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Steven Johnson
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Steven Johnson

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Are Donald J. Trump and Victor Von Doom multiversal cousins? Consider:
- Both name everything they create after themselves
- Both consider -- nay, know -- that they are the pinnacle of human perfection
- Both have legions of robotic servants
- Both wear a mask to cover their faces, which are rumored to be horribly disfigured

The only difference I can tell is that Trump hasn't (yet) been defeated by Squirrel Girl.
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Steven Johnson

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If you find yourself broken, sometime you gotta just keep on growing in a little different direction
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I know this isn't a USB-C cable, but I'd still love to see +Benson Leung run this through his testing gamut and see if it's actually to spec or not
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:D
 How could this happen, lol
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Hidden inside the network protocol that powers the Internet is a system designed to fight a nuclear war, even if Washington were destroyed by a surprise Soviet attack. Today, it mostly powers cat videos.

This is the system of "precedence," the mechanism that lets the network know that some traffic is more urgent than others. While this may seem like a straightforward idea, the levels of the precedence system -- before the "great renaming" which gave them anodyne names like "AF4/1" -- have a very interesting history indeed.

The first four levels came from US Army standards developed during the Korean War: "routine," "priority," "immediate," and "flash." (With flash priority being for messages that had to be sent in real time -- like "messages recalling or diverting friendly aircraft about to bomb targets unexpectedly occupied by friendly forces," which I think you'll agree is something you want people to know about quickly so they'll STOP SHOOTING AT YOU)

The fifth level, "flash override," was developed in the late 1950's -- a special precedence level which only the President and Secretary of Defense (or their deputies, if they were killed) were allowed to use, intended to let them override all other traffic and give the orders to end the world.

On top of this is a sixth level, "CRITIC/ECP." This level was almost entirely forgotten: it was introduced between 1958 and 1963, and then promptly ignored by every generation of documentation afterwards. It remained not quite secret, but never really discussed; a drastic highest priority never used, until mathematical necessity forced its introduction into the Internet Protocol./

The story below is a dive into the rabbit-hole of Cold War planning: how the system designed in secret for the Air Force ultimately ended up powering realtime games and video chat.

The next time you’re streaming an old X-Files episode on Netflix that you’re actually using a mechanism designed to ensure that nuclear war could be reliably fought, even if it had to be done from a modified Boeing 707 after Washington was destroyed. The truth, in this case, is in there.


(Footnote for interested readers: This is, I believe, the first time the entire story, from the military side through to the network side, has been in one place. Many thanks to +Lauren Weinstein, among others, for helping me trace the various threads that led to this.)
Behind every Rickroll is a technology designed at the height of the Cold War to guarantee nuclear annihilation.
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OMG PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
A series based on wonderfully weird 1984 cult science fiction classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension is likely coming to TV, courtesy of Kevin Smith, and we have The Flash to thank (or blame, depending on your point of view). Read on, Hong Kong Cavaliers.
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An emoji is worth a thousand words

Google Photos puts your memories at your ☝tips and lets you 🔍 and find your photos instantly. But sometimes, you're 🔍 ing  in a hurry: while boarding the 🚋 , carrying lots of 🛍 , or trying to find a perfect photo to match your joke's 👊line. When it’s crunch 🕰 , 🔍 ing with a full word just doesn't ✂ it. That's why we're introducing: #SearchWithEmojis

Whether you're looking for pics of your pet dog (🐶) or your hot dog (🌭). Your 🚲  rides under the 🌞 or the 🌟s you gazed under the 🌙. The 🐚 you found at the 🏖 or you favorite 🍐 of 👟s…

Finding your pics is a ☮️ of 🎂. 

📸🔎😋,
Google Photos
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Well said.

http://weeklysift.com/2016/03/21/tick-tick-tick-the-augustus-countdown-continues/

If the article is too long for you, skip to below the graphs.

In short, the claim here is that each time the norms that keep government functioning properly (as opposed to being utterly gridlocked with everyone pointing fingers) are violated, those norms become weaker and more-frequently-violated in the future; as a result government becomes more consistently dysfunctional, the public is frustrated, and they increasingly look for an authoritarian solution that will sweep away the problems and make things work again.

This happened in ancient Rome and it can happen to us today. The public's support for authoritarianism is already growing. Much of Donald Trump's appeal comes from dissatisfaction with an existing government that is perceived as ineffective. He won't be the last candidate whose appeal is based on the idea of sweeping away a broken system. The only way to stop such a thing from actually coming to pass is to make democracy work again, and the only way to do that is for the existing members of government to "govern in good faith, fulfilling to the best of your abilities the duties you have been entrusted with" and not "just follow the rules in the most literal way possible, grabbing every advantage they don’t explicitly forbid".

I agree with everything in the article, but I find myself extremely depressed by it, because I can't imagine what would make our existing elected leaders voluntarily back away from the precipice and start behaving in ways that put the nation above the individual and the party. Perhaps the problem lies mainly with a public who, despite claiming dissatisfaction with a dysfunctional government, keeps punishing elected leaders for compromise and pragmatism. Maybe in the end it's us who need to wake up and realize we're driving the whole system towards the cliff.
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"...in demanding a tool, FBI has sneakily ensured that a more “open” copy of the software will have to be released (that will work on other devices) in order for it to be tested, validated, and re-tested by a defense team. This guarantees that the hacking tool FBI is forcing Apple to write will be out in the public, where it will be in the hands of multiple agencies and private attorneys."
Recently, FBI got a court order that compels Apple to create a forensics tool; this tool would let FBI brute force the PIN on a suspect's device. But lets look at the difference between this and simply bringing a phone to Apple; maybe you'll start to see the difference of why this is so ...
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Steven Johnson

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Not sure if our groceries are gonna fit 
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As long as we are talking +Inf and not -Inf
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Coding, Caving, Comics (not necessarily in that order).
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  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2011 - present
  • Adobe Systems
    Software Engineer, 2005 - 2011
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    Software Engineer, 2003 - 2005
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    Software Engineer, 2001 - 2003
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