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Big Picture

Why smart contracts are not for you (or me)

A friend asked: "So you don't think smart contracts are ever going to be ... secure and useful?" Here's my response: “Ever” is a long time, but ... let me tell a quick story: When I raised venture capital during the dot-com bubble, if memory serves, the combined legal bill for my company’s Series A…

At the Internet Archive for EFF’s John Perry Barlow Symposium

Just some random notes: I have not seen the Internet Archive's great hall (a former church) this full. All sorts of famous people are here. Ted Nelson, hypermedia pioneer, is sitting just a few feet from me. Introductory remarks by the Internet Archive's Brewster Kahle and the EFF's Cindy Cohn. Cory Doctorow is delayed from…

How I’d like to consume interact with my news

(Prompted by a discussion today with Doc Searls, newly minted editor-in-chief of the reborn Linux Journal, and full of plans to redefine the relationship between publication, reader and advertiser. With some notes from over a year ago after prodding by Dave Winer) My personal news portal I follow about 30-40 sources of news (from CNN…

How to be Evil and Do Just Fine in the 21st Century

Being professionally evil used to be easier. In Al Capone's time, you could hide your evil deeds in places without snitches and live public life as a respected American patriot. Found a traitor who would give it away? Just threaten and maybe kill them. And if law enforcement got to too close to your secrets,…

Thoughts on this special day

Today, October 31, 2017, is a special day for me. For one, it's my birthday, and a very round one at that. (Thanks for all the good wishes!) But also, 500 years ago today, an obscure cleric nailed some highly provocative statements on the door of a church in an obscure town, an act --…