Year: 2013



  • Quote of the Day: Brent Simmons

    “One way of looking at Google Glass: now the surveillance state can see through your eyes. Even when you blink.” — Brent Simmons

  • ‘Three things I learned from the Snowden files’

    Jay Rosen: > The point holds for collecting phone records. Even if no one in the government reviews whom I’ve called or texted, my liberty is violated because “someone has the power to do so should they choose.” Thus: It’s not privacy; it’s freedom. But “freedom advocates” would be an awkward construction in a news […]

  • ‘Apple Says It Has Never Worked With NSA To Create iPhone Backdoors’

    Matthew Panzarino: > Apple has contacted TechCrunch with a statement about the DROPOUTJEEP NSA program that detailed a system by which the organization claimed it could snoop on iPhone users. Apple says that it has never worked with the NSA to create any ‘backdoors’ that would allow that kind of monitoring, and that it was […]

  • Côte&Ciel Isar Rucksack

    Andrew Kim has a review up on Minimally Minimal of the Isar Rucksack. While I don’t think this is a bag I would enjoy, it is certainly very unique (and beautiful, no doubt in part due to Kim’s beautiful photography).

  • So You Thought DigitalOcean Was Great?

    I’ve never used DigitalOcean (and I’m glad about that), but I’ve been hearing about many people loving their service. There was an issue [posted on GitHub]( detailing a flaw in the way user data was deleted from DigitalOcean servers. This flaw lead to data being “leaked” between user accounts. The discussion was then moved over […]

  • ‘The Products Apple Doesn’t Have Time to Improve’

    Marco Arment: > While most of the press demands new hardware categories, I’d be perfectly happy if Apple never made a TV or a watch or a unicorn, and instead devoted the next five years to polishing the software and services for their existing product lines. On this, I am in complete agreement with Arment. […]

  • Reminder: December Yearly Membership Discount

    Just a quick reminder that you can save $10 on a yearly subscription to this site through the end of tomorrow. This isn't likely something I will do again so now is your chance (as they say). Thanks for your support — it is your support that will hopefully pay the bills one day.

  • ‘The NSA has nearly complete backdoor access to Apple’s iPhone’ [Updated]

    Jay Hathaway: > According to leaked documents, the NSA claims a 100 percent success rate when it comes to implanting iOS devices with spyware. The documents suggest that the NSA needs physical access to a device to install the spyware—something the agency has achieved by rerouting shipments of devices purchased online—but a remote version of […]

  • ‘What I Didn’t Say’

    Paul Graham following up on a controversial quote that was attributed to him from the $400/year *The Information*: > “We” doesn’t refer to society; it refers to Y Combinator. And the women I’m talking about are not women in general, but would-be founders who are not hackers. > I didn’t say women can’t be taught […]

  • ‘BlackBerry CEO: Here’s our new strategy’

    John Chen CEO of BlackBerry: > Today, our company is strong financially, technologically savvy and is well-positioned for the future. In less than two months, my team and I have engineered a new strategy to stabilize the company, return to our core strength in enterprise and security, and maximize efficiencies. That’s all you need to […]

  • ‘US Struggling to Keep Pace in Broadband Service’

    Edward Wyatt: > In Riga, speeds average 42 megabits a second, but many users had service of 100 to 500 megabits as of mid-December, according to Ookla. In San Antonio, broadband speeds average 16 megabits a second. Higher speeds are available through cable TV and phone companies, but the expense is such that many households […]

  • What is the Future of the Open Web?

    Tyler Fisher: > I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but here is a crucial aspect: web services cannot exploit the general user’s ignorance about the web. Even if users do not care about owning their data or understand what owning their data means, the web service cannot take advantage of that and sell […]

  • ‘Inside TAO: The NSA’s Shadow Network’

    Jacob Appelbaum, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach, Christian Stöcker, Jörg Schindler And Holger Stark reporting for Spiegel on the NSA TAO operations: > A comprehensive internal presentation titled “QUANTUM CAPABILITIES,” which SPIEGEL has viewed, lists virtually every popular Internet service provider as a target, including Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and YouTube. “NSA QUANTUM has the greatest success […]

  • ANT Division

    Jacob Appelbaum, Judith Horchert and Christian Stöcker: > These NSA agents, who specialize in secret back doors, are able to keep an eye on all levels of our digital lives — from computing centers to individual computers, from laptops to mobile phones. For nearly every lock, ANT seems to have a key in its toolbox. […]

  • Today in Misleading App Store Screenshots: FoxyLocks

    I regularly browse through the top apps just to see what kind of crap people are downloading, but today I came across a real gem in [FoxyLocks]( Don’t bother clicking that, it’s an app that claims to change the appearance of the iOS lock screen. Now, when you stop chuckling, take a look at the […]

  • ‘Do You Want to Write?’

    [Michael Lopp, writing about Writer Pro]( > Preferences are a sign of design laziness; they are an indication the people responsible for building the application don’t have enough empathy or desire to do the work they intend to be paid for: design the application so I that I can work, not think about how I […]

  • ‘Automatic Document Redaction with PDFpen’

    Great tip from Katie Floyd — I had no idea this could be automated.

  • ‘NSA mass collection of phone data is legal, federal judge rules’

    The Guardian: > US district judge William Pauley said the dragnet program “represents the government’s counter-punch” to al-Qaida in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. The decision conflicts with a ruling in another case, increasing the likelihood that the US supreme court will take up the issue. I think the best thing that can […]

  • Chill

    [Jonathan Poritsky, in his well linked to take on Writer Pro]( > When I hand my money over to a developer, I want to at least feel like I’m the reason their product exists, that it otherwise wouldn’t but for my interest, support and cash. Goading other developers into forking over licensing fees undercuts that […]

  • ‘A free distraction’

    Dr. Drang: >Many of us aren’t writers, per se, but we end up doing a lot of writing to communicate what our real jobs are. This utilitarian writing often consists of taking a mound of disparate facts and explaining them through organization. This is a complex process that’s hard to do in an information-free writing […]