Whether you love it or hate it, the technology behind it all is here to stay
Poor Edward Snowden. The former NSA subcontractor has sacrificed his career to expose US government surveillance programs that were revealed years ago. Except for minor details, data-mining operations like “PRISM” were outed in 2006, and have been underway since at least 2003. Newspapers may be dinosaurs, but they beat the Internet to this story by seven years.
Note: This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of the magazine.
Law and technology can interact in funny ways. Take the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows for those hosting material on the Internet to avoid liability for copyright infringement if they comply with requests to take down copyrighted material quickly. It motivates companies hosting material, like YouTube or Flickr, to streamline the process. Increasingly, rights holders are automating their side too, potentially leaving two scripts talking to each other to determine the destiny of media. But plenty of requests that come through aren’t valid, or are aimed at legal content. Chillingeffects.org maintains a database of requests, sensible and not, including one from 2012 where HBO attempted to take down access to its own site.
The strengths of computer gaming are found at the extremes. It does two things very well: It enables hardcore users to get the best possible performance out of high-end games, and it allows small developers to deliver individualistic and quirky projects direct to users.
Security on the Internet is terrible. That’s always been true, but it’s wildly obvious these days. Right and left, people are losing their passwords, ending up in botnets, and some days it seems like you might as well post your bank details onPastebin, just to get it over with.
You gotta love technology. Every solution seems to cause a new problem, which then inspires another solution, which causes yet another problem. I’d conclude that engineers are as skillful as lawyers at perpetuating their own profession, except I don’t want to insult the engineers.
Copyright law makes for strange circumstances. This is because it’s a monopoly designed to let creators make money, but the vast majority of everything that’s copyrighted isn’t for sale anymore, if it ever was. Everything is fully protected from the moment it’s created, regardless of its creator’s intent. But most of what copyright law touches is never commercial, and even the exceptions are rarely commercially viable for long.
Maximum PC Editor Jimmy Thang talks about his experience walking the show floor as a zombie
I've been to many costume-friendly conventions like FanimeCon and Pax Prime, but have never cosplayed before. I don't have anything against dressing up, but I simply never felt compelled to do it. I was always the guy on the other end of the camera…until this past weekend.
Because our Comic Con booth was Walking Dead-themed, we were fortunate enough to have a "zombification booth" where makeup artists would turn ordinary civilians into the undead. Considering the makeover was free and professionally done, I figured I would give it a go on the last day of the convention. …The results were far more shocking than I could have ever expected.