Sometimes the old ways may be best.

A couple of weeks back, I found myself in a discussion with a couple of friends about searching on the Internet and how easy it is to get caught up in a filter bubble and not realize it.  To put not too fine a point on it, because the big search engines (Google, Bing, and so forth) profile users individually and tailor search results to analyses of their search histories (and other personal data they have access to), it's very easy to forget that there are other things out there that you don't know about for the simple reason that …

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Generating passwords.

A fact of life in the twenty-first century are data breaches - some site or other gets pwned and tends to hundreds of gigabytes of data get stolen.  If you're lucky just the usernames and passwords for the service have been taken; if you're not, credit card and banking information has been exfiltrated.  Good times.

You've probably wondered why stolen passwords are dangerous.  There are a few reasons for this: The first is that people tend to re-use passwords on multiple sites or services.  Coupled with the fact that many online services use e-mail addresses as usernames, this means that all …

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Technomancer tools: Managing and sharing bookmarks across multiple systems.

If you have multiple systems (like I do), a problem you've undoubtedly run into is keeping your bookmarks in sync across every browser you use.  Of course, there are services that'll happily do this job on you behalf, but they're free, and we all know what free means.  If you're interested in being social with your link collection there are some social bookmarking services out there for consideration, including what's left of Delicious.  For many years I was a Delicious user (because I liked the idea of maintaining a public bookmark collection that could be useful to people), but Delicious …

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Can't come up for air just yet.

Hacking code and writing policy. I'll be able to come up for air soon.

Also, del.icio.us claims that they're migrating to their old URL and that everything is fine. Only everything's not fine, nobody's links load, their blog is now gone, and they're not responding to anybody trying to get in touch with them. I'm glad I was able to download my data (including all the stuff I want to write about when I get a chance) before their site started acting screwy again. I guess I'm going to need to set up my own online link manager …

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DefCon 23: Presentation notes

Here and behind the cut are the notes I took at DefCon 23. They are necessarily incomplete because they're notes, and I refer you to the speakers' presentations and eventually video recordings for the whole story.

Applied Intelligence: Using Information That's Not There - Michael Schrenk

  • Knowing your operations and resources
  • More effective and efficient
  • Competitive intelligence
  • What's happening outside of your business
  • Know your competitors and markets
  • Collect, analyze, and apply external data
  • There is a professional association of people who do competitive intelligence
  • Applied intelligence is actionable and changes what you do
  • Most is useless unless you develop it …
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Notes from the Religion and Transhumanism conference, 10 May 2014

A couple of weekends ago I attended one of the IEET's conferences in California on the topic of Religion and Transhumanism. While I was there I took notes during the speakers' presentations, and I promised some people that I'd put them online at my earliest convenience. Here they are, in the best order I can conceive of and with whatever links I can dig up to elucidate my somewhat cryptic chickenscratch. Please note that I took notes on things I don't necessarily agree with, and that I advise you to follow some of the links before jumping to conclusions …

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Internet censorship, net.warfare, and the balkanization of the Net.

It seems like every time we turn around, somebody else is trying to enact another scheme to make the Internet a little less open, a little less useful, and more of a surveillance tool for people who can't quite make out what the writing on the wall seems to say.

The latest, and possibly most frightening salvo in the as-yet undeclared War On the Internet is something called the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act). In a real sense, it's COICA v2.0 in that it still allows the US …

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Guide to safety for Tunisians - please distribute!

Note: mirrored from here. Reformatted only slightly for readibility. Originally by Barrett Brown.

As I've noted here over the past two weeks, factions of Anonymous, including quite a few Tunisians, have been supporting the Tunisian people in their current revolution against the corrupt and undemocratic government that had ruled over them for years. Our efforts have now switched from DDoS attacks and takeovers of non-essential government websites to the more nuanced and difficult work of providing various forms of educational and moral support to Tunisians during the coming period of tumult. The following document, which will be updated further soon …

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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

As the title of this post so subtly implies, today is Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I don't actually have a whole lot to write about right now. Lyssa and I left the DC metroplex last evening and arrived at her parents' place around 2300 EST5EDT. We got a couple of hours of sleep, enough to recuperate after the drive home. Surprisingly, the drive didn't agree very well with her injured foot. I think it had to do with the lack of elevation for her foot combined with the low temperatures (it's finally starting to get cold around here). Also, the …

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