Of Interest

  • Cybersecurity, Unscrupulous Diners, and Internet Stewardship

    The extended DDoS attacks over the past few days that triggered widespread outages and Internet congestion are more than a mere annoyance. Rather, these instances have proven to be increasingly sophisticated efforts to strike at core networking protocols—the infrastructure that makes the Internet operate—to render large portions of the network inoperable or inaccessible. Perhaps the greatest irony of these complex attacks has been the fact that they have been conducted on the backs of some of the dumbest devices out there—the so-called "smart" devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT).

  • "Tool Without A Handle" - Mobile Tools

    This post continues my thoughts on qualities of digital tools that have helped make political and artistic expression more subjective, accessible and fluid. In the previous post, we looked at the searchability of text. In this post I examine the impact of mobility: the ability afforded by digital tools to access vast troves of information, to communicate, to record, and to create from virtually anywhere on the planet.

    There are at least three significant capabilities of digital technologies that have been shaped by portability: mobile commerce, access to news and information, and visual communications. Each of these capabilities accelerated significantly with the development of the “smartphone” – in particular the Apple iPhone in 2007 – but were inherent in mobile technologies from their initiation. Below, I discuss each quality in turn and identify some of its impacts.

  • How the Chris Hayes book Twilight of the Elites explains Trump's appeal

    Henry Farrell
    Publication Date: 
    October 13, 2016
    Publication Type: 
    Other Writing

    Chris Hayes’s book Twilight of the Elites came out to respectful reviews and respectable sales in 2012, yet the book’s real moment is right now. Better than any other book, it explains why Donald Trump appeals to many voters, and why the political establishment has such a hard time understanding his success.

  • Apple and Samsung reach Supreme Court in patent row

    Date published: 
    October 11, 2016

    ""That would be the understanding the majority of law professors would advocate for," suggested Prof Andrea Matwyshyn from Northwestern University in Boston.

    She said while design of, say, a carpet could be considered the be-all-and-end-all of its success, a smartphone is a far more complex device. Design is important, but not the only factor.

    The fact that Apple is pushing for full damages is a strategy that suggests extreme confidence in its ability to stay ahead of the curve in technology, Prof Matwyshyn said.

  • Privacy & surveillance concerns over voice-recognition devices, Google Home & Amazon Echo

    Recently, when Google announced its own version of Amazon's voice-recognition digital home assistant, the company did not spend a moment addressing any privacy safeguards nor concerns.

    As Wall Street Journal tech reporter Geoffrey Fowler tweeted: "So just to review, Google says it wants to install microphones all over your house. And didn't talk about privacy."

  • As License-Plate Tracking Increases, Privacy Advocates Press for More Regulation

    Date published: 
    October 11, 2016

    "Nevertheless, there are some avenues for reform. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers grants for states to buy ALPRs for “highway safety” and Catherine Crump, associate director of Berkeley Law’s Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic, says the federal government could require states to adopt official ALPR policies as a condition of receiving those funds.


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