Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment 7 milliseconds, Federal Reserve, Securities Fraud, (Score 1) 740

The way "program trading" works, if the authorities dig into this, as they should, they are likely to find that the same traders placed bets both ways, knowing the time of the announcement, and cancelled the losing bet and kept the winning one. It's market manipulation and plain old theft, but since millions of dollars were made it is unlikely that the perpetrators will actually be called to account in civil much less criminal court as they should if the government were honest. The honest traders can't compete in such a rigged market, and we need to take a hard look at whether to allow such bets in markets everyone knows are going up, too, while we're at it.

Comment NRA & ACLU Suing NSA (Score 1) 531

The respective merits of the ACLU and the NRA is not the point. The point is that they have come together across a wide ideological gulf to challenge the NSA's outrageous grab of our private communications. Now the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claims some unidentified right, duty and power to grab all of our credit and debit card transactions, too. We had and thought we had won this fight in the nineties but the NSA and other government agencies, backed by administrations of both political parties, neither of which, or their candidates, give a Continental hoot for the rights of individuals or the Fourth Amendment or the "blessings of liberty," have demonstrated that, instead of "tak[ing] care that the Constitution and laws be faithfully executed," have proceeded to destroy the foundations of what made this country. Thought Police, 1984, Brave New World, the Beast of Revelation, here we come. If we're not there yet, "you can sure see it [the destruction of our liberties' from here.

Comment Innocent Witnesses, Fifth Amendment Protection (Score 1) 452

The author should go back and re-read the text of the Fifth Amendment as wisely adopted by the Framers and those who voted to ratify it, and which has never been amended. It protects a person from being "compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself." The Sixth Amendment guarantees a party, whether state or defendant, " . . . compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor" in a criminal case. The broad guarantees of due process in the Fourth and Fourteenth, concerning also see the guarantee of jury trials in most civil cases in the Seventh, Amendments, with the have long been held to guarantee civil as well as criminal litigants the right to compulsory process to secure the testimony of witnesses with knowledge of relevant facts or of facts that might reasonably be expected to lead to discovery thereof. The state legislatures, in state cases, and Congress in federal cases, have enacted, and some courts have created, some reporter and other shields, but they were never intended to deny litigants their Constitutionally guaranteed rights to compulsory process for obtaining discovery of evidence, and the fact that Congress has been and is currently debating a broader reporter shield law (which the Wall Street Journal and others have demonstrated is a difficult if not impossible drafting job) demonstrates that the right the author claims simply does not exist. The author betrays historical and Constitutional ignorance by admitting that he does not understand why a guilty party should not be compelled to confess. That leads to indefinite coercive confinement not to mention other brutal coercive measures. See Arthur Miller's The Crucible for some examples of that in pre-Constitutional America, or see more recent examples in China, the Soviet Union, Iran, etc.

Submission + - Ad Blocking, Profit, Constitution, Practicality

Transaction7 writes: "Somebody needs to post how to use Hosts file, as one poster suggests, to control ads. If my try doesn't work, I'm sure most computer users can't make it work, but I wish I could find a way to learn more about coding etc. that can be read with my uncorrectable limited vision (can read most text but code is tough).

Where did anybody ever get the fool idea that their right to say something, in an ad or otherwise, includes a right to coerce me into listening or viewing it?

Where in blazes did the existence of a technical capability for an advertiser, government, terrorist or child pornographer to invade my computer and its associated devices, including offsite storage, and view anything there, create any right to invade my privacy by doing so, much less to install anything on my computer, especially as some of it causes it to send them private data or just crash? Where does viewing a news article, free or paid, give the poster, who does have the right to include ads if I'm free to watch or not watch them, anything approaching a right to identify me as doing so? As for the grabbing of my computer by pop-overs etc., that should long ago have been outlawed.

My professional life very unexpectedly came to involve a lot of child and adult clients who turned out to have been subjected to mostly incestuous childhood sexual abuse. Some of their fathers and close relatives, and abusers, were palmed off on us by both political parties, or otherwise powerful, which is another set of privacy, etc. issues, mine and the survivors'. I have done considerable research and some posting on line. The NY Times ad targeting assumed that I had a daughter (regretfully I don't) who needed treatment for sexual abuse (an awful lot of people I know in privileged and confidential relationships, or meet at Chamber mixers and the grocery store, did or do). Ironically, the advertisers were nowhere near me or my clients. When I called them on this, for some even more unfathomable reason, they started flooding me with ads for marked up gold, penny stocks, and other crap in which I have even less interest. If I go to one legitimate medical site or its section on anything sexual including sexual abuse issues, for some fascinating reason I got Emails, using the less common spelling of my wife's name, trying to sell me fake Viagra and other such stuff by telling me, in gutter language my wife would never use, that I'm no good, etc. I've beefed up my block list and use ad filtering but still get some like that. At least one site pushing the side of an issue with which I disagree has therefore listed me as one of their members and supporters.


Comment Free Speech & Religion & Regulation (Score 1) 1160

The first problem involved is that we have begun to treat United Nations actions as though they were binding upon the United States and its citizens, under color of the provision of our Constitution that includes treaties, ratified by the Senate, as the supreme law of the land. The clause was never intended to permit bypassing the House of Representativesâ(TM) vital role in the law-making process, nor to permit the President and the Senate to diminish any of the fundamental rights of Americans guaranteed by the Constitution. Indeed, our fundamental rights are guaranteed, but not granted, either by the Constitution or the government. The prevailing view of the Framers of the Constitution, as laid out in the Federalist papers which were the case for its ratification, was that our federal government had no powers not expressly granted in the Constitution, and they originally argued against the Bill of Rights because the prevailing view as noted there was that these fundamental rights, including those guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, were derived from what the Declaration of Independence called âoethe laws of nature and of Natureâ(TM)s God, . . our Creator.â Letâ(TM)s be completely candid about this. The impetus behind the current push to limit the free speech and press rights of Americans originates out of the fear of terrorism or war by militant Islamists, and our governmentâ(TM)s craven fear and cowardice because the Muslim world controls much of the oil and gas we depend upon for our productivity and standard of living.. If we actually got into a real, all-out war, unlike World War II which we won in part because we had the oil, we would be hard put to supply our forces with oil or manufactured goods. A minute segment of ill-informed professing Christians have abused such free speech and free exercise rights, but the brutal fact is that it is not Christians or Jews, etc, but only the resurgent militant Islamists, who ultimately seek our conquest and subjugation anyway, the powerful âoegayâ lobby, and certain militant atheists, who, and whose violent reactions, are behind this whole idea of restricting religious or other expression. The whole idea that the law should protect people from religious or political speech that they disagree with and donâ(TM)t want to hear, or want others to hear, because of some emotional reaction they choose to have to it is not only contrary to the American Constitutional scheme, but violates fundamental, God-given, human rights. Some Western countries, facing increased Islamic , âoegay,â and atheist influence, have decided to classify and prohibit as so-called âoehate speechâ the tenets of the Judeo-Christian scriptures, which believers have traditionally believed are inspired, but practically never extend the same restrictive treatment to the Quran, which Muslims believe was literally written by Allah (God) in heaven, although it contains many passages which legitimize and command, or which the militant Muslims insist legitimize and command, murder and other crimes and violations of our fundamental human rights. This is quite different from regulating incitement to commit crimes, psychological abuse of children, etc.

Comment Anonymous Outing OnLine Psychological Child Abuser (Score 1) 550

I'm a retired Texas lawyer with more personal and professional knowledge about suicide than anyone should have, and a strong believer in personal privacy. I'm not up on the details of British Columbia and Canadian law but they do not have some of the restrictions on search and seizure, or liberal protections for speech and press, that we do in the U.S., and have outlawed some forms of actual or alleged hate speech that, for better or worse, we cannot. Here in Texas, it has long been a crime either to aid or to abet or encourage in individual to commit suicide, which law provides only a fine unless death or serious bodily injury results, in which event the crime in a felony carrying up to a ten year prison term. Our family and penal law also cover serious psychological child abuswe resulting in harm. Missouri enacted a law dealing with encouraging suicide after the infamous Lori Drew case. Trust me on this one, a vulnerable child or teen, etc., can be pushed to commit suicide by psychological child abuse. I have known and represented several children who had survived serious suicide attempts. One child client begged me to kill her. The best evidence available to me indicates that the completed suicide of one Texas child at nine was essentially the product of psychological abuse by peers. Indeed, any such attempt or completed suicide should be investigated for underlying child abuse. I was very close to one case where a six year old child was terrorized and thus prevented from reporting and identifying the perpetrator of sexual abuse and it turned out that the abuser making the threat was too young to qualify as a juvenile delinquent. Unfortunately, in my view, I cannot find a reported case where anyone has been prosecuted for or convicted of psychological child abuse. This is a much more serious problem than most people understand and realize.

Comment Re:Anyone else have good experience with Logitech? (Score 1) 205

Glad you have. I have a Logitech keyboard and optical mouse and the letters etc. have quickly worn off, which is a minor pain in the posterior, and Caps Lock comes and sticks on if I type a lot of the keys near that. I'm looking for a good keyboard, mostly for use in Word, Outlook, Firefox and sometimes IE Internet browsing, Contacts, etc., etc. and getting discouraged. I've had and gone through Dell, Microsoft, Logitech, and some no-name keyboards or ones the brand name of which I can't recall, and even the more expensive ones from Microsoft I have used either had problems when I got them or stopped working properly before long. First one letter or function key quits, then more, or striking one key gets me something I did not type, the touch on some keys gets to be too light or much too hard to push, or the markings rub off, etc. I need a good tactile feel to alert me if I type something wrong, etc., and reliability when my typing gets up around 80 wpm. Ideally, a keyboard should be designed to keep coffee, peanut shells, staples or paper clips, dog fur, dirt, etc. out and to let me clean it simply and easily, preferably without having to wait eight hours before using it.

Comment Re:KKK to TSA (Score 1) 826

I'm unable to find and get into the TOA. whatever that is, referred to here, on the Net, and don't have a current dictionary of acronyms, so I may be missing something. This problem appears to be with a local transit authority police agency and Delta Air, not federal TSA, though the shirt, whatever it said which I don't know, did question. challenge, or attack TSA. I don't hold with racial, ethnic, religious, etc. discrimination, official or by public accommodations like airlines and restaurants, and they cannot justify that by claiming that customers might be biased against the person, either, but of course there is no law against excluding Ph.D. candidates because everybody knows, especially since "9/11" and the Aurora CO theater shooting, that some of those might be studying something dangerous like those. (For the record, I have only one earned doctorate myself, a J.D., the basic law degree). I've read about two successive directives by TSA's parent Homeland Security Department listing practicing Christians, believers in upholding and defending the Constitution, and the Second Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights thereto, veterans and special forces trainees, etc. as suspiciously likely to commit assassination, terrorism, etc. I have a congenital nystagmus condition, which, under Texas and many other jurisdictions; law, is probable cause for a warrantless arrest, breath or blood test, and search because the same symptoms, uncontrollable eye movements, etc., can be produced by alcohol or cocaine. I also have poor vision and eye-hand coordination, no depth perception, etc. as a result of this and other congenital neurological anomalies. I have been detained, and got pulled out and screened, not when boarding but after landing at my home city one night because I was visibly upset after a federal functionary had me fly to New Orleans and then they asked me why I came and said the problem could have been solved on the phone, so my involuntary eye movements wee more pronounced than usual--and that was before TSA. It took 24 years before the CIA finally quit lying to my U. S. Senator and me and admitted to me that they had put and kept me on a list of suspected Soviet spies and sympathizers, not only false but easily proven false, over a piece of academic research. I still can't get TSA to tell me if my nystagmus condition etc. and my mostly conservative political views, openly published, has me on a "no fly" or "suspicious" list. Nobody will tell me how to vote or board a plane shortly after my wallet with my state non-driver ID card (which it took me 14 years to get Texas to issue and then to integrate into the main drivers' license system) was lost or stolen, either. I know of no airline or TSA rule that might provide any even remotely legally arguable legal basis for denying a passenger carriage on a plane because of any political message, unless it was grossly obscene, indecent, etc.,not revealed here, in which case turn the shirt inside out for the flight. "Delta commits Unfair Labor Practices" would be protected, especially during a strike or lead-up job action. If the pilot had bumped these people to avoid delaying takeoff, pilots do have broad discretion, but it they had been allowed to board and had boarded before being kicked off, that doesn't make sense on the information given to date. Obviously something ticked the state Authority that runs the airport and its State and federal civil rights authorities should investigate what, if any,Constitutional and other legal rights may have been violated. Winning a civil suit might be very hard regardless of many possible facts.

Comment Re:oH, SURE THEY DON'T SNOOP ON HEALTH (Score 1) 782

If you are fool enough to use your employer's computer for banking, healthcare, credit, etc., and especially if you don't think this stuff is routinely intercepted and looked at by employers, prospective employers, etc., notwithstanding HIPAA, FCRA, you should be fired for sheer ignorance or stupidity, but the real reason you will get fired is more likely going to violate federal or state law with relative impunity because an employer can always make up a permissible reason, especially if you get caught doing personal business on the company system. "Anything you say, on or off line, can or will be used against you, if not in a court of law, then at work and in other relationships and transactions." I used to practice with an insurance-defense law firm, and have also represented plaintiffs whose depositions were taken by other insurance-defense firms. Trust me on this, your or your wife or teenage daughter's OB/GYN records or abortion, or having taken antidepressants, are known and likely to be used against you in deposition if not in court. We used to get not only the plaintiffs' but their lawyers' financial data including specifically due dates of major loans. My wife's and my records were quoted in court, complete with details about my best man at our wedding, when I was appointed to represent some children whose father accused their mother of abuse. I was fired from one job at the behest of the health insurer, and called in while a dorm counselor in college, because of a typo that indicated I had a heart attack, which nobody living could correct, and I had never met the woman listed on one hospital's credit and medical records as my wife, nor our alleged child. Having our health insurance through our employers is one of the single worst arrangements ever invented, because it is impossible to segregate such information, especially but not only with self-insured employers where even the weak anti-discrimination provisions don't apply. John McCain got this right.

Comment Re:Teaching Chemistry. Homeschool. (Score 1) 701

In my personal experience having been a child, something I realize many primary grade students have never experienced, my older sister could and did teach me a lot about and awaken an interest in chemistry, physics, etc., while a high school student and college frosh and I was in grade school. I watched her do the same with her youngest child, a daughter, then seven. Of course she ended up Teacher of the Year in her state a half-century later. Public high school chemistry with valences, etc., but no lab, except a few experiments I did myself at home, was interesting and easy, and I had planned a career in that direction. In college, the department head, who taught the freshman lecture, used something he called MAC equations instead of the usual valences etc. and I was and remained utterly lost, and, with a significant uncorrectable set of vision and coordination deficits, lab was tough, too. Nobody ever could explain why, in our first chem lab, everybody got issued a flask, a cork, and alcohol and chlorobenzene from the same supply, to be distilled apart, and my flask, but nobody else's, blew apart before getting heated, and with no fire. In four years of higher math in public high school, nobody told me I was doing all he graph problems, for example, a$$ backwards until the grader made that comment in college. With 70th percentile math and 99 3/4th percentile verbal scores, I switched direction and went to law school. We didn't learn until an MRI forty years later that the reason I couldn't hack college math, despite loving in in principle, knocking a chunk off my GPA, and nearly killing myself trying, was that I had been born without most of the corpus collossum, which connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain and is critical to higher math. We were not blessed with children by birth or adoption, but my friends who home-schooled, about all of whom were college educated, collaborated, and engaged in some "Jack Spratt" trading where someone good at higher math taught the group's kids that while someone else taught other things they knew better. I went to high school and college with children of illiterate immigrant coal miners who were taught critical things at home that students I knew as clients and employees never learned, and became experts in chemistry and other sciences. My late mother was a certified teacher and did manage to teach me one critical skill in pre-first grade. She tried to teach me other things, and briefly tried to home-school us, using nationally recognized materials, in 7th grade, and I remember most of those experiences as nightmares.

Comment Proposed Law a Joke (Score 1) 247

“The Password Protection Act of 2012 (PPA) would also prevent employers from accessing information on any computer that isn't owned or controlled by an employee, including private e-mail accounts, photo sharing sites, and smartphones." [Emphasis added] This doesn’t make any sense. Are you sure the word “employee” should not have been “employer?” Any computer, phone, or heart pacemaker your employer or prospective employer graciously decides to permit you to bring to work, or to any other premises over which they may have control, is “controlled by an employer.” The only reason your car is not, even though parking on company property is clearly subject to its control, is that this might expose the employer or prospective employer, and thus their wealthy and powerful insurance company, to liability for an accident. My law school dean was fond of Will Rogers’ comment “When Congress tells a joke, it’s a law, and when Congress passes a law, it’s a joke.” Employment law is a sick joke. You can fire practically anyone, except a few people with a lot of money and political “suck,” for “good cause, no cause at all, or an evil and malicious cause,” regardless of any promises you may have made to get them to take the job. You can’t refuse to hire, or fire, someone for being black or over 40 or Jewish or disabled but qualified, but the odds of an employer, much less a large and influential employer, getting called to account legally if that is your real reason are slim to none in the real world if you’re smart enough to document the very common fact that they are also “over-qualified,” or have never done some rare procedure in the field that they may have to do on this job, and that anyone could do, and don’t hire them, or that they refused to participate in criminal conduct, or that they left their post to save the life of a child within sight. Whistle-blower laws are being construed so narrowly that they offer little of the protection intended, or which the voters thought was intended, by Congress or state legislators. The courts have gone so far toward gutting the Americans with Disabilities Act that Congress amended it largely to restore the clear original intent of the law. They’re already starting to gut the law as amended again. It doesn’t make any difference, because, like long-promised privacy protection legislation, it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of being passed in any form that would actually address and solve the problems. Oh, sure, something with a high-sounding name will get passed, but, by the time the lobbyists get through rewriting it, it will have about as much effect as barking at the moon.

Comment Re:Bottom line: never cooperate with the authoriti (Score 1) 777

As a retired Texas lawyer with criminal law experience, including a lot of court-appointed defense experience, who has also been a crime victim, I suspect that the author of this comment does not live in Texas. You say you are indigent, thus can't afford to pay for legal representation yourself. Any lawyer the state pays for is going to be in exactly the same position, but any who are any good is not going to sell you out. Where I practiced, in any given case, court-appointed counsel made more money the more work he did defending you, and, of course, he has the same motives to build a string of wins, but, if you, the client, lose, you may have to pay it back in any event (so win). In better economic times, I have known lawyers who were less than welcoming of court appointments, which pay less than direct private retainers, but the current Second Great Depression has made a lot of lawyers who used to try to avoid appointments now sing jup for all they can get.

Comment Encrypted Police Radio (Score 1) 487

I'm an old ham and SWL, learned the law about being allowed to listen but not republish point to point radio communications as a young teen, and live in a small town where the only news is via scanner, so I wish this were not necessary, but the police have been going to frequencies not covered on most scanners and other methods of secure communications for years. The FCC forbids us private citizens from encrypting most radio traffic, but the organized narcotics rings and others do it all the time. I was on a police ride-along many years ago in Dallas and the dispatcher had the officers go to a pay phone (remember those?) for a message about a bomb threat to avoid panic. At one point there was a city ordinance in Dallas against having a scanner or police radio in a private car that was aimed at ambulance-chasing lawyers and the media. Having known of cell calls by politicians, and radio messages to and from Air Force One, being intercepted and illegally published, I'm sujrprised this has taken so long. I practiced privacy and criminal law for years before being forced to retire. I've known the dispatch tapes to prove useful if you can catch those before they are routinely recorded over about every 24 hours, and I love dash-cam video which sometimes is hte only true account from either side of what really happened in a chase, stop, shooting, etc., but you don't really hear anything unguarded and relevant on police radio because they're smart enough not to say "Let's beat the out of him and say he resisted" on the air. I've known some police abuses and outright state and federal crimes, and some lies about them. I arrived at court one morning to learn from the bailiff, who had a police radio, and the judge, who also heard this, that the police had broadcast a report that I had been found murdered. This was the second such occasion and they knew this was false, and I never could find out who originated this, but, for reasons attorney-client confidentiality prevents me from explaining here, I took this as a threat. I'm not sure we really want to put all police and other emergency radio traffic on the Internet even with a delay. That's permanent and too easy for people to misuse. This traffic also often includes privileged and confidential medical and mental health data.

Slashdot Top Deals

Riches cover a multitude of woes. -- Menander