Links December 2022

Charles Stross wrote an informative summary of the problems with the UK monarchy [1], conveniently before the queen died.

The blog post “To The Next Mass Shooter, A Modest Proposal” is a well written suggestion to potential mass murderers [2].

The New Yorker has an interesting and amusing article about the former CIA employee who released the “Vault 7” collection of CIA attack software [3]. This exposes the ridiculously poor hiring practices of the CIA which involved far less background checks than the reporter writing the story did.

Wired has an interesting 6 part series about the hunt for Alpha02 – the admin of the Alphabay dark web marketplace [4].

The Atlantic has an interesting and informative article about Marjorie Taylor Greene, one of the most horrible politicians in the world [5].

Anarcat wrote a long and detailed blog post about Matrix [6]. It’s mostly about comparing Matrix to other services and analysing the overall environment of IM systms. I recommend using Matrix, it is quite good although having a server with SSD storage is required for the database.

Edent wrote an interesting thought experiment on how one might try to regain access to all their digital data if a lightning strike destroyed everything in their home [7].

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting article about the crapification of literary contracts [8]. A lot of this applies to most contracts between corporations and individuals. We need legislation to restrict corporations from such abuse.

Jared A Brock wrote an insightful article about why AirBNB is horrible and how it will fail [9].

Habr has an interesting article on circumventing UEFI secure boot [10]. This doesn’t make secure boot worthless but does expose some weaknesses in it.

Matthew Garrett wrote an interesting blog post about stewartship of the UEFI boot ecosystem and how Microsoft has made some strange and possibly hypocritical decisions about it [11]. It also has a lot of background information on how UEFI can be used and misused.

Cory Doctorow wrote an interesting article “Let’s Make Amazon Into a Dumb Pipe [12]. The idea is to use the Amazon search and reviews to find a product and then buy it elsewhere, a reverse of the “showrooming” practice where people look at products in stores and buy them online. There is already a browser plugin to search local libraries for Amazon books.

Charles Stross wrote an interesting blog post about the UK Tory plan to destroy higher education [13]. There’s a lot of similarities to what conservatives are doing in other countries.

Antoine Beaupré wrote an insightful blog post “How to nationalize the internet in Canada” [14]. They cover the technical issues to be addressed as well as some social justice points that are often missed when discussing such issues. Internet is not a luxuary nowadays, it’s an important part of daily life and the governments need to treat it the same way as roads and other national infrastructure.

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