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Being "always on" is being always off, to something.

Your Permanent Record
Topic: Technology 8:21 am EDT, Oct 11, 2011

Adrienne Porter Felt:

We reviewed 100 Chrome extensions and found that 27 of the 100 extensions leak all of their privileges to a web or WiFi attacker.

Stevens Le Blond, et al:

In this paper, we show how to exploit real-time communication applications to determine the IP address of a targeted user.

(This paper was posted by error. It was withdrawn by the author and will be posted again after the termination of a responsible disclosure process.)

Do the authors not realize that "version 1" of the paper is still available for download, only a link away?

Jonathan Zdziarski:

I canceled the OnStar subscription on my new GMC vehicle today after receiving an email from the company about their new terms and conditions. While most people, I imagine, would hit the delete button when receiving something as exciting as new terms and conditions, being the nerd sort, I decided to have a personal drooling session and read it instead. I'm glad I did. OnStar's latest T&C has some very unsettling updates to it, which include the ability to sell your personal GPS location information, speed, safety belt usage, and other information to third parties, including law enforcement. To add insult to a slap in the face, the company insists they will continue collecting and selling this personal information even after you cancel your service, unless you specifically shut down the data connection to the vehicle after canceling.

Kashmir Hill:

Facebook keeps track of every person who has ever poked you.

All your pokes are going into a permanent record.

David Kravets:

AT&T permanently retains information detailing a phone's movement history via its connections to mobile phone towers while it's traveling.

Jenna Wortham:

Facebook still dominates the majority of the time Americans spend on the Web, occupying more than 53 billion minutes each month.

Metafilter Wisdom:

If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold.

David Kravets:

Verizon keeps a list of everyone you've exchanged text messages with for the past year. T-... [ Read More (0.2k in body) ]

On Assignment for National Geographic in Yosemite on Vimeo
Topic: Arts 8:21 am EDT, Oct 11, 2011

renan ozturk:

As a climber sometimes our biggest job is to try to do justice to the amazing stories of our friends and peers. For this piece I worked with our crew at to tell athlete Jimmy Chin's story as he in turn highlights modern day climbing in Yosemite for a National Geographic feature story.

On Assignment for National Geographic in Yosemite on Vimeo

I'm Deeply Concerned About Your Troubling Case Of Bollard Envy
Topic: Health and Wellness 8:21 am EDT, Oct 11, 2011

Frank Greve:

Car reviewing was great fun back in the '70s when Car and Driver, then based in Manhattan, sometimes did late night acceleration tests on the New Jersey Turnpike, and the lads from Motor Trend wound for days through the South of France in spring at carmakers' expense. About all that's left of that era is the prose. Specifically the kind of over-the-top prose that founding father Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated, a slumming Yalie, offered up when he declared the 1957 Pontiac's ride "smooth as a prom queen's thigh." Lawrence Ulrich approached McCahill's high bar last fall in a New York Times review when he likened driving the Ferrari 458 Italia to "barreling Woody Allen's Orgasmatron over Niagara Falls." And the Wall Street Journal's Neil, who won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2004 while writing about cars for the Los Angeles Times, sailed high over the bar last fall when he compared the joy of accelerating an especially muscular Mercedes-Benz, the CL63 AMG, to "being fired from a Roman catapult into a mattress of cocaine."

Witold Rybczynski:

In Washington, we've come to see the bizarre phenomenon that one federal official characterized to me as "bollard envy," where the degree of protection becomes a symbol of bureaucratic status, like a choice parking spot or a corner office. Perhaps the most egregious example is the screening center for visitors that Congress built for itself; by the time the underground facility was finished it covered half a million square feet and cost $620 million.

Lapham's Quarterly:

The G8 met in Hokkaido, Japan, in July 2008 to address the global food crisis. Over an eighteen-course meal -- including truffles, caviar, conger eel, Kyoto beef, and champagne -- prepared by sixty chefs, the world leaders came to a consensus: "We are deeply concerned that the steep rise in global food prices coupled with availability problems in a number of developing countries is threatening global food security."

Landscapes: Volume Two on Vimeo
Topic: Arts 8:21 am EDT, Oct 11, 2011

Dustin Farrell:

Landscapes: Volume 2 is the second of a three part series (probably). Every frame of this video is a raw still from a Canon 5D2 DSLR and processed with Adobe software. In Volume 2 I again show off my beautiful home state of Arizona and I also made several trips to Utah. This video has some iconic landmarks that we have seen before. I felt that showing them again with motion controlled HDR and/or night timelapse would be a new way to see old landmarks.

Landscapes: Volume Two on Vimeo

Web 2.0 is Sharecropping
Topic: High Tech Developments 7:37 am EDT, Jun  6, 2011

Jesse Vincent:

Social computing is a good thing.

What's worrying is how the current generation of Internet technology has increasingly centralized control of just about everything into very few hands. What we've seen is essentially a return to a sharecropping model where users neither own their tools nor the computers those tools run on.


Unless there is some detail that I'm missing, this sounds positively Orwellian.

An exchange:

Moe: Think hard, and come up with a slogan that appeals to all the lazy slobs out there.
Homer: [moans] Can't someone else do it?
Moe: "Can't someone else do it?", that's perfect!
Homer: It is?
Moe: Yeah! Now get out there and spread that message to the people!

Straw Man:

Money for me, databases for you.

Libby Purves:

There is a thrill in switching off the mobile, taking the bus to somewhere without CCTV and paying cash for your tea. You and your innocence can spend an afternoon alone together, unseen by officialdom.

Samantha Power:

There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

Web 2.0 is Sharecropping

Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff between Privacy and Security
Topic: Politics and Law 11:57 am EDT, May 21, 2011

Bruce Schneier, on Daniel Solove's new book:

The debate will never be the same after this book.

Straw Man:

Money for me, databases for you.

Jack Balkin:

Privacy is a crucial social value that must be integrated into our national security policy rather than simply balanced against it.

Daniel Solove:

The law frequently fixes on the wrong questions, such as whether privacy should be protected rather than how it should be protected. Privacy often can be protected without undue cost to security.

We can reach a better balance between privacy and security. We must. There is too much at stake to fail.

The debate between privacy and security has been framed incorrectly as a zero-sum game in which we are forced to choose between one value and the other. Why can't we have both?

Eric Schmidt:

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Freeman Dyson:

You must have principles that you're willing to die for.

Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff between Privacy and Security

Pay No Attention to Salary Parrot
Topic: Society 8:06 am EDT, May 19, 2011

Catherine Rampell:

Among the members of the class of 2010, just 56 percent had held at least one job by this spring. That compares with 90 percent of graduates from the classes of 2006 and 2007.

Carl Van Horn:

It's like a parrot on your shoulder, traveling with you everywhere, constantly telling you 'No, you can't make that much money.'

Till von Wachter:

If you don't move within five years of graduating, for some reason you get stuck where you are. That's just an empirical finding.


Living in the north Perimeter area for 6 odd years now has told me that everybody makes way, way more money than I do. It's not inspiring so much as it makes you sympathize with class warfare.

Is our curse the endless pursuit of a happiness which can never be attained?

Judith Warner:

We're all losers now. There's no pleasure to it.

The Economist's Washington correspondent:

I thought I was unlucky graduating into the tech bust. I had no idea.

David Foster Wallace:

The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default-setting, the "rat race" -- the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.

Anne Frank:

As long as you can look fearlessly at the sky, you'll know that you're pure within and will find happiness once more.


If you look carefully you can see large objects that were picked up and are spinning around in the storm.

Pay No Attention to Salary Parrot

Launching the U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace | The White House
Topic: Politics and Law 7:42 am EDT, May 17, 2011

Howard Schmidt:

Today, I am proud to announce the United States' first, comprehensive International Strategy for Cyberspace. The International Strategy is a historic policy document for the 21st Century -- one that explains, for audiences at home and abroad, what the U.S. stands for internationally in cyberspace, and how we plan to build prosperity, enhance security, and safeguard openness in our increasingly networked world.

With our partners around the world, we will work to create a future for cyberspace that builds prosperity, enhances security, and safeguards openness in our networked world. This is the future we seek, and we invite all nations, and peoples, to join us in that effort.

Declan McCullagh, in January:

Howard Schmidt stressed today that anonymity and pseudonymity will remain possible on the Internet.

Nick Bilton, last month:

The Internet never forgets.

Eric Schmidt:

If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.

Margaret Talbot:

The unobserved life is so totally worth living.

Launching the U.S. International Strategy for Cyberspace | The White House

Home Market Takes a Tumble
Topic: Home and Garden 6:27 am EDT, May 10, 2011

Nick Timiraos and Dawn Wotapka:

Home values fell 3% in the first quarter from the previous quarter and 1.1% in March from the previous month, pushed down by an abundance of foreclosed homes on the market, according to data to be released Monday by real-estate website Prices have now fallen for 57 consecutive months, according to Zillow.

Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, now believes prices won't hit bottom before next year and expects they will fall by another 7% to 9%.

While some analysts have argued that home prices need to fall to "clearing prices" that will attract more buyers, price declines could also complicate any recovery by pushing more borrowers under water. Zillow estimates that more than 28% of borrowers owe more than their homes are worth nationally. Those numbers are much higher in hard-hit markets such as Phoenix, where more than two-thirds of borrowers owe more than their homes are worth.


Imagine if they all walked.

John Bird and John Fortune:

They thought that if they had a bigger mortgage they could get a bigger house. They thought if they had a bigger house, they would be happy. It's pathetic. I've got four houses and I'm not happy.


Wow, life is boring.

Home Market Takes a Tumble

Leafsnap: An Electronic Field Guide
Topic: Science 6:26 am EDT, May 10, 2011

Leafsnap is the first in a series of electronic field guides being developed by researchers from Columbia University, the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian Institution. This free mobile app uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from photographs of their leaves.

Leafsnap contains beautiful high-resolution images of leaves, flowers, fruit, petiole, seeds, and bark. Leafsnap currently includes the trees of New York City and Washington, D.C., and will soon grow to include the trees of the entire continental United States.

Ali Dhux:

A man tries hard to help you find your lost camels.
He works more tirelessly than even you,
But in truth he does not want you to find them, ever.


Is our curse the endless pursuit of a happiness which can never be attained?

Leafsnap: An Electronic Field Guide

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