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Comments

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$125,000 Settlement Given To Man Arrested for Photographing NYPD

apraetor Re:NOT CONFIDENTIAL!! YAY!! (211 comments)

Contracts between a private individual and a government entity are not protected by any such privacy considerations. The public has a vested interest, and a right, to scrutinize their government's conduct and to know why it's tax money is being paid to a private individual.

yesterday
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If Fusion Is the Answer, We Need To Do It Quickly

apraetor Re:Did I miss the breakthrough? (244 comments)

They talk about the break-even point because it's the key to fusion power. If you can find a thermodynamically-viable way to accomplish that, then generating excess power to run our world is just a matter of tuning (unless a new problem crops up) the system to provide some excess power, even if it's not very much. Any amount of excess will be useful, because you can scale up the plant to whatever size is necessary to generate useful quantities of excess power. I'm a ChemE, not Physics post-doc, so correct me if I'm mistaken. :)

yesterday
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

apraetor Re:well (181 comments)

Dow Chemical Co. v. United States, No. 84-1259 too.

yesterday
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

apraetor Re:well (181 comments)

By the way, the Constitution most certainly DOES bar you from things -- things that would impinge on someone else's rights. That's basically the entire basis of Constitutional law.. finding where one person's rights end and another person's begin, basically.

yesterday
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

apraetor Re:well (181 comments)

California v. Ciraolo, No. 84-1513. If you can see it from an airplane then it is in plain view from a public space and there is no expectation of privacy. And your theoretical sign? It's on private property, so you aren't talking about the 1st OR 4th Amendment, you are giving conditional permission for access to private property.

yesterday
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

apraetor Re:well (181 comments)

You are right, they cannot make a law which contravenes the US Constitution; in this case, the problem is the 4th Amendment. It guarantees a "reasonable expectation of privacy" to protect against unlawful searches, while the 1st Amendment guarantees your right to take photographs anywhere not excluded under the 4th Amendment as a "reasonable expectation". SCOTUS has ruled before that photography from helicopters is protected speech, and there is nothing substantially different about drone photography. Any blanket ban on the use of drones for photography would constitute prior restraint and be struck down. Probably the only law which could be supported in court would be one preventing the flying of camera drones into private property, which would be trespassing at a minimum, regardless.

yesterday
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Phoenix Introduces Draft Ordinance To Criminalize Certain Drone Uses

apraetor Re:well (181 comments)

It is legal to take photographs of people so long as they have no reasonable expectation of privacy. If the yard is in full view from a public location then there is no legal expectation of privacy. Any law seeking to limit photographic use of drones would have to ensure it didn't cover any time the drone is in public areas -- look up the case history of helicopter use to photograph Malibu mansion beaches et al.

yesterday
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Patents That Kill

apraetor Re:Alternatives? (239 comments)

I think the key would be to find a way to retain the essential component of patents -- the requirement that the patent-holder must file documents detailing how the patented technology works. Without the monopoly the company would have little reason to disclose their secrets, but reverse-engineering would also now be legal. Right now "innovation" is a leap-frog game being played with products that are almost-but-not-quite identical to the competition. Without patents I think the leaps would become larger, as companies actually have an incentive to do real research, so as to jump far enough ahead that the competition can't get ahead of them.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Life Beyond the WRT54G Series?

apraetor Re:Comcast Xfinity Wireless Router (426 comments)

And, like any STI, it's guaranteed you'll never get rid of Comcast, too!

about two weeks ago
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Nasa approves 'impossible' space engine design that apparently violates the laws

apraetor Re:Where's the actual info? (4 comments)

I concur. The NASA abstract says:

Thrust was observed on both test articles, even though one of the test articles was designed with the expectation that it would not produce thrust. Specifically, one test article contained internal physical modifications that were designed to produce thrust, while the other did not (with the latter being referred to as the "null" test article).

There is insufficient information at this point to be sure, but I believe what they meant is that the Cannae drive was compared to something of equal mass but non-thrust-generating (like a block of solid metal), and that the same apparent thrust was measured coming from this inert mass as from the drive. I'd love for some new physical interaction to have been discovered, but I'm convinced that this report was meant to parody the usual rush-to-publish and hyperbole of the media -- and will feature a breakdown of the relevant sources of error leading to the erroneous result.

about two weeks ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

apraetor Re:It's not the carrier (544 comments)

The question was about options when purchasing a new phone. If you want to use a slide-out keyboard case then you obviously check to see whether they are available for the phones you are looking at. Such cases can be found for most Samsung and Apple phones -- from the post, it sounds like an S5 with keyboard would meet his needs, as one example.

about three weeks ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

apraetor It's not the carrier (544 comments)

The feature you want isn't built into high-end smartphones, which is a decision of the smartphone manufacturers -- that's why carriers don't have them. Stop blaming the wrong people and just go buy a slide-out keyboard iPhone or Android case.

about three weeks ago
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Bad "Buss Duct" Causes Week-long Closure of 5,000 Employee Federal Complex

apraetor Re:Link doesn't work (124 comments)

It's not a link. Someone put an <a>..</a> tag around text, there's no href component with a URL provided.

about three weeks ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

apraetor Re: Alternative explanation (398 comments)

Verizon was called-out for refusing to do it, simultaneously refusing to increase their L3 peering (for free!) to compensate, and then claiming Netflix was the cause of degraded Netflix streaming: http://blog.level3.com/global-...

about three weeks ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

apraetor Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (398 comments)

Having large sections of the backbone slowly replaced by websites peering directly to ISPs also is a threat to the internet. It allows levels of douchebaggery which can't be achieved when the bulk of traffic travels via L3 and their competitors. When ISPs start peering directly, beyond the level of simple CDNs, they're effectively becoming their own paywalled "internet".. AOL much?

about three weeks ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

apraetor Re: Speed tests (398 comments)

Try testmy.net, they don't colocate with ISPs.

about three weeks ago
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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

apraetor Re:So (310 comments)

What about government forms that require a signature attesting to the validity of the information, under penalty of perjury?

about a month ago
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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

apraetor Re:So (310 comments)

"in to" and "into" are not equivalents.

about a month ago
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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

apraetor Re:Your tax dollars @ work (310 comments)

No. Radio cars are police cars, dispatched via radio -- the usual every-day panda cars. The officers in the chopper just guided them to where the drone pilots were located. Still a giant waste of resources.

about a month ago
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Police Recording Confirms NYPD Flew At a Drone and Never Feared Crashing

apraetor Re:Obligatory Car Analogy (310 comments)

And everything that falls outside both lists is left to the States to decide.

about a month ago

Submissions

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Child Porn Suspect Must Decrypt Own External Hard Drive

apraetor apraetor writes  |  about a year ago

apraetor (248989) writes "I wonder how this stacks up against recent federal court rulings related to border searches and self-incrimination.

MILWAUKEE (CN) — A man suspected of housing child pornography on his hard drives must help the U.S. government decrypt them, a federal magistrate ruled. U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan Jr. issued the order last week, overturning an earlier decision that said the suspect, Jeffrey Feldman, was protected by his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

"

Link to Original Source
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Apple sells apps that don't actually *do* anything

apraetor apraetor writes  |  more than 4 years ago

apraetor (248989) writes "This app, like many others in the Apple App Store, claims to do things which are patently untrue. In addition, the claims are things which the iPhone OS SDK outright bans developers from doing. For example, the app claims to repair battery capacity issues. Meanwhile, the SDK allows only polling the battery's current charge % and state (i.e. charging, full, discharging). An email I sent to Apple's App Store support last week has gone unanswered.

This app is such bs. It doesn’t actually *do* anything. The “features” it claims are all built-in to iPhone OS anyway. It relies on the naivety of users for sales; it is unfortunate that Apple, which purports to “approve” apps for customer protection, lets dishonest developers openly deceive those same customers for profit. The developer claims that the app “performs maintenance” to restore lost battery life, but the iPhone SDK documentation makes it clear that 3rd party apps can do nothing other than display the current charge of the battery, and the charge status.
“Magical battery-fixing junk”
This app claims to increase your iPhone volume.. yet another piece of Apple-approved deceptive advertising."

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