Internet matters

Tanya Whyte, one of my classmates at U of T, has been integrally involved in setting up Lipad: a searchable online database of everything said in Canada’s Parliament since 1901. It’s sure to be valuable to everyone from elementary school students researching projects to academic researchers, journalists, and politicians. There was a segment about it […]

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I have seen it argued in several places that among heterosexuals romance is a more egalitarian game for women than for men, with most women being able to find a partner, get married, and have children if they prioritize those things, while the least attractive men struggle to find anyone at all who wants them […]

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One of my main strategies for organizing information is to create databases for subjects of interest. I’m using the term in the broad Wikipedia sense of “an organized collection of data, stored and accessed electronically” here, and it includes everything from a single folder where PDF versions of all the references cited in a particular […]

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Why is trustworthy computer security impossible for ordinary users? In part because the system has multiple levels at which failure can occur, from hardware to operating systems and software. Spectre and Meltdown show that no matter how careful you are about the operating sytem and software you run you can still be attacked using the […]

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has some great free software available that lets you see many solar system bodies (from the sun to Jupiter’s absurd abundance of tiny moons) as well as a wide variety of space missions. Some interesting objects: Miranda, Phobos, Deimos, Io, Europa

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The world is now full of technology that needs regular software updates to fix security vulnerabilities as they are publicly reported. This includes all of your computers (including cell phones, smart devices like TVs and sensors, and network equipment like routers). It definitely applies to website content management systems (CMS) like WordPress. That’s why when […]

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The Distant Early Warning line (“Fides Contentio Sapienta”) is part of Canada’s cold war legacy. The DEWLine website has a lot of information on the history of these RADAR sites, how they operated, and who was involved.

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One fascinating dimension of software-defined radio is the ability to establish mesh networks: distributed data sharing systems where each computer involved is a node which can carry traffic on behalf of others. That means that as long as you have solid radio links you can establish a network that can transmit information independently from the […]

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Charlie Stross’s talk at the 34th Chaos Communications Congress highlights risks associated with artificial intelligence technologies in combination with factors like geolocation, the engineering of content online to produce emotional responses, and people with malicious objectives from manipulating elections to harassing women seeking abortions. It’s worth watching, and starting to think about what sort of […]

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Google has warned me that: “We believe that attackers backed by certain states may be attempting to compromise your account or computer”. There’s a good chance this is because of the Stratfor hack, though it may also be for anti-pipeline/activism related reasons. For a couple of years now, I have been using the two-factor authentication […]

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