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Comment: Intimidation vs. precedent (Score 2) 469

by fprefect (#35783742) Attached to: Sony's Case Against Geohot Has Been Settled

I'm sure if Geohot hadn't been so diligent about his methods and avoiding the various license traps, they'd have gladly pushed this through to the bitter end and made an example out of him.

Clearly Sony is happy to use the legal system to intimidate modders, but isn't interested it taking this case far enough to establish a legal precedent that runs contrary their own interests. Must be nice to have deep enough pockets that you can throw lawyers at a problem until it goes away, or you lose interest and "settle".

Comment: Reacting harshly? (Score 2) 342

by fprefect (#31660624) Attached to: New Software For Employers To Monitor Facebook

"There is a tendency to react to an off-color joke or complaint that appears online more harshly than to the same comment made in a cafeteria or company picnic"

Of course, because such as comment isn't a one-off thing in close company, but posted for everyone to see until it is removed -- rather like a sign hung from the break-room bulletin board.

Comment: Yes and no (Score 1) 582

by fprefect (#30585538) Attached to: Bruce Schneier On Airport Security

First, I think people pigeonhole too much as just "security theatre", such as the liquids ban. In this instance, if there were no such ban, the guy may have brought on a gallon of explosives instead of what he could fit in his tightie-whities. Yes, there are hundreds of other ways to take down a plane than box-cutters or binary explosives, but it's naive to think that since we can't stop *everything* that we should just shrug and roll back *all* air-travel restrictions.

The same goes for the photo ID canard... sure, it's possible fake a photo ID, but such trivial checks make it more difficult for someone off the street to just walk out with unattended equipment or penetrate the local network. Is it going to stop a determined thief or terrorist... no, but it's not necessarily the intent. Even Bruce would have to concede that opportunistic-theft is statistically much more likely than movie-style heists.

Basic security is necessary in our society, not just for terror attacks, but for random acts of violence and theft. There's nothing wrong with checking up on people or reporting suspicious activity. We're not talking Patriot Act and black boot tactics, just "suspicious lump sums" and "neighorhood watch" type common sense. It's like security at Best Buy or Wal-Mart... sure, they may fail to prevent some merchandise from walking out the door, but without them, it would be open-season.

Now, on the other hand, I think he's got a solid point about the dangers of over-reacting and the resilience of an open-democracy. Our law enforcement and investigative branches are capable of pursuing the enemy, much better than our armed forces are. And finally, we need to spend more time and money supporting the first responders, so that they are well-prepared for the next major catastrophe -- be it man-made or natural.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil