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Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

Lloyd_Bryant Re: Why wouldn't it be? (209 comments)

Could someone with a little law school please respond to this? Is lying to instagram and violating their terms Civil or Criminal?

IANAL, but there have been a number of cases where federal prosecutors have decided that a TOS violation constitutes a crime under the CFAA (Computer Fraud and Abuse Act). I don't think anyone has yet fought this one in the courts, so it may not stand up to judicial scrutiny, but it is most definitely used as the "stick" to convince someone to accept a plea bargain.

Needless to say,*that* particular interpretation of the law isn't likely to be used against a cop unless that particular cop seriously pisses off a U.S. Attorney.

about a month ago

US Marshals Seize Police Stingray Records To Keep Them From the ACLU

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Hard copy? (272 comments)

I wonder if the Feds went all out like they do to us civilians when they performed the raid. Did they perform a typical 'no knock' raid, at like 3AM, and knock the doors in and smash the windows, and toss 'Flash Bangs' in the room and enter the premises with a small military unit in order to perform the records seizure?

There was no "raid" - what they did was deputize the detective in charge of the records as a U.S. Marshal, and then instruct him to transfer the records in question to other U.S. Marshals.

Pretty questionable, legally (basically, they completely sidestepped state public records laws using this trick), but I'm not sure that "raid" is the correct word to describe the processes.

about 8 months ago

Sifting Mt. Gox's Logs Reveals Suspicious Trading Patterns

Lloyd_Bryant Re:As time goes on... (143 comments)

The less people will care. The less people will remember their lost money, and the less people will be able to do about it. I think we're close to that point where those who lost have accepted it and those who followed the story stopped, no lessons learned, look at all the thriving bitcoin exchanges & online wallets. Like school shootings, we're about over it til the next big one hits.

Hmmmm. Take that paragraph, and "s/bitcoin exchanges/stock exchanges/" and "s/online wallets/portfolios/", and it would still be entirely true. Looks like the bitcoin markets aren't all that different from the securities markets.

about 8 months ago

US Government To Study Bitcoin As Possible Terrorist Threat

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Is there anything that's not a terrorist threat (210 comments)

Given that pork-eating flight school students turned out to be Islamist terrorists, I'd have to say the answer is no.

I hate to spoil your snark, but Islam, like Judaism, has a prohibition against eating pork. So you could argue that *not* eating bacon is a possible warning sign of terrorist potential...

Our success at preventing domestic terror attacks is usually credited partly to our ability to stop the terrorists from sending each-other money.

Uhm, what success? AFAIK, the only "terrorist plot" in the US that the government has prevented was that one where the idiots thought that if they blew up a fuel pipe at JFK, they could get an explosion all along that pipeline. Obviously, they didn't comprehend that for an explosion to happen, you need fuel *and* oxygen...

BTC is specifically designed so that government's can't trace it, or interdict the cash-flow. This means the anti-terror cops damn well better have a plan for if AQ starts a major BTC mining operation.

No, bitcoin is *not* designed to be untraceable. In fact, thanks to the blockchain, it's actually a lot easier to trace than normal cash. What's hard is taking the information from the blockchain, and connecting it to a specific individual or group. So it's pretty anonymous, but once a given wallet has been associated with someone like AQ, anyone monitoring the blockchains could extract a heck of a lot of info about where their money is coming from and going to.

about 9 months ago

Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Phones yeah (227 comments)

Is this progress? Moving from 1-minute fill up to 20 minutes and it requires an attendant? Not in my book.

Personally, I'd see it as a business opportunity. Since the percentage of time the attendant will be spending connecting/disconnecting cables will probably be quite low, why not have him/her doing something else?

"Hello, welcome to Sonic. Would you like to try our ElectroBurger and Fires combo, while we charge up your car?"

about 10 months ago

NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant

Lloyd_Bryant Re:wtf (274 comments)

it's not a script. It's an audio tag
greasemonkey+ jquery -> $(function(){$('.audio').remove();})

Doesn't matter what it is - if Noscript is blocking scripts, then it doesn't play (I had to allow scripts on this site before I realized what people were talking about).

about 10 months ago

Microsoft Promises Not To Snoop Through Email

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Translation: (144 comments)

A employee doesn't have the same rights as a non-employee, they play by a different set of rules. That Microsoft changed their privacy policy was for those who need to be spoon fed, or see Microsoft as their sugar daddy.

The fuss isn't over the employee's email being read. It's about the email of a blogger who is *not* associated with MS (other than using a Hotmail account) being read.

about 10 months ago

AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

Lloyd_Bryant Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (466 comments)

Your customers pay you, as their provider, Netflix pays their provider, and it's between you and their provider to determine who, if anyone, pays who, based on the flow of traffic.

What, you mean that someone who pays his ISP for a connection to the Internet shouldn't have to pay extra if he actually wants to use that bandwidth? I'm pretty sure that'd be classified as communism, or terrorism, or whatever the 'ism of the month is.

ISPs will fight tooth and nail to keep from becoming the "dumb pipes" that true net neutrality would make them. Because then they wouldn't be able to siphon off the profits of companies that have actually innovated themselves a business in the Internet space, rather than just continuing to make a buck off of their infrastructure semi-monopolies.

about 10 months ago

WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"

Lloyd_Bryant Re:why crack my Wi-Fi (150 comments)

WPA2 keeps the neighbors from eating mah bandwich?

Try "it keeps people from injecting exploits into your computer by impersonating web servers." Be glad you enabled it.

How about "it keeps you from being hauled off to jail by some really mean feds because someone used your wireless to download kiddie porn"? *That* most people can easily understand.

about 10 months ago

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Cost savings (914 comments)

I agree that extending a prison sentence seems a little barbaric. But what about looking at this from a pure cost-saving viewpoint? Instead of sentencing a prisoner to 10 years (or whatever is normal for their offense) and keeping them in prison that long, use the drug and keep them in prison for only one year but make them feel like 10 years have passed. Huge cost savings to the public, right there.

Only if you don't consider externalities. If the person hasn't been successfully rehabilitated, then your cost savings would be eaten up by the increased cost of the new crimes committed once released from prison.

And the simple truth is that we don't know how to effectively rehabilitate many criminals. The most effective rehab processes (such as those used by Sweden) still have a 35% recidivsm rate.

about 10 months ago

$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Why not take out Trademarks (653 comments)

For blue, red, green, purple, white, black, tan, clear, brown, striped, poka dotted, etc. multimeters, and de-facto own all the rights to create all multimeters?

Because trademarks don't work that way. In the US, you either have to already be using the mark as a part of your business, or have a genuine intent to use that mark in the near future (for the second case, you may be required to present a business plan showing how you are going to use the mark in order to prove your intent is genuine).

The reality is that Fluke has been using the "dark face with yellow edges on a digital multimeter" for as long as there have been digital multimeters. Anyone who uses multimeters regularly would likely be able to identify a Fluke by it's color scheme. Which is exactly what trademarks are intended to protect.

about 10 months ago

Overuse of Bioengineered Corn Gives Rise To Resistant Pests

Lloyd_Bryant Re:The most damning aspect of this affair (259 comments)

If legitimate, this "scientists weren't allowed" statement is indeed alarming. However, it was also given without details, basis, or evidence. I am a scientist, and I don't give a damn about what my industry wants me to study. Who are these pansy agricultural scientists that ask companies for permission about what to study? Was a scientist actually sued? Can anyone document any details of a possible threat, even a subtle or implied one? How did these companies manange to distribute these seeds so widely to farmers while completely preventing all scientists from obtaining a single sample? Come on, evidence please! Until then, I really want to be inflamed by this story. Can anyone with some real details help me out?

Here's the explanation. There was no Grand Consipracy to prevent scientists from obtaining and studying the seeds. What wasn't allowed was for scientists to have access to the fields where the plants were being commercially grown.

They *could* have obtained the seeds, planted them, and done their studies on those crops. But they couldn't possibly reproduce the sheer scale of Mega-agrobusiness. Since evolution involves lots of random chance, there would be a lot more chances for resistance to develop in the millions of acres of commercial fields than there would be in the much smaller scale fields available to researchers.

About the onlly thing to be alarmed about is the fact that the EPA didn't require monitoring of GMO-planted fields for such changes. But while that might be alarming, it's not particularly surprising, given the way the US goverment caters to corporations.

about 10 months ago

Judge Tells Feds To Be More Specific About Email Search Warrants

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Warrant requests (41 comments)

How about 3 strikes and you're out?
I've heard that is really popular amongst prosecutors and law enforcement.

And how would you count the strikes? That would require some sort of central records of warrant applications, each one indexed by something. Using a suspect's name wouldn't be reliable (warrants listing "john Doe" are issued all the time, when law enforcement is trying to get evidence needed to identify a suspect). And you wouldn't be able to rely on a "case ID", since law enforcement would be the one issuing said ID, and could just "open a new case" when they ran out of strikes.

Now add in the possibility of different jurisdictions - a warrant for someone's email could be sought in the jurisdiction in which the person lives, the jurisdiction where the email provider's headquarters are located, the jurisdiction where the servers are located, etc.

And of course if we could rely on prosecutors to police themselves on the matter, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion...

about 10 months ago

Judge Tells Feds To Be More Specific About Email Search Warrants

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Warrant requests (41 comments)

Wow... next time I end up in court, I sure hope the judge sits down with me and lets me re-word my plea over and over until I win. That'd be great.

What else is he supposed to do in this case? There is nothing like a "double jeopardy" rule that applies to warrant applications, so the government's attorneys have and always will have the ability to keep doing it over until they get something that the judge finds acceptable.

about 10 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Linux For Grandma?

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Why not let Grandma choose? (287 comments)

One hour and a usb live stick should be all that is required to let Grandma try out KDE, Gnome, XFCE, etc.

Let her pick, she is the one that has to actually use it after all.

Lol - tried that one with my mother (age 78). After about two hours of my showing here the different desktops, she finally flat out told me to stop wasting her time, and install something with the 6 applications that she gave a damn about.

So now she has a Debian Wheezy system with LXDE (it's an older machine), and 6 application launch buttons. She has no idea whatsoever how to change *anything* on that machine, and couldn't navigate her way to any of the applications via the normal menu.

And she loves it.

The moral - don't try and turn Gradma into a nerd. You probably won't succeed, and she won't be very happy with you for trying. Instead, aim for something like a "walled garden", with you being the gardener...

about a year ago

Chinese Bitcoin Exchange Accused of Faking Trade Data

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Unregulated... what? (75 comments)

Apropos of nothing, has unregulated speculation decreased since the SEC was established?

Wish I had mod points. The reality is that the SEC is to unregulated speculation what the TSA is to terrorism - just a show to convince the people that the govermnet is actually doing something about the problem.

Maye we should add the term "regulatory theatre" to the lexicon along side "security theatre"...

about a year ago

Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

Lloyd_Bryant Re:So he was clever enough ... (547 comments)

You think they couldn't get a warrant based on TOR activity at the 8:30am time of the emails and a 9am test? I think you are likely wrong.

If they got such a warrant, it would have been thrown out (along with the seized evidence) later, assuming he had a decent lawyer. Your logic assumes that that police already knew that the bomb threat was made in order for a student to evade an exam. But they had no evidence of that until *after* he confessed. The bomb threat could just as easily have been made by someone who wanted to spook a student who was taking the exam. Or for a reason unrelated to the exam at all...

And added to this is the fact that the police had no evidence whatsoever that the bomb threat was made via Harvard's network. That was just a (not unreasonable) guess. But such guesses, while a staple of police investigative technique, are NOT evidence.

So at most, the cops had a guess as to the reason for the bomb threat, a guess as to where the bomb threat was sent from, and some evidence that *if* the bomb threat was sent via Harvard's network then this person *might* have been the one to send it. Hardly what I would call "probable cause".

about a year ago

Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

Lloyd_Bryant Re:So he was clever enough ... (547 comments)

We can assume that someone who needs to avoid a test isn't the brightest spark. We can assume that someone who sends a bomb threat to avoid a test is reckless and stupid. We can assume that if someone who is reckless and stupid mails in a bomb threat, and his identity is discovered, then there _will_ be evidence. For example, they had easily enough to get a search warrant for his computer. What are the odds that there is evidence, like a draft of the email, on his computer? Remember: This is not an evil genius trying to disrupt US universities, it is a reckless idiot trying to get out of an exam.

Did you read a different warrant than I did? I saw *nothing* in the declaration that would count as probably cause for a search warrant, until it got to the part of "he admitted it to me". So most likely they did NOT have enough to get a warrant for his computer (the fact that he accessed TOR on that day wouldn't, by itself, be enough - he could have been using TOR for any number of reasons).

You were dead on about him not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, though. What probably happened is that the police talked to him (along with everyone else who accessed TOR via the campus network on day in question), noticed that he was *very* nervous when they started talking about the bomb threats, and then proceeded with the standard "good cop/bad cop" interrogation (excuse me, *interview*) technique and got him to confess.

about a year ago

NSA Head Asks How To Spy Without Collecting Metadata

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Not possible. (509 comments)

Siri, find all the terrorists in the US.

"Found. Would you like the entire list of 572,468, or just the 3 that aren't employed by the federal government?"

about a year ago

King James Programming

Lloyd_Bryant Re:Blasphemy (184 comments)

Do you read the unaltered bible or are you using one of the many translations?
Languages do not map 1:1 (otherwise, machine translation would be easy and perfect), so any translation inevitably alters the meaning of the original text.

Uhm, what exactly is this "unaltered bible". Even the King James verison, which is the closest there is to a "standard" bible for the English language, contains more than a few translations errors (when compared to much older Greek texts from which it was translated), as well as some deliberate alterations.

about a year ago


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