In Inbox We Trust

In Inbox We Trust

Inbox Trust (TM) is one of those things you have to be really careful with. The reason people are able to spread malware and bilk too many people out of money is the same reason people sometimes take the wrong person home at the end of a date. The person crying over the “perfect guy” who disappeared after leaving a false phone number ¬†is the same sort of person who cries over the Nigerian prince who abused the bank account numbers they shared – Both sets of people misplaced their trust because they wanted something to good to be true to fast. You need to know whose links you can trust, which attachments can be safely opened, and to whom you can share minor confidences without fear of forward. What always gets me is the people who try and force...

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Dark Skies, Dark Internet

Dark Skies, Dark Internet

Looking around the internet today, I’m amazed to see how many people and websites are in their own way protesting SOPA and PIPA. What is most fascinating to me is the reaction people have as the sites they count on day to day blink out. Should SOPA or PIPA actually get passed, we run the risk of having the internet we know and love slowly wink out one site at a time. It would start with a blogger here, a video mashup artist there, starting with the faint voices shining among all the URLS, and as they winked out, folks wouldn’t notice, and by the time the big boys – the Wikipedias and the Reddits – started to get turned off, we’d all be numb to what was going, and just let them wink out as the internet went dark. It’s only...

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CosmoQuest

CosmoQuest

For the past several years, my cohost and friend Fraser Cain has been talking about wanting to change how we do astronomy – change access, change the embargo system, change even peer-review. He’s not the only one: All across the internets we’ve seen open science projects of various types crop up and slowly take root. This summer, I finally let Fraser infect me with the idea of creating a wall free environment for learning and doing science; an online community where people come together to attend astronomy lectures, to participate in star parties, to talk about the science they are working to do in their own backyard, and the science they are working to do in their own web browser. This ideal is what we’re going to try and build with...

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AAS219: Austin, TX

AAS219: Austin, TX

I’m currently at the 219th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, TX. I’m here for just two days, and due to meetings, my coverage may be somewhat limited, but I’m going to do what I can to cover press conferences. The last couple meetings I’ve been at, I’ve found myself tweeting and not blogging. Now, with Google+ a new option exists and I’m going to try an experiment. In the mo+ment, I’m going to work writing short stories on Google+ and then link them to this post. Here are the things I’m going to try and follow. I’ll add links as I attend them. You can follow me directly on Google+ at http://gplus.to/starstryder (All times are GMT-6 / Central time) Monday 9:30 a.m.: THROUGH A LENS DARKLY¬†...

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