• ‘The Price of Hypocrisy’

    Evgeny Morozov in a great post about all the implications of the NSA and data privacy: This is the real tragedy of America’s “Internet freedom agenda”: it’s going to be the dissidents in China and Iran who will pay for the hypocrisy that drove it from the very beginning. America has managed to advance its […]

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  • ‘NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails’

    Justin Elliott: But ask the NSA, as part of a freedom of information request, to do a seemingly simple search of its own employees’ email? The agency says it doesn’t have the technology. I call bullshit.

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  • ‘Court: Chevron Can Seize Americans’ Email Data’

    Dana Liebelson: Last month, a federal court granted Chevron access to nine years of email metadata—which includes names, time stamps, and detailed location data and login info, but not content—belonging to activists, lawyers, and journalists who criticized the company for drilling in Ecuador and leaving behind a trail of toxic sludge and leaky pipelines. When […]

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  • ‘Browser Tabs and Battery Life’

    Rhett Allain on battery life and browser tabs — specifically how many do you have to have open to burn your battery to zero in 60 seconds: With the same values as above and a time of 1 minute (1/60 hours), I get 24,000 tabs. That’s like having the whole internet open in your browser. […]

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  • ‘What Happens When We Actually Catch Edward Snowden?’

    David Pozen: More broadly, Snowden’s case may clash with certain foreign policy goals. The United States often wants other countries’ dissidents to be able to find refuge abroad; this is a longstanding plank of its human rights agenda. The United States also wants illiberal regimes to tolerate online expression that challenges their authority; this is […]

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  • The 2013 Brooks Review Membership Drive

    It’s been a touch over a year since I launched the paywall and removed all ads from the site. I’ve checked in to let those interested know how things are going, but for an update: it’s static. When I started the paywall I had 250 members after a month, and today I have 246 members. […]

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  • Quote of the Day: Bruce Schneier

    “Today we’re installing technologies of ubiquitous surveillance, and the temptation to use them will be overwhelming.” — Bruce Schneier

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  • Shawn Today, Episode 400

    A few weeks ago I let Shawn know that he really should have me as a guest — then I realized I invited myself and momentarily felt bad. Turns out he wanted me on episode #400 — 400! — and so I joined him and turned his lovely 7-minute podcast into a 43-minute podcast. It […]

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  • Switching From Gmail to FastMail

    Max Masnick has a nice write up for people looking to switch from Gmail to FastMail. Most importantly Masnick talks about why FastMail is actually better than Gmail (and no, not for reasons like “not Google” that you’ve come to expect from me). I’ve never used FastMail, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about […]

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  • ‘Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active’

    James Trew on a couple of the features on this new phone: With IP67 water and dust protection — it’ll survive three feet of water for up to 30 minutes {…} I think this is genuinely the first Samsung phone that has some features that really interest me. I have seen the commercials of this […]

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  • ‘The Fourth Agenda’

    Shawn Blanc has a nice overview of the latest version of Agenda. Agenda is a solid calendar offering and there are some very welcomed additions to version 4. (What’s not welcomed by me is that new icon.) The best feature though, is one that Shawn seems to have left out, is swiping from the right […]

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  • Quote of the Day: Matthew M. Aid

    “Since 9/11, the NCS has also developed a variety of so-called “black boxes” which can quickly crack computer passwords, bypass commercially-available computer security software systems, and clone cellular telephones — all without leaving a trace.” — Matthew M. Aid

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  • ‘Obama Wins Back the Right to Indefinitely Detain Under NDAA’

    RT.com, a site that apparently hates bylines, writes: Congress granted the president the authority to arrest and hold individuals accused of terrorism without due process under the NDAA, but Mr. Obama said in an accompanying signing statement that he will not abuse these privileges to keep American citizens imprisoned indefinitely. I cannot be the only […]

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  • ‘Police Documents on License Plate Scanners Reveal Mass Tracking’

    Catherine Crump: Automatic license plate readers are the most widespread location tracking technology you’ve probably never heard of. Mounted on patrol cars or stationary objects like bridges, they snap photos of every passing car, recording their plate numbers, times, and locations. At first the captured plate data was used just to check against lists of […]

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  • Three Hops

    Philip Bump on new NSA spying information: But Inglis’ statement was new. Analysts look “two or three hops” from terror suspects when evaluating terror activity, Inglis revealed. Previously, the limit of how surveillance was extended had been described as two hops. That’s a lot of people. I saw a post a while back about this […]

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  • Google + Passwords = Plaintext

    Micah Lee on an Google security flaw he found: Go to your home screen, press the Menu button, select “Settings”, under “Personal” select “Backup and reset”. Is the “Back up my data” checkbox checked? If so, all of the wifi passwords that your phone remembers are being synced to your Google account. … and those […]

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  • ‘Cloud.typography vs. Typekit’

    Chris Bowler on web typography: Overall, Typekit is a slightly easier to use service. Both offer great fonts, decent pricing, and are technically sound. The primary reason a designer would use Cloud.typography is when he/she absolutely needs to use a H&FJ font in a design. Otherwise, the options lean toward Typekit. Chris’ overview is very […]

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  • ‘The NSA Wants America’s Most Powerful Corporations to Be Dependent on It’

    Conor Friedersdorf on the NSA offering to be Norton Anti-Virus for Big “bailout” Finance: Americans shouldn’t trust any of these repositories of power. Government and corporations are both capable of terrible things. To have them colluding with one another in secret, inexorably arranging things so that there’s disincentive for disagreement among them, is terrifying. The […]

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  • Quote of the Day: Seth Godin

    “Trust is precious and easily wasted, and guessing is a lousy foundation for future progress.” — Seth Godin

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  • Amazon Item of the Week: Lubricant

    I promise you, this is not another post about a 55-gallon drum of sex-lube found on Amazon — though that still makes me smile. No, I want to talk to you about WD-40 and why you should buy something different. Don’t get me wrong, I like WD-40 just fine, but I have found a much […]

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