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I'm a computer programmer, community organiser and digital rights activist based in Bangalore, India.

Growing up as a lonely, bullied kid in the 90s, I found solace in books, computers, and later, the online world. In my quest to find belonging, never quite fulfilled, I've been involved with various communities over the year. A biography in toots:

@jackerhack I know at least half a dozen people who keep multiple copies of fake Aadhaar cards with random names/addressed. Laminate a 300gsm paper, and most would accept those as legit IDs. Fake IDs for hotels/bars have never been easier for college kids.

Not too long ago, UIDAI deemed Aadhaar as just a number, and the card as just a printout acknowledging the number. The public really wanted a card though. Now they've even securitized it. UIDAI's wilful rejection of reality is mindboggling. Wrong hashtags. Should be . You know why Aadhaar's problems cannot be addressed? Because There Are No Problems™ claims the government overreacted when they kicked out 50,000 operators over one lone incident of credential sharing that apparently spun as a leak of a billion records.

Came to Delhi for the launch. Flabbergasted that is dismissing well established research on Aadhaar's problems as false, and that, who is moderating the panel, failed to call this out. So disappointed at the lack of honest discourse.

#Wire messenger, while operating from Switzerland, is now owned by a US holdings company. They also quietly updated their privacy policy to some very vague language. got a response from Wire's CEO after questioning them about the news and it didn't inspire much confidence. As a result, is no longer recommending the Wire platform on their website.

#privacy #encryption

Why does this matter? Because far too many AI visions are pitched as a replacement for human skill. You no longer need to know how to do something because the AI will do it for you. But shouldn't we think of AI as a means to magnify human skill and intent rather than replace it?

… comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyse a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

— Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Listening to so many talks of caution on AI training at , I'm reminded of this quote:

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, …

A government not subject to control or to criticism is like a ship without ballast. The absence of contradiction blinds a government and sometimes leads it astray.

Blast from the past. Sid and @jackerhack shot using M6 with 50mm Nikkor LTM using Kodak PlusX.

Reddit wisdom: “did you know:

the word legendary come from the latin word "legere" meaning "to read"

so a legendary person is someone you read about.

meaning, to become literally legendary, all you need to do is get someone to write something about you”

4. We don't know what kind of other data this facial info is being linked to. We don't know what kind of info this data will be compared with from other external databases
5. Biometric info is a permanent username+password. Should not be used.
6. This is sensitive personal info. What kind of data security practices does Chaayos have in place?

. @Chaayos doing facial recognition instead of OTP. I took this video today.

1. No terms&conditions displayed
2. Consent isn't real when there's no opt out option
3. We don't know if chaayos will sell this data/gives itself the right to

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One striking characteristic of Indiranagar's hipster cafes is the sambar rice cart on the road outside, where the staff go for their own lunch. Some bother to take off their uniform before stepping out. Others don't care.

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