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Comments

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Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

BitterOak Re:I hope this surprises no one,.. (68 comments)

A restaurant supply reclamation company should surely have the expertise and the responsibility, no?

Responsibility to do what? It's not their data nor their customers data on the stuff they're selling. They're just a buyer and seller of goods. As long as the equipment is not stolen and is in good working order when supplied to their customers they've met their responsibility. I'm not aware they have any responsibility to the former owners or their employees at all. Correct me if I'm wrong, though, I'm not a lawyer.

about two weeks ago
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Point-of-Sale System Bought On eBay Yields Treasure Trove of Private Data

BitterOak Re:I hope this surprises no one,.. (68 comments)

When someone goes out of business and liquidates (is forced to liquidate) their capital assets, they're not going to give a crap about what data might be left on these devices.

And even if they do give a crap, they might not be able to do anything about it. It is not uncommon in bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings for property to be seized immediately in order to prevent the (former) owners from carting off all the valuable goods and hiding them, possibly selling them off at a much later time. Businesses can be locked up and chains put on the doors to prevent the owners from looting the place before their inventory can be assessed. This could very well prevent even a security conscious business from deleting private data from systems before they're taken and sold off.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Says the World's Servers Are Ours

BitterOak Re: Maybe, maybe not. (749 comments)

This gets more warped. It would likely be illlegal to produce certain data on EU citizens like this according to EU privacy directive.

I've never heard of a privacy law that doesn't have an exemption for court ordered production of documents. Generally speaking, complying with a court order is an absolute defense against otherwise unlawful activity. (There may be extreme exceptions, in cases of war crimes, genocide etc., such as the Nazis engaged in.)

about two weeks ago
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Asteroid Mining Bill Introduced In Congress To Protect Private Property Rights

BitterOak Re:Absurd (181 comments)

How can any nation grant right over something outside its sovereignty?

It happens all the time right here on earth: fishing rights, offshore drilling rights, shipwreck recovery rights, etc. It's nothing new. There are laws and treaties that cover all kinds of extra-territorial stuff. Why should space be any different?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Hosting Services That Don't Overreact To DMCA Requests?

BitterOak Re:Over-reacting is required (148 comments)

As close as you can be without the title.

So, when a Republican does something bad, it's because they're a Republican (further reinforcing the notion that Republicans are "bad".) When a Democrat does something bad, it's because they're acting Republican (further reinforcing the notion that Republicans are "bad".)

about three weeks ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

BitterOak Re:Shill (534 comments)

Although that is true, there are also many states that have laws on the books regarding police officers "moonlighting" since so many of them got caught double dipping claiming their police salary at the same time they were working their security stint.

I think you missed the point of my post. I'm not talking about city police officers moonlighting, I'm talking about officers working for private companies as their only job. As I said in my post, you don't have to work for a police department to be a police officer.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Correlation Between Text Editor and Programming Language?

BitterOak Emacs and whatever language suits the job. (359 comments)

Emacs is my editor of choice. As for language, I use whatever best suits the task at hand, most frequently: Perl, Ruby, Java, C, and JavaScript. And if I'm customizing emacs, I use lisp.

about 1 month ago
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An Army Medal For Coding In Perl

BitterOak Re:Shoulda got a purple heart (192 comments)

They don't give you a Purple Heart for shooting yourself in the foot.

When did it become popular to hate on Perl on Slashdot? I thought Slashdot itself was written in Perl.

about 1 month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

BitterOak Re:Shill (534 comments)

> Last I heard private security does NOT have the same powers as police. Not even close.

Unless they ARE police.

Believe it or not, this situation is less uncommon than you might think, and not exactly new.

This is quite correct. You don't have to be working for a public police department to be a police officer. All you need is to be deputized, which usually involves passing some sort of exam and then getting a letter signed by some controlling police agency (usually state or municipal). There are many examples. As the parent pointed out, campus police at most universities work this way. Some high schools also have police officers on salary, and some private business which accommodate a large public population (eg. shopping malls, etc.) may employ deputized police officers for security. They have largely the same arrest powers that ordinary police officers do, so for example you could be charged with resisting arrest if you try to run away from them when they stop you, etc. It is a big mistake to assume that you don't have to do what they tell you just because they are working for a private company rather than the city or state.

about 1 month ago
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The Higgs Boson Should Have Crushed the Universe

BitterOak Re:Phew, it was a near miss! (188 comments)

We barely avoided this catastrophe!

No thanks to Obama.

about a month ago
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Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

BitterOak Re:Castle Doctrine Defense (358 comments)

And if he drove past an accident and interrupted a 911 call? Man fuck you.

There's no reason to think he wouldn't have turned off the jammer if he saw an accident.

about a month ago
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Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

BitterOak Re:In other news (358 comments)

By jamming their phones, drivers are more likely to look down at their phones wondering why the hell their calls isn't going through, making them MORE likely to cause an accident.

An accident which wouldn't have occurred if the driver weren't using the cell phone while driving in the first place! Don't try to shift the blame here. This guy is just trying to make the roads safer; he got no personal or financial benefit by operating this jammer. His motives were good, even if his methods were a bit extreme.

about a month ago
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Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops To Deceive Judges About Surveillance Tech

BitterOak Re:And? (251 comments)

This is called suborning perjury and is a crime. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S...

It's only a crime if you're suborning a specific instance of perjury. If I write a book saying that people should lie on the witness stand all the time, that isn't a crime. In fact there have been books written on how to be a hit man (The Death Dealers Manual). It isn't a crime to publish such a book since it doesn't advocate a specific instance of murder, but just instructs how to do it in general.

about a month ago
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Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops To Deceive Judges About Surveillance Tech

BitterOak Re:And? (251 comments)

It won't stop until the DoJ actually starts handing out serious penalties instead of a slap on the wrist for this sort of behavior. I'm talking jail time.

It's only illegal if they counseled the cops to do this in a specific case. If they just told the cops that's what they should do in general, then it isn't a crime.

about a month ago
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US Agency Aims To Regulate Map Aids In Vehicles

BitterOak Re:Overreach much? (216 comments)

They want to have the authority to regulate apps that after release have been linked to "safety related issues" that have an intended purpose of being used primarily while driving on a road.

Ultimately though, they only have the authority to regulate what features are sold in cars as they leave the factory (this power derives from the Interstate Commerce Clause). It's up to state governments to set the rules of the road and penalize drivers for breaking those rules. As to whether or not the Constitution allows them the authority to regulate apps isn't so clear. If they are sold commercially in interstate commerce, then they might have such authority, but there might also be First Amendment issues as software has been classified by at least some courts as a form of protected speech. And I'm not sure how freeware would fit into all this. Personally, I think it would be best if the NHTSA stuck to offering guidelines and leave it up to the states to pass the actual laws.

about a month and a half ago
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3D Printed Gun Maker Cody Wilson Defends Open Source Freedom

BitterOak Re:Who Cares? (354 comments)

Seriously how often do you think people sit around thinking about the size of their dick?

Quite frequently, if they're anything like me. For me it goes something like this: if I've been looking in the mirror on a cold, winter day, I'm usually kind of depressed, cause I wish it were bigger. But if it's a particularly warm day, or if I just got out of a hot shower, I think "AWESOME. That looks great!" and I can't wait to head for the nude beach. I imagine most guys have similar thoughts even if not as frequently as I do. But it has nothing to do with guns, so I guess I agree with your basic point.

I swear we need to define a new logical fallacy revolving around this.

I guess it would be called a "phallacy".

about 2 months ago
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New Federal Database Will Track Americans' Credit Ratings, Other Financial Info

BitterOak Re:Credit rating databases aren't new (294 comments)

By this logic, a mugger is less scary than a police officer, because a police officer has legal authority to arrest you. News flash: people do not need legal authority to fuck you over.

Well, if private credit agencies had a tendency to show up at my doorstep, point a gun in my face, and order me to hand over my credit records, then I'd say you had a good point.

Wait, you're saying government "has" a "tendency" to "show up at my doorstep, point a gun in my face, and order me to hand over my credit records?"

Paranoid hyperbole much?

Obviously, I was referring to the mugger. Did you even read what I was responding to?

about 2 months ago
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New Federal Database Will Track Americans' Credit Ratings, Other Financial Info

BitterOak Re:Credit rating databases aren't new (294 comments)

By this logic, a mugger is less scary than a police officer, because a police officer has legal authority to arrest you. News flash: people do not need legal authority to fuck you over.

Well, if private credit agencies had a tendency to show up at my doorstep, point a gun in my face, and order me to hand over my credit records, then I'd say you had a good point.

about 2 months ago
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New Federal Database Will Track Americans' Credit Ratings, Other Financial Info

BitterOak Re:Credit rating databases aren't new (294 comments)

As opposed to the private credit rating agencies that have all your personal credit information with zero transparency and accountability?

I'd rather this be in the public sphere where hopefully the agency has my interests at heart, rather than some private, for profit corporation.

From the article:

As many as 227 million Americans may be compelled to disclose intimate details of their families and financial lives

The key difference is that private credit rating agencies don't have the legal authority to compel you to provide them with any information. They might use some underhanded means to obtain some of that information, but they can't send you to prison for not telling them what they want to know. The government, however, does have that power. It is the powers of compulsion, not the database itself, which has me worried.

about 2 months ago
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Federal Court Pulls Plug On Porn Copyright Shakedown

BitterOak Re:The US needs a loser-pays legal system (136 comments)

Wow, you Republicans are getting more brazen. Creating a system where the poor can't afford to sue because they may have to pay for the other guy's legal costs means that only the rich would be able to afford to defend themselves.

But the poor would only have to pay if they LOSE. If they have a legit lawsuit, that wouldn't be an issue.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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DHS reading your Tweets and Facebook postings.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "Apparently, the DHS is reading your Tweets and looking at your Facebook wall. This may seem reasonable if they're trying to prevent a terrorist attack, but apparently, they're more interested in whether or not you are criticizing them!"
Link to Original Source
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Judge affirms students' right to post online pics.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "An Indiana judge issued a summary judgment affirming that when public schools punish students for their Facebook pics, they may be violating the First Ammendment.

This case concerns two Indiana teenage girls that posted some pics on Facebook that featured some pornographic candies that were taken at a sleepover (not at school). The judge here questioned the constitutionality of the school district's policy that actions by students in or out of school are punishable if they bring "dishonor" to the school.

The school district indicated it would likely appeal the ruling which enjoins them from punishing the students by barring them from extracurricular activities."

Link to Original Source
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Canadian songwriters propose $10/mo Internet fee.

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "According to this story, Canadian songwriters are proposing a $10 fee to be added to monthly ISP bills, giving users a license to download music using peer-to-peer file sharing technologies for free, without fear of reprisal. The money collected would be distributed to members of a Canadian association of songwriters (SOCAN). The story doesn't make clear whether the license would apply only to Canadian music, or how musicians in other nations would be compensated otherwise."
Link to Original Source
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Public employee to face hearing over personal blog

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "In another attack on online freedom of speech, Michigan deputy attorney general Andrew Shirvell is facing a disciplinary hearing over a personal blog he created on personal time using personal resources. In the blog (which unfortunately seems now to be invitation only) he is critical of University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong for a variety of peculiar reasons including "promoting a homosexual lifestyle". Although rather childish, his blog is not related in any way to his job with the state, and in fact, he doesn't mention his employer anywhere on his blog. Should civil servants give up their First Amendment rights as a condition of employment?"
Link to Original Source
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Criminal libel charges laid for criticizing police

BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "A Calgary man is facing criminal charges of libel for criticizing police. According to the story the RCMP have filed five charges against John Kelly for claiming on his website that Calgary police officers engaged in perjury, corruption, and obstruction of justice. What makes the story unusual is that the charges are criminal and not civil. Even in Canada, which has much less free speech protection than the United States, it is extremely rare for people to be charged criminally with libel. It is almost always matter for civil courts."
Link to Original Source
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BitterOak BitterOak writes  |  more than 7 years ago

BitterOak (537666) writes "Four high school students were arrested in Toronto Friday, charged with assaulting police and obstruction, during a protest over the suspension of students for posting derogatory comments about the vice principal on their private Facebook pages. 60 students showed up for the protest, and only four were charged with any wrong doing. This story raises interesting questions. I'm sure no one condones disorderly conduct at a protest, but should public schools have the right to suspend students over online speech? The article doesn't make it clear whether or not the student used school computers to post the comments."

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