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Andrey Petrov (shazow)
3,441 followers -
I computer open source using neovim. I like room-scale virtual reality, linux, and p2p systems. YC alum and Xoogler. Cat person.
I computer open source using neovim. I like room-scale virtual reality, linux, and p2p systems. YC alum and Xoogler. Cat person.

3,441 followers
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Looks like Google+ silently denied my request for a "+shazow" vanity URL. No message or anything, just the "pending review" thing disappeared after something like six months. Naturally, there is no appeal button or recourse. "+AndreyshazowPetrov" is what they recommend I use instead. No thanks.

I've generally been fairly positive about Google+ but maybe this is the day my feelings change on the matter. Turns out identity is fairly important to social networks. Wonder if this will be my final +Post.

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I have a ton of respect for Googlers. +Mike Hearn is a perfect example of the exemplary mentality of people working at Google. I hope to see more public outrage and proactive responses to our rapidly Dystopian-ing world, especially from our champions at Google (and hopefully more companies with political mass).

One of the things I miss most about working at Google is the amount of passion that is obviously present internally—I wish it leaked out into the public more often.
The packet capture shown in these new NSA slides shows internal database replication traffic for the anti-hacking system I worked on for over two years. Specifically, it shows a database recording a user login as part of this system:

http://googleblog.blogspot.ch/2013/02/an-update-on-our-war-against-account.html

Recently +Brandon Downey, a colleague of mine on the Google security team, said (after the usual disclaimers about being personal opinions and not speaking for the firm which I repeat here) - "fuck these guys":

https://plus.google.com/108799184931623330498/posts/SfYy8xbDWGG

I now join him in issuing a giant Fuck You to the people who made these slides. I am not American, I am a Brit, but it's no different - GCHQ turns out to be even worse than the NSA.

We designed this system to keep criminals out. There's no ambiguity here. The warrant system with skeptical judges, paths for appeal, and rules of evidence was built from centuries of hard won experience. When it works, it represents as good a balance as we've got between the need to restrain the state and the need to keep crime in check. Bypassing that system is illegal for a good reason.

Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people. Nobody at GCHQ or the NSA will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process. In the absence of working law enforcement,  we therefore do what internet engineers have always done - build more secure software. The traffic shown in the slides below is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined.

Thank you Edward Snowden. For me personally, this is the most interesting revelation all summer.

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+Kenneth Reitz's single. Quite good if you're into ambient techno mixed with some good old timey conversation about LSD.

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I believe Edward Snowden's point was that whistleblowing is our only check and balance against authorities who ask for our trust.

Yes, he revealed that our privacy is hugely compromised, but that's not what matters right now. The only way anything is going to change is if more people do what Snowden did and whistleblow the abuse and injustice otherwise hidden from the public.

(If anyone at Valve Software is reading this, you know what you need to do about Half Life 3.)

Been trying some new technologies lately. Here are my super-quick quasi-informed reviews:

#Compass (or #SASS and #SCSS in general): 10/10, used it for a few projects now, don't think I can live without it anymore.

#AngularJS: 7/10, makes a lot of web-app scenarios way easier, but the documentation is still weak and the last 20% of polish can be tricky. The built-in event handling and expression watching is impressive, and the framework seems reasonably well-focused. Definitely will keep an eye on its development though.

#EmberJS: 3/10. Seems like a more batteries-included smorgasbord of Javascript libraries. Doesn't feel like there is a lot of value-add over using straight-up Javascript-based models, templating, and a URL router, and I'm not convinced that the built-in pieces or glue is superior to the standalone versions. Seems the biggest benefit is the implicit conventions that all developers who "know EmberJS" can unite and communicate under. (Also I'm not a big fan of things like Underscore.js, so there is bias.)

#Firebase: 6/10, definitely impressed with the simplicity of the experience, and it tastes extra-good when it transparently plugs into another do-many-things-for-you framework like AngularJS (such as with AngularFire), but that last 20% gets even harder because even more things get abstracted away.

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Mmmm morels.
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In the spirit of reviving everyone's Google+ streams for a few days, here's a deliciously cheap sushi meal from Vancouver. Oh, how I miss Vancouver sushi.
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