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Comment: Re:firing squads have one blank. (Score 1) 1160

I'm fairly sure that a lynch mob intent on doing away with people who had acted as executioners would not be particularly interested in discussing a 20% probability of whether that person was using a rifle loaded with a blank.

And if it ever did get as far as a courtroom, someone would surely bring up the obvious point that they were, after all, willing to pull the trigger in the full knowledge that they had an 80% chance of having a live round. Someone who is prepared to bring in an ex post facto law would probably also have few qualms about ensuring that not having achieved what you set out to do through sheer dumb luck would not count as a defence.

Comment: Re:Overaggresive US Attorneys... (Score 1) 429

by Anonymous Cowpat (#43361583) Attached to: Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment

over 90% of individuals indicted at the federal level are convicted without trial (i.e. plead guilty)
of the remaining approx. 10% who go to trial, 90% LOSE, and are convicted

Have you got a source for that? I've seen those sorts of figures chucked about before, and it kinda feels true, but it would be good to see some actual statistics.

Comment: Re:Look at our entire system of prosecution (Score 1) 430

Well, ok, up to 150% of what the prosecution are being paid then...

Another interesting idea may be to allow sanctions to be levied against, or to give a successful defendant a cause of action against a prosecutor who brings charges which are eventually found not to have been supported by a preponderance of the evidence (ie if they couldn't get over the civil standard, the charges should not have been brought).

Comment: Re:Wrong headline (Score 3, Insightful) 222

by Anonymous Cowpat (#42469699) Attached to: Are Programmers Responsible For the Actions of Their Clients?

from the last paragraph of the first page of the article:

“They made it clear that they would do nothing. I was expected to do everything, to modify the system to allow myself to get in to get the information they wanted,” he says. “Their whole intention was for me to retrieve information from those databases that were located in foreign countries. They were going to use me to get to the clients. But I’m not a hacker, I’m a software developer.”

They want him to do it and give them the information, not create a backdoor for them to use. That way it's not illegal.

Unbelievable. The correct response is for the countries in which the gambling sites in question, who are having their lawful business interefered with, reside to start taking retaliatory action - trade embargoes, expelled ambassadors, moratorium on extradition, closing airbases, etc.

Comment: Re:Sue in UK for defamation (Score 1) 279

by Anonymous Cowpat (#42388825) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Anti-Spam Service Extortion?

You say:

Ever considered the fact that UCEprotect might be a legitimate organization? (I wouldn't know)

But then you say:

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS AN OPTIONAL OFFER ONLY.
YOU ARE LOSING YOUR RIGHT TO EXPRESSDELIST YOUR IP IF YOU ARE STUPID AND CLAIMING THIS WOULD BE BLACKMAIL, EXTORTION, SCAM OR SIMILAR BULLSHIT.

I think we know whether they're a professional organisation...
Let's also take a look at their website, and their 'Cart00ney' publication of legal documents Piratebay-stylee.
If they're not an outright illegitimate organisation, they're a jolly dubious one.
They also seem to imply that they're involved with 'Bavarian municipals', but seem awfully coy about naming them.

A good response may be to draw the attention of the service providers you can't get email through to as to the nature of the outfit they're getting their blacklist from.

Comment: Re:Name and Shame (Score 3, Insightful) 341

Absolutely agree about writing.

I've answered telephones in an office. If I don't want to transfer you, you don't get transferred; doubly so if the person you want to be transferred to has specifically told me not to transfer you to them. I was by no means a tyrannical martinet on the phone - there are people who are much more effective gatekeepers than I - any company trying to delaying paying its bills will have employed such people to ward off telephone calls.

Comment: Re:Don't jump to violence, Apple (Score 1) 936

by Anonymous Cowpat (#42281759) Attached to: New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

but I am saying you cannot use 2 minutes of video to indicate whether or not this was right

Actually, it's completely right.

This is one of those situtations where 'context' is just muddying the issue.

The key question is: At the point where the officer took the decision to fire the Taser, was she posing a sufficient threat the the officer, or someone else (within the officer's reasonable, articulable, perception) to justify its usage?

Comment: Re:Cue the apologists (Score 1) 936

by Anonymous Cowpat (#42281477) Attached to: New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

who gets to decide what's justified and what isn't?

The courts.

The general principle is that you're not allowed to use violence against other people. There are, of course, exceptions written into the law. It is the job of the courts, and not departmental policy, to decide if those exceptions apply to this particular circumstance.

Ergo, the whole department policy angle is a smokescreen.

We need to lose this presumtion that police officers are justified in their use of force unless proven otherwise. Any officer who uses more than minimal force (a hand on the arm, etc) against a member of the public should be prosecuted, and forced to defend their actions before a jury, as a matter of course.

"There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum." --Arthur C. Clarke

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