Michael Doornbos

Let's void some warranties

Michael is the founder of Evadot.com, PR Coordinator at Part Time Scientists, Product Designer at SimplyHome, and the author of the forthcoming book series "A New Kind of Hero". A security consultant, speaker, and podcaster, Michael helps companies find their true role on the fast-changing internet.


It is not a fast food company's responsibility to ensure that you make good choices. Companies sell what their customers want to buy. No one mandated that 25 million people shop at McDonald's today. Change happens through culture, not legislation.


I don't know why this never occurred to me before, but "the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that the flag was still there" is about defiance. The kind of defiance you need when liberty is paid for with blood. The kind of defiance you need when what you believe is not what the people in charge believe. And then I remembered that the song was originally called "The Defiance of Fort McHenry".

You know how you can learn facts but not understand the lesson? I've been to Fort McHenry a number of times, served my country in the military and am a father. You'd think I would understand. I've been alive over 14000 days and just now I feel like I really get that song.

What prompted it was a couple lines from a book "But the lights of an illuminated American flag were still right there in the front window. They were the lights of a Patriot, and they still shown defiantly, just as if he were still here. Mikey would have liked that."

Something about that made the whole thing click for me.

Seriously CNN?

The CNN Breaking news email just now starts with: "Wow! The U.S. economy suddenly looks a lot perkier in the third quarter". Seriously CNN? Breaking news should not contain the following words or phrases: WOW, Awesome, Super Rad, party on, hipster, selfie, twerking, bofu, wicked, bust a moby, deck, life is like a box of chocolates, game over man, bust your conk, comes on like gangbusters, fraughty issue, yarddog, gnarly, like totally, no duh, take a chill pill, gag me with spoon, Psych!, grody to the max...

Philip Zimmerman on why he wrote PGP

This is actually from 1999 (updated from 1991), but I love this part:

The right to privacy is spread implicitly throughout the Bill of Rights. But when the United States Constitution was framed, the Founding Fathers saw no need to explicitly spell out the right to a private conversation. That would have been silly. Two hundred years ago, all conversations were private. If someone else was within earshot, you could just go out behind the barn and have your conversation there. No one could listen in without your knowledge. The right to a private conversation was a natural right, not just in a philosophical sense, but in a law-of-physics sense, given the technology of the time.

Read the entire piece here.

Thanksgiving 1993

1993 was first thanksgiving in the military and I was in the middle of a 26 week school in Memphis TN.

Hundreds of families in the area volunteered to take in a couple of us at a time. My buddy and I (a Marine obviously) spent the morning volunteering at St. Jude's Children’s hospital and then this guy picked up two strangers and made us a part of their family for 12 hours. Instead of a lonely Thanksgiving, it was warm and festive.

If you have the chance to invite someone who might otherwise be alone tomorrow, please do. A lot of college kids, military, elderly and single people can use a family for a few hours.

Thanksgiving 1993, Millington, TN

10 things I wish I could tell my 18 year old self

Tonight is my 20 year High School reunion. Here's a couple things I wish I could have told myself on graduation day. 

  1. Hug your grandparents. Don't let go even if it gets creepy.
  2. In 1997, you and everyone else will think that Apple is done forever. Their stock is in single digits, and there's no way out. Sell everything you own and buy all of the stock. Also, search for eBay on the stock market. And learn the term for 10 to the 100th power. And then when you see someone spelling it wrong, buy all of that stock too.
  3. That black spot on the wing of the airplane isn't water, it's ice. Moron.
  4. Take more pictures, and make sure you're in some of them.
  5. Love will find you when you stop looking so hard.
  6. You can stay off of the edge of your seat, the Cubs are never ever going to make it.
  7. Nothing matters more than your relationships with people.
  8. The best thing you can do is build an airplane. Once you get all of the parts for it, throw them off a cliff and then jump after them. Trust me, you're good enough to finish building it before you hit the ground.
  9. Get a good long distance service. When you meet Julie, you're gonna need it.
  10. Call your mother, she worries.

Copyright 2013 by Michael Doornbos