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Cory Doctorow

A science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of many books, most recently IN REAL LIFE, a graphic novel; INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, a book about earning a living in the Internet age, and HOMELAND, the award-winning, best-selling sequel to the 2008 YA novel LITTLE BROTHER.

Cory Doctorow EFF

alt.interoperability.adversarial

Cory Doctorow goes deep into Usenet’s history and uncovers a sage decision by the “backbone cabal” which may help us improve the web’s (currently centralized) state:

Restoring adversarial interoperability will allow future companies, co-operatives and tinkerers to go beyond the comfort zones of the winners of the previous rounds of the game – so that it ceases to be a winner-take-all affair, and instead becomes the kind of dynamic place where a backbone cabal can have total control one year, and be sidelined the next.

Cory Doctorow EFF

Adblocking: how about nah?

Cory Doctorow, writing for EFF about the history and present of adblocking:

The rise and rise of ad-blockers (and ad-blocker-blocker-blockers) is without parallel: 26% of Internet users are now blocking ads, and the figure is rising. It’s been called the biggest boycott in human history. It’s also something we’ve seen before, in the earliest days of the Web, when pop-up ads ruled the world (wide web), and users went to war against them.

Fascinating. I’d never heard of adversarial interoperability before.

Cory Doctorow Boing Boing

The newest malware vector in open source

As the title for the linked post from Cory Doctorow says, all you have to do is “become an admin on dormant, widely-used open source projects” and then do your thing.

Many open source projects attain a level of “maturity” where no one really needs any new features and there aren’t a lot of new bugs being found, and the contributors to these projects dwindle, often to a single maintainer who is generally grateful for developers who take an interest in these older projects and offer to share the choresome, intermittent work of keeping the projects alive.

Ironically, these are often projects with millions of users, who trust them specifically because of their stolid, unexciting maturity.

This presents a scary social-engineering vector for malware…

We’ll be talking with Dominic Tarr about the details shared in Issue #116 on event-stream later today on The Changelog (the episode will hit RSS feeds next week).

Chime in below if you’d like to add questions/thoughts to our planned discussion.

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