The mainstream media have still not learned the lessons of Gamergate

This week the New York Times published a five-years-later retrospective on Gamergate and its aftereffects, which is chilling and illuminating, and you should go read it. It makes an excellent case — several excellent written cases, actually — that “everything is Gamergate,” that it and its hate-screeching online mobs were the prototype for all the […]

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2020 and the black-box ballot box

One of the scarier notions in the world today is the prospect of American voting machines being compromised at scale: voters thrown off rolls, votes disregarded, vote tallies edited, entire elections hacked. That’s why the nation’s lawmakers and civil servants flocked (relatively speaking) to Def Con in Las Vegas this week, where hackers at its […]

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We’re all doomed, 2019 edition

Every year the great and good (and bad) of the hacker/information-security world descend on Las Vegas for a week of conferences, in which many present their latest discoveries, and every year I try to itemize the most interesting (according to me) Black Hat talks for TechCrunch. Do not assume I attended all or even most […]

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The Russians are coming! The Russians are … complicated!

Did you know that Russia’s security services, particularly those related to hacking / information security, have been in the throes of vicious high-stakes infighting for years? Did you know that the perceived Russian doctrine which informed much Western analysis of Russian strategies never actually existed? Did you know that the Kremlin’s secrecy has built an […]

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Your security team is probably an infuriating obstacle – but it doesn’t have to be this way

Security is empty, meaningless theater — or, at least, that’s the lesson taught to most employees of most large companies. Security is your password expiring every few months, your inability to access crucial services if you’re new or a contractor, a salty message from a team you’ve never met explaining that your new initiative is […]

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Indie developer flooded with racist, misogynist abuse after announcing Epic partnership

The two developers of an indie game called Ooblets have been subjected to “tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands” of abusive messages following their decision to put their game on the Epic Games Store. It’s a worrying yet entirely unsurprising example of the toxic elements of the gaming community and their strangely unlimited hatred for Epic.

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On the Amazon panopticon

Last year, “Amazon employees met with ICE officials … to market the company’s facial recognition technology,” the ACLU informs us. Amazon VP Brad Huseman later said “We believe the government should have the best available technology.” Then, last month, Motherboard revealed Amazon has partnered with police departments around the country to create “a self-perpetuating surveillance […]

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As tech changes homelessness, libraries roll with the punches

The warmth and quiet of the library have ever been a draw for those suffering from homelessness, but the past decade has piled more responsibilities on the shoulders of these institutions. The digital resources they provide are more important than ever for the homeless, but libraries have only warily embraced their new role.

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The dreaded 10x, or, how to handle exceptional employees

The “10x engineer.” Shudder. Wince. I have rarely seen my Twitter feed unite against an idea so loudly, or in such harmony. I refer of course to the thread last month by Accel India’s Shekhar Kirani, explaining “If you have a 10x engineer as part of your first few engineers, you increase the odds of […]

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