The Israeli Bank Robber Who Can Record Your Dreams
December 3, 2011 12:40 PM   Subscribe

"The moral of the story is: if someone asks you to rob a bank, say 'yes.'" (Via)

So.. this is really two posts in one. I wrote what follows first, then in searching for additional information about Dr. Cerf, found the bank robbery video on jwz. Think of it as a bonus for clicking [More Inside.] :)

"On October 26, 2010, Dr. Moran Cerf was a UCLA neuroscience researcher whose project, on the connections between single nerve cells and specific thoughts, had just been written up in the journal Nature. Affirmation. Life was good. For a few hours. Then he made a verbal slip in an interview with the BBC and, before long a "dream recording machine," not of Dr. Cerf's making but bearing his name, had come humming to life and was careening across continents by way of Internet news sites and blogs." What is it like to try and subdue a science fiction monster as it threatens to devour years of serious research? Dr. Cerf was interviewed by Collider and KCRW's Unfictional.

The project was covered on MeFi at the end of October. (No dream recording machine reference in sight.)
posted by zarq (11 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:06 PM on December 3, 2011

That Moth story is great. Dude has already lived many lives. For more of his Moth stories, go to his portfolio/visual page and scroll down.
posted by gwint at 1:48 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Is there a transcript of the moth story? Between the speed and the accent, i'm having a hard time following.
posted by empath at 2:00 PM on December 3, 2011

Not that I'm aware of.
posted by zarq at 2:37 PM on December 3, 2011

the bank robbery story alone is AWESOME!
posted by Neekee at 2:46 PM on December 3, 2011

Wow, that bank robbery story is terrific.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:49 PM on December 3, 2011

The Bank Robbery story is fantastic. And I would echo the sentiments of the host.
posted by ooga_booga at 6:08 PM on December 3, 2011

On the topic of tiger teams and pen-testing, I work with a guy who lives and works out of a branch in west-texas. The guy is past 60, and has the homiest, most charming cowboy accent ever. He's something of a bad-ass, and drops f-bombs and s-bombs constantly, and is perpetually befuddled when his colleagues in Boston don't even blink.

When I say he's a bad-ass, I mean it. He's been doing security analysis on big-bank equipment since the '70s, starting out on mini-computers and graduating to mainframes and Unix. One time, he had managed to get past the most stringent of controls, almost as if he had access to the physical box.

"Well, I did. I broke into the bank."

Did he use cutting torches? Rappelling gear? A machine gun?

"Oh, no. I told them I worked there, and then showed them my badge."

This is the single most important lesson anyone who's serious about computer security will learn.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:56 PM on December 3, 2011 [9 favorites]

So apparently this guy was just calling for more support for neuroscience research. Who knew?
posted by alexei at 8:10 PM on December 3, 2011

I now know I'm a pug.

Bloody brilliant story teller. Brilliant.
posted by taff at 10:33 PM on December 3, 2011

I just listened to Moran Cerf on StoryCollider, and I think he's such a gifted storyteller because, despite living through and recounting these ordeals time and time again, he manages to convey a fresh sense of bewilderment with every telling.
posted by Turkey Glue at 7:44 PM on December 4, 2011

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