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Comment: Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (Score 1) 436

by JesseMcDonald (#47587373) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

...they also don't have the same justification for refusal, since compliance will not implicate them in anything...

In that particular case, perhaps, but they have their own interests and obligations outside the case which may be harmed by turning over the documents. For example, in this case compliance with the order could conceivably place Microsoft in violation of foreign data privacy laws, which this court cannot grant immunity from as it lacks jurisdiction.

...unless, of course, it would implicate them in something else, in which case they can negotiate a deal for qualified immunity.

Given that you're compelled to comply regardless, under threat of more or less whatever punishment the court happens to deem fit, there isn't much scope for negotiation. The court holds all the cards. You can ask for consideration, but there isn't much you can do about it if they refuse.

In case it wasn't obvious, I am wholly opposed to dragging third-parties into a case against their will when they haven't even been accused of any wrongdoing. That includes both compulsory testimony and the involuntary production of evidence. The courts exist to resolve disputes and protect rights, not to create new disputes and violate rights.

Comment: Re:Welcome to the Next Level. (Score 4, Insightful) 166

by JesseMcDonald (#47585337) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

That sounds like a great idea. Since you're coding for the least common denominator, you obviously get none of the benefits of the target language, while still suffering from all of its issues, plus whatever additional issues are introduced by your under-spec'd and idiosyncratic "meta language" and "meta compiler".

To top it off, no one else will ever be able to maintain or build on what you write, so you're stuck with that job forever, unable to move on to something better—or at least until TPTB wake up and realize that it's far more trouble than it's worth and throw it out in favor of something which is properly idiomatic and standardized and which doesn't make them wholly dependent on you and your "meta compiler".

No thanks.

Comment: Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (Score 1) 436

by JesseMcDonald (#47585153) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

I'm not sure that's exactly the same thing. First, perhaps I'm just reading too much into your wording, but it sounds like you would have to admit guilt, as opposed to the court ruling against you for failure to comply while you continue to maintain your innocence. Second, and more importantly, only the defendant can "stipulate in court to the prosecution's allegations". What about subpoenas issued to third parties who would otherwise not have anything at stake? Like Microsoft in this case—they aren't the defendant, they're just holding the data.

The only reasonable way to handle this, so far as I can see, would be for the court to order the actual defendant in the case to direct Microsoft to turn over the data, or in extreme cases to do so in the defendant's stead. Microsoft would then be following the directions of their customer according to the terms of their contract, and not under the duress of a court order.

Comment: Re:Moving information for Freedom.... (Score 1) 436

by JesseMcDonald (#47584045) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

...your failure to comply would result in you being held in contempt of court, and jailed or otherwise punished until you do comply.

And this is pretty much the entire problem, right here. The very concept of "contempt of court"—arbitrary punishments handed out by judges at their sole discretion, with no consideration for proportionality or due process—runs counter to the principle of rule of law. I have no problem with a court saying that if you refuse to turn over relevant documents then they will be assumed to be as damaging as possible to your case. I do have a problem with them saying that if you don't turn over the documents you'll be subject to potentially indefinite jail time and fines in excess of whatever damages you were accused of inflicting on the other party.

Well, that and the fact that they seem to be trying to apply subpoena rules to a search warrant. A search warrant doesn't impose any obligations beyond staying out of law enforcement's way while they search the place. A subpoena, on the other hand, is an order for someone within the court's jurisdiction to testify or produce evidence. This is being described as a search warrant for reasons that are not at all clear to me, but the court apparently wants the company to perform the search itself and produce evidence as if it were subpoenaed.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 274

by Space cowboy (#47583661) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

I think you're proving my point about the black-and-white nature of how people regard free speech in the USA. See, I'm very much in favour of free speech, it's been a fundamental right of UK society now for longer than the USA has existed in its current form, and pretty much any UK citizen would be equally for it.

Where we differ is in nuance. The UK approach is a shades-of-gray one, where the right to speak whatever you want, no matter how hurtful to others, is actually counter-balanced by how much what you say hurts the target of your invective; and this in turn is counter-balanced by the importance of what it is that you're saying to society as a whole. There's a whole spectrum of things to consider when making a judgement, which is why the UK position is that if a free-speech issue comes up, it ought to be decided by a judge rather than a black/white hard-and-fast rule.

Now does this matter, in day-to-day life ? No. People say and do pretty much the same thing on both sides of the pond; but when a big issue comes up and a judgement has to be rendered, the courts take a more reasoned view than "Is this free speech ? Yes ? Ok then, feel free to ".

I'll ignore the idiotic purposeful misreading of the Fire thing...

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 274

by JesseMcDonald (#47583551) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

people are also responsible for manipulating other people to do harm

I agree with you here, but as I see it, people weren't manipulated into panicking; they were manipulated into thinking that there was a fire. The panicking and its consequences were a separate matter, and their own fault, not that of whoever shouted "fire".

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 274

by JesseMcDonald (#47581967) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

I see this boils down to free will of pepole in a situation they perceive threatening.

I agree, but much like free will itself, I don't see that we have any real choice except to extend people the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are in control of their own actions, even if it seems likely that their response was more or less "automatic". If you take away someone's personal responsibility, you also take away their right to self-determination, reducing them to the level of animals. So long as people want to be treated as people, they have to take responsibility for their actions, even if those actions were driven by instinct rather than logic.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1) 274

by JesseMcDonald (#47579429) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

So that mass panic in the theater would have happened anyway, without anyone shouting "fire"?

Perhaps not, but the supposed "crime" was falsely shouting "fire", and the panic would have happened even if there really was a fire. In any case, no one forced the other patrons to panic. If they did, it was entirely their own fault, and they—not whoever shouted "fire"—are wholly responsible for the consequences.

Looking at the events after they're happened, we can conclude that someone unnecessarily shouting "fire" in a crowded theater was a sufficient condition (thus, leading) to people getting hurt. Was it a necessary condition for people getting hurt that way? Common sense says it was.. also anyone who's looking someone to blame.

Wrong on both counts. It is neither a sufficient condition, since people could simply refrain from panicking despite the (maybe false) warning, nor a necessary one, as there could be a panic even if the warning was true, or for that matter without anyone shouting "fire" at all.

If you offer an incentive (survive a theatre fire / money) to someone for committing a crime (trampling someone to death / shooting someone), did you cause it, or was it all on the person who committed the act?

Obviously, the person who committed the act. Otherwise one would be forced into the absurd conclusion that property owners are at least partly responsible for the theft of their property, since simply by having it they give potential thieves an incentive to steal. The same could be said of many other crimes. Responsibility rests with the one whose choices led directly to the outcome. Merely offering an incentive does not make one responsible for the consequences of someone else's choice.

If you manipulate someone by giving them false information, that could be said to take away their ability to choose freely, making you responsible for the consequences when they make the right choice given the information you provided and harm results because it was false. However, that does not apply here, because trampling others in one's haste to escape is something one would be responsible for even if the fire were real; the harm was not due to the information being false.

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 1, Informative) 274

by Space cowboy (#47577907) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

This is a very US-typical way of thinking.

In the UK, it's more of a "where is the harm" approach. If there is more perceived harm in the exercise of said speech than in allowing it, it won't be allowed. This is more difficult to administer (it means someone, usually a judge) has to make a decision about this rather than it just being black and white. It does make life more pleasant for more people.

Having lived in the UK and the US for over a decade each, I have some perspective on this, and personally I think it's worth it, worshipping at the altar of "Free Speech At All Costs[*]" is an absolute, and I tend to distrust absolutes.

Simon.

[*] It's not a real absolute in the USA, you can't shout "Fire!" in a crowded theatre in the US either, for example, but it's a massively more common mindset of US people compared to UK people in my experience.

Comment: Re:Fire(wall) and forget (Score 1) 345

You can't, from outside of a NAT'd host, easily identify any internal hosts and you certainly can't connect to arbitrary ports on them - that's technically impossible since 65536 isn't going to somehow become 2 or more times it's own number.

None of which will matter unless you have an unwanted local service listening on those ports. On the other hand, if there is a malicious service inside your network which wants to allow incoming connections, there are any number of ways to implement NAT traversal. It's even fairly common for common services to incorporate NAT traversal these days due to the prevalence of NAT and the ways it breaks network routing. If you want to reliably filter traffic—even incoming traffic—you need a proper firewall customized to your traffic requirements, NAT or no NAT.

Comment: Re:Limits of Measurement (Score 1) 139

The electrons are being run through the experiment one at a time, so they can't be interfering with each other. There is no "electron build up"; even if you tore the apparatus down and rebuilt it from scratch each time, guaranteeing that there was no leftover state from previous experiments, you'd still get the same results.

You only get one discrete "hit" per electron, but the location varies according to some statistical distribution—and that distribution, measured over a series of single-electron experiments, matches what one would expect for interfering wave patterns.

Comment: Re:USB Import (Score 1) 314

In fact anything digital is lossy because it has a finite (lossy) sampling rate.

Don't forget that analog is lossy too; there is no such thing as a signal with infinite bandwidth in the real world. Per the Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem, a discrete (digital) signal with sampling rate f is equivalent to a continuous (analog) signal with bandwidth f/2. In other words, you're not losing anything by sampling a low-pass-filtered signal at 44.1 kHz unless you care about frequencies above 22 kHz. The range of human hearing is generally considered to max out at around 20 kHz; if you want to go higher, you'll probably need to invest in specialized amplifiers and speakers (not to mention a scope to detect the difference).

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 1) 847

by JesseMcDonald (#47569701) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

You may not have used the word "absolute", but you did speak of "Palestinians in Gaza" as if they were a homogeneous group of Hamas supporters:

So it's a bit of a cop out to pretend that civilians in Gaza can't be blamed for Hamas - they can, they voted for them, and they supported the ousting of the far more moderate and reasonable Fatah, those who supported Fatah were killed or fled to the West Bank.

So Palestinians in Gaza share an awful lot of the blame for Hamas is actions - they actively create and support the environment in which Hamas can do what it keeps doing.

Comment: Re:Isn't this exempted? (Score 1) 314

(2) a system that has the same functional characteristics as the Serial Copy Management System and requires that copyright and generation status information be accurately sent, received, and acted upon between devices using the system's method of serial copying regulation and devices using the Serial Copy Management System;

If I understand correctly, this is the "loophole" that MP3 player were able to take advantage of. Since they only receive and store audio data, and don't transmit it for storage anywhere else, they effectively implement a system which is strictly more limited than what the SCMS would permit: they can't make copies regardless of copyright or generation status. The same argument should apply to car entertainment systems, which only store and play back audio from CDs without providing any way to move the audio data off the device.

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