Net Neutrality, California-Style
You may remember the fight over “Net Neutrality” rules put into place at the federal level by the Obama Administration in 2015. Those rules didn’t last long: earlier this year, the FCC under the Trump Administration reversed the decision. California has now decided they’re not down with that, and has passed their own rules, which mirror the original Obama-era rules.
Why does this matter? It’s not just because California was the internet’s cradle and is home to Silicon Valley and all of the top tech and internet brands outside of Microsoft. When the world’s 5th largest economy (yes, you read that right: if California was its own country, it’d be the 5th largest economy in the world!) decides to regulate something, it tends to pull others in that direction whether they want to go or not.
The entire Internet, 1969 pic.twitter.com/c3Ga3ihbvb
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) October 31, 2017
The Tiny Chip and the Massive Security Problem
There’s just no way to overstate the concern of this story. Operatives from China’s military managed to infiltrate the supply chain / production of server motherboards. The result was the addition of a malicious piece of hardware added to the boards, giving Chinese spies hardwired backdoor access to the data centers of major US companies including Apple and Amazon. The gif below, taken from the Bloomberg Businessweek article, shows how ridiculously tiny this silicon mole was. (Hint: wait for the white circle at the end.)
Remembering the Space Shuttle in Photos
Columbus, OH, photographer John Chakeres has released a book about the early years of the Shuttle program, seen through the lens of his camera. It’s a time-machine trip back to the days when this new engineering marvel — the first ever reusable space launch vehicle — was going to turn space travel as routine as taking an airplane shuttle from New York to DC. These photos aren’t just spaceship cool. They’re photographic art beautiful.
The $100K Doorstop
This rock has been holding open doors since the Great Depression. Why is it now known to be worth a cool hundred grand? It’s a 22-lb remnant of a meteorite that landed in Michigan nearly 90 years ago.
Because making informed judgments requires knowing more than simply “who said what.” I worked with a lot of eyewitnesses in the over 50+ cases I took to trial during my career as a prosecutor. I don’t believe I misread the reliability of any of them that I worked with personally … but I shudder to think about the odds that I may have done so, even once.
All is not hopeless, though, when it comes to relying on eyewitness testimony. This counterpoint article, also from Scientific American (same as the one above), does a great job of explaining the meaningful difference between “reliability” and “malleability” of eyewitness testimony.