a glimpse into cryptic thought of the reticence
17 Feb 2015 | game of thrones
Perhaps the most powerful tool in the Equation group’s arsenal is a mysterious module known only by a cryptic name: “nls_933w.dll”. It allows them to reprogram the hard drive firmware of over a dozen different hard drive brands, including Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba, Maxtor and IBM. This is an astonishing technical accomplishment and is testament to the group’s abilities.
The fascinating part of this story is that a computer was monitoring the Twitter feed and understood the obscure references, alerted a person who figured out who wrote them, researched what flight he was on, and sent an FBI team to the Syracuse airport within a couple of hours. There’s some serious surveillance going on.
Tim Cook, regarding Google Glass, in Jonathan Ive’s profile by Ian Parker:
They were intrusive, instead of pushing technology to the background, as we’ve always believed.
If I install an app on my phone, the first thing I do is switch off all notifications. That saves battery life and sanity.
22 Jan 2015 | breaktheinternet
Can you take a website that we use to reach hundreds of thousands of people in a given month and turn it into a website that can reach tens of millions of people or more? Or rather, “can you turn our tour bus into an airplane for a week or two?” The answer, as with everything in technology, is: It depends.
But the biggest hurdle it’s had to overcome is myself. As 4chan’s sole administrator, decision maker, and keeper of most of its institutional knowledge, I’ve come to represent an uncomfortably large single point of failure.
I can just tell that if I was in a crisis situation I’d be more worried about the danger of making a wrong decision that I’d likely freeze and make no decision at all. I’d like to think that I’d be super smart and sharp and confident, but my biggest fear is that I’d just be paralyzed with indecision.
I must make my decision, Bob must make his, you yours. And bear what we must. Hold and carry what we must. What I carry within me, you must allow me to do it. Alone, as I must. And you alone, Mary, you alone may lighten the burden. Or render it intolerable. As you choose.
Look, I just did what I did. It felt right. I’m fine with that.
08 Jan 2015 | the interview
Sensible people would avoid being so offensive, but Charlie Hebdo was anything but sensible, having drawn criticisms from the French government in many occasions as well as the US government.
THINK. Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
I don’t like loud noises and people making a fuss. And I especially don’t like people celebrating because they know a piece of private information about me. Plus the whole thing is a scam: birthdays were invented by Hallmark to sell cards.
08 Dec 2014 | the stand
Riots are about power, and they are about catharsis. They are not about poor parenting, or youth services being cut, or any of the other snap explanations that media pundits have been trotting out: structural inequalities, as a friend of mine remarked today, are not solved by a few pool tables. People riot because it makes them feel powerful, even if only for a night.
As nation-state malware becomes more common, we will often lack the whole story. And as long as countries are battling it out in cyberspace, some of us will be targets and the rest of us might be unlucky enough to be sitting in the blast radius.
08 Dec 2014 | privacy
Mikko Hypponen, quoting Dilma Rousseff:
If there is no right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore, there can be no effective democracy.
Defcon, “Breaking Bad” rocket scientist:
We are in a position to teach an incredibly valuable life skill for this buyer community: Always encrypt… we are doing this more for buyers’ sake than vendors’ sake. PGP encryption teaches users to never enter their address on ANY darknet site, which greatly decreases LE’s ability to set up honeypots.
It was the strategy of the poor and the desperate, of thieves and thugs. He turned his head, and they reached out, and took his things.
06 Nov 2014 | burnout
I wasn’t sure anymore. And I was even less sure that I cared, which was actually both the strangest and most terrifying part of the whole ordeal.
If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy I could have won
17 Oct 2014 | apple
John Siracusa’s 26,485 words OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review:
In Yosemite, as in life, think carefully before starting a family.
When Apple says Swift aims to be “as expressive and enjoyable as a scripting language,” it’s not joking. A text file containing the code below will run as expected.
#!/usr/bin/swift println("Are you not entertained!?")