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Comment: Analogies from elsewhere (Score 1) 231

by Alain Williams (#48353745) Attached to: Canadian Police Recommend Ending Anonymity On the Internet

Look at other parts of life, where do we require that someone cannot be anonymous (warning I am a Brit, things may differ where you are)

If you publish something, eg a newspaper, a handbill, a poster (on a wall), these should all have the name of the publisher on them. This seems reasonable, you are saying things that many people will hear/read. If it is libelous then the person being defamed should be able to seek correction or sue you.

If you sell something: the name of the seller should be known, so that if it is not as advertised the purchaser can seek redress.

If you read a newspaper, handbill, wall poster then it is reasonable that you do so anonymously.

If you buy your lunch or a new shirt, you do not need to say who you are. (Large purchases, maybe)

If you talk to a friend in the street or on the train then you do not need to tell those around you or fellow passengers who you are.

So: does this mean the loss of a/c on slashdot ? If you are libeled by an a/c what redress should you have (if any) ? These are the sorts of questions that should be debated. But the loss of privacy in everything - 'No', the loss of privacy in some situations 'Yes'.

Note that you not liking something that someone says is not the same thing as being libelous - if you really smell, get a bath don't sue me for saying so!

Comment: This is why religion survives ... (Score 2) 282

by Alain Williams (#48340695) Attached to: When We Don't Like the Solution, We Deny the Problem

when presented with the lack of evidence of religious assertions or evidence that contradicts a belief: they will deny what is going on or branch out on some tangent.

Few people are really objective and will cling to all sorts of positions rather than change their minds.

Comment: Much cheaper than in the UK (Score 2, Interesting) 334

by Alain Williams (#48340065) Attached to: Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

Where petrol costs ~£4.60 per US gallon =~ $7.30. About 60% of that price is tax, take away that tax you get about $3.

I do not like expensive petrol, but I do realise that we need to cut the amount of carbon based energy that we use - climate change might not affect me, but it will my kids.

Comment: Re: Ethics (Score 1) 321

Why the flying hell would anyone not put a strong password on something that's constantly streaming video of inside your house?

The product manual probably does tell the owner to set a password, but most people do not read the manual as most people do not read an EULA before clicking to say that they agree to it. The vendor might be able to make setting a password one of the set-up steps, but if they did they would greatly increase the number of support calls that they get when people forget them. Even if users set passwords: most of them would be trivial or the same one that they use for this on-line banking.

Comment: Not a simple carrier of bytes ? (Score 3, Interesting) 81

by Alain Williams (#48330115) Attached to: EFF Hints At Lawsuit Against Verizon For Its Stealth Cookies

If Verison is fiddling with the packets going back & forth does it not lose its 'data carrier' status and become one with the end user ? So: if Disney/... sues an end user for downloading it's lastest film: then Verison should be part of the lawsuit as well and liable to pay Disney for the ''theft of its IP''.

.Verison cannot have it both ways, it either copies bytes and the user is 100% responsible or it fiddles with them and so is aware of the content and is thus vicariously liable for any wrong doing.

Comment: What about the Linux drivers ? (Score 1) 111

I my old printer died (low usage so the ink jets clogged - Brother). I bought an HP Officejet since HP claimed that in worked with RedHat 6 (I run Centos 6 which is the same thing). The only support available have admitted a ''something wrong going on in the code'' and and go quiet when I asked when they would fix it a week ago.

In a couple of days time I will return it to where I bought it and buy something from a different manufacturer.

I hope that they will provide better drivers that do what they claim for this 3D printer.

Comment: Other risks (Score 1) 221

by Alain Williams (#48246551) Attached to: Car Thieves and Insurers Vote On Keyless Car Security

A few years ago I had a jacket stolen from a restaurant. The crooks walked round the local car parks pressing the button on the key-less entry fob until my (ex) car flashed its lights. Easy job for them.

I reported it to the police, got a video of it being stolen from a camera - the police were less than interested. I was then told that it had been seen on an auction site - by the time that the police got round to visiting it 3 weeks later the guy claimed to not remember anything about it & that was that.

Comment: Re:Why at a place of learning? (Score 1) 1007

So...what you're saying is that people with impressive titles aren't to be trusted, and impressionable people need to be protected from believing the wrong things?

No, there are many people who have impressive titles who can be trusted. Just because some cannot (or are misguided) does not reflect on the others.

I am not saying that they should not say what they will say: however it is likely to be used to lend undeserved credebility to what they say -- this may then be used to sway those who do not have enough scientific insight to treat it with suspicion. The same is true, unfortunately, with some commercial product advertising [[ think food suppliments ]].

Comment: Re:Why at a place of learning? (Score 1) 1007

Mod parent up.

They will also find a speaker with an impressive title that implies that he is a respected scientist and try to give the impression that serious/rational scientists believe their fairy stories. It might not get far with most slashdot readers, but it will sound good and 'may be right' to many; most people do not have much understanding of science - these are their target audience - the masses, not the educated minorities - enough to keep the collecting plates full at the churches.

Comment: Re:No thanks. (Score 4, Informative) 558

by Alain Williams (#48235187) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

since magstripe cards are woefully insecure

In Europe we moved to EMV some 6-9 years ago. It is not without its problems, but cloning cards & other fraud is much harder. A resulting problem is that the banks try to claim that it is 100% secure and so claim that any fraud must be with the knowledge of the card holder- or due to their carelessness.

Comment: IRS employee bonus payments (Score 1) 424

by Alain Williams (#48234391) Attached to: Law Lets IRS Seize Accounts On Suspicion, No Crime Required

It would be interesting to see how much IRS 'investigators' received as bonus payments for 'retrieving proceeds of illegal activities'. I suspect that they target people who are least able to fight back and take amounts (by & large) that many people will just write off since employing a lawyer to get it back will just cost more.

It looks as if they have been reading the Mafia extortion handbook.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington