Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Designing Cars

I was struck by this quote in “Edgy, Yet Still Aerodynamic” an article in the New York Times about how new cars are being designed and tested:

To his surprise, in hundreds of tests at Ford’s Wind Tunnel 8 southwest of Detroit the original edges produced less drag than curved substitutes, Mr. Koester said. In the bumper, headlights and hood, in fact, aerodynamics were improved by carefully designed edges.

Usually, aerodynamic shapes are rounded forms that slip through the air. But the wind tunnel is proving that counterintuitive, edgy shapes can reduce the drag coefficient and save fuel or battery power.

Even in fields where repeatable tests seem relatively easy, the expectation and intuition of professionals can be wrong. In information security, it’s far worse.

What are you doing to test your long-standing assumptions?

2 comments on "Designing Cars"

  • Nicko says:

    What are you doing to test your long-standing assumptions?
    I have no need to test my long-standing assumptions since I know that they are all correct; anyone who says otherwise is a heretic and shall be excommunicated. Also, my firewall keeps the bad guys out, all my staff follow the rules (and the rules are always right) and 2009 will be the year of PKI…

  • Rob Sama says:

    When you assume, you make an ass out of you and me.
    There, I said it. Somebody had to.

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