The Deep Web

 

morpheus

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You press the back button – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You continue reading – you stay in Wonderland and I show you
how deep the rabbit-hole goes. – – Morpheus (The matrix, 1999)

SilkRoad SeizedEnter Tor.seized_cf6b

Whether or not your a student, teacher, mother, father, aunt or brother. Hell, maybe you dont belong in any of these categries and your a straight-up computer lover. In any case there has been at least one point in your life, where you either stated or were convinced that anything can be found on the internet. You probably still do! I’m here to tell you, that your completelyand utterly correct. But maybe you just didn’t know where to look. Cue the Deepwebs/Darknet/Tor/Onion Network. Your one stop for complete anonymity. Check this video out for a brief introduction to the services the network provides;

The Tor network is an anonymous server that was actually originally created by the U.S. government (as stated in the video). Why you may ask? For spies of course! With more advanced internet tracking, government intelligence (like the NSA) and political persecution the USA found it increasingly difficult to keep in contact with overseas spies securely. Soon enough, journalists in war-torn countries began using the network to spread their news across the globe quickly and quietly. The network essentially bounces your IP signal across the globe a ton of times simultaneously. This makes it extremely difficult for anybody to find whose posting and where (Even the US government). Unfortunately this level of privacy is too much for the US government. Why? Because they’re nosy and they don’t like to be kept in the dark.

Deep Web has Washington Worried

The services of the deepweb are absolutely endless. Anonymity stems to illegality. Everyone has heard of Wikipedia, but most haven’t ever seen or heard of the hidden wiki. One of many sites only available to be visited using the Onion browser (deepweb software). The hidden wiki, like the normal wikipedia chronicles and archives websites and services only available on the deepnet. Ranging from counterfeit money, to contract killers. It’s the black market at your finger tips.

silk-road-logo

Welcome to Silk Road.. 2!.Yet another one of the onion network’s infamous hidden sites. Dubbed as the black market’s ebay, the site has actually already been shut down once by the US government.. Only to be re-created again a few months later. This site is pretty much a digital drug dealer. Where sellers and chemists can sell their har earned ‘work’ to the world. With the invention of bitcoin, one can be completely anonymous while buying their bag of meth. What’s even better is, like ebay, each dealer has their own rating! But wait, there’s more. Maybe drugs aren’t your thing, maybe illegal firearms, counterfeit cash or child porn is more your style! Head on down, cause they’ve got that too. Be careful though, with anonymity also comes digital insecurity. Like any illegal dealings, it’s the wild west out there.

 Silk Road Hacked!

walt

Could’ve just used Silk Road and saved yourself the trouble Walt.

 

So why is the government really trying to shut this thing down? Well Snowden for one was a great reason. Freely exposing the government’s sensitive documentation to the eye’s of the world didn’t help the USA with their… inquisitive character. Then the fact that malicious websites are being designed and tested anonymously in the TOR network before being exposed to the web. Check this out for example, designed in TOR. Named the scariest search engine on the web, the site s the very reason you should change your digital devices default passwords.

The Digital Device Search Engine

So the question is– Is Tor Network a good thing? In computers and society a major underlying theme was the fact that we are always being monitered and privacy online is pretty much non-existant. The original use for TOR seemed to be designed in good nature, for the betterment of humans. We can go about our business (legal or not) without prying eyes of god-knows-who. But as we’ve read, and seen the government react, the Tor network is seemingly getting worse. Plagued with more and more illegal sites filled with pedophiles, rapists, killers and scammers. I mean it’s nothing new compared to the internet we know, but does it scare us because it’s the internet we’ll never truly know? I believe that people should have a choice to be anonymous if they so please. But at what cost? A lack of security? We should be able to freely choose anonymity without forgoing basic rights. I believe the TOR network is a movement against government surveillance, and I gotta tell ya’, I’m lovin it.

download deepweb343-670x458

 

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Gimme Dat Coin

An informative guide to all that is Bitcoin.

                           blog2bit         blog2 miner

Welcome to the Bit-Mines.

About 5 years ago-as the bitcoin myths go-an extremely talented mathematician/programmer did what scholars, economic theorists, lawyers and even other gifted programmers tried for decades. Satoshi Nakomoto created Bitcoin; the world’s first popularized P2P and fully digital currency. Now you might still be asking, “Hey Kyle, what the heck do you mean by ‘bit-mines’ anyway?” Well, without further ado, I welcome you to the wonderful world of bitcoin mining. Enjoy.

The next question most people to seem to ask is; how can this be turned into real, physical currency? If there are people willing to pay money for bitcoin- which there are-then Bitcoin can essentially be exchanged like any other good or service. Next, look at Bitcoin like a stock rather than a currency. By verifying a sale in the network (uncovering a bitcoin packet) a miner is showing that Bitcoin is both being used whilst being popular and thus increasing its value. Here’s a solid informational link that goes a little deeper into what Bitcoin can actually be considered, if you’re interested in learning more.

Goldman-Sachs Explains Bitcoin (In their own opinion)

Myths, Facts, Funnies and Total Speculation

The supposed creator

Satoshi Nakomoto 

The creator of Bitcoin-Satoshi Nakomoto-is actually a pseudonym, nobody really knows who the person is! Recently there have been articles that the guy was found. Through further reading it seems like this started from a simple misunderstanding. I mean who knows; maybe this guy doesn’t want all the fame and fortune of bitcoin and just wants to live the quiet life he deserves. Maybe he really is the creator! But then again I don’t think so. Check it out;

The Real Satoshi Nakamoto found? (I think not)

I researched deeper to see what I could find, and the stories online are endless. Satoshi Nakomoto is quite literally, a complete ghost. Nobody has any idea who, where or how they did what they did. We know they must’ve been a gifted C++ programmer, Mathematician and Economist. But why do they want to remain secret? So many questions, and it only makes me more and more intrigued about Bitcoin. The greatest part about it is that a lot of these guesses at who the creator is are rather informative and insightful!

Another informed opinion on the details of Bitcoin’s creator

 (also read the first comment by gwern)

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The Universal symbol for Litecoin

Bitcoin/Litecoin

So we’ve talked about Bitcoin, but we haven’t said much about its counterpart Litecoin. Litecoin is to Bitcoin as silver is to gold. Currently the market trades 1 bitcoin for $683.42 (as of today).1 Litecoin trades for roughly 20 dollars Canadian give or take a dollar. Although Litecoin mining is slightly different, due to slight algorithm changes from the original bitcoin data. It makes it easier for small-time amateur miners to have a shot at mining actual coin without the use of professional algorithm-cracking hardware and software.

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Wow. Much Doge. Such Glory.

Dogecoin

I considered grouping this with Litecoin (due to the similarities in mining and algorithm structure) but I felt it deserved its own description. The popular internet doge meme was turned into a cryptocurrency by programmer Billy Markus to make Bit/Litecoin more fun. What’s even funnier is that this currency absolutely skyrocketed when it went public.

What is Dogecoin?

What I’m enjoying the most are the offers people are giving for things like their houses, cars, cottages in exchange for large sums of Dogecoin. Btw 10 Dogecoin is roughly equal to one cent Canadian.

Sell your home for 100 million Dogecoin!

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Selling Pickaxes during a Gold rush

I always liked that saying. You know it goes on to say something like; the people who made and sold the equipment to the miners in the gold rush made more money than 99% of the miners themselves. Well isn’t it true as ever. A whole new economy has opened, along with new markets and new customers. Just so you can have a shot at striking gold.

Welcome to one of the newest discovered markets

Homemade Bitcoin “Farm”

Haggard Bitcoin Farm

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The Dark Side

Now the raw truth on why Bitcoin happened to become popular, is why there may be a stigma surrounding it. Bitcoin is essentially  untraceable. In the beginning it could be mined and traded on this P2P network and through special software without any trail. This makes for a great way to launder money, buy stolen goods and even purchase large quantities of drugs completely anonymously. Mainly using a site called Silk Road (now silk road 2). In my next post I’ll go further in depth into what the darkwebs and the Tor network are. How bitcoin has both been influenced by the darkwebs and how it’s introduction has influenced the dark webs right back. Really interesting stuff! You’ll look at the internet in a completely different light.

A Quick Insight Into the Darkweb, and Silk Road (Link and Video included)

My last few words

The coolest thing about all of this is that absolutely anybody can get into it. It’s an extremely interesting way of learning about coding and digital cryptology. With a little research your computer could quite literally be mining while you read this blog. Why does this relate to computers and society? I believe the fact that a computer programmer created something worth as much as it does now out of literally nothing but computer code is amazing. Next the shear drive and seeming addiction masses have shown towards this crypto-coin craze is astonishing. The amount of money changing hands is enough of a reason alone. Completely and honestly I’m divided about it. Yes, I do believe this was an extremely well written and thought out program/algorithm/entity. I’m excited about its artificial development, but that’s also what scares me; the fact that it literally is nothing, the insecurity of it all, the sketchiness of the dark webs, and the hackers who are constantly trying to get into your digital wallet. It’s so… volatile. No more than a month ago the value of Bitcoin was less than 1/6th of what it’s worth now, and a month before that it was worth more than it ever had (roughly 900).  I believe the structure of Bitcoin is a huge step in the right direction for computing. It’s melding economics and computer’s in the most unique way that has been known to man. Bitcoin certainly is deserving of the noise it has created for itself. You say computers and society, I say Security, Privacy, Social Networking, Brain Drain, Internet Addiciton. All of these subjects have there place in a discussion on Bitcoin. There’s so much to say, about such an expansive topic.

On a side note, here’s a story about a modern-day digital bank heist. This heist is the very reason for Bitcoin’s fluctuating value! Btw the heist ‘apparently’ took roughly 500 million worth of bitcoin, although due to the nature of bitcoin, that particular transaction hasn’t been mined/uncovered in the web yet!! So there’s no real proof!! (lol)

480 million Dollar Bitcoin Heist Makes History

We’ve come a long way since Bonnie and Clyde

The Age of 3D

Mccoy knew what was up in the 60’s

Science fiction has always been an open canvas for the writers and designers to imagine and create ‘space-age’ technology. From light speed and underwater breathers to medical tricoders and phasers. It seems as though the future has finally come. With the new outburst of 3D printing almost anyone with enough money to spend can own their own space-age replicator. This new-age toy has everyone including hobbyist, designers, scientists, and pretty much any other type of person (including you, I guarantee it) wanting to be a part of this new and exciting frontier. It seems as though computers have finally caught up to our imagination. Literally if you can design it, it can be printed. Even if you have an idea in your head and don’t quite have the skills to draw it in a 3D CAD program, I guarantee you could probably find designs for it online. If all else fails, new 3D printing shops are opening every day to the public so they can do it for you! The machine is more than a printer, or even a computer really. This new machine is an integration of human innovation and computer precision. A blend of science and art, with a twist of ingenuity. This new field is expanding quicker and quicker and it seems that every occupation imaginable is thinking up new ways for 3D printers to make life easier.

Stayin’ Healthy

Could printing brand new tissue and organs be a possibility?

–What’s up?–

3d printers, just like any other printer need a material for the final product to be outputted on/as. In the beginning 3D printers were fed with a PVC line (plastic) and this was pretty much the only material that would work with the printer’s conditions. Unfortunately the plastic’s abilities were limited and at first these printers were nothing more than an expensive toy maker. Through research, scientists and developers have actually been able to start using a whole ton of different types of materials to encompass an array of processes. Now you can choose from different gauges of plastic, types of wood thread, beeswax, grapheme and food grade bio-plastics. Hell, even things like seaweed and recycled plastics are being fitted, you name it and I promise someone has tried running it through one of these printers.

–Why do you care?–

These new materials have sparked ideas about the use of 3D printers in the health sector. Not only are we able to design our own prosthetics, but what if we could hypothetically build bones (or close material simulations), muscle tissue or even new organs? If we fed the machine the right ingredients it could most certainly build what we’d like. It’s a test of our intelligence, not the capacity of the computer’s ability.  If we could in fact do it, what are the principles of such a new practice? Serious ethical questions have already started being asked.

“3D bioprinting facilities with the ability to print human organs and tissue will advance far faster than general understanding and acceptance of the ramifications of this technology. These initiatives are well-intentioned, but raise a number of questions that remain unanswered. What happens when complex ‘enhanced’ organs involving nonhuman cells are made? Who will control the ability to produce them? Who will ensure the quality of the resulting organs?”—Pete Basiliere, research director at Gartner.

Personally I feel if the designer can create an organ at all it’s a gift of science. Whether or not these hypothesized “complex ‘enhanced organs” ever exist, I truly believe this computing technology would be a huge step in the futuristic direction. From a deeper personal standpoint, I think of those people waiting on that long list for an organ. If you had access to an organ built for you, and you alone.. wouldn’t you say “yes?”. Whether or not this ever happens, I still think it’s pretty sweet a highschool student can build a functioning prosthetic for a younger friend.

3D Accessibility

–From an intrigued fan’s standpoint–

One of the more exciting things I’ve found about 3D printing is the accessibility. Of course anyone can go and drop a few grand (well maybe not anyone) on a factory-made 3D printer but where’s the fun in that? Online there are countless instructables giving step by step tutorials on how to design and build your very own 3D printer (for a mere fraction of the cheapest market price). Not only that, but these tutorials are laid out in a way where little specialized knowledge is actually needed. I find it amazing how easy it really is to build such a futuristic machine. This is great for aspiring hobbyists, engineers, designers or even the amateur inventor. With the use of open-source files found throughout the internet, one’s design/invention can be easily shared across the world. Furthermore, these designs can now be utilized, critiqued and updated. Just think, you need a specialized wrench/tool that’s overpriced on the internet with absolute ridiculous shipping rates from god knows where. Skip that step, welcome to the future. Find the designs online and make your own! A large cruise ship overpowers the engine during a mild storm and breaks shears a piece of the engine. Soon enough the captain can literally look a few feet from his navigational system and program the computer to replace the part. Maybe not really soon, but hopefully somewhere in our lifetime.

 

–The Macro.. You know, the bigger picture–

First fully functioning 3d Printed firearm. Design can be found online although many states have deemed them illegal

Now with this great power comes great responsibility. On Wall Street and throughout the industrial sector, there has obviously been a huge amount of talk over these new devices and the 750 million dollar industry. Corporations have already begun to discuss the implications of 3D printing in industry. Major 3D printing corporations such as Gartner have been signed to contracts that license them in making copyrighted toys and figures.

–The Stinger–

Now as useless as this information sounds it brings about a whole new aspect to the industry. The protection of intellectual property and licensing would essentially become one of the most legally protected entities. If more industries begin to sign with these printing companies (which are expected to happen) piracy and security then becomes a new and terrifying issue. It’d be like downloading movies, except your movie is in fact a physical marketable design. Why go and buy a new watch when you can download one off the internet? It’s a new age of piracy and protection. Now I’m not saying I’d ever download illegally because that’d be preposterous, but I know friends who do and they say it’s really ridiculously easy.

Imagine being able to download the design for the cd case, the album artwork and the album itself.

Jokes.

Eyes began to open when the first 3D printed gun was built and uploaded to the internet. The .38 caliber, 16 piece gun can be built entirely from a 3D printer minus the firing pin. The gun shot roughly 15 shots before breaking which was enough for the US government to step in and control the designs (which can still be easily downloaded online). The idea that industrial designs can be readily created at any home with a 3D printer can be a scary thought. The world has been ushered into a whole new era of illegal downloading and soon enough it needs to respond back, the question is how.

3D printed "selfies"

Three Dimensional Selfie

3D printing is changing the way the world works, where cars and bikes and all sorts of vehicles have just begun to being printed. It’s an era where possibilities are literally endless-well I guess as far as your imagination can stretch. To even think I can literally code my computer to save my favorite mug on file is incredible. Personally I’m excited to see how the world responds over the next few years. What will we design next? There’re enough people out there who want to change the world for the better.

Fully Functioning 3D printed bike

I believe the 3D printer is the tool that will build the world of tomorrow.

Resources/Extra Reading

Brugger, Tim. “The Dark Side of 3D Printing.” DailyFinance.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.Estes, Adam C. “Teenager 3D-

Prints Prosthetic Hand for Adorable 3rd Grader in Need.”Gizmodo. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.Walton, Zach. “3D Printed

Organs May Cause Moral Quandaries In The Future.”WebProNews. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.

Patnaik, Sampad. “3D Systems Profit Warning Rekindles 3D Printer Bubble Fears.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 05 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 Feb. 2014.