Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

My Accidental Radio.

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Wow. I had no idea this could happen! (Rest of this post is by Michael Albaugh, except for the parts that quote me.) From: Michael Albaugh Subject: Re: Wait, what? Can speakers pick up radio by themselves? To: Karl Fogel Cc: The Usual Suspects Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 10:03:22 -0800 Disclaimer: It has been […]

Please Stop Locking Out Users After 3 Failed Login Attempts.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Update 2015-12-03: I just found out from a response tweet from @jacobian that the user flogging is apparently a requirement of the PCI standards, and thus many online services are essentially forced into it. Would love feedback or further information from anyone familiar with how PCI standards get baked. Calling all designers of online systems […]

The Software Freedom Conservancy: Why I Donated

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Update 2015-12-01: How could I have forgotten to mention that there’s a donor match going on right now? If you become one of the next 50 new Conservancy supporters, a donor is matching up to $6000! Please help Conservancy get every dollar they can from this generous donor. Few organizations are as effective per dollar […]

The one 18-minute video you have to see this year: Nina Paley’s “Copyright Is Brain Damage”.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

I’ll keep this short, because the very best thing you can do right now is go watch this 18-minute video of Nina Paley giving a talk at TEDxMaastricht about exactly why she is a copyright abolitionist and how copyright abolition starts at home, especially for artists. It is by far the best, most eloquent explanation […]

Grammar As Proxy: The Experian Data Breach

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

I got a treeware letter recently from Experian explaining how one of their servers had been hacked and how my private data (name, address, Social Security number, phone number, birth date, etc) was likely obtained by criminal resellers. The letter was a little more euphemistic than that, but that’s basically what Experian was admitting. To […]

Privacy is an ecological concept, not a transactional one.

Monday, October 5th, 2015

On a private mailing list, a friend recently asked this: Playing devil’s advocate here: what privacy are you trying to protect? Is it very important to you that websites not know what sort of products you’re interested in (and if so, why)? Or is it that you simply find targeted ads annoying? I ask as […]

Twitter “Verified” Account… Not So Much.

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Update Nov 2015: Many thanks to Twitter engineer Eitan Adler for grabbing this one by the horns and steering it skillfully and persistently through the support team. My friend’s problem is now solved. Note: If you’re from Twitter Inc., please contact me. If you work at Twitter and you know how to fix the problem […]

Freedom of conscience applies to Kenyan immigrants too.

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

I’ve run across yet another reference to President Obama’s supposedly Muslim father, this time in a magazine that I subscribe to and like, The Atlantic. It was in this interview of Michael Oren by Jeffrey Goldberg, but the relevant quote is actually from a piece by Oren in Foreign Policy: In addition to its academic […]

Nice web design, but poor logic: Why OccupyGPL is wrong.

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

Update 2015-02-12, ~12 p.m. CT: Eric Schultz just told me that the OccupyGPL site has suddenly started redirecting to, within the last few hours! So my post here is already obsolete — the problem has solved itself. If anyone knows more about this, please leave a comment here. In the meantime, I’ve put a copy of the […]

Noel Taylor: A Scholar and a Gentleman.

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

I gave my friend Noel Taylor (yes, the noted William Howard Taft scholar) a book as a New Year’s gift. This was his response. When you first presented me with “President Taft Is Stuck in the Bath” by Mac Barnett, I delighted over what I assumed would be a scholarly and well researched work that […]