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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

Joel Cahoon Shortsightedness (143 comments)

One community's "Christmas miracle" is another community's environmental and tax burden, another private company's windfall at the expense of the public interest, another and apparently another generation's problem.

about a month ago
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AT&T To Repay $80 Million In Shady Phone Bill Charges

Joel Cahoon Sounds like a win for AT&T (61 comments)

AT&T to Pay $105 Million Over Unlawful Billing

...customers who were billed “hundreds of millions of dollars" in unauthorized charges...

I guess AT&T gets to keep the extra couple hundred million.

about 2 months ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

Joel Cahoon This is great news for thieves (730 comments)

Since the watch will require an iPhone to function, thieves will no longer have to wonder! All they have to do is spot the $350 device on my wrist to know that there's a $600 device in my pocket.

about 3 months ago
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Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

Joel Cahoon Re:I'm looking now (134 comments)

...and the citizens are conveniently pretending they don't notice.

about 4 months ago
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LinkedIn Busted In Wage Theft Investigation

Joel Cahoon Re:Ooh, get tough... (108 comments)

$3,346,195 in overtime back wages and $2,509,646 in liquidated damages

The later is the penalty. Slap on the wrist? You bet.

about 4 months ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Joel Cahoon Re:It's almost sane(really) (502 comments)

The EU has laws protecting the data of it's citizens. By complying with US law, and allowing the data to be handed over to US authorities, they will be in violation of the EU laws! This puts MS (and every other American tech company) in a VERY awkward position! Do they break US law or EU law? Either way, they will be breaking SOMEONE'S laws, whether they hand over the data or not!

I know, right? Poor Microsoft, they're just trying to operate a giant multinational corporation in peace...they can't be expected to comply with ALL the laws, now can they? How were they to know they might be putting themselves in an awkward position straddling jurisdictions? I mean, give them a break!

about 5 months ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Joel Cahoon Re:It's almost sane(really) (502 comments)

...force foreign entities to...

That's simply not what's happening. Please RTFA.

about 5 months ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Joel Cahoon Re:It's almost sane(really) (502 comments)

If someone physically in Russia (or China, Iran, Pakistan, Myanmar or North Korea) allegedly violates the laws of their country, and the evidence of such resides on a server in the U.S., then no, I have no problem with, nor control over, said country imposing punishment on that person if they refuse to produce this evidence when lawfully required. My opinion on the laws of another state are irrelevant in this matter, if I am to respect their sovereignty. And if I don't respect their sovereignty, this issue is of least concern.

about 5 months ago
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Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

Joel Cahoon Sensational journalism (502 comments)

This was previously discussed ad nauseam; Microsoft has simply lost another appeal. To reiterate:

If the warrant had been a conventional search warrant Microsoft could have been right since there are territorial restrictions on those warrants, [magistrate judge James Francis of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York] said.

However, a search warrant on electronic communications is not conventional but rather a hybrid: part search warrant and part subpoena, he said.

“It is executed like a subpoena in that it is served on the ISP in possession of the information and does not involve government agents entering the premises of the ISP to search its servers and seize the email account in question,” he said.

...

Moreover, if treated like a conventional warrant, “the burden on the government would be substantial, and law enforcement efforts would be seriously impeded,” Francis said. To obtain the contents of emails stored abroad, U.S. law enforcement would have to comply with treaties that require the cooperation of two governments. Such requests could be time consuming or even denied, Francis said, adding that the U.S. does not have such treaties with all countries.

Source: PCworld

To move data across jurisdictions is trivial. If it were made this easy to stymie law enforcement whenever the evidence in question is electronic data, we'd end up with much bigger problems. They should at least have to go through the trouble of setting up a shell company...

The one valid concern I've seen raised regarding this issue (which I have not seen raised in this specific case) is when such a warrant would be at odds with data privacy laws in the other jurisdiction; this is a lose-lose situation for the party on whom the warrant is served. I'd feel bad for them, but it was their choice to operate across jurisdictions in the firs place, and their responsibility to be in compliance with all parties; if that's not possible, and they choose to operate anyway, I don't pity them at all.

about 5 months ago
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"BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

Joel Cahoon Is nowhere safe?!? (205 comments)

Will my USB Pet Rock be affected?

about 5 months ago
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Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

Joel Cahoon Re:Anybody know? (234 comments)

Don't worry, my friend, everything is alright:

No, SecuROM does not damage a computer in any way.

SecuROM Frequently Asked Questions

There's absolutely nothing to worry about here; move along, now.

about 5 months ago
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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

Joel Cahoon Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (282 comments)

Sometimes, "what's best for Microsoft" may not be so immediately obvious. I have no doubt that someone far more skilled and knowledgeable than I ran the numbers and decided that their plans to "right-size our manufacturing operations to align to the new strategy and take advantage of integration opportunities" makes good business and financial sense in the near future. Long term is quite a bit more difficult to predict with any certainty (which makes such sweeping actions inherently risky). Even harder to forecast (or even quantify) are the intangibles, such as: the effect upon the corporate image held by employees, former employees, customers and potential customers, communities, governments, regulators, competitors, and the impact of that effect; the direct and indirect impact on the market itself, both present and future; and of course, the risks of untended consequences.

Perhaps this wasn't covered in business 101? I wouldn't know.

about 5 months ago
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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

Joel Cahoon Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (282 comments)

Companies no longer invest in their country, in their local community

And why would they? The real decision-makers in such large companies (and to an even greater extent, multinationals) rarely set foot in the communities they draw resources from, and frequently don't even understand their markets—this is why they spend so much on consultants and focus groups in an effort to do so. Said decision-makers may have, by virtue of the wealth and power synonymous with such a position, vastly different ideas (versus their labor force, markets, and those impacted indirectly by their decisions) of what it means to invest in their community, and of the value of doing so. Furthermore, in the case of publicly held companies, their hands may be tied by their investors, who are even further abstracted from every aspect of the company; except of course, for the financials.

The same applies whether you define community as a town, county, state, region, or country, to a greater extent for smaller groups, and to a degree correlating with the amount of influence the company has within (or over) the community.

about 5 months ago
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No RIF'd Employees Need Apply For Microsoft External Staff Jobs For 6 Months

Joel Cahoon Re:laying off...but needs more H-1B's (282 comments)

"Nation's best interest" is a very subjective thing. Go ahead, ask 10 people on the street, you'll get 12 different answers.

about 5 months ago
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Aereo Embraces Ruling, Tries To Re-Classify Itself As Cable Company

Joel Cahoon Re:Simplified summary (147 comments)

I thought this was supposed to be a simplification? I'm no expert, but I'm not entirely unfamiliar with the issue, either; and I wasn't aware that there were so many different ways to classify cable companies.

What exactly is the difference between:
i) a cable company for the purposes of copyright, and
ii) a special kind of cable company that gets statutory rates?

What determines where Aereo falls on this spectrum?

Is there a Venn diagram I can consult?

about 5 months ago
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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Objections To Contraception

Joel Cahoon Re:Can an "atheist company" refuse too? (1330 comments)

There are numerous protections enshrined in federal law that prohibit an employer from taking discriminatory action against an employee because of that employee's religious beliefs.

I wonder what happens when an employer claims that to be prohibited from taking such actions would be in violation of its own religious beliefs.

"Sorry, Jim, as an atheist corporation, we don't believe that your desire to attend religious services takes precedence over our business needs; in fact, it is this company's personal belief that attending religious services is detrimental to your well-being, as well as that of the company. If you don't come in on Sunday, don't bother showing up on Monday."

about 6 months ago
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Robert McMillen: What Everyone Gets Wrong In the Debate Over Net Neutrality

Joel Cahoon Re:IANA Network Engineer, but... (270 comments)

This issue rests heavily upon who is responsible for the costs (and not just hardware) associated with the appliance. If Netflix is covering the vast majority, I can't see any legitimate reason for Comcast to refuse to install it. If the cost to Comcast is less than the benefit to them (admittedly difficult quantities to compare), they should have no relevant reason not to install the appliance.

The appliance is mutually beneficial to both Comcast AND Netflix, it just happens to benefit Netflix a lot more; this, along with their monopoly market position, puts Comcast in a position of power. It would be an abuse of that power for Comcast to accept or refuse the appliance based not upon the costs and benefits, but for political reasons or rent-seeking.

about 6 months ago
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Robert McMillen: What Everyone Gets Wrong In the Debate Over Net Neutrality

Joel Cahoon Re:IANA Network Engineer, but... (270 comments)

You're telling me that someone at Netflix said to someone at Comcast, "Hey, we've got an appliance that will improve the Netflix experience for those customers of ours who also happen to be your customers as well. We'd like you to purchase the hardware and cover the cost of rack space, cooling, electricity, and maintenance for it. We're not going to help with the bill at all, but our customers will thank us."?

I find that hard to believe, but that would indeed be a raw deal.

about 6 months ago
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Robert McMillen: What Everyone Gets Wrong In the Debate Over Net Neutrality

Joel Cahoon IANA Network Engineer, but... (270 comments)

I fail to see how CDNs and direct peering agreements between ISPs and content providers are particularly relevant to the debate over Net Neutrality. As an analogy:

Comcast owns all of the land and roads in a city (or region, or neighborhood). Google wants to deliver goods to customers in that city, but their warehouse is in another city. Google and Mom-n-Pop Content Provider, Inc. both use the same publicly funded highway to get their goods into the city, and the same Comcast-owned roads to deliver to customers throughout the city. Comcast can deliver goods faster because they have a warehouse in the city. So Google pays to build an air-delivery network (peering) and a warehouse in the city (CDN). I don't see the problem with any of this. The analog to net neutrality, then, becomes whether or not to allow Comcast to (abuse its monopoly ownership of the roads to) raise or lower the speed limit for individual delivery trucks, based upon whether or not they belong to Google, Comcast, or Mom-n-Pop.

As I've said, IANANE, so feel free to point out any relevant inconsistencies in this analogy. On an 'unrelated' note, Amazon...

about 6 months ago

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