Opinion

  • Cryptowestworld

    Cryptowestworld

    Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there lived a mysterious, brilliant inventor, now lost to history, who created a kind of autonomous zone wherein the traditional rules of governments and law did not apply. It was scoffed at as escapism, but over time it drew an ever-growing crowd who used it primarily to indulge their greed and lust. A few, though, believed it could be more than an… Read More

  • Hey politicians — don’t hate the internet, hate the game Crunch Network

    Hey politicians — don’t hate the internet, hate the game

    We must ask ourselves, what aspects of the internet are intrinsic to democracy and are they divisible from those necessary for control? Freedom of speech and the right to privacy are essential to democracy and need to be preserved online. Read More

  • Video evidence is meaningless without accountability

    Video evidence is meaningless without accountability

    Some had guns and some carried sticks and shields. Some carried homemade pepper spray and mace. But one thing nearly everyone on all sides carried: a camera. There were television cameras, DSLRs, 360-cameras and, most commonly of all, simple smartphones. It was the one constant in the crowds of yesterday’s showdown between politically emboldened white nationalists and counter-protesters… Read More

  • Not even remotely possible

    Not even remotely possible

    Down with the tyranny of geography. Down with commuting, “the daily activity most injurious to human happiness.” Down with allegedly “collaborative” open floor plans built such that “high-level executives […] are exempt from this collaborative environment.” Up with more time, greater flexibility, and, believe it or not, higher… Read More

  • Don’t ruin streaming by turning it into cable

    Don’t ruin streaming by turning it into cable

    Technology was going to free us from cable. It’s right there in the phrase “cord cutting” — a liberation from the bonds of traditional television. This is supposed to be the era of on-demand entertainment, when we don’t have to subscribe to some bloated cable package in order to get the content we want. But the golden age of television has yet to meet its… Read More

  • A smartwatch won’t fix what’s broken with Fitbit

    A smartwatch won’t fix what’s broken with Fitbit

    Fitbit’s Q2 earnings could have been worse. Unlike Q4 of last year, the company didn’t use the opportunity to announce that it would be laying off six percent of its staff. Still, things are bad. As we pointed out earlier in the week, the company’s stock price is little more than 10 percent of its 2015 high. Read More

  • Beyond the boring blockchain bubble

    Beyond the boring blockchain bubble

    The silly season continues. Speculators are piling into the cryptocurrency space in the hopes of–sometimes very literally–making money fast. As I write this Ethereum’s value has halved since June but is still 20x since January. Litecoin is up 12x since then. Even Bitcoin has tripled, again. It seems like everyone now has an opinion on, and a position in… Read More

  • INNOVATE 2017 | Tristin Harris
    Crunch Network

    The ‘attention economy’ created by Silicon Valley is bankrupting us

    “The attention economy” is shaping everything about contemporary life, according to Google’s former design ethicist, Tristan Harris. That economy has brought us Donald Trump by bankrupting our intelligence and exploiting our “lower-level vulnerabilities.” Read More

  • Apple’s capitulation to China’s VPN crack-down will return to haunt it at home

    Apple’s capitulation to China’s VPN crack-down will return to haunt it at home

    Yesterday Apple removed all major VPN apps from its App Store in the country. These VPNs aided internet users there to get around the government’s vast system of censorship and access uncensored sources of media. But by doing so, Apple has clearly decided to put its business before the interests of the population, opposition leaders and activists. For example, Golden Frog, which… Read More

  • When Snowden mattered

    When Snowden mattered

    Four years ago, the deep state was the enemy. Edward Snowden had just revealed its machinations. The head of the NSA was angrily catcalled during his Black Hat keynote. “We”–hackers, iconoclasts, individualists, and/or everyone in tech who hopes we’re building a better future–readied for a battle against surveillance capitalism and the surveillance state. How… Read More

  • Unhack the vote

    Unhack the vote

    Voting is the free world’s Achilles heel and/or Trojan horse. Valid voters are suppressed. Vote audits are suppressed. Voter registration systems are hacked. And the worst-case scenario of all looms before us all like a monster in a horror movie: what if voting machines themselves are hacked, the “results” are faked and democracy is quietly cancelled without the general… Read More

  • When your fear is my opportunity

    When your fear is my opportunity

    I’m not saying the people around me here at Black Hat are malicious, or that the threats aren’t real. I’m saying that the industry, and everyone it, is strongly incentivized to make its customers and the wider world as frightened as possible, and people tend to follow the path of most incentivization, consciously or not, reluctantly or not. The security industry is the… Read More

  • Facebook’s CSO: the security industry needs to change

    Facebook’s CSO: the security industry needs to change

    Every summer, suited and/or black-clad security geeks flock en masse to the sun-drenched surreality of Las Vegas for “Hacker Summer Camp”: a full week of various security and hacker conferences. Today Facebook’s CSO Alex Stamos gave its keynote address. He began by calling the infosec community a “family” — then gave a speech which felt a little like an… Read More

  • Dear tech dudes, stop being so dumb about women

    Dear tech dudes, stop being so dumb about women

    I want to talk about a relatively little-discussed aspect of the venture-capitalist sexual-harassment revelations that have rocked the Valley of late. In their wake, I have seen, first- and secondhand, men react with statements which can be collectively paraphrased as “Now I’m nervous about hiring women / investing in women / being alone in a room with a woman, what do I… Read More

  • Death to C, ++

    Death to C, ++

    The C programming language is terrible. I mean, magnificent, too. Much of the world in which we live was built atop C. It is foundational to almost all computer programming, both historically and practically; there’s a reason that the curriculum for Xavier Niel’s revolutionary “42” schools begins with students learning how to rewrite standard C library functions… Read More

  • A people-first view of investing in innovation or entrepreneurs who take people for granted will fail Crunch Network

    A people-first view of investing in innovation or entrepreneurs who take people for granted will fail

    I have long been fascinated by the promise of the world of autonomous transport. However, as the conversation at a recent event turned to the complexities that autonomous cars might introduce to the urban thoroughfare, I had an insight: We need to think of people not just as consumers but collectively as the society that shapes technology just as much as technology shapes society. Read More

  • Facebook’s Messenger ads are bad and must be destroyed

    Facebook’s Messenger ads are bad and must be destroyed

    When Facebook removed messages from the main app, I swore I would never download Messenger. That’s been a pretty easy promise to keep, especially since they introduced the idea of huge ads that take up half your screen while you try to use the service. Today Facebook redesigned them as part of a larger rollout — but fixed none of the reasons these ads are bad and should be destroyed. Read More

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