Four short links: 25 July 2019

Mutable Web, Re-Identification, Rule-Based Programming, and Risks of Government Hacking

By Nat Torkington
July 25, 2019
Four Short Links
  1. The Mutable Web — rewriting Twitter’s web styling is hard but not impossible, and makes the author mull on the value of the mutable web. Transparency and introspection are fundamental to the way the web works and obfuscation, intentional or not, can’t really change that.
  2. Estimating the Success o Re-Identifications in Incomplete Datasets Using Generative Models (Nature) — Using our model, we find that 99.98% of Americans would be correctly re-identified in any dataset using 15 demographic attributes. Reminds me of the finding (claim?) that it only takes 8 (12? citation needed) words to uniquely identify a text.
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  4. Picata simple, and yet powerful, logic-based multi-paradigm programming language aimed for general-purpose applications. Picat is a rule-based language, in which predicates, functions, and actors are defined with pattern-matching rules. Interesting take on a language, which made more sense after I read this Hacker News comment.
  5. Security Risks of Government Hacking (Stanford Cyberlaw) — This paper addresses six main ways that government hacking can raise broader computer security risks. These include: Creating a disincentive to disclose vulnerabilities that should be disclosed because other attackers might independently discover them; Cultivating a market for surveillance tools and 0-days; Risking that vulnerabilities exploited by the malware will be identified and used by other attackers, as a result of either law enforcement’s losing control of the hacking tools, or discovery by outsiders of law enforcement’s hacking activity; Creating an incentive to push for less-secure software and standards; and Risking that the malware will affect innocent users.
Post topics: Four Short Links