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Comments

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Lost Star Wars Footage Found On LaserDisc

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Content Control (157 comments)

Well, they can try, but...

The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more LaserDiscs will slip through your fingers.

about 10 months ago
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US Executions Threaten Supply of Anaesthetic Used For Surgical Procedures

Anonymous Cowpat Re:firing squads have one blank. (1160 comments)

I'm fairly sure that a lynch mob intent on doing away with people who had acted as executioners would not be particularly interested in discussing a 20% probability of whether that person was using a rifle loaded with a blank.

And if it ever did get as far as a courtroom, someone would surely bring up the obvious point that they were, after all, willing to pull the trigger in the full knowledge that they had an 80% chance of having a live round. Someone who is prepared to bring in an ex post facto law would probably also have few qualms about ensuring that not having achieved what you set out to do through sheer dumb luck would not count as a defence.

about 10 months ago
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Google Gets Consumer Service Ultimatum From German Consumer Groups

Anonymous Cowpat Re:You know... (351 comments)

so close them and sell advertising to the German market from Austria... (only because you've got a decent chance of recruiting German speakers in Austria - otherwise you could sell it from anywhere else in the EU)

about a year ago
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Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Overaggresive US Attorneys... (429 comments)

over 90% of individuals indicted at the federal level are convicted without trial (i.e. plead guilty)
of the remaining approx. 10% who go to trial, 90% LOSE, and are convicted

Have you got a source for that? I've seen those sorts of figures chucked about before, and it kinda feels true, but it would be good to see some actual statistics.

about a year ago
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US Stealth Jet Has To Talk To Allied Planes Over Unsecured Radio

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Fine by me. (270 comments)

"It is a telegram, it is ordering an advance, but it's addressed to a 'Catpain Blackudder'."

about a year and a half ago
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After Aaron Swartz's Death, the Focus Now Falls On the Prosecutors

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Look at our entire system of prosecution (430 comments)

Well, ok, up to 150% of what the prosecution are being paid then...

Another interesting idea may be to allow sanctions to be levied against, or to give a successful defendant a cause of action against a prosecutor who brings charges which are eventually found not to have been supported by a preponderance of the evidence (ie if they couldn't get over the civil standard, the charges should not have been brought).

about a year and a half ago
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US Attorney Chided Swartz On Day of Suicide

Anonymous Cowpat Re:So now (656 comments)

But we expect a lawyer to see it?

We expect them to be professionals who do their job without using court filings to take sarcastic potshots at the defendant for having the temerity to defend themselves.

about a year and a half ago
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Petition For Metric In US Halfway To Requiring Response From the White House

Anonymous Cowpat Re:US Metric System (1387 comments)

I think my kitchen scales are off - let's just weigh a litre of tap water and find out...

about a year and a half ago
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Are Programmers Responsible For the Actions of Their Clients?

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Wrong headline (222 comments)

from the last paragraph of the first page of the article:

“They made it clear that they would do nothing. I was expected to do everything, to modify the system to allow myself to get in to get the information they wanted,” he says. “Their whole intention was for me to retrieve information from those databases that were located in foreign countries. They were going to use me to get to the clients. But I’m not a hacker, I’m a software developer.”

They want him to do it and give them the information, not create a backdoor for them to use. That way it's not illegal.

Unbelievable. The correct response is for the countries in which the gambling sites in question, who are having their lawful business interefered with, reside to start taking retaliatory action - trade embargoes, expelled ambassadors, moratorium on extradition, closing airbases, etc.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Anti-Spam Service Extortion?

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Sue in UK for defamation (279 comments)

You say:

Ever considered the fact that UCEprotect might be a legitimate organization? (I wouldn't know)

But then you say:

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS AN OPTIONAL OFFER ONLY.
YOU ARE LOSING YOUR RIGHT TO EXPRESSDELIST YOUR IP IF YOU ARE STUPID AND CLAIMING THIS WOULD BE BLACKMAIL, EXTORTION, SCAM OR SIMILAR BULLSHIT.

I think we know whether they're a professional organisation...
Let's also take a look at their website, and their 'Cart00ney' publication of legal documents Piratebay-stylee.
If they're not an outright illegitimate organisation, they're a jolly dubious one.
They also seem to imply that they're involved with 'Bavarian municipals', but seem awfully coy about naming them.

A good response may be to draw the attention of the service providers you can't get email through to as to the nature of the outfit they're getting their blacklist from.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Collect Payments From a Multinational Company?

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Name and Shame (341 comments)

Absolutely agree about writing.

I've answered telephones in an office. If I don't want to transfer you, you don't get transferred; doubly so if the person you want to be transferred to has specifically told me not to transfer you to them. I was by no means a tyrannical martinet on the phone - there are people who are much more effective gatekeepers than I - any company trying to delaying paying its bills will have employed such people to ward off telephone calls.

about a year and a half ago
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New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Don't jump to violence, Apple (936 comments)

but I am saying you cannot use 2 minutes of video to indicate whether or not this was right

Actually, it's completely right.

This is one of those situtations where 'context' is just muddying the issue.

The key question is: At the point where the officer took the decision to fire the Taser, was she posing a sufficient threat the the officer, or someone else (within the officer's reasonable, articulable, perception) to justify its usage?

about a year and a half ago
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New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Title Is stupid (936 comments)

Using a taser is at least equivalent to smacking someone in the face with a batton.

Ah, but it's not.

You can't put a picture of the pain caused by a taser onto every television screen in the nation. You can put the photographs of a smashed face onto a television screen.

about a year and a half ago
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New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Cue the apologists (936 comments)

who gets to decide what's justified and what isn't?

The courts.

The general principle is that you're not allowed to use violence against other people. There are, of course, exceptions written into the law. It is the job of the courts, and not departmental policy, to decide if those exceptions apply to this particular circumstance.

Ergo, the whole department policy angle is a smokescreen.

We need to lose this presumtion that police officers are justified in their use of force unless proven otherwise. Any officer who uses more than minimal force (a hand on the arm, etc) against a member of the public should be prosecuted, and forced to defend their actions before a jury, as a matter of course.

about a year and a half ago
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New Hampshire Cops Use Taser On Woman Buying Too Many iPhones

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Unauthorized export resale? (936 comments)

It's technology news in that it provides more proof that the taser has inevitably slipped down the slope from a weapon to be used for defence to a pain-compliance device to be deployed on people who won't do what they're told.

about a year and a half ago
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GameSpy's New Owners Begin Disabling Multiplayer Without Warning

Anonymous Cowpat I love a good social media trainwreck... (247 comments)

Gamespy's Facebook page is particularly amusing, as someone keep parroting the line back to angry gamers that, despite Gamespy's logos being plastered all over the game, they aren't responsible for continuing to provide the online service, and gamers should 'reach out' the the game publishers... and then there's the not-so-subtle pot shot at publishers for being stingey and 'choosing not to support' the games.

It's hilarious - while it may be techically accurate - 95% won't understand, or care to understand, the difference, and will continue to blame Gamespy. The publishers, of course, will be only to happy to let Gamespy take the fall.

Having shredded Gamespy's goodwill, I have only one thing to ask: Would you say that was $2.8m well spent, Glu?

about a year and a half ago
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German City Says OpenOffice Shortcomings Are Forcing It Back To Microsoft

Anonymous Cowpat Re:Too late (480 comments)

Hi!
I really like the ribbon, it's a fantastic, (largely) intuitive interface. When I have to use Office 2003 on our Citrix farm, it makes me want to scream in frustration and how badly laid out it all is.

But then I started using it after a number of years away from Office, so didn't have a built-up attachment to the old way of doing things.

about 2 years ago
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Amazon Payment Adds "No Class Action" Language To Terms of Service

Anonymous Cowpat Re:These terms should be considered unconscionable (147 comments)

The government already steps in by providing courts with the power to enforce their judgements.

You punish companies by introducing loser-pays, or loser-pays-up-to-the-value-of-their-own-costs. Settling a class-action over 1,000,000 people swizzed out of $10 will be nothing compared to settling 10,000 cases with individuals, each with its own costs bill.

about 2 years ago
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Director General of BBC Resigns Over "Poor Journalism"

Anonymous Cowpat Re:The right thing, but the wrong person resigned. (214 comments)

Worse even than that, you're not allowed to know that this information is being kept about you, or shared with potential employers. If you have an enhanced CRB check done, your reference copy may not include some information sent to the requestor of the check, and they're not allowed to tell you what their copy says.

Scary stuff.

about 2 years ago
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Man Arrested For Photo of Burning Poppy On Facebook

Anonymous Cowpat Re:better yet (534 comments)

technically, it doesn't. vis. It's more usual, especially as the police can now make an arrest over any criminal offence (which they couldn't until less than 10 years ago), but someone can be prosecuted without an arrest being made.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Blogging: No Longer Free Speech

Anonymous Cowpat Anonymous Cowpat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) writes "Continuing the UK's day of annihilating free expression if it involves the internet, the BBC reports that a magistrate has fined a man for, "Posting a grossly offensive and menacing message".
The message, a rant about the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, finished off with, "P.S. — D.C. Lloyd, God help your new-born baby". Apparently "any reasonable person would find the comments menacing." — perhaps the magistrate isn't aware that any reasonable person who has spent more than 10 minutes on the internet has figured out that 99.9% of what's posted on blogs is bluff & bravado. Disturbing that a magistrate considers a 0.1% chance that the defendant was serious to be more important than his right to free speech for the 99.9% chance that he wasn't.
Unfortunately, the original blog posting has been removed, so we can't judge the context for ourselves."

Journals

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Anonymous Cowpat Anonymous Cowpat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

A few weeks ago, I posted this:

...the risk of people being imprisoned in a US prison will fall into that category [inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment] and prevent an extradition sometime within the next 10 years or so. ... I would not be at all surprised if 'life-without-parol-in-a-supermax' is next [after the death peanlty], and not within a great length of time.

And what do we see?

The European Court of Human Rights has ordered a halt to the extradition to the US on terror charges of radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri.
Abu Hamza, jailed in the UK for soliciting to murder and racial hatred, and three other British men complained about the length of sentence they may face if convicted in the US.
Their cases will be delayed for further submissions to the Strasbourg court. ...

In each case, the US has indicated that the men face very long sentences in a "supermax" prison in Colorado.
The four applicants argued that the length of sentences they faced and the conditions of the prison, ADX Florence, breached their human rights.
The European Court said judges wanted to see more detailed arguments on the prison conditions and the effect of the length of sentences. ...

The other men could face a form of solitary confinement that some critics have dubbed prolonged psychological torture.
The court said there should be further legal argument on whether life without parole at the prison would breach the suspects' human rights. ...

But it said that the arguments over the length of the sentences that the men could face "raised serious questions".
Abu Hamza, Mr Ahmad and Mr Ahsan face life sentences and US prosecutors have said that Abu Hamza could be jailed for 100 years. Mr Aswat faces a maximum of 50 years.

Now, the extraditions have not been blocked entirely, but it seems that the court is not willing to just assume that sentences dished out in the USA will be just.
Ouch.

Now, the question is, how will the USA respond? Will it grow up and stop trying to give out absurd 100 years sentences? Or will it accuse the ECHR or being in league with terrorists?

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Anonymous Cowpat Anonymous Cowpat writes  |  more than 9 years ago nothing like idiots being given moderator priviliges...
here.
How is that redundant? the original analogy (hit parent a few times) between cracking DRM and breaking into a house compared the breaking into the house with copying the contents of the file.
I changed it so that breaking in was analagous to cracking the DRM (the DMCA, breaking-in stuff) and the stealing the contents of the house to stealing the content of the file (the copyright infringement) and inferring that you wouldn't prosecute someone for theft if there was nothing for them to steal.

I suppose some people are just stupid... YOU'LL GET YOURS IN META!!

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Anonymous Cowpat Anonymous Cowpat writes  |  more than 9 years ago no modding up. /. needs to assign mod points to more competant moderators ('more competant' being defined as 'mods me up')

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more mod points, w00tier!

Anonymous Cowpat Anonymous Cowpat writes  |  more than 9 years ago Who'd have thought it, two sets of mod points within a few weeks of each other. I must be doing something right, that or the gods of mod-point-handing-out are looking down benevolently on me.

Nice to know that the system works for me. In soviet Russia, of course, I work for the system.

2 days and 4 mod points left - I don't have to blow them as fast as I did last time, which is nice.

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mod points! w00t

Anonymous Cowpat Anonymous Cowpat writes  |  more than 9 years ago Well well well, after a few months of patiently waiting I got assigned some mod points, apparently having positive karma has some advantages other than getting a better starting score on comments.
Unfortunately, I was assigned them on Sunday, and didn't pick them up until 6pm today, so only had 6 hours to spend them in. I've got just over an hour & 2 mod points left. No, you're not having them.
Did anyone else have the first time jitters about modding anything? I spent at least an hour looking before I found anything I felt willing to commit mod points down for fear of losing karma to meta-moderating.

Still, nice to know that the system works.

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