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{ Author Archives }

Half-baked ideas: privacy friendly and sustainable URL shorteners

URL shorteners are a pest for the web. Not only because the accelerate link rot by adding just another way how hyperlinks can become outdated, but because their business model is mostly based on tracking users. And even worse, they do not so much track users who publish them, but cause other users to be […]

The problem with CAPTCHAs, and an idea for a solution.

One growing annoyance on the web is the use of CAPTCHAs. Yes, that is the weird acronym we use for those questions you get when websites want to make sure you are not a spambot. When you have to enter a text that is displayed in a horribly distorted way.

Why Snowden is no Agee and why it is authoritarian thinking to compare the two

The blog War on the Rocks (of which I had never heard before, but who needs serendipity when you follow eccentrics on Twitter) recently ran a piece by Mark Stout arguing that if Edward Snowden should get clemency, so should Philip Agee. It does so by drawing a bunch of analogies, that are at mostly […]

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Walter’s (slightly) drunken theory on political ideology

Vinay Gupta is to blame for this post. Anyway, for quite a while I’ve harbored a slightly drunken theory about political ideology. Meaning that your political ideology might very well reflect your inner demons or greatest strengths. Or both for that matter. It is one of those thoughts that makes the world make sense of […]

Peak resource and things that won’t necesarily change, nr. 1: global supply chains

Old trends often come back in a different form. A current trend is a feeling that we are running out of resources in the way the Club of Rome predicted in its famous ‘Limits to Growth’ report from 1972, the year I was born. That this particular theme has been resurrected from its shallow grave […]

Dear e-reader designers and producers…

When I buy an e-reader, I like… simplicity; versatility in file formats; being able to use the damn thing while it is tethered to a computer for the purpose of charging its battery; it to respect any directory structure I have put on any media I may insert into it. Because I do not like… […]

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Hackerspace incorporation patterns

As a mere participant of Revelation Space, a hackerspace (or makerspace, if you will) in The Hague, who also happens to practice law (but not corporate law), I found this article on hackerspaces.org interesting. Interesting but incomplete. Incomplete because it doesn’t really explore perfectly reasonable combinations of the patterns described. Also incomplete, because it reeks […]

Happy Tree Friends as Copyright War Fodder

Google published a Happy Tree Friends animation this week that apparantly aims to educate the unwashed heathens of the internet about copyright. For those who are too lazy to click the preceding link: the Happy Tree Friends are a bunch of lovely if not a bit moronic woodland creatures that tend to die in a […]

Useful idiots/so-called hackers

Last week two bits of news struck me as misguided. First there was a court in Amsterdam stating that abuse of a WiFi network, does not equal breaking into a computer system, even if such a WiFi network had some form of security measures such as password protection. Lots of geeky types, including those identify […]

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Korean Zombie PC Prevention Bill

One can hope that legislative stupidity is not contagious, but would be terminally naive to do so. So although the Korean proposals for a bill that makes security software on computers mandatory and grants the authorities the power to check for the existence of mandated security software on computers seems rather far-fetched, it is probably […]