Hey, you should hire me.

Hi, I'm Zach, a full-stack usability engineer.

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Warrant Canary #1

Running infrastructure and doing security research makes you paranoid: when you know something that could cause millions or billions of dollars in damages, it’s inevitable that you go a little nuts with the tin-foil.  However, I’ve been toying with some ideas and I think it’s time for me to suit up with some aluminum foil and post warrant canaries. (more…)

Interarchy: A Love Letter

I’ve always thought of Interarchy as the hacker’s FTP client. It has serious street cred, it’s written in Haskell and it started out life as the “Anarchie” FTP client.  However, after becoming a core-contributor to Namecoin, I find myself stopping short of endorsing it as the hacker’s FTP client of choice: Interarchy is not open source. (more…)

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Escaping Callback Hell

JavaScript’s nested callback style is often derided for being unmaintainable due to callback hell. I’ve been to callback hell and back only to find callback hell is just a local nick-name for a well-known circle of programmer hell, one that has little to do with JavaScript’s callbacks. (more…)

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Spooky Trolls

A lot of the objections I hear about Snowden’s disclosures regarding the NSA center around “Who get’s to decide what to make public?” Well, it certainly shouldn’t be any of the top NSA leadership, the White House, or the Congressional committees who “oversee” the NSA.  Whatever wrongs Snowden is guilty of, they pale in comparison to the trampling of our rights to free speech, privacy, and freedom from unfounded persecution. He deserves the medal of freedom. It doesn’t surprise me

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coop.js

Speech.is fundamentally relies on creating a seamless user experience, they cannot know that the website they are visiting is actually tucked away within an iFrame.  The problem with this is that browser vendors do not want users to have their browsing sessions hijacked by websites masquerading as other websites.  Thus communication between parent windows and their child frames are carefully prescribed around what is known as the same-origin policy.  The same origin policy prohibits communication between website addresses of different

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Last Mile

The “last mile” is always the most difficult for me:  dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s has never been a strength of mine, literally and figuratively.  However, ease of administration and security are both crucial for adoptions by others and I must get both straightened out before the soft launch of Speech.is. Earlier this week I spent my time breaking down the install of Speech.js into manageable parts and putting polish on the install process.  I pulled the finished,

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Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

The problem with current “physical” Bitcoins systems is that their production cost scales at upfrontCost + btcValue x rawMaterialsCost x coins while the attack cost is only upfrontCost + rawMaterialsCost x coins.  Storing a physical one-way hash of the individual coins on Namecoin would make such coins “counterfeit-proof” in that the attack cost scales at some multiple of the reproduction cost of the physical one-way hash.  This is a major breakthrough for both Bitcoin and traditional currencies. (more…)

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Safeplug is Not Safe

The importance of my personal security has increased in line with my involvement within Namecoin and as head of Speech.is.  Lots of money and secrets could be gleaned from compromising my systems. My laptop is the workhorse for all of my personal and professional  activities and segregating my administrative functions would be very complex and less secure than I would like. Over the winter break I looked over my options and settled on using a Chromebook and an NFC implant

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On Domain Name Squatters

Domain name squatting has become an overriding point when discussing Namecoin.  After a tumultuous early life, many important domains (including namecoin.bit) were lost to squatters.  How to combat such pollution has been hotly debated.  However, I would like to outline the simple mechanics underlying all solutions to domain name squatting. (more…)

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