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Comment Re: This was _outlawed_ in the USA? (Score 1) 545

Your argument is reasonable, just not based on constitutional principles. I don't think this law abides by the constitution, even if it seems reasonable enough. How do you reckon the feds have authority in such matters?

What the congress can do, however, is attach strings to federal assistance programs for schools to enforce these types of regulations. Since many schools systems or states absolutely depend on this money, the feds have a good deal of leeway in the kinds of regulations they can enforce.

This same kind of pressure gave us the national speed limit, raised the drinking age to 21, and created the right turn on red rule: all these measures were mandated at the federal level by tying compliance to federal highway funds.

Comment Re:Court was right (Score 1) 138

The court was right in my opinion. The breach is bad, but showing concrete material damages (outside of copyright infringment suits) is a usual requirement. If the plaintiffs couldn't show they were harmed, Michael's doesn't need to make them whole.

There is still potential for various other types of lawsuits to succeed; PCI compliance, or criminal negligence, etc.

This is why we need statutory punitive damages to make companies liable for these kinds of breaches. Otherwise they have no incentive to protect your data. The harm done by all these leaks just becomes an externality. The only way we are going to get corporations to protect the data they are entrusted with is if they have a financial interest in doing so.

Comment Re:It was most likely in Syria (Score 1) 600

It's not as if we are ever going to learn the truth in these kinds of "incidents". Russia will say they were in Syria, Turkey will say they were in Turkey.
However this time since the pilot parachuted in Syria, and got captured by rebels, I tend to believe the Russian story. If the plane was shot down in Turkey, the Turkish army would have recovered the pilot, isn't it?

Jets move fast, wind blows a parachute around. It's possible that when the missile was launched, the Russian jet was in Turkey but by the time of impact, missile and jet were over Syria. Based on the description, it sounds like the Russians were flying parallel tot he border and flew across a small finger of Turkish land that protruded into Syria. It sounds like both countries are somewhat it the wrong. The Russians technically entered Turkish airspace, but they were transiting, not flying a sortie in Turkey. The Turks over reacted.

Comment Re:Isn't Facebook a private company? (Score 1) 147

Basically isn't that the core of it? Regardless of one's feelings about it, doesn't FB have the right to dictate what content they allow?

First Amendment issues might be different is this was a gov't run/controlled site, right? Oh wait... um, hmmm...

Sure, but by exercising editorial control, they now bear an increased responsibility for the content they do allow to be posted. You can't have it both ways: either you are a disinterested common carrier that provides a medium of transmission, or you are an active curator who is liable for what your users post.

Comment Re:Can you liberals please wake the fuck up? (Score 1) 965

Fighting in a war zone is one thing, going into restaurants in the middle of Paris and opening up with automatic AK-47s into civilians eating dinner is quite another.

People who would do such things are animals and aren't worth dealing with on an even level. If they wish to behave this way, then they should be treated that way.

Yes, dropping bombs from 20,000 feet on the restaurant is far more civilized.

Comment Re:Naive analysis (Score 1) 242

1 in 50,000 is pretty unsecure if you ask me. That means that there are 200 people in a million that can get into my phone...

1 in 50,000 is better than the 1 in 10,000 you get with a 4 digit PIN, which is what the fingerprint is usually replacing. And since you usually get at least 10 wrong guesses before the phone locks for a long time or erases itself, the PIN is more like 10:10,000 or 1:1000. And to be fair, your chances of matching a random fingerprint are actually 5:50,000 since it lets you try 5 times (or 5 different fingers) before locking out TouchID.

Having TouchID lets me set a long alphanumeric passcode. This is tolerable since I don't have to enter it very often. So I am arguably more secure now than with the 4-digit PIN I was using before since the convenience of the biometric allows me to set a longer, seldom-used passcode.

Comment Re:Resistors in a cable? (Score 4, Insightful) 206

Gods no. The important thing is that the cable be capable of carrying the current the device requests. If the resistors were just in the device, then it would have no idea if the cable you've used to connect it to the hub is thick enough to carry the current it is about to draw.

Comment Re:And he might kill his business (Score 2) 190

So include a monetary penalty in the contract that will account for that; instead of merely "cancelling the license", spell out a financial amount to be paid for that kind of breach, And "No further usage is licensed, except after the penalty is paid".

The idea being, the mandatory monetary penalty would be large enough to compensate/offset for the expected loss of future business.

Then be prepared to get no business. This guy isn't James Cameron: he's licensing stock footage. No company lawyer would allow their organization to be put on the hook for that kind of liability for such a trifling benefit. They'd just find someone else to get similar footage from with less onerous terms or make it themselves.

Comment These don't all seem unreasonable (Score 4, Interesting) 151

I know the tone of this post is "look at these crazy luddites", but at least in the case of the Virginia group, it looks like all they are asking is the lines be run through existing rights of way such as rail lines or highways, rather than through residential neighborhoods. I don't think that sounds all that crazy, especially considering the negative impact high tension lines have on nearby property.

Comment Re:Since when is providing copies of papers illega (Score 1) 204

If the scientists were actually employed by the government and their contract specified that the research would be owned by the USG, then yes, the research would be public domain because the USG is prohibited from holding copyrights (could still be marked CLASSIFIED or FOUO though). If, on the other hand, the government gave a grant to a private institution and did not stipulate that the work product would belong to the government, then the institution will usually get to keep the IP.

Comment Re:Not impossible, just difficult. (Score 2) 225

My understanding is that the key, encrypted by the user's unlock code and device ID, is stored on a secure hardware module that is unique to the processor on that specific phone. You can configure the phone to erase the key after 10 wrong attempts. This makes it pretty much impossible to brute force the passcode via the OS. What I don't know is if the 10 tries setting is enforced at the hardware level or the OS. If it's only the OS, I suppose you could rig up something to interface with the hardware security module directly. If it is enforced in hardware, you'd have to somehow extract the password-encrypted key from the hardware before you could start trying to brute force the password. I'm sure it's possible, but it's also probably beyond the resources of most law enforcement organizations.

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