I've spent the past week at a writers' retreat in an undisclosed location (I'm still here!). It's been insanely productive. I've written a 21,000-word novella, rewritten two partial novels, worked on my latest collaboration with Charlie Stross, critiqued about 20 stories, read a friend's book and critiqued it, and caught up on some reading (and I've still got three days left, and still to come: nonfiction book proposal, rewrite the new novella, and catch up on other projects and projectlets).
One of the books I'm delighted to have had the chance to read here is Bruce Schneier's latest, Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World. I reviewed three or four drafts of this while Bruce was working on it, and I am completely delighted with how it turned out.
In Beyond Fear, Schneier has utterly demystified the idea of security with a text aimed squarely at nontechnical individuals. He takes his legendary skill at applying common sense and lucidity to information-security problems and applies it to all the bogeymen of the post-9/11 world, and asks the vital question: What are we getting in exchange for the liberties that the Ashcroftian authorities have taken away from us in the name of security?
This is possibly the most important question of this decade, and that makes Schenier's book one of the most important texts of the decade. This should be required reading for every American, and the world would be a better place if anyone venturing an opinion on electronic voting, airline security, roving wiretaps, or any other modern horror absorbed this book's lessons first.
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]