Pol chat line

This is because all computers are reliably this bad: the ones inhospitals and governments and banks, the ones in your phone, the ones that control light switches and smart meters and air traffic control systems.Industrial computers that maintain infrastructure and manufacturing are even worse.Let’s take an example computer experts like to stare down their noses at normal people for not using: OTR.OTR, or Off The Record messaging, sneaks a layer of encryption inside normal plain text instant messaging.“But, Quinn,” I can hear you say, “If no one knows about them how do you know I have them?” Because even okay software has to work with terrible software.In the end he said he threw the hard drive into a bonfire. It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire. For a bunch of us, especially those who had followed security and the warrantless wiretapping cases, the revelations weren’t big surprises.

All of that has to happen nearly simultaneously and smoothly, or you throw a hissy fit because the shopping cart forgot about your movie tickets.

Written by people with either no time or no money, most software gets shipped the moment it works well enough to let someone go home and see their family. Software is so bad because it’s so complex, and because it’s trying to talk to other programs on the same computer, or over connections to other computers.

Even your computer is kind of more than one computer, boxes within boxes, and each one of those computers is full of little programs trying to coordinate their actions and talk to each other.

For those of you who don’t know, a ping is just about the smallest request you can send to another computer on the network. Computer experts like to pretend they use a whole different, more awesome class of software that they understand, that is made of shiny mathematical perfection and whose interfaces happen to have been shat out of the business end of a choleric donkey. The main form of security this offers is through obscurity — so few people can use this software that there’s no point in building tools to attack it.

Unless, like the NSA, you want to take over sysadmins.

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