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Comment: Re:The problem with safe harbor (Score 3, Insightful) 60

by Jahta (#47264171) Attached to: EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

No, the trouble is that the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act (and all other US laws) ends at the US border; regardless of what agencies like the NSA like to believe.

Got bad news for you. It is NOT illegal for the NSA to spy on foreigners.

Any more than it is illegal for the espionage agencies in your country to spy on foreigners.

That is, in fact, what espionage agencies are for - to spy on people.

Got bad news for you. While the activities of the NSA may be technically legal *inside* the US, they are certainly not legal anywhere *outside* the US. The same is true in reverse; the US certainly doesn't operate a "live and let live" policy towards foreign espionage agencies operating inside its borders.

In any event, the point here is that US companies operating in foreign countries can't use the Patriot Act (or any other US law) as an excuse for flouting local laws. The personal data of EU citizens is protected under EU law. If US companies want to do business in Europe then they must abide by those laws.

The US wouldn't tolerate foreign companies breaking US law in America. What makes you think other countries should tolerate US companies breaking their laws?

Comment: Re:The problem with safe harbor (Score 3, Informative) 60

by Jahta (#47263487) Attached to: EU High Court To Review US-EU Data Safe Harbor Agreement

The trouble is that facebook et al are subject to the patriot act - this means that all the govt of the USA needs to do is say ''give me this data'' and they have to do it. The data can be anywhere in the world, if they can access it they need to give it to the NSA/... upon demand and can be stopped from telling anyone what they have done.

No, the trouble is that the jurisdiction of the Patriot Act (and all other US laws) ends at the US border; regardless of what agencies like the NSA like to believe. If US companies won't (or feel they can't) abide by the laws of the foreign countries in which they trade, then they'll just have to stop trading in those countries.

The economic impact on US tech companies of Prism, the Patriot Act, etc. is not exactly news; NSA's Prism Could Cost U.S. Cloud Companies $45 Billion - InformationWeek.

Comment: Re:What if the costs are too great? (Score 1) 354

by Jahta (#47157923) Attached to: 3D Printed Gun Maker Cody Wilson Defends Open Source Freedom

Can the social costs outweigh the right or privilege? Do other countries where there is broad acceptance of restrictions on gun ownership, such as the UK, have any right 'not to hear' this free information?

Has any analysis been done as to the feasibility of the oppressed in obtaining suitable 3d printers and the 'correct' material for printing, then using these weapons to defeat their oppressor versus the ability of criminals to do likewise and use the weapons in the pursuit of their crimes?

Well there has been analysis done that shows there is a direct relationship - worldwide - between the level of gun ownership in a country and the level of gun related fatalities; High gun ownership makes countries less safe, US study finds. And the US is top of the list.

Most countries in the western world have decided that any putative "right" to own a gun is far outweighed by the social cost.

(And before somebody says it, yes I know you can stab somebody with a chisel or beat them to death with a hammer. What you cannot do with either of those things is stand in a crowded space and kill people as fast as you can flex your finger; that requires a gun.)

Comment: Re:Osteopath cred? (Score 1) 200

by Jahta (#47100327) Attached to: Wikipedia Medical Articles Found To Have High Error Rate

Like I am going to accept wisdom from a bunch of osteopaths???

My thoughts exactly. In 2010 the British Chiropractic Association sued Dr. Simon Singh for libel for suggesting (on his blog) that some of their claims and practices were dubious at best. The courts (which have tended to be quite plaintiff friendly in UK libel cases) initially found against Dr. Singh, though his legal team managed to get that overturned on appeal on the basis that his article was "fair comment". This smells like something similar.

Comment: Re:Good, time to kill net neutrality. (Score 5, Interesting) 341

by Jahta (#47036785) Attached to: UK May Kill the EU's Net Neutrality Law

Net neutrality proposals needs to die and quickly.

You may have intended this as sarcasm. If not, I'd suggest you haven't fully understood the problem.

Look at the current UK government's record, for example. First they introduced mandatory "porn" filtering - which you must formally opt-out of - in the name of "saving the children"; of course, even in it's first incarnation, it was blocking things that were clearly not porn.

Then they swiftly moved to "leverage" that to block "extremist" material. The problem, of course, is that extremist is a nebulous term; UK politicians have described groups as diverse as the Countryside Alliance and UK Uncut (a tax pressure group) as "extremist", and it's these same politicians - not the courts - who are deciding what should be blocked.

Maybe you really do want to live in an internet bubble where the only things you see are whatever the government of the day has decided is "safe". But most of us would rather make our own minds up.

Comment: Re:Mario Costeja González (Score 1) 199

by Jahta (#47007199) Attached to: EU Court of Justice Paves Way For "Right To Be Forgotten" Online

You're missing the point of the xkcd. This *is* the government censoring my speech, so yes, it is censorship.

Eh, no. The point is there's nothing stopping you saying anything (and still isn't). But there's no magic amulet protecting you from the consequences of saying it either.

Comment: Re:It probably depends on... (Score 1) 329

by Jahta (#47000131) Attached to: Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

...the quality of the CDs and whether they were factory or home made since I have some factory made ones from the mid- to late 80s and they are fine.

Agreed. I have a *lot* of CDs, but only started buying them seriously in the 1990s and they still play fine. It does depend on how you store them though; things like direct sunlight and extremes of heat and cold can damage the discs. And for discs you burn yourself, a lot depends on how you burn them; YMMV.

Comment: Re:You're not in Kansas anymore Toto (Score 1) 196

The won't find it that forgiving in the United Kingdom either. There has already been a copyright troll like this who tried to operate in the U.K. They are barred from practice at the moment and bankrupt. I suggest you search for "acs:law" to see how well it panned out for the last person who tried this.

Fair point. I'd forgotten about ACS:Law. That said, there are still fans of draconian measures against file-sharers in the current UK government. For example Government "must consider" jail time for illegal file-sharers.

Comment: You're not in Kansas anymore Toto (Score 2) 196

From TFA:

I can’t give any specific dates, but we are getting a great reception from everyone we have spoken to [in the UK],” RightsCorp co-founder and CEO Robert Steele told TechWeekEurope.

It's significant, I think, that he singles out the UK which is becoming increasingly like the 51st state in legal/civil rights terms.

In the rest of Europe I'd suggest they won't find the legal and regulatory environment anything like as forgiving of their methods as the U.S.

Comment: Re:There's no app for that (Score 3, Informative) 184

by Jahta (#46887687) Attached to: Distracted Driving: All Lip Service With No Legit Solution

Not a tech problem, not a tech solution.

Just check your phone when you've arrived or pull over into a parking lot if you're that desperate. Seriously, how hard is that?

Apparently for some people it's a lot harder than you would think; Driver Dies After Posting Facebook Selfie.

Comment: Re:I liked BBC Basic. And Q(uick)Basic. (Score 2) 224

by Jahta (#46876089) Attached to: 50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

You both forgot to mention the BBC had a built in 6502 multipass assembler.

So unlike my spectrum I didn't have to reload the assembler every time I made an error and my code stomped all over ram.

Additionally, you had direct access to OS routines from basic, OSBYTE, OSWORD, OSCLI etc.

The BBC was and still is far ahead of anything else as a teaching machine. Simple enough to understand, complex enough to be useful and enough I/O to put a pi with gertboard to shame even today.

Good point. The built-in assembler was excellent too. The whole BBC Micro project was designed educate people about the computer as a powerful tool they could use, and not just a games machine. And, as you say, they did a damn good job.

Comment: Re:I liked BBC Basic. And Q(uick)Basic. (Score 2) 224

by Jahta (#46868949) Attached to: 50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

The BBC Model B equipped with BBC BASIC was released in 1981. As well as the usual litany of BASIC like features (i.e. goto), it had proper named procedures and functions with local variables, which allowed structured programming. It didn't have proper block structured if though.

Yes indeed. I initially learned to program on a BBC, and I learned a number of good habits in the process.

Comment: Re:Was FORTRAN really that hard? (Score 4, Funny) 224

by Jahta (#46868895) Attached to: 50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

Ob. quote from Real Programmers.

"Real programmers don't write in FORTRAN. FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies."

Of course, it also says this about BASIC :-)

"Real Programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC, after the age of 12."

"Those who will be able to conquer software will be able to conquer the world." -- Tadahiro Sekimoto, president, NEC Corp.