Saturday, August 22, 2015

It's not the Snowden effect, either.

John Robb suspects that Edward Snowden is indirectly responsible for the continuing breakdown of "cyber security" because he's still alive, proving the US impotent. While I can understand the conclusion he's drawn, I believe he's quite wrong.

Snowden merely proved what many in the world already suspected... that the US is spying on everyone, all the time. The credibility of the US in terms of morals took a small hit, but there is a far larger supply of suppressed hypocrisy hidden all over the internet waiting to be tapped... it's just beginning.

The root cause of the wave of insecure computing isn't the users, or the internet, or evil hackers, or lack of "defense".  It is the continued use of a security model suitable for the 1970s University Computer Science department, in the age of always on worldwide networking. Back then you were worried about users doing the wrong thing, and the system was set up to protect itself from them, in a fairly straightforward way.

Unfortunately, to the contrary of the opinions of many a system administrator, the users really aren't the problem. It is squarely the fault of the operating systems that we all choose to use on a daily basis. They simply aren't designed to cope.

The ONLY effective solution is going to be to replace the operating systems we all use... which is going to be annoying, and cost a bit, but can definitely be accomplished.

When your operating system trusts every program you run, you have a problem.

You get what you pay for

For a long time I've been aware of the decreasing quality of my interactions with the internet. I'm far more of a consumer now that I was in the beginning. I've let the notion that I'm powerless to change things infect my thinking, and it has eased me in a daily routine which results in lots of "likes", shares, and a few attempts at humor our sarcasm.

It doesn't have to be this way, and I don't have to let it continue. The web isn't dead. Blogging isn't dead.. this entry is an existence proof of that. The tools still work, and are still valuable. RSS still works, and RSS readers are still around to support it. I, and many of my peers (like Scoble, for example) have decided to let them go fallow. It's time to take back our time and attention and pull together a future which combines the best of the past, and the best of the new tools.

I agree with Dave's criticism of Facebook, in the middle of a post about libraries, and that prompted this post. As I told Doc Searls a very long time ago, you get what you tune your own feedback loops to optimize on.  I'm going to tweak my own settings a bit. 8)

If you consume media all day, and only offer up a like, or a sharing of something interesting... you have to be VERY selective if you are actually helping increase the quality of discourse. I've not been selective, and for that I am sorry.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Living within our means?

Imagine if we actually lived within our means, instead of leeching off the rest of the planet via the worlds largest military...

We'd all lose 80% of our standard of living, but  there would be health care for all, savings would again pay interest, and debt would be a thing to be avoided at all costs...  in the long run we'd all be happier, but it would be a rough 20 years scaling down to live within our means, and apologizing.

What do you think?