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Comment: Re:This never works (Score 4, Informative) 284

by BitterOak (#49547571) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

Whatever they design, it'll be broken fairly easily and circumvented just like DVD and Blu-ray and every other DRM format. This is just keeping the plebs from making easy copies.

"Keeping the plebs from making easy copies" would be a huge victory for the movie industry. There will always be some piracy, but the piracy the Industry fears most is that which occurs solely in the home, without the use of file sharing sites, cause it is ultimately the hardest to police.

Comment: Re:Acid is not a power source. (Score 1) 118

by BitterOak (#49532903) Attached to: Swallowing Your Password

on the other hand, your stomach could be a good power source -- kinetic energy, electrolyte source, AND it keeps a steady temperature. I think your colon would be even better though :)

YES! The colon produces methane which is a fuel and could be used in some kind of fuel cell, perhaps. It's a win-win: you'd fart less and not have to remember passwords!

Comment: Re:Dissenting 3 votes (Score 1) 399

What was the reasonable cause?

Three things. 1. The Officer noticed a very strong scent of air freshener in the car when he approached, which is common in cases where people are trying to mask odors. 2. The two occupants of the vehicle both appeared quite nervous. 3. When questioned about their travel plans, the reasons given were fairly implausable: they claimed they were driving back to Omaha, Nebraska from Norfolk, Nebraska after checking out a vehicle that they were considering purchasing, this was suspicious according to the officer for various reasons including the fact that the vehicle's occupants admitted having not seen a picture of the vehicle and they drove for two hours late at night to look at it. These three things, taken separately, would probably not arise to the level of causing reasonable suspicion, but taken together it seems reasonable that they would.

Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 3, Informative) 399

No, the point is that in order to use the dog, they need to have probable cause of another crime having been committed. There wasn't any probable cause here, so they couldn't use the dog (whether it took longer or not).

That is simply not true. Read the opinion linked to the in summary. The finding is solely based on the fact that the duration of the traffic stop was increased while the officer waited for backup to arrive before conducting the dog sniff. The question of whether or not dog sniffs require reasonable suspicion or probable cause during a traffic stop was already decided in Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U. S. 405, 407, a case cited in the present opinion, and it was found that no reasonable suspicion or probable cause was required unless, according to Caballes: the stop “become[s] unlawful if it is prolonged beyond the time reasonably required to complete th[e] mission.” (That mission being to deal with the traffic violation.)

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 4, Interesting) 590

The problem with using anesthesia is that organizations (the largest of which is the EU) forbids selling anything used in executions. So states that use anesthetics to execute the condemned will find they may be then unable to purchase the same anesthetics for use in hospitals.

Which leads to an obvious question: Isn't the U.S. capable of producing its own anesthetics? At least the ones used for executions which should no longer be covered by patents?

Comment: Re:Fixes wrong problem (Score 1) 117

by BitterOak (#49495673) Attached to: UK Company Wants To Deliver Parcels Through Underground Tunnels

Even if someone does deliver it to your door, you're still going to have to go to the depot anyway: they're going to claim to have attempted to deliver while you're not at home, as always.

Fixed that for you.

Since they generally leave a note on the door, I assume they actually did make a delivery attempt.

Comment: How far would this law go? (Score 2) 134

by BitterOak (#49455007) Attached to: U.S. Gov't Grapples With Clash Between Privacy, Security
Does this only apply to cellphones which are regulated telecommunications devices? Or would it also apply to tablets, which are really personal computing devices? And if it applies to tablets, would it apply to other personal computing devices such as laptops and desktop PCs? And if so, does it only apply to encryption software sold with the device, or also to third-party supplied encryption software? And if it does apply to 3rd party software, does it only apply to commercial software, or free open source software as well? Are there 1st Amendment issues involved in regulating the distribution of free software, and if so do they apply only to compiled machine code, or to source code as well? The devil is in the details and I'm not really sure where dividing lines would be drawn.

Comment: Re:masdf (Score 5, Insightful) 297

So once again, the FBI entraps someone by convincing them to carry out an attack so that they can stop it and pretend to be heroes. How about actually stopping attacks that you haven't yourself created? Oh, right. That count is still at zero. And I guess you need to justify all your bullshit somehow.

Actually, stings like this may prevent actual attacks from occurring by providing a deterrent. Would you join such a conspiracy if your co-conspirators might be FBI agents? Operations like these send a message out to would-be terrorists: you're not safe planning attacks in this country.

Comment: How does this work? (Score 3, Interesting) 73

by BitterOak (#49433377) Attached to: Phone App That Watches Your Driving Habits Leads To Privacy Concerns
What if you just have your phone turned off when you drive, or don't take it with you in the first place? Maybe the insurance savings are even substantial enough that you can get a second phone and only take the phone with this app on short trips and drive on those trips very carefully. When you want to do your street racing, you bring the other phone.

Comment: Re:Jail? (Score 2) 39

>Bell's so-called relevant ads program violates Canadian privacy law. >Bell is refusing to comply with the ruling.

So who's going to jail?

No one yet. As the summary states, this finding was by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, not a court. The next step would be for the Canadian version of the Justice Department (probably a Crown Attorney's office) to decide if criminal laws were violated and if so whether they want to press charges. If they do, there would then be a trial. So we're a long way away from anyone going to jail. I'm not sure if the Privacy Commissioner has the power to levy fines, but if so, they could certainly be challenged in court.

Comment: They do have a point... (Score 0, Flamebait) 292

by BitterOak (#49400423) Attached to: EFF Fighting Automakers Over Whether You Own Your Car
I know this comment won't be popular on Slashdot, but the auto makers do have a valid point. Cars today must meet rigid safety, fuel efficiency, and emissions standards. The car's computer is an essential part of the system. A small modification to the software can be the difference between a car being in compliance with these regulations and falling well outside them. The danger is people might start "hot-rodding" their cars through changes to the software, allowing the car to go faster but at the expense of polluting more and burning more fuel. What makes this particularly dangerous is that it would be trivial to set the car back to its factory state when it's time to bring the car in for emissions checks and then back to its "hot-rod" state as soon as you get it home. So these concerns are not unwarranted.

Comment: Re:The important bits (Score 1) 81

by BitterOak (#49363297) Attached to: Citizen Scientists Develop Eye Drops That Provide Night Vision

Secondly, it's an important biomedical advancement made by citizen scientists. (The important part of that sentence is "by citizen scientists".)

Why is that important? Are most scientists non-citizens? Or does that just mean they're citizens of the country where the work is done as opposed to citizens of some other country?

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