Ameliorating the effects of malware in a web of trust

January 23rd, 2013

Let's say it's the future, and everyone has at least one public key and is a full participant in a global web of trust. Wonderful, until EvilWorm9000 hijacks your mail client and starts spamming everyone within 4 degrees of separation. How does the ideal network respond? In this post I provide a possible approach (temporary key tainting), but the main goal here is to stimulate a conversation.

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Open surveillance to the public

June 21st, 2007

My local paper, the Daily Progress, ran a story today about a proposal to install 30 security cameras on the Downtown Mall. I think there's a wrong way to do this, and a right way. I'll explain why the wrong way is wrong, and suggest a scheme that could lead to a right (or better) way.

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Towards anonymous currency transactions

October 8th, 2006

Anyone can create and maintain an anonymous online identity through the use of Tor and carefully chosen browser settings, but a difficulty soon arises: How does one pay anonymously for services? Some hosting and email providers accept digital currency (usually e-gold), but the process of getting e-gold in the first place is a bit trickier. Every reputable-looking digital currency exchange service that I've seen demands some proof of identity in a bid to prevent money launderers and financial fraudsters from using their system. There used to be a service that allowed anonymous digital currency transfers (YodelBank), but it closed when the operator became weary of running it. Where does this leave anonymity-seekers? I have a proposal for a system that could allow (though not guarantee) anonymous, blind transfers without opening avenues for money laundering.

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3 movies I’d pay people to watch

August 27th, 2006

I've heard people complain that they "don't want to pay $5 to watch a PowerPoint presentation" or that they "already know about that" or that it's "preaching to the choir". Okay, fine. If you're too poor or too lazy to pony up the hour and five-spot to watch a damn fine movie, I'll reimburse you for the ticket price. (Up to $6, first 5 takers, first-time watchers only, payment in exchange for receipt or ticket stub. Scout's Honor, folks.)

  1. An Inconvenient Truth: I don't care if it appears to be based on a PowerPoint presentation. It's a damn fine documentary and call to action on global warming, plus you finally get to see Al Gore's humorous side.
  2. V for Vendetta: It's not another mindless action film, as I had imagined -- instead, it is a commentary on what could happen if the current gov't-led terrorization of its own populace were to be carried too far. Plus lots of good action scenes, and an inspiring ending.
  3. Supersize Me: Morgan Spurlock puts his life on the line to see just how bad a steady fast-food diet could be. My eating habits improved drastically after seeing this.

Edit: I'm in Ohio for the semester, so C'ville folks might not have the opportunity to be reimbursed unless they send me a ticket stub through the mail :-(. I hate mail-in rebates too, but what can ya do?

Proposal: JSON for scripting-ready page metadata

August 4th, 2006

I'm proposing a new standard: JSON used to enrich regular web pages with scripting-ready metadata. No more theme-dependent HTML parsing -- just grab the needed data out of a namespaced global object. Read on for details.

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