Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
As of this month, 567 relays from our 2014 Tor Challenge are still up and running—more than were established during the entire inaugural Tor Challenge back in 2011. To put that number in perspective, these nodes represent more than 8.5% of the roughly 6,500 public relays currently active on the entire Tor network, a system that supports more than 2-million directly connecting clients worldwide.
Tor is a tool that protects privacy on the Internet by routing web traffic through a series of nodes, or “relays,” creating a network of servers that act as way stations on data’s journey from point A to point B. By providing an indirect, randomized path for Web traffic, the Tor network divorces the user’s IP address (and therefore their location) from the content they are viewing. Picture a kid passing notes in class through a random series of students, as opposed to a letter sent straight to its destination: traffic routed through Tor isn’t stamped with a return address and is difficult to trace back to its sender if it’s intercepted.
The more relays present in the Tor network, the better traffic will be disguised as it travels through that network. This service has helped to ensure anonymity for whistleblowers and journalists handling sensitive information, domestic abuse survivors whose safety might be compromised by revealing their whereabouts, citizens of countries that actively censor the Internet, and others who don’t want to be tracked or traced online.
The 2014 Tor Challenge campaigned to strengthen the Tor network by encouraging people to set up new Tor nodes. We joined forces with the Free Software Foundation, Freedom of the Press Foundation, and the Tor Project, ultimately inspiring the creation of more than 1,600 new relays over a period of three months.
We extend our thanks and congratulations to the individuals behind the 567 relays still active more than a year after the Tor Challenge’s conclusion.
As promised, we’re celebrating these privacy guardians with limited-edition t-shirts and stickers. If you see someone sporting one of these, you can thank them for helping to protect privacy on the Internet:
And here are the stickers that folks who still have Tor nodes up will be receiving:
Inspired to use the Tor network? You can download and install the Tor Browser Bundle, which includes the Tor browser itself and the software needed to run it, through our handy Surveillance Self-Defense guide. The guide also has plenty of other useful information on protecting your data, secure deletion, safely attending protests, and more. Even if you’re not worried about anonymizing your own online activity, you can still set up your own Tor relay to make everyone on the network—including some of the Internet’s most vulnerable users—a little safer.Related Issues: Privacy
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The state Assembly overwhelmingly approved the California Racial Mascots Act in May, about a month before the Obama administration went on record telling the Washington Redskins that they would have to change their name before they would be allowed to move to a stadium in Washington, D.C., from their current home in suburban Maryland.
In a joint statement with the nonprofit group Change the Mascot, the National Congress of American Indians praised California for "standing on the right side of history by bringing an end to the use of the demeaning and damaging R-word slur in the state's schools."
United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera made history when he became the first Latino named to the position. A son of Mexican migrant farm workers, Herrera has been celebrated for bringing energy, humor and emotion to work that captures the consciousness of a cross-section of America. In Part 2 of our conversation, Herrera discusses his book "187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border," the Chicano movement in the United States, and reads the poem "Almost Livin', Almost Dyin'" from his most recent book, "Notes on the Assemblage." The poem was dedicated to the memory of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
It is perhaps a sad testament to our disembodied lives that we need a deck of cards to coax us into interacting with strangers in meatspace, but that's exactly what Sneaky Cards: Play It Forward are designed to do. And they make their game of social interaction and random acts of kindness surprisingly fun.
Sneaky Cards began life in 2009 as a winning submission, by a 16-year-old kid, to a contest held by Boing Boing and the Institute for the Future. The game became a free online download. You printed and cut out your cards, then played them in the real world. The creator, Harry Lee, described the game as being about “creating fun and creative social interactions,” and for “breaking up the tedium of everyday life.”
This current commercial version, from the wonderful folks at Gamewright, sports all new card designs, new card “missions,” unique card-tracking numbers, and a website where you can register your cards and find out what becomes of them as they circulate. This “Play It Forward” version was designed by Cody Borst, with the blessing of Harry Lee.
The Play It Forward deck consists of 53 cards divided up into six different mission categories: Engage (tests of audacity), Connect (finding people and things), Grow (self-challenges and learning experiences), Surprise (hide things for discovery), Care (do-gooder tasks), and Create (socially shared art challenges). The cards come in a handsome and sturdy flip box with a magnetic catch. Each card has a unique ID. As does each deck. You register the deck and then each of the cards that you wish to play. When you play a registered card, say “Give this card to someone without them knowing it,” by sticking it in your friend Peter's jacket pocket, when he discovers it, he can go to the address on the card, enter the number, and see where the card came from. And if he wants, he can be alerted (along with me and anyone else who registers the tracking code) when the card travels to a new owner.
It's really surprisingly exciting when one of the cards gets “played.” You get an email alert and you can see its location and travel path on the card's unique webpage. I left “Hide this card where it can be found” in the creases of a newspaper box at 39th and Prince in Flushing, NY and one in the drawer of my hotel room in Flushing. I'm going to be particularly tickled if these two cards ever end up back on my Sneaky radar.
I really like this concept a lot and have already had some great interactions with the deck. For instance, I gave the smile card seen above to Nick Normal of Maker Media while we were on the dance floor of the World Maker Faire wrap party in NY. He passed it on to someone else that night and it's currently recovering from all of the excitement in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Hopefully the great smile exchange will begin again soon.
The one thing I don't like about the game is that (currently) the website only tracks card location. It would be great if there was a way of attaching photos and sharing anecdotes about each of the tracked cards. I tracked Where's George? dollar bills years ago, and it was so much fun to read about the bills that I found, not just see their circulation route.
This was one of those rare products where, as soon as I started interacting with it, I began to think of so many other people, especially creative and courageous teens, who might really be inspired by this deck. I've already begun buying copies for them. If you know a creative teen who might need just a tiny nudge outside of his or her social comfort zone, or a precocious teen in need of outlets for their rambunctious energy, play it forward and get them this deck.
Sneaky Cards: Play it Forward
by Indie Boards and Cards
Ages 10 and up, 1-5,000,000,000 players, 55 cards
Twitter account: https://twitter.com/PickCoin
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