A small premium beef producer in northern New South Wales gives a hint of what the dawning age of mass customisation might look like. Cows with Bitcoin.
The Full Tilt
Stilgherrian delivers an undiluted dose of criticism and analysis of the ways digital technology is changing our world and the spin that goes with it.
Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit trap, clear a jam in an IBM model 026 card punch and mix a mean whiskey sour.
The currency of the web is its own users' privacy, and we spend it like water. But the NSA revelations and other privacy concerns could turn the tide.
The Coalition may have published an in-device internet filter policy 'by mistake', but it's still portraying the internet as a danger to children. Watch it. Watch it closely.
Spearphishing attacks are cheap and will continue to be effective unless organisations — and those they deal with — develop a security culture.
Android can present security risks, says the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security. But that's been true for years, and core industry attitude problems still need fixing.
If you thought fake Facebook fans and Twitter clonebots were the hot, dirty new election tactics, just wait for when politicians catch up with this century's technology.
Lavabit and Silent Circle's secure email services have been shut down as part of a generational-scale anti-surveillance pushback, but only US and UK agencies are under the microscope. Why not Australia?
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has sponsored a political analysis tool that gathers information about your political beliefs and sends it — where, exactly?
The NSA surveillance scandal and the passing of hacker Barnaby Jack are both reminders that the label "geek" has been hijacked by vast dull herds of consumer wannabes.
As brokers of reliable information about the scale of online crime and espionage, most information security vendors would make great used car salesmen. McAfee's latest research finally takes the right path.
Did Microsoft's "reasonable assistance" go too far, becoming an NSA branch office and betraying their customers? What about other service providers?
Can risk-averse government agencies and a tendency to fall for the sunk cost fallacy ever deliver forward-looking applications?
Whether it's the Coalition's Malcolm Turnbull or Labor's candidate, any future communications minister faces the same long-term issues — and geek lobbyists must learn to deploy better skills.
The attorney-general doesn't know what 'online' means. His opposite number is a parrot. When it comes to Australian citizens' online rights, you can forget about meaningful debate.
Why do we trust Google, Facebook, and other commercial operations to compile vast amounts of personal data, yet fear the NSA doing the same?