links for 2011-09-05

  • Rob Herzog doesn't believe divine intervention or some cosmic calculus kept him safe at the World Trade Center 10 years ago. "I was lucky," the New Yorker said. By 8:45 a.m., Herzog would normally be at Marsh & McLennan's office on the 96th floor of the World Trade Center's North Tower, where he worked as a vice president of operations for the insurance brokerage company. That Tuesday, on his way to work, he stopped at a post office near his Upper West Side apartment. Then he took a local subway train southbound and tried to transfer to an express at the 59th Street station, as he normally would. "I tried to switch to the express A train," Herzog said. "It was so crowded, and I'm claustrophobic. I got back into the local train." He was running late. By the time he arrived at the World Trade Center, a Boeing 767 had crashed into his office building. "I missed it by 5 minutes," Herzog said.
  • Hackers passed themselves off as the Internet giant Google with the apparent goal of snooping on people using Google services in Iran, the company said. It was the latest in a string of breaches that call into question the reliability of certificates that are supposed to verify the authenticity of Web sites. Such breaches make dissidents and human rights workers particularly vulnerable because they can allow repressive regimes, or supporters of those regimes, to spy on their online activities.
    (tags: security ssl)
  • You don’t have to be likeable to everyone to be a great entrepreneur, just to the people who count. Of course, we can all point to apparent exceptions, like Ted Turner or Larry Ellison, who are sometimes seen as lions, downright predators, or even jerks. Yet I’m told that even these guys are considered quite likable by an intimate group of business and personal associates. So likability is an elusive quality. It doesn’t mean always being perky and bright and constantly being happy. What makes each of us likable is distinct to us, and to some degree it’s in the mind of the beholder. But the basic drivers of likability are the same for most of us, and Michelle Tillis Lederman, in her new book “The 11 Laws of Likability” has summarized these nicely:

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