More privacy with DNS over HTTPS


More privacy with DNS over HTTPS

As Cloudflare announced their 1.1.1.1 DNS service yesterday, I decided to give it a try. There are two reasons for that: They promise not to log your requests and it seems that it is the fastest DNS service available (another source).

When you visit any website, even though it is encrypted, the name of the server usually goes unencrypted and everyone (your ISP, the free wifi provider like the cafeteria you are in, etc.) sees the domain name.

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Positive libertarianism: beyond hating the state (from HCPP17)

Most libertarians will go through several phases. Seeing the inefficiency or injustice of the state is one of them. I want to suggest that there is another phase: Taking your liberty into your own hands. Hate taxes? Go to tax haven! Don’t like public schools? Unschool your kids. Do you want banking privacy? Cryptos! Don’t like traditional models of relationships? Invent and build your own.

This is a talk from HCPP 2017 about how to get your freedom – here and now.

Crypto is an alien planet to Wall Street


Crypto is an alien planet to Wall Street

I was thinking about the relationship between traditional financial system and the parallel crypto world, about hard forks and the fight between big blockers, bigger blockers and core.

I find all this completely funny, but in a totally different way than most people. If you look at traditional finance (gonna call them Wall Street), they are sometimes jerks in private (famous recording from a private bank meeting), but they would not normally tell anyone to eat shit at a conference or start a twitter flame-war (except for Nassim Nicholas Taleb, but he is almost always right).

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Detokenizing cryptos


Detokenizing cryptos

With the recent Initial Coin Offering (ICO) craze, one cannot stop thinking if all those tokens are really required for the applications or if it’s just a way to raise capital (crowdfund).

While I appreaciate new ways of funding Internet protocols and decentralized applications, there are drawback of doing it this way, one of the main drawbacks is increased transaction costs, especially if the tokens don’t come with their own network. Also, if the software is open-source, what blocks people from taking the code and just removing the token and either getting rid of it completely or just replacing it with the network’s native currency (like Ethereum or Bitcoin, depending on the underlying network).

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Blockchains and network effects


Blockchains and network effects

An insight that is important in relation to recent talks about hard forks:

Blockchain creates a shared view of one history (or reality) among the participants who enforce the same set of rules.

Also, with the recent talks about scammy ICOs and whitepaper-backed shitcoins, remember Metcalfe’s and Reed’s laws (the value of network is either proportional to n^2 or 2^n, n being the number of nodes in the network. The difference is that Reed’s law includes groups of people who make connections among themselves, simply put, for more info see Wikipedia).

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Liberty is a DIY project

A recording from my HCPP 2016 talk. In previous years I had a talk about why I think Liberty is a DIY project – that it’s a personal responsibility of each and every one of us. Then I had two presentations about hacking the biology of our bodies and brain. This talk is continuation of all this work – how does liberty tie to our health, mental and physical performance? What are some of the best hacks to be more free, improve your brain and bodily function?

Slides are also available

Make sure to come to Liberate! – Hackers Congress Paralelní Polis in Prague, I have something even more epic and you wouldn’t believe what kind of speakers will be there. This is for me the best conference there is with no close second.

Secure communication and the CIA

The eye of our Big brother is spying on us all. Edward Snowden revelations have taught us that there is no place to hide. However, we can protect our communication by using a bunch of tools and apps. Come and start using them right away!

This was a little bit of “improv” part of LibertyCon Prague 2017, where Institute of Cryptoanarchy in Paralelni Polis organized a half-secret (meaning some were not part of the official program) track of talks :).

The co-author of the slides and talk is Pavol Luptak.

Slides are available…

Bitcoin as a store of value

A little bit more “technical” talk about using Bitcoin as a store of value, not as a transactional system. Does the value of Bitcoin in terms of state currencies actually have to be stable and/or not volatile?

Is there a market in storing wealth in cryptocurrencies? Should all people save in one currency?

This was a little bit of “improv” part of LibertyCon Prague 2017, where Institute of Cryptoanarchy in Paralelni Polis organized a half-secret (meaning some were not part of the official program) track of talks :).

Slides are available…

On tourists and astronauts


On tourists and astronauts

“Have you ever tried not being a tourist when you travel?”, asked my friend. He meant not checking into a hotel, but living where the locals live, buying groceries where locals buy groceries, cooking food and doing your day to day business. We had an interesting conversation that evolved from a question I used to ask a lot in the past year, after the sadly violent events in Ukraine unfolded (Ukraine borders with the country I live in – Slovakia). The question is: “If your country started to turn into chaos, with tanks and bullets possibly flying around, how would you know it is the right time to leave and where would you go?”. My thoughts were about Asia, somewhere far from the chaos, other people say Great Britain or Canada. This friend was different. “You know, when I was younger, I thought I was a world citizen, a perpetual traveler. But have you ever tried not being a tourist when you travel? Imagine there is a dispute, you don’t know anyone, you don’t know local customs, laws, you are going to lose even if justice is on your side. I would go to the countryside in my country, as close to my current home as is safe, I want to be able to return at a moment’s notice. I want to be close to the people I know and speak the language, understand the customs and have something familiar.”

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