Links for 2019-07-25

  • Latacora – How (not) to sign a JSON object

    good notes on authentication of API consumers using a HMAC. colmmacc also noted that using a constant-time comparison function of the expected and sent values, is important to avoid timing attacks. “A standard strcmp/memcmp isn’t secure and I still see this error in 2019 :(“

    (tags: hmac mac authentication crypto security json apis api coding signing)

  • twitter thread on how same-sex romance was added to The Sims back in 1998

    Phil Salvador on Twitter: “Sims developer Don Hopkins released a bunch of design documents from The Sims, including this one from August 1998 with his notes about romance: […] It’s incredible to see the internal discussion about romance in The Sims written out so strongly like this.”

    (tags: don-hopkins games history the-sims design romance 1990s)

  • Data isn’t the new oil, it’s the new CO2

    great point.

    We should not endlessly be defending arguments along the lines that “people choose to willingly give up their freedom in exchange for free stuff online”. The argument is flawed for two reasons. First the reason that is usually given – people have no choice but to consent in order to access the service, so consent is manufactured.  We are not exercising choice in providing data but rather resigned to the fact that they have no choice in the matter.  The second, less well known but just as powerful, argument is that we are not only bound by other people’s data; we are bound by other people’s consent.  In an era of machine learning-driven group profiling, this effectively renders my denial of consent meaningless. Even if I withhold consent, say I refuse to use Facebook or Twitter or Amazon, the fact that everyone around me has joined means there are just as many data points about me to target and surveil. The issue is systemic, it is not one where a lone individual can make a choice and opt out of the system. We perpetuate this myth by talking about data as our own individual “oil”, ready to sell to the highest bidder. In reality I have little control over this supposed resource which acts more like an atmospheric pollutant, impacting me and others in myriads of indirect ways. There are more relations – direct and indirect – between data related to me, data about me, data inferred about me via others than I can possibly imagine, let alone control with the tools we have at our disposal today. 

    (tags: data ethics data-privacy privacy surveillance surveillance-capitalism co2 future profiling consent gdpr)

  • Ikea Symfonisk review: affordable, fun Sonos speakers – The Verge

    looks like they’ve done a decent job on getting Sonos into IKEA furniture

    (tags: ikea sonos speakers audio home furniture)

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