Category Archives: vendetta

The Devil And Strong Crypto

Period scenery-chewing aside, this is largely how I feel about strong, backdoorless cryptography. When the last wires were tapped, your last passwords broken and the State finally turns on you, how would you hide, with all your secrets exposed? The internet is a forest of crypto from coast to coast – the user’s crypto, not […]

Burning Down The Future

There’s an old line in the military: amateurs study tactics and academics study strategies, but professionals study logistics. It doesn’t matter how good your grand strategy is if you can’t feed your troops, gas up the humvees and keep planes in the air for the duration. In the same vein, in the political arena your […]

The Bourne Aesthetic

“The difference between something that can go wrong and something that can’t possibly go wrong is that when something that can’t possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.” –Douglas Adams I’ve been trying to get this from draft to published for almost six months now. […]


I was complaining on Twitter that almost everyone who makes shoulder bags makes terrible straps to go with them and that it’s the most important thing to get right and nobody does and everything is terrible. You know, as one does. And I mentioned modifying my bags to make the straps work right, and people […]

“It Happens When They Don’t Change Anything.”

“Glitch in the Matrix? No, just that amazing San Francisco workplace diversity in action.” – @jjbbllkk “You take the blue pill — the story ends… You take the plaid pill — you stay in Silicon Valley.” – @anatolep “… And I’ll show you just how high your rent can go.” – @mhoye

Hostage Situation

(This is an edited version of a rant that started life on Twitter. I may add some links later.) Can we talk for a few minutes about the weird academic-integrity hostage situation going on in CS research right now? We share a lot of data here at Mozilla. As much as we can – never […]

Candy For Children

My impressions of Android 5 are excitingly career-limiting, as you might have guessed from the title, but what the hell. A few weeks of using it has not substantially dulled my initial impressions, so I might as well share them with you. Would you believe there are positive bits here? You’ll have work for them, […]

Social Engineering

I gave this talk at FSOSS last week, in which I try to reclaim the term “Social Engineering”, so that it stops meaning “get the receptionist to give you their password” and starts meaning “Measuring community growth and turning that into processes and practices that work.” I thought it went well, though listening to it […]

Insecurity Theatre

Your new password must contain a mix of: uppercase letters lowercase letters numbers symbols symbols that are also numbers illuminati symbols hobo signs occult symbols (not illuminati) old girlfriend’s phone numbers hieroglyphs fragrances H.P. Lovecraft references exotic spices descriptions of that favorite sweater you lost in a breakup that one time secret regrets controversial onomatopoeia […]

What Better Place Than Here, What Better Time Than Now

I was in an Ikea last weekend, when their background music system started playing Rage Against The Machine. I was actually paralyzed for a moment. I found myself looking around, thinking “Am… Am I just old? Is this old-person music now? Or is it finally time? Here? Why here, now?” I felt, briefly, like I […]