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Links for 2020-02-11

  • Wikipedia turned to WebAssembly to provide patent-free video

    ‘Wikipedia turned to WebAssembly as a <video> polyfill because video codec patents are a pain for folks committed to fully open source stacks: ‘ogv.js implements Ogg Vorbis/Opus/Theora audio & WebM VP8/VP9/AV1 video.’

    (tags: ogv.js ogv webassembly wasm wikipedia polyfills standards video patents)

  • Why People Say ‘Up the RA’ – VICE

    tl;dr: young people.

    The difference between young people and their parents’ relationship with Irish Republicanism appears even more pronounced when studying the Irish establishment media, which has failed to acknowledge the widespread understanding that Republican slogans have been denuded of militaristic connotations by most people who use them. In March of last year, as Irish meme-lords continued to post a zesty mixture of IRA, Republican and Gerry Adams memes ad nauseum (some even appearing on Sinn Fein’s official social media pages), Mary Lou McDonald was being slated in the Irish press for saying “tiocfaidh ár lá” during a speech at a party conference.

    (tags: republicanism ireland ira history sinn-fein memes vice slogans)

  • The Truth Behind The Theory That Control Was Inspired By The SCP Foundation

    Yep! it was indeed:

    “I just had this warm fuzzy feeling throughout the game, seeing the cultural influence of something I’ve spent eight years of my life kind of doing as a hobby,” Pierce said. “I think in fairness, they clearly had the inspiration [from us], but they took it in their own direction. They did something with it that we could not do in a thousand years.”
    This is fantastic — the SCP Wiki is behind so many great SF/horror tropes over the past decade. what a legacy. And “Control” is in itself a fantastic game.

    (tags: scp scp-wiki wikis collaboration art writing horror science-fiction control games)

  • How the CIA used Crypto AG encryption devices to spy on countries for decades – Washington Post

    The Crypto AG story returns to the headlines once more:

    The operation, known first by the code name “Thesaurus” and later “Rubicon,” ranks among the most audacious in CIA history. “It was the intelligence coup of the century,” the CIA report concludes. “Foreign governments were paying good money to the U.S. and West Germany for the privilege of having their most secret communications read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign countries.”
    It is worth noting that Ireland was a victim to this snooping as well:
    During the sensitive Anglo-Irish negotiations of 1985, the NSA’s British counterpart, GCHQ, was able to decipher the coded diplomatic traffic being sent between the Irish embassy in London and the Irish Foreign Ministry in Dublin. It was reported in the Irish press that Dublin had purchased a cryptographic system from Crypto AG worth more than a million Irish pounds. It was also reported that the NSA routinely monitored and deciphered the Irish diplomatic messages.

    (tags: cryptography us nsa gchq crypto-ag surveillance cia spying spies)