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Entries Tagged as 'Tech and Tech Policy'

Greetings, People of Wired

August 15th, 2013 · 8 Comments

So, first, I’m super flattered to have been included on Wired’s new “101 Signals” list of recommended writers on security and politics. As you may notice, however, I’m not writing all that frequently on those topics here on my personal site anymore. If you’re interested in that, therefore, you probably want to follow me on […]

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Tags: Tech and Tech Policy

Encrypting Google: A Quick Reply to Ed Felten

December 18th, 2012 · 9 Comments

Over the weekend, I had a piece at Ars Technica urging Google to roll out end-to-end encryption for Gmail, allowing hundreds of millions of ordinary users to enjoy the level of privacy now largely reserved for paranoid ubergeeks. I tried to address some of the obvious economic reasons Google might be hesitant to do this, […]

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Tags: Privacy and Surveillance · Tech and Tech Policy

Much Ada About Nothing

October 16th, 2012 · 16 Comments

I love the idea behind Ada Lovelace Day: Celebrating the neglected contributions of women in science and technology in order to encourage young women to pursue careers in stereotypically male fields where, all too often, a “boys club” environment continues to reign. But I really wish this effort could pick a better mascot than Ada […]

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Tags: Tech and Tech Policy

A Friday Puzzler: Un-XORing Two Plaintexts

July 6th, 2012 · 15 Comments

I’ve been reading Cryptography Engineering by Bruce Schneier, Niels Ferguson, and Tadayoshi Kohno, on the theory that someone who writes about privacy and surveillance as much as I do ought to have somewhat more detailed understanding of how modern cryptosystems work, even if I’m never going to be competent to work with the actual code. […]

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Tags: Random Cool Link · Tech and Tech Policy

Protectionism Against the Past (or: Why are Copyright Terms so Long?)

June 5th, 2012 · 22 Comments

Under current law, this blog post will remain under copyright until 70 years after my death—which if I’m lucky means a century or more from the date of authorship. That’s an insanely long time when you consider that most economic studies have shown there’s almost no marginal incentive effect on production once you extend copyright […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Tech and Tech Policy

Men Did Invent the Internet (and That’s a Huge Problem)

June 5th, 2012 · 42 Comments

Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin recently unleashed some righteous fury on the “steaming turd of an opening line in David Streitfeld’s otherwise serviceable New York Times piece about [...] gender discrimination in Silicon Valley.” The offending line: “Men invented the Internet.” The thing is—and hold the rotten fruit, I’m going somewhere with this—that’s actually pretty accurate. […]

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Tags: Sociology · Tech and Tech Policy

Tumblr Killed the Blog Star? Some Thoughts on Interpreting Online Trends.

April 19th, 2012 · 6 Comments

This recent xkcd comic implies that Tumblr is on its way to outpacing blogs in popularity or cultural relevance. I’m not at all sure that’s what the graph in question shows, though. Presumably in the early days of the mass Internet you had a much higher proportion of novice users entering search terms like “Buffy […]

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Tags: Tech and Tech Policy

Everything Is a Bulletin Board!

April 6th, 2012 · 58 Comments

An Arizona man named William Hall is headed back to prison for violating the terms of his parole, which apparently included the following rather dated language: I will not use an electronic bulletin board system, Internet relay chat channel, DCC chat channel, instant messaging, newsgroup, user group, peer to peer (e.g.Napster, Gnutella, Freenet, etc). Hall […]

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Tags: Law · Tech and Tech Policy

Online Anarchy

February 14th, 2012 · 7 Comments

At regular intervals—too short for it to even be amusing anymore—we now hear that debates over Internet regulation would be more productive if only people would get it through their thick skulls that the Internet is not some special free-for-all zone. There’s no reason it can or should remain magically exempt from the rules that […]

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Tags: Tech and Tech Policy

On the Enforcement Fantasy

January 25th, 2012 · 14 Comments

This is probably the least interesting (because it should be so self-evident) and yet most important paragraph in a must-read Cory Doctorow essay: In short, [proponents of more aggressive copyright enforcement] made unrealistic demands on reality and reality did not oblige them. Copying only got easier following the passage of these laws—copying will only ever […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Economics · Law · Tech and Tech Policy