For now, the late log off tumblr blog backup is hosted there as static files.

This old backup of the tumblr blog has several issues, the videos posts, posts containing one image or several. They won’t be fixed.

Instance of a good recent language / “Tech”: Markdown.

It’s still useful when used for writing on paper is what i mean.

“I am against the promise of any claim to a ‘VR empathy machine’, and I am against it forever,” Yang recently wrote on his blog. “How do you know this is actually empathy you’re feeling? Do you really need to wear a VR headset in order to empathize with someone? Can’t you just fucking listen to them and believe them? You need to be entertained as well? Are you sure this isn’t about you?”

via #newdarkage,
Robert Yang Wants To Make VR ‘Obscenely Gay’

In the commercial world at least, the failed promises of the AI Winter continue to haunt AI research, as the New York Times reported in 2005: “Computer scientists and software engineers avoided the term artificial intelligence for fear of being viewed as wild-eyed dreamers.”


2009/10/11, Lebbeus Woods, “Utopia?” , excerpt

(…) The green movement is important and necessary, but whether capitalism is really to be trusted with its fate remains to be seen. The lack of green utopias in a time increasingly obsessed with green issues may be due to capitalism’s success and unchallenged dominance.

This idea is certainly reinforced by the ubiquity of information. The instant accessibility from anywhere of information about anything seems in itself a utopian achievement. Information has been radically democratized and with it comes a belief that knowledge has, too. However, information is not knowledge (see the post Ars Brevis, Vita Longa) and indeed it takes knowledge not present in the information to put it to any use. There is a continual stream of new information, with the result of keeping its recipients continually off-balance—we never have enough and must continually return to the sellers to get more: internet sites that in one way or another are in the business of making money. Information is the ideal capitalist product. There is a cheap, inexhaustible supply of it and an insatiable market of consumers who believes it empowers them, and keep buying. How much closer to utopia can we get?


— Lebbeus Woods, Utopia? 2009/10/11


‘a short story idea’ by @bcrypt

“a short story idea

In the year 2014, a startup in San Francisco builds an iPhone app that successfully cures people of heartbreak, but it requires access to every permission allowed on the operating system, including some that no app has ever requested before. It only costs $2.99 though.

The app becomes hugely popular. The heartbroken protagonist of our story logs into the Apple iStore to download it, but because the Apple iStore doesn’t support HTTP Strict Transport Security yet, an NSA FOXACID server intercepts the HTTP request and injects targeted iPhone malware into the download before Apple’s servers have a chance to respond.

However, the malware was actually targeted for the iPhone of an overseas political dissident. The only reason it reached our protagonist by mistake was because the first SHA-1 collision in recorded history was generated by the tracking cookies that NSA used to target the dissident.

Meanwhile, the protagonist is wondering whether this app is going to work once it finishes installing. He smokes a cigarette and walks along a bridge in the pouring rain. Thousands of miles away, an NSA agent pinpoints his location and dispatches a killer drone from the nearest drone refueling station.

The protagonist is silently assassinated in the dark while the entire scene is caught on camera by a roaming Google Street View car. The NSA realizes this and logs into Google’s servers to delete the images, but not before some people have seen them thanks to CDN server caching.

Nobody really wants to post these pictures, because they’re afraid of getting DMCA takedown notices from Google Maps.”

a short story idea | discrete blogarithm

“Software Transparency: Part 1” by @bcrypt

Software Transparency: Part 1

Say that you want to “securely” acquire an app called EncryptedYo for “securely” communicating with your friends. You go to the developer’s web site, which is HTTPS-only, and download a binary executable. Done!

Perhaps if you’re paranoid, you fetch the developer’s GPG key, make sure that there’s a valid trust path to it from your own key, verify the detached signature that they’ve posted for the binary, and check that the checksum in the signature is the same as that of the binary that you’ve downloaded before installing it.

This is good enough as long as the only things you’re worried about are MITM attacks on your network connection and compromise of the server hosting the software. It’s not good enough if you’re worried about any of the following:

  • The developer getting a secret NSA order to insert a backdoor into the software.
  • The developer intentionally making false claims about the security of the software.
  • The developer’s build machine getting compromised with malware that injects backdoors during the packaging process (pre-signing) or even a malicious compiler.

All of the above are *Very Real Worries* ™ that users should have when installing software. As a maintainer of a security-enhancing browser extension used by millions of people, I used to worry about the third one before HTTPS Everywhere had a deterministic build process (more on that below). If my personal laptop was compromised by a malicious version of zip that rewrote the static update-fetching URL in the HTTPS Everywhere source code before compressing and packaging it, literally millions of Firefox installations would be pwned within a few days if I didn’t somehow detect the attack before signing the package (which is basically impossible to do in general).




“Happy books, these are, with happy names, Eugene Thacker’s IN THE DUST OF THIS PLANET, a title so snappy that it immediately got appropriated and stuck on a clothing line.
Extinction Aesthetic.

So there’s the latest news from philosophy, the saviors of the human condition: nothing actually matters and building a future is pointless because Matthew McConaughey says time is a flat circle, the middle of the three-ring circus that will soon be subsumed in the dust of this planet. Posterity is silent.“


“Probably the best sf short story ever written is Samuel R. Delany’s “Aye, And Gomorrah…” Cheery title, yes. I don’t think it’s hard to find. It’s about null-gendered astronauts and the way they live, including feeding off a fetishist fan base.“


Cyberwar, God And Television

Virilio: […]

There is a great science-fiction short story, it’s too bad I can’t remember the name of its author, in which a camera has been invented which can be carried by flakes of snow. Cameras are inseminated into artificial snow which is dropped by planes, and when the snow falls, there are eyes everywhere. There is no blind spot left.

CTHEORY: But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?

Virilio: We’ll dream of being blind.

Cyberwar, God And Television: Interview with Paul Virilio (12/1/1994)