tuesday linked list: why making guns harder to get will save lives, not publishing hacked emails, big sugar

I would have been a school shooter if I could’ve gotten a gun – a few things:
  – What a brave thing to write this!
  – This is an excellent counterargument to “If a person wants a gun, they’ll find a way to get one”. This is a pretty true statement, but shootings can happen in the heat of the moment where if the perpetrator didn’t have access to a gun there would be time for people to cool off. Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides – surely some of these people would reconsider if it were harder to get a gun!

The case for not publishing hacked emails – this is a good case but it’s hard to see something like this happening.

Big Sugar Versus Your Body – yeah, sugar is bad. I’ve had some luck cutting down my soda intake, but I’m still bad about snacking. See also Why the British soda tax might work better than any of the soda taxes that came before which is encouraging companies to reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks!

Facebook Container Extension: Take control of how you’re being tracked – hey, this is cool! I think I already get a lot of this from Privacy Badger, but I installed it just the same.

Scott Kelly’s medical monitoring has spawned some horrific press coverage – indeed, I fell for this.

How We Reverse Engineered the Cuban “Sonic Weapon” Attack – neat!

– If you’re in the mood to read about early video games, check out The Game of Everything, Part 1: Making Civilization and MicroProse’s Simulation-Industrial Complex (or, The Ballad of Sid and Wild Bill). I found this part interesting:

On the heels of this, MicroProse’s first real exposure outside the Baltimore area, Stealey took to calling computer stores all over the country, posing as a customer looking for Hellcat Ace. When they said they didn’t carry it, he would berate them in no uncertain terms and announce that he’d be taking his business to a competitor who did carry the game. After doing this a few times to a single store, he’d call again as himself: “Hello, this is John Stealey. I’m from MicroProse. I’d like to sell you Hellcat Ace.” The hapless proprietor on the other end of the line would breathe a sign of relief, saying how “we’ve been getting all kinds of phone calls for that game.” And just like that, MicroProse would be in another shop.

I’ve seen stories like this around lots of tech startups these days – they’ll create “fake” users to make their site not look like a ghost town, etc. This sure seems unethical to me…

– Also video game-related, see Valley Forged: How One Man Made the Indie Video Game Sensation Stardew Valley. I haven’t played but some people seem really into it…

Spending Bill Protects Tipped Workers From Sharing With The Boss – yay!

This City Just Passed the First Bitcoin Mining Ban in the US – hey, my grandparents used to live in Plattsburgh! I didn’t realize it had such cheap power…

Reddit and the Struggle to Detoxify the Internet – good long article from the New Yorker.

Reporter’s Notebook: The Tale Of Theranos And The Mysterious Fire Alarm – hah! It sounds like a conspiracy theory…but also likely true.

Every decision my kids made me make in one day – this is my future! (for me, one of the consequences of being tired is that I find it very hard to make decisions…)

3 thoughts on “tuesday linked list: why making guns harder to get will save lives, not publishing hacked emails, big sugar”

  1. I am not sure how much time we should spend on gun control because I think the home manufacturing tech is advancing so quickly that I expect anyone will be able to 3D print their own guns, including assault weapons, within 10 years. The plans already exist for small hand guns, and there’s assault weapon designs that do not require milling already. Given that, any gun control victories will be short lived — those who want a gun will be able to get one, I suspect. So while I support the push for some reasonable gun regulations, I’m also looking out a few years and asking myself, “Assume all bad actors have full access to all the weapons they want. How do we design society to react then???” I don’t have good answers yet.


      1. I’m terribly afraid it involves either deeply invasive monitoring of all private spaces or more militant drones and an ongoing weapons escalation. Or both. Privacy, Security, Freedom: pick two. Traditionally, US has advocated for Freedom and Privacy, but as technology increases the reach of an individual bad actor, that becomes less tenable.


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