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Why computer security is crumbling: Best of the Web

Bronwen Clune /

Computer security is broken: Computers, and computing, are broken, writes Quinn Norton on Medium.

The reality is, says Norton, there is no security online. None.

“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. The number of people whose job it is to make software secure can practically fit in a large bar, and I’ve watched them drink. It’s not comforting. It isn’t a matter of if you get owned, only a matter of when.”

The inside story of Oculus Rift: “As he flew from Orange County to Seattle in September 2013, Brendan Iribe, the CEO of Oculus, couldn’t envision what the next six months would bring. The rhapsodic crowds at the Consumer Electronics Show. The around-the-block lines at South by Southwest.”

Founded by a Californian teenager, bought by Facebook for $2bn, Oculus seems to have cracked the 30-year-old challenge of virtual reality. This Wired piece has the full story of how Oculus Rift came to be and its “mind-blowing” headsets that use 360-degree visuals and stereoscopic 3D to “hack your visual cortex … As far as your brain is concerned, there’s no difference between experiencing something on the Rift and experiencing it in the real world”.

Darkcoin is booming: Someone out there likes anonymous money.”

Only just heard about Bitcoin? According to Wired, Darkcoin may be the one to watch.  

“In only a month, the little-known bitcoin alternative known as Darkcoin has rocketed nearly tenfold in value – from around 75 cents a coin to almost seven dollars. Its selling point: Darkcoin offers far greater anonymity than bitcoin, mixing up users’ transactions so that it’s incredibly difficult to trace a payment to a person.”

“And though few have yet to accept that more-anonymous coin for actual goods and services, the promise of Darkcoin’s privacy features seems to have sparked a miniature boom. It’s one of the fastest growing among the wave of cryptocurrencies that’s followed bitcoin’s success, with the total value of its combined coins topping out at nearly $30 million.”

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Bronwen Clune

Bronwen has extensive experience in startups having run her own, worked at Australia’s leading startup incubator and as digital director at a local VC fund. She’s the vice-president of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation with a keen interest in digital media and the future of journalism. She has over 15 years experience as a journalist and is also a popular columnist with The Guardian.

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