How (Not) to Regulate the Internet

In 2012, famous computer security expert Bruce Schneier worried about the rise of what he called “security feudalism.” This is the process by which users place their trust in a given vendor to safeguard their data and their devices — whether through automatic updates, automatic backups, required two-factor authentication, and so on. Echoing the old…

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Friday’s Internet Outage Is the Future

On Friday, huge swaths of the internet went either offline or was severely throttled through a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on an unprecedented scale. While the information security experts work on forensically examining the attack to fully analyze it, here are a few inchoate thoughts about what this could represent: This is…

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On Cultural Appropriation and Literature

Lionel Shriver gave a provocative speech at the Brisbane Literary Festival, where she raged against the idea of cultural appropriation as essentially destroying literature. Unfortunately, like many white people who are made upset by this discussion, Shriver engages in some straw man slaying, along with more than a bit of tendentiousness, while missing the point of…

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So You Want to Steal A Space Station

NASA Johnson Let’s be honest: building space stations is a difficult, expensive business. Constructing one takes an extraordinary effort: the ISS, for example, required more than 100 EVAs to assemble and maintain its 159 components, and that is despite extensive usage of Russia’s advanced autonomous spaceflight systems. Launching this stuff into space is no joke:…

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Against the Transparency Movement

In the midst of an unprecedented event in American electoral history, in which a hostile foreign power mobilized some credulous writers to help it attack a political party and engineer the outcome of a presidential race, I think it’s worth looking back on the last six years or so of “movement transparency,” as spearheaded by…

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