“The web’s existing logic tells us that social platforms are free in exchange for a feast of user data; that major networks are necessarily global and centralized; that moderators make the rules. None of that need be the case. We need people who dismantle these notions by building alternatives”
“Many new people started joining the community. Many new tracks were being created, mostly inspired by new-school music sync and old-school olympic puppetry. Some were pushing the envelope. But it wasn’t enough for me. I had so many unexecuted ideas, both old and new, that no one seemed to be exploring. I had to finish Omniverse II to get those ideas out there and demonstrate what’s possible in Line Rider”
“The RCMP as an institution was not built to do most of these things, never mind all of them at once. It was designed as a paramilitary the Canadian government could wield as part of its nation-building project, not a regular-duty police force with the deep community relationships and flexible, adept officers required to not just investigate crime but prevent it. So much has changed, yet the RCMP has clung to its founding conception across three centuries”
“Some of the new homeowners would flip their properties and perhaps extract a little bit more money from an already broken place. Those who couldn’t find a buyer would become overwhelmed by the amount of work required to fix their homes and stop paying taxes, triggering yet another tax foreclosure in three years. The houses would return to auction in slightly worse shape — a process that would repeat itself until the structures were beyond any hope of repair”
“although casual conversations aren’t immediately productive, they build the trust necessary for groups to freely exchange ideas and feedback without making everybody hate one another. But a great deal of office-based collaboration turns out to have been pure wasted time. Other research suggests that we’ve been consumed by “collaboration overload” for years and that we might be better off clawing back up to 20 percent of collaboration time for ourselves to avoid burning out from an eternal purgatory of circling, circling, circling back”
“When I spoke to Manfred ahead of his talk at the Def Con hacking conference, he said he wanted to go in, give his demo, and go out "as a ghost," never to be seen or heard from again. He said he wanted to be "invisible," just like he's been for the past two decades. He said he's found more than 100 publicly unknown vulnerabilities in more than 20 online video games, making hacking and trading virtual goods into his full time job”
“As well as the Queen Elizabeth’s imaginary flotilla, Bergman found fake tracks of US, Dutch, Belgian, German, Lithuanian, Estonian, and other Swedish warships. One suspect track, not previously reported, shows the US guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt steaming 4 kilometers into Russian territorial waters around Kaliningrad last November, a maneuver that would have been recklessly provocative if real”
“Several friends I spoke to who consider themselves the good kind of hackers said this sounded like a cybergang’s training program: The stakes were low, the targets weren’t especially tech savvy, and there was a deliverable target — the MS — that a new recruit could bring home before moving on to stealing login credentials from employees at a nuclear reactor”
“Growing impatient, Fang’s father badgered him to bring his family to the US. His younger brother had already graduated from medical school. His mother offered to help with money, but Fang refused out of pride and anger at being pressured. His cousin offered to refer him for a nontechnical role at the tech company he worked for, starting salary $60,000; Fang thought he could still make better money on the road. His wife thought he was in a dead-end loop. Perea saw Fang as less addicted than stubbornly chasing a sunk cost”
“Since Public Data is engaging in what has been understood to be a well-regulated activity, you would think that it would come under a regulatory purview. But the firm has refused to obey the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We are not a consumer reporting agency, they said, we are a website that is merely facilitating speech by selling data. Much like Facebook isn’t liable for what its users say because law called Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields the firm from liability for third party speech, Public Data isn’t responsible for the accuracy of information it procures from third parties. And surprisingly a judge recently agreed with them”
“he'd had his assistant keep track of how many suggestions Amazon had had, just for the pilot. In the end “we got 11,000 notes,” Judkins said. Actual number. “Even if I only do like a 10th of those, that's still like multiple notes per second,” he said. Executives had questions about individual shots and how the show was depicting magic. They had questions about style and tone. And they were friendly questions, but they were also infinite, and every time Judkins got one—usually while he was on some faraway set full of new and different problems to solve—he had to consider whether it was worth doing or whether to dig in”
“When you tell people that Disney is opening an indoor theme park in their towns they picture Mickey Mouse, Main Street, and fireworks, not a windowless box with VR headsets. This was one of Michael Eisner’s biggest miscalculations during his tenure as Disney’s CEO. You can’t just stick the Disney name on anything and expect people to accept it at face value. The name Disney carries in-built connotations of quality and opulence. And yet he made the mistake again and again, at DisneyQuest, at California Adventure, and Disney Studios Paris, and these are ventures that the company is still paying for decades later”
“packers began signing more and more of these side deals, sometimes with an ‘offer you can’t refuse’ kind of mentality. And that meant there was less and less cattle in the cash market, until virtually nothing was bought or sold in the open. The cash market, now just 20% of all sales, became what is known as ‘thin,’ meaning there’s a lot less bought and sold. Thin markets are a lot easier to manipulate; a buyer could just pull out of an auction. That doesn’t just lower the price paid in that cash market, but also the cash price for all the captive supply contracts as well”
“According to Lalich there are more cults today than ever before, and many have become skilled in recruiting via the internet. They’re also getting better at bolstering their relevance by piggybacking on what’s happening in the culture. Political strife, pandemic-related anxiety and isolation, and the increasing polarization of communities online have made it easier to spread a group’s message to confused and anxious people looking to the internet for answers”
“Libraries can buy print books in bulk from any seller that they choose, and, thanks to a legal principle called the first-sale doctrine, they have the right to lend those books to any number of readers free of charge. But the first-sale doctrine does not apply to digital content.
For the most part, publishers do not sell their e-books or audiobooks to libraries—they sell digital distribution rights to third-party venders, such as OverDrive, and people like Steve Potash sell lending rights to libraries. These rights often have an expiration date, and they make library e-books “a lot more expensive, in general, than print books”
“the Holmes prosecution seems well-positioned to provide a forum in miniature on a few big questions of our moment: on the limits of ostentatious fakery in public life; on the seeming immunity of the rich and powerful to criminal punishment for even the most flagrant misdeeds; and on the dubious abilities of our nominally elite classes — including major media outlets, wealthy investors, government officials, and white-collar lawyers — to competently mediate the difference between artifice and reality”
“They couldn’t afford to keep the ship moored and empty for months on end while they tried to solve the insurance problem, a problem they weren’t even sure they’d be able to solve. They were insured to sail her, and they could go on sailing her, but they didn’t want to run a travel company. They wanted to run a floating society of like-minded freedom-lovers arranged in the shape of the bitcoin B. It wasn’t even clear that there were enough people who wanted to do that”
“A killer robot profoundly changes the calculus for the Mossad.
The organization has a longstanding rule that if there is no rescue, there is no operation, meaning a foolproof plan to get the operatives out safely is essential. Having no agents in the field tips the equation in favor of the operation.
But a massive, untested, computerized machine gun presents a string of other problems”
“Another way of looking at the bitcoin law is as the last of a string of authoritarian broadsides Bukele has fired off in recent months – culminating in last week’s decision, by El Salvador’s Supreme Court, that Bukele should be able to run for a second term, contrary to the letter of the country’s constitution. The Court itself is packed with Bukele allies, following a vote by the Bukele-aligned parliament to dismiss all its previous members, in May 2021”
“U.S. border agents refused to acknowledge the terms of Sw!ft’s deportation appeal as grounds for reentry. When he tried to return to Canada, however, Canadian authorities maintained his arrest during the 1992 Los Angeles riots should’ve barred him from ever entering their country in the first place. After they arrested him, Sw!ft was allowed to stay temporarily with some musician friends. But he showed up late to a court-mandated appearance and was returned to Canadian federal prison”
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