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Comment: Re:Or (Score 1) 81

An mp3 file is not considered tangible personal property... I can buy a book and somebody can inherit it. I cannot buy a pattern of electrons called an ebook and somebody inherit it.

Nobody except the RIAA, MPAA, et. al. has ever made a legal argument that such a distinction exists. I do not believe it exists. I do not believe that any court has ruled that such a distinction exists or that any law has been enacted that creates such a distinction. I think you are an RIAA (et al) shill, spreading FUD.

Now put up or shut up.

Comment: Re:why internet connected? (Score 1) 108

by mrchaotica (#47704707) Attached to: Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

Excuse me. I guess I should have said "successful research" -- like this (which is a study about a system that specifically was able to de-anonymize patient medical records!):

"Often organizations release and receive medical data with all explicit identifiers, such as name, address, phone number, and Social Security number, removed in the incorrect belief that patient confidentiality is maintained because the resulting data look anonymous; however, we show that in most of these cases, the remaining data can be used to re-identify individuals by linking or matching the data to other databases or by looking at unique characteristics found in the fields and records of the database itself."

Granted, it does go on to say "when these less apparent aspects are taken into account, each released record can be made to ambiguously map to many possible people, providing a level of anonymity which the user determines," but I see no reason whatsoever to expect that any actual medical billing software company would spend that extra effort. In fact, the quotation itself says that's exactly what happens!

Comment: Re:why internet connected? (Score 1) 108

by mrchaotica (#47704385) Attached to: Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

regardless of your unsupported claim that such info is easily de-anonymized.

  1. 1. A huge amount of de-anonymization research is being done these days (both academically and by companies like Google, Amazon, etc.)
  2. 2. Medical billing companies are trying to maximize profit, so they aren't going to put much effort into preventing de-anonymization (i.e., they're going to do the bare-minimum to be plausibly HIPAA-compliant).

Given the above, I think the idea that such info might not be easily de-anonymized is the extraordinary claim that needs support!

Comment: Re:why internet connected? (Score 1) 108

by mrchaotica (#47703753) Attached to: Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

It's not a HIPAA violation because it's "aggregated and anonymized" (but we all know how easy it is to de-anonymize that kind of thing...).

I've heard it first hand from somebody who works at a medical billing software company (not going to be more specific for employment reasons, sorry).

Comment: Re:Now what could go wrong? (Score 1, Insightful) 355

by mrchaotica (#47700117) Attached to: Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

Everyone who has used the Internet has downloaded copyrighted content. You've done so just now, in fact -- the very text you're currently reading is copyrighted (by me).

The issue is whether you have not been authorized to download the copyrighted content, and that's what should require a strong burden of proof on the part of the copyright holder.

Comment: Re:Soon? (Score 1) 288

by mrchaotica (#47699117) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

And the UK, whether you think they are in collusion or not, have the right to enforce their law on their soil (and, no, the embassy is NOT Ecuadorian soil, don't make that "old wives' tale" mistake).

Oh yeah? Then why don't they just go into the embassy and get him?

Even if the UK couldn't care less about Sweden's demands, they went through the proper channels, offered appeals, it went to the Supreme Court and he ran away from UK bail. Game over. We HAVE to arrest you the second you try to leave or every Tom, Dick and Harry will follow suit thinking it's a "get out of jail free card" to just resist arrest and skip bail.

Sure, because every petty crook is going to uproot his entire life and start over in a completely different country. That makes tons of sense!

No, you dumbass, Assange is holed up in the embassy precisely because he thinks being stuck there indefinitely (which isn't that different from a life sentence in prison) is better than the alternative.

Not to mention the fact that, unlike Assange, "every Tom, Dick and Harry" doesn't have a reason to seek asylum that the embassy officials would accept. I can just imagine the conversation:

  • Criminal: Help, I need asylum!
  • Embassy official: Why?
  • Criminal: because I robbed a store and don't want to go to jail! Now let me in!
  • Embassy official: LOL NOPE

Comment: Re:Left and right wing (Score 2) 85

by mrchaotica (#47688927) Attached to: Broadband Subscribers Eclipsing Cable TV Subscribers

I'm not convinced that it's necessarily harder to find a progressive viewpoint on radio than it is on TV. My guess is that people who pay for TV to listen to while they do chores either A) are interested in particular commentators who have TV shows but not radio shows, or (more likely) B) think cable TV is just "something you have" and haven't reexamined how much it costs or how much actual utility they're getting from it. It's one of those things that really only becomes clear in retrospect, after you've cut the cord.

Comment: Re:Retransmission consent (Score 2) 85

by mrchaotica (#47688907) Attached to: Broadband Subscribers Eclipsing Cable TV Subscribers

First, thanks for citing my previous posts.

Second, the claim "Internet + TV is cheaper than Internet by itself" was referring to a plan that included only basic cable (the channels you'd get with an antenna). Any plan that included the likes of ESPN and TNT would be more expensive than Internet-only (or at least, I sure would hope so!).

Third, Comcast's offerings have improved this year: last year I was at $40/month for Internet + basic cable ($37 once I found out that they were supposed to be giving me a discount for using CableCard instead of a box); this year they actually had an advertised offer for $20/month Internet-only.

Comment: Re:good intentions? (Score 1) 130

by mrchaotica (#47677935) Attached to: The Man Responsible For Pop-Up Ads On Building a Better Web

Web hosting was expensive back in those days, and even now it'll still cost you at least ten quid a month or so.

Not true. All it cost, then or now, was a DSL-or-better Internet connection (that you wanted whether you had your own website or not)*, free account with a dynamic DNS service and electricity to keep your home computer running 24/7.

(* OK, I admit Tripod may have been useful in the dial-up era, but still...)

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce