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White House Announces Reforms Targeting Patent Trolls

GWRedDragon Re:Seems hollow. (124 comments)

I hate how anytime anyone makes a negative comment about first to file, there is an overwhelming response of "you don't know what you're talking about."

First to file is bad for the little guy, because the little guy doesn't have a legal team standing ready to churn out a patent. Assume a guy in his garage and an employee at a big corp invent the same thing. The guy at the big corp invents it a little after the guy in his garage. The result will be that the big corp gets the patent, because they will be much quicker to generate the patent application. The little guy will have to go through many more steps, such as obtaining a patent lawyer, obtaining funding for the application, etc. The process is also likely unfamiliar to him, which will slow him down.

Under a first to invent system, at least that guy has a chance. Under first to file, he's just screwed. A better solution would be to simplify the legal process rather than simply declaring the winner ahead of time according to some meaningless paperwork that big corps are always going to be better at.

In a sense, first to file goes perfectly with the current trend towards statutory non-intent crimes with trivial to prove elements. Lazy justice is justice denied.

about a year ago
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White House Announces Reforms Targeting Patent Trolls

GWRedDragon Seems hollow. (124 comments)

From the same administration that rammed through first to file, now we're supposed to believe they're out to help innocent patent victims? Seems more likely that someone decided that patent trolls were getting dangerous to the big boys. Expect to see no steps to prevent monopolists from using obvious patents to destroy potential competition.

about a year ago
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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

GWRedDragon Re:Delete your cookies (333 comments)

*these sites

I also want to add an example: consider it like the game Guess Who?. Knowing the person has glasses may not help you, but once you know it is a male with glasses and no beard suddenly your choices are narrowed significantly.

about a year ago
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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

GWRedDragon Re:Delete your cookies (333 comments)

Yes but alone an IP address gives you a pretty good idea, especially when combined with what sorts of stuff is being visited and behavior on this sites. There may be lots of public networks, but most people still browse the internet at home, with a small number of people on a single IP.

Additionally, as above, these different devices can usually be distinguished from each other by comparing the browser request headers. This gives an additional heuristic to determine who is doing what.

This is a situation where you have a bunch of hints, and any one may not get you that far. However, if you combine the information from all of the available hints, you get a pretty clear picture. The military likes to call this type of situation 'total information awareness.'

about a year ago
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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

GWRedDragon Re:Offline web applications (333 comments)

I was more thinking people just went to the website. Making a copy of a website and calling it an 'app' never really seemed that useful to me, especially since the limitations on what you can do without a connection are likely to be severe in many applications.

I've never personally used a 'web application,' I go to the website. There is no reason for it to be able to store anything on my local machine; it stores what I tell it in the server session.

Most people seem to expect to need a connection to do anything now anyways. ChromeOS seems to be designed around that idea, that you will always have a way to connect, with the 'offline apps' being really an afterthought to counter potential criticism. After all, Google wants you to be online all the time so they can track you and serve you ads, right?

about a year ago
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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

GWRedDragon Re:Delete your cookies (333 comments)

Your IP address and browser request header makes it easy to correlate your travel across several sites. As long as you do anything with that IP ever that ties to you, they've got you. With many ISPs, your IP can last for months.

This is a common misperception. IP address != person. Many ISPs have caching proxys to reduce traffic. To the site on the other end, the entire ISPs traffic may appear to be coming from a few proxy IPs. Even without proxys in between you and your destination, the IP address may be shared as it is at businesses, universities, and behind home Wi-Fi routers. In the vast majority of cases these days, the IP address a site sees is rarely tied to a single source.

If you are at work or at school, probably. But not at home...at least not with the biggest ISPs available in my area (and most of the US at least).

about a year ago
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Where Have All the Gadgets Gone?

GWRedDragon Re:What about his microwave? (278 comments)

He also doesn't use an alarm clock or a watch anymore, despite the fact that cell phones in 2005 were just as capable at displacing those functions as they are today. He simply chooses not to use them now.

about a year ago
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FCC Guidance On Radio For Commercial Space Operations Falls Short

GWRedDragon Re:You know (48 comments)

If there were no commercial ramifications you could use amateur radio licenses. People already talk to the ISS, bounce signals off the moon, etc. All you need is the ticket.

Ham radio cannot be used for any commercial purpose. If a commercial spaceflight pilot could use it as their main communication channel, then every other company could use it by some similar logic. Then things would just degenerate to a war to see who had the most powerful transmitter or something. It would be bad.

about a year ago
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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

GWRedDragon Re:Delete your cookies (333 comments)

It's my understanding that tracking is done by cookies. I delete all cookies 2-3 times a day, and always after logging out of Google (which I rarely log in to) and Facebook. The only downside is that I have to log in to again to certain sites but that is easy because of OS X's built-in password manager.

Your IP address and browser request header makes it easy to correlate your travel across several sites. As long as you do anything with that IP ever that ties to you, they've got you. With many ISPs, your IP can last for months.

about a year ago
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Schneier: The Internet Is a Surveillance State

GWRedDragon Re:IndexedDB (333 comments)

I just don't have the browser save anything anymore at close. No cache, no cookies, no login credentials, no history, nothing.

Not even IndexedDB? If not, then how do you plan to use web applications' offline modes?

"Web application" with an "offline mode"?? People actually use those?!?!

about a year ago
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Copyright Trolls Sue Bloggers, Defense Lawyers

GWRedDragon Re:Next up, Prenda sues Judges (219 comments)

For ruling against them!!! Technically, there's no end to this is your lawyers are slimey enough. Technically it may even be possible to sue the members of SCOTUS...

Nope. Judges have absolute immunity for anything they do from the bench. This even applies when the judge's actions were malicious. Check out Stump v. Sparkman if you want to make yourself sick.

about a year ago
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Don't Want a Phonebook? Give Up Your Privacy

GWRedDragon Re:File a police complaint for littering (357 comments)

I don't have a right to forbid people from tossing crap on my property? If I tell them I don't want it and they should not drop it there, they are trespassing.

This is equivalent to saying that someone is allowed to sit in my living room and yell about their political views, and I can't tell them to leave, because their speech is protected. The 1st amendment does not provide a defense for trespass.

about a year ago
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Texas Declares War On Robots

GWRedDragon Re:As usual... (387 comments)

The main reason why there is no exemption for corporations is that you can't weasel out of this law by creating a "Green NPO" to sniff out their rotting waste cans.

A typical solution to this 'problem' would be to require a license, predicated on a series of vague requirements, with broad discretionary authority for rejection. That way it could be ensured that only proper cronies gain access.

about a year ago
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Texas Declares War On Robots

GWRedDragon Re:Wonderful, just wonderful (387 comments)

Perhaps the law actually says "reasonable articulable suspicion"? That is an existing standard for searches, like a Terry Stop.

about a year ago
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Texas Declares War On Robots

GWRedDragon As usual... (387 comments)

As usual: one rule for the state, and one rule for the peons. They just forgot to add exemptions for their pals in certain industries.

about a year ago
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RSA: Self-Encrypting USB Hard Drives for all Operating Systems (Video)

GWRedDragon Re:Requires no drivers (154 comments)

Yep. I'll also give a nod to the Apricorn devices, which we use quite a bit. They are OS-independent (we're Linux-only at home) and require no drivers beyond basic USB, with all of the AES encryption and authorization being internal to the device[*]. They have SSD and spinning disk and USB stick devices, with fingerprint or passcode authorization.

Ack! The 'passcode' on the ones on the website is a mere numeric pin. This essentially guarantees that if someone steals the unit and removes the drive/memory chip(s) etc, brute forcing of the pin will be trivial. I might give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they know this is just a minor obstacle to stop non-technical thieves, except their pages are plastered with the phrase "military grade." They even have pictures of people in camo uniforms using it.

The false sense of security from such a device is extremely dangerous!

about a year ago
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Music Industry Sees First Revenue Increase Since 1999

GWRedDragon Re:Quality? (393 comments)

Nah, I was actually talking about the "mainstream acts." I know there is, and probably always will be, quality stuff being put out by lesser known folks.

about a year ago
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Music Industry Sees First Revenue Increase Since 1999

GWRedDragon Re:Quality? (393 comments)

Of course it is obvious that there has always been bad music, but has the quantity of good music decreased? It seems to me that the music industry has suffered from the same pressures as most other industries; producing lower quality, less risky products and making up the difference in marketing is the rule of the day.

about a year ago
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Music Industry Sees First Revenue Increase Since 1999

GWRedDragon Quality? (393 comments)

Anyone else think this may be due to a poorer quality of music signed with the labels? I know everyone always thinks things were better 'back in the day', but that doesn't make it not true.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Starting From Scratch After a Burglary?

GWRedDragon Re:Dictionary (770 comments)

Additionally, the distinction in the law is also a recognition of the added danger to all parties inherent in robbery. When someone takes things by threat of force, we take that threat at face value. Victims threatened with violence also typically have a right to retaliate in self-defense, and this is a possibility a robber is expected to reasonably anticipate as a consequence of their actions.

about a year ago

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