“This combination—a broad definition of what constitutes terrorism and a low threshold for designating someone a terrorist—opens the way to ensnaring innocent people in secret government dragnets. It can also be counterproductive. When resources are devoted to tracking people who are not genuine risks to national security, the actual threats get fewer resources—and might go unnoticed.” Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux report on the Obama administration’s expansion of the terrorist watchlist system.
“And so, paradoxically, after everything you have read above, with the outrage fresh in your mind, on the day when it feels harder than any other, I hope you will join me in saying: Bravo, Roche. Now let’s do better.” Ben Goldacre highlights the deficiencies of a regulatory system which governs the approval of pharmaceutical drugs.
“Basically, iCloud is appallingly insecure, and Apple has just dramatically increased the volume of information that’s about to start flowing through it—names, email addresses, home addresses, and phone numbers in droves, not to mention your doctor’s visits.” Molly Wood does not regard Apple’s iCloud a safe place for her data.
“And whoever tells you that they have nothing to hide simply haven’t thought about this long enough. ‘Cause we have this thing called privacy. And if you really think that you have nothing to hide, please make sure that’s the first thing you tell me because then I know, that I should not trust you with any secrets because obviously, you can’t keep a secret [sic]”
“I would suggest that it is more useful to take a holistic democratic accounting of lawful access laws and their implications. Where such laws are prospectively damaging to the fabric of the democracy, perhaps by threatening rights of free speech, association, and limitations of governmental search powers, then those are the areas that we as citizens, journalists, and commentators must focus our attention. Such democratic narrative can be supported by technological and legal facts and opinions, but critically the basic narrative is not on corporate products, whiz-bang technologies, nor legal minutia, but the very principles of a democracy.” Christopher Parsons in 2012, more than one year before Edward Snowden, is right on the money pinpointing the implications of unrestrained government surveillance.
“The RockYou dump was a watershed moment, but it turned out to be only the start of what’s become a much larger cracking phenomenon. By putting 14 million of the most common passwords into the public domain, it allowed people attacking cryptographically protected password leaks to almost instantaneously crack the weakest passwords. That made it possible to devote more resources to cracking the stronger ones.” Dan Goodin details the many reasons you should choose your passwords even more carefully.
“So that’s what we’re all getting at when we say the Tour is getting slower. It is, and it’s a good sign, because it brings everything back into the realm of expected physiology.” Ross Tucker puts forward an interesting analysis of rider data from the Tour de France.
“Nothing will corrode public trust more than a creeping awareness that scientists are unable to live up to the standards that they have set for themselves.” Daniel Sarewitz worries that over-selection and over-reporting of false positive results will increasingly put the value of science into question.
“Can I be facebookfriends with my parents? Should I add someone I don’t really know? Will other people think my status update’s funny?”
Joep van Osch
“Apple’s and Google’s war for the phone in our pockets is the biggest clash since Apple v Microsoft for the space on our desktops” and, according to Robert Lane Greene, likely to impact the way we experience the world around us.
“I’m not sure that more than a very small percentage of medical research is ever likely to lead to major improvements in clinical outcomes.” David Freedman reports on John Ioannidis and his quest to improve the quality of medical research.
“25 years ago I read a newspaper article which said that one day syringes would be one of the major causes for the transmission of AIDS. I thought this was unacceptable so I decided to do something about it.” Marc Koska’s K1 syringe improves on an old design.
“When we look at the pattern, one thing comes out very clearly. People say HIV is very high in Africa. I would say, HIV is very different in Africa.” Using Gapminder World, Hans Rosling empowers you to think more clearly about the the ways in which HIV impacts on Africa and the wider world.
“Contrary to intuition, cyclists riding on bicycle paths have a higher crash rate than cyclists riding on roads, although not as high a crash rate as cyclists riding on sidewalks.” The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition looks at crash data for cyclists and reaches valuable and often surprising conclusions.
“Open formats are an important part of computing freedom because they give people control of their own data.” Gervase Markham on why there really is no alternative to open data formats.
RAID-1 can help protect your data from hard drive failure. This article is geared towards helping you to better understand and implement a RAID-1 device.
www.linuxjournal.com Part 1, Part 2
“If I’m right, the next few years are going to see a lot of anguish from computer users who have suddenly realised that hard disk failure involves more than just inconvenience and loss of face”, writes John Naughton.
“Last week, my laptop died a sudden, spectacular death-by-drowning, as a full cup of coffee poured into its keyboard.” John Locke reflects on the importance of having an effective backup strategy.
Kelly Martin has become the victim of identity theft. A security professional by trade, he reflects on the many ways that personal data, stored on your computer, can fall into the wrong hands.