"open web" entries

Four short links: 15 January 2014

Four short links: 15 January 2014

SCADA Security, Graph Clustering, Facebook Flipbook, and Projections Illustrated

  1. Hackers Gain ‘Full Control’ of Critical SCADA Systems (IT News) — The vulnerabilities were discovered by Russian researchers who over the last year probed popular and high-end ICS and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems used to control everything from home solar panel installations to critical national infrastructure. More on the Botnet of Things.
  2. mclMarkov Cluster Algorithm, a fast and scalable unsupervised cluster algorithm for graphs (also known as networks) based on simulation of (stochastic) flow in graphs.
  3. Facebook to Launch Flipboard-like Reader (Recode) — what I’d actually like to see is Facebook join the open web by producing and consuming RSS/Atom/anything feeds, but that’s a long shot. I fear it’ll either limit you to whatever circle-jerk-of-prosperity paywall-penetrating content-for-advertising-eyeballs trades the Facebook execs have made, or else it’ll be a leech on the scrotum of the open web by consuming RSS without producing it. I’m all out of respect for empire-builders who think you’re a fool if you value the open web. AOL might have died, but its vision of content kings running the network is alive and well in the hands of Facebook and Google. I’ll gladly post about the actual product launch if it is neither partnership eyeball-abuse nor parasitism.
  4. Map Projections Illustrated with a Face (Flowing Data) — really neat, wish I’d had these when I was getting my head around map projections.

Deploying surveillance countermeasures on the web?

The open web depends on my ability to have a permanent address. However, my privacy depends on my ability to hide who I am. At least sometimes.

Margaret Lord: “Oh, dear. Is there no such thing as privacy any more?”
Tracy Lord: “Only in bed, mother, and not always there.”
The Philadelphia Story, 1940

Over the summer I wrote a post lamenting IPv4 address scarcity and how it contributed to a deformed and centralized web, one that is substantially less open than the one we started with. Most of us don’t have permanent registered host addresses so we live our web lives on other people’s property, perpetual renters. We have been thus excluded from the House of Lords – there is no peerage for the landless.

To support the open web I want, I want IPv6 to be adopted quickly, for NAT to die, and for me to get a whole bunch of IP addresses of my very own. In fact, I might even want IP address portability when I switch providers. I might love those addresses so much I never want to lose them. I don’t know, I just thought of it and haven’t considered it carefully, but I might.

Except actually I don’t want think I want that at all. Through the lens of the open, decentralized, democratized web I want all of that. But through the lens of privacy, anonymity and a different framing of freedom I want the complete opposite. I have enough trouble with cookies. If I had a fixed IP address the work of the trackers would be made just that much simpler. Read more…

RIM pursues consumers and "web harmony"

Jim Balsillie on Research In Motion's app and tablet strategy, and why a mobile OS isn't a selling point.

Times are changing for Research in Motion as mobile competitors make headway in the enterprise and RIM expands with consumer and tablet offerings. Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM and a speaker at Web 2.0 Summit, discusses RIM's strategies for the shifting mobile world in this Q&A.