Category Archives: Features

The Punk Test

Predicting the results of important technology, copyright and patent cases is almost impossible. Experts who are intimately familiar with the subject matter and precedents are only slightly better than a coin toss at guessing outcomes. Even cases which seem simple … Continue reading

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Bitcoin: More Covert than it Looks

There’s been a lot of discussion in the past few weeks about how anonymous Bitcoin actually is. If you’re new to Bitcoin, you can check my short introduction to the cryptocurrency over at Ars Technica. Bitcoin is often incorrectly touted … Continue reading

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BitTorrent is ThoughtCrime

[caption id="attachment_440" align="alignright" width="320" caption="CC by blogpocket on flickr"]I Love P2P[/caption] Use of BitTorrent is stigmatised, and poses potential administrative cost and liability risk for anyone who uses it. Since BitTorrent is the most effective ways to distribute large files -especially by individuallys, and small businesses who can’t afford much infrastructure – this limits technical options that many people have. Academic analysis of copyright infringement and the surrounding ecosystem may even require such direct data analysis.

This taboo ties the hands of many, even when the protocol is used for legitimate purposes. If an academic wants to conduct investigations which have strong fair use defences, these costs and risks may result in personal or institutional aversion to such research. This has the effect of chilling discussion and investigation of P2P technology, and the related public policy issue of copyright infringement.

Read on for more. Continue reading

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Glitch Trading?

Tim Maly of Quiet Babylon, has a thoughtful post about the way that the press deals with a financial market in which most trading is automated. Maly criticises the press for attributing unexpected market behaviour to human responses to news. … Continue reading

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Economic Security

We can encourage private sector security and change the security/breach economic balance in the favour of more security, by increasing the penalties for breaches, and making it easier to implement good security practices, such as through security development grants, or an NSF-like security development organization. Continue reading

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For Expertise, Reputation Matters

Reputation as an SnR amplifier Techniques for optimising useful expertise output from crowdsourcing. When we talk about crowdsourcing complex tasks – like writing policy, or designing a product – we are always faced with a similar set of conundra. We … Continue reading

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