Can We Teach Independence and Fear Simultaneously?

Good post. Bruce Schneier probably has something similar to say on a lot of these topics. Teaching our kids to be afraid of everything definitely has consequences. A lot of things we casually do – like eating while driving, are far more likely to have severe consequences than letting them walk to school.

Post on free-range-kids

TSA cagey on cancer risk?

Interesting. One wonders what the exposure rate for standing in line for those back-scatter and the luggage x-ray things are. Worth noting that the safey regulations on those things are prolly totally vain–have you ever seen how tightly cramped the security areas get?
(I saw this link via bear454)

NFC description reminds me of RFID, plus environmental consequences?

This is a rah-rah article about NFC, provides a nice introduction to the topic, and explores other possible applications.

My thoughts range the map: is technology like this going to impact people who lack smart phones and online payment creds in an unfair way? Will default identity setting on these devices drill into your email, facebook, or phone provider profile? And even if you have a preview of the transacted data, you still have dialog-box-fatigue (think UAC).
RFID tags are not, to my knowledge, recyclable. NFC tags…another bit of disposable trash? That’s pretty insulting, there will be a billion of these things printed in no time at all. And like used hard drives, NFC tags are going to be brimming with personal information. Take the healthcare example in the article – what do you think a bitter hospItal janitor could get for ten of those tags? A hundred?
The thin profile of these makes them effortlessly transportable.

Other security implications would probably come in the form of proxy tags: someone is going to come up with a man-in-the-middle tag, and hide it as a transparent vinyl sticker or a strip magnetic picture frame they walk up to once a day and glean the stolen data by swiping their phone over it. Or they mod an RFID tag and just walk by it with a bluetooth RFID tag reader on their pocket.

Much scrutiny needs to be applied to these NFC interactions, as RFID enabled passports has already taught us.

Great interview on hacker spaces, responsible disclosure (TCLP)

Thomas interviews Tiffany Rad in this episode of The Commandline Podcast. I appreciated this interview because, as a father, I am interested in all the ways I can expose my kids to learning opportunities, and while I might not end up with little net-running hellions, it sounds like public schools are often becoming less and less places where hands-on experience in engineering and science can occur.

I also appreciated how the discussion verged into responsible disclosure. As contractor in my past, one encounters clients that might be in violation of laws, or vulnerable to attack, but just broaching the topic with them might get you sued. This is an aspect of responsible disclosure that I’d be interested in hearing more about.

There is also good discussion about how the auto industry is using the DMCA as a legal claymore to keep people from modding their car computers. This is particularly frustrating to any mechanic. It makes me wonder if there are other examples of “trading down” technologies so that one can use less sophisticated vehicles, computers, appliances, just for the ability to treat them in a more fungible manner. Phones and cameras come to mind.

Makes me wonder if the Sustainable Connections people in Bellingham have heard of hacker spaces?

Copy Protection for Our Identities

Another idea sprouted: I love the concept that Doc Searls discusses about the Intention Oriented Economy. This is the reverse of the identity oriented economy where we supplicate our commercial oligarchy with our percious identifiable information for free stuff so they can better advertise to us. Rather–it makes much more sense to develop an anonymous identity and then publish intentions (I want to buy a bicycle) and then grant permission to commercial supplicants to market to us based upon our published desires.

I was listening to the latest ep of Triangulation with Daniel Briskin and he mentioned having a non-copy protected version of Visicalc, one of the few left that could run on any PC. Duh! Our *identities* need to be copy protected.

Please tell me that TPM and remote attestation, with our own private identities being the attestors, is what unlocks degrees of our identifying information for marketers? We provide some binary blob of our intention, to read it, they supplicate to our attestation, they decrypt that shard of our identity, but that encrypted shard expires because we provide it through our publicly administered perishible anonymous identity administration.

Ok, enough of the crack cocaine, time for bed.

Some Thots on Online Anonymity

I found this idea sprouting in my cereberal loam and transplant is into yours: Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte have been discussing the topic of the DNT header and congruent proposed privacy legislation. They are worried that the notion of tracking cookies will either be legislated to present manditory EULA agreements before acceptance, or that semi-anonymous tracking information might become legally encumbered. The effect being that advertisering agencies will not have low-friction mechanisms to identify semi-unique visitors. In Leo and Steve’s estimation, it is possible that the ability to calculate unique impressions for ads will become crippled, resulting in the advertising economics that often fund todays online independent broadcasts evaporating.

Two or three points of view occur to me. First: there are no good impression mechanisms for television, radio or newspaper–todays “netcasts” are offer an unprecidented resolution for advertising impressions. Is it possible to go on without it?

Second: the notion of cookies and headers, and privacy on the internet is exhaustively discussed. Our fundmental technical structure was not designed for anonymity, and whenever we create a login, we erode that notion ourselves. Do you think it is possible that we could design a web protocol that preserves anonymity, and is it possible to suppliment it with a perishable anonymous identity created by third (non advertising) parties in order to present a hollow avatar to the Internet? Thus, instead of using OpenID providing by wordpress or yahoo, we could use a token associated with a random identity provider that would last a season, which is often long enough to outlive our relationship with many online serivces.

And thirdly, the market for uniquely identifying visitor impressions in a semi- or mostly- anonymous manner that respects privacy obviously exists. You have looked into this for your own podcast, as you’ve mentioned. The poison pill in the flagon with the dragon is mostly the commercial entities aggregating advertising cookies across (all) Internet domains to the degree that these largely unaccountable companies cannot help but have no degree of anonymity left to their data. I have heard of methods of splitting data among multiple parties such that no two of three holders of the data can fit their pair of bits together to guess the third, and thus there is little hope for one holder of a stripe of bits to interpret identity from it. I presume that some basic changes to web client behavior would have to support this.

Not only is this concept applicable to assigning cookies to browsers, it is also governable, and it is also taxable. Do you think it is possible that multiple public institutions could curate fractional-cookie sets such that advertisers could pay them to compute uniques impressions from a set of cookie-shards?

I don’t assume I’m the first to consider these ideas. What of them are already out there?

Bellingham PD demonstrate bomb robot at LinuxFest Northwest 2011

Bellingham’s police department offers a rare opportunity to see their bomb disposal robot and control van. The manipulator can reach 8ft high, it can go up and down curbs and stairs, and it can reach under cars. The side of the manipulator is mounted with two shotgun barrels that can be loaded with water or water payloads fired by shaped charges. These water bullets can destroy a bomb or tear through a car door, but have nowhere near the range of a solid round or lead shot.

Bellingham PD demonstrate bomb robot at LinuxFest Northwest 2011

Bellingham PD demonstrate bomb robot at LinuxFest Northwest 2011