Quote

And then there’s the sheer randomness of it all. Some services you can’t access for no apparent reason, others are so slow that you can’t figure out if they’re blocked or just snail-paced. And as I experience this, I wish some of our politicians and media people, those who see net neutrality as the enemy, I wish they’d come here and experience what a radical version of non-neutrality is. Again, I have a VPN service to overcome most of this (at the cost of speed) but most people don’t and/or can’t afford one.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that not enshrining net neutrality is the equivalent of doing what the Chinese (or Iranian, or Indian) government does. But I look at the UK’s blocking mechanisms supposed to protect children but really targeting just about any kind of site for arcane reasons that no one can figure out, and I think that what I have here is an extreme version of the same thing.

* Benoit Felton, “Behind the Great Firewall
Link

No skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry

No skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry:

The aggression committed towards these women is truly abhorrent – it speaks poorly to the various efforts to effectively combat sexism and misogyny. No one should be on the receiving end of such comments, ever, and to normalize the sending and reception of them is just wrong. To be clear: this isn’t bullying, but the cases speak to acts of hate. And it’s an area where hate speech laws should be triggered to bring offenders to justice.

Link

Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter

Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter:

This is an absolutely terrific piece of technical journalism. If you ever wanted to know the significance of the data that ‘leaks’ from your phone, laptop, and other computing devices then this is an absolute must-read piece.

Link

Tech giants, chastened by Heartbleed, finally agree to fund OpenSSL

Tech giants, chastened by Heartbleed, finally agree to fund OpenSSL:

OpenSSL’s bare-bones operations are in stark contrast to some other open source projects that receive sponsorship from corporations relying on their code. Chief among them is probably the Linux operating system kernel, which has a foundation with multiple employees and funding from HP, IBM, Red Hat, Intel, Oracle, Google, Cisco, and many other companies. Workers at some of these firms spend large amounts of their employers’ time writing code for the Linux kernel, benefiting everyone who uses it.

That’s never been the case with OpenSSL, but the Linux Foundation wants to change that. The foundation today is announcing a three-year initiative with at least $3.9 million to help under-funded open source projects—with OpenSSL coming first. Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Dell, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NetApp, Qualcomm, Rackspace, and VMware have all pledged to commit at least $100,000 a year for at least three years to the “Core Infrastructure Initiative,” Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin told Ars.

To be clear, the money will go to multiple open source projects—OpenSSL will get a portion of the funding but likely nowhere close to the entire $3.9 million. The initiative will identify important open source projects that need help in addition to OpenSSL.

This is really excellent news: the large companies and organizations that rely on open-source critical infrastructure projects need to (ideally) contribute back through either code contributions of financial support. Hopefully we’ll not just see money but efforts to improve and develop the code of these projects, projects which often are the hidden veins that enable contemporary Internet experiences.