Consent Matters: When Tech Takes Remote Control Without Your Permission

https://puri.sm/posts/consent-matters-when-tech-takes-remote-control-without-your-permission/

In my previous post I talked about why consent matters when it comes to privacy; and yet, privacy is only one of the areas where tech companies take advantage of users without their consent. Recently, tech companies have come to a troubling consensus: that they can change your computer, remotely (and often silently) without your knowledge or permission.

Some examples of this include:

Below you will find the origins of this mentality, the risks and harm that arise from it, and what it says about who really owns a computer.

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The PGP Problem

https://latacora.micro.blog/2019/07/16/the-pgp-problem.html

Cryptography engineers have been tearing their hair out over PGP’s deficiencies for (literally) decades. When other kinds of engineers get wind of this, they’re shocked. PGP is bad? Why do people keep telling me to use PGP? The answer is that they shouldn’t be telling you that, because PGP is bad and needs to go away.

There are, as you’re about to see, lots of problems with PGP. Fortunately, if you’re not morbidly curious, there’s a simple meta-problem with it: it was designed in the 1990s, before serious modern cryptography. No competent crypto engineer would design a system that looked like PGP today, nor tolerate most of its defects in any other design. Serious cryptographers have largely given up on PGP and don’t spend much time publishing on it anymore (with a notable exception). Well-understood problems in PGP have gone unaddressed for over a decade because of this.

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The Forgotten History of OOP

https://medium.com/javascript-scene/the-forgotten-history-of-oop-88d71b9b2d9f

Note: This is part of the “Composing Software” series (now a book!) on learning functional programming and compositional software techniques in JavaScript ES6+ from the ground up. Stay tuned. There’s a lot more of this to come!
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The functional and imperative programming paradigms we use today were first explored mathematically in the 1930s with lambda calculus and the Turing machine, which are alternative formulations of universal computation (formalized systems which can perform general computation). The Church Turing Thesis showed that lambda calculus and Turing machines are functionally equivalent — that anything that can be computed using a Turing machine can be computed using lambda calculus, and vice versa.

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The economics of privacy

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2019/06/the-economics-of-privacy.html

Perhaps the biggest complaint about tech companies today is that they do not respect our privacy. They gather and store data on us, and in some cases, such as Facebook, they charge companies for the ability to send targeted ads to us. They induce us to self-reveal on the internet, often in ways that are more public than we might at first expect. Furthermore, tech data practices are not entirely appropriate, as for instance Facebook recently stored user passwords in an insecure, plain text format.

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Video games probably aren’t bad for boys, but it’s a different story for girls

Plenty of parents fret over their children’s undying love of video games. Do interactive games like Fortnite and World of Warcraft inhibit kids’ ability to hold normal human conversations? Do aggressive games foster an unnatural desire to wield guns and destroy things? Or does gaming help kids develop a crucial suite of 21st-century skills?

A new study from Norway investigates these questions by tracking the relationship between time spent gaming and social competence in a group of 873 kids, starting at age six and checking in every two years until age 12. The results showed that more gaming did not generally predict worse social outcomes in boys, but did have a negative impact on girls: 10-year-old girls who played more games had less social competence at 12.

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The Plato-infused philosophy of “The Matrix” still feels timely 20 years later

Incredible as it may seem, the end of March marks 20 years since the release of the first film in the Matrix franchise directed by the Wachowski siblings. This “cyberpunk” sci-fi movie was a box office hit with its dystopian futuristic vision, distinctive fashion sense, and slick, innovative action sequences. But it was also a catalyst for popular discussion around some very big philosophical themes.

The film centers on a computer hacker, “Neo” (played by Keanu Reeves), who learns that his whole life has been lived within an elaborate, simulated reality. This computer-generated dream world was designed by an artificial intelligence of human creation, which industrially farms human bodies for energy while distracting them via a relatively pleasant parallel reality called the “matrix.”

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First Mover Disadvantage

Source: https://avc.com/2018/08/first-mover-disadvantage/?utm_source=wanqu.co&utm_campaign=Wanqu+Daily&utm_medium=website

Getting to something first has tremendous advantages but also comes with a bunch of challenges.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I was setting up a couple iPads to be used around our house as smart home controllers.

The Apple identity management and app store systems feel like they were built for a different era. Because they were.

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