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Three Ground-Breaking Miniature Biosensors

Null Nihils One of these doesn't belong (18 comments)

I'm probably going to get modded down for this, but it needs to be said:

a doctor diagnosing patients in the rural areas of Africa or a Homeland Security agent working to thwart an act of bioterrorism

One of these doesn't belong. I'll give you a hint: There are billions of one (that we don't hear enough about from anyone), and like three of the other (that we hear way too much about from certain mainstream media sources).

more than 4 years ago
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11th Circuit Eliminates 4th Amend. In E-mail

Null Nihils Re:Email is like Postcards.... (490 comments)

You're arguing semantics. My point was that in the usual function of a modern e-mail system, only the sender and intended recipient are going to see the message; someone would have to "go out of their way" to spy on that message, even if technically speaking that would be very easy (as I said, technically speaking, slicing open an envelope is easy too).

more than 4 years ago
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11th Circuit Eliminates 4th Amend. In E-mail

Null Nihils Re:Email is like Postcards.... (490 comments)

Obviously you've never run a BBS in the old days...

Neither have 99% of the e-mail-using public, so I fail to see how your arguments are relevant to modern-day technology and privacy issues, especially in the context of the 4th amendment where the concept of "reasonable expectation of privacy" factors in.

more than 4 years ago
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11th Circuit Eliminates 4th Amend. In E-mail

Null Nihils Re:Email is like Postcards.... (490 comments)

I strongly disagree. I've said it before, I'll say it again: It's not like mailing a postcard, it's like sending an electrically encoded text message over a packet-switched data network where the only expected viewing point is at the intended recipient's terminal; this is how the e-mail protocol was designed to work. Sure, a malicious party can read it because it's not encrypted, but someone can easily slice open a postal mail envelope and read the contents of that, too. (You can encrypt the text of your postal-mail letters, but one already has an expectation of privacy, so few people bother. Same as e-mail.)

The bottom line is, since a non-trivial effort has to be made to read the contents, and since the service has always been presented as a "sealed letter" (via GUI icons, ISP adverts, etc), the average user is not unreasonable in expecting privacy.

It should be obvious that the 4th amendment applies to e-mail.

more than 4 years ago
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"Perpetual Motion DeLorean" Scammers Face $26M Judgment

Null Nihils Extraordinary claims... (243 comments)

...require extraordinary evidence.

more than 4 years ago
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Auto-Detecting Malware? It's Possible

Null Nihils Impractical (178 comments)

This idea is impractical in so many ways. Leaving aside the privacy issues raised by the prerequisite of collecting the kinds of information the author mentions, he makes far too many assumptions (and of course, does not back them up with any hard facts).

Even if his assumptions are partially correct, he fails to factor in how real security software interacts with real users. Modern viruses are very fluid things, and thus modern virus detection is non-deterministic (and so is this author's system as far as I can tell). So in order to catch all viruses a certain level of false positives will inevitably arise. And it doesn't take many false positives before the user starts to ignore the warnings.

more than 5 years ago
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ELF Knocks Down AM Towers To Save Earth, Intercoms

Null Nihils Morons! (616 comments)

The electromagnetic spectrum is not a hard concept to grasp. Radio waves are about the most harmless radiation there is. They have a lower frequency than microwaves, infrared, or fucking ordinary visible light. Are they going to blow up the sun next?

Yet another group of ignorant children playing dangerous games in the adult world. Sigh.

more than 5 years ago
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Has Google Broken JavaScript Spam Munging?

Null Nihils Re:They should fix this right away (288 comments)

Do what, parse JavaScript into plain text? You're right, anyone can do that if they really want to take the time. But for whatever reason spammers don't bother going that far.

I'm no fan of security by obscurity, but let's be pragmatic: people will get less spam if Google fixes this problem.

more than 5 years ago
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Has Google Broken JavaScript Spam Munging?

Null Nihils They should fix this right away (288 comments)

This can easily be fixed, and should be right away. If Google is turning JavaScript into text output, they can easily parse that output (just like the spammers currently are) and see if the text contains an e-mail address. And if it does, they should omit it from search results (unless the address was originally plain text and not obfuscated, in which case they can assume the author wants it searchable).

more than 5 years ago
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Mozilla Preparing To Scrap Tabbed Browsing?

Null Nihils No Thanks (554 comments)

I often have about 50 tabs open in Opera, and I can handle them just fine. Right now I have about 25 tabs open. Most of them are documentation (eg. mysql, posix threads) or work-related (lua binding tutorial, stackoverflow threads) or news (Slashdot!).

In Notepad++ I also have lots of tabs open. I need lots of tabs in order to do my work; I always have lots of things on the go. I like to have as much information layed out as possible, with everything I have worked on recently open and "stacked" much like papers or books would be on a real desktop. I guess I'm a very spacial thinker.

A few times I lost my Opera or Notepad++ sessions, and then I felt very lost.

more than 5 years ago
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Court Refuses To Rule On ECPA Warrantless E-mail Searches

Null Nihils Re:Everevolving technologies? (122 comments)

There really should be no expectation of privacy in e-mail.

Who are you to decide that? Like I said in a post on a similar topic:

"...the canonical user interface icon for e-mail is... a sealed envelope. Even ISPs will present their e-mail services with such an image.

In other words, the snagging point is the definition of "expectation of privacy" -- but the situation is really quite simple: The average user simply expects privacy, but the government is trying to force them to abandon that expectation, so they can then go and install ubiquitous e-mail surveillance without violating the letter of the US Constitution. The government is trying to win by arguing semantics, so what I find hardest to believe is that anyone is taking all this blatant skullduggery seriously.

... It's not like mailing a postcard, it's like sending an electrically encoded text message over a packet-switched data network where the only expected viewing point is at the intended recipient's terminal; this is how the e-mail protocol was designed to work. Sure, a malicious party can read it because it's not encrypted, but someone can easily slice open a postal mail envelope and read the contents of that, too.

The bottom line is, since a non-trivial effort has to be made to read the contents, and since the service has always been presented as a "sealed letter", the average user is not unreasonable in expecting privacy."

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Null Nihils Null Nihils writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Null Nihils writes "Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has announced that a group of state attorneys general will decide later this week whether to pursue legal action against Microsoft over allegations of anticompetitive conduct that were brought on by Google.

From the article: "Google has complained that Microsoft's new operating system puts it, and other rivals, at a disadvantage. Google said that Vista makes it harder for consumers to use non-Microsoft versions of a desktop search function, which enables users to search the contents of their hard drives.

A group of state attorneys general including Connecticut and California is now determining how to react to the claims made by Google.""

Link to Original Source
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Null Nihils Null Nihils writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Null Nihils writes "Author Jonathan Lethem has been interviewed at Salon.com on the copyright themes of his most recent novel, 'You Don't Love Me Yet'. Most of you will recall his essay, 'The Ecstasy of Influence', which was posted on Slashdot a little while ago. From the interview:
"The first thing I want to say is that it's entirely a fiction ... that to question the present privatization craze in any way is to vote for some anarchic abolition of copyright. I make my living by licensing my copyright. Everything I've tried to say, in the Harper's essay and elsewhere, is that there is an ... incredibly fertile middle ground where people control some rights and gain meaningful benefits from those controls, and yet contribute to a healthy public domain and systematically relinquish, or have relinquished for them, meaningless controls on culture that impoverish the public domain. ""
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Null Nihils Null Nihils writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Null Nihils writes "Following the pivotal US Midterm elections, things look hopeful for a free and open Internet, but the likelihood of progress in terms of copyright and privacy legislation is still uncertain. At any rate, it isn't hard to see a shift in US information technology policy coming over the horizon. Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), strong supporters for Net Neutrality, will most likely take command of Internet policy, but Democrat commitments regarding privacy, data retention, and digital copyright have yet to be made certain. This Cnet article discusses the likely shift in priorities at Capitol Hill.
"If (Democrat Rick) Boucher gets the nod as chairman, a broadcast flag becomes far less likely and changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's "anti-circumvention" sections become politically feasible ... If Rep. Howard Berman, however, gets the job, the recording industry and motion picture industry will have a staunch ally as subcommittee chairman.""

Journals

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Another story submitted to Slashdot

Null Nihils Null Nihils writes  |  more than 7 years ago This one is an interview about Jonathan Lethem and his ideas and opinions on Copyright.

One thing I didn't put in the summary was that he is offering an interesting deal for the film rights of his most recent novel, 'You Don't Love Me Yet'. The details are on on his website (it's probably good that this link didn't end up in the submission, because I am not sure jonathanlethem.com could survive a solid slashdotting.)

The deal is also mentioned in the Salon.com article, too.

PS. Hat tip to Norm Jenkins for linking the interview on his website.

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Follow-up to my front page submission

Null Nihils Null Nihils writes  |  more than 8 years ago So, my first submission to Slashdot got accepted and graced the front page with its horrific words and despicable links.

The story had a sort of Democrat slant, not because I'm pro-Democrat (I'm actually Canadian, so my connection to American politics is an indirect one) but because that's just the way things turned out. Still, I'm encouraged that the left-leaning Slashdot largely noted that the Dems are really not that different from the Republicans, and (as my submission noted) may possibly end up being worse in some ways. It is nice to see that the Slashdot crowd demands real freedom, and doesn't naively think the Dems are going to save them from what the evil Republicans have done.

However, my issue is this: politicians legislate. It's what they do. They add more laws, they rarely take them away. If the voter just goes "I don't care for laws, so I'm not going to give input on them" the politician will go and make some bullshit law anyways. And then you get "tubes"-inspired legislation. This is a very Bad Thing.

American politics, anyways, is really kind of screwed. First-past-the-post voting, and two-party-only. It's the Diet Coke of Democracy. Sure, it once led the way for a freer and more modern world, but complacency has since set in, and the rotting has started.

But that's reality, and things are unlikely to change soon. Hence the point of view of my article submission.


Also, to those who harped on my headline's grammar, a newsflash: Correct Grammar In Headlines Not Necessary.

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