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Comment: Re:The Safe Bet Here (Score 1) 173

by Warhawke (#46272343) Attached to: Federal Smartphone Kill-Switch Legislation Proposed

It's not about having "a phone" killed. It's about the ability to have phoneS killed. Plural.

No. I intentionally decided against the paranoid option.

What purpose would it serve for the NSA to brick a bunch of phoneS at one time?

Other than making a very big, very public story? Which would get a LOT of airplay in the media.

If the NSA needs service cut in a specific area they can already do that.

You mean like how the installation of clothes-penetrating image scanners wouldn't need to be implemented when dangerous objects can already be better detected by more conventional screens and selected pat-downs? It's for the same reason the U.S. has toyed with the idea of an Internet kill switch and a way to disable cars remotely: when one becomes addicted to power, the ends of power obtained justify the means of obtaining it.

The federal government does not particularly care what temporary effect such measures will have on media and the general public; the ability to do it at all justifies (to them) its implementation.

Comment: Re:FCC Shouldn't Ban It, But Airlines Should (Score 1) 340

by Warhawke (#45989449) Attached to: Americans To FCC Chair: No Cell Calls On Planes, Please

Time, place, and manner restrictions. If there is something about the location, time, or manner in which the speech is made that is compelling enough to warrant a restriction, the government has the right to restrict such speech. Critics consider this to be a carte blanche to government regulation of content and speech, but it is also what prevents you from violating city noise ordinances and from screaming incessantly in a court room. It also is what creates so-called "speech-free zones." I personally would like to see the issue left in the hands of airline policy, but because airlines are common carriers and there is something compelling about being trapped in an aluminum tube with hundreds of potential chatterboxes, I can definitely see the government believing it has the right to regulate speech to prevent common-law based nuisances.

Case in point, a bill has been proposed to prevent phone use on airplanes despite the FCC's proposed lift on restrictions. The bill is co-sponsored by Lamar Alexander and Dianne Feinstein. Any topic that can get those two muppets to agree and side with one another must be a topic of nuclear concern.

Comment: Re:Why in God's name... (Score 1) 69

by Warhawke (#45840291) Attached to: Snapchat Users' Phone Numbers Exposed To Hackers
That may have been true several versions ago, but it isn't true now. Just tried a forensic analysis on my rooted device and it did not recover any .nomedia files (other than ones I had placed in there for other programs). Yes, the data still remains on the drive, but it functions the exact same way as deleting a file using a file manager. The reason forensic analysis is able to recover the data is not because it is readily accessible on the drive but because the actual file information persists on the disk. From the third-to-last paragraph of the article:

The reality is that it is notoriously difficult to remove data from mobile devices simply because of the way data is stored using the 'wear levelling' technique. Since mobile devices are so regularly recycled for newer versions, this means that Snapchat photos that users believe no longer exist may be passed on to unknown third parties, and could be retrieved with forensic software.

Comment: Re:Why in God's name... (Score 1) 69

by Warhawke (#45814547) Attached to: Snapchat Users' Phone Numbers Exposed To Hackers
They are deleted the same way that any normal OS deletes a photo -- removing the reference information from the drive header, thus marking the bits the data occupies as safe for rewriting. Until the bits are written over, the file remains intact. There's nothing at all disingenuous about stating the photos are deleted. Perhaps they aren't subject to a null-0 or random data string erasure, but the file is still, by all general computing definitions, deleted. Or do you think that pressing the delete key makes the file on your computer also disappear forever?

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 1) 944

by Warhawke (#45789611) Attached to: 60% of Americans Unaware of Looming Incandescent Bulb Phase Out

No it isn't. A daylight color LED has an average spectrum output that approximates the bell curve of natural daylight, but use a spectrometer and you'll see that an LED has jagged peaks and dead spots in certain frequencies. You're using multiple colors to approximate a full BBR entity rather than a single filament that can produce across a full spectrum of visible light. An incandescent burns at nearly a perfect bell curve.

I'm not enough of an engineer to know why my friend who works for a power company gets so incensed by the incandescent ban, but he positively goes berserk every time someone brings it up with him. Something about how incandescents soften out the power grid? All I know is that he's said LEDs and CFLs wreak havoc on our local power grid. Not to mention the power efficiency / pollution issues are moot here, since we're all hydroelectric. All this has done for my area is increase groundwater contamination from the CFL in mercury bulbs. Furthermore, this is not the realm of government to force development of new technologies by arbitrarily outlawing old ones. The parable of the broken window is perfectly applicable here.

Slashdot... where we run multiple 600+-watt servers in our homes and then congratulate ourselves for changing our lightbulbs.

Comment: Re:Gums up the narrative that IP is for everyone (Score 1) 185

by Warhawke (#45758319) Attached to: 90 Percent of Businesses Say IP Is "Not Important"

No, you're missing the whole point of trademark law. Trademark law is supposed to protect against consumer confusion. Let's say the owner of Quickie decides to dump tens of thousands (businesses are expensive) into revamping machines, improving QoS, adding WiFi and a cable subscription, etc. I think this is a dumb assumption because you're assuming Quickie can even afford to invest in better business practices both in terms of start-up costs and in terms of margins based on revenue generated, but let's even put that aside. We'll pretend Quickie can out-compete Quicky through better business practices.

Quicky, on the other hand, runs a dump. One of the machines electrocuted a guy and their dryers burn clothes. The place is a dump. People get robbed in the parking lot.Cynthia's friend Karl is new to the neighborhood and asks her, "Hey Cynthia, I need a good local laundromat. Know any good ones in the area?" She responds, "For the love of God, don't go to Quicky. Those guys are awful." Karl responds, "Quickie is that bad, huh? Okay, I'll avoid them." He then goes to Bumble and Tumble Laundromat a few blocks over.

No matter how much Quickie improves its business, Quicky will always hurt their business by confusing customers into thinking that they are actually Quickie or into thinking that they are the same business. That is why trademark law exists, and protection is surprisingly affordable to most businesses. Registration is only $275 for federal protection. Quickie's battle is not the same as EA, and they don't have to spend the same gobs of money on lawyers and court fees. 1) It's not going to be litigated beyond the trial court, most likely; 2) there aren't gobs of corporate e-mails to pore through in discovery; and 3) the neighborhood IP attorney isn't going to be as expensive because he or she won't have to specialize in that form of law.

Comment: Point Missed (Score 1) 199

by Warhawke (#45468117) Attached to: Warner Bros. Admits To Issuing Bogus Takedowns
The issue isn't whether the employee (or computer) is an agent and therefore authorized to file any DMCA claim. The issue is whether the authorized agent sent the notice "in good faith." The conundrum is that fair use does not have a bright line test. WB will claim it has no means of knowing whether a use is fair, so all DMCA claims are in good faith. The problem with this argument is that it doesn't work in pre-internet copyright terms. Early dismissal and summary judgment and counter-damages were common where the plaintiff should have known the use was fair. Basically, the problem is that no one can categorize, legally, whether a use is fair except for a judge, and by then you're eyeballs deep in legal fees.

Comment: Legal Analysis (Score 2) 281

by Warhawke (#45400403) Attached to: Music Industry Issues Take Down Notices to 50 Major Lyrics Sites

IANAL, but I am familiar with the business. For those of you claiming this is self-destructive, the NMPA as well as individual publishers actually license the lyrics right to certain lyrics websites. The publishers own a valid copyright in the lyrics alone, so legally speaking, republication of the lyrics without copyright license is infringement. Several lyrics websites are officially licensed and sanctioned. I won't name names, but you can usually tell which are licensed and which aren't by the quality and accuracy of the lyrics on the site.

Usually the publishers steer clear of these sites due to lack of personal jurisdiction, or at best make half-hearted efforts by throwing around a take-down notice here or there. Publishers want to collect money, and they're well aware that going after Lars Lokke Ummerstal in Latvia isn't going to be profitable. However, take-down notices are relatively cheap and easy, and I believe the idea is to stick by principle and crack down on infringing websites in order to have a chilling effect on copyright infringement generally. This is not new, or particularly newsworthy.

It's also not really all that infuriating, from a copyleft perspective. Because publishers are licensing their copyrights to lyrics and tablature, they aren't strangling the marketplace of ideas. The only real question is whether or not the sites are unfairly targeting websites legitimately engaging in fair use (as opposed to those actually making money off of advertising revenue and merely claiming their use is fair), but, as fair use is an affirmative defense and not a bright line rule, there's no way for a site to prove as a threshold matter that their use is fair.

Comment: Re:The aithor is confused. (Score 2) 259

by Warhawke (#44504819) Attached to: Is 'Fair Use' Unfair To Humans?

This isn't as straightforward now as it used to be. Google has now introduced full-sized image search which allows people to pull images directly from their Google search page rather than linking to the source page. Once upon a time, Google was able to get away with this because it only linked small-sized thumbnails that weren't suitable replacements to the original. The searcher actually had to link to the page to get the content, as you point out.

Now, however, the searcher can get the content, full-sized, directly from the search link without ever hitting the original site. The bandwidth still comes from the original site, but the image can be seen entirely within the Google context. Fascinatingly, this full-sized (as opposed to thumbnail) image linking is exactly the example that the judge in Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc. , which legitimized fair use of image searches, declared would not be an example of fair use.

Google has seemed to have entirely forgotten about that. Curiously, no lawsuits have popped up since. Granted, this is now in the days of robots.txt, but the law hasn't exactly caught up to discern the difference. Surely somebody with an interest in Google's deep pockets would sue for copyright infringement.

That said, the problem is clearly not that "technology" gets preferential treatment but that what one defines as "fair use" is tremendously murky and cannot be statutorily determined. It has to be decided on a case-by-case basis, and the pattern of ruling on what constitutes fair use has absolutely no correlation to itself. For example, is it a fair use to watch a movie in a park (semi-public place that might warrant a public performance) to a group of 6 close friends and family? 12? On a big-screen? Who knows.

Until fair use gets locked down as to something other than "whatever the judge feels like is fair," everyone on both sides of the equation will scream about perceived injustice.

Comment: parallel (Score 0) 814

by Warhawke (#44295953) Attached to: Hardly Anyone Is Buying 'Smart Guns'
A system that restricts access control isn't voluntarily adopted by the marketplace? You don't say! Clearly what we need to do is mandate that this technology be included in all market devices so that even lawful owners must be hindered by the access restrictions since we can't distinguish lawful owners from unlawful ones. It's not like the determined criminals will ever disable the access restrictions, but if they do we just need to make them sufficiently complicated that it's really hard to circumvent. So maybe the complexities will cause a few points of failure for law abiding citizens... let's be realistic; people who own guns are probably all future criminals. Besides, we can criminalize circumvention with some kind of... anticircumvention clause. Better yet, how about we only lease funds so that you can never actually own a gun at all? Then we could know who's firing the weapon by checking it against the access database. We could even restrict firing to only authorized targets. We should call it firearms rights management. If only some kind of marketplace restriction attempted to be forced upon customers already existed, I could prove to you how great and effective a system this would be!

Comment: short-sighted (Score 1) 1448

by Warhawke (#44236889) Attached to: Orson Scott Card Pleads 'Tolerance' For <em>Ender's Game</em> Movie
I find it interesting so many people are ready to boycott a movie based on a single high-profile participant's personal beliefs. (See also Tom Cruise) Do you think everyone else working on that movie believes the same? Should their livelihoods be hurt because they associated with a bigot? How many bigots do you work with? Do you know? Would you boycott a movie because the key grip was anti-Semitic? Or do we only care about the opinions of rich people?

Comment: Re:Good (Score 3, Informative) 304

You are mistaken.

The legal definition of entrapment varies from country to country, but the basic definition is that entrapment occurs when a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a crime that he or she otherwise would not have committed. Knowledge that the person is a law enforcement officer is not required. See, e.g. Jacobson v. United States, 503 U.S. 540 (1992). What is required is some form of but-for causation -- that but for the law enforcement officer's conduct, the defendant would not have committed the crime. Whether the defendant knows the officer is a law enforcement agent goes to objective / subjective state of mind standards regarding whether the defendant was likely to commit the crime -- i.e. inducement is harder to prove if the defendant did not know the facilitator was a figure of legal authority, because there is less of an indication of compulsion. In Jacobson, the government targeted the defendant with a child pornography mail subscription and arrested him upon his receipt and opening. The Supreme Court overturned his conviction on the grounds that the defendant did not have a predisposition towards purchasing child pornography (as no other child pornography was found in his home), and therefore but for the post office inspectors' actions, Jacobson would not have committed a crime.

What you may be referring to is entrapment by estoppel. That "applies when, acting with actual or apparent authority, a government official affirmatively assures the defendant that certain conduct is legal and the defendant reasonably believes that official." United States v. Howell 37 F.3d 1197, 1204 (7th Cir. 1994).

Comment: Re:Moronic (Score 1) 339

by Warhawke (#43714271) Attached to: Ad Exec: Learn To Code Or You're Dead To Me

While I don't dispute your basic premise that programming languages should be taught in curricular liberal arts colleges (and indeed I was required to "learn" one at mine), I would argue that there is more to be gleaned from an understanding of literature or history or geography than there is from understanding a programming language. A programming language teaches you the particulars of how to realize software within the context of that software. You might be able to take away some general concepts regarding how computers work, but understanding how a computer executes software is a far cry from understanding how to read and write code.

Traditional liberal arts courses provide a broader understanding of what defines humanity. There is a breadth and interconnectedness in those courses that is not present in programming languages which are essentially practical knowledge. For example, if a student learns KOBOL, 90% of what he learns will be practically useless today because little of the Framework upon which to hang that knowledge still exists. At best the student could keep the generalized concepts, but that is a negligible portion of the material learned. But if a student reads Faulkner, while there may be significantly less practical application, a much greater portion goes to explain the general repository of humanity and its collective knowledge (southern culture, how we process death, Reformation, how the mentally challenged mind works, etc.). A better solution would be computer literacy courses rather than programming courses. I use my knowledge of geography significantly more than I use my knowledge of Java and C++ on a day-to-day basis. That doesn't mean I shouldn't know about computers generally, but why waste my time learning a practical skill set to glean the global knowledge when so much of the practical material will be useless to me?