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Comment Re:Dougla's Adams said it best (Score 1) 689

Plurality voting with single member districts leads to two party systems. It would require seriously amending the Constitution to change that.

Actually it wouldn't take amending the Constitution [which says nothing about requiring plurality or First-Past-the-Post voting], only changing Federal election laws, in order to completely break the plurality system.

First, there are two states (Maine and Nebraska) where the Electoral College vote can be split; increasing which states with this system would then magnify the value of 3rd-party efforts [as each such state greatly increases the odds of a minor candidate earning the one or two electoral vote(s) which might deadlock the EC, forcing the election to be determined by the House instead]. As seen by the fact this system already exists, this change could be implemented without requiring changes to the Constitution or federal election laws, only state laws.

Secondly, change could be instituted within the House of Representatives by revising the laws on how members are elected: Federal law requires the current separate district methodology but we could move towards a state-level proportional representation system. This would grant easier third-party access to Congress and, while not directly contributing to Presidential aspirations, would elevate the visibility of those platforms and policies. Again, this change would not require a Constitutional amendment, but only altering existing Federal election laws.

Because FPTP/plurality voting sustains the current two-party system even in the face of such hatred the electorate shows for Clinton and Trump, saying these changes do not require amending the Constitution does seem to discount the resistance these changes would face... but I believe the unprecedented hatred for those two candidates and the extreme partisanship on display by their supporters together indicate the importance of making them.

Submission + - Malibu Media stay lifted, motion to quash denied

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the federal court for the Eastern District of New York, where all Malibu Media cases have been stayed for the past year, the Court has lifted the stay and denied the motion to quash in the lead case, thus permitting all 84 cases to move forward. In his 28-page decision (PDF), Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke accepted the representations of Malibu's expert, one Michael Patzer from a company called Excipio, that in detecting BitTorrent infringement he relies on "direct detection" rather than "indirect detection", and that it is "not possible" for there to be misidentification.

Comment The German security service tried this years ago (Score 3, Informative) 111

The size of the problem space made it impossible. Any margin of error whatsoever, multiplied by the (number of people you're looking for + the number of people passing through the airport) leads to insane number of false positives. The German Federal Security Service did a trial with Siemens' recognizer many moons back, loved the technology, hoped the number of false positives would be small... and were disappointed. Even with an unreachably high efficiency, it kept tagging grandma as a terrorist.

It's like the birthday paradox: with only one chance in 365 of two people having the same birthday, it turns out that with 23 people in a room, you have a 50% chance of two birthdays matching. A 99% chance if there are 75 people. See http://danteslab-eng.blogspot.... As he notes, if you have a system that is 0.999999 accurate (one in a million), we have a 50% chance of a false positive or false negative as soon as we have scanned 1178 people... meaning for about each 1000 people we either arrest grandma or let Osaman Bin Laden stroll through.

They've probably reported that already, and been told "don't worry about mere mathematics, this is politics" (;-))

Comment In Canada, this is a special request to the court (Score 4, Informative) 131

It's an extraordinary remedy called a"Norwich Order", and to oversimplify, the requester has to swear they're suing someone, and the suit has to have a "prima facie case of" an offence and the claim has to appear to be reasonable and made in good faith. See also

Ordinary suits are filed against John Doe, and the courts asked to issue a order to third parties to help identify the defendants.

Comment prohibited by TPP (Score 1) 104

Some governments think this kind of security is a bad thing, and and wrote in a clause of the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty to prohibit it.

TPP “prevents governments in TPP countries from requiring the use of local servers for data storage,” the Canadian government states on its website. This creates a privacy issue, suggested Guy Caron, NDP MP for Rimouski-Neigette-Témiscouata-Les Basques, in the House of Commons May 12.

See also http://www.canadianunderwriter...

Comment Re:Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial jud (Score 1) 23

Actually whoever the new guy is, I don't find the site to be "improved" at all; seems a little crummy. The story was butchered and incorrectly interpreted, and the all important software for interaction seems less interactive.

But what do I know?

As to my absence I've been a bit overwhelmed by work stuff, sorry about that, it's no excuse :)

Comment Actually 3rd point was agreement with trial judge (Score 4, Informative) 23

The story as published implies that the ruling overruled the lower court on the 3 issues. In fact, it was agreeing with the trial court on the third issue -- that the sporadic instances of Vimeo employees making light of copyright law did not amount to adopting a "policy of willful blindness".

Submission + - Appeals court slams record companies on DMCA in Vimeo case

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In the long-simmering appeal in Capitol Records v. Vimeo, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit upheld Vimeo's positions on many points regarding the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. In its 55 page decision (PDF) the Court ruled that (a) the Copyright Office was dead wrong in concluding that pre-1972 sound recordings aren't covered by the DMCA, (b) the judge was wrong to think that Vimeo employees' merely viewing infringing videos was sufficient evidence of "red flag knowledge", and (c) a few sporadic instances of employees being cavalier about copyright law did not amount to a "policy of willful blindness" on the part of the company. The Court seemed to take particular pleasure in eviscerating the Copyright Office's rationales. Amicus curiae briefs in support of Vimeo had been submitted by a host of companies and organizations including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, Public Knowledge, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Microsoft, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

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