Coliving Reinvents the Commune for a Networked Age. I’m all for seeing this kind of cooperative, intentional scene rise outside of the traditional hippiecrunch nonsense crowd, but I hope they don’t think what they’re doing is so phenomenally new that they can’t learn from groups of people who’ve been living together for decades already…
A NYTimes article on the phenomenon of ‘Hacker Hostels’, group living situations in the Area of Bays with minimalist accommodations for nerdy collaborative types.
I sent my phone through the wash a couple of months ago, and no amount of stewing in a bowl of dry rice was able to bring it back. So I got a replacement on eBay — an unlocked Nexus One which also happened to be rooted (I wasn’t looking for that in particular; it was just what came up at the time at a reasonable price). Shortly thereafter, my GMail account got hacked, or my address book lifted and used for spamming. I changed a password. Then my Twitter account sent out a bunch of spammy links. Of course everyone knows that using the same password in a bunch of different places is a bad idea. And most easily memorable passwords are at least somewhat susceptible to dictionary attacks. And of course everyone does it anyway. I wondered if there might have been some malevolent bytes within the compromised phone (remembering of course that uncompromised phones are also often full of malevolent bytes). It’s been lingering in the back of my mind.
So today I finally took on the machines, and did a whole giant pile of security crap. I managed to flash a reputable ROM into my phone. I set up the now native full disk encryption on my boot disk. I got off-site encrypted backups running using SpiderOak (though… with 200GB of stuff to upload, that’s gonna take a while to finish). I set up Google’s 2-factor authentication. And I changed dozens of passwords all over the web to be long and unmemorable and unique. Of course that means the machine has to remember them for me… but overall, I think this is less likely to result in cascading failures.
Not my favorite way to spend a Saturday in summer, but once or twice a year, days like this are necessary.
Where does the data go when the host dies? Yahoo is coming apart at the seams, and they’re taking the social bookmarking site Delicious with them. I use this service to generate the linkstream in my sidebar here. Thankfully, I’ve had WordPress importing all that content weekly for a long time, so I’m not in danger of losing any information. I just have to deal with the pain in the ass of figuring out a new way to implement this functionality. If you care about information you must be constantly vigilant against entropy. Ideotrope photo archives with full metadata are now available by the way…
I have lots of draft posts in progress here on the back end, calling to me whenever I log in like internet sirens:
- The Scale and Form of Cities, about how one might design a city from the ground up today, with efficient resource utilization and conviviality in mind. A follow up to What Are Cities For?
- Corporate Paternalism, about the ways in which we (especially conservatives) seem to have more faith in corporations than our elected representatives when it comes to making decisions for us.
- Our Newtonian Hangover, about the non-linear, non-deterministic nature of history and technology, and James Burke’s excellent BBC series The Day the Universe Changed and Connections. Miraculously, they are almost as relevant today as they were 30 years ago, and we are in the process of implementing one of the strange futures he foretold.
- The dunes told me to work on passive buildings, which is a more personal and spiritual response to the NREL interview questions than seemed appropriate for a job interview.
- and a magnum opus entitled What’s Wrong With Graduate School, that examines both how my own graduate career has been uniquely flawed, why I believe the graduate education system as a whole is in general broken, and a vision of what I think higher education might look like by the time any offspring I could conceivably have would be there.
However, at the moment the thing most wrong with graduate school is that I’m still in it. My PhD defense has been tentatively scheduled for November 20th, and I’m going to the AGU fall meeting in San Francisco in mid-December to present my work, so I’m going to be completely occupied until the beginning of 2010. There will be no further blog updates between now and then. Or at least, there shouldn’t be. If you see me making posts, don’t read them. Instead ridicule me in person, or offer up some kind of digital castigation.