password security tools in an age of constant breaches

I keep a fairly close eye on Pindrop’s On the Wire and the Hacker News, which means I’m bombarded by a constant stream of news about hacks and exploits and data leaks.

I’m also lucky enough to get notified whenever one of them affects me, thanks to the Have I been pwned?, which crosschecks your email against the lists of any hacked credentials made public, then sends you a notification if your credentials were hacked, together with some minor details about what it means. It’s run in the guy’s free time, and if you use it, you can donate beer, movie tickets or a dinner with his wife to keep it going.

I have the above for my legacy accounts, but I also use Blur, which allows me to have Continue reading “password security tools in an age of constant breaches”


The Permanent Staycation

I just returned from the digital methods summer school (post forthcoming). It was the first time I’ve attended an international event for phd students, and in the inevitable dinners and drinks that followed long workshop days, I learned a lot about how phd programs differ. One thing that surprised me, was how consistently the most thoughtful and productive people seemed to describe the leisurely aspect of their work.

“It’s like an early retirement,” said one, which you get early and only once, so you might as well enjoy it. Continue reading “The Permanent Staycation”

Quick Note: Using the Rhetoric of Civic Tech

There’s a recurrent obsession with self-naming and differentiation in international thinking  about how technology can facilitate some kind of betterness (nice overviews here and here).

Part of this is likely about fashion, funding and social prominence, but there’s also legitimate concerns about how our labels impact “the field”’s popular salience or ability to learn.

For me, the greatest annoyance has always been finding the right term when writing stuff, a label that’s inclusive (“open government” excludes private sector campaigns), precise (“tech for social good” isn’t) and concise (“technology for transparency and accountability initiatives” doesn’t roll of the tongue or keyboard, and the acronym, well, acronyms often make me want to cry). Continue reading “Quick Note: Using the Rhetoric of Civic Tech”