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Andrew Jiang
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Open-Source Developer/Computer Engineering Major at the University of Waterloo
Open-Source Developer/Computer Engineering Major at the University of Waterloo

218 followers
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Achievement unlocked: Wrote commits that made it into the upstream Linux kernel. :)
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What I've been working on for the past few months. :)
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At some point in the not too distant future, there will be a time when there is nothing truly private.

It may be such simple things as your "ID" information - date of birth, social security number (or any local equivalent), address, phone number.

It may be things like the answers to the usual "secret" questions - where you met your spouse, which street you grew up on, your first pet's name etc (that information is already out there for the majority of younger connected people on their social profiles).

It may be things like your credit card number, bank account number or any ID that is used nowadays to identify the pile of virtual money at your disposal in the physical and digital spaces.

It may be things like ubiquitous surveillance equipment that, combined with facial and body recognition, records every move you make in public, as well as (what you think are) private spaces.

It may be things like any kind of smart gadget in your home that listens to your most intimate conversations, honing its own speech recognition patterns and storing the recent recordings for "quality assurance" purposes.

The more information is stored about us in those few gargantuan siloes, the more juicy such silo become as a target for exfiltrating that information in a variety of ways. As things go, even one crack is enough to pierce the wall, no matter how many other attacks that wall has withstood.

I am 100% positive that we will see very significant changes in the whole landscape of authentication and authorization, and how we as a global society will change our outlook on how we interact with each other and the institutions around us.

Spend a few minutes today and think what it would mean if everybody you crossed paths with this week had immediate and unfiltered access to all the information about you.
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Bless the CRTC. About time.
Carriers are NO longer allowed to sell locked phones as of December 1st, 2017. Huge win.
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A series of tubes

Before retiring, my father worked his whole career in the cast iron industry, in a way that was always somewhat related to water pipes. He knew the pipes inside and out, literally, because the hardest thing about water pipes is that the inside coatings need to be compatible with the kind of water being transported, while the outside coatings need to be compatible with the soil surrounding the pipes. The story of the water of Flint, Michigan, shows why managing drinking water is harder than it seems.

Over the years, standards for water pipes around the world tightened, while in the USA standards didn't change as much. I don't know what the exact reasons were for the US staying behind, but it's possible that at each step someone thought that keeping looser standards would protect the US industry, either as a goal or as a positive consequence.

Bit by bit, though, US manufacturers of water pipes found themselves unable to sell on non-US markets. This became a major issue when US-manufactured pipes couldn't be made to meet Chinese standards.

Eventually, US manufacturers found themselves so far behind that they couldn't even export unfinished iron shells to be finished overseas to non-US standards, since those US manufacturers had never developed the expertise to cast shells that could be used with the newest coatings.

By not keeping up with worldwide progress, the US severely weakened its own cast iron industry.

I fear that the same thing might happen with environment-related concerns, with Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Agreements. Should the Paris Agreement evolve in a direction that forces signatories to only source their supplies from other signatories, the US will end up in a position that hurts its whole economy. That's why we're seeing states, cities, companies, individuals, all scrambling to continue honoring past US commitments without the federal government: they don't want to be labeled as non-compliant. Imagine if US oil companies can't operate outside the US any longer, of if US-based airlines can't fly to non-US airports any longer, or if US agricultural products can't be exported any longer.
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The test of "Will history will look kindly on this?"

Will history look kindly on people who voted to burn this house down, saying that at least they got to try something different for a change?

Will history look kindly on politicians who used all they had to further their view points by working actively towards the goals of voter suppression and voter skewing with gerrymandering?

Will history look kindly on people who feel ashamed to publicly admit that they voted for somebody just because they feel obligated to continue voting for the party that that person claims to represent?

Will history look kindly on people from that party who stood by in cowardice and malice as that person spewed completely unfounded, yet racially and religiously charged vitriol against the serving president of their country?

Will history look kindly on people who, in their young and healthy years, refused to help their fellow man and woman when the bodies they were blessed with were not as healthy?

Will history look kindly on people who fought to their utmost to strip civil rights and liberties from adult individuals who, in the privacy of their bedroom, chose to fulfil their lives according to what the bodies they were blessed with led them to do, knowingly and consensually?

Will history look kindly on people who chose to ignore over ten thousand of gun-related deaths every year, sending their vacuous thoughts and prayers to families of victims after every mass shooting, immediately following that by saying that now is not the right time to talk about gun control?

Will history look kindly on people who chose to ignore tens of thousands of traffic accident related deaths yearly, and instead cheered wildly for a blanket ban of entry based on reasons that were as muddy as they were inconsistent?

Will history look kindly on people whose ancestors came to this land not even four score and seven years ago, yet were quick to blame new immigrants on all the troubles they had in their lives?

Will history look kindly on people that gave equal negative weight to acts of one person who used a private email server and to those of another who mercilessly, tirelessly and venomously attacked wide swaths of population for daring to want not more, but equal rights?

Will history look kind on all of us for allowing one man to enable the worst in all of us, as some fell prey to the grandiose emptiness of his rhetoric, and some stood idly by when their voice and their choice was needed the most?
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