How to bypass Mac OS X’s Gatekepeer and run arbitrary programs as a non-admin user

Gatekeeper is Apple’s name for a feature in Mac OS X that prevents a user from opening certain programs based on a few different security preferences. (Under the hood, it’s actually part of Mac OS X’s security assessment policy subsystem, which you can manipulate from the command line with the spctl command if you have …

“The right to be forgotten” is not a legitimate right, and actively promotes abuse at all levels of society

An excerpt from an email I’ve been writing: As for “the right to be forgotten,” I strongly disagree that this is important. First of all, no one has “the right” to be forgotten. The framing of this as a “right” is incredibly dangerous because it is by definition a way to describe other people’s memories …

No one understands what censorship even means, because they are being censored

I’ve been enjoying my brief but focused time in The Federation and away from corporate social media so far. (“The Federation” is what we nerds who love freedom and, by extension, free software, call the distributed social network outside corporate-controlled filter bubble prisons like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.) Oh sure, there’s the usual Internet asshole …

HowTo: Make an archival copy of every page, image, video, and audio file on an entire website using wget

I recently announced that my blog archives will no longer be publicly available for long: Let me repeat that: while I am still “on Tumblr” and so on for now, my archives will not remain available for very long. If you find something of mine useful, you will need to make a copy of it …

Diasposter is a WordPress-to-Diaspora crossposting plugin that looks so natural no one knows that you aren’t just posting from D*

I’ve written a new WordPress plugin called Diasposter that has some additional features which go beyond most other WordPress-to-Diaspora crossposting plugins. With Diasposter, you can: choose an aspect to share with, retract (remove) posts from Diaspora when they are deleted from your WordPress blog completely customize or omit the footer of your Diaspora post crosspost …

The mystery of the disappearing horizontal scrollbar

A classic exchange from the WordPress Support Forum for one of my plugins: Them: Hi, When I first installed this plugin, there was an automatic horizontal scrollbar so that users could move to see all of the columns. However, it has now disappeared which means one of the columns is not fully readable. Can you …

HowTo: Download movies, games, books, and other digital media freely and anonymously using BitTorrent with public proxies

Note: This guide assumes you never used BitTorrent before, and that you want to start learning about it with a safety focus from the outset, but it does assume you understand basic computer and Web lingo like “website address” and “downloading.” If you’re new to BitTorrent and don’t care about staying private, then LifeHacker’s “A …

How would you design an online social network that was hostile to abusers?

Everyone realizes that the Internet’s public squares have a harassment problem. No one seems to know what to do about it. I argue that’s because they don’t know how to think about online harassment and abuse—or even power, more generally. I argue that I do. But don’t take my word for it. Take my ideas, …

A case study in cyberbullying using Tumblr’s broken “Report Abuse” feature

Earlier this week, I wrote “Tumblr is not a safe place for me,” in which I make the claim that the “report abuse” feature on corporate-controlled social networks fundamentally empowers cyberbullies, not their targets. (Here’s an archived copy in case it gets taken down.) Predictably, I just received a vaguely threatening email from Tumblr Support …

“How I Explained Heartbleed To My Therapist”

This is an important post by Meredith L. Patterson: “Remember back around April or May, when you had to change your passwords on all the websites you use? Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, everywhere?” He nods, vigorously. “Do you remember hearing the word ‘Heartbleed’ back around then?” A blank look. Maybe I should have worn the T-shirt. …