In 2002, Microsoft security researcher Peter Biddle (previously) published The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution, a paper that argued that DRM would always fail and that traditional forms of censorship would be harder and harder to execute online (it also coined the term "Darknet"); today, in honor of America's mass freakout over 3D printed guns, he's published an updated version, which mostly consists of adding "this applies to guns, too" over and over again, for people who are unclear on the concept.
UPDATE: Because some people seem to have missed out on the importance of this: ANY PHYSICAL OBJECT THAT CAN BE REPRESENTED AND DISTRIBUTED AS DIGITAL DATA SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A FULL BENEFICIARY OF THE CONCLUSIONS OF THIS PAPER. 3D PRINTED GUNS START OUT AS DATA . They are then rendered (which is to say, made usable in the analog universe) in a 3D printer. They are no different from music, books or movies. If you want to freak out about things that still haven’t quite happened yet imagine the future of CRISPR and drug recombination, which is also just digital information that is rendered through a “printer”. Add nano-explosives, autonomous drones, diseases, bacteria, viruses, DNA, “fake news” and porn face swapping. Anything that can be data will be darknetted.
There are plugins and obscure settings that will get this behavior, but, as the saying goes, "defaults matter": Firefox 66 will not play any audio or video until "a web page has had user interaction to initiate the audio." (via Four Short Links)
Johannes Grenzfurthner writes, "My film 'Glossary of Broken Dreams' (which is getting more and more relevant, given all the political turmoil currently around) (previously) is finally available on Vimeo on Demand (buying and renting).
Scott Alexander continues to delight with his works of short, sharp science fiction (previously): this time, it's "Sort by Controversial," a teachnolovecraftian story of training a machine learning system to recognize (and then produce) "controversial" stories by exploiting Reddit's "sort by controversial" feature to obtain training data.
Use a single password for every website, and you’re compromising your security. Use a different one each time, and you’re bound to lose track of them. The solution? RoboForm Everywhere, a catch-all tool that will not only manage the passwords on every site you visit but generate better ones. As a simple password database, it’s […]
Just a reminder: Print isn’t dead. And now that printers are becoming as portable as cell phones, it might be around for quite some time. Enter the MEMOBIRD Mobile Thermal Printer, a mini-printer that is versatile, portable – and most importantly, never needs a refill on ink or toner. Measuring just a few inches around, […]
What do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google all have in common? Somewhere in their framework, they all use MySQL, that most versatile (and free!) of database management systems. And they’re not alone. If your company or the one you’d like to work for wrangles data (and who doesn’t?), they’re going to need someone with a […]