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Comment: Re:Freedom (Score 1) 304 304

That's exactly what I was responding to - your allegations that people who advocate FOSS also rip off commercial software

Good grief. It's not complicated. You're trying to turn the discussion into something it's not.

It's not about the piracy; it's about the hypocrisy of many individuals in objecting to one form of misconduct with respect to favored products while encouraging that misconduct (or even participating in it) with regard to disfavored products. It's unequivocally prevalent on Slashdot.

I repeat, you have a disconnect, FOSS users and advocates are usually the very people that won't do that, they'll use FOSS software.

There's no disconnect, except in your head. You're generalizing an entire group of people (in two successive posts now), on a tangential issue, in a situation that is not mutually exclusive.

Consider what you're saying. People are "usually" doing one thing, and therefore no one does another thing. Your statement doesn't even possess internal logic.

Comment: Re:Freedom (Score 1) 304 304

FOSS advocates are all ripping off photoshop so they can be safely ignored?

Try reading for a change. That is most explicitly not the case.

FOSS advocates and mass, casual software piracy do not go hand in hand.

No, they don't, and not only did I say no such thing, but that wasn't even the topic of the comment in the first place.

The issue is those that decry the wanton disregard of favored licenses (or worse, as here, stirring up a tempest in a teapot when there hasn't BEEN a license violation in the first place)...while openly supporting the wanton disregard of disfavored licenses. There is all kinds of hand-wringing over proper behavior and stealing from F/OSS projects, but swap out the underlying project and suddenly the tides turn, even with the very same posters in many cases.

This is indefensible.

Comment: Re:Freedom (Score 2, Insightful) 304 304

It's more than just that. It's absolutely true that the license sets the expectations. There is no legal difference between an open source and a proprietary license--the only differences are philosophical and in the contours of what the developers choose to allow. Everyone has the freedom to make or not make a project, and every creator has the right to determine the terms under which s/he shares that project. If you choose a broadly permissive license that requires nothing in return in terms of money or contribution, the expectation is that people will do things you don't really like. That is the meaning of freedom, and it must be accepted. If it is not acceptable, use a different license.

But to me, there is a bigger problem in that many, but certainly not all and hopefully not even most, open source advocates engage in mental gymnastics around the issue--working themselves into a lather about companies or individuals not giving back or breaking the "spirit" as they view it, stealing from these projects (and note how no one EVER false-pedant "corrects" with the 'it's not stealing' broken argument on a F/OSS story), while actively engaging in infringement of proprietary licenses. The sentiment is clear, but there is no reconciling this position.

The argument that "I wouldn't have bought Photoshop anyway, and they still have all of code and data, so it's no loss" applies equally, then, to Microsoft here--they wouldn't support this project anyway, and they still have all their original code and data, so there's no harm.

Obviously that's a broken argument, but a number of the posters here can't seem to navigate that disconnect.

Comment: Re:Easier on the eyes?!? (Score 0, Troll) 255 255

Except you know that not to be the case, since as you are so keen to point out and apparently so eager to read and comment on all the Apple stories, the iPad's superior display has been widely reviewed to critical acclaim.

It's so sad to see a person reduced to a caricature. Your life must be so empty when you can't be a horse's ass about Apple, since it's clear you can't simply let go and move on with your life.

Comment: Re:The mac (Score 2, Insightful) 253 253

for instance, you'd be forgiven, having read the mainstream media the last few days, for thinking they invented multi-tasking, when not long ago they were busy explaining why it was such a bad idea for mobile devices

No, you wouldn't be forgiven. Apple did not invent multitasking, and nobody with a brain or a clue says that they did. They also never claimed that it was a bad idea for mobile devices. They said the current implementations were bad for mobile devices in their opinion, and historically there has been support for those claims.

As is evident from copy/paste, multitasking, and several other features, Apple takes the time to get the implementation right and make the features more accessible to a wider audience, and what they trumpet as new isn't the feature, but their take on it. Jobs has said about several such developments, "we're not the first, but we're the first to get it right" or something to that effect. There is room to disagree with that development approach or whether Apple's method really is better for any given personal preference, but the only thing disingenuous about it are people who fail to identify context for the sake of making a snide remark.

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 1) 263 263

Jesus Christ. The argument has been tedious from the beginning. The EFF statement is correct and accurate. Your refusal to understand why is what is tedious.

The Fourth Amendment says that no person shall be subjected to unreasonable search or seizure without a warrant. This is analyzed in three stages, as the Quon opinion sets forth in order based on the historical evolution of doctrine in this area.

The first question was, when has there been a search? The Court answered this question. The standard for whether a search or seizure has occurred is based on whether the person enjoys a reasonable expectation of privacy in the relevant material. This is the only standard, and it does not matter who is doing the searching; your boyfriend, your private sector employer, or a government entity, either law enforcement or a government employer.

[This is the "Fourth Amendment right to privacy"--it does not actually exist in the text. It is solely a creation of caselaw, and it is the basis of all American privacy actions. If you have no REOP, you have no cause of action at tort, at common law, or under the Fourth Amendment because the material is considered non-private. The REOP standard developed by necessity as the earliest part of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence, and it is used as the basis for all privacy violations in the United States, committed by all actors under all laws. When a private-actor privacy case comes before a court, as you have discovered for yourself, the first question is, "is there a REOP?" The court looks to the applicable Fourth Amendment cases to answer that (again, as you have seen), since that is the provenance of the standard. The reason for starting here is obvious: if you do not have a privacy expectation at the broadest measure, you cannot have one on a narrower field. Thus, if there is no REOP, the case is dismissed outright, because the material in question was not "private". If there is a REOP, the case proceeds to the particular restrictions applicable to that actor on the narrower grounds applicable under statutory or common law rules.

It is the REOP finding the EFF in part celebrates, because it strongly suggests that the Court believes that privacy interest exists in text messages, and a REOP finding applies to everyone, everywhere as the most fundamental dividing line that exists.]

Having established what is public and what is a search into private affairs, the next question was, assuming a search has occurred, who needs a warrant to conduct a search? The Fourth Amendment restricts the actions of the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment, along with several key SCOTUS decisions on incorporation, extends that restriction to state and local governments. This is where the textual restrictions of the amendment come into play. Private parties cannot be sued under the Fourth Amendment, because the warrant requirement does not apply to them; the cause of action in such cases lies in tort or in statutory provisions.

In Quon, because the party conducting the search was a government entity, and because the Court assumed a REOP existed, the Fourth Amendment is triggered. The city needed a warrant. It didn't have one; the search therefore is presumably unconstitutional. This is the second part the EFF is celebrating, because it places a burden on government agencies to defend their actions, and creates a default presumption that a warrantless search is unlawful. The full set of Fourth Amendment protections apply.

But wait! The amendment protects against unreasonable searches, not all searches. Hench, the third question, what is an unreasonable search? The answer of course is spelled out in the numerous warrant exceptions, including the workplace exception argued by the city.

Here, because the service was paid for by the city, and because the purpose of the search was narrowly tailored to a legitimate purpose (budgetary assessment regarding overage charges on the accounts), the workplace exception applied and the search was reasonable under the circumstances. Thus, despite the REOP and the Fourth Amendment textual restrictions on the city's actions, the city was entitled to do as it did. Quon enjoyed the full scope of Fourth Amendment protections, which means the search must comply with the Fourth Amendment to be lawful. The search complied with the Fourth Amendment.

Thus, the EFF is happy that the explicit assumption provides Fourth Amendment protections (which, because of the REOP findings, spill over to all other cases) and Quon still loses.

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 1) 263 263

I agree they did indicate that the 4th amendment applies to government employer review of text messages by government employees using government equipment.


They indicated that text messages are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy. A REOP is a status against the world (not any specific party, be it "employer" or "government employer", and not contingent on who pays the bill for the service). The statement is a finding that Quon enjoyed an expectation of privacy in the messages, regardless of the equipment, and regardless of the identity of the employer. Neither of those is a factor in the current case, because the court assumed there was an expectation of privacy, which negates your entire point.

There is no special class for the conditions you enumerate. The whole reason the EFF filed a letter in this case was because of the far-reaching implications the decision would have; they are pleased with the result. The point you are commenting about is about the expectation of privacy and not about the outcome of the case (the reasonableness of the search), because they are two different things.

The court did not assume that "that the 4th amendment protects privacy of text messages" private intrusion in general

Sigh. Yes, that's exactly what they did. Finding that a REOP exists automatically triggers the protections of the Fourth Amendment where applicable. The alternative, finding that there is no REOP, means that a "search" has not occurred that would place any restrictions on the government's actions. Without a REOP, you don't need to argue an exception or a factual distinction--no privacy interest means no search has occurred.

Text messages are protected by a reasonable expectation of privacy by this assumption, whether privately owned or employer-owned, and whether that employer is a government entity or not.

The only way for the case to have Fourth Amendment implications is if a REOP exists. By assuming that it does, the Court was able to make its decision on the narrowest possible grounds:

1. Quon had a REOP in the text messages
2. Persons entitled to a REOP may not be searched without a warrant or an established exception
3. The police department had no warrant, therefore the burden shifts to them to establish an exception
4. The workplace exception allows the search without a warrant because (a) the equipment was paid for by them and (b) the search was for an acceptable, limited purpose.

The nature of the equipment and the employer only engages at step 4. The restrictions on government action (textual Fourth Amendment) only engages at step two. No REOP = no search = no restriction on government action. At the same time, no REOP = no privacy interest under tort law (which applies to private parties as well as the government).

By finding a REOP, you have a basis for action under tort law against any party, and you have Fourth Amendment rights against government searches in criminal actions.

That is why it is misleading to call cases pertaining to private employers "Fourth Amendment cases", because they clearly are not.

And nobody does. How you can be this dense is truly a mystery.

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 1) 263 263

Those Fourth Amendment rights have nothing to do with the actions of the private employer though, but rather the actions of a government employer, and you have yet to cite anything to demonstrate otherwise.

For the last time, that's not the discussion. No one is arguing that point.

You said:"GP: "Today's S. Ct. decision in Quon v Ontario at [] (pdf) assumes w/o deciding that 4th am protects privacy of txt msgs (yay!)"

No, they didn't."

That is not accurate on two fronts: (1) they did say exactly that, and you've been given the citation, which does matter for future Fourth Amendment causes of action, and (2) as also shown to you from your own examples, the REOP standard is adopted outside of Fourth Amendment cases as the basis of tort actions, meaning that Fourth Amendment decisions affect far more than Fourth Amendment cases. You're even aware of this fact, because you have previously stated, "I am aware that the "reasonable expectation of privacy" applies to cases that properly fall under the Fourth Amendment, as well cases that properly fall under statutory privacy laws."

Thus a REOP decision in a Fourth Amendment case properly

The statement you quote starts out "As is true in Fourth Amendment cases, the reasonableness of a claim for intrusion on seclusion has both a subjective and objective component".

In other words, this is not a Fourth Amendment case, it is just similar to one, in this respect.

No. In other words, the standard is the Fourth Amendment standard, as set forth by the exploration in the case you cited. You are, despite having it pointed out to you numerous times, continuing to conflate Fourth Amendment causes of action with areas of law relying on Fourth Amendment jurisprudence.

You've yet to demonstrate that you even understand what the issue is here. It seems unlikely that you ever will.

Comment: Re:Not interesting. It's a consumer-grade processo (Score 1) 245 245

Apple did not to a die shrink - this is a technical term meaning taking an existing die and producing it at a newer process.

Excuse me, I meant package shrinking.

Aside from that, the chip is unremarkable.

That's not what TFA says.

Which tells me more about you than anything else - specifically that you know absolutely nothing about the ARM marketplace. Please look at some technical details for the Snapdragon - it doesn't even have the same length pipeline as the A8.

On the contrary, it shows your dancing around the periphery of the issue. I've not seen any "technical details" claiming the Snapdragon is any sort of revolution, nor is the Snapdragon design under attack for its technical achievements. You insist on defending that which no one is attacking while ignoring the actual point of the argument and making silly personal comments, which says a lot about you.

As ever, the point is that everyone that modifies the design of the basic ARM unit does so at non-trivial expense, with non-trivial effort, and arrives at a non-trivial alteration for their specific needs and goals. No one is claiming the A4 is a revolution. It is, like the OMAP3, like the Tegra, like the Tegra 2, like the Hummingbird, and yes, even like the Snapdragon, a modified design built for a specific purpose, and customized to the necessary extent to serve that purpose. What a given person chooses to find interesting or remarkable is irrelevant and does not support belittling the engineers who did the work (few of whom, by the way, even worked at Apple).

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 1) 263 263

The Court held no such thing. This is what it held in O'Connor v. Ortega (1987):

I suggest you read more carefully:

"Individuals do not lose Fourth Amendment rights merely because they work for the government instead of a private employer." 480 U. S., at 717

See anything in there about private employers being governed by the restraints of the Fourth Amendment?

For the last time, the restrictions of the Fourth Amendment apply only to state actors. Quit with the strawmen.

The latter sources do not apply in this case? Didn't the Supreme Court of New Jersey get the memo?

They did, but you didn't. Look at their citations for exploration of the privacy expectation:

"As is true in Fourth Amendment cases, the reasonableness of a claim for intrusion on seclusion has both a subjective and objective component. See State v. Sloane, 193 N.J. 423, 434, 939 A.2d 796 (2008) (analyzing Fourth Amendment); In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd., 322 B.R. 247, 257 (Bankr.S.D.N.Y.2005) (analyzing common law tort). Moreover, whether an employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in her particular work setting "must be addressed on a case-by-case basis." O'Connor v. Ortega, 480 U.S. 709, 718, 107 S.Ct. 1492, 1498, 94 L.Ed.2d 714, 723 (1987) (plurality opinion) (reviewing public sector employment)." 201 N.J. 300, 317.

Those are Fourth Amendment cases, as I've been saying all along. You are continuing, whether out of ignorance or disingenuity, to conflate a Fourth Amendment cause of action (state actors only) with the influence of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence (all cases and all actors). When a case involves a privacy tort, one of the elements of that tort is that the plaintiff had a privacy expectation. Establishing a privacy interest always loops back to Fourth Amendment cases, and the court is then careful to say that the Fourth Amendment's restrictions on action do not apply.

It is plainly clear that you are neither a lawyer nor in possession of legal training, so your charge against the EFF and continued insistence on your nonexistent correctness is quite the show of hubris.

Comment: Re:Not interesting. It's a consumer-grade processo (Score 1) 245 245

Except that nothing Apple did, apparently, was anything near as complicated as redesigning a GPU core

On the contrary, die shrinking and block stripping is exactly what Apple and nVidia did.

or a floating point unit.

I haven't seen anything suggesting that Qualcomm radically altered anything.

The point is that all ARM products that differ from reference designs in non-trivial ways, achieved through non-trivial effort and non-trivial expenditure, are all still far more alike than different. Intrinsity's design isn't any more "off the shelf" than TI's OMAP3 or Tegra or Snapdragon. Samsung's Hummingbird was even given quite a bit of attention, and as it turns out, it may be extremely similar to the A4, but no one knocked Samsung. In other words, this has nothing to do with Apple and everything to do with flamewars.

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 1) 263 263

The Supreme Court decision was about government employers.

No. Government employees are not a special class with regard to the Fourth Amendment, per O'Connor. This case, inasmuch as REOP is concerned, is about everyone, everywhere. United States citizens, it is stated, are assumed to have an expectation of privacy in their SMS messages.

The EFF's fear was that the Supreme Court would rule SMS messages categorically as not covered by REOP (like a postcard, a Twitter account, possibly a Facebook profile, etc.), which would have had grave consequences for everyone--the lack of a privacy interest in the messages would mean that you would have to commit a separate crime or tort in order to be actionable. Any employer, public or private, would be able to search the text messages transmitted to or from a device they pay for, without a signed waiver, without notice, and without any tort liability.

Courts and legislatures may adopt a reasonable expectation of privacy standard in other circumstances, but if a government actor is not involved, that is at best inspired by the Fourth Amendment, not dictated by it.

You still misunderstand. The privacy expectation standard is the Fourth Amendment standard in all cases, civil and criminal, state actor and non-state actor. Thus Fourth Amendment jurisprudence directly affects all privacy law. A ruling that REOP does not exist in a particular circumstance renders privacy torts unactionable.

There is no privacy standard in the text of the Fourth Amendment itself--the textual "dictating" anything has never been relevant here. The privacy standard is a product of caselaw, and the Fourth Amendment REOP standard is the standard for privacy interests across the board.

Comment: Re:Not interesting. It's a consumer-grade processo (Score 1) 245 245

Much less remarkable than the Snapdragon. In designing the Snapdragon, Qualcomm replaced most of the floating point pipeline, tweaked most of the rest of the code, and got about a 5-10% improvement over the standard A8 design, clock for clock.

A new floating point unit and some power efficiency gains is not exactly in a different ballpark.

They also added their own GPU design, while Apple just added one licensed from another third party.

They selected an existing GPU and shrunk it down, which is exactly what Apple did to the overall package.

In short, the A4 is a pretty dull chip. The interesting thing about it is that it manages to be about 15-20% smaller than similar off-the-shelf chips because Apple aggressively removed all of the features in a typical ARM SoC that they didn't need. This means that cost saving,

It means cost savings, power savings, and logic board savings, all of which are significant in product design. A 5% improvement in artificial benchmarking isn't terribly exciting compared to a 15-20% size reduction, nor is nVidia's repurposing of a trimmed-down GPU in a vanilla design any more impressive than Intrinsity scaling down the package for Apple.

The Snapdragon is not so much different from the Cortex A8 that it is any way revolutionary, nor is the A4. Both were specifically optimized for their intended application at non-trivial expense and with non-trivial objectives. That you find one set of optimizations "dull" in comparison because of personal preferences does nothing to detract from the work that went into the product, nor does it excuse the flamewar.

Comment: Re:Confused (Score 1) 263 263

However, the idea that the Fourth Amendment applies to any case that does not involve the government is something that that you are going to have to provide a citation for.

No, it's not, because it's not an assertion that has been made. Only state action can violate the Fourth Amendment. That is not to say that Fourth Amendment jurisprudence only applies against the government, though, because as you recognize, REOP (a legal standard derived exclusively from Fourth Amendment cases) is the basis of all privacy torts, at common law and under statutory causes of action.

Here, the Court assumed a REOP in the messages; the Fourth Amendment thus protects the text messages. The Court directly stated that it assumed (but not decide) that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the messages in question. This reaches far beyond government searches, as Scalia's concurrence hints.

Fourth Amendment protection is not a binary state; possession of a reasonable expectation of privacy is not a bar against searching. The assumed REOP means that individuals cannot be searched in this manner without a warrant; government employees do not automatically lose their Fourth Amendment rights per O'Connor. As the Court held in Quon today:

First, Quon had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the text messages sent on the pager provided to him by the City; second, petitioners' review of the transcript constituted a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; and third, the principles applicable to a government employer's search of an employee's physical office apply with at least the same force when the employer intrudes on the employee's privacy in the electronic sphere.

The short version of the workplace exception requires a "noninvestigatory, work-related purpos[e]" or for the "investigatio[n] of work-related misconduct," a government employer's warrantless search is reasonable if it is "'justified at its inception'" and if "'the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive'".

All of those steps would be entirely unnecessary if the Court were to have held instead that there is no REOP in text messages, which they could have done, with incredible consequences. The narrow holding is a recognition that there is indeed a REOP here, which affects not only criminal searches under the Fourth Amendment, but everything using the Fourth Amendment REOP standard as a basis, which includes essentially all privacy cases, regardless of the defendant.

In other words, the Fourth Amendment itself can be used textually against the state alone, but to say that Fourth Amendment caselaw doesn't affect private actors is not accurate. REOP is a Fourth Amendment concept, applied far outside Fourth Amendment textual violations.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA