(Roughly) Daily

“Certainly it constitutes bad news when the people who agree with you are buggier than batshit”*…

 

The NSA’s 2007 internal manual for research on the Internet is, well… mesmerizingly odd.  On it’s way to a Dungeons-and-Dragons-as-reported-by-an-undergraduate-Classics-major-like depiction of life online, it cites Borges, Freud, and Ovid – and that’s just the preface…

The NSA has a well-earned reputation for being one of the tougher agencies to get records out of, making those rare FOIA wins all the sweeter. In the case of Untangling the Web, the agency’s 2007 guide to internet research, the fact that the records in question just so happen to be absolutely insane are just icing on the cake – or as the guide would put it, “the nectar on the ambrosia.”…

More of the backstory at “The NSA’s guide to the internet is the weirdest thing you’ll read today“; browse through the text in its extraordinary entirety here.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will guard the guards themselves?, or more familiarly, who will watch the watchers?)

– Juvenal

* Philip K. Dick

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As we limber up our gaming fingers, we might recall this is an important anniversary in the pre-history of the Internet:  on this date in 1837, Charles Wheatstone and William Fothergill Cooke patented the electric “Five Needle Telegraph” in London (U.K. No. 7390).  They were subsequently granted a patent in the U.S. 10 days before Samuel Morse received his, but Morse was given priority by the U.S. PTO as the first inventor.  Nonetheless, Wheatstone and Cooke had priority in the U.K.; their system served British railways, press, and law enforcement for decades, first as the service of an independent company, then as a nationalized part of the General Post Office.

Wheatstone (left) and Cooke

source

 

Written by LW

June 10, 2016 at 1:01 am

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