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Comment Re:Futility of certain laws (Score 3, Informative) 550

Check any Home Depot / Lowes or other hardware store for a concrete nail gun. No permits required, use black powder, primer-actuated .22 / .27 caliber rounds to drive a projectile into concrete. Variable loads (powder content) are definitely available, different gauges may be - I never looked that closely. It just seems silly that in the most-regulated gun states, you can effectively buy a gun , as long as you call it a "tool" and sell it at a non-"gun" store. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hilti-DX-36-0-27-Caliber-Semi-Automatic-Powder-Actuated-Tool-384033/100527172

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 396

The evidence in this particular case was specifically the metadata collected by the phone company; metadata involving terror suspects outside the US. That metadata led the NSA to tip the FBI - " the investigation you dropped in 2008.. well it appears your subject is now connected with a 'hot' number in Somalia (strongly implicated in terror activities). " That led to the FBI re-opening their investigation with this added lead, and through normal channels they escalated to wiretaps and physical searches. The metadata was part of discovery, and pretty much looks like a phonebill that would have been mailed to the subject anyhow. ( last pages of the referenced PDF filing.) This ruling ( appears to me, IANAL).. is already supported by several prior cases that say 1) your records of doing business with a 3rd party are not protected; you know the 3rd party needs the info to bill you, and you consented to them maintaining those records. 2) if we ask ( or subpeona) the 3rd party for business records of theirs, customers of that 3rd party don't own the records.. the 3rd party biz is the record owner. 3) I read the court document twice, and I don't see any reference to " you can't defend yourself" or " if we can collect data on anybody.. this meanz u!".. of course, that may have been redacted. I do see phrases close to that referenced in the second article, where an EFF staff attorney is making his case using hyperbole for the press. .. don't get me wrong. I support most of what EFF stands for, and I don't appreciate the erosion of our rights. However, I do believe that raising legitimate arguments to my elected officials, or to proxy lobbying groups if we must.. is the way to address these things. FUD doesn't work in the long run, because it is too easily dismissed. If someone could take some of the grant/SBA loan money designed to provide rural phone service/ last mile high-bandwidth internet, and introduce a model with privacy built-in, that's a product I'd be willing to switch to, and let my marketplace dollars do the talking.

Comment Hang him if he floats! (Score 1) 374

Not withstanding the obvious " witch trial " jokes that should follow here, TFA states charges of ... “obstruction of an agency proceeding” charge, ... and ... a [wire fraud] “scheme” that helped applicants get jobs by making “false and fraudulent statements.” Dixon could have faced up to five years in prison for the obstruction charge and up to 20 years for the wire fraud charge. If prosecutors can make these charges stand with a jury, I have 99 Senators ( NJ is short 1) I a couple of hundred others who are obstructing agency proceedings through "sequester", and have used various wires, internet, television and other media to perpetrate “scheme[s]” that helped applicants get jobs by making “false and fraudulent statements.”

Comment Yahoo definitely wrong choice. Or was it? (Score 4, Informative) 403

I was gonna rant about refunding the estate for the residual value of his contract, and for the 5 year domain registration.. or at least transfer it to his estate.. BUT.. Yahoo's TOS specifically deals with death.
"No Right of Survivorship and Non-Transferability. You agree that your Yahoo! account is non-transferable and any rights to your Yahoo! ID or contents within your account terminate upon your death. Upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate, your account may be terminated and all contents therein permanently deleted."

Allegedly, this was in effect for a while.. the page
says it was last updated March 16, 2012.
For a man who made a living with his words, maybe he should have read the TOS ( short by some comparison). Or, maybe like the false 'treasure hunt', he knew Yahoo would cancel his account, and through both methods he gains some post-mortem notoriety. Either way.. I hope he gets some pleasure out of all this attention to his life being generated today.

Comment NSA to build giant dolphin data storage farm (Score 4, Funny) 110

With the conservative life span of current magnetic media at between 10-20 years, and (average) optical CD/ DVDs considerably less, the NSA has begun a pilot program code named "Faa love Pa" While the acronym is not clear, the Senate Intel Cmte. lauded this as a "green" initiative, and is encouraging tuna fisheries to collect living dolphins for use in the project. Dolphin memory lasts 20 years or more, reducing the need for additional rare-earth metals and greatly reduced electricity consumption. Dolphin memory is self-replicating, tolerant to mild EMF and power fluctuations, and primarily only requires renewable resources such as salt water and baitfish. The only technical hurdles researchers see are effectively encoding/decoding the massive amounts of illegally gathered data into dolphin-discrete packages, and the bandwidth needed to read/write operations. Researchers have not yet determined the optimal facility size, nor how the pods will best perform in cohesive groups. Dolphins are also ill-suited for complex elliptic-curve cryptography, opting instead for elliptic-curve swimming. Dolphin computing is not new. Natural behaviors include computing standards like PUSH and JUMP, and many have been trained to perform parallel operations. Those animals sourced from Chinese waters will be culled from the "pool" for security reasons. Another feature is the reduced disposal requirements. When the new dolphin media is replaced, old media is effectively rendered useless to forensic recovery techniques, and can be disposed of to feed other animals or in simple 'compost' rather than more costly recycling efforts.

Comment Re:Outbreak, not "plague"; dont be sensationalist. (Score 1) 668

Crack the numbers correctly, too. the MMR vaccine and autism are your variables - where are all the controls, and how are you going to get human trials on this? The parent is making health decisions for the child; a parent who would choose - on the continuum of risk vs. reward - to deny the vaccine in order to lessen the chance of autism is going to make a lot of life-decisions for that child. Someone with the resources of Jenny McC can afford to put her child in a less-densely populated school, fresh fruits and vegetables, weeks of vacation to spend bonding with the child(-ren) .. where the average, city-dwelling parent is working 2 jobs; cannot afford to shop at Whole Foods, and especially cannot afford the annual tuition of a 4-door sedan per year of PreSchool through 8th grade. How does these numbers change when your primary food market is a bodega / deli within walking distance; your air quality is polluted by transit and/or industry, your teenage child is raising your 7 and 8 year-olds, or , more suburban (or in Greely, Colorado) your water quality, (and base noise level) is affected by all those fracking wells down the road? Don't get me wrong - I don't think the Medical establishment has the only right answer.. just a good approximation of what is available, combined with economic and social pressures. My "western-trained" doctor recommended that I follow a diet inspired by Gary Null http://prn.fm/tag/gary-null/ over 30 years ago; he even offered me a hand-me-down juicer because his wife just bought him a new one. I practice meditation, and I see many yoga techniques adopted in modern physical therapy. I also think that most parents have the right to decide what is best for their offspring. However - I want to know if I'm sending my kid to school and a few of his classmates were never immunized for life-threatening diseases. One last philosophy question: which is more valued to society? preserving the mind of a child who might get autism from a vaccine, or the life of a child who dies from exposure to disease from a non-vaccinated peer?

Comment Re:Why is there an assumption of privacy? (Score 1) 262

Tracking info, no. But static location info is not protected.

Red light camera footage is routinely archived and saved - even posted on YouTube as "safety" messages, or info-ads for the camera mfrs.
This archiving is against the law.(But no penalty is in place to enforce the data destruction!)
Police vehicles are routinely outfitted with plate-recognition devices. Parking authorities use them to identify scofflaws; Routine police investigations will canvas the area of a crime, recording plates in order to develop a list of potential witnesses/suspects; patrol cars use them to alert on any match with stolen car registries or amber/silver alerts.

With many hundreds of static collection locations, it becomes easy to infer the general paths taken between these points. The tracking device becomes a redundant dongle - adding expense to the motorist who ultimately has to pay for all this added technology, and inviting tinkering/hacking to provide unreliable data back to the collectors.

Comment Re:Mylar ink tape (Score 1) 163

+1's The older tech was a lot easier to track. Basic stuff I did to my babysitters/brother at around 7 years of age: .. on the typewriter carriage, imprints and ink carry through, especially if you have a letter like "o" or "p" that can cut through paper on a hard mechanical stroke. .. read back the ribbon (sometimes 2-color red/black), sometimes even a correction white ribbon. >> destroy or one-time use ribbons Sure, until the budget gets tight, then those ribbons get re-wound. Depending on the importance of the document, corrections may not be permissable = hard copy in the trash or shredder Later stuff, and law enforcement lernin' .. carbon paper or similar material if in use by user.. NCR copies ( those multi-part forms that say "press hard" so your writing goes through several copies) are all different colors. Most places give up on trying to stock white, canary, blue, and pink correction fluids. -- replace or modify carriage pad (rubber roll) with something like carbon paper or piezo-electric layer -- sound / visual cues to typewriter actions. - I haven't tried this.. but it should work, too - VanEyck .. power at the outlet and field generated by relays and movement all vary measurably. - laser pointer on glass to listen to sounds Plus all the other "spy" gear.. hidden cameras, passive sound resonators, HUMINT, etc.

Comment Re:No one has territory on the moon (Score 1) 255

Incidentally - I have been to both sides.. the Canadian side is commercial, but not polluted. Compared to the Buffalo side, it is like paradise. I am surprised that the Canadians haven't had to put up a Texas-style fence to keep the impoverished locals from crossing the border to flee and find work. Lots of agriculture and food service jobs right on the other side of the river, and many safer places to cross than right at the falls.

Comment Re:No one has territory on the moon (Score 1) 255

If the US has it as a national park, the others will likely be polite enough to avoid trashing it.

How naive... This is how America falls... via people so disconnected from reality..

Parent+1 : So true. Look at how wonderfully American interests are preserving land in the sq. mile around Niagara Falls National Park
The visuals of the local neighborhoods are stunning - especially just behind the treeline as you follow the river into America (not!)
(map) http://goo.gl/4B5Rc

Or, New Jersey's new " Great Falls National Park" - recently named ( even with sequestration, and no budget to fund any facility there).. it seems beautiful, just don't stray too far north along the river into the decaying structures.. or into the nearby neighborhoods.
(map) http://goo.gl/D5QlW

From USA Today :

It will take several years and millions of dollars before Great Falls looks like a national park; there won't even be ranger programs until next year. Since the designation, though, the site has received many more visitors. Robert Marshall, a retired public works director from a nearby suburb, had often driven past the falls, but until last month he'd never seen it up close. "I didn't know you could park and walk around here," he says, standing on the footbridge across from the falls. Then Marshall professed confusion over the national park designation: "The park service seems to be talking about laying people off, and they're adding a park here."

As if to illustrate the debate, along came Hamid Amer, his wife and three kids. All seemed mesmerized by the falls. None had ever set foot in a national park. Amer, a Palestinian barber who moved his family to the USA five years ago from the West Bank, voiced concern over the amount of trash on the ground and in the water and said he thought the Park Service could clean it up."


If anybody has any sense.. they won't let our elected leaders pollute and commodify one of the last places we haven't destroyed yet. Should visiting the moon become an attainable vacation destination - let's try and put some real environmental laws in place; with sufficient funding and real enforcement. ( I think that should sufficiently exclude the Koch bros. from even entering lunar orbit.)

Comment Re:The quality conrol problems... (Score 1) 323

Probably outsourced to WalMart, anyhow. Even a communist space agency has a budget, and why not use OTS spare parts from one of the American Government's largest suppliers?

http://www.theonion.com/articles/walmart-wants-republican-president,15517/ http://www.theonion.com/articles/dhs-teams-up-with-walmart,18722/

OR ( inclusive or) : over-educated engineers assumed the arrows were the spin state of the subatomic detectors inside. A quasi-random distribution of Up and Down would be required to determine the quantum state of orientation. http://news.phy.duke.edu/2012/02/spinning-quarks-yield-clues-to-orbital-motion/

Comment Re:U.S. Citizens have historically... (Score 5, Informative) 191

Agreed (+1 parent) .. and also agree with later post about semantics/ navajo translation.

We BELIEVED there was privacy, because the Government told us about the protection, and the media supported them. The olde-tyme radio cops got away with what society thought was fair.. today, Law and Order:(n) or CSI:(m) would at least make a 'big deal' about a sketchy search without PC, or when handling a suspect who hasn't been properly Mirandized.
Until relatively recent credit card legislation, citizens had no expectation of privacy against data collection ( selective surveillance) by non-government agencies. This surveillance has been happening since before most of us were even born. It is not new.. but the media has ignited the flames of FUD, and the methods for collecting, analyzing , and distributing information have grown exponentially as a result of computers and the changes they bring to society.

In 1897 or so, S&H Green stamps started a " marketing loyalty program". Your grocer ( gas station, Sears & Roebuck) could influence your purchases by adjusting the 'bonus levels' of green stamps you received in return for a purchase. When they chose to, they could also watch meta-trends, or even specific consumer behavior changes, because all the stamps were serial-numbered. S&H, when they received the redeemed booklets, could measure the effectiveness.. which retailers were distributing more, which customers were collecting & returning more, how many just got lost or never filled a book? The company changed over time.. and never really returned to the giant stature they had after the 1970's inflation/stagflation.. but they still exist, and offer web-based purchase premiums.

Around 1920, Al Neilsen got tired with his day job, and decided to create A.C. Neilsen ; to rate how well radio advertisers were doing. The company is still around today, trying to measure DVR and Netflix data, too. This was probably one of the original "crowdsourced" industries.. I mean, if you get "selected" today, they only pay you a dollar a week - if your data is on-time.

Criminal records, property records, articles of incorporation, lawsuits.. all were considered public record at one level or another. I was taught how to search all that paper at my local County Courthouse back in the mid- 1980s. At the time, only criminal records actually required that you produce ID and a legitimate reason to ask.
My sister was in an auto accident last summer. Before the local police were ready with a report " ...10 business days, lady..."; she received a letter from an attorney - with a copy of the accident report, asking if she needed any legal advice or representation. Also, NJ State law about "Red Light Cameras" requires that the footage recorded is destroyed within 60 days - if nothing is illegal, or no charges filed; and within 90 days after the matter is settled ( if you are charged, and just pay the ticket) . Another case of nobody watching.. search YouTube and find at least 5, probably a dozen NJ Red Light Cam videos.. posted as marketing from the camera company! Big brother ( d/b/a private contractor) is watching, recording, and had their fingers crossed when they promised to destroy the footage.

It was around 1902-1904 that the Northeast's major Life & Medical insurers got together and built what we now call the MIB ( Medical Information Bureau). Any insurer.. and lots of other "qualified participants" ( =$ ?) can add, edit, or search these records about every one of us. Every time an insurance company paid a claim (or messed up a claim) medically, that info was added to the collection. Today, we just call this a database.
Again.. no protection here. Last time I checked, the MIB was voluntarily adopting a model similar to credit reporting agencies.. they would provide an individual with a personal report ( minus trade-secrets and scoring), and give the individual some rights to challenge incorrect info. Maybe it's a law now, but still.. no protection for nearly a century. Today, this info is used in Auto insurance policies, and even school admissions and job screening.

The interwebs have always had the potential for long-term data collection. I would have contributed more to Archive.org if I thought they'd eventually sell out to Google.. and who knew they were going to purge (or at least hide from public view) most records pre-1995, and nearly all of the fun Usenet postings.

Also, during a short visit in the world of LE, it was stupidly easy to call the local phone/ electric/ gas utility and find out a whole lot of personal info about the resident of ###North Elm road. Again, "metadata" along with a few personals.. is there a second line ( kids) in the house? Does power consumption drop on the "usual" curve... or is somebody up all night/ working nights? Telephone use - up/down in a pattern.. maybe the last two weeks does it coincide with the day before playoff games? Is the bill in (suspect's) name, or his mom, wife, friend? Do they pay on time - cash / check ? In person?
Since the oversight reforms of the 90's , we can't just run the license plate of every hot brunette that drove by at lunch time (anymore), nor can those calls be made to the utilities.. but for years.. again.. little or no protection, even from the gov't.

Of course, any respectable /.'er knows about data mining, and the anecdote about Target's pregnancy algorithm.

SO, I have to agree with OP. Nearly all this info has been available. Even I didn't realize how long it was open until I read up on it. Even if it used to take hours to dig through County paperwork, or days of surveillance to track a suspect's routine -- that all cost money in the form of labor. The data now can be collected through automated means; even if it takes a few hours or days to get a return, you don't pay computers by the hour. Only the limits of technology are going to define what "privacy" we retain going forward.
Post already too long.. I assure you, the facts can be supported. My opinions, however, are probably questionable.

Comment Re:blocked -help (Score 1) 144

Maybe this'll help.. http://goo.gl/Z1MVu - google shortened primary link (no cache yet) Original source: http://localforums.org/westorange/forum/index.php?topic=55.0 or short link http://goo.gl/MniNu (small site is crying 'uncle' under the /. load) Try to search for the lawyer involved, Stephen B. Kaplitt should get you a few dozen links - you are bound to get something through your firewall.

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