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Comment: Re: Interesting (Score 1) 181

Except that in the UK we have a piece of legislation called the Data Protection Act, which I believe is our ratification of a piece of EU legislation (the name of which I don't have time to look up. Ironically, Google may be of assistance here), so it is relevant to the discussion at hand. It places restrictions on what data processors are permitted to do with so-called PII (Personally Identifiable Information), particularly where it involves sharing with other corporate entities, and places certain responsibilities upon the processor with regards to the safekeeping of that data. IANAL, but I think it could be argued that this legislation may make it an offence to disclose to the publisher that a takedown request has been made. At the very least, it is likely to limit how much Google et al can disclose about the request. It may also be something of a grey area in cases where the mere existence of a takedown request would be enough to identify the requestor.

Simply put, there are so many pieces of legislation that have the potential to be, perhaps unintentionally, interrelated that they form a very tangled web (no pun intended) and, as such, complying with one may put you at risk of breaching another unless you are very careful about exactly how you comply.

Comment: Re: I still can't understand this insanity. (Score 1) 181

Flawed analogy!

Signboards are there for everyone to see, whether they are searching for you or not. Search results do, at least, require that a search parameter is entered. No one is suggesting that Google is spamming their advertising feeds with links to articles covered by this.

Your post does, however, raise another important question... Does this legislation require that Google filter paid adverts where the link points to articles that would be covered by this, and if so, are they required to reimburse those who paid for the adverts?

Comment: Re: Slippery Slope (Score 1) 181

Are you suggesting that Google include the full search results, but when you click on one that is covered by this they send you to a different address to the real result (I.e. one showing the "blocked" message), or are you suggesting that they send you to the right address, but somehow dynamically "hack" the target server and replace the legitimate content with the "blocked" message? (In other words, did you forget that, unlike when discussing YT, Google is not the content's host in these situations?)

Comment: Re: Slippery Slope (Score 1) 181

Oops, my apologies. It would appear that I am misunderstanding your comment (I knew I should have topped up my caffeine levels before reading /. !!!).

If I'm understanding you right then I agree with your assertion that links should only be blocked where the person's identity is the search parameter. I thought you had meant that the results should not be blocked, regardless of the search parameters, as the articles that they point to could have ongoing legitimate interest for other reasons.

Comment: Re:Institutional hypocrisy (Score 1) 181

My understanding is that this (Separation of Powers) is explicitly defined and codified in the USA. In the rest of the world, that may be the intent, but there can often be some overlap.

You mean like the typically politically motivated appointment of the judges of the supreme court? Oh wait, that's in the USA...

True, but do your SC judges have a vote in congress? Until recently, ours had the equivalent!

who were serving members of the House of Lords (one of the houses of Parliament). [...]some degree of agency between the executive and the judiciary.

Legislative. Get your facts straight before you argue.

Fair point. To be fair though, I do know the difference. Low caffeine levels, rushing, and not proofreading before submitting (Damn you, mobile interface. No preview!) were the cause of this screw-up. It's also worth noting that there WAS an overlap between the legislative and judicial arms (the creation of the UKSC appears to have mainly been intended to address this), but there REMAINS an overlap between the executive and the legislative arms in that ministers are each members of one or other of the houses of parliament and retain their voting rights. As such, the lines between the arms were so blurred that the whole damn construct may as well have been one giant amorphous blob (I'm not even sure if there was anything explicitly preventing a serving "Law Lord" from being a minister as well, other than the fact that the workload would probably have got in the way)!

+ - Bluetooth transmitters help people get keen on internet of things->

Submitted by DailyNewsCompany
DailyNewsCompany (3696561) writes "The wall between the digital world and the real is about to get a little more slender, with smart phones that we have been learning to house the lighthouses of the real world that will give you signals to take action online... sometimes unless the owner realizes. In the heart of this revolution are lighthouses. An army of them is ready to receive the service in operation. They are the real world sensors that come to life when a Smartphone is close.

Wireless signals that Exchange can activate functions such as the one that allows automatic payments or provide information about products in a shop. On the other hand, all this interaction has the potential to become open for traders to read books to customers. If all goes as expected, everyday life soon will see some radical changes.

"Beacons open completely new possibilities for businesses. It will be huge,"Suke Jawanda, the chief marketing officer of the group interest special Bluetooth (SIG), a group that monitors Bluetooth standards, he told dpa. With Bluetooth, the beacons can send their signals up to 100 meters. At its most basic, the only information which send a signal saying: "Here I am!" along with a special identification — a universal unique identifier (UUID).

Simple beacons can send only, not receiving, data and are almost as large as a lipstick tube equipped with a USB port on one end so that they can be recharged. They rely on low power Bluetooth technology, which means that they can pass without much power. Bluetooth SIG, which boasts more than 8,000 companies under its umbrella, marketed them as intelligent Bluetooth. Many devices are putting aside the beacons and direct communication with smart phones already.

fully story is here >>> http://www.dailynewscompany.co..."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 1) 181

"6. Do you notify website publishers of delisting? In that case, which legal basis do you have to notify website publishers?" Laws are restrictive not permissive. The response from the search engines should be "by what legal basis do you have to prevent us from notifying website publishers?"

That's overly defensive. The question, as asked, is not accusing, nor implying, that the notification of the website publishers is wrong. The aim is probably to determine whether they considered doing this and, if they didn't, was it for technical (too difficult), financial (too expensive) or legal (concerned that as there is nothing currently in the law compelling them either way on this that no action is the safest option). Alternatively, if they did, this could be used to justify compelling them to continue doing so (so that the linked article can be amended/removed) and, if the legal basis that they have been using thus far is flawed, enact retrospective legislation to protect them from any repercussions of doing so.

On the other hand, I may be crediting those asking the questions with an undeserved degree of rationality and confidence. It's certainly a weird feeling, reading a comment on /. and finding that my opinion on the matter appears to be LESS cynical that theirs!

IT

Ask Slashdot: What Would You Do With Half a Rack of Server Space? 206

Posted by timothy
from the give-it-a-piece-of-my-mind dept.
New submitter Christian Gainsbrugh (3766717) writes I work at a company that is currently transitioning all our servers into the cloud. In the interim we have half a rack of server space in a great datacenter that will soon be sitting completely idle for the next few months until our lease runs out. Right now the space is occupied by around 8 HP g series servers, a watchguard xtm firewall, Cisco switch and some various other equipment. All in all there are probably around 20 or so physical XEON processors, and probably close to 10 tb of storage among all the machines. We have a dedicated 10 mbs connection that is burstable to 100mbs.

I'm curious what Slashdot readers would do if they were in a similar situation. Is there anything productive that could be done with these resources? Obviously something revenue generating is great, but even if there is something novel that could be done with these servers we would be interested in putting them to good use.

Comment: Re:Institutional hypocrisy (Score 1) 181

You've heard of this thing they call "Separation of Powers"? Maybe the news hasn't reached you yet, after all it's only been around for some 350 years.

My understanding is that this (Separation of Powers) is explicitly defined and codified in the USA. In the rest of the world, that may be the intent, but there can often be some overlap. As an example, until the (fairly) recent creation of the UK Supreme Court, the highest court in the UK were the so-called "Law Lords", who were serving members of the House of Lords (one of the houses of Parliament). As such, whilst it may not be an executive agency of the government, where any overlap exists it can still be argued that there is some degree of agency between the executive and the judiciary. Additionally, within the EU, there is the further complication of the relationship between the judiciaries, executives and legislatures of the member states and those of the EU as a whole (especially as there have been plenty of cases where they do not agree!).

Comment: Re:Not a Slippery Slope (Score 1) 181

... a much better way to go at this would be to require news agencies to remove news content that talk about arrests, but where there were no convictions, after x amount of time...

Fine. This works for online publications published within the jurisdiction where the law exists. However, how about:

Online publications published outside of the jurisdiction. How do you compel them to remove this content?
Offline publications. Are you suggesting that there be some way of tracking every last copy of every hard-copy publication so that when "x amount of time" has passed, someone can be sent to where each affected copy is, with powers to seize, edit (tricky, as most, if not all, are printed on both sides!) and return it. At present, it may not be searchable, but if someone had the time and inclination to trawl hard copies/microfiches at a suitably equipped library, they could turn up all sorts of reports of content talking about arrests without subsequent conviction going back decades.
Publications where the publisher has gone out of business.
I do, however, agree that morally this is something that should fall on the publisher to put right. Technically, however, this is unlikely to be reasonably achieved. As has been said throughout this discussion, for most people, if they can't find it with their search engine of choice, they will never see the information. As such, whilst it is placing an administrative burden on a party who had no part in causing the situation, tasking the search engines with filtering these links is the most cost-effective solution. Whether it should be possible, where the publisher is within the jurisdiction and still in business, they should be compelled to take some action themselves (and maybe even bear some of the costs incurred by the search engines in administering their part of the process) is a separate, although no less valid, debate.

This all being said, however... how do we propose that things like the Internet Archive be affected, should such a law ever see the light of day in the USA (or even now, bearing in mind it can be accessed from within the EU)?

+ - What would you do with half a rack of server space?

Submitted by Christian Gainsbrugh
Christian Gainsbrugh (3766717) writes "I work at a company that is currently transitioning all our servers into the cloud. In the interim we have half a rack of server space in a great datacenter that will soon be sitting completely idle for the next few months until our lease runs out.

Right now the space is occupied by around 8 HP g series servers, a watchguard xtm firewall, cisco switch and some various other equipment. All in all there are probably around 20 or so physical XEON processors, and probably close to 10 tb of storage among all the machines. We have a dedicated 10 mbs connection that is burstable to 100mbs.

I'm curious what slashdot readers would do if they were in a similar situation. Is there anything productive that could be done with these resources? Obviously something revenue generating is great, but even if there is something novel that could be done with these servers we would be interested in putting them to good use.

Christian Gainsbrugh
Lead Developer
LearningCart
www.LearningCart.com"

Comment: Re:Spent convictions (Score 2) 181

Your question can be read one of two ways. Either you mean "Can an applicant with an unspent conviction not declare it and get away with it?" or you mean "If an employee has a spent conviction and is not obligated to declare it, is there anything in place to prevent him/her from declaring it and/or anything in place to ensure that the potential employer can be forced to disregard it?"

If the former:
The short version - in non-high-risk jobs, it depends if the employer chooses to carry out checks (if no, getting away with it is easy. If yes, getting away with it is not so easy). The long version - In high-risk roles, it should not be possible. My understanding of it (and remember, IANAL) is that if you are explicitly asked about convictions on a normal (i.e. for a non-high-risk role) application, you only have to declare "unspent" convictions. If your employer then applies for a criminal records check (which, as I understand it, any employer can do with the individual's consent) it will only return "unspent" convictions. "Spent" convictions remain on record. They are not expunged. If you are applying for a higher-risk role, your employer may have the right to request a more complete criminal records check, under which circumstances ALL records are returned, "spent" and "unspent". Indeed, if you are applying for a high-risk role, my understanding is that the application form MUST make clear that you need to declare both "spent" and "unspent" convictions and that (unlike in a non-high-risk role, where the criminal records check is optional) the company MUST have you vetted by the DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service. I believe that this replaces the CRB - Criminal Records Bureau). In low risk roles, however, because formal checks are optional, it has the potential to be relatively easy.

If the latter:
I'm not aware of anything being in place, other than human nature of a person not normally wanting to portray themselves in a negative light, to prevent an applicant from declaring spent convictions that (s)he does not need to. That being said, if (s)he does declare it, depending on how much detail (s)he gives, the employer should be able to determine for themselves whether a conviction is spent (the length of time it takes for a conviction to be spent is, I think, determined by the length of the sentence. Therefore, provided the applicant can give accurate dates, the employer should be able to do the math without needing so much as a calculator). The downside it that, whilst the employer should be able to determine that the conviction is spent, and thus should be disregarded, I am not aware of anything in place to ensure that once they have determined such that they do disregard it. Indeed, it is likely that, should an applicant slip up and disclose a spent conviction when there is no duty to do so, the employer will take it into consideration and choose an alternative candidate but, when pressed for a reason, will not admit to this being it (as can be fairly common with ageism and other forms of discrimination).

As for the question of whether the employer is allowed to ask, only when hiring for high-risk roles are they permitted to ask about spent convictions. I am not sure what the legal options are for an applicant with spent convictions who is asked about whether (s)he has any by an employer who is not afforded such an exemption. I am not even sure whether they could be found guilty of fraud if they lied and didn't disclose them as, as far as the employers legitimate entitlement to information is concerned, the spent convictions do not exist. I'm also not sure whether there are any sanctions laid down that can be imposed on employers who ask when they do not have such an exemption. Maybe a real lawyer would like to chip in here and fill in the blanks?

As for being expunged from public records, the answer is no, as they still need to be declared for high-risk roles. My understanding is that they cannot, however, be referred to in most court proceedings. I also believe that it is an offence to publish details of spent convictions for malicious purposes. I am not aware, however, whether this means that archived/historic publication of such convictions made whilst the conviction was unspent are required to be purged (I doubt it).

Again, IANAL, and I look forward to any clarification that can be made by a real lawyer.

Comment: Re: Slippery Slope (Score 1) 181

Then there's the flip-side of that argument... What if the police subsequently dropped the accusations because they found the real culprit, but because it was never reported in the public domain, it's not available for Google et al to index. Because the sites reporting the original police accusation are reporting fact, you can't use libel laws to force a take-down. Based on your argument, you seem to be saying that it's OK for the first, falsely accused, individual to suffer in perpetuity as a result of a false accusation. Am I misinterpreting your comment, or did you not consider that side?

Comment: Re: Slippery Slope (Score 1) 181

Actually... Scratch that! IP address based location would probably work, but not exactly as implemented on YT. IIRC, searching for restricted material on YT still brings up the search results, and even brings up the individual pages, it's just the video content itself that's blocked.

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