My latest Guardian
column, "Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work," warns that now that the British state has assumed responsibility for maximizing the profits of entertainment companies, it will have to take ever-more-restrictive measures against its own people:
And because once the state decides that it has a duty to police the internet to maximise the profits of a few entertainment companies (no matter what the public expense), it sets itself on a path of ever-more-restrictive measures. Once disconnection drives downloaders to make use of SSL-based proxies, watch for Big Content to inveigle their friends in parliament to enact laws prohibiting the use of virtual private networks - never mind that these are the best practice of anyone trying to safeguard a corporate or organisational network.
Why the Digital Economy Act simply won't work
Once the Act drives downloaders to use SSL-encrypted services that are harder to monitor, watch for the entertainment lobby to ask for great swaths of the internet to be blocked by the Great Firewall of Britain that the Act also provides for.
Once you swallow a spider to catch a fly, you're on a course to swallow a bird to catch the spider, a cat to catch the bird, and so on until you swallow a horse - and every toddler knows that happens next.
Philips has acquired Luciom, a French startup that makes Li-Fi products, which allow for very fast network connections over short distances by flickering an LED at speeds that are too fast to register on the human eye, and which can ever work in the dark by operating at low dimness settings the human eye perceives […]
Many insurers offer breaks to people who wear activity trackers that gather data on them; as Cathy “Mathbabe” O’Neil points out, the allegedly “anonymized’ data-collection is trivial to re-identify (so this data might be used against you), and, more broadly, the real business model for this data isn’t improving your health outcomes — it’s dividing […]
As the US government ramps up its insistence that visitors (and US citizens) unlock their devices and provide their social media accounts, the solution have run the gamut from extreme technological caution, abandoning mobile devices while traveling, or asking the government to rethink its policy. But Maciej Cegłowski has another solution: a “travel mode” for […]
DJI is the world’s leading designer and producer of easy-to-fly drones and aerial photography systems. If you’re a drone enthusiast, you want a DJI. If you know absolutely nothing about drones and think they’re weird, if you win a DJI you’re going to become a drone enthusiast.Enter this giveaway (for free, yes) and you’ll get a […]
Although there will never be a consensus about the best way to make coffee, any coffee connoisseur will agree that controlling the grind of your beans and balancing water temperature are the keys to a tasty cup. Since your plastic coffee pot doesn’t really allow for that kind of customization, going back to the French […]