The “Internet of Things” must be stopped.

Preface

The Internet of Things is an idiotic idea dreamed up in a marketing lab at Apple and other corporations. Wide-eyed executives with no real grasp of technology saw an emerging market where they could capitalize and make billions of dollars, and they rushed to dive in without thought toward the consequences.

What is the Internet of Things?

The IoT or Internet of Things is the name given to a world filled with devices that have embedded operating systems which are internet-capable. On paper, in a fictional utopian paradise, it presents some pretty cool ideas. Sharing of data between apps, remote control, etc.

Where did the Internet of Things go wrong?

The IoT has been a complete fucking disaster. Because the devices are being rushed to market and made by the lowest bidders in chinese code-factories, the software is easily exploitable. The IoT has regressed internet security by 30 years in a handful of months.

What is the evidence for this disaster?

A recent DDoS attack, that is a “Distributed Denial of Service”, was launched using a botnet which is comprised at least in part by millions of “Internet of Things” devices. This was the largest recorded DDoS attack in the history of the internet and it won’t be the last. Think of this like a country testing a nuclear bomb. A black-hat hacker-for-hire group is displaying it’s capability. Next they will sell their service to anyone willing to pay.

What is the solution?

The Internet of Things needs to die, right now. Boycott all embedded devices which do not have robust security controls. Device owners need the ability to upgrade the software and install their own security controls which could be superior to the factory settings. This is absolutely required to bring embedded devices up to speed with the rest of the computerized world.

What if we do nothing?

Selling unstoppable DDoS attacks will become a common practice. With the IoT growing at a ridiculous rate, it will become trivial for anyone with some technical know-how to own networks of millions of bots. A huge black-market industry will emerge. There will be attacks on corporations, on non-profits, on news organizations, on government systems. Giant CDNs like Cloudflare will be destroyed by botnets. The internet will become a wasteland. The benefits we’ve seen in recent decades, improvements to human rights for example, will be lost.

Summary

This is a pivotal moment in human development. We have a choice to nudge our own technological evolution forward in a responsible manner, or push everyone off a cliff in a fool’s gold-rush lead by absolute idiots who are drunk on greed and have no idea how the technology works.

Let’s Encrypt IS the panacea to all our HTTPS woes.

This is a response to a blogger’s post located here: “Here’s how broken today’s web will feel in Chrome’s ‘secure by default’ future” discussing the future of encryption on the World Wide Web.

I was banned from commenting on Mr. Hunt’s page because I made one critical comment about one of his articles. So much for free expression and the exchange of ideas. I don’t feel like re-writing my opinions so when you read it, bear in mind it was originally intended as a comment.

My Comment:

I can’t entirely tell what your intention with this article is, perhaps just to discuss the subject, which is great cause it needs discussing.

There’s no debate to have, encryption is the future, it should have been the standard by now. A discussion needs to happen to wake the average user up. Encryption isn’t only about protecting privacy, it’s about security, as well as simple standards of living.

SSL is trivially easy today. You said that Let’s Encrypt is not the cure, but you are wrong. Let’s Encrypt _solves_ the problem completely. Any remaining difficulty in adapting 100% SSL is the fault of lazy engineers and developers, and nothing else.

SSL is not a luxury product. SSL _was_ a luxury product. And just like Operating Systems, Digital Audio Workstations, Anti-Virus, E-Mail, and so many other applications, the generosity and effort of computer purists have given us free tools capable of replacing proprietary models. SSL as a Luxury product is going away.

The internet is changing the world, just as people predicted it would. Corporations find a niche where they can profit and they refuse to innovate, preferring to maximize their profits by taking advantage of peoples’ ignorance for as long as possible. What has happened with Let’s Encrypt, and other technologies, is that information-freedom-fighters have liberated the masses from the control of those corporations.

The future of the internet is bright, probably more so than 100% of ‘meat-space’.


FIN.

Decoding Evil: It’s not about morality.

Decoding Evil: It’s not about morality.

Preface

Before I dig into the meat of this post, I want to clear up some language conflicts. I am using the word ‘Evil’, which carries a lot of baggage with people. A lot of that baggage is centered around religion. This post is not about religion. I was raised by christian parents, and while I do not personally follow any religion, the influences of christianity have made themselves apparent in my vocabulary. I am using the word ‘Evil’, you are free to substitute another word in it’s place if you like, so that you may better understand this post.

What is Evil?

We need a common definition of evil. A quick websearch suggests the following:

Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful

Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous

These aren’t the only definitions, but they are what we’ll be using for this post.

Why is Evil ‘Live’ spelled backwards?

This is not accidental. Nothing in popular language is accidental. Someone made a conscious decision to teach us all the word Evil, and the word Live. Someone made a conscious decision to make them the reverse of each other. Whoever that was, I believe they were trying to pass knowledge to the next generation in a way that would survive the storybooks.

It is my belief that we are to learn to recognize evil, and work to counter it. It is in this way that we find the best path to ongoing prosperous life. That is why Evil is shown as the reverse (or opposite of) Live.

How to recognize Evil?

Recognizing evil is a lot easier than you might think. It’s got nothing to do with morality. Philosophers spent years debating morality, and found themselves at an impasse. Evil is easier. Evil actions create Evil results. I’ll use an example. Smoking cigarettes is a deadly activity that causes cancer and heart disease. It is a habit that is guaranteed to kill you if something else doesnt kill you first. Many of us would say that makes it Evil. Smoking cigarettes often leads to fires, people fall asleep with lit cigarettes, they discard their cigarettes or matches in the brush of forests which starts forest fires, and so on. Evil actions lead to Evil results.

We can recognize the results are ruinous, and look backwards to see the actions which created those results were Evil. This doesn’t allow us to predict the future but it does allow us to learn from mistakes, which is a critical skill for any species which wishes to survive itself. We can use this method to recognize and discourage Evil, without ever invoking morality. I could go on and on with examples of corporate greed, warmongering, and so forth. The examples of Evil being practiced and tolerated every day by Human beings is endless.

What should we do?

Every person must ask themselves if they want to live or die. If they want to be happy or miserable. If you want to live, if you want to be happy, if you want to be prosperous, then logic dictates you should not act in Evil ways, and you should discourage Evil where you see it. Practitioners of Evil such as overpaid CEOs need to be brought down. For-Profit prisons need to be eliminated. Profiteering at all costs needs to be discouraged. The power and wealth of those who have benefitted from these Evil actions is undeserved and belongs to the community which they have harmed. We are not obligated to tolerate their activities.

By persuing Evil means to their selfish goals, those people invade the liberty of the citizens who they share this nation with. One man’s liberty only extends so far as to not invade the liberty of another man, so with their actions they have forfeited the right to liberty, at least until they bring their activities back within the boundaries of ‘Not Evil’. It is up to us to discourage Evil wherever we see it, both for our own protection and for the protection of our communities and families. Inaction will lead to ruin.

Summary

I believe I have made the case today that Evil is ‘bad’ for us, like a poison or dangerous narcotic. Evil kills people, destroys communities and families, and topples empires. Evil is the kryptonite that defeats Human Ingenuity. IF we can minimize the Evil in our societies, together we can accomplish greater things than many can even imagine. People do not need Evil to prosper. Perhaps they lack an understanding of consequence, or they have not been taught how to succeed without using Evil methods. We can address these issues without ever bringing up the confusing topic of morality.

I read today an article that reminds us how the abuse of anti-biotics in abominable industrial farming techniques is creating deadly bacterial mutations which cannot be killed with medicine. If the human race does not act to eliminate the Evil it has allowed to flourish, then the results of that Evil are going to kill the entire human race. We all have choices in our lives, I encourage you all to make the right ones, and stand up to those who do not.

Stop Violence

The Root Causes of Violence

The Root Causes of Violence

We the People have neglected education

The United States education system is neglected. We used to be praised as the leader in public education. That was because of education reforms we made in the mid 20th century, things like public schools in every town, guaranteed education etc. However we have not made any significant progress since then. Also, we’ve built only a tiny number of new schools despite our population rising by 150,000,000 people.

Failing education

A lack of education has lead to an increase in under-educated citizens who are less capable in the workplace, less likely to start their own businesses, and more likely to prey upon others to support themselves and their families. Our federal spending is around $4t dollars, but less than $100bn of that or 2.5% is used for education, our most important resource to ensure a prosperous future for ourselves and the generations to follow. We can literally buy societal intelligence if we’d spend more.

We the People have embraced systematic poverty

Systemic Poverty

The United States suffers from systemic poverty. Our society has adopted a dog-eat-dog mentality which traces it’s roots back to early tribal societies. The strongest tribe takes over until the next one replaces it. This is usually done with hostilities. If we want to have an enlightended and civilized future society we need to change the way we approach issues of Education and Poverty. We should be unified in raising and uplifting all of our citizens nationwide. This can only make our entire nation stronger and everyone will prosper.

We the People have encouraged an oppressive government

The United States has become an oppressive government. In May of 1970 the United States government murdered peaceful college students who were protesting the vietnam war. In April of 1993 the United States government murdered 76 people by trapping them in a building and setting fire to it. Since the 1960s and 1970s major cities such as Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles have been terrorized by unreasonably hostile and racist police forces. Often these crimes have gone unpunished.

Abusive police

Many of us cling to the America of our dreams, one where United We Stand, but young people growing up in this environment and facing the senseless carnage and abuse that our government has been allowed to get away with will feel disenfranchised. They don’t see a nation guided by the rule of law, they see a lot of meaningless words on paper intended to empower the ruling elite while keeping the poor and underprivileged locked in endless struggles.

We the People have made life hell

The United States suffers from a widespread social disease. When someone has a bad day they take it out on other people. Those people then have a bad day and they take their frustration out on yet others. This goes on and on until everyone is miserable.

When people have disagreements, they do not look for ways to understand each other, they use their disagreements to create divisions between “Us” and “Them”. The parents of today’s youth have not tried to encourage their children to embrace our similarities, instead they have become more xenophobic than ever, teaching their children that everyone else in the world is a threat.

Our nation is enslaved by television, whether in it’s traditional form or delivered via the internet. Everything we know is presented by the television, which is controlled almost entirely by large corporations who do not care about social stability, only profit. In fact social instability usually means more profits for media corporations, so it is in their best interest to stir up problems and they are constantly doing just that.

Our politics has become completely insane. The discussions that occur in Congress at the federal and state levels are infantile and rarely show evidence of rational, considered thought. Children are not born stupid. They grow up in this environment and they see the insanity of all of the adults around them, it is no wonder that many learn to feel alone and threatened by the entire world. When faced with choices they will be more likely to make self-serving choices because they don’t believe anyone else is on their side, and that can lead to violence.

We the People have a drug problem

Pills and Money

The United States is addicted to drugs. The Pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest and most evil industries to ever exist. They are not in the business of curing disease, they are in the business of selling pills. New diseases are invented, to which harmful and addictive substances are sold with inadequate testing. People who have fallen into a hypnotic trance staring at their TV are told they are sick and they need pills to fix them. Many of these “medications” are psychoactive which means they effect the way the brain works.

Besides prescription drugs, Americans are addicted en masse to psychoactive chemicals they are told are safe, such as Caffeine and Sugar, and poisons they know are harmful such as Nicotine and Alcohol which cause more than 8 million deaths every year. In some areas illegal drugs are also a problem, but the threat of illegal drugs is insignificant compared to the damage that we’ve done to our society with “legal” drugs.

We the People are distracted by the wrong issues

The United States has been discussing the epidemic of violence for decades. It does not require decades to find a solution to a problem when the discussion is healthy. One of the reasons we are in the same place as we were 30 years ago is that every time the subject of violence is raised, the conversation is immediately hijacked by people with extremist agendas. They never talk about anything except their personal agendas, and they make the most noise and drown out everyone else. After a few months everyone realizes what a sham it is, they get sick of it and they return to the routine of their daily lives, having done nothing about violence.

I have described for you in this article many of the actual root causes of violence in America. More importantly, I have focused on issues which can be realistically addressed and fixed, rather than divisive topics that nobody will ever agree about. Are there any which I missed? I invite your comments if you feel there is a root cause of violence which I have not yet covered. IF we’re serious about reducing violence in our society, then we need to get serious about addressing these problems rather than blowing hot air every time someone goes insane because of the things I’ve listed and decides to end their lives in an attention-grabbing way.