You gotta keep the devil, way down in the hole.
-Tom Waits, Frank’s Wild Years
When I was a wee lad, I remember World News anchors ceaselessly reporting on the escape of Pablo Escobar, the infamous drug lord of Columbia’s Medellin Cartel. When Colombian task force soldiers stormed his custom-made prison “La Catedral,” Pablo and his brother Roberto escaped through a tunnel system. It was a humiliating failure for the Colombian government to absorb, highlighted by the fact that a low-tech hand-dug tunnel defeated all the whizbang security technology and tactics available in 1992.
You may have already seen this article’s companion piece, “When Harm Reduction is a Crime: Tobacco, E-Cigarettes, and the World’s Most Unnecessary Black Market”. That piece describes the potential for an emerging black market in DIY tobacco, nicotine, and vaping products in jurisdictions that try to ban or heavily control them.
2-Part Longform Special Feature! (Part 2 here)- By Mark
This website is (loosely) themed around “Security and the 4th Industrial Revolution.” We write about mind-blowing things technology increasingly empowers people to build, make, and do for good or ill. We talk about post-industrial technology’s applications for terrorism, weapons, smuggling, drugs, war, crime, and all kinds of dark shit. We also cover beneficial stuff people are doing with the same technologies and freedoms to innovate. We cover these issues because they’re interesting, and because they force us to reconsider many traditional assumptions about how policy and government are supposed to work. We also cover them because they’re important: people live and die, and liberty is protected or undermined, by our decisions on new technologies.
But today let’s forget about guns, terrorism, masks that fool facial recognition, counterfeit art, fake drug-testing dongs, cartel tunnels, and narco-submarines. Let’s forget about those things because compared to today’s topic, they barely rate. That’s right. Almost everything we get worked up about as a society is, in pure scale of mortality, bullshit compared to this. Continue reading
“Nine-tenths of our crimes an’ calamities are made possible by th’ automobile. It has unleashed all th’ pent-up criminal tendencies o’ th’ ages.” -Kin Hubbard[i]
So we’ve talked about a few of the weird, wild, easy, and totally predictable ways cars can be physically weaponized. Pretty much anybody can slap a battering ram or some armor on a wheeled or tracked vehicle. This isn’t a problem that’s going to be solved by banning stuff because A) it’s ridiculously easy to do, and B) most of the materials can’t be banned.
Well folks, we’ve already talked a bit about some ways various artisanal and digitally-printed masks and other costume stuff can fool facial recognition. (And even eyewitness recognition, if it’s done well enough…). Now, some intrepid tech researchers have demonstrated that you might not even need to get so fancy to beat some common state-of-the-art facial recognition software. Continue reading
****Be advised that some links in this article go directly to the Whizzinator and its competitors. These links may involve graphic photos of fake dongs, thereby rendering them NSFW****
On December 2, 2013, Mike Tyson was interviewed by Chelsea Handler on her TV show ‘Chelsea Lately’ for his newly released novel “Undisputed Truth” where he discussed marijuana use during his fighting days, and his techniques for getting around drug testing. The interview included this exchange:
Fezzik: Why are you wearing a mask? Were you burned by acid or something like that?
Man in Black: Oh, no, it’s just they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future
The Princess Bride, William Goldman 1987
What’s in a face? These days, a lot.