Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Small Bits: Alex Haislip, Chinese Censorship, TSA Xrays

  • Alex Haislip is blogging up a storm at VC Action. I love journalist bloggers; there’s so much interesting backstory that they talk about. And working at Red Herring, Alex has more dirt than he could dish and stay in business. 😉
  • Curt Hopkins points to a fascinating story about the folks who run the great firewall of China, translated from Chinese. I was going to comment on it, but Rebecca MacKinnon comes along and says not only what I was thinking, but a whole lot more, and more insightfully:

    But as with many Chinese news stories, the conclusion is less interesting than the debate raging within the body of the article. And what the article reveals is that there is a lot of pushing back and forth amongst the various players when it comes to the future of Chinese cyberspace. Internet entrepreneurs like the CEO of Fang Xingdong come out against proposals that Chinese internet users must register their real idenities at all times. The internet portal sites conducted surveys showing that their customers (not surprisingly) favor online anonymity…

  • Bruce Schneier points to new research that may obviate any justification for the TSA to look through your clothes:

    Here’s a piece of interesting research out of Ohio State: it’s a passive sensor that could be cheaper, better, and less intrusive than technologies like backscatter X-rays:

    “Unlike X-ray machines or radar instruments, the sensor doesn’t have to generate a signal to detect objects ¬ it spots them based on how brightly they reflect the natural radiation that is all around us every day.”

    “It’s basically just a really bad tunnel diode,” he explained. “I thought, heck, we can make a bad diode! We made lots of them back when we were figuring out how to make good ones.”