Hey, you should hire me.

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

DNSChain Update

DNSChain has finally abandoned their original security model in favor of the one Namecoin developers had been requesting since Greg Slepak (DNSChain lead developer) first brought the project to our attention.   In anticipation of a crowdfunding campaign, the author asked me to update my previous blog posts.  DNSChain is much better now, but I still have my reservations … and you should too. (more…)

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Namecoin: A Decentralized Trusted Base

Introduction I’ve been thinking a lot about transport-dependent DNS settings (BIND, http, tor, and i2p) and the architecture the original Domain Name System and applied encryption. After long talks with Ryan-C and Mark of EasyDNS, I believe we need to recast Namecoin’s purpose as a decentralized trusted base which offers secure delegation, not as a generic key->value datastore. A Trusted Base The real innovation offered by the blockchain is the ability to have trusted transactions between untrusted parties. Public-key cryptography

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DNSChain vs Real Interop

In the dustup generated in my article on DNSChain’s broken security model, some argued that there is a need for a trusted solution. I agree with this, my criticisms of DNSChain are that it misrepresents its security model and introduces the worst kind of third party trust without any gains in usability or interoperability. I’m working on a more secure trusted server solution that provides backward compatibility with the existing domain name system. (more…)

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The Road to Universal .p2p Resolution

I came to BitShares with the express purpose of convincing them to reinvigorate their .p2p efforts.  Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the .p2p initiative had fizzled not due to lack of interest but of bandwidth.  The core development team liked my overall plan and I would like to present my roadmap for making .p2p a reality for the BitShares community. (more…)

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DNSChain Routers: Still Broken

Since my original critique, DNSChain has moved to claiming that their client/server model does not rely on third party trust because they think that they can get Namecoin installed into home routers and personal PlugPCs which “everyone” will configure their clients to connect back to.  This is infeasible and unnecessarily ties their security model to a regressive form of third party trust. (more…)

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DNSChain Considered Harmful

DNSChain is a DNS server that uses Namecoin as a backend, but compromises Namecoin’s security without any improvements to usability or legacy interoperability.  However, DNSChain’s faulty and grandiose claims have led to a frightening degree of interest and adoption.  The Namecoin blog is not the place to engage misguided projects but, as an official Namecoin developer, I feel compelled to speak out. (more…)

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TPP IP Chapter Primer

Characterizations of the intellectual property chapter of the TPP ranges from “SOPA on steroids” to “DMCA++“.  As someone who is building a blacklist resistant infrastructure, I needed to know the details so I treated it like a patent application and rewrote it. Updated 2014-12-16: it’s actually much worse than I thought. (more…)

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Understanding Snowden

After hearing about my background in political psychology, I was recently asked what we can do to make people care about what the NSA abuses.  I cannot remember the lame answer I offered, but I have been turning the question over in my mind for the past two weeks. (more…)

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