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Comment: Re:What Weev did (Score 2) 161

by reimero (#44216125) Attached to: Security Researchers Submit Brief For Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer

The appeal brief (linked above) is worth a read. There's a lot of legal-ese in there (obviously), but it raises some very serious questions (not the least of which is double jeopardy.) There's also the legitimate question of what constitutes "unauthorized" access. From what I can tell, AT&T used those individualized headers as an authentication/authorization scheme, and relied on security through obscurity. Auernheimer changed the headers and gained access to accounts that were not his. There was no other authentication "challenge", no effort made on AT&T's part to verify the authenticity of the header, and no encryption.

Auernheimer is certainly a shmuck, but in this specific instance, I don't think he broke the law, and if he did, it was at worst a misdemeanor. I really think this is AT&T pushing for aggressive prosecution to cover their own tails: that security scheme was so weak that they'd likely have been subject to a lawsuit of their own had they not gone after Auernheimer aggressively.

Comment: Re:Why are journals *so* important? (Score 1) 128

There is. One publisher actually got mostly out of the publishing business and transformed itself into a digital repository/digital publishing vendor. While I realize this isn't exactly an open source solution, it does create a viable turnkey solution that fully supports the double-blind peer review process out of the box. I fully recognize that there are legitimate discussions to be had about Freedom and such, but I figure it's also worth mentioning that there are solutions out there that enable self-publication within the generally-accepted peer review system. The critical point here is that in order to gain recognition as an authoritative publication, it would have to be published within the context of an already-accepted organization. So, for instance, if the editorial board were to go to, say, the American Library Association and/or one of the top 10 or 15 LIS schools and were to relaunch a similar publication, it could probably work fairly well.

It's also worth noting that the field of particle physics has already addressed this issue, and made all their work open access. In their case, the major journals in question are being compensated by charging subscription fees to libraries (with a "gentleman's agreement" that libraries will pay), but I also know that one or two of the most prestigious journals priced themselves out of the game. This, I think, is increasingly going to become the model for how open access publishing will work, and how commercial publishers will be able to keep their doors open.

Comment: Re:Adhesive is destructive (Score 1) 230

by reimero (#41995731) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: High-Tech Ways To Manage a Home Library?

I should probably follow up with additional information. Modern library systems are very complex, very sophisticated and very expensive. Frankly, I would recommend following a logical sorting pattern and relying on a good old-fashioned barcode solution (if you're gonna put stickers on your books anyway.) But modern libraries face numerous similar challenges, and we have to deal with a degree of "good enough." We generally follow call number order and shelf lists, and have people trained to maintain the order of books in the stacks. Even with a relatively small personal collection, it's a significant undertaking.

Comment: Adhesive is destructive (Score 2) 230

by reimero (#41995665) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: High-Tech Ways To Manage a Home Library?

If you're dealing with rare or valuable books, I'd forego RFID. The adhesive on security tape and RFID tags is somewhat acidic and ultimately destructive. You have to balance the desire for security with the desire not to harm the books. But any adhesive is somewhat destructive, by its very nature.

RFID equipment is also less than cheap. I think in small numbers, you're looking at about $0.60 per tag, and the equipment itself is a few hundred dollars for encoding and sensitizing/desensitizing.

I work in a library, and these are discussions we have regarding rare and collectible books.

Comment: Re:Who IS a lawyer here? (Score 5, Informative) 208

by reimero (#41981173) Attached to: Samsung Accuses Foreman Hogan of Misrepresentation

I'm not a lawyer, but Groklaw answers a fair amount of this. I've also sat on a jury before, if that makes any difference.
1. This is one of the points being argued. The gist of Samsung's arguments is that there is a legal standard that believes that a prospective juror under oath is to be believed unless there is reason not to believe. The threshold for breaching a prospective juror's privacy is much higher than that for breaching an interested party's. Jury selection is long and complicated as it is. When a juror says, "I was involved in 1 lawsuit involving XYZ" and there is no apparent need for follow-up on other suits, lawyers typically won't follow up. There is trust that jurors will be forthcoming, because they took an oath that they would be forthcoming.
2. "Protected" is a complicated word. Basically, the Court issues instructions to the jury, and trusts that the jury will abide by those instructions. It requires an extraordinary level to prove that a jury acted outside the bounds of the Court's instructions. It's one thing if the jury's verdict doesn't jive with what the Court thinks it should be. It is another matter entirely when there is evidence of willful misconduct by a juror. Basically, if it can be demonstrated that a juror was willfully disregarding jury instructions or otherwise was acting as an "interested party", that juror could face sanction from the court, including the possibility of having to pay at least some of the costs. It essentially comes down to jury tampering. The bar for proving this is very high, but a juror's own words after the trial can be used against him or her.
3. This is also a complicated question. Lawyers want to win, yes, but they also have a fairly rigorous set of legal ethics to which they must adhere. This is a civil trial, so they are not under the same burden a criminal prosecutor is. Apple doesn't need to make Samsung's case for Samsung. At the same time, anything they plan to introduce at trial needs to pass through Samsung first so that Samsung may object or present a defense. Cases like this have very few "Aha!" moments. They have TONS of filings, briefs, depositions, cross-depositions and so forth. The court's job is to make sure the trial is fair and that both sides get their say. That said, if Apple had prior knowledge of juror bias, they did have a legal obligation to make the Court aware of this bias.

Comment: Re:Not so Fast (Score 4, Informative) 208

by reimero (#41980897) Attached to: Samsung Accuses Foreman Hogan of Misrepresentation

Actually, juror statements after the fact CAN be called into question. While the Court and the litigating parties have no direct sway over what happens inside the deliberation chambers, if the jurors go on public record after the fact, that may cause grounds for further examination of the verdict. It's more accurate to say, what happens in the jury room may only be revealed by the jurors themselves - which they did, in this case. What makes this situation ironic is that Hogan blabbed about it and wouldn't shut up. Had his ego not demanded he talk to the press about it - a lot - and that he stand on his soapbox, Samsung would have had a far weaker argument of juror misconduct.

The bar for proving juror misconduct is very high, and lawyers are usually reluctant to play that card. By going on the record to the media, Hogan is making Samsung's case much, much easier.

Comment: Rule 50 (Score 5, Interesting) 503

by reimero (#41170713) Attached to: Misunderstanding of Prior Art May Have Led to Apple-Samsung Verdict

This case is a prime candidate for a successful Rule 50 motion, which states essentially that in a jury trial, if a court finds that a jury would not have sufficient evidentiary basis to rule as it did, the judge may overrule the jury's decision or, alternately, vacate the jury's verdict and order a new trial. The judge can't use it to impose his or her own opinion; it has to be a fairly clear-cut case in which the jury acted unreasonably or contrary to law. So, for instance, if a jury finds a criminal defendant not guilty and the judge thinks there was enough evidence to convict, that's too bad. In the Apple-Samsung case, though, there was a clear and articulated misapplication of the prior art standard, which causes the verdict to fail as a matter of law.

Comment: Re:Because KDE 4 was terrible (Score 1) 818

by reimero (#40284283) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Aren't You Running KDE?

What did it for me wasn't just that KDE 4 was originally bad, it's that the rabid KDE fanboy community was so obnoxiously unhelpful and at times downright hostile. The response to "In $previous_version I was able to do $this, how do I do that now?" should NEVER be "Get with the times! Why do you so resistant to change? etc."

The KDE community burned a LOT of bridges with me and some of my Linux-savvy friends. At this point, I don't care how good it is. They made it clear they don't want my support. So they don't get it.

Comment: Re:How is this news? (Score 5, Informative) 355

by reimero (#39175311) Attached to: Vatican Attack Provides Insight Into Anonymous

The article also raised two other points I thought were highly relevant:
First, the Vatican investigated in security and network infrastructure in a way designed to absorb attacks.
Second, they made the conscious decision that they weren't going to get into a PR battle with Anonymous (the Vatican official's quote about not commenting on real or potential threats.) A cynic might suggest that the Vatican is good at not commenting, but my takeaway is that this decision was mostly a "we're not going to give Anonymous the satisfaction of any sort of formal response." In a real sense, it's the same basic response that some of the most effective opposition to Westboro Baptist has given. The last thing Anonymous wants is to be ignored.

Comment: Re:two suggestions (Score 1) 402

by reimero (#38608750) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Mirrorless, Interchangeable Lens Camera Advice?

I wouldn't necessarily recommend the *best*, but I'd definitely go with *good*. Believe it or not, there is such thing as too much camera. That said, a solid DSLR will serve you well, and will allow you to step from point and shoot down to fully manual controls. One of the things I like about the DSLRs over their mirrorless counterparts is that you get more precise focal and lighting information as you become more and more experienced. Mine allows for various types of light readings and user-selectable autofocus points (or simply going full manual on the focus.) Taking courses helps, but there's no substitute for getting out there and taking pictures and experimenting with different settings and finding out what works for you. As time goes on, you'll start paying attention to the elements that make a good photograph, and you'll get better at it.

When it comes to photography, though, your camera is really only a small part of the total equation. Photographer skill is even more essential, and that comes with practice.

Comment: You get what you pay for (Score 1) 188

by reimero (#38595116) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tech For Small Library Automation?

As previous posters have mentioned, ILS software has been done to death, and it's complex enough that it's consolidated down to probably half a dozen to a dozen serious products. There are a couple of FOSS products out there and several that are not. In my experience, the ones that are not are more full-featured and require less configuration and less day-to-day management. I have a preferred ILS vendor I'd recommend (Innovative Interfaces), but they're almost certainly far too expensive (and far too powerful) for a small church library. Personally, I'd contact OCLC and see if they have a low-cost remote solution.

Comment: Re:a hypothetical (Score 1) 477

by reimero (#38403266) Attached to: Congress's Techno-Ignorance No Longer Funny

I might call it a form of treason, except for the fact that the Robert's court endowed corporations with personhood for all intents and purposes, and the representatives to which you refer are simply serving their true constituents....

That wasn't the Roberts court. The Roberts court simply reaffirmed (and possibly expanded) a legal standing that dates back to the 1800s (I don't recall the case offhand.) It was a minor throwaway line in an early opinion (something like, "of course we consider corporations to be persons, therefore...") but it stuck as legal precedent.

What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away.

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