Chris Burnor Philosophical Nerd

The Criminal Nsa

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Great Op-Ed piece in the New York Times “The N.S.A. has intentionally acquired information it is not allowed to have, even under the terrifyingly broad auspices of the FISA Amendments Act.” Remember that the Patriot Act was highly controversial when it was originally passed even in the form that it was originally interpretted. Leave aside the Patriot Act and FISA Amendments Act for a moment, and turn to the Constitution.

The Poison Is Secrecy

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Why we’re all conspiracy theorists now (This is a cross-post from my first post on Medium) In the past few weeks since the first release of the Verizon phone record subpoena and the subsequent releases of PRISM and other covert federal activities, much of the debate has focused on the particulars of the programs — whether they are legal/illegal, whether they go too far, how they relate to historical surveillence systems, and so on.

Rocket Powered Bicycles

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I gave a talk back in February on how to avoid under or over engineering your product. I was heavily inspired for some of these ideas by my good friend Preet Anand.

Terminals: A Rant

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First let me start off by saying that I absolutely love my terminal. I spend literally all day with a terminal window open, and it’s usually in the foreground. Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that most of my work is implemented in the browser (and that the best developers are the first to Google), I could probably ditch the GUI entirely. However, it is because of this love that I would like to rant for a moment on the state of the modern terminal and provide some suggestions for how terminal emulators might be brought into the 21st century.

Thoughts on Thinking About the End of the World

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Like many others this week, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been full of ‘end of the world’ posts and my social aggregation sites have been full of doomsday sales and promotions. Also, like so many, I have responded to such discussion with a roll of the eyes. Clearly the world is not going to end based on some prophecy or misunderstanding of an ancient calendar. Why waste our mental energies on such nonsense.