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Comment: Re:Same can happen at a cloud provider... (Score 1) 259

by Zordak (#49341535) Attached to: RadioShack Puts Customer Data Up For Sale In Bankruptcy Auction
It's not quite that simple. When B purchases the data, the contract between you and A doesn't just disappear. B purchases the data subject to the contract. Since there is no provision in the contract that it's not transferable (at least not on RS's end), that's a normal and acceptable thing to do with a contract. That's not a guarantee that they won't do the most nefarious thing with it that they can get away with, but simply putting up a torrent of it probably won't fly. In fact, that's exactly what the NY AG is talking about here. RS received the data under an agreement. They can't breach that agreement just because they're going bankrupt.

Comment: Re:How fucking tasteless (Score 2) 339

by Zordak (#49333215) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

That their culture was steeped in something does not mean that every individual is obsessed with it. American culture is obsessed with a bunch of people named Kardashian, but all I know about them is that there are several of them, and I think one of them is named Kim or something.

And racist or not, yes, Japanese culture was obsessed with killing and torture. It had been for a very, very long time.

Comment: Re:How fucking tasteless (Score 5, Insightful) 339

by Zordak (#49332235) Attached to: Feds Attempt To Censor Parts of a New Book About the Hydrogen Bomb

Many feel the Japanese would have surrendered anyhow.

I call BS. Before the atomic bombs, Japan's strategy was to basically arm every citizen and make the invasion of the mainland such a bloody, costly quagmire for the Allies that they would negotiate favorable peace terms. Even the Wikipedia article on Surrender of Japan has a deeper understanding of the issue than whatever you're making up. Even after Hiroshima, the Supreme Council voted against surrender. They thought that maybe the U.S. only had one bomb, or that it lacked the will power to use it again. After Nagasaki (and the Soviet invasion), the Supreme Council still didn't want to surrender, so they tortured a captured U.S. P-51 pilot, and he told them that the U.S. had at least 100 atomic bombs (he was lying). But the cabinet still split on whether to surrender. It took the emperor basically begging the cabinet, for the sake of the millions who were about to be slaughtered, to persuade them to vote in favor of surrender.

Modern navel-gazing revisionist historians really don't appreciate how truly warlike and blood-soaked the entire Japanese culture was before 1945. They were obsessed with killing and torture. The Japanese surrender and subsequent disarmament fundamentally transformed the entire nation.

Comment: Re: Prototype (Score 1) 126

by Zordak (#49325325) Attached to: Boeing Patents <em>Star Wars</em> Style Force Field Technology
No, they aren't. (See part II, perpetual motion machines lack utility.) So you are partly wrong and partly right. You absolutely do not need a working prototype to get a patent. Many, many patents are issued without a prototype. But there is a specific basis for rejecting perpetual motion machines. (And yes, I am an actual, honest-to-goodness patent attorney, so I am not just making stuff up. I have filed many applications without a working prototype, and have turned away inventors when they have brought me what amounted to perpetual motion machines.)

Comment: Re:do you really want the uninformed voting (Score 5, Interesting) 1088

by Zordak (#49296269) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

So do you really want the uninformed/non interested making a vote.

The unspoken assumption behind this proposal is that yes, Obama does want the uninterested and uninformed to vote, because he assumes they will trend Democrat. Some of the Democrats' greatest strongholds are high-density urban centers where both education and income levels are low. So Obama extrapolates that out and decides that means that mandatory voting will be a big windfall for Democrats, and give them a one-party lock on government.

I suspect that the reality wouldn't be as rosy for them as they're hoping. I could see it being a boon for third parties, as people who have no interest in the two major parties are compelled to find a candidate they don't hate.

Comment: Re:contamination? (Score 1) 135

by Zordak (#49174611) Attached to: Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection

Aside from the huge privacy issues, I'm even more concerned that they would screw up collecting it. Everyone sheds DNA. Who is to say that the DNA they collect is actually from the person they think it is? DNA gets all mixed together after it leaves a person's body.

That's what juries are for. The prosecution presents evidence that the defendant's DNA was found at the scene of the crime. The defense attorney then attacks the credibility of the evidence, for example by offering an alternative theory for why his DNA was there, or attacking the method of collection to raise doubt that it's actually his DNA the police collected. (He doesn't necessarily have to provide his own DNA sample. Defendants aren't obligated to prove their innocence.) Then the investigator explains why the collection method is sound. At the end of the day, the jury decides whether the defense has raised a reasonable doubt.

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong here. (Score 3, Insightful) 135

by Zordak (#49173589) Attached to: Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection

This comment makes absolutely no sense. Where does probable cause come from, except from an investigation? How do you expect police to do their job if they're only allowed to start collecting evidence after they get a warrant, which must be supported by evidence?

The purpose of a warrant is to allow the police to breach your otherwise constitutionally-guaranteed reasonable expectation of privacy. A warrant permits police to search your home, person, vehicle, or other private space without your permission. Other than such private spaces, police don't need permission from anybody to investigate. They certainly don't need a warrant to search a crime scene, where you have no legally-protected reasonable expectation of privacy.

Comment: Re:As the majority pointed out (Score 1) 135

by Zordak (#49173419) Attached to: Supreme Court Gives Tacit Approval To Warrantless DNA Collection

so they follow you around until they see you throw away a cup, or a piece of gum, or sneeze and toss the tissue away in a public place. Then they amble up and help themselves.

That sounds like "police work" to me. I'd rather police spend their time doing things like staking out suspected criminals than doing what the NSA does.

Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.