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Comment Re:Subpoenas and the right against self-incriminat (Score 1) 169

... protection against compelled self-incrimination.

In many countries that protection is provided not by a constitution, but by tradition of jurisprudence. If the government decides to take that protection away in their 'war on terror', which has happened in other countries, someone will have to prosecute the government to get that protection re-instated.

It is a protection that many in the United States are quick to surrender when they feel threatened, but thankfully so far the more wise heads have prevailed.

In the past 50 years or so the popular attitude toward the protection has faltered. A half century ago invoking your right to remain silent was seen as a good use of protecting yourself. Those who did it were considered smart. But these days, when someone invokes the fifth amendment in the US it is often seen with derision and suspicion.

Anyone can incriminate themselves all they want voluntarily, confess all you want. But the protections against compelled self-incrimination are extremely important. Sadly too many don't realize how important they are.

Comment Subpoenas and the right against self-incrimination (Score 5, Informative) 169

Perhaps they know who the phones belong to, but what makes them think the owner is one of the San Bernadino killers?

That's where law enforcement is having a hard time.
* Government can use a warrant to demand the item be surrendered, and preserve it as evidence.
* Government can demand passwords from third parties like phone companies under both subpoenas and warrants.
* BUT individuals have a constitution protection against compelled self-incrimination.

The government is supposed to produce evidence and link the person to the crime without a forced confession. It is a GOOD THING, it helps prevent things like being tortured to confession and fishing expeditions looking for crimes. Prosecutors and police can demand an individual produce papers and documents that link them to a case, but (assuming their legal defense is doing their job) by doing so they trigger the protections of the fourth and fifth amendments by compelling the evidence.

This was recently re-affirmed by the supreme court in US v. Hubbell. If the government demands that the person gives up documents, papers, or passwords to the device it is compelled self-incrimination. If the government demands a person incriminate himself to collect evidence, it becomes poisoned and the government cannot use it or information from it to help with prosecution.

Police and prosecutors absolutely can demand the people turn over passwords .... but by doing so they also trigger immunity, they cannot use that fact or anything learned from the devices as evidence against them. They'll bitch and moan and complain about not having the passwords, they'll petition congress about how unfair it is to law enforcement that police need to actually investigate crimes and can't use self-incrimination tactics, but the lawyers know full well all it takes is a single slip of paper to legally demand the passwords. Grant them immunity under the protections of the 5th and they are compelled to turn the passwords over, but the person also walks away from criminal liability.

Simply (perhaps dangerously oversimplified) in most of these cases it is that the police are lazy. There are many other known details, much other evidence, but investigators are going for the easy pickings of the data on phones and other personal documents typically protected by law. They could do actual leg-work, actual investigation, actual crime scene evaluation, and many investigators do. The ones wanting to break down the constitutional protections are the lazy investigators who won't be bothered to use the other available investigation tools.

Comment Re:Better transistors? (Score 5, Interesting) 337

So the plan to make transistors tolerate higher clock speeds by using better materials is not going to happen?

Yet another restating of Moore's Law? The thing gets revised to whatever the latest growth area is.

The original 1965 article it was about "component counts", then it was revised in a later talk to be "circuit density", then revised in 1975 to be "semiconductor complexity", then revised in the later '70s to be "circuit and device cleverness", has been restated yet again when serial devices flatlined in favor of highly parallel chips.

Assuming this goes through the chipset, it will likely be restated again in terms of whatever other factor on the chips continues to grow.

Submission + - Push To Hack: Reverse engineering an IP camera (contextis.com)

tetraverse writes: For our most recent IoT adventure, we've examined an outdoor cloud security camera which like many devices of its generation a) has an associated mobile app b) is quick to setup and c) presents new security threats to your network.

Submission + - Patent troll VirnetX awarded $626M in damages from Apple (arstechnica.com)

Tackhead writes: Having won a $200M judgement against Microsoft in 2010, lost a $258M appeal against Cisco in 2013, and having beaten Apple for $368M in 2012, only to see the verdict overturned in 2014, patent troll VirnetX is back in the news, having been awarded $626M in damages arising from the 2012 Facetime patent infringement case against Apple.

Comment Re:No use fighting it (Score 5, Insightful) 144

Movie companies would do a much better job if they stopped trying to squash any sort of piracy, and focused more on providing what people want, in the form they want, when they want it, at a convenient price.

There will always be a guy selling DVDs on the corner, frequently backed up by organized crime. I'm not so certain that people who are less committed to that lifestyle will be always there and impossible to stop. That ease of participation relies on freedoms are now taken for granted which I feel may well become very eroded in the future.

That misses the point.

If the companies provided what the consumers wanted, in the form they wanted, at a convenient price, the guy on the corner has no customers and goes to a different process. The content creators get paid for the content, the customers can enjoy the content, and everyone is happy. (As typical, customers would always prefer to pay less, producers would like to be paid more, but ultimately a happy balance can be reached if they honestly tried.)

Systems like netflix, hulu, dramafever, amazon video, they are getting closer to what the customers wants. In an even better world all those off-catalog shows, the crappy direct-to-DVD releases, these would also be available in the catalog rather than the constant Disney-esque vault where availability is intentionally reduced to get more coin.

The fact that they are present at all on Torrent systems is enough to let the companies know to add it to the catalogs. If I knew I could watch {popular title} from Redbox for a buck per day, or from some paid service where there are no scratched discs, and watch it on a web player on whatever device I want for a time period, sign me up.

Simply: If it is available in a torrent but not available in the authorized service, the authorized service is insufficient.

The company needs to stop providing insufficient service. When one business gives insufficient service, and another source offers the service, it is clear what will happen to the business. Adapt or die. These companies don't even need to go through the process of digitizing the works; when they discover what is on torrents but not in their catalog, put the ripped torrent version among their authorized versions. What happens when Disney finds a rip from some old VHS they haven't migrated? Instead of trying to shut it down, Disney should find the best ripped copy and put that among their (fully paid and properly authorized) products.

If everything were available through a proper, above board, fully legal paid service, and there was one place I could go to get yesterday's TV show, this week's big blockbuster release, reruns of my favorites from the last decade, reruns from the 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, and even all the old back catalog movies clear back to the 1920s when the Golden Age of Cinema started, then the guy at the corner selling bootleg copies would vanish. If the mere presence of a show on torrents was enough to get it added to the proper legal channels, then the need for them would precipitously drop.

It would not vanish completely, there are some people who refuse to pay anything and also refuse to find any friends to share passwords and accounts. If the legal version is immediately available to paying customers, at a convenient price, on a convenient location, viewable on a convenient device, the unsatisfied needs that drive torrented movies would drop off the radar.

Submission + - Stephen Elop Assumes Position In McMaster University

jones_supa writes: Technology maven Stephen Elop is coming home. McMaster University has officially announced that the former alumnus and Microsoft and Nokia executive has been named the distinguished engineering executive in residence at the school's faculty of engineering. It is an advisory position, where he will give insights into new research and teaching opportunities, as well as helping to translating academic knowledge to a wider audience. He will also give lectures twice a year, as well as sit on the dean's advisory council and act as an advisor to the dean. Elop is an alumnus of the McMaster Computer Engineering and Management Program, where he graduated in 1986. The faculty also awarded him with an honorary doctor of science degree in 2009.
Canada

A Legal Name Change Puts 'None of the Above' On Canadian Ballot (foxnews.com) 171

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The ballot to fill a legislative seat in Canada next month includes none of the above—and it's a real person. Sheldon Bergson, 46, had his name legally changed to Above Znoneofthe and is now a candidate for the Ontario legislature, the CBC reports. The election is Feb. 11. The ballot lists candidates in alphabetical order by surname so his name will be the 10th of the 10 candidates as Znoneofthe Above, according to CBC. One of his opponents is running on the line of the None of The Above Party. Maybe the American folks can learn from their cousins up north? Shouldn't every election have a line for "None of the above"? I can't wait until Little Bobby Tables hits 35.

Submission + - Candidate's legal name change puts 'none of the above' on ballot in Canada (foxnews.com)

PolygamousRanchKid writes: The ballot to fill a legislative seat in Canada next month includes none of the above—and it’s a real person. Sheldon Bergson, 46, had his name legally changed to Above Znoneofthe and is now a candidate for the Ontario legislature, the CBC reports. The election is Feb. 11. The ballot lists candidates in alphabetical order by surname so his name will be the 10th of the 10 candidates as Znoneofthe Above, according to CBC.

One of his opponents is running on the line of the None of The Above Party.

Maybe the American folks can learn from their cousins up north . . . ?

Submission + - Developers gather to help charities at massive virtual hack.summit() conference (hacksummit.org)

An anonymous reader writes: hack.summit (https://hacksummit.org) looks like a very interesting event — a pure virtual conference with a speaker roster that's surprisingly strong. The kicker is that it's all for charity to help coding non-profits. Lots of credible tech companies are behind it (Github, StackOverflow, IBM, etc). Part of the event is a global hackathon, where developers can hack over a weekend to help charities and win prizes.

Submission + - 18TB of Fraternal Order of Police data hacked (thecthulhu.com) 1

Dave_Minsky writes: Yesterday, someone by the name of Cthulhu released 18TB of sensitive data from the Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP is America's largest police union with more than 325,000 members in more than 2,100 lodges nationwide.

According to Cthulhu's website, the data were "submitted to me through a confidential source, and have asked me to distribute it in the public interest."

Submission + - How do I get Microsoft to get up off their asses & look at a Windows 10 prob (live.com) 4

mykepredko writes: My product communicates with a host system via Bluetooth (using the Serial Port Profile) and each time a device is connected to a PC a couple of serial ports are allocated. Windows has always had a problem with not automatically disposing of the allocated ports when the connection is removed, but until Windows 10, there were processes for deleting them. This isn't possible for Windows 10 (which apparently has new Serial/Com port and/or Bluetooth drivers) — but individuals, who are apparently working for Microsoft, periodically reply with useless suggestions or attempt to promote questions and ideas as solutions to the problem: http://answers.microsoft.com/e... I suspect that this is an issue for all Windows 10 users (although I guess few people are plugging/unplugging devices) — so how do we get Microsoft to take notice (and not have to pay for them to fix their bug)?

Comment Re:Remember the NASA Wind Turbines? (Score 1) 184

Current blades are trucked in one piece (per blade) which is impressive to see. Three of them were parked on I-5 outside of Patterson, California a few months ago. There are a lot of net videos and photos which convey the scale.

Even at the current size they can't get through many highway interchanges and local intersections. The larger ones won't be able to ship in one piece at all.

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