Year in Review: My "AI Summer"

"AI winters" follow when the hype backing artificial intelligence yields to the disappointment. Typically the purveyors of AI technologies are then banished until the next spectacular advance in computing capacity. This is not a story about life during an AI winter. It is a story of my life in 2017, that could only be described as an AI Summer. But it didn't start out that way.

What follows is a partial retelling of my personal and professional pathway through the year.

more ...

Promising Autonomous Cars with Fixed Hardware

I recently test-drove a Tesla Model X, which was the first time I had ridden in an all-electric vehicle since my neighbor drove me around in his pre-production EV1 in the 90s. The Tesla experience cemented my view that the hype around electric vehicles is well-founded. However, a point of …

more ...



Color Selection "Game"

The Priv.ly Project's anti-spoofing glyph

When you visit a website that looks like your bank's, how do you know that you are actually talking to your bank and not a scammer impersonating your bank? Typically you will look at the address bar of the browser and compare it to the address you remember from the …

more ...



Compromising Combination Bike Locks

A Gigantic Bike lock in Burlington Vermont

A hazard of working in computer security is you see the world through a security-focused lens. Suddenly, mundane tasks transform into interesting intellectual challenges: "That card shuffle did not consume enough entropy!"..."Posting this online will open me up to social engineering!"..."People can learn my bike lock combination through …

more ...

Hacking a URL Shortener into a Comment System

Static HTML generators are fun to play with, but they (obviously) suffer from a lack of dynamic content. Today I experimented with using URL shorteners as a distributed hash table as a means of commenting on static sites.

After five hours of dealing with eccentricities of various URL shorteners, I …

more ...