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Comment Re:Zhaoxin (Score 4, Informative) 271

Actually, 83% is often used as a cutoff in both the US and Canada, derived from (US) judge Learned Hand's opinion that a market share of ninety percent 'is enough to constitute a monopoly; it is doubtful whether sixty . . . percent would be enough; and certainly thirty-three percent is not.' [ United States v. Aluminum Co. of Am., 148 F.2d 416, 424 (2d Cir. 1945)]

Comment Re: Where's the story here? (Score 3, Interesting) 679

The statement on the bill was so that no-one could refuse it during the "Great Rebellion", as the American Revolution was called at the time. A citation from 1869 is typical: https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/...

At that time, the government did not wish to give person the option of refusing the (new) U.S. Dollar and demanding gold or silver before completing a transaction with the government or private individuals.

The Department of the Treasure has stated a legal opinion that the law does not apply to a large class of private transactions, on the grounds that a "debt" does not exist until the transaction is complete.

There is case law on paying the debt in cash as opposed to gold and silver, but Google Scholar doesn't report anything on refusal to accept cash for a non-debt.

An arguement can be made that the intention of the US founding fathers was to give "debt" its broadest possible reading, and that the position of the Treasury is pilpul, and requires authorizing legislation, such as (Canada's) "Currency Act"

This, of course, does not speak to other parts of the criminal code. For example, it may well be illegal to refuse to sell a necessity to a minor if they only have cash.

Comment Re:Linux should support things that work (Score 1) 136

... If it is used by an xbox game, then it only forbids you from recording your gaming sessions.

This makes it hard to prove you won when you're playing in a for-money tournament. Better have your phone on a tripod, recording the match as you play

My old employer, https://worldgaming.com/ sponsors just such tournaments and asks for evidence in case of two people claiming to have won.

--dave

Comment Birthday paradox (Score 1) 168

If I compare 25 people's birthdays to one another, I have a 50% chance of getting a match. That's because I compare one person with 25 others, another with 24, another with 23, and so on. That's with a 1:365 chance of sucess on a single trial (0.27%).

Now try this with a few thousand "people of interest" out of 25 billion.

--dave

Submission + - Pentagon's Mysterious U.F.O. Program - with video! (nytimes.com) 1

Joosy writes: Until 2012 the Pentagon had a program, the "Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program", that tracked unidentified flying objects. Finally the program has come to light, and a few videos have been released.

Submission + - Certain CDC Officials Forbidden To Use Words Like "Science-Based". (washingtonpost.com)

hey! writes: On Friday the Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration has forbidden the Centers for Disease Control from using seven terms in certain documents: "science-based", "evidence-based", “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” and “fetus".

It's important to note that the precise scope and intent of the ban is unknown at present. Scientific and medical personnel as of now have not been affected, only policy analysis preparing budgetary proposals and supporting data that is being sent to Congress. So it is unclear the degree to which the language mandates represent a change in agency priorities vs. a change in how it presents itself to Congress. However banning the scientifically precise term "fetus" will certainly complicate budgeting for things like Zika research and monitoring.

Submission + - FBI appears to have investigated – and considered prosecuting – FOIA (muckrock.com)

schwit1 writes: Investigative reporting blog and FOIA tool provider Muckrock shows that as far back as 2016, the FBI refused to produce documents that had the names of deceased FBI staff (nullifying any privacy concerns), but consistently failed to redact personal information about the requesters a clear violation of privacy:

"Despite redacting the names and email addresses of the public servants handling the case, the FBI released not only the author’s name and address in the file (technically improper since there was no waiver, albeit understandable) but the name, email address and home address of another requester who also used the script to file requests. Their name along with their email and physical addresses were left unredacted not once, not twice, not thrice but seven times, not including the email headers, several of which also showed their name and email address."

Other emails show that the FBI’s Obama-era FOIA office consulted a number of people from the Criminal Justice Information Services division for the purpose of singling out "suspicious" FOIA requests for possible prosecution targeting.

I'd love to know what they considered a "suspicious" FOIA request.

Submission + - Data Breach at Website with 45 Million Users Discovered During Academic Research (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A team of three researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has created a tool that can detect when user-registration-based websites suffer a data breach. The tool, named Tripwire, works on a simple concept. Researchers say that Tripwire registers one or more accounts on websites by using a unique email address that they do not use for anything else. Each email account and the website profile used the same password. Tripwire would check at regular intervals if someone used this password to access the email account, which would indicate the website suffered a breach and an attacker used the stolen account data to log into the associated email account.

Using Tripwire, researchers said they discovered breaches at 19 sites, including one that had over 45 million users. Despite all sites acknowledging the breaches, none of them informed users of what happened.

Submission + - AMD Open-Sourcing Their Official Vulkan Linux Driver (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: While many of you have likely heard of the "RADV" open-source Vulkan driver, it's been a community-written driver up to this point in the absence of AMD's official, cross-platform Vulkan driver being open-source. That's now changed with AMD now open-sourcing their official Vulkan driver. The code drop is imminent and they are encouraging the use of it for quick support of new AMD hardware, access to the Radeon GPU Profiler, easy integration of AMD Vulkan extensions, and enabling third-party extensions. For now at least it does provide better Vulkan performance than RADV but the RADV developers have indicated they plan to continue development of their Mesa-based Vulkan driver.

Submission + - Searchable DB of 1.4 billion stolen credentials found on dark web (itworldcanada.com) 2

YVRGeek writes: A security vendor has discovered a huge list of easily searchable stolen credentials in cleartext on the dark web which it fears could lead to a new wave of cyber attacks.

Julio Casal, co-founder of identity threat intelligence provider 4iQ, which has offices in Calfornia and Spain, said in a Dec. 8 blog his firm found the database of 1.4 billion username and password pairs while scanning the dark web for stolen, leaked or lost data.

He said the company has verified at least a group of credentials are legitimate.

What is alarming is the file is what he calls “an aggregated, interactive database that allows for fast (one second response) searches and new breach imports.” For example, searching for “admin,” “administrator” and “root” returned 226,631 passwords of admin users in a few seconds. As a result, the database can help attackers automate account hijacking or account takeover.

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