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Comment Re:And why is this wrong? (Score 2) 144

The flaw in your example is that the pizza delivery guy witnessed the crime. Blackberry in these cases, did not witness, then report. They are simply being asked to blow the doors off the safe that may contain some information of interest. Even that isn't necessarily a problem. Law enforcement might want to contact the safe company and ask for their assistance to make sure the doors are blown off without damaging the contents, and the safe company engineers might be the best people to help achieve that.

The problem with cases like these is that they are increasingly being requested without the proper legal documentation/subpoena that would allow the evidence to be admissible in court. They are being used for fishing purposes. Information that they could use, then use other methods to verify the information obtained. For example, guy suspected in a murder case. They want data from the phone. The person of interest denies the request. Subpoena is requested and approved for the person of interest to turn over any information relevant to the issue at hand over to police. The person of interest refused and is found in contempt, then sent to prison. The manufacturer is asked to unlock the device so police can look through the device for evidence. The manufacturer, in this case, Blackberry complies. Now police have access to everything on the phone. Including a text message sent from the person of interest to someone else with evidence of a robbery that was committed 2 months prior. Now, since the subpoena didn't cover that prior crime, they can simply get a new subpoena for the recipient's device to have that message now meet the legal conditions required to be considered evidence to be used get an indictment on that unrelated crime.

What's the problem with that? I see that as a violation of the person's 5th amendment right against self-incrimination. But it is happening more and more frequently. With mixed results when being fought in court.

Comment Re:And why is this wrong? (Score 2) 144

They probably aren't legally wrong. I'm sure someplace in the 142 page terms of use it says that they can release the data. However, in the course of an investigation, if police want to get into a safe, they don't contact the manufacturer to get them to open it. They apply for, from a judge, a subpoena to have the person of interest open the safe. If they refuse, then that judge can imprison the person for contempt. The safe manufacturer has no legal requirement to respond to such a request. They no longer have a legal interest in the ownership/use of the safe.

This is where the sticky point lies. You own the mobile device, but probably not the OS that runs on it. You only license that from the manufacturer. However, the data needing to be accessed is in storage, on the device which you own. The OS is only the method used to access it, much like the key/combination to the lock. So, is the company under any legal obligation to provide law enforcement with the key/combination? That depends. Apple got around this by having the user hold the key. Apple "can not" unlock the device because it doesn't hold the keys. In the Apple case, it was like asking the safe company to blow the door off a safe, because the user changed the combo and the safe company had no way to get/reset that combo. Its not the manufacturer's responsibility. If law enforcement wants to blow the doors off, it must do it itself. Which they did.

Comment Re:No one 3D printed a house (Score 5, Informative) 98

"Although, most of the cost of buying a house has more to do with procuring the land then it does with the actual cost of building it."

In the US, in 99% of the country, this is not the case. The land is fairly cheap. I've owned homes in NJ and FL. NJ is the most densely populated state. In both cases, the land was valued at about 5%-10% of the total value of the home. Even in the case where the property was on a pond on the 18th hole of a golf course.

"Might make sense in some places where cost of land is quite low. Although in many of those places, the infrastructure for building the "house factory" and transporting the house to the site would be the major problem to solve."

Also in the US, there are a good number of "pre-manufactured" home companies that already transport homes in sections to their final location. My sister has one.

And I'm not talking about "mobile homes".

Comment Lock S-Foils (Score 1) 701

I was watching Star Wars with my nephew one day and his mom heard the line "Lock S-Foils in attack position" although, that's not what she heard. What she heard was "Cock, Ass, Balls in attack position". That was 17 years ago. We still laugh about it today.

Comment Re:Actually it's both. (Score 2) 360

You just disproved your own point. What Pascal's experiment showed was that it wasn't a vacuum that created the siphon ( a vacuum would be a difference in air pressure), but when one beaker was placed higher, gravity caused the mercury to flow from the higher beaker to the lower beaker. Even without the vacuum normally associated with a siphon.

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