242: TZ Discussion – How the NSA Broke the Internet

Justin and Jason discuss the Uber wedding that Jason and Sandy attended over the weekend, their two female listeners, how the most recent Pluggio deal fell through and why Justin has decided to take Pluggio off the market for the time being, what needs to happen in order for AnyFu to succeed, possible plans for Catalyst, how Colby is reading Ender’s Game and why Justin wishes the technology in Asimov’s Foundation Series actually existed, whether physical immortality is achievable and why Jason believes that cryonics is the ultimate Hail Mary pass, how Simon Holmes increased his luck surface area and the book that resulted, why memories are inherently unreliable, how they’re formed and how they can be hacked, Jason’s benchmarking experiments using Node.js with MySQL, CouchDB and RethinkDBhow Miley Cyrus hacked the presshow LinkedIn tried using HTML5 for their mobile app but then changed back to native, Jason’s frustration with getting Titanium to work correctly for Android and why Justin chose to build the Digedu mobile app using HTML5 and PhoneGap, Gmail’s annoying new policy for dealing with email forwarders, how the NSA has broken or subverted the majority of the Internet’s encryption algorithms and security protocols and Bruce Schneier’s call to armsthe twisting of truth about the chemical weapons attack in Syria, the missing evidence, and the rationalizations for a US led response, who’s going to man the Digedu ship while Justin is on his upcoming vacation, a recent technology headache with the updater code, and their recently hired front-end developer.

  1. Long time, no comment but still enjoying every episode. 🙂

    I still find the AnyFu idea great – so, out of curiosity I decided to expand the placeholder page on the wiki: http://techzingwiki.com/doku.php?id=anyfu.
    I was surprised to find that the first show you discussed AnyFu was #86 back in November 2010! Wow – how time flies!

    I recommend that newer listeners go back and listen to some of the early shows on AnyFu as there was some really interesting topics like:
    – branding
    – UI storyboarding
    – differences in development styles
    – business and legal aspects
    – how to handle payment transactions
    – recruiting the first experts
    – debriefing on the first sessions
    – customer developement
    I hope this will incite one of our more business-oriented listeners (“hustlers”) to partner with you. 🙂

  2. Richard says:

    Another great episode, starting with AnyFu and Pluggio updates feels like rewinding a year 🙂

    I also really like the AnyFu idea so hope you find a listener or someone else to manage it. It could work out really well and get Jason and Justin more motivated by the idea again. It would be interesting to hear on the show how this goes.

    If each of the experts is a marketing channel in their own right it doesn’t matter too much if you have complete coverage of skills, the experts just need the tools (embeddable ‘book a session’ widgets, etc) and motivation to encourage people to book sessions.

  3. Craig says:

    What happened at 12:13? It sounds like Justin unplugged his microphone and started practising guitar for 20 seconds.

  4. Fact Checking Pedant says:

    The change in hair color occurs when melanin ceases to be produced in the hair root and new hairs grow in without pigment. The stem cells at the base of hair follicles produce melanocytes, the cells that produce and store pigment in hair and skin. The death of the melanocyte stem cells causes the onset of graying.

  5. Rdbhost says:

    Do you have success stories for AnyFu to share?

    A link:anyfu.com Google search finds inbound links from codusoperandi.com and techzinglive.com . (Does Justin even link to it from his own sites?)

    The experts, themselves, are not even linking to it; since most of them blog, the link aridity suggests they are not getting anything from it. No?

    Do they have alternate service sales channels as convenient as AnyFu? As Richard suggested, getting the experts to promote you would be useful.

  6. Aaron says:

    I would totally jump at the chance to join AnyFu if I thought that my skill set would be useful. I think it’s a great approach to a real need.

    It’s actually been a little frustrating listening to the show for the past couple of years because I’ve really been rooting for AnyFu to take off, but as time goes on you seem to drift further away from it.

  7. Jason, what type of client are you using for doing the inserts to CouchDB? I haven’t tried Couch, but I can actually get get about 3500 inserts per second on Mongo on my local machine without doing the bulk load thing. I have heard of some people getting up closer to 20K on production servers.

    If you are talking about 1000s of inserts per second for an app that doesn’t exist yet, I am going to guess you are trying to implement some sort of queueing feature. Unfortunately I think Mongo and Couch suffer from relatively poor write throughput because of the way the do locking and manage indexes. MySql should work well for you, but if you wanted to take it up another notch (or you are just bored and what to try something else), you should check out one of the BigTable clones such as HBase or Cassandra. I don’t have any experience with them, but I have read from a number of research posts that they have significantly higher write throughput than MySql or any of the other NoSql DBs.

    For example, check out slide 30:


  8. Elias says:

    Hey guys!

    Long time listener, I love your podcast!

    I just wanted to thank you Jason for expressing openly your political opinions. Please, continue to talk politics and raise political awareness whenever you feel like doing so.

    I am from Greece and I have been living and working in LA for the last 5 years and I have to say that after 5 years here, unfortunately, I have realized that the perception that most europeans have of americans being politically naive and ignorant is not that far from the truth.

    Unfortunately every time I tried to open a political conversation I feel the same weird awkwardness. Political conversations should not be a tabu. In fact, a healthy democracy consists of politically active citizens.
    We should all be open and encourage political conversations.

    When the majority of the citizens are politically naive and ignorant, it makes it easier is for the government to manipulate its people. Its also a big indication of an unhealthy democracy. For example, the fact that common-sense opinions like the ones Jason has multiple times expressed could be interpreted by many as “conspiracy theories” is just sad. (Yeah the whole conspiracy theory cliche tag for every opinion that is not in sync with fox and/or nbc is another sad story that just proves my point)

    The NSA scandal for example should not surprise anyone. There is a cop around every other corner. There is some sort of a camera around every other mile. They have been taping phone lines for ever. Where is the surprise?
    Its only a surprise to those who they were not aware, or they have been ignoring the facts.
    Its just one more proof of a common knowledge:
    Governments have always been spying on their own people and they will always do..
    Everything is a matter of power and control.

    The Foreign Policy and the arguments/propaganda they have been using to support their actions its another joke: “We are the good cop of the world and we invade and bomb other countries [Serbia, Afganistan, Irak, Iran] because they have a bad dictator, they have CW, they are evil!” …. Really?! No Really!!!
    The word evil should not belong to any person’s vocabulary unless he is under 15 years old.

    Imagine how dumb they think we are to feed us with all this crap. And the funny thing is that they know their people are naive and ignorant enough to bite it.

    Anyhow, I guess we all get the point. I probably should stop somewhere here before I fill 3 more pages.
    I hope you enjoyed me 🙂

    Again thank you guys for the great podcast. Cant wait for the next episode to keep me company for my long commute.


    — Elias

  9. Jason says:

    @Jeff Whelpley – I used the Nano Node.js module for CouchDB and got about 300 inserts per second on my new MacBook Pro. On the same machine I got about 4,500 inserts per second with the mysql-libmysqlclient module for MySQL, and on my $20/month VPS I averaged about 7,500 inserts per second and that’s WITH a heavily indexed table. With that kind of throughput on MySQL I won’t heave to worry about the added complexity and latency of a queueing system. Plus, this needs to be a real-time system.

  10. Jason says:

    @Elias – Thanks so much for the positive feedback! Yeah, political discourse in the US, especially on the topics of foreign policy and national security, is severely hamstring by the fact that the reporting is usually so poor, misleading or just flat out wrong. The latest propaganda and misinformation about Syria was truly appalling and we’re extremely lucky that we didn’t end up in yet another Middle Eastern war last week, despite the administration’s best efforts.