Monthly Archives: October 2013

Links for Wednesday, October 30

Here are the links I’ve tweeted about recently. Check them out:
Perhaps I was naive when I figured Obama and I just differed on our view of government. It appears that he also lies extensively for political ends.
My new column on Bitcoin in @DukeDPR Disrupting the Currency Market
RT @danielfstrunk: Chanticleer-ing a path through the budget | The Chronicle via @dukechronicle
RT @ggreenwald: For those unaware of what makes the ACLU so important & principled – http:/…
If someone gets results thou don’t like, are they racist? Professor Anomaly thinks not. via @dukechronicle

Links for Wednesday, October 23

Here are the links I’ve tweeted about recently. Check them out:
Seriously, even if you’ve never heard of Uber, watch this video. One of the best I’ve seen by @reason
RT @reason: If you’ve ever used @Uber watch this video, which details the hassles the service gets from bureaucrats
Hey Japan, if your society makes it economically infeasible to have relationships, you’re gonna have a bad time!
@IBM The Watson division always gets all the media attention!
RT @d_seaman: These BASTARDS. The US Senate is trying *again* to pass #CISPA, which the American people overwhelmingly said no to. http://t…
NSA says the need MORE(!?) ability to get personal info from tech companies. Dianne Feinstein bringing back CISPA

A Song of Ice and Fire: Books 1 and 2

I started A Song of Ice and Fire series this year, since the Game of Thrones TV series has reached fever pitch among my neighbors and friends.  For those who do not know, A Song of Ice and Fire is the original name of the series of novels by George R. R. Martin (what is it with fantasy authors and two Rs as their Middle names?).  For my overall one sentence review, I would say these books are excellent, highly complex, dark, realistic, and unique in their take on the fantasy genre.

Source: Wikipedia, click for link. Cover art by Stephen Youll. Use of this book cover for purposes of discussion qualifies as fair use.

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The Core Internet Institutions Abandon the US Government

This from a post on, it seems that many parts of the internet are disassociating themselves from the US government.  ICANN, the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Internet Architecture Board, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Internet Society, and all five of the regional Internet address registries moved away from the US-dominated internet structure of the past years.

In my last post, I mentioned something similar at the end of the my last post, which in turn was an idea I heard originally from Dr. Martin Libicki of the RAND Corporation at a cyberwarfare event earlier this month.  He felt that perhaps the most devastating consequence of General Alexander’s expansion of the NSA’s powers was the loss of American hegemony over the internet.  He stated, and I wholeheartedly concur, that while Alexander was so blindly focused on the disruption of terrorist activity, we lost a great deal of economic and political trust and control over the internet and technology.  The payoff of preventing terrorism is intangible and possibly overstated, while the costs are titanic and concrete.

While I am no fan of the US government having more power, the ability to have a strong say in shaping the internet benefited the US, and often the world, especially with such a tradition of free speech and technological innovation.  But it has become clear that the United States government can no longer be trusted to safeguard the freedoms of the internet.  And now we all must deal with that reality by removing the internet from its grasp.

Surveillance: What’s Possible and What’s Legal?

Originally published in the Duke Political Review.


NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade, MD. Public Domain Image from Wikipedia.

On June 6, 2013, documents published simultaneously by The Guardian and The Washington Post threw into stark relief the extent and ability of the United States intelligence agencies, chief among them the National Security Agency (NSA), to gather data and information, even on domestic targets. I had just begun a summer long internship in a large software company, and I was eager to gauge the reaction from programmers who had spent years designing and building the internet that most only interact with superficially. Continue reading