Maciej Cegłowski gave an excellent talk in October 2015 (ancient by internet standards) entitled “The Website Obesity Crisis”. It is long, but well worth the time, and it’s funny!

I can’t do full justice to the speaker’s impassioned cry for putting our content on a diet, so I’ll just settle for injustice:

  • Pages on the web are becoming incredibly bloated. (A page displaying a single tweet of 140 characters is larger than Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita)
  • Horrendous Javascript, gigantic image files, and awful ads are the main culprits.
  • Websites touting a “clean” design are often little more than a glossy coat of paint smeared over a rusty…

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In the debate around encryption, it is exceedingly rare to come across anything that can be described as clear, succinct, and factual. But the recent blog post and op-ed from academic Nadim Kobeissi certainly fits that description.

Born in Beirut and based in Paris, both scenes of recent terrorist attacks, Mr. Kobeissi is a researcher in the field of applied cryptography. He is also the principal inventor of the encrypted chat service cryptocat. His writing does justice to the gravitas that a confluence of background, work, and current events have lent his voice.

“If we take every car off the street, every iPhone out of people’s pockets and every single plane out of the sky, it wouldn’t do anything to stop terrorism. Terrorism isn’t about means, but about ends. It’s not about the technology but about the anger, the ignorance that holds a firm grip over the actor’s mind.” …

As a general user, and a member of the general public, you could be excused for not paying more attention to online security. After all, email encryption is still quite hard. Your memory is already bulging with birthdays and tax filing dates, leaving little space for proper passwords. And who really knows how or why to use VPN. TOR? Isn’t that just for Chinese dissenters and people who really like mind-altering mushrooms?

I’m with you on all of that (at least for the sake of argument).

But why on earth aren’t you using Signal (on iPhone) or TextSecure (on Android)!?

Open Whisper Systems is a non-profit developer groups whose mission is “… to make private communication simple.” …


Viktor Bengtsson

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