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Comment: Re:Expectation of privacy? (Score 1) 173

I know I'm going up against many years of case law here, but... the Fourth Amendment doesn't say anything about privacy. It says no searches and seizures without a warrant.

So the question is: Is it legal for MetroPCS to hand over the data, presumably in violation of their privacy policy and CPNI laws? Or did they do it because they were threatened and intimidated?

That is a good question. I'm guessing their privacy policy has enough outs to let them do this. as for the CPNI law it has an exception for laws requiring turnover of data. If a court ordered the turn over it could fall within that exception. Just as TFA stated that old decisions prior to technological advances are not relevant to today's technological capabilities with respect to the availability of information one could argue that technological advances have changed expectations of privacy. To use a car apology, one could expect privacy when riding a horse but that changed once cars came into being and license plates gave police the ability to identify where someone was based on tickets or observation of tags while in public. I would expect this eventually to be decided by the Supremes.

Comment: Re:If you're employed as a highwayman (Score 1) 173

Considering the fact that some thieves have been caught after they used a stolen phone to post geolocated selfies to the victims' Instagram or Facebook account, I think that for the most part, low-brow thieves are by definition some kind of stupid.

If you have attention to detail, patience and intelligence, you realize that there are easier ways to make money than petty theft.

How true. My cop friends tell me they only catch the stupid ones, like those who get stopped in a traffic stop, turn over their license and then run away when the cop sees drugs in the car, or call 911 to report a crime a mile away from the pay phone they use to call in the information. In the latter, they sent a cruiser to the pay phone location and caught the guy in the act of crime. His comment? How did you know to come here? In the former, he let the guy run and simply drove to his address to bust him.

Comment: Re:We encountered a similar bug (Score 1) 59

by Registered Coward v2 (#49621703) Attached to: The BBC Looks At Rollover Bugs, Past and Approaching

Why didn't/couldn't you use GMT?

Good question. We wondere tht ourselves why the idiots that programmed it used local times. Since they probably never operated a piece of equipment in their life they probably assumed we'd want local time but never asked; which illustrates the classic user / developer disconnect. Years later while on. Control room design project I had to tell developers that the all digital panel design they were so proud of was interesting, cool, futuristic and totally useless for actually operating a plant.. As a result the final design we developed was one operators could actually understand and use.

Comment: We encountered a similar bug (Score 1) 59

by Registered Coward v2 (#49620939) Attached to: The BBC Looks At Rollover Bugs, Past and Approaching
when we had an equipment malfunction and our data logger's time stamped data made no sense - one second we were recording values of x and the next second normal values. Turned out the daylight savings time switch had occurred during the incident and as a result all the time stamps and resulting data were screwed up.

Comment: Re:Measurements (Score 4, Insightful) 395

by Registered Coward v2 (#49619789) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

If you could measure programming ability somehow, its curve would look like the normal distribution.

This guy doesn't know how to measure programming ability, but somehow manages to spend 3000 words writing about it.

Defining programming ability is a real challenge and the definition probably varies based on what is being programmed. I had a teacher who defined it as being able to complete a task in as few lines of code as possible. OTOH, is it worth spending 2x the hours to get rid of 2 lines of code when a quicker solution works just fine? Maybe ability is being able to produce working code that meets the design specifications. Ability, IMHO, depends on the capability to complete the tasks at hand; and thus what constitutes ability will vary. I guess instead of being a 2D U curve or some such thing it is really a 3 D space with peaks and valleys.And thus I reveal my true ability: To change the parameters and drive a discussion to the end I want; which is why I am a consultant.

Comment: Re:Poster sounds sympathetic, but sounds like thre (Score 1) 250

It may seem to you. I asked real students on campus, who had no idea what 4/16 was. Yet a student has lost their educational opportunities here, and likely life ruined.

They didn't lose their educational opportunities, they did something incredibly stupid and yet serious and thus suffered the consequences. Just because many people did not know what 4/16 represented doesn't mean the PD were wrong to treat it as a real threat and for the student to be held responsible for his actions.

Comment: Re:when? (Score 1) 182

Google's lifetime plan only provides 5/1mbps, but the capacity for gigabit is still there. I wonder if they'll start selling that extra capacity to whoever wants it.. like if you sign up for Netflix, Netflix says "You can't stream our highest quality HD content, but for an extra $3.95/month we can enable that." Then they pay Google for 10mbps on your behalf just for use with their service.

Interesting idea,and I could see Google going for such a model considering how they are marketing their Fi service. A la carte higher speed access only when needed would be a good business model and the free, after initial instal, service is one way to get their pipe to the consumer. Once they have that in large enough numbers than it opens up a whole new set of ways to make money; for example they could gove everyone a 4300 credit towards higher speed services so people can see what they would get and drive demand for it.

Comment: Re:Assumptions (Score 1) 78

by Registered Coward v2 (#49604941) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

Bullshit. I'm the IT guy for a chain of independent pharmacies and know this is a categorically false statement. Like many others it is part of the mythology surrounding the healthcare "crisis".

You. I have friends who are drug reps and the days of "spend whatever it take stop keep the docs happy" and getting called on the carpet for "not spending enough" are long gone. The reps are probably healthier though, because it means no more late nights at strip clubs or eating lavish meals every night.

Comment: HIPPA (Score 5, Informative) 78

by Registered Coward v2 (#49604935) Attached to: Hacking the US Prescription System

would seem that this would be a violation of HIPPA security rules, assume pharmacies are covered entities, which I think they are. Specifically, covered entities must maintain adequate:

Administrative Safeguards

Security Management Process. As explained in the previous section, a covered entity must identify and analyze potential risks to e-PHI, and it must implement security measures that reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level.

Technical Safeguards

Access Control. A covered entity must implement technical policies and procedures that allow only authorized persons to access electronic protected health information (e-PHI).

It would seem simply allowing access via a name and birthdate is a violation of the above requirements.

Source: http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy...

Comment: Re:Contract of Carriage (Score 1) 126

Truth is, they can't do much to the passenger, and that's why they are trying to bully the messenger. I say bully because they don't have much of a case given that connecting info is all public info.

I agree. They don't want it to be easy to find hidden cities since then more people would use it. It's easier to kill th messenger. I worked for a company that used back to backs regularly and us travelers rarely had a problem; the only time one did was when they gave the wrong ticket to the agent raising questions about the itineraries. The airline went after our travel agent saying we could not do that anymore and they'd cancel tickets if we were caught. We switched to another airline for the mid week flight and after a month or so of seeing half the previous revenue, not double as they expected, the airline called and said go ahead and use back to backs. Given we of the had 200 people flying every week some sales agent finally figured out that X was better than 1/2X even if X was less than what it would be if we didn't back to back.

Comment: Re:Prior art (Score 1) 60

Unfortunately, their incentives are diametrically opposed to common sense. There is literally no downside for a USPTO examiner to rubber-stamp everything on his or her desk. They get to go home early to beat the traffic, while productive society is left to deal with the legal fallout. The net effect is to devalue legitimate IP while rewarding the trolls.

Alternatively, so many patents are filed that in order to work through them an examiner must spend the minimum time possible as well s avoid re-examination if he or she refuses it so the rational thing to do is approve all unless it is obviously not patentable. The legal system can then sort out what is valid and what is not.

A solution would be to hire more examiners or make a patent case loser pay if the holder loses the suit but that would involve Congress actually looking at realistic solutions.

Comment: Re:when? (Score 1) 182

The first question that comes to my mind is, "What the fuck is the point of 2 Gbps service for residential customers?" It's marketing department dick waving that serves no purpose. It would seem to me that society (both public and corporate) ought to be looking at the areas that are lucky to get T-1 speeds before it worries about upgrading cities that already have access to double and triple digit Mbps connections. For most people it's all gravy once you get past 10-15Mbps and I'm not aware of any consumer grade gear that can take advantage of 2Gbps.

More importantly, what are the caps on such service? You'll essentially wind up paying more for band width you really don't need and not getting any noticeable performance boost, at least for the average home user. The best result from Google's rollout is that incumbents may be forced to offer more competitive offerings, especially if Google offers $300/lifetime rates.

Comment: Re:Subs as aircraft carriers (Score 1) 74

(Though on reflection, we're probably saying much the same thing, just from different points of view.)

It's industrial capacity that was the real "secret weapon" that the Allies had in WWII - in both theatres.

True. You made a lot of good points. That's the problem with /.; things that have many books written explaining them are boiled down to a few sentences

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