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Comment Re:My goodness (Score 1) 417

The Fifth Amendment does not protect the password (it's just a sequence of characters); the amendment protects the "testimonial" aspect that you knew that particular sequence of characters was significant. Once that fact is entered into evidence through some other means, the Fifth Amendment's "due process" requirements have been satisfied.

That interpretation is absurd; all of ones testimony is "just a sequence of characters" yet one is protected from having to provide it by the Fifth Amendment. Further this is not a due process issue, due process requirements have been met prior to the confiscation of the hard disks and other items. It is only after which they have been taken that the investigators determine they cannot make anything ineligible from the data which they have lawfully taken. To demand that the suspect interprets the data (or provides a key by which another individual could interpret it) for them in such a way as to potentially incriminate himself is outside the scope of their authority. This is specifically what is protected by the applicable portion of the fifth amendment.

The issue people are having with this is related specifically to their understanding of data on a hard disk. Because it is not tangible in the same way as stack of photos people have a hard time determining how to apply past precedent. Being required to provide a key which allows for the understanding of data is the equivalent of a defendant in a murder trial being required to state where the presumptive body is buried. Remember, the suspect has complied with the warranted requests for the hard disks themselves, he is under no obligation to help the investigators make sense of what was taken. If the encryption key was written on a piece of paper and it was discovered by the police there would no longer be any issue, in the same way as if a map of where the body was buried had been found.


Measuring the Speed of Light With Valentine's Day Chocolate 126

Cytotoxic writes "What to do with all of those leftover Valentine's Day chocolates? — a common problem for the Slashdot crowd. The folks over at Wired magazine have an answer for you in a nice article showing how to measure the speed of light with a microwave and some chocolate. A simple yet surprisingly accurate method that can be used to introduce the scientific method to children and others in need of a scientific education."
PlayStation (Games)

Sony May Charge For PlayStation Network 212

In an interview with IGN, Sony's VP of marketing, Peter Dille, responded to a question about the PlayStation Network by saying that the company is considering charging for the service. He said, "It's been our philosophy not to charge for it from launch up until now, but Kaz recently went on the record as saying that's something we're looking at. I can confirm that as well. That's something that we're actively thinking about. What's the best way to approach that if we were to do that? You know, no announcements at this point in time, but it's something we're thinking about." This follows news of a customer survey from last month that listed possibilities for subscription-based PSN features.

Comment Re:Hopefully it will cut down on affiliate-link sp (Score 5, Insightful) 532

They have to do this because ... California can't raise taxes enough, thanks to Proposition 13.

And I suppose the person with 50k in credit card debt and a house in foreclosure is also in that situation because they can't raise enough income?

I'm sure it has nothing to do with the million dollar house and their insatiable desire for new goods. A good rule of thumb for people (and states for this matter) in debt is to first create a budget that reduces spending below ones income. Not to figure out a way to make more money. This is not rocket science.

The Almighty Buck

Submission + - People reject free money out of anger (

puff3456 writes: The Ultimatum Game, in which test subjects respond to take-it-or-leave-it offers, has allowed psychologists to explore how humans handle issues like fairness and punishment. But a new study shows some people attempt to punish even when the rules of the game are stacked in a way that makes it impossible.

Comment Re:City jobs are a bad thing? (Score 1) 836

Forget claims holding no water, how about blatant bigoted statements. "the freedom to be gun toting, slave owning warlords, accountable to no one"

If you want to keep using Somalia as the small-government-advocate's dream, fine, it is asinine, but that's your choice.

Why don't we take a look at America and its laws, its constitution, and its history. Where do you find this freedom to create massive social programs riddled with debt, to restrict what schools one may attend, to make someone's race or genitalia the criteria for a job over their qualifications, to take over a private corporation or dictate what one may be paid, the list is endless, who crowned you king to make these decisions? Is this freedom?

These are simple questions, yet you are unable to answer them, you simply feel that because you are able to elect like-minded people into office that suddenly all restrictions and checks can be thrown out the window, that you become free to take over the lives of those you mean to serve. Your elected officials are not tyrants, they must still abide by our laws and our set precedent and must exercise prudence in making decisions rather than pushing with full force their radical agendas. And this is apparently not clear.

If you think "America is not necessarily the best at anything" then name for me a country where more freedoms are actually guaranteed by law than this country. Many people take their freedom for granted, as many willingly give up their freedoms for perceived security. It is fine to have the debates as to what level of social programs are necessary, or how much control the government should be able to hold over a private corporation, or what speech is not considered protected, debate is what led to this country being founded as it was, I'm sure you understand this. Even the people who wrote our constitution fiercely debated each issue, and those on both sides raised many concerns with the constitution that they ultimately ratified.

I'm sure that when people who hold views differing from yours have been in office you have appreciated the checks and balances that exist in our form of government, yet why when someone is on your side do you feel that all that may simply be tossed aside?

Comment Re:City jobs are a bad thing? (Score 1) 836

What you don't understand is that small government advocates do not say government should be abolished. Some level of governance is absolutely necessary, but any government will cease to serve and turn to tyranny when the freedoms of the people are not explicitly protected by limiting what the government may do.

This (America) is the best choice the world has to offer in terms of a limited government and a federalist system whereby we the people may actually govern themselves at the lowest level possible for the particular matter. Towns can't deal with foreign affairs or interstate commerce but they can create their own hiring practices and policies, for example. And the beauty in that is if the people in this Montana town want to hire only those who will give up every piece of personal information then by all means, but I won't be living there. And likely those who do live there will make changes to their elected officials or leave the town. That my friend is referred to as freedom, having the government make all my decisions for me and compelling my participation is not. This "better choice" that we deserve is here, and we are hanging on to it by threads trying to keep it that way. I counter that if you feel you deserve a "better choice" i.e. a socialist utopia, may I suggest many of the fine countries Europe has to offer? You may still even access slashdot, of course that is if the government acting in your best interest deems it appropriate.

And FYI, the problem with operating a "socialist collective" in a free market system is that in order to do that you must first demolish the free market.

Comment Re:pretty thin science... (Score 1) 537

Absolutely, not only is the entire concept that a biological reaction occurs best at a specific temperature a given (if not stupidly obvious), the "discovery" is just another eco feel-good science project that basically tries to humanize plants by showing that they like certain temperatures just like us. Hardly news worthy, perhaps useful as a 5th grade science-fair project to teach certain fundamentals about biology.
Book Reviews

Hacking: The Art of Exploitation 59

David Martinjak writes "Hacking: The Art of Exploitation is authored by Jon Erickson and published by No Starch Press. It is the anticipated second edition of Erickson's earlier publication of the same title. I can't think of a way to summarize it without being over-dramatic, so it will just be said: I really liked it. The book, which will be referred to as simply Hacking, starts by introducing the author's description of hacking. Erickson takes a great approach by admitting that the common perception of hacking is rather negative, and unfortunately accurate in some cases. However, he smoothly counters this antagonistic misunderstanding by presenting a simple arithmetic problem. A bit of creativity is needed to arrive at the correct solution, but creativity and problem-solving are two integral aspects of hacking, at least to Erickson. The introduction chapter sets an acceptable tone and proper frame of mind for proceeding with the technical material." Below you'll find the rest of David's review.

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