blog on these graphics for private browsing

How people use private browsing


Data Journalist David McCandless interview

Data Journalist David McCandless – Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media

Nice ID theft graphic

Identity Theft still a chief concern for the average Web user – Security

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One in five US Adults do not use the Internet

The Business Insider site recently posted the graphic below showing the reasons why people don’t use the Internet, with around one third simply saying that they are not interested. Note that 12% don’t have a computer. The data is taken from Pew’s latest research about American broadband, which shows that 1-in-5 US adults do not use the Internet.


Almost A Third Of U.S. Households Have Cut The Landline Cord

Another foreboding chart from Business Insider showing that US households are slowly but surely switching to pure mobile communications, with the annual substitution rate being about 5%. The graph below is based on data from a research report by Jason Bazinet, an analyst at Citi Investment.


100 Ways to Kill a Concept

A while back I made a post on “One Way Hash” Arguments, a term coined by Julian Sanchez in his excellent post on Climate Change and Argumentative Fallacies . The context of Sanchez’s post is a discussion about the difficulties of refuting false arguments concerning the state of climate change. From my post

Often business has the “snappy intuitively appealing arguments without obvious problems” – plus Excel – while if the security practitioner objects, then by contrast, the “rebuttal may require explaining a whole series of preliminary concepts before it’s really possible to explain why the talking point (i.e. business case) is wrong”. Snappy and plausible usually wins out over lengthy, detailed and correct. There is asymmetry at work here, a “one way hash” argument, and security people have ended up with the hard inversion problem.

So often security arguments are being shot down by business people. Michael Iva has a great presentation on the lines used to shoot down ideas, in fact 100 of them. I expect quite a few will be familiar to you.

Ten Reasons Why Conference Papers Should Be Abolished

There is an interesting 3-page paper from Donald Geman, a math professor at John Hopkins University, on   "Ten Reasons Why Conference Papers Should Be Abolished". He is basically arguing that there are not enough quality results to justify the number of possible conferences where research can be published. The whole publication cycle is being demeaned with poorer results receiving poorer reviews, for which there are fewer people with time to read the final outcomes. He even suggests to limit your lifetime publications to 25 or so in total.

There is certainly an arms race of sorts at work here. In The Crypto Year in Review from Bart Preneel (the year in question being 2009), Preneel observed that cryptographic research is alive and well, with over 600 papers published on the pre-print server of the IACR, amounting to over 10,000 pages of written research. The current count for 2010 is 450. And that is just cryptography (high math content), and the number of more general security papers will be much larger.