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Comment Re:Trespassing (Score 1) 186

Sure, IP blocking is a blocking mechanism. If I IP-block you, and you don't change your IP or use a proxy, you're blocked. So is everybody else using that IP, if more than just you, but that's a side effect. It's not a particularly good block, but I've seen it used. In this case, the significance was that 3taps deliberately got around the block. That is strong evidence that they weren't doing the access accidentally. Similarly, if I were to open a door with an old-fashioned spring lock, I'd be legally held to have bypassed a lock, and that's about as difficult as bypassing an IP block.

Also, analogies in meatspace do apply to the internet, at least for legal purposes. Judges have to apply existing laws, and legislators have to pass new ones, and both will be very heavily influenced by meatspace analogies. About the best we can do is try to make them use the right analogies, and try to tell them where the analogies break down.

And you persist in misunderstanding the legal concept of "authorization". It doesn't depend on some sort of automatic mechanism.

Comment Re:As soon as the smart car counts as the driver (Score 1) 662

Except that, most of the time, it doesn't matter whether Obama knows where I am. It doesn't bother me. I think the surveillance is a bad idea, but it is not itself intrusive. It would bother people to have their cars hijacked, and the government and auto companies know this.

Comment Re:I don't understand the need for high-speed trad (Score 1) 240

They increase liquidity. Suppose I wanted to sell stock, and it took a week to find a buyer. I might be happy to find somebody who'd cut that down to a day for a small slice of the sale value. This is what stock exchanges were about; they'd charge some money, and allow your broker to find somebody to buy your stock fast. There's times when an investor won't want to wait fifteen minutes, and you can make several decisions in that time.

Now, I'm not sure what liquidity is worth, and I don't know why it really helps to have transactions take less time than a human can think about them, and I don't even know, really, how much they skim, so I can't say if it's worth it. There's no actual need for HFT, since we had stock markets long before it, but it may be worth what it costs.

Comment Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (Score 1) 240

You can still do old-school investing, and it's more convenient than it was. Buy stock in companies you think are going to do well over time. Don't worry about buying at the lowest point. Keep a general eye on the market, but don't watch daily price changes unless you think it's fun. I don't. Sell when you're ready. When you're close to needing the money, have some conservative investments so that you don't have to sell too much in a market dip.

I could try day trading or something, but I have the feeling I'd be way out of my league there.

Comment Re:MUAHAHAHAHA (Score 1) 240

They're skimming, but they're skimming so little it really doesn't affect those of us into long-term investments. If I do one transaction per month (and, except for my ESPP, I do less than that), and they skim 0.1% or so, who cares? If that makes any noticeable difference in my profits, the profits didn't amount to anything anyway.

Comment Re:Not just Win8 (Score 1) 373

I'm not convinced that "many eyes" is all that good for security, since security isn't an easily recognizable property. It does help code quality, which helps security. However, Microsoft got serious about security quite a few years ago, and has been doing a whole lot better. Having a company-wide focus on security is likely to give better security than many eyes in general.

The reasons why Windows is likely to be less secure than other OSes are different. MS supports a lot of legacy code, a whole lot of it third-party, and that is going to have security ramifications. Also, while people don't generally do much as root on Linux/Unix systems, there's still a lot of tradition for using a MS Windows box as Administrator. Microsoft's pushing to change that, but cultural changes are slow, and Microsoft still does not seem to me to quite get security where humans are involved.

Comment Re:Not just Win8 (Score 1) 373

Linux/Unix is more popular than Windows, counted by the number of computers being sold that people use. This is somewhat obscured by the wide variety of UIs on the Linux/Unix devices (my Nexus 7, my iPhone, my Mac Mini, my Linux box, and my wife's Nook Tablet don't all look the same). Windows only dominates on desktops and laptops, and those are getting less relevant.

Comment Re:Exercise is a luxury in US culture (Score 1) 492

Actually, there's reasons to be scared of trying that. What you suggest is not guaranteed to work.

You didn't have a cushy job lined up, and counted on being able to get a job that would work. That's hardly guaranteed. You could easily wind up living a thousand miles from anyplace you've got personal support with rapidly dwindling savings.

You are lucky with your house. There's a whole lot of things that can happen to a house being rented. Most of them are much easier to deal with when you're not across the country. If you've got a relative or good friend who has volunteered to take care of things for you, great. Not everybody has one where they're moving from, and there's questions like how much free work can you expect out of your friend or relative when things go wrong. There's no particular reason you won't wind up with no rental income, thousands of dollars of repairs to get done remotely, and still have the house payment.

You were able to deal with an unexpected $10K expense in situations that must have strained your finances. Congrats; many people can't take that in stride. The ideal of six months' savings frequently doesn't work in practice for young couples with children. Now, what happens if your kid needs more expensive medical care, long-term, and the insurance companies call it a pre-existing condition? You've spent a lot of money already, may be getting drained by the long-distance house, and that house doesn't give you a place to live.

So your job doesn't demand long hours and has a reasonable commute? Good. How certain were you of finding that job? You're the new guy there, so if there's a temporary dip in the economy you're back out pounding the pavement. Got a backup plan in case you can't find another job that's close, pays enough to cover your increased needs, and doesn't require lots of overtime?

Where did you move to, where you can be assured of jobs you like that pay adequately, cost of living is low enough for you to get by, schools don't suck, etc.?

So, it's great that it worked for you. Some people are scared because there's an excellent chance, if they try this, that they'll wind up unable to support their children in a reasonable (not affluent) manner. You seem to disregard all this and think that, just because you were sufficiently lucky, anybody who tries to emulate you will also be sufficiently lucky. It really doesn't work that way.

Comment Re:What to do? Some science, please. (Score 1) 510

Sure. Thing is, we can't do anything directly about H2O. The amount in the atmosphere is going to be pretty well fixed. If we put more in, there'll be more rain. If we take some out, there'll be more evaporation.* Since the amount in the atmosphere depends on temperature, it will simply reinforce other warming and cooling effects. In particular, with more CO2 in the air, things will warm up and we'll have more H2O in the air, and it'll warm up more. With less CO2 in the air, less H2O, etc.

*Oversimplification. Not to be considered absolutely correct in all details, but generally true.

Comment Re:Smart Criminals (Score 1) 179

Depends. The banks are already ideally making as much off you as they can, and raising fees will drive business to other banks. The shareholders take the hit in this case. If this were to become widespread, everybody would raise fees, and the banks would take in more money. The demand for banking services is quite inelastic, so industry-wide price changes will bring more revenue in, but there's competition among banks.

Comment Re:Tracing the Transfer (Score 1) 179

AIUI, that's one of the big problems. It's possible to get the money untraceable, but that generally means having some fall guy do it for you, so you're limited by the availability of fall guys.

"Look, sir, here's a cashier's check for $110K. You deposit it, wait until it clears so there's no risk to you*, then just pass off $100K as we direct and keep the remaining $10K for your trouble."

*This is the lie here; cashier's checks are traceable and can clear as far as the fall guy can tell long before they're traced.

According to a story on /. a long time ago, this sort of robbery is basically robbing the fall guys. One problem, of course, is that people who will fall for this trick may well not have $100K in assets to pay the bank back.

Comment Re:Trespassing (Score 1) 186

First, "authorization" is not a technical term here. It is a legal issue. In general, you're authorized to access all websites you can, and that appears to be the judge's presumption. This can change when you are formally told you're unauthorized to access one. If a site is concerned with authorization, it usually has some sort of sign-in mechanism, but that isn't legally necessary. If you haven't been formally notified that you're unauthorized, you can rely on implicit authorization. Frankly, I don't see any other way of running the web.

Second, IP blocking is not a good blocking mechanism, but it is a blocking mechanism. Similarly, a cheap spring lock is a lock. The judge does not seem to have considered circumvention of an IP block to be unauthorized access in itself. However, using a proxy to get around an IP block is evidence of intent to access the site, and since 3taps had no authorization that established intent for unauthorized access. There's no law against me wearing a baseball cap and hoodie to Wal-Mart, but if I was forbidden to access that particular Wal-Mart it may be evidence that I knew I was doing something wrong.

Third, a publicly facing website is not the same as a publicly facing billboard. The billboard stands there, and I can see it without doing anything to it. The web site is active, and accepts and deals with HTTP packets. Any HTTP request is a request to access the computer system. This is a technical point, but it does have legal consequences.

Fourth, the Internet does need, and does have, legal regulation of some sort. The question is what sort we are going to get. Judgments like this one are good, since they establish a clear line where illegal behavior occurs, and won't affect people in normal use.

Comment Re:Not Unreasonable (Score 1) 186

Sorry, I didn't get that from your post.

Further, the slippery slope argument doesn't apply to this story, because the judge's ruling cited two actions on CL's part. CL did those because of their terms of use, but the judge didn't say anything implying that violating TOU was criminal. The ruling was that it is possible to deny somebody authorization to access a site by sending formal notice, regardless of why, that accessing the site afterwards is unauthorized access, and bypassing even a trivial IP block is evidence of intentional access. This is a step against the slippery TOU slope, in that the TOU had nothing to do with the judge's decision. (That the TOU caused CL to deny authorization is immaterial; they could have done that just as legally if they didn't like organizations with names beginning with a digit, and the ruling would have been just as applicable.)

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