Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


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 Re:Give Up (Score 5, Insightful) 986

You are missing the point. The point isn't that e-mail isn't a secure form of communication. The point is the NSA is capturing ALL of it and storing it in massive data stores. The NSA can search through ALL of the captured data at will. That US Federal government have the e-mails. There is really nothing in place that prevents the government from search through the stored data time and time again for years, except for some "rules".

The fact the government CAN search through your e-mails at will is what PJ is concerned about. She a very bright person. She's gone over the issue in her mind. She realizes all of the ramifications of the government capabilities of the NSA. And it scares the hell out of her. It's created a chilling effect on First Amendment rights. Lavabit, Circle Mail, Groklaw are just the first visiable causalities of this chilling effect on free speech. And it's going to get worse and worse as more people realize the full impact of what the Snowden leaks are telling us.

Comment Re:Probably (Score 2) 761

Not really. A Facebook account is used for expressions of speech, so the first amendment comes into force. A court can no more order the deletion of a personal Facebook account than it can order the burning of letters or books that I have written. The courts in the US treat first amendment rights as so important, they one has standing to sue is a law or regulation could possibly be affected negatively. Usually one only has standing to bring a lawsuit only if they have been injure in someway by a law/regulation.

If this comtempt charge is appealed (and I do hope the girl does appeal), the appeals court will slap that judge silly for issuing such an order.

Comment Re:The judge;'s job isn't to get livid. (Score 4, Informative) 404

No, I disagree. What the litigants go the court of public opinion (should) have nothing to do with what the jurors hears in the court room. Jurors are instructed to not seek outside information about cases, they are told not to discuss the case with anyone (not even among one another after the trial concluded and jury deliberation starts. The jurors are supposed to avoid anything outside to the courtroom which might sway their opinions of the case

But in the case in particular, Apple has been talking with the media about the case with zeal. Samsung from my view of the trial has been relatively quiet about it. Samsung has been taking a beating in the court of public opinion. So the lawyer hit back in a very precise and calculated statements to the press. As I said before, the jury won't be affected, because they are supposed to avoid it. If the courts can't trusts jurors, they might as well go home or sequester the jury.

Comment Not off the shelf hardware (Score 1) 629

The bottom line is that hearing aids today are sophisticated high tech miniature devices, and not a massive market of 100s of millions potential purchasers. Every patient's pattern of hearing loss is unique. As suck, hearing aid designs has evolved along the lines of being customizable for the patient's hearing loss patterns. The hearing aids can be programmed to amplify the frequency bands which the patient is weak in. And they are very good at selectively only amplifying the desired sounds but hardly ideal in the regards.

Those patients have only have small percentages of useable hearing frequency. Even selective amplifying won't help those type of patient all that much. So the latest generation of hearing add are able to digitally compress frequencies ranges the patient can't hear hearing down into the frequency range the patient can hear. Yes computer and electronics can be cheap and mass produced. But for thes type of hearing aided to be useable, they have to small, light, comfortable to wear, sophisticated enough to be customized to the patient's needs and needs to run for long periods of time on very small batteries.

And on a linear note, hearing aids are getting smaller and smaller. The smallest ones can fit directly in the ear canal. Just think of putting a computer with enough processing power to be able to digitize sounds and do frequency compression, and have a sound system to play it back in a package that fits in your ear canal. Think of the engineering and manufacturing challenges.Do you see a mass market of 100s of millions to prices down to $150? ... I didn't think so

Comment Re:Not a TOS (Score 4, Insightful) 120

No. The fact that is an employer/employee type setup doesn't change a thing. An employee violating a company policy in regards to accessing information they are authorized to to access via their computer credentials isn't a violation of the CFAA. Let's take another CFAA case involving the Social Security Adminstration. Certain employees in the SSA have access to personal information of people in regards to SSN payroll deductions, benefit payouts, etc. They have authorization via their computer credentials to look at virtually anyone's personal information. But the SSA has policies in place they speel out when it is proper to access that personal information. When an employee is working a case that is assignment to them, they policies says they can access personal information about persons related to that case as an example.

Now if an SSA employee starts to just access information about celebrities or other persons in the new just because they are curious. They would be a clear violation of SSA policy. Remember that the employee's credentials allow access to virtually anyone. The employee used their assignen credentials to access the information. They didn't breach any technological measure to access the measure. They didn't "hack" to gain access to the information. Their access is a violation of SSA policies, may be violations of criminal statutes of misusing government data, violations of the Privacy Act, etc. But their access was not a violation of the CFAA. That was what the 9th Circuit ruled on.

The 9th Circuit got this one right. Yes, I'm shocked as much as you are. If this ruling goes to the US Supreme Court, I don't think it'll be overruled.

Comment Re:not a "recommendation" (Score 1) 182

No. The feds can ask for a en banc (full court) review of the case. If that doesn't go their way they can request for cert at the Supreme Court. Or they could go straight to the Supreme Court. With the Appeals Court ruling mere hours after the hearing, I think the odds of a successful reversal are slim to none.

Comment Re:Clear argument (Score 1) 202

No that's isn't reasonable. A person does have some expectation of privacy from the government. It's abhorrent to think that the government can have casual access to my location over long periods of time. Note: I use the term casual. Using a lot of manpower to keep a a 24 hour surveillance on me isn't casual. Having to go before a judge to request a search warrant to install a GPS tracker isn't casual. Those are sufficient deterrent from letting the government go Big Brother on the population 24x7.

Also from the article, they has a reasonable suspicion the guy was committing fraud. That's a slam dunk for getting a search warrant. It would not have taken that much effort for an agent to full out the paperwork and submit it to the Court.. I do hope the SCOTUS slaps the government silly when it hands down it's ruling in the GPS case. The Feds in general try sqeeze an extra light year when you give 'em an inch. That trends needs to stop.

Comment Re:Sweet 16 vs MMSE (Score 1) 116

It's a little hard to imagine a cognitive assessment tool that doesn't include orientation or short-term memory recall questions, so this will strongly discourage progress in the field. Perhaps one of the Alzheimer's advocacy groups will take notice and defend researchers trying to advance the state of the art.

Good grief! That confirms what I previously posted. The tests are embodiments of methodologies that have been developed in the field over the years. Unless the Sweet 16 test lifted entire sections, MMSE has absolutely no copyright infringement case against the Sweet 16 test. You can't use copyright law to protect method. That is what patent law is for. But PAR is a licensee of the MMSE test, MMSE's coporation might have recourse via the license terms.

Comment Re:Sweet 16 vs MMSE (Score 4, Informative) 116

No you can't copyright logic. Nor can you copyright a thought. Nor can you copyright a plot. Copyright protects the expression of logic, thoughts, plots, et. al. So you can't copyright a plot, but you can copyright a screenplay which is an expression of a plot. You can't a thought, you can copyright a poem which expresses that thought. And you can't copyright the idea of a way to testing cognitive functioning, but you can copyright a standardized test to test cognitive functioning

The only way the Sweet 16 test could me infringing is if it's a derivative of the MMSE test. And I would suspect the creator of the Sweet 16 explicitly avoided that particular trap. It sounds like she created her own test using the general methodology used by the MMSE. Hmmm. Why does that sounds of methodology? Because that's the realm of patents. That's the only thing that the Sweet 16 test could be infringing. But any possible patent protection for the MMSE test has long since expired.

Comment Re:Vacuum? (Score 1) 442

Because when light travels through a medium it's speed is slower than c. And different mediums tend to have different speeds of light . The speed f light differences is what what light refraction across two dissimilar mediums. For example, a stick being apparently bent when stuck into a glass of water.

A perfect vacuum has no matter therefore nothing to slow down light.. So the speed of light through pure vacuum is absolutely as fast as you can travel in the universe. That speed is denoted with the symbol - 'c'. As in E=mc^2.

Comment Re:Hang on, (Score 1) 433

answers to lawsuits are hardly ever short and never cheap. But I hope he gets to countersue for vexatious litigation and recoup at least 100% of his lawyer's fees.

They don't have to countersue for vexation litigation. USC section on Copyright is one of the few area of the law where you can make a claim for expenses in defending against a copyright lawsuit. The case should be over and done with a summary judgment for the defendants.

Slashdot Top Deals

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.