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Comment Re:Not quite the same thing (Score 1) 91

To allow "hacking" to circumvent encryption, the FBI must have (direct or indirect) access to a suspect's device. For that, they must first have a suspect. Encryption can still prevent becoming a suspect in the first place.

According to them, encryption would still prevent people becoming suspects anyway, as I understand it. I believe they claim that they'd only ever use the back door* to access encrypted data of people who are already suspects, not to conduct fishing expeditions.

*Erm, I mean the "front door",which only they can use, leaving me to use the "back door" I suppose, meaning, metaphorically, I would have to walk around the house whenever I wanted to enter or leave it, which sounds rather metaphorically inconvenient, but I digress.

Comment Re:I wonder if they're going to use this as "proof (Score 1) 657

That's total bullshit, a lot of things CAN trigger a bomb. The trigger isn't the dangerous part, the exploding part is the dangerous part.

So you admit an alarm clock could be used to trigger a bomb. Worse, it could also be used to wake someone up on time to set that bomb. Frankly, I find your cavalier attitude unfathomable.

Comment Re:I wonder if they're going to use this as "proof (Score 1) 657

In fact, it wasn't a dangerous-looking thing. If it was, the teacher would not have confiscated it, put it in a desk drawer, and continued teaching the class.

Well put. I guess the teacher was afraid that other people might be afraid it was a bomb. That's what the police were afraid of. From what I understand, they didn't call the bomb squad, and they didn't arrest him for possessing a bomb, they arrested him for possessing a "hoax bomb". No-one was actually afraid it was a bomb. It wasn't a dangerous-looking thing. It was, perhaps, a kind of thing that looked like it might look dangerous to someone else, if there is such a kind of thing.

Comment Re:Why worry? (Score 1) 381

Walmart or google isn't going to kick down your doors in the middle of the night and shoot your dog.

Probably not, although Wilson Parking did threaten to send ex-criminals to bang on my door in the middle of the night. Besides, with all the public-private partnerships in "intelligence" and "defence", it's getting increasingly difficult to tell the difference.

Comment Re:Technology, not politics (Score 1) 381

Assuming "back door" means "any security bug, including a but that nobody knows about yet," well, "good luck with that."

Yes, but if you want to secure communications, you've essentially only got two options: 1) Secure the endpoints, or 2) secure everything between them. i.e. 1) Use unbreakable encryption on uncrackable machines, or 2) ensure no-one on the Internet (read: in the world) tries to intercept your messages or crack your machines. Ridiculous as it may be to try to do 1, it is not half as ridiculous as trying to do 2, so if you're going to try to do anything at all, your least worst option is to try to do 1.

Comment Re:Did anyone read the article? (Score 1) 215

I honestly thought you were joking (and apparently I'm not the only one--I notice you've been modded "funny"). Lucky I decided to check the article to be sure. But I don't think it actually has any basis in law. AFAIK, I don't need Lexmark's permission to open the package of a cartridge I bought, nor to use it, therefore I don't need to agree to a license in order to do either of these things.

I think software licenses base their claim primarily on the necessity of copying software onto a computer in order to use it--i.e. I am not allowed to copy the software without a copyright license, and therefore I am not allowed to use the software without agreeing to a copyright license, since using requires copying. This being the case, it wouldn't apply to Lexmark's cartridges. I don't need to copy Lexmark's cartridges in order to use them, so I don't need their permission, and needn't agree to a license.

Comment Re:Pretty reasonable (Score 2) 235


Copyright infringement is not really, not morally a crime


Disagree. ... we abstract things so the "victim" is someone we have no sympathy for.

I don't think there is a victim of copying (assuming it does not involve invasion of privacy or misattribution), as I don't think there is any harm caused by it. Imagine for a second that we discovered life on Mars... and they were copying our movies. Would you consider us on Earth to have been victims suffering harm all this time, but simply unaware of it?

If you were the party that made these things and then had other people redistributing them for free... you would be pissed, right?

If offered to do something for someone, and they accepted, but I didn't receive anything for my efforts, I may believe I did not get what I deserved, although I probably wouldn't feel resentful if I had made the decision freely, without the expectation of receiving anything. If I had expected to receive something I might well feel not just that I didn't get what I deserved, but that they had treated me unfairly. Even then, though, I can honestly say that I do not think I would consider myself entitled to forcibly take what I believed I deserved and had been expecting. I think there is a significant difference between deserving something and having a right to take it. (Further, in the case of copying, I think it is copyright law that creates the expectation, and copyright law has been created, and repeatedly expanded, due to pressure from people who benefit from it, making the expectation, and therefore claimed unfair treatment, seem kind of self-inflicted.)

What I think I would do, is stop offering to do things for the person who did not return the favour. I certainly can't imagine myself continuing to offer to do things for that person in the future, and subsequently claiming to have been stolen from each time.

Comment Re:Pretty reasonable (Score 1) 235

Yes, it is piracy. And it's also copyright infringement. Because piracy in this case is basically a (somewhat) more colloquial term for the copyright infringement. If you don't believe me, look it up: there are TONS of citations going back to the 1600's.

You could also find many citations, for instance, that refer to heavy rain as "raining cats and dogs", but you could also find many people who, if asked whether heavy rain was actually cats and dogs, would consider it not to be.

Comment Re:Steve (Score 1) 440

How was the Apple II better or superior to the Commodore, TRS 80, Sinclaire Pet, or whatever the hell was out during the 1980's?

In case you're interested (or, more honestly, for my own nostalgia), Sinclair's most popular computer was the ZX Spectrum (the PET was an early Commodore). There were various iterations and clones, but the original was very much a computer for people who couldn't afford a computer. I wouldn't have had a computer when younger, if not for this machine.

Almost everything was run pretty much directly by the CPU. Normally an interrupt ran 50 times a second. The interrupt routine checked the keyboard (40 rubber keys: numbers, letters, shift, "symbol shift", enter, and space, with everything else accessed via various combinations of the shift keys, e.g. shift+space for "break"--the equivalent of escape). The interrupt routine also updated the internal clock (3 bytes in memory), which kept track of how long the computer had been on, up to about 4 days, excluding time spent playing sound or loading or saving. That was because interrupts had to be disabled for the CPU to run the speaker (1 bit sound) or external tape recorder (for loading and saving). There was dedicated hardware for outputting the 256x192 display to a TV (unlike with the Spectrum's predecessor, the ZX81, where the CPU spent 3/4 of its time generating the scan lines for the TV). Only two colours could be used in any 8x8 pixel square. There was no paging on the original, so memory addressing was limited by the 16-bit address bus to 64K, of which 16K was ROM and about 8K was screen memory. The expansion port was a bit of the circuit board sticking out the back.

Amazingly, in the later years people got it to do 3d polygon graphics and 2 channel sound in software (although not at the same time, obviously). Ah, for the good old days.

Long term it was healthy for computing ecosystem. Even Intel today is making each new i5/i7 use less and less power which really started from Jobs perfection in the days of the Ipad which Intel wants in. How is this a bad thing?

I don't know how things would have played out without the Apple Mac. I wonder if perhaps there was enough room left in the market for one other computer besides the IBM PC, and if it hadn't been the Apple Mac, it might have been the Amiga.

Comment Collect big data on governments and businesses (Score 1) 117

Collecting massive amounts of data on people's personal lives could lead to new insights--I've heard this before. I'd rather have privacy. Why not collect massive amounts of data on governments and businesses instead? This could provide some actual evidence to base economic theories on, unstead of the naval gazing they're currently built on.

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 311

If it's a crime (fraud), then lawsuits are completely irrelevant. This is basic civics. Lawsuits are over torts, not crimes.

Okay, but, unless someone in a government department somewhere is actually paid to go looking, then to an extent it's a moot point. Nothing will be done unless someone, willing to submit to testimony and cross-examination, makes a complaint to the relevant government department. It's still a significant effort to make over a matter of a few dollars.

Comment Re:Quit trying to justify it. (Score 1) 147

Everyone comes in these threads trying to justify piracy with some sort of legal/ethical spin. Let's just call it like we see it.

I see it in legal and ethical terms, so that's how I call it. Imagine for a second that we discovered that there was life on Mars... and they were copying our movies. Would anyone suggest that gave us a right to invade, and seize their real property? Now, what ethical principle differentiates this from one country seeking to do the same to another, or one individual seeking to do the same to their neighbour? The US Constitution based copyright on an aim "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"... before movies or sound recording were invented, and when the only way to copy a book besides writing it out by hand was to set up a printing press. Could the framers of the constitution have imagined how invasive copyright law would become? Is it now a reasonable way "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts"? How much does the movie Survivor do for science or the useful arts anyway? I haven't seen it, but I'd guess none.

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 311

How is this legal? Tricking people into paying for accounts by convincing them that someone is trying to message them would be fraud, wouldn't it?

I'd guess it's not legal, but very few people would seriously consider suing them, not just to avoid drawing attention to themselves, but simply because it's not really worthwhile initiating legal proceedings over a matter of a few dollars. I expect that anyone who complained to the company would be fobbed off, unless they demonstrated substantial familiarity with relevant legal matters, in which case the company would promptly offer a refund "at their discretion" and "out of courtesy", or some such. That's how Wilson Parking operate with their fraudulently overpriced "Breach Notices".

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)