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Backdoors placed in encryption for government use make all of us less safe. Security holes put in place for legitimate police purposes can be abused by corrupt cops, computer crooks, and oppressive governments. This is settled fact. The fact that the government keeps asserting the contrary is one of the reasons that people don’t trust government anymore. If you keep telling me the sky is green, I’m not going to believe anything you say.

Backdoors placed in encryption for government use make all of us less safe. Security holes put in place for legitimate police purposes can be abused by corrupt cops, computer crooks, and oppressive governments. 

This is settled fact. The fact that the government keeps asserting the contrary is one of the reasons that people don’t trust government anymore. If you keep telling me the sky is green, I’m not going to believe anything you say.

We can say the poor get that way because they made bad choices. Then what?> We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn’t give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don’t apply for jobs because we know we can’t afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary but I’ve been turned down more than once because I “don’t fit the image of the firm”, which is a nice way of saying “gtfo, pov”. I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won’t make me a server because I don’t “fit the corporate image”. I am not beautiful. I have missing teeth and skin that looks like it will when you live on B12 and coffee and nicotine and no sleep. Beauty is a thing you get when you can afford it, and that’s how you get the job that you need in order to be beautiful. There isn’t much point trying.

We can say the poor get that way because they made bad choices. 

Then what?

> We know that the very act of being poor guarantees that we will never not be poor. It doesn’t give us much reason to improve ourselves. We don’t apply for jobs because we know we can’t afford to look nice enough to hold them. I would make a super legal secretary but I’ve been turned down more than once because I “don’t fit the image of the firm”, which is a nice way of saying “gtfo, pov”. I am good enough to cook the food, hidden away in the kitchen, but my boss won’t make me a server because I don’t “fit the corporate image”. I am not beautiful. I have missing teeth and skin that looks like it will when you live on B12 and coffee and nicotine and no sleep. Beauty is a thing you get when you can afford it, and that’s how you get the job that you need in order to be beautiful. There isn’t much point trying.

The UK makes it legal to make copies of media for personal use, such as backup. This seems like a huge deal, and a big step in the direction of common sense. Is it legal in the UK to break DRM for personal use or security research? Can I break the DRM on an Amazon ebook so I can make a backup copy or read it on an ereader other than a Kindle?

The UK makes it legal to make copies of media for personal use, such as backup. 

This seems like a huge deal, and a big step in the direction of common sense. 

Is it legal in the UK to break DRM for personal use or security research? Can I break the DRM on an Amazon ebook so I can make a backup copy or read it on an ereader other than a Kindle?

"Ma’am, there’s a lemur on your baby."

"Ma’am, there’s a lemur on your baby."

Shut up and take my money.

Shut up and take my money.

This is in no way disturbing.

This is in no way disturbing.

+Evernote is reportedly announcing a Microsoft Office-killer Thursday. I’ve been less and less satisfied with Evernote over time. It’s become a big, slow program. Tech support is reportedly unresponsive. (From my own experience I can say that I filed a bug report this morning and haven’t heard back from them yet. Fortunately, I think I fixed the problem on my own.) I worry about getting information out of the program in usable format. Still, I use it extensively. I try to limit it to information with a shelf-life of a few months at most. Or information like frequent traveler programs that I  use when traveling, and can easily reproduce if Evernote eats it. Looking forward to finding out what they announce later this week.

+Evernote is reportedly announcing a Microsoft Office-killer Thursday. 

I’ve been less and less satisfied with Evernote over time. It’s become a big, slow program. Tech support is reportedly unresponsive. (From my own experience I can say that I filed a bug report this morning and haven’t heard back from them yet. Fortunately, I think I fixed the problem on my own.) I worry about getting information out of the program in usable format. 

Still, I use it extensively. I try to limit it to information with a shelf-life of a few months at most. Or information like frequent traveler programs that I  use when traveling, and can easily reproduce if Evernote eats it. 

Looking forward to finding out what they announce later this week.

Elon Musk says we need to put a million people on Mars to ensure the human race’s survival.A million people are needed to make a civilization self-sufficient. > ‘Even at a million, you’re really assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars,’ [Musk] said. ‘You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.’Getting a million people to Mars will require 100,000 trips, assuming 100 people at a time and 10 cargo trips for every human trip.> Musk told me all this could happen within a century. He is rumoured to have a design in mind for this giant spaceship, a concept vehicle he calls the Mars Colonial Transporter. But designing the ship is the easy part. The real challenge will be driving costs down far enough to launch whole fleets of them. Musk has an answer for that, too. He says he is working on a reusable rocket, one that can descend smoothly back to Earth after launch, and be ready to lift off again in an hour.Musk would like to go himself, but only if his death wouldn’t put SpaceX, his company, in jeopardy. > It’s possible to read Musk as a Noah figure, a man obsessed with building a great vessel, one that will safeguard humankind against global catastrophe. But he seems to see himself as a Moses, someone who makes it possible to pass through the wilderness – the ‘empty wastes,’ as Kepler put it to Galileo – but never sets foot in the Promised Land.Moses — or Delos D. Harriman. It takes a billionaire to worry about human extinction. The rest of us have more immediate concerns — having enough money for old age, the collapsing economy, war in the Middle East, Alzheimer’s, global warming, any variety of nasty diseases. I can’t decide whether Musk, and his priority system, are a virtue of capitalism or a bug.

Elon Musk says we need to put a million people on Mars to ensure the human race’s survival.

A million people are needed to make a civilization self-sufficient. 

> ‘Even at a million, you’re really assuming an incredible amount of productivity per person, because you would need to recreate the entire industrial base on Mars,’ [Musk] said. ‘You would need to mine and refine all of these different materials, in a much more difficult environment than Earth. There would be no trees growing. There would be no oxygen or nitrogen that are just there. No oil.’

Getting a million people to Mars will require 100,000 trips, assuming 100 people at a time and 10 cargo trips for every human trip.

> Musk told me all this could happen within a century. He is rumoured to have a design in mind for this giant spaceship, a concept vehicle he calls the Mars Colonial Transporter. But designing the ship is the easy part. The real challenge will be driving costs down far enough to launch whole fleets of them. Musk has an answer for that, too. He says he is working on a reusable rocket, one that can descend smoothly back to Earth after launch, and be ready to lift off again in an hour.

Musk would like to go himself, but only if his death wouldn’t put SpaceX, his company, in jeopardy. 

> It’s possible to read Musk as a Noah figure, a man obsessed with building a great vessel, one that will safeguard humankind against global catastrophe. But he seems to see himself as a Moses, someone who makes it possible to pass through the wilderness – the ‘empty wastes,’ as Kepler put it to Galileo – but never sets foot in the Promised Land.

Moses — or Delos D. Harriman. 

It takes a billionaire to worry about human extinction. The rest of us have more immediate concerns — having enough money for old age, the collapsing economy, war in the Middle East, Alzheimer’s, global warming, any variety of nasty diseases. I can’t decide whether Musk, and his priority system, are a virtue of capitalism or a bug.

"Wrap my head around it." #WordsNobodyIsAllowedToUseAnymore

The Linux Foundation today made its long-awaited formal announcement of the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV), promising to deliver a carrier-grade, open source reference architecture as a means of speeding up NFV deployment.

On +Light Reading

They’re not taking any new signups. 

By +Mari Silbey on +Light Reading

Firechat, the mobile messaging app that doesn’t require an Internet connection, is being used by protesters in Hong Kong, Iraq, and Hong Kong. It was downloaded 100,000 times in Hong Kong over the weekend. Firechat uses WiFi and Bluetooth to connect with other users. Because it doesn’t require an Internet connection, it circumvents censorship.

Firechat, the mobile messaging app that doesn’t require an Internet connection, is being used by protesters in Hong Kong, Iraq, and Hong Kong. 

It was downloaded 100,000 times in Hong Kong over the weekend. 

Firechat uses WiFi and Bluetooth to connect with other users. Because it doesn’t require an Internet connection, it circumvents censorship.

The European “right to be forgotten” is bad law, but it addresses a real problem. If your nude selfies were leaked on the Internet, or you were wrongfully accused of child pornography, there ought to be something you could do about it.> On October 31, 2006, an eighteen-year-old woman named Nikki Catsouras slammed her father’s sports car into the side of a concrete toll booth in Orange County, California. Catsouras was decapitated in the accident. The California Highway Patrol, following standard protocol, secured the scene and took photographs. The manner of death was so horrific that the local coroner did not allow Nikki’s parents to identify her body.> “About two weeks after the accident, I got a call from my brother-in-law,” Christos Catsouras, Nikki’s father, told me. “He said he had heard from a neighbor that the photos from the crash were circulating on the Internet. We asked the C.H.P., and they said they would look into it.” In short order, two employees admitted that they had shared the photographs. As summarized in a later court filing, the employees had “e-mailed nine gruesome death images to their friends and family members on Halloween—for pure shock value. Once received, the photographs were forwarded to others, and thus spread across the Internet like a malignant firestorm, popping up on thousands of Web sites.”> Already bereft of his eldest daughter, Catsouras told his three other girls that they couldn’t look at the Internet. “But, other than that, people told me there was nothing I could do,” he recalled. “They said, ‘Don’t worry. It’ll blow over.’ ” Nevertheless, Catsouras embarked on a modern legal quest: to remove information from the Internet. In recent years, many people have made the same kind of effort, from actors who don’t want their private photographs in broad circulation to ex-convicts who don’t want their long-ago legal troubles to prevent them from finding jobs. Despite the varied circumstances, all these people want something that does not exist in the United States: the right to be forgotten.Europe leads the way on the right to be forgotten because they have greater experience with the total surveillance states established by the Nazis and Communists.> [Privacy rights advocate] Mayer-Schönberger said that Google, whose market share for Internet searches in Europe is around ninety per cent, does not make sinister use of the information at its disposal. But in [his book] “Delete” he describes how, in the nineteen-thirties, the Dutch government maintained a comprehensive population registry, which included the name, address, and religion of every citizen. At the time, he writes, “the registry was hailed as facilitating government administration and improving welfare planning.” But when the Nazis invaded Holland they used the registry to track down Jews and Gypsies. “We may feel safe living in democratic republics, but so did the Dutch,” he said. “We do not know what the future holds in store for us, and whether future governments will honor the trust we put in them to protect information privacy rights.”Or take the case of a man convicted of a crime who did his time and now finds it harder to get a job than when he was released from prison 30 years ago. You might say that employers have a right to choose to not hire a convicted felon. And that’s true. But one of the problems with America’s huge prison population (a greater percentage of our population in prison than either China or Iran) is that once you’ve been convicted of a crime, the non-criminal life is hard to re-enter. It’s not just this one ex-con who can’t find a legal job — almost no ex-cons can.On the other hand, objections to the Right to Be Forgotten are also valid: It gives too much power to Google and other tech companies, and the governments who oversee them. It’s subject to abuse by the rich and powerful. And it violates free speech.

The European “right to be forgotten” is bad law, but it addresses a real problem. If your nude selfies were leaked on the Internet, or you were wrongfully accused of child pornography, there ought to be something you could do about it.

> On October 31, 2006, an eighteen-year-old woman named Nikki Catsouras slammed her father’s sports car into the side of a concrete toll booth in Orange County, California. Catsouras was decapitated in the accident. The California Highway Patrol, following standard protocol, secured the scene and took photographs. The manner of death was so horrific that the local coroner did not allow Nikki’s parents to identify her body.

> “About two weeks after the accident, I got a call from my brother-in-law,” Christos Catsouras, Nikki’s father, told me. “He said he had heard from a neighbor that the photos from the crash were circulating on the Internet. We asked the C.H.P., and they said they would look into it.” In short order, two employees admitted that they had shared the photographs. As summarized in a later court filing, the employees had “e-mailed nine gruesome death images to their friends and family members on Halloween—for pure shock value. Once received, the photographs were forwarded to others, and thus spread across the Internet like a malignant firestorm, popping up on thousands of Web sites.”

> Already bereft of his eldest daughter, Catsouras told his three other girls that they couldn’t look at the Internet. “But, other than that, people told me there was nothing I could do,” he recalled. “They said, ‘Don’t worry. It’ll blow over.’ ” Nevertheless, Catsouras embarked on a modern legal quest: to remove information from the Internet. In recent years, many people have made the same kind of effort, from actors who don’t want their private photographs in broad circulation to ex-convicts who don’t want their long-ago legal troubles to prevent them from finding jobs. Despite the varied circumstances, all these people want something that does not exist in the United States: the right to be forgotten.

Europe leads the way on the right to be forgotten because they have greater experience with the total surveillance states established by the Nazis and Communists.

> [Privacy rights advocate] Mayer-Schönberger said that Google, whose market share for Internet searches in Europe is around ninety per cent, does not make sinister use of the information at its disposal. But in [his book] “Delete” he describes how, in the nineteen-thirties, the Dutch government maintained a comprehensive population registry, which included the name, address, and religion of every citizen. At the time, he writes, “the registry was hailed as facilitating government administration and improving welfare planning.” But when the Nazis invaded Holland they used the registry to track down Jews and Gypsies. “We may feel safe living in democratic republics, but so did the Dutch,” he said. “We do not know what the future holds in store for us, and whether future governments will honor the trust we put in them to protect information privacy rights.”

Or take the case of a man convicted of a crime who did his time and now finds it harder to get a job than when he was released from prison 30 years ago. You might say that employers have a right to choose to not hire a convicted felon. And that’s true. But one of the problems with America’s huge prison population (a greater percentage of our population in prison than either China or Iran) is that once you’ve been convicted of a crime, the non-criminal life is hard to re-enter. It’s not just this one ex-con who can’t find a legal job — almost no ex-cons can.

On the other hand, objections to the Right to Be Forgotten are also valid: It gives too much power to Google and other tech companies, and the governments who oversee them. It’s subject to abuse by the rich and powerful. And it violates free speech.

This scientific study proves people who feel unloved eat more chocolate chip cookiesThere’s a serious point here: The scientists are studying the ways in which willpower and self-control are like batteries that can be depleted and must be recharged.

This scientific study proves people who feel unloved eat more chocolate chip cookies

There’s a serious point here: The scientists are studying the ways in which willpower and self-control are like batteries that can be depleted and must be recharged.