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Flavour Notes: The Glass House Hack


#1

Just offering a slightly more lighthearted take on the event, to distract people from all the doom and gloom and offer some perspective!


#2

Interesting piece. I like your discussion of the speed that technology is moving in relation to SF. Charlie Stross indicated that he was going to stop working on the series that includes the book RULE 34 after he kept getting outpaced by the near future. (He would put things that didn’t exist yet in the book, and by the time they got published, those things did exist.)

One quibble - I don’t think you emphasize enough how different Schwartz’s act was from The Glass House. If he’d used a bot to scrape JSTOR and pull unlisted articles, that would be equivalent, but he used a valid account to access articles he was explicitly allowed to access.


#3

Well, Schwartz’s act was a selfless attempt to liberate publicly funded research from behind usurious paywalls, so it was different from what the SF boys did IN ALL SORTS OF WAYS! :smile: But yes, what you say is also true! I was just pointing out that neither Schwartz’s mass download nor the Great Glass House Scrape involved any actual security breaches - no passports brute-forced or anything like that. In Schwartz’s case because he had a legit account, in the other because those lists were shareable.


#4

I hadn’t heard that was the reason Stross stopped writing that series though! That’s a shame, really silly reason I think. I think that’s actually the hallmark of GOOD sci-fi (as I think comes out from my blog post).


#5

I hadn’t heard that was the reason Stross stopped writing that series though! That’s a shame, really silly reason I think. I think that’s actually the hallmark of GOOD sci-fi (as I think comes out from my blog post).

The story he tells about that is that he had one book where there was a pub in Edinburgh that was famous for having no cell signal at all. It was built into the side of a mountain. So he puts his character there, four or five years in the future. Then, a month before the book came out, he went for a drink and had several bars on his phone, and that was the breaking point.


#6

That’s funny, but also just plain silly! :smiley: