Micah Sifry's WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency is a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at the promise and limits of Internet-based transparency efforts. Sifry looks at everything from digital sunshine laws to the Iranian election to Cablegate, and examines what has worked to make the world's governments and corporations more accountable and when technology-driven transparency efforts have failed. His postmortem on the Obama administration's largely abandoned transparency efforts are particularly sharp, especially in light of how much mileage the few successful government transparency projects delivered.
No book about transparency and politics would be complete without a look at Wikleaks and Julian Assange, and Sifry takes great pains to separate issues with Assange's personal life and management style from the power and danger of Wikileaks-style sites, as well as the power and risk of denial-of-service attacks like those staged under the Anonymous banner on Wikileaks' behalf.
This is more than an account of the successes and failures in online transparency: it's a kind of roadmap for activists who want to use the Web to make the powerful more accountable -- and who worry that technology might be used to hide a multitude of sins and cover them up with meaningless gestures towards transparency.
WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency (Amazon)
WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency (OR Books)
For years, Keith Ammann has maintained his blog, The Monsters Know What They're Doing, in which he carefully laid out the logical tactics that the monsters of Dungeons and Dragons would use in combat, based on their alignment, stats, and habitats, creating sophisticated advice for Dungeon Masters hoping to move their combat encounters from rote stab-stab-kill affairs into distinctive, memorable strategy-and-tactics affairs that created not just variety and challenges for players, but also depth and verisimilitude. Now, Ammann's work has been collected in the first of two planned volumes: The Monsters Know What They're Doing: Combat Tactics for Dungeon Masters is one of the most interesting, thoughtful, smart RPG sourcebooks I've ever read.
In A Public Service, activist/trainer Tim Schwartz presents the clearest-ever guide to securely blowing the whistle, explaining how to exfiltrate sensitive information from a corrupt employer -- ranging from governments to private firms -- and get it into the hands of a journalist or public interest group in a way that maximizes your chances of making a difference (and minimizes your chances of getting caught).
I've been writing about the Aeropress coffee maker for years, an ingenious, compact, low-cost way of brewing outstanding coffee with vastly less fuss and variation than any other method. For a decade, I've kept an Aeropress in my travel bag, even adding a collapsible silicone kettle for those hotel rooms lacking even a standard coffee-maker to heat water with.
We’re all guilty of constantly staring at a variety of screens throughout the day. The only problem is that the blue light that’s emitted by most electronics — and even energy-efficient lightbulbs — is notoriously bad for our eyes and, subsequently, our health. Here are three glasses that offer superior protection for your eyes both […]
From OneDrive to Slack, there are numerous ways to store files online. Because many platforms offer a certain amount of free storage, it makes sense to mix and match. However, spreading your files across multiple apps can make things very confusing. Rethink Files offers a simple solution. By connecting to all your other cloud storage […]
Winter can be a difficult time of year for golfers. Between the freezing temperatures and frequent snow showers, maintaining your handicap can seem almost impossible. When the fairways are frozen solid, the PhiGolf simulator lets you practice at home. This device captures every nuance of your swing to provide virtual coaching. Better still, you can […]