Internet matters

Promoted by a recent Economist article on biodiversity and Alie Ward’s podcast on foresting ecology, I am trying out the iNaturalist app. My outdoor pursuits mostly consist of walking at a steady pace for exercise, so plant and wildlife observations aren’t my priority. Nonetheless, it’s neat to be able to take a break anywhere in […]

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Researching social movements — where relevant information is often on social media, or the websites of NGOs, universities, or corporations that reorganize them frequently — link rot is an acute problem. Increasingly, the default way to let a reader see the source you’re referencing is to provide an internet hyperlink, and yet there is no […]

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SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation promises to provide low-latency high-bandwidth internet to anyone on the planet. In November or so, the company announced a beta release in Canada. Some northern communities are already being connected, notably Pikangikum in northwestern Ontario with the charitable assistance of FSET Information Technology and Service. With my brother Mica starting to […]

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I cannot recall hearing about a warning like this before: Some UBC courses might cover topics that are censored or considered illegal by non-Canadian government… This may include, but is not limited to, human rights, representative government, defamation, obscenity, gender or sexuality, and historical or current geopolitical controversies… Students should be mindful that when they […]

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In addition to aforementioned rules about internet and computer security (1, 2, 3, 4) it’s worth mentioning that security measures can create their own vulnerabilities. That’s true in terms of human systems. For instance, granting high-level powers to system administrators creates risks that they will exploit them deliberately or have their credentials stolen, or simply […]

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The geeks get it:

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One computer security concern is that various insiders — including hardware and software manufacturers, and governments which may compel them to comply — will build back doors into their products to allow the security to be compromised. Doing this is a terrible idea. A back door put in for government surveillance or police use is […]

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This chart is a nice demonstration of what a pragmatic all-bases-covered campaign against climate change might encourage or at least contemplate pic.twitter.com/D6YONNjebN — Milan Prazak Ilnyckyj (@sindark) June 6, 2019

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I have written before about the cognitive and emotional (and insomniac) downsides of checking the news too often. It seems worth re-emphasizing how twitter is a worst-case scenario in this regard, at least for people more interested in developments in matters of public interest than developments in the lives of friends and acquaintances, where facebook […]

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Blair King (whose blog bio says he has an “Interdisciplinary PhD in Chemistry and Environmental Studies”) is one of the people who had sent a tweet arguing that only people who use few or no fossil fuels can call for decarbonization and who I linked to this rebuttal post. He subsequently wrote his own response […]

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