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Comment Re:What the F$&*? Talk about a big fat fallacy (Score 1) 100

Of course men and women use different language in their emails. Young men would use different language than middle aged or older people do. A person emailing a friend would have different language than when they email their boss. This is not indicative of there "emotions". This is indicative of their education, wisdom, and who they are having a conversation with and the topics of discussion.

I don't the researchers claim that the words directly reflect the writers emotions. When people write persuasively they instead try to stir emotions in their readers. For example, if I write: "I am deaply concerned that our current strategy exposes us to unnecessary risk." I am fear words in the hope that my readers will take what I have to say more seriously.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 1) 527

No, Lavabit didn't win. It appears they handed over the keys as demanded, and then shut down, so the FBI must have received the data it was looking for.

It appears the key they handed over was their SSL key which is used to encrypt communications with their server as it passes over the Internet. The FBI wanted to wiretap their Internet line and decrypt the communications. They shut down so that there would be no communications.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 1) 527

I wholeheartedly agree with what you are saying, and i would agree that it would apply to communications that stayed within the confines of the Lavabit encrypted Mail system. But the second an email leaves and head to another email server, it is now public and would no longer have an expectation of privacy. the email headers would have to be in the clear in order for the email to reach its destination.

The question is not whether if is physically possible for a determined third part to abtain this information. The question is does the sender have a "reasonable expection of privacy". The established legal principle is that when the expectation is high enough, a search warrant is required. Precautions which leave a wiretap on the Internet as the most practical way to obtain the information create a significantly higher expecation of privacy.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 2) 527

Then congress will quickly pass a new law to overrule that precedent. They can call it the... 'PATRIOT' is taken. Maybe the 'SAFE AMERICA' act. Something with an awkward backronym, anyway.

Congress can "overrule" court precedent under two circumstances: 1) the law was ruled unconstitutional due to a correctable technical fault such as being too vague or 2) the court ruled that the law did not apply to the specific case and that if congress wants it to apply to such cases in the future it should rewrite it. But congress cannot overrule a court finding that a law violates the constitution by its intent. That requires a constitutional amendment.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 1) 527

A private contract between a company and end user does not increase a right to privacy with respect to the government. In this instance it _might_ have triggered a lawsuit by users against Lavabit for breach of contract. Lavabit would win such a suit with the defense of having followed a court order.

You are correct in that a contract in which one party promises not to comply with court orders is unenforcable. But if the law says that a pen register can be used under certain circumstances, the parties absolutely can enter into a contract which prohibits them from creating those circumstances. If the Lavabit contract offered guarantees that the e-mail header information would not or could not be read by employees, that may have created a "reasonable expectation of privacy". Since reasonable expectation of privacy is a very important factor in determining whether monitoring by government officials is legal or illegal, creating such an expecation will in fact increase your legal protection from government monitoring. For example, if you are doing something on your front law, the police may observe. If you go inside and pull down the blinds, they need a search warrant.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 1) 527

The other possibility is that your opinion is contrary to settled law.

I think that is the key to why the judge ruled in favor of the prosecutor. From a technical perspective what was requested was analygous to a pen register and so he applied the pen register precedent. The problem with such a ruling is that Lavabit had offered guarantees of privacy which the telephone companies do not. This means that while the access requested may be the technical equivalent of a pen register, it may not be equivalent from a legal standpoint. But maybe this is something that has to be decided by an appeals court.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 2) 527

Lavabit shut down. Their other customers have lost service. They are almost certainly going to lose in court. I doubt many in the public will support them when the fact emerge that they were defying court orders.

What if their appeal creates legal precedent which strengthens privacy protections? Presumably that is something the 400,000 users who lost service care about.

Comment Re:What moron judge allowed this? (Score 5, Insightful) 527

Stop right there. The fact that they are allowed this without probable cause is already too much.

It is interesting that the prosecutor portrayed this as a pen trap. Courts have ruled that users do not have a reasonable expectation that the numbers they dial on their phone line will remain private (basicaly because they show up on the bill) but that they do have a reasonable expectation that nobody is listening in. That is why this information can be obtained without probable cause. But if Lavabit offered specific guarantees that this information would not be recorded except in the encryted e-mail boxes, then the users had a reasonable expectation of privacy. This might make the use of a pen trap without probable cause illegal.

Comment Re:Just a minor timing error (Score 1) 740

Insider gets info early, writes code order trades at 1:00:00.008 pm Chicago time. PC clock isn't perfectly synced with the atomic clocks, runs a little fast for some reason.

The real thing to look out for are all the trades made before 2:00:05pm Eastern time, because it will take around 5 seconds for any human observer to read, notice, decide, and click a macro trigger. It is very safe to assume that all trades within 5 seconds of an announcement are suspect and worth investigating in more detail.

The article implies that a rush of orders was expected exactly at 2:00:00.007. Presumably this announcement was made in machine readable form and macros were expected to be triggered automatically.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 663

As opposed to Apple's chipped lightning cables, the micro channel architecture and bus actually did provide some benefits to the user.

Perhaps it did in theory. In practice it was a nuisance. The DIP switches and jumpers of ISA bus cards were replaced by automatic assignment of IRQ numbers and I/O addresses by the BIOS. Good idea, awful implementation. The problem was, each Microchannel addon card came with a floppy disk which contained information which the BIOS needed in order to configure it. I remember that whenever we installed an addon card we had to find this disk and insert it when the BIOS prompted. When we removed an addon card we also had to find this disk again and insert it to remove the card from the system configuration, otherwise the BIOS would halt on each boot. We hated the things.

Comment Re:If evolution is true... (Score 1) 1293

Having read Genesis, I have had a question that no one has been able to answer to my satisfaction, since I was 8 years old.

Genesis 4:17 "Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch." Where did Cain's wife come from? We have Adam (allegedly made by God), then God anesthetizes him to extract a rib to make Eve.(cloning?) Then Adam and Eve have Cain, then Abel. Cain kills Abel, God marks him and 'runs him out of town'. Then Cain gets married...and has a kid, then builds a city. Married to who? Eve?(at this stage Eve is the ONLY female on the planet, supposedly)

Genesis does not say exactly when the second female appeared, but:

Genesis 5:3--5"When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died."

The early chapters of Genesis contain a string of overlapping naratives. At the beginning of chapter five the narrator seems to go back to fill in details previously omitted.

An incestuous marriage with his sister may not be as absurd as it sounds at first. For example we are later told that Abrahaam's wife Sarah was his half sister:

Genesis 20:11--12 11 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife.

It is important to note that Abraham is clearly portrayed as a man who enjoyed God's favor. According to the Bible's internal chronology, Abraham lived about a thousand years after the death of Cain. The first prohibition of incest comes about 500 years after that as part of the Mosaic Law.

Comment Re:Canary, not dead man's switch (Score 1) 259

A dead man's switch automatically triggers an action when the person in charge can no longer prevent it, because he's dead, detained, or otherwise disabled. (Examples: let go of a hand grenade's handle, send out documents if the person don't check in at least once a week, etc). What this article is talking about is more appropriately called a "canary" (referring to the canary in a coal mine). It does the exact opposite. CJ

Cory Doctorow is just looking at it a little differently. A dead man's switch requires the operator to continuously perform a particular action in order to prevent something from happening. For example, he may have to remain in the seat of a tractor in order to keep the engine running. Whether he falls off or gets off, the engine will stop. In this case, the dead man's switch is triggered when the worker gets off the tractor.

The purpose of this dead man's switch is to make the situation ambiguous. If you tell a man not to turn off the tractor and he reaches for the key and takes it out, he has clearly and deliberately disobeyed. But if instead he simply gets out of the seat and takes a coffee break, the matter is not so clear, even if he knew the engine would stop. He has no obligation to operate the tractor during his coffee break.

This scheme is not foolproof, but it doesn't have to be. Its intent is not to make prosecution impossible. It is intended to turn any prosecution into an expensive farce in which the prosecutor would be forced to play the role of the comical villain before a rapt world-wide audiance.

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