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Comment Re:It was a premises warrant. (Score 1) 327

He may in some cases be forced to surrender a key to a strongbox containing incriminating documents, but I do not believe he can be compelled to reveal the combination to his wall safe —- by word or deed

Meaning the fingerprint gathering for the use of opening the phone is tantamount to compelled testimony in the general case, while the fingerprint gathering for the use of identification and matching is not.

Keys don't change. Fingerprints don't change. A biometric identifier is therefore not affirmative.

Combinations can change. Pin codes can change. Utilizing either requires active participation in a process. And is therefore affirmative.

Fingerprint usage is therefore tantamount to using a key, and if you are stupid enough to use a biometric identifier as an access method, you've picked a non-affirmative access method.

Comment Re:This is actually a good thing but only if... (Score 1) 81

There is probably no reason to block this merger as it would create what is clearly a massive market monopoly. AT&T and Time Warner own pretty much all the cables suitable for communication into people's houses in many areas.

Time Warner, which is what AT&T want to buy, own no cables. Time Warner Cable, which is now a separate company from Time Warner, own cables; they have already been bought by Charter Communications, who also own cables.

Comment It was a premises warrant. (Score 5, Informative) 327

In a premises search, they can compel an unlock of phones by fingerprint, assuming you lock your phone that way.

The specific legal decision was the 1988 John DOE, Petitioner v. UNITED STATES. 487 U.S. 201 (108 S.Ct. 2341, 101 L.Ed.2d 184) decision.

It came down to whether on not an affirmative action was required on the part of someone, or if it was a non-affirmative action. Use of a key on a safe or lockbox is not affirmative. Being forced to enter the combination is not affirmative; it's tantamount to compelled testimony.

Here's the part of the decision of interest:

A defendant can be compelled to produce material evidence that is incriminating. Fingerprints, blood samples, voice exemplars, handwriting specimens, or other items of physical evidence may be extracted from a defendant against his will. But can he be compelled to use his mind to assist the prosecution in convicting him of a crime? I think not. He may in some cases be forced to surrender a key to a strongbox containing incriminating documents, but I do not believe he can be compelled to reveal the combination to his wall safe —- by word or deed.

Moral of this story: use a pin code, rather than using the fingerprint unlock. It may be a cool feature, but it offers you no legal protection.

Comment Not all baseball matches are MLB matches (Score 2) 58

Don't challenge MLB if you know what's good for you.

I don't know what you're getting at because "challenge MLB" can have any of several meanings. If you start your own league unaffiliated with MLB, do you "challenge MLB"?

Major League Baseball has copyright over broadcasts of matches between MLB clubs or between clubs in MLB-affiliated minor leagues. It does not have copyright over broadcasts of baseball matches in other leagues. Video game publishers, on the other hand, control which leagues are even allowed to exist.

Comment Is "game after game" grammatical? (Score 1) 58

To help you understand, we will first need to understand your English proficiency. Of the following phrases, which is the first to sound ungrammatical to you? That'll help me craft an explanation.

A. Researchers "who test the theories"
B. Researchers "who test the theories in games"
C. Researchers "who test the theories in game after game"
D. Researchers "who test the theories in game after callus-creating game"

Comment Re:Easy Work-Around (Score 1) 153

In a scheme to evade hotel tax through early termination, the following happen in order:

1. Previous tenant leaves early.
2. Owner reports to Airbnb that the previous tenant has left early.
3. While the property lies vacant, you book your accommodation.
4. You book your travel.
5. You stay and leave early.
6. Owner reports to Airbnb that you have left early.
7. While the property lies vacant, someone else books her accommodation...

Comment Theft from NY's other residents (Score 1) 153

Where, exactly, is the theft in renting the property?

Technically, copyright infringement isn't theft. Offering TV at a negative price to cable Internet subscribers is tying or dumping, not extortion. And in the same way, owner-absent short-term sublets are evasion of hotel tax, not theft. But morally, tax evasion could be thought of as like a theft from the other residents of the state, who have made a decision through their elected representatives to tax a particular behavior.

Joe Sixpack rents a place, but then he "has to cancel" and leave early *cough*. He pays the owner an "early-termination penalty", and then the owner would, of course, relist the room to be rented.

Where is the crime, and how would anyone prove that anything illegal had occurred?

The proof is that the property's owner failed to document good cause for early termination with more than three-fourths of the lease term remaining by five out of six sublessees of the same property. An allowance for "good cause" isn't a bright line, I'll grant, but it's like the difference between an excused absence from school in states with truancy laws and an unexcused absence.

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