7 stories
·
0 followers

Turnabout

3 Comments and 7 Shares
Whenever I miss a shot with a sci-fi weapon, I say 'Apollo retroreflector' really fast, just in case.
Read the whole story
ivarne
1976 days ago
reply
Alt text: Whenever I miss a shot with a sci-fi weapon, I say 'Apollo retroreflector' really fast, just in case.
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
sandge
1976 days ago
reply
Solid plan.
Atlanta, GA, USA
satadru
1976 days ago
reply
.
New York, NY
kazriko
1976 days ago
.!
Askew
1966 days ago
.?

English Grammar, Make it Stop

1 Comment and 3 Shares
English Grammar, Make it Stop

Submitted by: anselmbe

Tagged: english , grammar , funny , stahp , wtf
Read the whole story
ivarne
2148 days ago
reply
11 had in a row
Share this story
Delete

Heartbleed Explanation

27 Comments and 116 Shares
Are you still there, server? It's me, Margaret.
Read the whole story
popular
2174 days ago
reply
ivarne
2179 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
27 public comments
Jerom
2171 days ago
reply
Я больше шар не видел. Супер пост.
Moscow, Russia
tomazed
2173 days ago
reply
crystal clear
josephwebster
2176 days ago
reply
This is actually a very good explanation.
Denver, CO, USA
Tobiah
2177 days ago
reply
XKCD explains heartbleed
San Jose, California
Lacrymosa
2177 days ago
reply
good simple explanation of heartbleed
Boston, MA
jchristopherslice
2177 days ago
reply
Computer Science 101
Clemson, SC
expatpaul
2178 days ago
reply
The best explanation of Heartbleed I've seen.
Belgium
chrisminett
2178 days ago
reply
xkcd does it again!
Milton Keynes, UK
katster
2179 days ago
reply
Simple is good.
Sactown, CA
mitthrawnuruodo
2179 days ago
reply
Best explanation, yet.
Wherever
mrnevets
2179 days ago
reply
Heartbleed: a simple explanation. It affected a huge number of websites. Be safe and change your passwords!
macjustice
2179 days ago
reply
Best explanation yet.
Seattle
jkevmoses
2179 days ago
reply
Great explanation of Heartbleed that is causing internet security issues all over the place.
McKinney, Texas
srsly
2179 days ago
reply
You know I'm only sharing this because I've never seen a story this shared before. 56 people! 57 now.

I should get back to work.
Atlanta, Georgia
grammargirl
2179 days ago
reply
Clearest explanation I've seen by FAR.
Brooklyn, NY
smadin
2179 days ago
yeah, I think this does a very good job of making clear JUST HOW BAD this is.
glindsey1979
2179 days ago
reply
If you aren't a techie, this will explain the Heartbleed bug to you super-simply.
Aurora, IL
chrispt
2179 days ago
reply
Perfect explanation of how Heartbleed works.
37.259417,-79.935122
aaronwe
2179 days ago
reply
Perfect.
Denver
sfringer
2179 days ago
reply
In a nutshell!
North Carolina USA
JayM
2179 days ago
reply
.
Atlanta, GA
adamgurri
2179 days ago
reply
nice
New York, NY
bgschaid
2179 days ago
reply
You can’t explain it simpler and more to the point
bogorad
2179 days ago
reply
Умеет!
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Covarr
2179 days ago
reply
Ah, now I understand.
Moses Lake, WA
rohitt
2177 days ago
Yes. Clear as a day
revme
2179 days ago
reply
This actually makes it really clear.
Seattle, WA
teh_g
2179 days ago
reply
Alt text: Are you still there, server? It's me Margaret.
Roseville, CA

October 24, 2013

4 Comments and 25 Shares

POW!
Read the whole story
ivarne
2347 days ago
reply
popular
2348 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
4 public comments
irunfrombears
2348 days ago
reply
For future reference
DC
carsonb
2348 days ago
reply
Teaching kids math through hands-on experimentation.
Peoria, Illinois
petrilli
2348 days ago
reply
Hah!
Arlington, VA
boredomfestival
2348 days ago
reply
Awesome

Our Newfound Fear of Risk

5 Comments and 22 Shares

We're afraid of risk. It's a normal part of life, but we're increasingly unwilling to accept it at any level. So we turn to technology to protect us. The problem is that technological security measures aren't free. They cost money, of course, but they cost other things as well. They often don't provide the security they advertise, and -- paradoxically -- they often increase risk somewhere else. This problem is particularly stark when the risk involves another person: crime, terrorism, and so on. While technology has made us much safer against natural risks like accidents and disease, it works less well against man-made risks.

Three examples:

  1. We have allowed the police to turn themselves into a paramilitary organization. They deploy SWAT teams multiple times a day, almost always in nondangerous situations. They tase people at minimal provocation, often when it's not warranted. Unprovoked shootings are on the rise. One result of these measures is that honest mistakes -- a wrong address on a warrant, a misunderstanding -- result in the terrorizing of innocent people, and more death in what were once nonviolent confrontations with police.

  2. We accept zero-tolerance policies in schools. This results in ridiculous situations, where young children are suspended for pointing gun-shaped fingers at other students or drawing pictures of guns with crayons, and high-school students are disciplined for giving each other over-the-counter pain relievers. The cost of these policies is enormous, both in dollars to implement and its long-lasting effects on students.

  3. We have spent over one trillion dollars and thousands of lives fighting terrorism in the past decade -- including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- money that could have been better used in all sorts of ways. We now know that the NSA has turned into a massive domestic surveillance organization, and that its data is also used by other government organizations, which then lie about it. Our foreign policy has changed for the worse: we spy on everyone, we trample human rights abroad, our drones kill indiscriminately, and our diplomatic outposts have either closed down or become fortresses. In the months after 9/11, so many people chose to drive instead of fly that the resulting deaths dwarfed the deaths from the terrorist attack itself, because cars are much more dangerous than airplanes.

There are lots more examples, but the general point is that we tend to fixate on a particular risk and then do everything we can to mitigate it, including giving up our freedoms and liberties.

There's a subtle psychological explanation. Risk tolerance is both cultural and dependent on the environment around us. As we have advanced technologically as a society, we have reduced many of the risks that have been with us for millennia. Fatal childhood diseases are things of the past, many adult diseases are curable, accidents are rarer and more survivable, buildings collapse less often, death by violence has declined considerably, and so on. All over the world -- among the wealthier of us who live in peaceful Western countries -- our lives have become safer.

Our notions of risk are not absolute; they're based more on how far they are from whatever we think of as "normal." So as our perception of what is normal gets safer, the remaining risks stand out more. When your population is dying of the plague, protecting yourself from the occasional thief or murderer is a luxury. When everyone is healthy, it becomes a necessity.

Some of this fear results from imperfect risk perception. We're bad at accurately assessing risk; we tend to exaggerate spectacular, strange, and rare events, and downplay ordinary, familiar, and common ones. This leads us to believe that violence against police, school shootings, and terrorist attacks are more common and more deadly than they actually are -- and that the costs, dangers, and risks of a militarized police, a school system without flexibility, and a surveillance state without privacy are less than they really are.

Some of this fear stems from the fact that we put people in charge of just one aspect of the risk equation. No one wants to be the senior officer who didn't approve the SWAT team for the one subpoena delivery that resulted in an officer being shot. No one wants to be the school principal who didn't discipline -- no matter how benign the infraction -- the one student who became a shooter. No one wants to be the president who rolled back counterterrorism measures, just in time to have a plot succeed. Those in charge will be naturally risk averse, since they personally shoulder so much of the burden.

We also expect that science and technology should be able to mitigate these risks, as they mitigate so many others. There's a fundamental problem at the intersection of these security measures with science and technology; it has to do with the types of risk they're arrayed against. Most of the risks we face in life are against nature: disease, accident, weather, random chance. As our science has improved -- medicine is the big one, but other sciences as well -- we become better at mitigating and recovering from those sorts of risks.

Security measures combat a very different sort of risk: a risk stemming from another person. People are intelligent, and they can adapt to new security measures in ways nature cannot. An earthquake isn't able to figure out how to topple structures constructed under some new and safer building code, and an automobile won't invent a new form of accident that undermines medical advances that have made existing accidents more survivable. But a terrorist will change his tactics and targets in response to new security measures. An otherwise innocent person will change his behavior in response to a police force that compels compliance at the threat of a Taser. We will all change, living in a surveillance state.

When you implement measures to mitigate the effects of the random risks of the world, you're safer as a result. When you implement measures to reduce the risks from your fellow human beings, the human beings adapt and you get less risk reduction than you'd expect -- and you also get more side effects, because we all adapt.

We need to relearn how to recognize the trade-offs that come from risk management, especially risk from our fellow human beings. We need to relearn how to accept risk, and even embrace it, as essential to human progress and our free society. The more we expect technology to protect us from people in the same way it protects us from nature, the more we will sacrifice the very values of our society in futile attempts to achieve this security.

This essay previously appeared on Forbes.com.

Read the whole story
ivarne
2399 days ago
reply
popular
2399 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
5 public comments
silberbaer
2398 days ago
reply
Yes. This.
New Baltimore, MI
emdeesee
2398 days ago
reply
Money quote: "We're bad at accurately assessing risk; we tend to exaggerate spectacular, strange, and rare events, and downplay ordinary, familiar, and common ones."
📌 Lincoln, NE ❤️️ Sherman, TX
stevenewey
2398 days ago
reply
I thought provoking essay I for the most part agree with.

However, I was a little uncomfortable with the statement "In the months after 9/11, so many people chose to drive instead of fly that the resulting deaths dwarfed the deaths from the terrorist attack itself, because cars are much more dangerous than airplanes." with no citation for this 'fact' and it's vague assertions.

I found this article (http://www.mpg.de/6347636/terrorism_traffic-accidents-USA) which suggest within 12 months there was indeed more road deaths, to the tune of approx 1,600. Certainly fewer than died in the attacks themselves.

Of course the effect will likely have lasted longer than 12 months, but I would like to see data to back up the assertions.
Bedfordshire
ramsesoriginal
2398 days ago
reply
Great commentary on the topic of risk assessment
Bozen/Val Gardena Italy
adamgurri
2399 days ago
reply
Yes, a thousand times yes.
New York, NY

The real reason Google wants to kill RSS

6 Comments and 25 Shares
Marco Arment:

RSS represents the antithesis of this new world: it’s completely open, decentralized, and owned by nobody, just like the web itself. It allows anyone, large or small, to build something new and disrupt anyone else they’d like because nobody has to fly six salespeople out first to work out a partnership with anyone else’s salespeople.

That world formed the web’s foundations — without that world to build on, Google, Facebook, and Twitter couldn’t exist. But they’ve now grown so large that everything from that web-native world is now a threat to them, and they want to shut it down. “Sunset” it. “Clean it up.” “Retire” it. Get it out of the way so they can get even bigger and build even bigger proprietary barriers to anyone trying to claim their territory.

Well, fuck them, and fuck that.

Lockdown [marco.org]

    


Read the whole story
ivarne
2460 days ago
reply
popular
2461 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
6 public comments
brittany
2458 days ago
reply
I like to think of NewBlur as an OS freedom fighter.
San Francisco
cinebot
2460 days ago
reply
a worthy read.
toronto.
digitalhumor
2460 days ago
reply
The real reason why google killed rss.
ÜT: 28.46867,77.07026
zwenk
2461 days ago
reply
there is truth in it
agrant3d
2461 days ago
reply
Don't know how much I believe this but shutting down Reader is enough to make me like google a heck of a lot less.
Montreal, Quebec
AndyG1128
2461 days ago
Ah, but without the shutdown, I would have never have found this wonderful home we know as Newsblur. If I could use instapaper, and other aps, I'd be in rss heaven
MIU
2461 days ago
Andy: Agreed, I love newsblur, more than I liked google reader. I'm still cross at them for largely starving the RSS market and then leaving us all in the lurch, though.
MIU
2461 days ago
agrant3d: I've shifted a fair bit away from google's stuff because of this. I'm still really pissed by the whole experience.
flndr
2461 days ago
It's certainly made me think about how much I rely on Google. And, I do too much. It sucks that their offerings are just that good that I don't diversify.
flndr
2461 days ago
I dig newsblur so far, but I don't like how it handles unread items. And I really don't like how there are still issues with not marking items as read on Android. Eventually, newsblur will surpass where Reader was.
cinebot
2460 days ago
seriously, stop forcing people to use plus. it's not going to take off so quit it!
MIU
2460 days ago
cinenbot: I largely use google plus only to keep up with my friends who are google employees, heh.
cinebot
2460 days ago
me too, i think only ooglers are on plus to be honest.
Harvison
2460 days ago
I'm like most quite upset with the shutdown, but the very happy end result...I found NewsBlur. Too bad I didn't find it before.
cinebot
2460 days ago
does newsblur allow you to tag/sort your saves? i haven't found it yet. newsblur also didnt import all my tags from reader either...
Next Page of Stories