. What else do you think these organizations have to learn? They've got geekiness down. What's next?
Andy McAfee: They have to learn how to stay healthier later into middle age. The conclusion of the book is actually one of my favorite chapters, because I realized, as I was interviewing all these Alpha geeks, and as you know, Silicon Valley is not full of incredibly modest people and a lot of the people I talked to had accomplished very impressive things. They're confident in a lot of their opinions but when I asked them, do you think that we have figured out finally how to build sustainably successful companies? They all laughed at me. If I said, do you think the companies in the tech base that are on top now are guaranteed to stay on top? They really looked at me with pity because it was such a dumb question and they said no, and there are a couple reasons. One is competition is nasty. Competition can be tough. The example I give is if a start up announces a real commercial scale quantum computing tomorrow, a whole lot of incumbrents are in trouble but that might not even be the biggest force. There are internal forces in organizations that ruin them. Two, that seem particularly relevant to me. Number 1, is an overconfident leader, and people who are successful build up a lot of confidence.
We humans are innately overconfident. We are inherently overconfident because it's good for us. It improves our standing in the group. After you've done a few amazing things, you start to think that by definition the things that you do are amazing. We look at Elon with Twitter right now, or whatever we're supposed to call it. I think we're seeing a case study of an overconfident leader play out. Zuckerberg was so convinced in the Metaverse that he spent billions and billions of dollars on it. That appears not to be money well spent. Overconfidence at the top is alive and well and it will kill a company. I think even the deeper problem though is the fact that the interests of a company are not inherently aligned with the interests of the people that make up the company. Those divergences can grow, you can get into factions, you can get into different flavors of in fighting and political turf, and you can watch companies just tear themselves apart from the inside with no outside force doing that. It's almost a permanent feature of human organizations. I don't think we've unlocked how to never have that happen anymore.
Mary Long: Your book was striking to me because on the one hand it's about individuals. How founders and leaders are largely responsible for shaping the culture of a company, but on the other hand, it's about companies. It's about multiple people, and the people that actually make up that culture that's being fed to them. It comes at an interesting time because we're talking so much about wild minds. That's a phrase that I'm stealing from Morgan Housel. This single individual that we were prone to thinking of as the reason for something happening, your book says, well, it's not about the single wild mind, it's about the many minds who sign on to a mission and about how as a unit, we can build a space where that mission is allowed to thrive.
Andy McAfee: Completely. Thank you for bringing that up. I think my community of people who study businesses has had the wrong unit of analysis to the wrong focal point. We focus way too much on individuals. We focus on them as the engines of change, and we focus on them as the way to make things better. If you made a bad decision, read a few books on better decision making, become a more rational person. If there's bad behavior going on at the company, send everybody off to ethics training. We default to thinking about the individual as the unit of analysis and where to effect change. I think that's wrong. Now, people can change and we need to work on people. Groups are where the action actually is. We humans shape our behavior consciously and particularly subconsciously, based on what's going on around us. We pick up signals. Again, with explicit implicit signals, we adjust our behavior in all kinds of ways. You remember one of the iconic studies in psychology was when they put some poor unsuspecting person in a room with people and flashed a bunch of simple pictures on a screen and said, which of these two lines is longer and one was clearly longer than the other. Everybody in the room goes, it's line A. Then everybody else accept the poor subject, as part of the experiment. They started saying that the line that was clearly shorter was longer. Most people changed their opinion even though they knew that it was wrong just to get along with a group of strangers. We humans are so susceptible, shapable, influenceable by our group environments that I think the group is where the action is which is why the book is not about four things that you can do. It's about four group level behaviors, four norms that you really want to be part of, and help inculcate, and help stay strong in an organization over time. I'm not saying we should ignore the individual level. We got to think about the group. The group is where the action is for us human beings.
Mary Long: I want to talk a bit about your work at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. First off, is there anything that the digital economy doesn't touch in today's world?
Andy McAfee: No. But we can't just call it the initiative on the economy. The point that Erik, Nelson and I when we started, Nelson Nanirall who's the director of the Center Make is look, these digital technologies are having a huge impact on fill-in-the-blank aspect of the economy, whether it's jobs, or wages, or business models or social contagion like we were just talking about, digital technologies are incredibly important. We need to study them and we need to have academic homes for that work.
Mary Long: Is there a digital technology that you're most excited about right now?
Andy McAfee: Super excited about generative AI.
Mary Long: Does the answer change if I say you can't say AI?
Andy McAfee: Then I would say one that's not here yet, that's not commercial yet. We are going to get quantum computing in our lifetimes, and I think it's a matter of years, not decades, although opinion varies on that. When we get that, scary things and amazing things are going to happen. The scary thing is, holy cow, we have to rethink our entire approach to digital privacy and security, and we might have to do it quickly, especially if one of our geopolitical adversaries gets quantum computing first. This is scary and we need to start preparing for that now. The amazing stuff is that we are going to be able to peer more deeply into nature and simulate it and understand it in ways that we absolutely can't do right now. Our computers just don't have the horsepower to simulate properly, very simple chemical reactions, for example. Richard Feinerman pointed this out, I believe in the '80s. This was actually the spark for quantum computing. It wasn't privacy and security. It was, we don't understand how photosynthesis happens. But boy, would it be cool if we could figure out photosynthesis? Imagine the energy transition just being finished that way. I think it's incredibly cool. Not least of all because it's just so weird. Nothing makes sense in the world of quantum, and yet we're harnessing phenomena that we profoundly don't understand. I find that cool.
Mary Long: As always, people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about, and the Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against, so don't buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. I'm Mary Long. Thanks for listening. We'll see you tomorrow
There have been many questions about how Pat McAfee will fit in at ESPN. Whether he’ll continue to receive the same freedom he enjoys as an independent podcaster remains to be seen. McAfee, however, has pushed back on those criticizing his decision to join ESPN. He said he believes he’s earned trust, especially as he has moved the show from several platforms recently.
ESPN showed that trust in McAfee by giving him a significant contract figure. And while we know what the network has allowed Stephen A. Smith to get away with, it’ll be curious if the same rules apply to McAfee. Because already, McAfee’s commentary has drawn attention for the wrong reason.
On Sunday, McAfee tweeted something tasteless and reprehensible and one that was still up at the writing of this article. McAfee responded to a tweet about Michigan State’s new uniforms. He was responding to a tweet to a person by the name of Evan Fox, whose bio on Twitter says that he does “all things video for The Pat McAfee Show.”
McAfee’s appalling response can be seen above. We’ve included a screenshot in case the tweet was to get deleted, but again, it has been up since 12:46 p.m. ET.
“I think [Larry] Nassar was in on the design team actually,” McAfee wrote.
McAfee, of course, is referring to the Larry Nassar scandal, which saw the former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State doctor eventually sentenced to 140-360 years in prison on a variety of sexual assault and child pornography charges. Nassar was recently in the news because he was stabbed by another inmate who was upset by a lewd comment Nassar made about girls, while they were watching Wimbledon on TV.
We aren’t going to speculate on McAfee’s decision to invoke Nassar’s name here, but quantifying Michigan State’s jerseys as being so bad that the disgraced former doctor, who pervasively abused young women, must’ve come up with it is a gross use of his platform.
McAfee received a ton of backlash for invoking a serial predator in the name of an offensive “joke.”
McAfee, clearly not understanding the seriousness of the matter, doubled down on his tweet when someone implied he should delete it, he replied with a GIF of Stephen A. Smith saying: “For What?”
And in case that wasn’t bad enough, he retweeted the tweet a mere couple of hours later.
It remains to be seen if McAfee is actually remorseful for his comments and if he is later forced to issue an apology. Judging by his reaction, it’s pretty clear he doesn’t understand the magnitude of his words here and how using Nassar’s name, even if it was a joke, is just an inappropriate use of his platform.
[Pat McAfee on Twitter]
At just 34 years old and only six months into his tenure, Judge Scott McAfee has found himself presiding over the trial of a former US president.
The Georgia election interference prosecution of Donald Trump and 18 alleged co-conspirators is by far the most legally - and logistically - complex out of four blockbuster cases against the Republican. To add to the pressure, it will be televised.
But at the opening hearing of the Georgia proceedings on 6 September, Superior Court Judge McAfee certainly was not playing to the camera.
Hearing motions from lawyers for two of Mr Trump's co-defendants, he occasionally furrowed his brow or folded his arms, but did not seem to express any opinion beyond his eventual ruling for the day. To the uninformed observer, it might have looked like yet another ordinary day for him in court.
Judge McAfee has built an impressive CV over his relatively brief career. He has served as a local and federal prosecutor. He has worked with both Fani Willis, the Democratic prosecutor trying Mr Trump, as well as for the state's Republican Governor Brian Kemp. Those who know the jurist have described him as a tough but level-headed figure.
His demeanour, coupled with his conservative legal bona-fides, could make it far more difficult for Mr Trump and his allies to accuse him of bias, as they have done with other judges and prosecutors overseeing cases against the former president. And it makes him one to watch as the case unfolds.
"Although Scott McAfee has only been a judge for about six months, his prior experience indicates that he is highly competent and well-qualified for the challenge of presiding over the massive indictment that places Donald Trump at the head of an alleged criminal enterprise to overthrow the 2020 election results in Georgia," Clark Cunningham, a professor at Georgia State University College of Law, told the BBC.
Judge McAfee's CV checks many of the usual boxes for a rising legal professional, with a couple of interesting quirks thrown in.
He studied both politics and music at Emory University in Atlanta, and played cello for the school's symphony orchestra. He is also volunteer scuba diver at the Georgia Aquarium, the institution confirmed, where his work might include "a few different things like cleaning exhibits, safety dives, etc".
His legal career began at the University of Georgia Law School. There, he joined the Federalist Society, a prominent conservative legal group that serves as an incubator and pipeline for lawyers and judges on the right, and the Law Republicans.
Judge McAfee interned for Georgia Supreme Court Justices David Nahmias and Keith Blackwell during his time at law school, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
"What really stands out is his temperament - he's not excitable, he's even-keeled," Mr Blackwell, now a senior counsel at the Alston & Bird law firm, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
After graduating in 2013, Judge McAfee served as both a local prosecutor and in private practice, before eventually taking a job as a Fulton County prosecutor in 2015. There, he worked alongside Ms Willis, who was a prosecutor at the time, the New York Times reported.
Ms Willis was elected Fulton County district attorney in 2020, and began her investigation into Mr Trump's attempts to swing the Georgia election results in his favour shortly after taking office.
According to the Georgia governor's office, while working in Fulton County, he prosecuted "hundreds of felony cases ranging from armed robbery to murder".
A year into his tenure in Fulton County, Judge McAfee was named trial court lawyer of the year, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. The award was "evidence of his competence as a trial prosecutor", Mr Cunningham told the BBC.
In 2018, Judge McAfee became a federal prosecutor, working as an assistant US attorney in Atlanta. He eventually caught the eye of Governor Kemp, who appointed him to the Georgia office of the inspector general in 2021.
"His experience as a tough prosecutor equips him to search out fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption, and bring those to justice who break the law," Mr Kemp said in a statement at the time.
Just two years later, Judge McAfee ascended once again when Mr Kemp appointed him to the bench in February 2023.
And six months later, the court system randomly assigned him the case of the decade.
It is unclear if Judge McAfee will stay on Mr Trump's case long term, as the former president and some of his co-defendants have hinted that they may try to get their case moved to federal court.
That legal manoeuvre so far appears unsuccessful; a separate judge ruled on Friday against Mark Meadows, one of the co-defendants, who filed to have his case moved out of Georgia state court.
For now, America's eyes will be on Judge McAfee.
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