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Comment: Set-asides, not corruption (Score 1) 335

by joe_n_bloe (#31124158) Attached to: Are Silicon Valley's Glory Days Over?

The actual problem is the set-asides imposed by referendums. The politicians in Sacramento are lousy at budgeting, but most of the money has already been allocated by whatever special interest groups have managed to pass set-asides as ballot issues over the past three decades.

Did he also cut too many taxes?

Makes it even more important to put the money you do have to good use. The principal problem here is corruption.

Comment: Re:Thank God that can't happen here (US) (Score 1) 554

by joe_n_bloe (#29043347) Attached to: In UK, Two Convicted of Refusing To Decrypt Data

Of course you can be compelled to open your safe. Refusal is interfering with an investigation, obstruction, subject to contempt citation, et cetera.

And in the case of encryption keys where there is a valid warrant (which won't be issued for an open-ended "we think something illegal might be there but don't know what" request), the situation is the same. You aren't testifying against yourself when you surrender evidence, in the case that the state can make a reasonable argument that it knows where and what the evidence is.

The state can't compel you to "give us everything you have so that we can look for something illegal, even though we don't know what to look for or where it is." That's an entirely separate issue and is both an illegal seizure and, if related to a prosecution, possibly a Fifth Amendment violation as well. In other words, the state can ask and require you to cooperate in this situation:

"We have reason to believe that the computer you possess that contained numerous references to bomb-making materials and which we seized as part of your arrest for illegal possession of destructive devices CONTAINS encrypted files with additional relevant information. What are the encryption keys for this data?"

The state can't ask you to answer these questions:

"Have you ever been involved in terrorist activities?" (-- self incrimination)

"Do you have any data in your possession that relates to terrorist activities?" (-- also self incrimination)

"Although we found no evidence of terrorist activities when we conducted a search of your home, and no one in the investigation mentioned your involvement, we wonder if there might be evidence of illegal activities hidden on your computer. Give us the encryption keys." (-- no probable cause)

"We have been searching every 10th computer brought into this Federal building as a matter of routine. Give us the encryption keys." (-- no probable cause although you could be refused entry in most cases.)

Comment: Re:Self-incrimination becoming mandatory (Score 1) 554

by joe_n_bloe (#29043095) Attached to: In UK, Two Convicted of Refusing To Decrypt Data

Turning over evidence in your possession is not the same as testifying.

Earlier this year, a Vermont court found that a Canadian man's refusal to provide encryption keys for data on his laptop was not protected by the Fifth Amendment.

http://web20.nixonpeabody.com/np20/np20blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=298

This really isn't any different than a situation where a witness or suspect is required to open a safe, provide account numbers, et cetera. In general the state can't "fish" for evidence (say, seize a laptop just to see if it contains anything of interest, without a specific goal in mind), but if there is a reasonable belief that a search will produce evidence that pertains to the charges at hand, the state has the right to conduct the search and compel a defendant to cooperate.

You can always refuse anyway.

Microsoft

US Court Tells Microsoft To Stop Selling Word 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the somebody's-not-having-a-good-day dept.
oranghutan writes "A judge in a Texas court has given Microsoft 60 days to comply with an order to stop selling Word products in their existing state as the result of a patent infringement suit filed by i4i. According to the injunction, Microsoft is forbidden from selling Word products that let people create XML documents, which both the 2003 and 2007 versions let you do. Michael Cherry, an analyst quoted in the article, said, 'It's going to take a long time for this kind of thing to get sorted out.' Few believe the injunction will actually stop Word from being sold because there are ways of working around it. In early 2009, a jury in the Texas court ordered Microsoft to pay i4i $200 million for infringing on the patent. ZDNet has a look at the patent itself, saying it 'sounds a bit generic.'"
Books

Sony Takes Aim At Amazon's Kindle 273

Posted by timothy
from the critical-mass-is-critical-though dept.
MojoKid writes "Sony recently announced two new eBook readers and has set its sights on tapping into Amazon's Kindle market share. The Sony Reader Pocket Edition and the Reader Touch Edition will come out at the end of the month and will reportedly cost less or the same as the older, more established Kindle. The Pocket Edition has a five-inch display, comes in several colors ('including navy blue, rose and silver') and fits, as one might expect, in a jacket pocket or a purse. It can store about 350 'standard eBooks' and can last about two weeks on a single charge, Sony claims. The Touch Edition is a bit larger, with a six-inch display that, as you'd expect, can be controlled via a touch interface."
Sun Microsystems

Sun's JRuby Team Jumps Ship To Engine Yard 77

Posted by kdawson
from the just-in-case dept.
itwbennett writes "'To be honest, we had no evidence that Oracle wouldn't support JRuby, but we also didn't have any evidence that they would,' said Charles Nutter, explaining why Sun's entire 3-member JRuby team will be leaving the company to work for application hosting company Engine Yard. Nutter called getting hired by Sun about two-and-a-half years ago and being given the chance to work full time on JRuby a 'dream come true.' And said that the decision to leave Sun came down to making sure 'JRuby will get to the next level.'"

"Text processing has made it possible to right-justify any idea, even one which cannot be justified on any other grounds." -- J. Finnegan, USC.

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