"When you buy a new phone, it’s in your pocket, but this, you’re wearing something on your face. Anyone that cares what they look like is not gonna wear Google glasses. That’s my opinion," [bar owner Tom] Madonna said. "If you are super nerdy and you like to show off that you’re in tech and smart and all those things, I can see you probably wearing Google Glasses, but you are probably in a bubble or … new. We’ve all heard all this stuff. Like, this guy moved to SF and he comes to the bar. He’s from Scottsdale and he’s using all these [tech] words. I had to stop him. I said, ‘You sound interesting and different in Phoenix, but you sound boring here. You are cliche.’"
This article is the hipster version of Tom Friedman presenting some obvious conventional wisdom a cab driver said to him as insight. I guess the trick is finding a pretentious bartender.
The problem, therefore, is not just that federal prosecutors in this case refused to engage sober prosecutorial discretion, it’s that they had the option to seek—and to threaten with—a punishment so out of proportion to the crime. How can such severe punishments be justified for computer crimes?
Here’s an admission against interest in the eighth paragraph:
Security experts found evidence that the hackers stole the corporate passwords for every Times employee and used those to gain access to the personal computers of 53 employees, most of them outside The Times’s newsroom.
How were the passwords for every employee available for the taking? Let me guess, they were unencrypted. A law would have fixed that no doubt.
“I don’t want to watch the dang westerns. Maybe he takes the best parts of those movies and the rest of them are sucky.”—Kathleen, after I try to convince her that since her favorite movie is Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, she should watch some of the movies it references like Black Sunday or The Searchers.
I was just saying how it will only be a matter of time before someone attaches a gun to a commercial drone, and I come across someone else who thinks this, too:
Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, and Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, have introduced separate but related legislation aimed at restricting future use of drones by law enforcement and the public. Both bills would criminalize use of drones to fire bullets or missiles and to spy on people.
The last thing I think people want to do is look outside their picture window or their bedroom window and see a drone,” Prozanski says, explaining why he drafted Senate Bill 71. “This seems somewhat space age. But the reality is, they’re here.”
I’m sorry, Sen. Prozanski, but a law is not going to stop people from using drones this way. And as I say, when drones are outlawed, only the outlaws have drones.
Let’s put aside for a moment the contested question of whether one purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that citizens could resist a tyrannical government. Even if the Constitution doesn’t give one “a right to armed rebellion,” that’s neither here nor there. The whole point of 3D-printed guns is that you won’t have to rely on the Supreme Court for permission to resist the government. These advocates want to ensure for themselves that option. So it seems to me it’s pretty clear that’s the “real-world problem” these folks are trying to solve.
Then there is the practical objection: What good is a 3D printed gun if the government has nukes? First, there are different levels of government to consider. The more immediate object of resistance for many folks is not the federal military, but simply the police. Radley Balko has spent years documenting why this might be the case. Second, even if we were talking about rebellion against the federal government, it’s unlikely a response will rely on nukes or jets or aircraft carriers. As for drones, commercial availability is on the verge of exploding just like 3D printing. It will only be a matter of time before some citizens attach guns to their tacocopters.
I love this. But I wouldn’t create a new button. I’d just use the existing ‘like’ and ‘reblog’ buttons. Users would be able to voluntarily pay any amount they want each month—say $5—and it would get distributed among the original posters of what they like and reblog.
1. Most original posters are not original creators.
2. Unscrupulous souls won’t reblog but will instead repost as an original poster.
"In Japan for example," she says, "our analysis shows that people want to know quite a lot about the blood type of film stars", so that will be a prioritised part of the instant Knowledge Graph in that part of the world.
“The culture inside Apple is one of a giant metronome, which ticks once or twice per year. The whole company is oriented around secrecy, followed by a big bang release. That works tremendously well for hardware, and for big software launches like an operating system. But it’s just terrible for web services; especially heavily data-driven ones.”—Former Apple employee, and current Android user, Tom Dale
What an utterly disgraceful hit piece. According to the article, participants in Comcast’s broadband program for low income families, as well as school administrators and city officials, are happy with the program. So what’s this “mixed response”?
But as the program gains popularity, the company has come under criticism, accused of overreaching in its interactions with local communities — handing out brochures with the company logo during parent-teacher nights at public schools, for instance, or enlisting teachers and pastors to spread the word to students and congregations.
That’s the sixth paragraph, and its passive voice foreshadows that we’re never told who is criticizing nor what exactly is the critique (besides, perhaps, the fact that Comcast is a for-profit business and that it is advertising its low-income program). The gall! How dare Comcast inform people about a product offering! And these teachers and pastors being “enlisted” by Comcast, do they really think the program might benefit their students and congregations?
Then there’s this:
Broadband service is “a natural monopoly” controlled by a handful of private companies, said Mr. Karaganis, of the American Assembly, adding that Internet Essentials gave Comcast access to people in community settings where it could use the lure of low prices to tap into a new consumer base.
Now, I really appreciate and respect Joe Karaganis’s research on copyright, but he needs to look up the definition of “natural monopoly.” If Comcast is so powerful, it’s kind of odd that they need to use “the lure of low prices to tap into a new consumer base.” Oh, the lure! Kvorka! What this really shows is how price discrimination can serve to benefit lower-income folks (as well as those who don’t value broadband very much).
No, Comcast isn’t doing anything “out of the goodness of their hearts,” but why should that matter when what they’re doing is benefitting everyone involved?
A hacker wearing a fake beard and dark sunglasses took the stage at a computer security conference in Miami on Thursday and showed a group of about 60 security researchers how to intercept the radio communications between Silver Spring Networks, a maker of smart grid technology, and its clients, which include major utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric and Pepco Holdings.
The hacker, who goes by the moniker Atlas, stopped short of showing how to inflict damage to these systems, but the implication of his presentation was clear: If you can understand the way these systems speak to one another, the potential to hack them is very real. And, the logic continues, if you can hack these systems, then you could tinker with an oil or gas pipeline, or cause a power failure.
Perhaps the reason he “stopped short of showing how to inflict damage to these systems” is because he can’t. As far as I can tell from this article, he’s intercepting encrypted communications, and if he can’t decrypt them, then the system is working as designed. But it would be too much to ask the NYT to think critically about the dots a guy in a disguise is connecting.
As a tribute to Aaron Swartz, O’Reilly is making available for free, to download and share, the book Open Governemnt to which he contributed the chapter “When Is Transparency Useful?” I also have a chapter in that book, “All Your Data Are Belong to Us: Liberating Government Data.”
The files are posted on the O’Reilly Media GitHub account as PDF, Mobi, and EPUB files for now. There is a movement on the Internet (#PDFtribute) to memorialize Aaron by posting research and other material for the world to access, and we’re glad to be able to do this.
Rep. Israel’s efforts are understandable, but it’s pretty clear from the interview that he understands that any law he passes to ban the 3D-printed guns specifically will only be symbolic. What I wonder is if he realizes that maybe he’s setting himself up to be a Baptist.
But there are lots of plastic magazines already for sale, and they’re not covered by the current Undetectable Firearms Act.
Right. We won’t go near those.
But isn’t it tough differentiate between 3D-printed plastic magazines and plastic magazines created and sold by the usual manufacturers.
As you said in your piece Wednesday, this will be a tricky part. So we’re talking to stakeholders, and working to create a distinction between that lone wolf and legitimate manufacturers of plastic clips. Plastic clips, I get that, I understand there’s an advantage to them. The law will not go near that. I confess this is going to require further conversations.
Boy, wouldn’t incumbent gun manufacturers love it if they were the only ones authorized to use 3D printing and rapid prototyping for arms.
This is a good piece on how Internet-connected devices like pacemakers, smart meters, and coffee machines are designed without much thought given to security. This is true and articles like this one thankfully sound the alarm. But what to make of this:
The same thing was true of computer-software companies, he pointed out. Not until credit-card numbers by the millions began to be stolen did they begin to pay attention. “We live in a reactive society,” McClure went on, “and something bad has to happen before we take problems seriously. Only when these embedded computers start to kill a few people—one death won’t do it—will we take it seriously.”
Is this a lament? I for one wouldn’t like to live in a ‘proactive’ society where innovation took a back seat to security and we had to be sure something was safe before it was allowed. Yeah, some harm is going to have to happen (not just speculated) before the market reacts, and that’s a feature, not a bug.