I suppose it was only a matter of time…
[via @bmorrissey on twitter]
I suppose it was only a matter of time…
[via @bmorrissey on twitter]
This is a long read, but really interesting and timely, if you love San Francisco. And who doesn’t? It’s a phenomenal place. But it’s changing. And in some ways its refusal to change is causing unintended changes anyway. Most people won’t have or take time to read this TechCrunch article, but I do recommend it to anyone interested in the city and in things like inequality and rigid building codes and earthquakes and evictions and people who want to work and live in a great city that is already full.
Today, the tech industry is apparently on track to destroy one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures, San Francisco, by pushing out the diverse people who have helped create it. At least that’s the story you’ve read in hundreds of articles lately.
It doesn’t have to be this way. But everyone who lives in the Bay Area today needs to accept responsibility for making changes where they live so that everyone who wants to be here, can. The alternative — inaction and self-absorption — very well could create the cynical elite paradise and middle-class dystopia that many fear. I’ve spent time looking into the city’s historical housing and development policies. With the protests escalating again, I am pretty tired of seeing the city’s young and disenfranchised fight each other amid an extreme housing shoupdatertage created by 30 to 40 years of NIMBYism (or “Not-In-My-Backyard-ism”) from the old wealth of the city and down from the peninsula suburbs.
Here is a very long explainer. Sorry, this isn’t a shorter post or that I didn’t break it into 20 pieces. If you’re wondering why people are protesting you, how we got to this housing crisis, why rent control exists or why tech is even shifting to San Francisco in the first place, this is meant to provide some common points of understanding.
How did such a catastrophic bug remain undetected for two years? OpenSSL, which is used to secure as many as two-thirds of all encrypted Internet connections, is a volunteer project. It is overseen by four people: one works for the open-source software company Red Hat, one works for Google, and two are consultants. There is nobody whose full-time job it is to work on OpenSSL.
Unlike a rusting highway bridge, digital infrastructure does not betray the effects of age. And, unlike roads and bridges, large portions of the software infrastructure of the Internet are built and maintained by volunteers, who get little reward when their code works well but are blamed, and sometimes savagely derided, when it fails. To some degree, this is beginning to change: venture-capital firms have made substantial investments in code-infrastructure projects, like GitHub and the Node Package Manager. But money and support still tend to flow to the newest and sexiest projects, while boring but essential elements like OpenSSL limp along as volunteer efforts. It’s easy to take open-source software for granted, and to forget that the Internet we use every day depends in part on the freely donated work of thousands of programmers. If open-source software is at the heart of the Internet, then we might need to examine it from time to time to make sure it’s not bleeding.
On the other hand…
Android users collectively spent $40,000 on an app that does nothing.
For $3.99, Virus Shield promised to protect your phone by scanning apps, settings, files and media for viruses in real time. All that without pesky advertisements or draining your battery.
It sounded too good to be true — and it was. But that didn’t stop 10,000 people from downloading it, making it the top-selling paid app among Google Play’s offerings for Android.
It got an impressive 4.7 star rating from users. To be fair, the app did do one thing reliably well: it could change the image of an “X” into a “check” after a single tap.
Unfortunately that didn’t mean the app actually scanned and checked your phone, according to Michael Crider at Android Police.
Omnicom is somewhat cushioned by its pending merger with Publicis, but this can’t be good news for TBWA. It’s always been a matter of time anyway, because once Lee Clow retires the Apple account is likely to be opened up to other agencies. But still, it’s going to be hard for anybody to match the collection of strong campaigns TBWA/Media Arts has delivered for Apple over the years (here, here, here, and here (although this one was basically a fiasco)), even if their digital/interactive skills were always a little suspect.
Apple is set to add four digital agencies to its roster, including WPP’s AKQA and Interpublic Group’s Huge on the West Coast, as well as small, New York-based indie shops Area 17 and Kettle, Ad Age has learned.
The agencies declined to comment. Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The scope of the work being assigned across the agencies is broad, and will likely include user experience and digital strategy, among other elements, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple works with a handful of digital shops, such as Interpublic Group’s Profero, Publicis Groupe’s Rosetta and indie boutiques like Traction and Eleven. Rosetta recently formalized a dedicated group for its longtime Apple client under its old name, Level Studios. Omnicom’s OMD supports Apple’s media buying and planning.
The new hires won’t impact existing agency relationships, said industry executives, including Apple’s work with TBWA/Media Arts Lab, which has taken the spotlight recently.
It’s your call, but this is a helpful list to consult when trying to figure out whether or not to change passwords for various websites.
This weekend, GitHub employee Julie Horvath spoke publicly about negative experiences she had at GitHub that contributed to her resignation. I am deeply saddened by these developments and want to comment on what GitHub is doing to address them. We know we have to take action and have begun a full investigation.
While that’s ongoing, and effective immediately, the relevant founder has been put on leave, as has the referenced GitHub engineer. The founder’s wife discussed in the media reports has never had hiring or firing power at GitHub and will no longer be permitted in the office.
GitHub has grown incredibly fast over the past two years, bringing a new set of challenges. Nearly a year ago we began a search for an experienced HR Lead and that person came on board in January 2014. We still have work to do. We know that. However, making sure GitHub employees are getting the right feedback and have a safe way to voice their concerns is a primary focus of the company.
As painful as this experience has been, I am super thankful to Julie for her contributions to GitHub. Her hard work building Passion Projects has made a huge positive impact on both GitHub and the tech community at large, and she’s done a lot to help us become a more diverse company. I would like to personally apologize to Julie. It’s certain that there were things we could have done differently. We wish Julie well in her future endeavors.
- Chris Wanstrath
CEO & Co-Founder
Background on this can be found at ValleyWag. Chauvinism and harassment are still huge problems in the tech world. Nice to see GitHub address this so directly, now. But obviously it would’ve been better for everyone if it had been handled properly while it was actually going on.
U.S. officials announced plans Friday to relinquish federal government control over the administration of the Internet, a move likely to please international critics but alarm many business leaders and others who rely on smooth functioning of the Web.
Pressure to let go of the final vestiges of U.S. authority over the system of Web addresses and domain names that organize the Internet has been building for more than a decade and was supercharged by the backlash to revelations about National Security Agency surveillance last year.
The practical consequences of the decision were not immediately clear, but it could alleviate rising global complaints that the United States essentially controls the Web and takes advantage of its oversight role to help spy on the rest of the world.
The callers that Seely recorded thought they were speaking directly to the government agencies because they looked up the telephone number on Google Maps. What they didn’t know was that Seely had set up fake listings for the San Francisco FBI office and Secret Service in Washington, D.C., displaying numbers that went to a phone account he set up rather than the federal offices. After Seely’s numbers received the calls, they were seamlessly forwarded to the real offices the callers were trying to reach, only now the audio of their conversations with real federal agents was being captured by Seely. Seely told Valleywag:
Who is gonna think twice about what Google publishes on their maps? Everyone trusts Google implicitly and it’s completely unwarranted and it’s completely unsafe. I could make a duplicate of the White House and take every inbound phone call from the White House. I could do it for every Senator, every Congressman, every mayor, every governor—every Democratic, every Republican candidate. Every office.
"Optic Nerve" program collected Yahoo webcam images in bulk | 1.8m users targeted by UK agency in six-month period alone | Yahoo: ‘A whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy’ | Material included large quantity of sexually explicit images
Britain’s surveillance agency GCHQ, with aid from the US National Security Agency, intercepted and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing, secret documents reveal.
GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 explicitly state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases, regardless of whether individual users were an intelligence target or not.
In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency collected webcam imagery – including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications – from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts globally.
Yahoo reacted furiously to the webcam interception when approached by the Guardian. The company denied any prior knowledge of the program, accusing the agencies of “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy”.
GCHQ does not have the technical means to make sure no images of UK or US citizens are collected and stored by the system, and there are no restrictions under UK law to prevent Americans’ images being accessed by British analysts without an individual warrant.
Sexually explicit webcam material proved to be a particular problem for GCHQ, as one document delicately put it: “Unfortunately … it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person. Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.”
The Asahi News Network has posted video of MtGox CEO Mark Karpeles’ Tokyo press conference admitting all 850,000 bitcoins — worth nearly half a billion dollars — held by the exchange are gone, and that the firm is filing for bankruptcy.
"We have lost bitcoins due to weaknesses in the system," the France-born Karpeles said in Japanese according to the AFP. "We are really sorry for causing trouble to all the people concerned," he said, before bowing deeply.
MtGox was once the world’s largest bitcoin exchange. Federal investigators in both Japan and the U.S. have launched probes into possible criminal conduct there.
I like the advice on Daring Fireball: Instead of investing in BitCoin, you should just flush your money in your toilet, $100 at a time. The result is the same, but the difference is that with the toilet you actually know where your money went. [also, i hate mtgox for putting me in the position of reblogging anything published in Business Insider in the first place…]
This is a long read, but if you have any interest at all in Julian Assange or WikiLeaks or hacking or journalism, I really recommend reading the whole thing. It’s the tale of what it was like to try and work with Assange - the self-described “most Dangerous Man in the World” to try and compile an autobiography. It’s a great story and a great piece of writing.
I asked him if he had a working title yet and he said, to laughter, ‘Yes. “Ban This Book: From Swedish Whores to Pentagon Bores”.’ It was interesting to see how he parried with some notion of himself as a public figure, as a rock star really, when all the activists I’ve ever known tend to see themselves as marginal and possibly eccentric figures. Assange referred a number of times to the fact that people were in love with him, but I couldn’t see the coolness, the charisma he took for granted. He spoke at length about his ‘enemies’, mainly the Guardian and the New York Times.