- danah boyd on Google Plus’ Real Name Policy
I haven’t commented on the issue raised by Google’s awkward naming policies for its new social network as I don’t feel like I have much to add. Not so for danah boyd who makes a compelling case that the insistence of real or at least commonly used names is more about power than identity. If you think about some notional, idealized network being based on empowering the social interests and activities of its users, her arguments make a great deal of sense. Creating barriers to using self selected pseudonymous identities interferes with socially oriented self determination and self empowerment.
- Anonymous unveils new, potent attack tool
The Register has details of the online protest and pranking group responding to recent arrests of alleged members by developing a tool that is more sophisticated than the distributed attack tool it used formerly. Based on the description, RefRef sounds like it would require fewer participants which may or may not better protect those using it. The implication is the tool does better at anonymizing operators by default but if not, concentrating them may actually increase their individual risk when participating in coordinated attacks just by virtue of there possibly being fewer suspects for defenders to track down.
- Google developer work on an API for cross web application cooperation
- Smart card hacking tools demonstrated at BlackHat, The Register
- Stanford’s intro to AI class free to take online, The Atlantic
- Rare earth deposit discovered in US, Washington Times via Slashdot