I like the impromptu docking station hack
This is very well-put.
In its early days, there was a lot of talk about the “natural laws of the Internet” and how it would empower the masses, upend traditional power blocks, and spread freedom throughout the world. The international nature of the Internet made a mockery of national laws. Anonymity was easy. Censorship was impossible. Police were clueless about cybercrime. And bigger changes were inevitable. Digital cash would undermine national sovereignty. Citizen journalism would undermine the media, corporate PR, and political parties. Easy copying would destroy the traditional movie and music industries. Web marketing would allow even the smallest companies to compete against corporate giants. It really would be a new world order. Unfortunately, as we know, that’s not how it worked out. Instead, we have seen the rise of the feudal Internet: Feudal security consolidates power in the hands of the few. These companies [like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook etc.] act in their own self-interest. They use their relationship with us to increase their profits, sometimes at our expense. They act arbitrarily. They make mistakes. They’re deliberately changing social norms. Medieval feudalism gave the lords vast powers over the landless peasants; we’re seeing the same thing on the Internet.
Cyber criminals are planting chips in electric irons and kettles to launch spam [jm: actually, malware] attacks, reports in Russia suggest. State-owned channel Rossiya 24 even showed footage of a technician opening up an iron included in a batch of Chinese imports to find a “spy chip” with what he called “a little microphone”. Its correspondent said the hidden devices were mostly being used to spread viruses, by connecting to any computer within a 200m (656ft) radius which were using unprotected Wi-Fi networks. Other products found to have rogue components reportedly included mobile phones and car dashboard cameras.
Planetary Resources is a company with a sky-high (some might claim “pie in the sky”) goal: to find and mine asteroids for useful minerals and other compounds. It is also a company that uses Linux and lots of free software. So two of the engineers from Planetary Resources, Ray Ramadorai and Marc Allen, gave a presentation at LinuxCon North America to describe how and why the company uses FOSS—along with a bit about what it is trying to do overall.
Links for 2013-10-28
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