Anonymous asked: Hi Ben, do you still do any app development? im in need of a simple easy program with app that lets me chart patient payments/visits, kind of a glorified spreadsheet. Let me know if this is up your alley or if you know someone in NY that will fit the bill. Im a small physical therapy company looking for something cool and user friendly :) marisa

Funny you should ask! This seems like a good time to point everyone to my recently-released portfolio site. It’s much easier to contact me now, so I’ve turned off the “Ask” box for the moment.

Where Did All The Blackberry Users Really Go?

Messaging is a Thing now, so this seems like a good time to ask.

Anatomy of a Snap Attack: How SnapchatDB Attacked Snapchat's Servers

While it may be cold comfort for affected users, the revelation of Snapchat’s A.P.I. does provide a fascinating look into the heart of the company. The app’s primary selling point is ephemerality; sending a snap is a bit like mailing a self-destructing postcard. But that ephemerality, intriguingly, is not built into the A.P.I.; the app itself is what deletes pictures and videos. This means, on the one hand, that a coder who created her own Snapchat app with the A.P.I. could secretly keep another user’s snaps forever, and send anything she likes as pictures or video. On the other hand, it opens the door for new, creative uses of the Snapchat social network.

My first piece for The New Yorker is up—it’s a technical analysis of the security holes behind the SnapchatDB leak. Co-authored with Rusty Foster and Matt Buchanan (uncredited).

Anonymous asked: hey Ben, i was wondering if you're aware of a workaround for the shame eraser's "sorry that page does not exist" error. it's been working fine, but i started getting time out errors from twitter and now i get that presumably whenever it tries to delete one of the tweets i've already deleted. i was able to erase a few thousand tweets by guessing around with the dates but I've hit a dead end. thanks!

I just pushed out a fix for this problem to the Shame Eraser here. You should be able to download it again and run it successfully (make sure to delete the old copy so the names don’t conflict).

Kentucky Fried Colonel

Kentucky Fried Colonel

Agile Billing

My first piece for Smashing Magazine is about different ways of billing for design and development work. Definitely worth a read if you’re a freelancer or run your own shop.

Deep Inside The Social Media Operations Of A Gay Escort Service

Dave’s employer is not, strictly speaking, a pimp. Instead of dealing directly with the trade, the company runs what is, on the surface, an online social network for gay men, shielding itself behind a legal loophole that allows it to profit from the sex trade while maintaining plausible deniability.

His parents don’t know the exact details of his work, either. When people ask, “I’m a consultant for some companies in New York” is his standard cover. He and his coworkers use fake names at work, and he treads lightly when discussing the details of his job. “I try to have a first conversation to see what kind of people I’m dealing with so I can tell them what I do.”

Most people “don’t believe that it exists,” Dave said. Some immediately assume that he works as an escort himself; others find it fascinating, and pepper him with questions. No one seems to know the first thing about how these online escort services operate within the law.

Welcome to the world of rent boys.

In which I take a deep dive into the world of online male escort services. The post is SFW, but some of the links within most definitely are not. Proceed with caution.

The Dream of the 1890’s is Alive in Brooklyn

The Dream of the 1890’s is Alive in Brooklyn

The NRA Claims the AR-15 Is Useful for Hunting and Home Defense. Not Exactly.

“A hunter does not need a semi-automatic rifle to hunt, if he does he sucks, and should go play video games.”

The AR-15 is, however, much more of a profit machine than traditional hunting rifles and shotguns.

The Shame Eraser: How To Delete Your Most Embarrassing Old Tweets In 3 Steps

Now that Twitter has made it easy to download our entire tweet archives, the Internet is now faced with the scary reality that the dumbest things we’ve ever said are only a few clicks away. Our early tweets were sent from a time of innocence, joy, and freedom from the realization that one day other people (and we ourselves) might pass judgement on them.

But the time of reckoning has come. And if you’re unable to bear the weight of your shame, this is your way out. Perhaps you had a particularly dark period after a break-up. Maybe your first six months on Twitter were just bad haikus. If you’re the type of person who rips up your old shitty poems, this script is for you.

Merry Christmas.