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Comment: Re:precedent in many future law cases. (Score 1) 346

by TaoPhoenix (#47377657) Attached to: Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

You're almost the only one addressing the legal-theory side.

Stepping aside from the technics, what becomes the theory for this?

"Material that is believed to be owned by the recipient but is in fact leased or rented may be removed by the lessor/provider if it causes reputational damage from the sender (and maybe to other parties?)"

Lawyers have a fun job. (Things to do with a 170 IQ). Take can take one word and use it to create billions of client dollars. There was that one other article in Rolling Stone about how Goldman Sachs borrowed one paragraph from their federal government bailout, jammed it into a 15 year old finance bill, and now they get to run oil pipelines while bidding on oil futures and stuff.

Or the one from earlier today where that review board authorized the NSA to keep spying by abusing the words "adequate" and "reasonable".

Comment: Re: 191 page report (Score 1) 170

by TaoPhoenix (#47374843) Attached to: Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

The report is a bit more clever than that, and *parts* of it are actually good. It's certainly more info than I ever knew before, and than they would have ever released before.

The way these "Devils in Details" landmined reports work is that 95% of it is legit, and builds a legit case towards ... what you think it should. Then at the very capstone when it comes time to produce the conclusion, they flip a key paragraph as the landmine. In a perfect world, let's say we ever magically elect a both incredibly powerful party majority and an incredibly honest one, they can take this report, reverse the landmine paragraphs, and end up with the correct result.

Try looking near pages 98-99.

This is the paragraph that echoes this entire thread:
"On the other side of the coin, the acquisition of private communications intrudes on Fourth Amendment interests. Even though U.S. persons and persons located in the United States are subject to having their telephone conversations collected only when they communicate with a targeted foreigner located abroad, the program nevertheless gains access to numerous personal conversations of U.S. persons that were carried on under an expectation of privacy. Email communications to and from U.S. persons, which the FISA court has said are akin to âoepapersâ protected under the Fourth Amendment,426 are also subject to collection in a variety of circumstances."

At this point everyone is clamoring for the followup to be "Unconstitutional so get rid of it." As they say, "always put one concession to your opponent's position in an argument", so here I say, "it is not possible under any form of intelligence work to have *zero* US-US information showing up, such as because any email to that sketchy girlfriend with a CC to your US buddy on it, drags him along along for the ride." Of course that's a minimal data point, but this thread has been about the issue of Non-Zero data collection.

*However*, then they threw their landmine in.

Over on page 99:

"The government has acknowledged that the Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. persons are affected when their communications are acquired under Section 702 incidentally or otherwise, and it has echoed the FISA courtâ(TM)s observation that the implementation of adequate minimization procedures is part of what makes the collection reasonable. (See footnote 433)"

So before everyone jumps on the word "reasonable", *that's* their landmine. You get Schrodinger's Cat scenarios with that email because as soon as they even see whose names are on it, one to Osama Bin Laden's hot neice's Iranian cousin staying in the Netherlands, and one to your radical US buddy, they *already have* metadata! So they decide to open it, whereupon it contains some nice NSFW Rule34/Rule35 pictures, and a PS memo on the bottom of it with a piece of info that actually qualifies as intelligence. Great. Now you have an email that pisses off at least four countries. What do you do with that?! (After you finish grinning lewdly and more to the pictures!)

So the *actual* word to mess with is "Adequate". After you finish laughing at my scenario, is that an *adequate* acquisition of US citizen data? I don't know. So saying "Aha! A right was violated, abolish the entire agency!!" is not the answer. The only one I can think of is a percentage one of some kind, such as "less than X% of US communications were collected, as verified by an auditor that you actually believe." Then we can all start over deciding what that percentage is.

Comment: Re: Not Voluntarily (Score 4, Interesting) 238

by TaoPhoenix (#47371277) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches

In general I applaud the EU ruling *if* it really gets implemented fairly. But there's all sorts of wiggles to mess around with.

We've been focusing on "that one guy" but look at this note way at the bottom of the article:

"It is only a few days since the ruling has been implemented - and Google tells me that since then it has received a staggering 50,000 requests for articles to be removed from European searches."

And that's 50K requests in a few days.

Google can afford to hire "the army of paralegals", but does the ruling extend to smaller services? You can delist-bomb a small site out of existence when someone manages a "DDOS Distributed De-List of Service" attack on every article in their entire catalog. Then you get games where people try to de-list each other's materials.

Not that I am a fan of Google, but I can bet a senior lawyer at Google is saying "well hell, besides the cost, if we have taken down seventeen million articles on all kinds of topics, there goes our ten year competitive advantage of useful searches."

Comment: Re: known data isn't there (Score 4, Interesting) 560

All this is making me start to think of some kind of more clever "panic mode" encryption.

You'd have to make it really fast, such that it's reg proto-encrypted two ways, one normal, and the panic mode. So say something really fast like shift-control-alt-F11 instantly flips the "panic bit".

We as geeks could put all kinds of awesome stuff into it, smashed into a kind of digital Klein Bottle with milk for Schrodinger's cat.

"Do you know how to decrypt it?"
"Why not?"
"Because it's time-locked with a code that cannot be found until next September."
"Do you know what documents are on there?"
"The ones you are looking for are not there because they were broken into component parts that only the computer knows, tied to a code that September code. Meanwhile other documents you did not know were there, are there, because they were created by algorithms the moment I hit the Panic Button and not a moment before. And the base of the September key is an English phrase which may or may not admit a crime. You don't know."
"So what if the case is dismissed?"
"I can do other work until September. What's important is that it cannot be broken right now."

Comment: Re: far from first (Score 1) 66

by TaoPhoenix (#47271569) Attached to: HUGO Winning Author Daniel Keyes Has Died

"Hey may have hit it best, but he was far from first. Poul Anderson's Brain Wave [], for example, came out in 1953-54. I think there were a lot of even earlier examples, but I don't have them at my fingertips."

Okay, fair. I might have slipped up on my wording.

It's been decades since my old days as a young'un reading all the old Pre/Gold/Silver age stuff. I certainly know who Poul Anderson is, but that exact story is the kind of thing that used to be really tough to find. It's still a little tricky, maybe six web links in Amazon can do it, but back even in the 80's trying to find a then-thirty-year-old story was really tough and I wouldn't have known it even existed to hunt it down.

D. K. and Flowers showed up because it was aggressively highlighted in some school class's curriculum. To be sure, it was worth the exposure, but that's different from trying to make a quick post and hold it to "researcher standards". At 1958 it is reasonably close to the top of the chain and I bet the writers of my examples had at least a phone call advising them "You know you're re-making Flowers for Algernon, right?"

But then there's your note, and if you moved the theme just a little, you might even get some slightly different earlier but not unrelated takes on the theme.

Comment: Re:Unicode (Score 2) 85

by TaoPhoenix (#47271337) Attached to: The Game Theory of Life

Drifting off topic, but did the infamous Beta in fact get Unicode support?

I mean, look at this tortuous new Beta, did they even bother to put in the Unicode support that people have been screaming for for ten+ years?

Damn we need a mole at Dice. What do they even do at management meetings?

"Let's make a whole new design with 55 changes."
"What about Unicode Support?"
"That's a big word. That's too hard for me. Let's put more videos up instead."

Comment: Re:Two things (Score 2) 85

by TaoPhoenix (#47271283) Attached to: The Game Theory of Life

"are mathematics (of which algorythms are a small part) discovered or created ? No one has a clear answer to that question."

I thought it was pretty clear that stuff is discovered. To me this kind of question reads like "Well, does it stop being right at any time once it is discovered?" and the answer is generally no. (A, you sometimes get stuff that was discovered and not properly reported, at which point the original discovery is not at fault and it is just a reporting problem, or B, you get stuff that was *insufficiently* discovered and *over-reported*, causing someone else to re-do parts of the work and end up with something else. But then it's still discovered, at whatever level that year's understanding entails.)

In a way it's a bit silly, you can't just "make up" (create) knowledge, so it has to be there. It can just be ferociously difficult to "correctly" discover, and we might end up with three or thirty versions of the knowledge as we discover it. But once something is really nailed, hard, I can't think of any cases where people said stuff like "Oh, sorry, that law stopped existing in 1932". Every time, when a mistake shows up, it's "Oh, sorry, we didn't discover it right."

Comment: Recycled Hard Drive?! (Score 1, Interesting) 682

by TaoPhoenix (#47270985) Attached to: IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

See this is where the news gets varying degrees of surreal.

In 2014, you "recycled" a hard drive with important emails on it?! Really?!

So then we're faced with that famous Dr. Who trick of whether the Media is accurately reporting an astoundingly senseless event, or if the Media got it wrong.

Oh look, this time it's the IRS. What's with agencies magically losing data when it suits them? Snark aside and all that, why is it that only HIPAA medical records get taken remotely seriously at least with lip service? What possibly produces a result like "ho hum, let's recycle this person's hard drive and damn any data that happens to be there in the only copy with no backup?!"

Comment: Other variants (Score 1) 66

by TaoPhoenix (#47269161) Attached to: HUGO Winning Author Daniel Keyes Has Died

I had a mini project looking for other variants of the same idea because Keyes got there first and hit an important theme.

Some other entries:

The Six Million Dollar Man - Burning Bright (1974) William Shatner ... Josh Lang
Phenomenon (1996) - George Malley - John Travolta

And a couple of newer movies that I am out of energy to track down.

Comment: Re:Too Big to Be Indicted... (Score 5, Interesting) 245

by TaoPhoenix (#47203041) Attached to: NSA's Novel Claim: Our Systems Are Too Complex To Obey the Law

This argument has a bit of a different feel to it though.

Up till now for a decade the agencies just invoke "we're scary and secretive, we don't need to follow your puny little laws because of National Security but we need a billion dollars in next year's budget to build more systems to hold data forever and ever".

And you can bet they cherry pick their data so that they have ten years worth of people's email and Slashdot posts, but suddenly when a lawsuit comes along, suddenly that data vanishes. But then it becomes vital to an investigation! "Oh look, we found it again!"

Comment: Re: Moral Code (Score 1) 222

by TaoPhoenix (#47185965) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

"...what a lot of people portray as "evil" is really just the absence of a moral code -- more accurately called "amoral". An AI system that has no moral code and no ethical code..."

I think this is the main line of the discussion. Hollywood profit calculations aside, this is what we're worried about. But we don't let people grow up without moral codes, so AI's shouldn't get a free ride.

Forgetting Snowden style confusion, when you commit a criminal act, you expect to get into trouble. So if anything it's a snap to program an AI with all the laws so that it at least knows the basics of what not to do even better than we do. Yes, cue the Grey Areas, but that's a topic we can handle. We're nervous about Skynet/Borg style complete takeovers which have discarded our laws completely.

Comment: Re:Self Aware (Score 1) 222

by TaoPhoenix (#47185933) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Killer Machines

"The problem with that argument is that we don;t have to design an AI that is self aware by that specific definition."

Without dragging me into Citation Needed stuff, I have read a few things that suggest that self awareness is a crucial part of true AI. (Suggested partial cite - Douglas Hofstadter's book "Strange Loop". )

Partially relevant from another genre is Ray Bradbury's story "The Bicentennial Man". In that story, it is about a robot that grows as an AI. But only near the end with an understanding of mortality do people grant it "true AI" status.

But even before that, just knowing flaws, is what we people have to deal with every day. That's why I have semi-joked that every AI needs an old Pentium 1 chip as part of its processor network, *and to be aware* that it can't fully trust every result it produces. (I know, it's slow, it needs better chips to do the hard stuff.) But to my knowledge that's the only famous chip with a true math error flaw that isn't just past tense "state of the art as it was then".

Asimov had a good start with the three laws of Robotics. We don't let people become random murderers, so why should AI's get a free ride? So we just have to program/teach them basic morality.

Comment: Re:My Job (Score 1) 310

" by immaterial (1520413) Alter Relationship on 05:48 AM June 4th, 2014 (#47162803)
A 24 Horus deadline? Just six of those falcon-headed bastards strutting around all godlike and hassling me about missed TPS reports is bad enough, but 24... To be honest, at that point I might just throw myself into the Nile and let my ka move on to the realm of Osiris."

Dear Sir.

Please advise what Creative Commons license you wish for this comment. This is *the* most epic comment I have seen here in months and I would like to do something such as write a short story around it.

Send me an email when you like,


Comment: Re: cooked the technology into the cake (Score 4, Insightful) 406

by TaoPhoenix (#47034927) Attached to: Did Mozilla Have No Choice But To Add DRM To Firefox?

So I'm a bit confused all this. How close is the following chain of events?

1. Netflix/___ others start trying to wrap their "tasty content" into wrappers that (try to) require baked in DRM.
2. Uneducated Firefox users suddenly discover that their browser won't play that tasty content anymore "because Mozilla didn't add that Dr. Thingy stuff" to make it work.
3. Said uneducated Firefox users then jump ship to that dulcet siren's call such as Chrome because yay the tasty content works again! "Everything is Awesome!"

So what about PaleMoon? Scuttle has it a bunch of people are headed over that way not least because of FF29 UI Shenanigans. So why not DRM? Their entire point was to unbake bloaty parts of reg FF. So why not if they unbake the DRM from their copy?

And what does Opera have to say about all this? How about Chromium and/or Komodo Dragon? (Non-Googly clones of Chrome.)

For large values of one, one equals two, for small values of two.