Archive for the ‘How the world should work’ Category

They were in 1776, and they are now. Battles for the future of freedom are being fought on all fronts, all over the world, evil is everywhere. Hollywood, the MPAA, the RIAA and the two corporatist major parties are conspiring to destroy all freedom of speech on the internet- we’ve already lost it elsewhere- and lock down everyone’s computers tighter than iPhones. Most people are not even aware this war is being fought, they’re being used as pawns and sheep. If you do not pick a side, you are worse than useless to the fight for freedom; apathy is our enemy. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

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Terraforming Mars

Terraforming Mars

Plenty of science fiction writers have presented their visions for the future, and in my opinion most of them have gotten it flat wrong. So here’s my list of predictions for the year 2100:

Governments have grown extremely oppressive (more so than they are now, if believable), driving the move of humans into space. Earth based governments try during the latter half of the 21st century to assert control over nearby territories, like the moon and earth orbit, but fail miserably due to the widespread usage of orbital bombardment by space settlers and simple lack of experience. Such government is therefore largely contained to earth, the space settlers not allowing earth flights beyond orbit. The usurping of such unjust governments on earth has begun to happen, and is expected to be complete no later than 2120.

Of the few hundred-thousand to million humans in space, most live in the asteroid belt with the de facto capital at Ceres. There’s a wild-west style vigilante anarchy in the belt and open space, a weak confederation style government on Mars and the Moon. Never before had there been such a time of such personal liberty for humans. Science and technology have begun to advance at a remarkable pace due to the achievement of Singularity, and a significant amount of humans now have indefinite, disease free lifespans due to nanobots. The nanobots, however, came about in the mid-21st century, thus of the people then were still alive and thriving by 2100. A new species of post-humans is beginning to take form, using cybernetic enhancements and genetic engineering to advance themselves to new levels. The terraforming of mars is taking place, and post humans are able to use their advanced cybernetics to venture beyond the pressurized colonies without space suits or additional oxygen years before baseline humans would be able to.

Faster than light travel is still science fiction, though research is being done. Anti-matter pulse powered city ships are making decade long interstellar voyages a reality, settlements being established around Alpha Centauriy and Brenard’s star among other locations, though there are less than a dozen ships in service. First contact with an alien intelligence probably occurs around this time, in which it is discovered that humanity’s mastery of spaceflight is highly unusual, most planets having missed the window of technology and willpower necessary. Inside the solar system, voyages between worlds and asteroids take anywhere from months between the outer and inner planets, to about a week or two between the moon and mars or venus thanks to fusion powered plasma-ion engines. The majority of trade occurs in the belt, due to easily controlled environments, plentiful resources and low gravity wells. Cloud city style cities have sprung up in high venusian atmosphere, and are exporting mass quantities of oxygen derived from Venus’s mostly CO2 atmosphere.

 

This is my rather idealistic take on the future, take it as you will.

HDCP broken

Posted: September 17, 2010 in Computers, How the world should work

There's an XKCD for every occasion

Great news for digital restrictions management (DRM) opponents everywhere, HDCP has been broken! HDCP is basically the encryption used along HDTV lines, which prevents unauthorized receivers from viewing content. Since the crack, HDCP no longer guarantees that participating devices are licensed, because a maker of unlicensed devices can use a key generator to create mathematically correct public/private key pairs. If you’re wondering why said encryption is a bad thing, why should a cable that you owned, connected from a box you own to a display you own have its content encrypted so that you can’t record it?

I can’t believe this crazy person burning copies of the Qur’an has so many followers… I know its their right, but this is really going to trash the view of the US worldwide.

“Where they have burned books,
they will end in burning human beings.”
-Heinrich Heine

Voting

Posted: September 6, 2010 in How the world should work, Politics

We all have our issues with the people in office (or at least all of us with a brain). My issue is with the ACTA treaty, it’s basically an uber-draconian international crackdown (being largely supported by the united states and its backwards copyright system) on sharing anything computer related with your friends. It may or may not be too late, but I beg of you: When you go to the polls in November, if your senator choices are marked as incumbent, democrat or republican, vote them out. You may think there’s a difference between the two parties: there is not. Both are composed largely of greedy corporate and lobbyist controlled bastards. There are a few diamonds in the rough, but we desperately need a 100% new senate.

Diaspora

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Computers, How the world should work

Diaspora is a new project that’s coming along on the 15th as an alternative to the popular social networking platforms, namely facebook. There are some huge differences between this and almost every other social networking site in existance. Such as:

1. Decentralization. This is the big one. On traditional social networking sites, your information is stored on the site’s centralized servers. Besides the fact that one breach can compromise everyone, it also means that the company controls everyone’s data entirely. Diaspora does things differently: you download the client software and all the data for your page is hosted on your computer exclusively.

2. Free/Open source software. Basically you can look at and modify all the code, and make your diaspora experience unique. Additionally, you can send the modified code to the maintainers for a possibility of it being integrated into the next version. This also helps with extensibility.

3. Privacy. In the wake of facebook, privacy is a major concern for the creators of diaspora; its the major selling point so to speak. All messages are sent directly from your computer to the computers of the friend(s) on the receiving end. They are also encrypted for additional security. To quote their video (paraphrasing a bit): “When we talk to each other, we talk directly. We don’t send our message to a central hub that passes it on to our friend. Why should social networking be any different?”

From what I’ve read, the only main difference in the setup would be that you have to download a client versus web browser access, unfortunately however, that might be something that kills the service for a lot of people. By the way, just a tip for windows users: be cautious, but the majority of files you download from legitimate sites are totally harmless. Don’t be a windows security freak, live a little.

Anyway, it looks like diaspora has a bright future ahead, with possible features including voice chat service, open ID integration and an IM protocol. I’m interested in contributing code and/or making extensions for the first and last, as well.

Annoyance

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Computers, How the world should work

Something that annoys me greatly is when the media calls script kiddies ‘hackers’. A hacker is a person who is great with computers in general knows quite a lot about what’s going on behind the scenes, and is usually a coder. A cracker is basically a hacker focused on cracking into systems. A script kiddie (derogatory term) is a kid who uses pre-built tools to carry out attacks and is usually not much more knowledgeable about computers than your average user, though they think they’re epic hackers. Please do not confuse the terms, hacker is a compliment.