Research like this continues to invite us to re-think how computing technologies can intersect with and enlive the world around us. This isn’t going to transform your PC or phone but rather will continue the trend of weaving computation into everything, even more so than the still relatively apparent propagation of the so-called Internet of Things. This technology also reminds us to ask: when memory is so available you can just literally paint it on, what would you do with it? Environmental sensors is really just the tip of the iceberg.
The exploit is just about the worst case scenario. Users don’t even have to connect to a malicious AP and turning off WiFi may not stop an attack. iOS has been patched but it is likely still weeks, if not months or in some cases ever, that Android will receive a patch. I can confirm that Broadcom makes some terrible chips after being stuck running Linux on a Mac for work recently. A coworker still routinely has disconnects and other issues with the same configuration.
I have favored federated systems like Mastodon since day one. A huge barrier to adoption is the network effect, encouraging a high enough density of people you interact with to move to something like this, or any of the numerous predecessors over the years. I am uncertain that this will fair any better than App.net, mentioned in the article, or status.net or so many others no longer around.
Quinn is one of my dear friends, one of a cadre who are scattered about the world. Occasionally I am very fortunate to find myself in the same place, at the same time with them. When those moments occur, it is like little or no time has elapsed. With Quinn, most of the time I enjoy following her thoughts and explorations through her professional output as a journalist. This piece is somewhere in between, a bit like the conversations we have when visiting and yet intersecting with the topics I know to be near and dear to here, security, privacy, and evolving digital norms. Reading this is time well spent.
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The article mentions Berners-Lee receiving the Turing Award, often called the Nobel prize for computing. The really interesting part is the description of Solid, his work to try to crack loose personal data from the central stores where it accumulates today, in order to restore control to users of where and how their data is accessed and used. Efforts along this line aren’t new, as the article notes the are increasingly relevant as traditional protections for online privacy are increasing eroded.
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The hits keep coming under the new administration and with the new FCC chair. This time, Pai’s FCC has removed a condition of Charter merging with TWC and Bright House Networks. The agency’s thought process reads like the sort of double speak we’ve come to expect: by removing the requirement to provide meaningful access, they ensure the ISPs can focus on providing meaningful access.
Another 450 words on this essay. In the home stretch. Thinking I may try to push through, today, then start editing it.
The proposal in Minnesota still has a few steps before becoming state law. Proponents are definitely capitalizing on the attention garnered by the repeal of the FCC rules. ISPs may not have liked the federal rules, I can almost guarantee that if other states follow suit, they will like it even less. A state level push back could create a minefield that the larger ISPs would have to navigate, likely leading to them taking the most conservative approach rather than incurring the cost of state by state compliance.
I admire Carl Malamud immensely and have had the good fortune to help his efforts over the years. Joe Mullin explains Carl’s latest efforts, to free access to Georgia’s legal code from a $1000+ price take, efforts that have netted him a lawsuit. The article is worth a read for the clear explanation of the basis of the state’s case, a claim that annotations on the code are copyright protected even if the text of the law is unencumbered. This is a difference without distinction since the only available text is the one with the annotations. I don’t see Carl backing down, this is a case worth following.