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We need more Old Internet Proverbs.







Brian Eno on walking away from successes






Commercial security is a matter of solving the practical problems of business relationships such as privacy, integrity, protecting property, or detecting breach of contract. A security hole is any weakness that increases the risk of violating these goals. In this real world view of security, a problem does not dissapear because a designer assumes it away. The invocation or assumption in a security protocol design of a “trusted third party” (TTP) or a “trusted computing base” (TCB) controlled by a third party constitutes the introduction of a security hole into that design. The security hole will then need to be plugged by other means.

If the risks and costs of TTP institutional alternatives were not accounted for in the protocol design, the resulting protocol will in most cases be too costly or risky to be practical.

If the protocol beats these odds and proves practical, it will only succeed after extensive effort has gone into plugging the TTP security hole(s). TTP assumptions cause most of the costs and risks in a security protocol, and plugging TTP security holes produces the most benefit and profit.

Trusted Third Parties Are Security Holes by Nick Szabo (4269 words).


In our model of the space of all curves, polygons typically lie at the opposite end of the spectrum from handwriting. This clear separation means our polygon detection is reliable enough that the engine can make a clear decision whether a stroke is a shape or not. As described above, if a stroke is recognized to be close enough to any of these regularized shapes, it is corrected towards that shape. If it appears to be polygonal, but the sides don’t seem to be one of our recognized classes, then the sides are simply straightened out between the corners. Even though recognition is unambiguous, the cleanup considers intent by looking at how neatly and carefully the shape was drawn. This way, the correction feels more like nudging a stroke into a shape and less like gesture-based shape creation.

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Each approach revealed its strengths and weaknesses in terms of what it communicates to the user, allowing us to define and fine tune the personality of the tool. Should it be assertive or suggestive? Flexible or opinionated? Ideally just the right amount of each, matching the user’s intent.

Prototypes are also handy for user testing. Instead of handing our testers a Keynote presentation and asking them to “imagine if this was real,” we gave them actual working software, rendering the tests more accurate and valuable.

The Intention Behind Think Kit by Nameless Corporate PR Goon Unwilling to Take Credit (3365 words).