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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 253

How about...try to establish communications with known terrorists using it. Claim you want to start your own cell. Then the NSA will track your laptop for you, for free.

A simple lawsuit will get them to tell you its location if its lost or stolen.

You included some unnecessary steps in there. The correct procedure is:

1. Operate a computer.
2. NSA tracks the computer.
3. Computer gets stolen.
4. File FOIA request to find your stolen laptop.
5. ???
6. Don't lose as much money! (Sorry, I don't see any profit, unless you make a business model out of filing FOIA requests for other people to help them locate stolen laptops.)

Oh, and backup with Carbonite. Unless this is a trivial gaming machine, your data are more valuable than your hardware.

Comment Re:It's a about money. (Score 1) 211

The blast radius of the 100 MT "Tsar Bomba" could maybe have taken out several small cities, but there was never a practical way to deliver that beast. It was just a pissing match. Most of our modern warheads are well under 1 MT. More like 300 to 500 kT. The days of the 20 MT "city buster" are over. At 1 MT, the 5 psi ("everybody dies")* radius is under 3 miles for a surface burst, and the 2 psi radius (most people survive the initial blast) is under 5 miles. What you would really be concerned about is fallout, and that really depends on which direction the wind is blowing. In other words, with the wind blowing south, you could be 5 miles north of a 1 MT burst and still have an excellent chance of surviving the initial blast. At 10 miles, you probably won't even lose your south-facing windows. Not that you wouldn't still have problems. The firestorms at Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused more damage than the initial blast, disruption of infrastructure would be catastrophic, and all electronics in line of sight would be killed by EMP. But it's ridiculous and over-simplistic to claim that a modern nuke would just level multiple cities.

*It's not even that everybody within 5 psi dies. It's actually that with a fairly uniform population distribution, you can draw a radius at 5 psi, and estimate the total blast fatalities as the number of people within that radius.

Submission + - Pro bono Lawyer Fights C&D With Humor (gawker.com)

Zordak writes: When Jake Freivald received a questionable Cease and Desist letter from a big-firm attorney, demanding that he immediately relinquish rights to his website http://westorage.info, his pro-bono lawyer decided to treat the letter like the joke that it was. In a three-page missive, the lawyer points out the legal, constitutional, and ethical problems with the letter that led him to conclude that the letter was a joke. He concludes, in a postscript, with an unsubstantiated demand for $28,000 in overpaid property taxes, and offers to lease the city the domain name "westorange.gov" in exchange.

Comment Re:wtf (Score 1) 662

Of course you have that right. The 5th amendment only applies to self incrimination. They can force you to testify about other things that wouldn't result in self incrimination. So, if you were on trial for tax evasion, you might be required to answer some questions about how you kept your records, but not the ones that would result in self incrimination. And they wouldn't permit you to leave the stand just because you hit one question for which the 5th applied.

No. If you are on trial, or suspected of a crime, you cannot be compelled to answer any questions about anything. You can't even be compelled to get on the witness stand. The only time you can be compelled to answer questions is if the police believe you have information about a crime somebody else committed in which you are not implicated. For example, if I witnessed my best friend commit a crime, the state could subpoena my testimony against him, even though I don't want to implicate him. But if I am accused of being his accomplice, I don't have to say anything about anything.

Of course, more than usual, this is not legal advice and you should not rely on it. Get a lawyer.

Comment Re:Braaaaaaaiiiinnns! (Score 2) 104

Nuke the entire planet from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

You know if SCO rises from the dead one more time I might see this as the best option.

Not that likely. SCO only has two counts left, and their big claim---that they own UNIX and everything that ever looked like UNIX---is already taken care of by the Novell judgment. I think what they have left is claims for business torts, like tortious interference with contracts or something along those lines. This looks to me like the judge is opening the case back up just to take inventory: is there anything left here to fight about? If the answer is no, he will promptly toss SCO out on its ear and the whole thing will be well and truly dead.

Comment Re:Of course. (Score 5, Insightful) 749

Why not fabricate information about a surveillance program to slander the current federal government so someone like Ron Paul can be ushered in as the saviour of America? Snowden made quite clear his political leaning after donating to Ron Paul's campaign.

Except the government hasn't even denied that they are collecting all this information. Their defense has consistently been, "Yes, we're collecting everything about everybody, but we only look at the database with a court order. Trust us." Even if that's true right now, whom do you trust to have that kind of database and never, ever abuse it?

This whole thing seems like a scandal fabricated to generate page hits or to sling political mud at opponents.

What opponents? The Washington elite of both parties have lined up to defend this thing and remind us that they need this information to protect us from the big, bad terrorists.

Comment You might well have a legal right to demand this b (Score 1) 480

IAAL but TINLA, but you should see an intellectual property lawyer and ask for their advice on the following matters. These things do vary by jurisdiction, although some of it is based on the TRIPS treaty (required for WTO membership), so it is getting to be less different between the jurisdictions. Firstly, if you did this as a contractor, you quite likely still own the copyright, unless you signed an agreement saying you don't. In that case he client has a licence, the scope of which may vary, but not so far as to allow them to apply their own copyright claim to the exclusion of you. Secondly, what they have done is quite likely a breach of your moral right of attribution, especially if you were a contractor rather than an employee. There may well be scope for a nice scary letter from a lawyer to get them to behave.

Comment Re:Someone start a defense fund (Score 1) 955

The fact that at a later stage, through incompetence on the part of some of the pros, the whole lot got out, isn't the fault of Manning.

How so? Manning is the one who gave it to them. If I give a loaded handgun to my five year old, and he shoots and kills a person, is it not my fault? Or is your contention that newspaper reporters (trying desperately to get any edge over the competition) are more trustworthy with sensitive data than a five year old is with a handgun?

Manning was a punk with a political agenda who recklessly endangered the lives of Americans. Snowden at least did something that could be colorably called civil disobedience. Manning is just a tool. Of course, the problem with civil disobedience is that sometimes you've got to take the hit to make your point.

Comment Re:No way (Score 1) 375

In "The Five Doctors," the Time Lords gave the Master a whole new set of regenerations in exchange for helping out. So it's been plausible to extend past 13 lives for 30 years now. Nobody mentioned the mechanism for "granting" a new set, but if anybody can figure out how to cheat death, the Doctor ought to be able to. Corner unpainted.

Comment Re:Wait..LOL WUT? (Score 1) 276

And what is the Truth, since you seem to know so much about both the legal profession and the Truth? I once litigated a patent case where a key infringement question was whether a headphone whose rear cavity was sufficiently leaky had a meaningful acoustical compliance that could be compared to another acoustical compliance. One side said yes, the other side said no. There were no textbooks that addressed the exact configuration in question. Both sides had experts. I was genuinely thoroughly convinced that our side was right, and I thought our expert was more qualified. But it never crossed my mind to accuse opposing counsel of misconduct because they espoused a credible position that was favorable to their client and that I disagreed with. The case settled, so there was never a final determination of which side was right. But since you have the key to all Truth in the universe, perhaps you could share with me the True Answer to this puzzle.

By the way, you miss the whole point of what lawyers do in litigation. (Plenty of lawyers write contracts all day. All I do these days is write patent applications all day.) They are not there to search for some final, objective Truth. Usually, there is no final, objective Truth. They are there as advocates. Their purpose is to make the best case they can for the one of many possible interpretations of law or facts that is most favorable to their clients.

In other words, if you are searching for some ultimate, philosophical Truth, call a priest. If you are searching for a falsifiable model of an objective phenomenon, call a scientist. If you have been accused of, for example, "Reckless Endangerment," and you want somebody who will zealously argue that your particular behavior was not "reckless" according to the statutory definition, hire a lawyer.

Comment Re:Money (Score 2) 276

Agreed. There's a sort of prisoner's dilemma with sports doping. Since you can safely assume that everybody else is doping, you have to dope to just compete on the same level. But since everybody's doping, the advantages of doping are somewhat canceled out. I don't know if Armstrong's victories were bestowed on his next-closest competitors, but if they were, then they probably went from a guy who doped and got caught to a guy who doped and didn't get caught.

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 276

The problem is that you will have several highly-talented people competing for the top spots. Lance Armstrong is a perfect example. The problem is not that he was lacking in talent. Even with performance-enhancing drugs, Joe Average will never be as fast on a bicycle as Lance is without performance-enhancing drugs. The problem is that there were other people who were also extremely talented, and he wanted to be faster than those guys. The "right" way is to work harder, train longer, push yourself further. But sometimes, even that won't be enough. So Lance gave himself a guaranteed edge.

Comment Re:Exports? (Score 5, Insightful) 443

I like how you toss out a token reference to Democratic corruption, and then happily regurgitate, verbatim, the Democrats' talking point that "Republicans are the Party of No." It must be nice to live in a world where there is a political party that you trust to do all your thinking for you. Some of us don't have that luxury.

By the way, to bring this back on point, let's not forget that the DNC is practically a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Media. Or that Chris Dodd is now chairman of the MPAA. When a Democrat inevitably introduces this legislation, I will be perfectly content to let Republicans play the "No" card.

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