Replacing the Pillars of the Internet

An interesting read on decentralizing the internet, from social networking outside of Facebook & Twitter to building mesh networks that don’t even need ISPs.

Replacing the Pillars of the Internet – Mastodon Blog – Medium

The future of the internet is bright, and it’s decentralized.

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Facebook is pushing its data-tracking Onavo VPN within its main mobile app

Facebook is plugging a VPN app they own. It lets you hide your non-FB activity from your ISP and let Facebook collect that data instead.

Facebook is pushing its data-tracking Onavo VPN within its main mobile app

Onavo Protect, the VPN client from the data-security app maker acquired by Facebook back in 2013, has now popped up in the Facebook iOS app itself, under the..

Lost Kirby/Kane ‘Prisoner’ comic coming from Titan Comics

An unpublished comic book of “The Prisoner” by JACK KIRBY not only exists, but is finally being published!

Lost Kirby/Kane ‘Prisoner’ comic coming from Titan Comics

An unpublished Prisoner comic by Jack Kirby, Gil Kane and Steve Englehart accompanies a new comic series by Peter Milligan and Colin Lorimer.

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Whoa! An unpublished comic book of “The Prisoner” by JACK KIRBY not only exists, but is finally being published! https://smashpages.net/2018/01/22/lost-kirby-kane-prisoner-comic-coming-from-titan-comics/

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The secret history of Facebook depression

“The key to understanding social media depression lies in the social norm that has emerged around how we manage Facebook’s context collapse in a way that is acceptable in all contexts. That social norm is being your perfect self. And the consequence of that is we are all performing our perfect selves, thus all making each other feel depressed and inadequate.”

The secret history of Facebook depression

To early users, the internet held such promise for people and communities. Now, on the eve of Facebook’s 15th birthday, social media is making people depressed. What happened?

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Scaling the solar system

You may think it’s a long walk down to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts compared to the solar system.

Scaling the solar system

Every now and again, in interviews and on social media, I’m asked an interesting question: If there was one thing you wish people understood better about astronomy, what would it be? My answer is simple: Scale. Things in space are very, very, very far away. The closest natural object to us, the Moon…

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Interesting story about the history of the Los Angeles River (and paving it).

Interesting story about the history of the Los Angeles River (and paving it).

Paving the Los Angeles River wasn’t an egalitarian idea. The plan for revitalizing it should be

As we remake the Los Angeles River once again, we ought to allow the river to re-make us, too — into a more equitable city.

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California Legislators Introduce Bill to Block Trump’s Offshore Drilling Push

“The leases would be offered in federal waters, which begin three miles offshore and extend to 200 miles offshore. But oil companies must bring that oil onshore to refine and sell it. That’s where they run into state and local jurisdictions.”

California Legislators Introduce Bill to Block Trump’s Offshore Drilling Push

There’s a lot state and local governments could do to stand in the way of offshore drilling in federal waters.

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Meltdown and Spectre

TL;DR: 2 vulnerabilities in CPU performance optimization that allow locally-running programs to access either system memory or other applications’ memory. One affects all Intel processors, the other affects all Intel, AMD and ARM – so basically everything from your phone to the cloud server you connect to.

Patches are rolling out for some attack vectors, basically having software do the security checks the hardware is supposed to. But it’s both a performance hit and whack-a-mole.

Meltdown and Spectre

Meltdown and Spectre exploit critical vulnerabilities in modern processors. These hardware bugs allow programs to steal data which is currently processed on the computer. While programs are typically not permitted to read data from other programs, a malicious program can exploit Meltdown and Spectre…

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The main target is a technique called speculative execution, where the CPU uses idle resources to predict the most likely followup instruction and do it ahead of time. If the next instruction comes in and it was right, great, it’s already done! If not, no big deal, it wasn’t doing anything else at the time, so it just rolls back the actions and moves on to what it’s been asked to do.

But it turns out that it doesn’t always roll back completely, and under the right circumstances it can leave traces in memory that another program can read.

More fun: As Brion points out, JavaScript can be used for timing attacks *in the browser*, so vendors are disabling high-precision timing and shared buffers in javascript.