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20 Aug 13:12

carolsteves: Bonus:



25 Feb 16:53

Once Hailed As Unhackable, Blockchains Are Now Getting Hacked

by BeauHD
schwit1 shares a report from MIT Technology Review: Early last month, the security team at Coinbase noticed something strange going on in Ethereum Classic, one of the cryptocurrencies people can buy and sell using Coinbase's popular exchange platform. Its blockchain, the history of all its transactions, was under attack. An attacker had somehow gained control of more than half of the network's computing power and was using it to rewrite the transaction history. That made it possible to spend the same cryptocurrency more than once -- known as "double spends." The attacker was spotted pulling this off to the tune of $1.1 million. Coinbase claims that no currency was actually stolen from any of its accounts. But a second popular exchange,, has admitted it wasn't so lucky, losing around $200,000 to the attacker (who, strangely, returned half of it days later). Just a year ago, this nightmare scenario was mostly theoretical. But the so-called 51% attack against Ethereum Classic was just the latest in a series of recent attacks on blockchains that have heightened the stakes for the nascent industry. [...] In short, while blockchain technology has been long touted for its security, under certain conditions it can be quite vulnerable. Sometimes shoddy execution can be blamed, or unintentional software bugs. Other times it's more of a gray area -- the complicated result of interactions between the code, the economics of the blockchain, and human greed. That's been known in theory since the technology's beginning. Now that so many blockchains are out in the world, we are learning what it actually means -- often the hard way.

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27 Jun 12:13

Bypassing Passcodes in iOS

by Bruce Schneier

Last week, a story was going around explaining how to brute-force an iOS password. Basically, the trick was to plug the phone into an external keyboard and trying every PIN at once:

We reported Friday on Hickey's findings, which claimed to be able to send all combinations of a user's possible passcode in one go, by enumerating each code from 0000 to 9999, and concatenating the results in one string with no spaces. He explained that because this doesn't give the software any breaks, the keyboard input routine takes priority over the device's data-erasing feature.

I didn't write about it, because it seemed too good to be true. A few days later, Apple pushed back on the findings -- and it seems that it doesn't work.

This isn't to say that no one can break into an iPhone. We know that companies like Cellebrite and Grayshift are renting/selling iPhone unlock tools to law enforcement -- which means governments and criminals can do the same thing -- and that Apple is releasing a new feature called "restricted mode" that may make those hacks obsolete.

Grayshift is claiming that its technology will still work.

Former Apple security engineer Braden Thomas, who now works for a company called Grayshift, warned customers who had bought his GrayKey iPhone unlocking tool that iOS 11.3 would make it a bit harder for cops to get evidence and data out of seized iPhones. A change in the beta didn't break GrayKey, but would require cops to use GrayKey on phones within a week of them being last unlocked.

"Starting with iOS 11.3, iOS saves the last time a device has been unlocked (either with biometrics or passcode) or was connected to an accessory or computer. If a full seven days (168 hours) elapse [sic] since the last time iOS saved one of these events, the Lightning port is entirely disabled," Thomas wrote in a blog post published in a customer-only portal, which Motherboard obtained. "You cannot use it to sync or to connect to accessories. It is basically just a charging port at this point. This is termed USB Restricted Mode and it affects all devices that support iOS 11.3."

Whether that's real or marketing, we don't know.

14 Mar 20:30

Questions Linger After ISP Blocks TeamViewer Over Fraud Fears

by msmash
Last Wednesday, for no apparent reason, the TeamViewer remote desktop application stopped working on the network of one of the UK's largest ISPs, TalkTalk. The apparent reason, as the investigation has found, are some scammers in India who have been abusing the application to make money. An anonymous reader shares a report: It's a popular application with remote support professionals and power users alike and so support forums soon filled with complaints from perplexed users who noticed that access was possible with 4G and some TalkTalk business connections but not home broadband. By Thursday, journalists dragged the truth out of the company that it had "blocked a number of applications including TeamViewer," which led to a joint statement confirming this on TeamViewer's website: TeamViewer and TalkTalk are in extensive talks to find a comprehensive joint solution to better address this scamming issue. We now know (as some suspected at the time) that the block was connected to abuse of TeamViewer by criminals based in India who had been using it as part of a tech support scam targeting TalkTalk customers. The BBC reported on this two days before the block, including the disturbing claim that the criminals had been able to quote stolen customer account data to make scam calls sound more convincing.

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02 Jul 11:52

fuckyeahsources: prokopetz: vaspider: geekygothgirl: ellidfic...











Am I the only one that’s a just a tiny bit pissed off that this is still an issue?

The Original Series wasn’t even in the general VICINITY of fucking around yo

How many shows these days would do this, and do it this way? These days, it would be all, “Ohh, we have to be sensitive and show the nuances of each side” and try not to make either side seem wrong. It wouldn’t be clearly spelled out, “pro-choice is right, if you’re against it you’re the bad guys.”

Jim Kirk is not here for your anti-birth-control, anti-choice, pro-death-penalty BS

James Tiberius Kirk was written and portrayed as a feminist and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

Yep.  That episode is exactly what you think it is:  pro-birth control, pro-population control, pro-choice, and pro-women’s right to choose.  And yes, Kirk, the supposed playboy of the spaceways, is in favor of all of the above.

It was written and aired in 1969.  

It probably couldn’t air today.


Also LMAO at all the sad whiny geek boys who are like “I miss the GOOD OLD DAYS of SCI-FI when it wasn’t all about SOCIAL ISSUES and instead it was just about MEN HAVING FUN IN SPACE. Like Star Trek! Star Trek wouldn’t put up with all this SOCIAL JUSTICE FEMINISM IN SCI FI bullshit!” And meanwhile I’m just over here like “…did you actually watch the show?” 


It’s also important to bear in mind that the Original Series had a predominantly female fanbase, and during its initial run, was widely mocked and dismissed by mainstream (i.e., male) science fiction fans as being fake sci-fi for girls. It’s difficult to overstate the influence women had on the franchise in its early days; most of the early Star Trek conventions were organised by and for women, and indeed, those same organisers were primarily responsible for the massive letter-writing campaign that prevented the show from being cancelled after the 1968 season. Without that campaign, the episode pictured in this post would never have been made.

The popular image of James Kirk as a sleazy womaniser is part of a conscious effort to erase that history and render the franchise’s roots palatable to the misogynistic geekboys of the modern SF/F fandom.

For a summary of those points, see “Star Trek’s Underappreciated Feminist History” by Shannon Mizzi, which draws from Patricia Vettel-Becker’s “Space and the Single Girl: Star Trek, Aesthetics, and 1960s Femininity”.

And a gentle reminder that TOS was a Desilu production, which its board of directors voted to cancel after the second pilot due to cost concerns, a vote that Chairman Lucille Ball overruled. There is no Star Trek without Lucille Ball.

My post on the 100% hypocrisy of the “Pro Life” movement, which is anti women, straight up and plain

30 Jun 11:09

Leading Statisticians Establish Steps to Convey Statistics as a Science not a Recipe

by martyb

fork(2) writes: carries this story:

Convinced that better use of data will improve research, innovation and literacy across other disciplines, six leading statisticians recently published "Ten Simple Rules for Effective Statistical Practice" in the journal PLOS Computational Biology. Part of the popular open access "Ten Simple Rules (TSR)" series, this piece surpassed 51,000 views in only two weeks.

Authors Nancy Reid, of the University of Toronto, Rob Kass of Carnegie Mellon University, Brian Caffo of Johns Hopkins University, Marie Davidian of North Carolina State University, Xiao-Li Meng of Harvard University, and Bin Yu of the University of California, Berkeley, advise practitioners to first "treat statistics as a science, not a recipe."

In furthering this point, the authors stressed the need for researchers across various fields of science to avoid misperceptions and inaccurate claims resulting from faulty statistical reasoning. Grappling with such subtle phenomena requires principled statistical analysis, affirm the authors, who encourage researchers to consider statistics "a language constructed to assist this process, with probability as its grammar."

[...] Meng notes "sound statistical practices require a bit of science, engineering, and arts, and hence some general guidelines for helping practitioners to develop statistical insights and acumen are in order. No rules, simple or not, can be 100% applicable or foolproof, but that's the very essence that I find this is a useful exercise. It reminds practitioners that good statistical practices require far more than running software or an algorithm."

Here is a link to the "Ten Simple Rules" collection at PLOS.

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01 Jun 00:04

justaheartbrokenfangirl: I had this girl in my class and she was considered to be like really dumb....




I had this girl in my class and she was considered to be like really dumb. She’d ask a ton of doubts and questions in class, which everybody would consider to be “stupid"and “silly” and even the teachers would often taunt her but she’d never stop asking. But the thing was that she’d almost always top the class examinations and everyone was like???? They all thought she was cheating and stuff and obviously even the teachers were very biased because she wasn’t so ‘smart’ in class, and she was regularly accused of cheating. But nobody could prove that she was actually cheating but the whole class and teachers totally believed that she did. I’m pretty socially awkward so I never really talked to her, but she was leaving school this year and I was genuinely curious about how she was so good during exams and how she didn’t let everyone’s remarks affect her. She always used to sit and hang out with only one girl, and she told me that that friend of hers was severely socially anxious and she’d lag in studies because she couldn’t bring herself to ask doubts in class or ask for help from others. So they had this system where during lectures her friend would write down any question she had, and she would ask them for her. And I was just so touched??? Idk but it really changed the way I looked at people?? This girl endured taunts and jeers and borderline bullying for being “stupid” when she was actually really smart and could easily have refused to ask such doubts for her friend but she did?? And brushed off everything others would throw at her for her friend?? I was just, idk it just really changed me in some way.

16 May 17:36

wigglebox: micdotcom: Watch: Dan Savage shuts down Ann Coulter...


o mais legal é que depois dessa mesa redonda (no programa do Bill Maher) a Ann Coulter foi presa por entrar num banheiro feminino porque o gualdinha do lugar achou que ela fosse travesti...



Watch: Dan Savage shuts down Ann Coulter on anti-transgender bathroom legislation.

Readers, I know that Dan Savage has said stuff in his column that pisses people off. No need to write me to complain!

He’s 2000% right here and this message needs to be shared. 

09 May 18:00

Pretty Coco

by boulet
21 Mar 12:55

jackscarab: osheamobile: souljahseh: jlbi245: incaseyuhnevakn...










Is it me, or the closer we get to the end of Obama’s term, the more he turns into that uncle at the cook out who is quiet the rest of the year but is roasting EVERYBODY today.

Obama is in straight IDGAF mode. And I fucking love it.


I love Gives No Fucks Obama

I hope for at least ten of these a month from now to January, on the grounds of “What are they going to do, not work with me?”

12 Feb 13:43

yesthattoo: flavoracle: isaacfhtagn: mindcrankismycommander: ...











Chewbacca… his arms open.

This is some NEXT LEVEL nerd-ing and I nearly cried reading it.

I don’t get it

Please explain ;_;

There is a star trek TNG episode where Picard encounters a race that doesn’t speak in actual structured sentences but conveys ideas through story parralels. The ones referenced here are “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra” - cooperation, “Shaka, when the walls fell” - failure and “Temba, his arms wide/open" - signifying a gift.


OK, but here’s what’s awesome/hilarious about this.

The whole point about why communicating with the Tamarians was so frustrating was because all of their communication was contextual. The problem wasn’t that Picard couldn’t understand what words they were saying (the universal translator worked fine) the problem was that he didn’t understand what THOSE WORDS TOGETHER HAD TO DO WITH ANYTHING.

Why is this hilarious/fascinating to me? Because this is essentially what people are doing today with memes. They are posting pictures and writing sentences THAT MAKE NO SENSE WITHOUT PRIOR CONTEXT.

If Picard beamed down right now, and you told him that Data is a cinnamon roll… you are a Tamarian.

I also think there are some ways that echolalic communication is like this.

Sometimes the words are what we’re matching, but sometimes it’s context or emotions or whatever else.

10 Jan 12:47

Clinton Seeks "UFO Enthusiast" Vote

by takyon

requerdanos writes:

Although many U.S. presidential candidates are discussing "aliens," the Daily Mail has a story about a candidate talking about aliens from potentially much farther away. According to the Daily Mail, Hillary Clinton has made a campaign promise to 'get to the bottom' of Area 51 if she should be elected President of the United States of America. Specifically, Clinton said that she would reveal the UFO truth:

"one way or another. Maybe we could have, like, a task force to go to Area 51."

"I think we may have been [visited already]. We don't know for sure."

The Daily Mail story is based on the report of an interview with the candidate published in the Conway Daily Sun newspaper of Conway, New Hampshire.

Do the contributors here think that extraterrestrials are a promising and important campaign topic? Or is there skepticism?

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26 Sep 21:04

Dr Who Detective Philip Morris Hints At More Rediscovered Episodes

by timothy

Episódios de Dr. Who chegando do passado são uma coisa interessante... :D

BigBadBus writes: In late 2013, Philip Morris announced that he had found 9 missing episodes of 1960s Dr.Who, which completed the 1968 story "Enemy of the World" and most of "The Web of Fear." He has now gone on record to talk about the only episode of these stories that he didn't find — namely part 3 of "Web of Fear" and teases of more episode finds to come. Episodes keep trickling out of the past, it seems; we've mentioned a few small finds in 2004 and 2011, too.

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03 Sep 16:17

Inability to use BCC Leaks HIV Positive Status of 780 Patients

by martyb

cafebabe writes:

The BBC News reports that:

The 56 Dean Street clinic in London's Soho sent out the names and email addresses of 780 patients when a newsletter was issued to people who attend the clinic. Patients were supposed to be blind-copied into the email but instead details were sent as a group email.

From an interview with one patient:

One man, a 40-year-old public sector worker, has been HIV positive for 13 years and has been using the Dean Street clinic for five. He said: "I felt sick when I realised what had happened. I first saw the email at work but ignored it as I was busy. I then looked at it when I was on the way home from work. I couldn't breathe. I'm concerned who will get this information. If it ends up in the hands of the wrong people, such as hate groups, it could be dynamite."


Fellow patient James ... said: "I was travelling back from the pride parade in Manchester on Monday when I received this email. I couldn't believe it when I got it and I've been full of worry since. I am not ready to disclose my HIV status to my wider friends or family. I fear now that I have no choice."

Finally, a friend informs me that a breach of privacy at another clinic may be widely reported within the next few days.

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26 Aug 10:47

Stephen Hawking Proposes Black Hole Information-loss Solution

by LaminatorX

AnonTechie writes:

Stuff that falls into a black hole is gone forever, right? Not so, says Stephen Hawking.

“If you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up,” he told an audience at a public lecture in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday. He was speaking in advance of a scientific talk today at the Hawking Radiation Conference being held at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. “There’s a way out.”

You probably know that black holes are stars that have collapsed under their own gravity, producing gravitational forces so strong that even light can’t escape. Anything that falls inside is thought to be ripped apart by the massive gravity, never to been seen or heard from again.

What you may not know is that physicists have been arguing for 40 years about what happens to the information about the physical state of those objects once they fall in. Quantum mechanics says that this information cannot be destroyed, but general relativity says it must be – that’s why this argument is known as the information paradox.

Now Hawking says this information never makes it inside the black hole in the first place. “I propose that the information is stored not in the interior of the black hole as one might expect, but on its boundary, the event horizon,” he said today.

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24 Aug 01:02

thysweetpoison: Understanding How Depression Feels (via...


Understanding How Depression Feels (via buzzfeed)

05 Aug 00:37

Why Bill Gates Is Dumping Another $1 Billion Into Clean Energy

by Soulskill
An anonymous reader writes: A little over a month ago, Bill Gates made headlines when he decided to double down on his investments in renewable energy. Now, he's written an article for Quartz explaining why: "I think this issue is especially important because, of all the people who will be affected by climate change, those in poor countries will suffer the most. Higher temperatures and less-predictable weather would hurt poor farmers, most of whom live on the edge and can be devastated by a single bad crop. Food supplies could decline. Hunger and malnutrition could rise. It would be a terrible injustice to let climate change undo any of the past half-century's progress against poverty and disease — and doubly unfair because the people who will be hurt the most are the ones doing the least to cause the problem." He also says government is not doing enough to fund such research, and that energy markets aren't doing a good enough job of factoring the negative effects of carbon emissions.

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04 Aug 18:45

Mankind’s confidence in the strength and versatility of kitchen...



Mankind’s confidence in the strength and versatility of kitchen roll is finally to be tested.

Buy the book now on

Follow on Twitter @BadRealtyPhotos

04 Aug 11:31

Alergia a gente chata: infográfico

by Cristina Moreno de Castro

Agora sou famoso! Yay! :D
O soco é porque um dos efeitos colaterais de ter uma paciência semi-infinita é que, quando alguém consegue acabar com ela, well... shit got real. Por isso eu tenho inveja das pessoas que conseguem virar pra um chato e falar "vai se f*". Porque eu falo "ok", "tá legal", "eita, você pode estar abusando da minha boa vontade", "ok", "puxa", ... e lá pelo ducentésimo vigésimo segundoabuso eu perco a capacidade de me expressar verbalmente, e de agir como adulto.

O Humberto Massa, leitor das antigas do blog (e que é massa), fez um infográfico para a alergia dele a gente chata. Trocando o socão do fim por uma patadinha de leve, ou minhas manifestações de antipatia, o infográfico ilustra direitinho o post de ontem :D

Vejam só!


Leia também:

faceblogttblogPague com PagSeguro - é rápido, grátis e seguro!


Arquivado em:Divagações Tagged: chatice, chatos, chatura, gentileza, Humberto Massa, infográfico
27 Jul 00:52

Gawker Editors Resign Over Deleted Muckraking Post

by LaminatorX

pra quem perguntou de que se tratava...

takyon writes:

Tommy Craggs, Gawker Media's executive editor, and Max Read, the website's editor in chief, have resigned from Gawker after the removal of a widely-panned article, a move they say represents an "indefensible breach of the notoriously strong firewall between Gawker's business interests and the independence of its editorial staff":

At issue is a post published July 16 about a media executive who Gawker said sought a nighttime encounter with a gay porn star. The porn star, the site reported, tried to extort the executive, who is married to a woman.

The story was widely criticized because, as some people pointed out, the media executive is a private individual [and] not a public figure. Then on July 17, Gawker's Managing Partnership voted 4-2 to remove the post. Craggs and Heather Dietrick, Gawker's president who serves as the company's chief legal counsel, dissented.

Here's what Glenn Greenwald had to say about Gawker's story:

The story had no purpose other than to reveal that the male, married-to-a-woman Chief Financial Officer of a magazine company – basically an executive accountant – hired a male escort. When the escort discovered the real-life identity of his prospective client – he's the brother of a former top Obama official – he began blackmailing the CFO by threatening to expose him unless he used his political connections to help the escort in a housing discrimination case he had against a former landlord. Gawker completed the final step of the blackmail plot by publishing the text messages between the two and investigating and confirming the identity of the client, all while protecting the identity of the blackmailing escort.

[...] The reasons for regarding the story as deeply repugnant are self-evident. The CFO they outed is not a public figure. Even if he were, the revelation has zero public interest: it's not as though he's preached against gay rights or any form of sexual behavior. It's just humiliating someone and trying to destroy his life for fun, for its own sake. By publishing the article, Gawker aided the escort's blackmail plot, arguably even becoming a partner in it. Even worse, the story (probably unwittingly) reeks of all-too-familiar homophobic shaming: it's supposed to be humiliating at least in part because he's a man hiring a "gay porn star," as Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read put it as he promoted the "scoop." The escort's identity has been confirmed by others and he seems to have a history of serious mental distress, which Gawker is clearly exploiting. Beyond all that, Gawker has an ongoing war with Reddit, owned by the magazine company for which the CFO works, which suggests this is part of some petty, vindictive drive for vengeance, with the CFO as collateral damage.

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14 Jul 14:22

The Cure Culture: Our Obsession With Cures That Are 'Just Around the Corner'

by Soulskill

"The Cure Culture" é o nome da 1980's revival band mais eclética do mundo.

citadrianne writes: Cures for major disease always seem just a few short years away. We constantly read about promising new treatments for cancer, diabetes, HIV, ALS, and more. While the prognosis for these diseases has improved over the years — sometimes greatly — we still focus doggedly on the cure. "The idea of a cure is simpler, it's more appealing as a fantasy." This article takes a look at so-called "Cure Culture" — the focus on reaching for a cure when our scientific efforts may be better expended attacking a disease in other ways. It asks, "Why are we telling our children, our friends, and our family members that we are going to cure them? ... What does it mean to be cured of a disease that is encoded within your DNA from the moment you become a zygote until the moment you are dead? ... And why are we eschewing or overlooking treatments—real, honest-to-god treatments—that can let patients lead longer, more normal lives?

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10 Jul 19:12

Hacking Team Complains That its Leaked Zero-Days Will be Misused

by janrinok

They were already being misused... >:(

takyon writes:

Hacking Team has issued a statement confirming that its code and zero-day software vulnerabilities were leaked:

It is now apparent that a major threat exists because of the posting by cyber criminals of HackingTeam proprietary software on the Internet the night of July 6. HackingTeam's investigation has determined that sufficient code was released to permit anyone to deploy the software against any target of their choice.

Before the attack, HackingTeam could control who had access to the technology which was sold exclusively to governments and government agencies. Now, because of the work of criminals, that ability to control who uses the technology has been lost. Terrorists, extortionists and others can deploy this technology at will if they have the technical ability to do so.

Adobe has patched a security bug in flash, and Microsoft is working on a vulnerable kernel driver. Discussed at The Register and Motherboard.

The Intercept has detailed Hacking Team's demonstration to a Bangladesh "death squad," the use of Hacking Team software by the DEA to spy on all Colombian ISPs from the U.S. embassy in Bogota, and more. In one email, CEO David Vincenzetti unwittingly predicts the current fallout while warning employees not to leak the company's secrets: "Imagine this: a leak on WikiLeaks showing YOU explaining the evilest technology on earth! :-)" he wrote. "You will be demonized by our dearest friends the activists, and normal people will point their fingers at you."

Privacy International's Deputy Director Eric King has called the leaks "the equivalents of the Edward Snowden leaks for the surveillance industry." Nevertheless, Hacking Team plans to continue its operations. PhineasFisher, a hacker who penetrated Hacking Team's competitor Gamma International last year and leaked 40 GB of internal data, has claimed responsibility for this hack.

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10 Jul 09:42

AEP : The Servitude Bubble

Quick — what does the stuff below have in common?

A chat app bought for one fifth of the US educational budget. An Uber for dog-walkers. An app to have your trash taken out for you. On-demand butlers. On-demand massages. On-demand pedicures. On-demand private jets. On demand gardeners, plumbers, and private chefs. A fitness tracker that gives you electric shocks. “Concierge” apps to get “VIP service” at restaurants….barsclubs.

WTF? I could go on. And you probably have even better examples of even more ridiculous startups these days. So what’s the deal?

In this essay, I want to offer a competing narrative to the popular but woefully misnamed “sharing economy” (which, of course, isn’t sharing, unless you tell your kids that buying and selling toys from other five year olds is “sharing”).

Here’s my tiny theory. There’s gold in them thar hills. Money’s pouring into the tech industry today. Too much money, chasing too few truly groundbreaking investments. And so a bubble is inflating — but not just any bubble. A bubble of an especially insidious kind. Of stuff that’s beyond eyewateringly, painfully, mind-numbingly trivial.

I’m going to call it a Servitude Bubble. For the simple reason that it is largely based on creating armies of servants. You can call them whatever buzzwords you like — “tech-enabled always-on super-hustling freelance personal brand capitalists”. But the truth is simpler. The stuff of the Servitude Bubble makes a small number of people something like neofeudal masters, lords with a corncucopia of on-demand just-in-time luxury services at their fingertips. But only by making a very large number of people glorified neo-servants…butlers, maids, chauffeurs, waiters, etcetera.

The Servitude Bubble is creating “jobs”, sure — but only of the lowest kind: low-end, deskilled, dead-end, go-nowhere “service” jobs — that don’t only crush your soul, damage your psyche, and break your spirit — but waste your potential. Not “service” as in doctors and therapists— “service” as in pedicurists, trash-pickers, and dog-walkers. And so, on balance, it deskills and impoverishes human potential — it doesn’t expand and enrich it. The Servitude Bubble is made of stuff which, en masse, wastes, decimates, and demolishes the thing which counts most: human potential.

A bubble occurs when things are overvalued. What are ideas like the above really worth? They might — just might — be worth a little bit of change to a very small group of buyers. Google, Amazon, Apple, a hapless, clueless, doddering old media company here and there. But that’s like saying a subprime loan is “worth” it’s face value because a poor aging grandma can’t squint hard enough to read the fine print. Whether or not a handful of frat-bros is willing to fork over millions to one another for these startups like they were chess pieces in their struggles for corporate mid-life-crisis empire is besides the point.

It is in a true and very real economic sense that the appconomy of the Servitude Bubble is overvalued. The simple fact is that while the startups of the Servitude Bubble might hold a kind of dubious strategic value, they do not create much of real worth—largely just imaginary paper gains — but only at the price of what is truly valuable: real human potential. The Servitude Bubble is condemning people who might be doing amazing, wondrous, and miraculous things to be butlers, maids, dog-walkers, neo-servants — or, perhaps worse, code-monkey enforcers who, chasing their own little payday, make people into neo-servants.

The simple fact is that in economic terms, these startups are often barely worth much, if anything at all. Because they don’t enhance human potential, they don’t create much real value for people, let alone society, future generations, their communities, etcetera — maybe they save a trip here and there, but that’s about it. Yes — that can enhance efficiency. But what it doesn’t do is enhance human well being in any meaningful or significant way. And so they surely don’t elevate or expand the human experience, in even the small way that, say, an Apple Store does. They’re as evanescent — pretty, maybe, but vacant — as the soap bubbles they’re so reminiscent of.

Servitude. The suffix “itude” denotes a state of things. Servitude isn’t just “service”. It’s a dead end, a cul-de-sac, a stagnating pond, the end of the line. A state — not a process. Service is a great and noble ideal; it implies a higher purpose, a common goal, a shared benefit, a joint concern. But servitude is very different: it’s bringing another dozen shots of designer vodka to wasted, entitled, super-rich party people…with a frozen rictus smile. Service is responsibility; servitude is subjection. Service is obligation; servitude is obedience. Service is assistance; servitude is indulgence.

And that is a great tragedy, in at least three senses.

First, because a generation of young people are furiously chasing desperate dreams of winning this half-baked thinly-veiled ponzi scheme. But what they are not doing is creating stuff that actually matters, endures, counts, resonates. That changes the world, transforms lives, means anything. They are wasting their lives on the trivial, the futile, the meaningless. On diminishing people’s potential, by limiting them to be neo-servants — not expanding it, by enhancing their capability to be their truest, best selves.

Second, because instead of challenging people (hi, VCs) to create and invest in what is truly innovative, earth-shaking, groundbreaking, the Bullshit Bubble normalizes cynically settling for what’s easy, marginal, incremental. But the truth is that it’s a titanic squandering of resources — money, time, effort, imagination — to spend so much on so little of real value. On investing billions…to making people…neo-technological servants…not their truest and best selves.

And so, third, we are all worse off in the long run. We’re all poorer when the people we entrust to innovate and create don’t lead the way, inspire us, and challenge us — but simply forge shackles of servitude. We’re all a little worse off when society’s resources are misallocated on a vast scale to the Servitude Bubble — to creating armies of servants that can walk the dogs, paint the nails, and drive the cars of the coddled, carefree rich — instead of towards finding solutions to the very real, very urgent problems of education, healthcare, climate change, finance — to name just a few. Instead of solving the world’s glaring problems, we are simply finding more efficient ways to crack the same old whips and tie the same old leashes. But leashes and lashes have never freed a soul — they merely condemn the very people that hold them. Because the great lesson of history is that the master is as much a prisoner as the servant. For the very waste of human potential that he himself demands limits him from finding his own destiny.

What’s the opposite of servitude? Not just freedom — but the thing from which freedom is born.

At it’s best, techne, the Greek root of the word “technology”, which means “skill”, is a miraculous, magical, enchanted thing. Technology, the enlargement and extension of man’s skillfulness, is the closest humanity has come to discovering the sacred amongst the earthly profane: for it gives mankind the power to transfigure the very world. From a place of stasis, into a place of freedom. Through it, man can ascend beyond his natural birthright, and give himself rebirth — from a foul, stinking, starving, powerless beast, to a civilized, enlightened, powerful being. All that is contained in the magic of techne. Techne, skill, endows man with the proficiency, the dexterity, the advantage, the shining chance, to become what he truly is. Not merely a servant of himself, or a servant of another. But himself. Human. Homo sapiens. The mindful being.

So the real servitude in the Servitude Bubble is the definition of “technology”. Once, technology meant stuff that went to the moon…cured fatal diseases…extended the human lifespan…enhanced human agency. Now, “tech” means stuff that…hails taxis…organizes butlers…automatically calls dogwalkers.

“Tech”. Techne. As a simple example, my computer helps me to be a better writer. It enhances my skill, my techne. It is in that sense that it is “technological”. The “tech” of the Servitude Bubble does not enhance skill. At anything. Let alone the stuff that is truly valuable — one’s skill at all that makes one fully, truly alive.

“Tech”, and the “tech” industry that so champions it, has demeaned, denigrated, and diluted the very idea of technology — from miracles of skill that alter human destiny, to being able to browse a billion images of Kardashian-butt per nanosecond. The “tech” industry is aptly named: it’s about “tech”; not techne, technology in it’s true sense. Apps that limit people full of limitless potential…to be…on-demand butlers, maids, or dog-walkers. Those are “tech” — but they’re sure as hell not techne. They do not expand or enlarge human skilfullness in any way.

Technology, techne, is transformative, fundamental, magical — because it is the sudden joyous explosion of skill at mastering yourself. “Tech”, on the other hand, is just a handyman to fix the ennui-laden nuisances of daily life for the overprivileged — and one who pickpockets you slyly while you’re not looking. “Tech” impoverishes all of us by cheating each of us of skill — and so it drains us of potential. If you’re an on-demand dog walker, you’re probably never going to become that great novelist..anesthesiologist…musician…poet..dreamer…artist…programmer…anything.

Techne. “Tech”. The Servitude Bubble says that technology is stuff that makes your day a little easier — but probably crushes your spirit, rots your mind, destroys your soul, and clouds your mind, by asking you to be served — not to master your own destiny. Techne, the true spirit of technology, says precisely the opposite. A tool is only “technological” when it enhances man’s skillfullness. At the limit, at being fully human. At dreaming, imagining, rebelling, defying, creating, loving. At being himself.

That’s the greatest tragedy of the Servitude Bubble. It asks us to waste our lives being people we are not. Posers, performers, hustlers, clowns…making armies of chauffeurs, butlers, maids, servants…on-demand, ever-ready, always-vigilant. To obey nothing more, greater, truer, than idle whims . The Servitude Bubble is made of hundreds of thousands of person-years of wasted human potential.

Let’s reclaim technology from the appholes. Let’s rediscover the spirit of techne, and stop settling for the humdrum profit-maximizing soul-crushing servility of “tech”. For it is through techne, through the enhancement of skill, that humanity has, despite great struggle and suffering, created — and recreated — it’s freedom. Not merely as beings who hold power over one another. All that merely condemns masters to be slaves. But as beings who empower one another to discover our full potential. Because it is in the taking of that voyage that we give one another the greatest gifts of all: lives seared with the sense that they have mattered. For then we have learned the telos of techne, the greatest skill there is: becoming who we were truly meant to be.

07 Jul 09:36

Hacking Team Is Hacked

by schneier

Essa história fica cada vez mais engraçada.

Someone hacked the cyberweapons arms manufacturer Hacking Team and posted 400 GB of internal company data.

Hacking Team is a pretty sleazy company, selling surveillance software to all sorts of authoritarian governments around the world. Reporters Without Borders calls it one of the enemies of the Internet. Citizen Lab has published many reports about their activities.

It's a huge trove of data, including a spreadsheet listing every government client, when they first bought the surveillance software, and how much money they have paid the company to date. Not surprising, the company has been lying about who its customers are. Chris Soghoian has been going through the data and tweeting about it. More Twitter comments on the data here. Here are articles from Wired and The Guardian.

Here's the torrent, if you want to look at the data yourself. (Here's another mirror.) The source code is up on Github.

I expect we'll be sifting through all the data for a while.

Slashdot thread. Hacker News thread.

EDITED TO ADD: The Hacking Team CEO, David Vincenzetti, doesn't like me:

In another [e-mail], the Hacking Team CEO on 15 May claimed renowned cryptographer Bruce Schneier was "exploiting the Big Brother is Watching You FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) phenomenon in order to sell his books, write quite self-promoting essays, give interviews, do consulting etc. and earn his hefty money."

Meanwhile, Hacking Team has told all of its customers to shut down all uses of its software. They are in "full on emergency mode," which is perfectly understandable.

EDITED TO ADD: Hacking Team had no exploits for an un-jail-broken iPhone. Seems like the platform of choice if you want to stay secure.

EDITED TO ADD (7/14): WikiLeaks has published a huge trove of e-mails.

Hacking Team had a signed iOS certificate, which has been revoked.

11 Jun 13:25

Ask Toolbar Now Considered Malware By Microsoft

by timothy


AmiMoJo writes: Last month Microsoft changed its policy on protecting search settings to include any software that attempts to hijack searches as malware. As a result, this month the Ask Toolbar, which most people will probably recognize as being unwanted crapware bundled with Java, was marked as malware and will now be removed by Microsoft's security software built in to Windows 7 and above.

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02 Jun 16:52

TSA Not Detecting Weapons at Security Checkpoints

by schneier

He, he...

This isn't good:

An internal investigation of the Transportation Security Administration revealed security failures at dozens of the nation's busiest airports, where undercover investigators were able to smuggle mock explosives or banned weapons through checkpoints in 95 percent of trials, ABC News has learned.

The series of tests were conducted by Homeland Security Red Teams who pose as passengers, setting out to beat the system.

According to officials briefed on the results of a recent Homeland Security Inspector General's report, TSA agents failed 67 out of 70 tests, with Red Team members repeatedly able to get potential weapons through checkpoints.

The Acting Director of the TSA has been resassigned:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement Monday that Melvin Carraway would be moved to the Office of State and Local Law Enforcement at DHS headquarters "effective immediately."

This is bad. I have often made the point that airport security doesn't have to be 100% effective in detecting guns and bombs. Here I am in 2008:

If you're caught at airport security with a bomb or a gun, the screeners aren't just going to take it away from you. They're going to call the police, and you're going to be stuck for a few hours answering a lot of awkward questions. You may be arrested, and you'll almost certainly miss your flight. At best, you're going to have a very unpleasant day.

This is why articles about how screeners don't catch every -- or even a majority -- of guns and bombs that go through the checkpoints don't bother me. The screeners don't have to be perfect; they just have to be good enough. No terrorist is going to base his plot on getting a gun through airport security if there's a decent chance of getting caught, because the consequences of getting caught are too great.

A 95% failure rate is bad, because you can build a plot around sneaking something past the TSA.

I don't know the details, or what failed. Was it the procedures or training? Was it the technology? Was it the PreCheck program? I hope we'll learn details, and this won't be swallowed in the great maw of government secrecy.


David Burge @iowahawkblog

At $8 billion per year, the TSA is the most expensive theatrical production in history.

20 May 00:50

Los Angeles Raises Minimum Wage To $15 an Hour

by Soulskill writes: Jennifer Medina reports at the NY Times that the council of the nation's second-largest city voted by a 14-1 margin to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. Los Angeles and its almost 4 million residents represent one of the biggest victories yet for those pushing wage increases across the country. Proponents hope it will start to reverse the earning gap in the city, where the top 7% of households earn more than the bottom 67%. Detractors point out the direct cost increase to businesses, which could total as much as a billion dollars per year. If a business can't handle the increased cost, the employees this measure was designed to help will lose their jobs when it folds. An editorial from the LA Times says it's vital for other cities nearby to increase their minimum wage, too, else businesses will gradually migrate to cheaper locations. They add, "While the minimum wage hike will certainly help the lowest-wage workers in the city, it should not be seen as the centerpiece of a meaningful jobs creation strategy. The fact is that far too many jobs in the city are low-wage jobs — some 37% of workers currently earn less than $13.25 an hour, according to the mayor's estimates — and even after the proposed increase, they would still be living on the edge of poverty."

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13 May 21:56

"Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water..."


Esse trem não é novidade nenhuma; google "Rat Park". Mas mostra como os antidrugs são normalmente idiotas drogados.

Get a rat and put it in a cage and give it two water bottles. One is just water, and one is water laced with either heroin or cocaine. If you do that, the rat will almost always prefer the drugged water and almost always kill itself very quickly, right, within a couple of weeks. So there you go. It’s our theory of addiction.

Bruce comes along in the ’70s and said, “Well, hang on a minute. We’re putting the rat in an empty cage. It’s got nothing to do. Let’s try this a little bit differently.” So Bruce built Rat Park, and Rat Park is like heaven for rats. Everything your rat about town could want, it’s got in Rat Park. It’s got lovely food. It’s got sex. It’s got loads of other rats to be friends with. It’s got loads of colored balls. Everything your rat could want. And they’ve got both the water bottles. They’ve got the drugged water and the normal water. But here’s the fascinating thing. In Rat Park, they don’t like the drugged water. They hardly use any of it. None of them ever overdose. None of them ever use in a way that looks like compulsion or addiction. There’s a really interesting human example I’ll tell you about in a minute, but what Bruce says is that shows that both the right-wing and left-wing theories of addiction are wrong. So the right-wing theory is it’s a moral failing, you’re a hedonist, you party too hard. The left-wing theory is it takes you over, your brain is hijacked. Bruce says it’s not your morality, it’s not your brain; it’s your cage. Addiction is largely an adaptation to your environment.


We’ve created a society where significant numbers of our fellow citizens cannot bear to be present in their lives without being drugged, right? We’ve created a hyperconsumerist, hyperindividualist, isolated world that is, for a lot of people, much more like that first cage than it is like the bonded, connected cages that we need. 

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection. And our whole society, the engine of our society, is geared towards making us connect with things. If you are not a good consumer capitalist citizen, if you’re spending your time bonding with the people around you and not buying stuff—in fact, we are trained from a very young age to focus our hopes and our dreams and our ambitions on things we can buy and consume. And drug addiction is really a subset of that.


Johann Hari,

Does Capitalism Drive Drug Addiction?

(via bigfatsun)

As a recovering addict this is an interesting read. I’m constantly battling right-wingers telling me it’s my fault and always being told by doctors it’s in my nature. But hearing this about my environment makes a lot of sense, I fell into addiction in a very bad time in my life when I was very isolated, and most of the addicts I know are the same. Addiction is definitely related to depression and this is affected by environment. I like this article.

(via soymilkbitch)

Bruce Alexander did the Rat Park experiments in the seventies.  I am kind of horrified and outraged that I’ve heard about the empty-cage rat experiments but never once about his.

(via animatedamerican)

10 May 09:12

Photobucket Hackers Nabbed, Face Serious Charges From US Authorities

by timothy
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement released Friday that two men, Brandon Bourret, and Athanasios Andrianakis, of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Sunnyvale, California, respectively, were arrested for their sale of software designed to breach the security of photo-sharing site; their "Photofucket" app, says the linked Register report, was used "to plunder Photobucket's users' private and password-protected information, images and videos, it has been alleged ... The charge sheet against Bourret and Andrianakis details one count of conspiracy and one count of computer fraud, aid and abet – both of which carry a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. In addition, the men stand accused of two counts of access device fraud, which carries a higher prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to a quarter of a million dollars, per count." The indictment, filed in Federal District Court in Colorado, is far easier to read than many.

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25 Apr 19:01

AEP : Watch Porn, Save Your Life – Fight Against Testicular Cancer


He, he...

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 18.11.30

Editor’s Note

Men that visit Pornhub to watch a pornstar interacting with a dildo will make a use of their time.
And maybe save their life.



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