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Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

jthill Re:Government Dictionary (215 comments)

Erm, no.

Theft, when conducted in person while carrying a firearm, is felony armed robbery. In every state in the union.

It's hard to imagine being a police officer ordered to do this. Their choice is between facing homelessness and turning vicious, amoral thug.

yesterday
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

jthill Summary is _grossly_ wrong. (322 comments)

Among the "undisputed facts"::

The unauthorized profile and page remained accessible to Facebook users until Facebook officials deactivated the account on April 21, 2012,, not long after the Bostons filed their lawsuit on April 3, 2012 [3]. During the 11 months the unauthorized profile and page could be viewed, the Athearns made no attempt to view the unauthorized page, and they took no action to determine the content of te false, profane, and ethnically offensive information that Dustin was charged with electronically distributing. They did not attempt to learn to whom Dustin had distributed the false and offensive information or whether the distribution was ongoing. They did not tell Dustin to delete the page. Furthermore, they made no attempt to determine whether the false and offensive information Dustin was charged with distributing could be corrected, deleted, or retracted.

[...]
[3] Indeed, Facebook's records showed that, months after Dustin's principal notified the Athearns that Dustin had been disciplined for creating the unauthorized account, the fake persona continued to extend or accept requests to become Facebook Friends with additional users and that other users viewed and posted on the unauthorized page until the day before Facebook deactivated the account.

From the court's discussion of the legality of the lower court's grant of summary judgement in favor of the Athearns:

Under Georgia law, liability for the tort of a minor child is not imputed to the child's parents merely on the basis of the parent-child relationship. Parents may be held directly liable, however, for their own negligence in failing to supervise or control their child with regard to conduct which poses an unreasonable risk of harming others.

Since the parents knew for almost a year that their child had posted (no kidding, chase the link) grossly offensive, defamatory, libelous information and admit they not only did nothing, at all, ever, to even so much as look at it, they didn't even tell the kid to take it down, the appeals court's reversed the summary judgement in their favor, because it seems apparent that a jury might find them negligent for that.

5 days ago
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FBI Director Continues His Campaign Against Encryption

jthill He's right that FDE will protect criminals. (284 comments)

It's a good thing that government demanding and getting limitless, secret access to every accessible detail of everyone's life has no history of being used for political vengeance and oppression, otherwise he'd be advocating for policies that have an unbroken, horrifying, outrageous, infamous track record.

5 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

jthill Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (832 comments)

So, your ECON 101 course left you with the impression that saving can't be immoderate? That it never crosses a boundary and becomes refusal to spend? That excessive not-spending is somehow not a defining symptom of a depression? It would seem times have changed.

Do the math. Hell, it doesn't take econ 101 to do this math, anybody with google and high-school math skills can do it: under those conditions, what happens to M0 if there is no new money being printed? What happens to M0 even if new money is being printed, and still those who already possess the vast majority of M3 are limitlessly ratcheting up that share? Either, over time, all those who possess the existing money spend it and on average do no better than break even (proportionately, including any new money being printed to cover an expanding economy), or M0 dries up. The big question is, what's a good target?

At some point somebody's going to have to admit in public, and national policy is going to have to revert to being based on the acknowledgment, that a free market is nothing more than a tool, one that can be nudged or with some teamwork directed by those with substantial influence over it toward many ends.

As it stands, enough of the wealthy in this country are working to produce a world nobody else wants to live in — are openly claiming that a person's worth is the least amount of money they can get away with paying for his labor, that because so many people can produce the vast majority of the world's simple wealth and services, as a necessary and right and just and good consequence the few that are needed to actually do it deserve to and should live like slaves, that those who aren't deserve to and should live worse "to encourage them to get jobs", — that they're succeeding.

5 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

jthill Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (832 comments)

I don't think a progressive consumption tax would reduce inequality since investment wouldn't be taxed at all it would probably promote inequality even more than our current system does. Either Bill Gates didn't think it through or he did and decided he wants a system that promotes inequality to the maximum extent possible.

That part, we agree on.

Where we differ is the belief that wealth accruing in (in particular) stocks is somehow not being sucked out of the economy, is somehow doing any considerable good for anyone but the already-(relatively)-wealthy. Please don't carp about the boundary between wealthy and not, it's enough that there is such a boundary. If you want to argue anything along the lines of there is no such boundary, or that it's so fuzzy that nothing of consequence follows, I'd be at least interested enough to read it.

Demand pushes up price. The stock market goes up because people are pouring money into it. That money's coming from somewhere, and the only time it's an actual investment is when the company offers shares.

People selling one stock in favor of another contribute _nothing_. People selling stock to actually produce goods and services with the proceeds take that money out of the stock market, they deflate it. When the stock market as a whole drops, whether the market slides gently or a bubble bursts, money in the affected stocks is destroyed, money spent buying the stocks is just gone -- from the assets of the already-wealthy. When the stock market rises, money is created -- as new assets for the already-wealthy. But during the periods that money that could be spent elsewhere is instead spent buying secondhand shares, it no longer forms any part of, it has been sucked out of, the productive economy

People who aren't wealthy enough to afford the time and expense of financial counseling or education -- let alone find, invest and preserve the necessary capital -- have no chance of accumulating any considerable wealth. Their only hope, currently, is social security and medicare -- and social security for those below that "enough" bar above can't really be considered even a subsistence living.

5 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

jthill Re:Overrated... (832 comments)

Presenting a substantial and coherent set of sound arguments in a public debate while simply omitting the idle chatter, the trolls, the other idiots is a valuable service. Necessary, even; it's a way of hosing dirt off the debate. By all accounts (including yours) he did a very, very good job of it.

5 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

jthill Re:This looks like a nasty trick. (832 comments)

It isn't the tax part that's new, it's the progressive part.

5 days ago
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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

jthill This looks like a nasty trick. (832 comments)

a progressive tax on consumption

Not sure how that's going to promote demand for goods and services. It looks to me like a recipe for rewarding not-spending. And not-spending is exactly what's sucking the liquidity out of the economy now, locking it up in the vaults of the wealthy, who refuse to spend at all unless it means that they wind up with ever more in their vaults, and construction of the (was this term ever more apt?) vicious cycle is complete.

5 days ago
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Interviews: Ask Florian Mueller About Software Patents and Copyrights

jthill Re:OracleVSGoogle: Judge can program, you still fo (187 comments)

But it hasn't. Looking at a couple of potentially-relevant aspects:

The standard for copyrightability of facts is "particular selection, coordination, or arrangement" of facts -- it's why maps are copyrightable but data dumps like phone books aren't -- phone books don't really select, they take pretty much all of them, coordination doesn't really apply, and arrangement is a simple mechanical process that nobody would regard as identifiable as any particular author's work.

The standard for copyright of other useful works has been

If a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work is a useful article, it is copyrighted only if its aesthetic features are separable from its utilitarian features. A useful article is an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. They must be separable from the functional aspect to be copyrighted.

The problem there is, clean-room reimplementation is legal. Dalvik is a clean-room reimplementation of the Java API. Headers are an integral part of an API implementation; you can't make them work, at all, without headers using matching names. Not even Microsoft has dared try anything so pathetic as Oracle's argument: Wine is legal, and it implements the Win32 API, names included. Samba is legal, and it implements the CIFS API, names included. Maybe this would be a good starting point for more.

about a week ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

jthill Re:My understanding of the issue (354 comments)

Decompiled and deobfuscated code isn't the original. To whatever extent anyone but Mojang has a copyright interest in that decompiled/deobfuscated code, that interest doesn't cover the original code. The takedowns are utter bullshit. Mojang's complying with the GPL in both letter and spirit.

about a month and a half ago
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Comcast Gives 6 Months Free Internet To Poor and Unpaid Bill Amnesty

jthill Re:$10 / month, no contract. Read the summary (71 comments)

Umm, please name any skein of human culture not rife with liars and idiots. Focusing on them is, at best, a waste of time. Of course, just one step above the barrel-scraping morons are the raw bigots, who pretend every undesirable characteristic is largely the fault of some group of people Not Like Themselves. Also endemic everywhere.

about 3 months ago
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Judge Frees "Cannibal Cop" Who Shared His Fantasies Online

jthill Re:First "OMG the common sense" post (185 comments)

It is because he was a cop

Nope.. This has happened before, it will happen again. There's a substantial cultural skein in this country that thinks feeling threatened should be enough to jail the cause. Judges, fortunately, still know that thoughts are not crimes. Expressing thoughts is not a crime. Desires are not crimes. Expressing desires is not a crime. Somebody claiming they feel threatened by you does not constitute you making a threat. Making a threat is a crime. Somebody saying "if Obama shows up, somebody's going to shoot him" is not a crime. Substituting "if Obama shows up, I hope somebody shoots him" is not a crime. It's asinine, things in that vein are commonly expressed by people so deeply gulled, so utterly out of touch with reality, that I regard them as insane on the subject. But expressing those desires just makes them idiot children, not criminals.

about 4 months ago
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On MetaFilter Being Penalized By Google

jthill Be sure you read the responses to the WaPo article (108 comments)

The tl;dr on those is, metafilter's users spontaneously decided to start donating, before or after someone ran across an old paypal link, and before metafilter had even asked, 10% of their users had donated. One commenter implies those donations are set up as recurring, i.e. not just voluntary but spontaneous subscription.

about 5 months ago
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Ohio Prison Shows Pirated Movies To Inmates

jthill Re:Difference (186 comments)

If you purchase a copy, you own that copy and retain all first-sale rights.

Could you offer a link, where this legal quirk is convincingly explained?

You got told copyright trumps first sale and you actually _believed_ it?

109 . Limitations on exclusive rights: Effect of transfer of particular copy or phonorecord (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106(3), the owner of a particular copy or phonorecord lawfully made under this title, or any person authorized by such owner, is entitled, without the authority of the copyright owner, to sell or otherwise dispose of the possession of that copy or phonorecord. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, copies or phonorecords of works subject to restored copyright under section 104A [doesn't apply, chase the link yourself.]

First sale was settled in 1908 by the Supreme Court, and it's been statute law since copyright was codified in 1976. Anyone who claims to know anything at all about copyright and feeds you that line is playing you for a chump.

about 5 months ago
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From FCC Head Wheeler, a Yellow Light For Internet Fast Lanes

jthill Once there's a "fast lane", you know what happens. (149 comments)

What's going to happen is, they're going to provision their networks with two separate kinds of routers, "fast lane" routers and "slow lane" routers, and if simply never upgrading the "slow lane" routers isn't enough to get them what they want they'll sabotage them or just disconnect them entirely.

about 5 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

jthill Re:What's the problem? (1198 comments)

Of course, the defining characteristic of his depravity was his lack of empathy for others, his willingness to see them die horribly. It's what made him less than acceptable as a human. Go feel self-righteous all you want, history's got a long, long track record on people and cultures who punish brutally. Vengeance or justice, the motive doesn't lessen the act's effect. Doing things like that turns people into beasts. Your rage should worry you.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Microsoft Stores and Accesses Every HTTPS URL You Skype.

jthill jthill writes  |  about a year and a half ago

jthill (303417) writes "The H is reporting something lots of the security-watchers noticed: Skype has been storing and, several hours later, accessing every https: url you send in Skype. It's hard to imagine they'd do something that so perfectly fits the cynics' predictions, but there's no doubt. The did stop doing it shortly after it was reported, but the damage may be done."
Link to Original Source
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All Oracle databases vulnerable to injected listeners

jthill jthill writes  |  more than 2 years ago

jthill (303417) writes "A horrible miscommunication has led to the premature publication of the complete details of a critical security hole affecting every production Oracle database.. The bug was reported in 2008. Oracle said it had been fixed, and it has — on the development branch. There's no patch."
Link to Original Source
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Eight point seven five terapixels of the night sky

jthill jthill writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jthill (303417) writes "The BBC reports that the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has provided data release 8, now comprising complete access to their dataset. The image data is the least of it. The SkyServer interactive viewer links from the image to the object data for everything you see. That's 260 million stars and 208 million galaxies (and 12682 unknown objects), covering about a third of the celestial sphere. When you click upon a star, their somewhat busy servers soon hunt down the rest of it."
Link to Original Source
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Hari Seldon is starting to look less fictional

jthill jthill writes  |  more than 3 years ago

jthill (303417) writes ""Psychohistory" is the basis for the eentirentire Foundation series. Hari Seldon is a university mathematician, develops models good enough to predict social developments the same way engineers can predict physical ones: given enough individuals, probabilistic aggregate behavior becomes all but completely predictable.

So now some mathematicians at Cornell have developed a probabilistic model that behaves like real social groups. Karate clubs. Republicans and Democrats. From the article:

They plugged in data on international relations prior to World War II and got almost perfect predictions on how the Axis and Allied alliances formed.

"

Link to Original Source
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jthill jthill writes  |  more than 8 years ago

jthill writes "and that's not all. Characterizations that get dismissed as fanboi worship or braggartry (is that a word?) are, it turns out, spot on — or in some cases nearly British in their understatement. Bruce Lee almost certainly did not strike with snake-like speed; smart money says he was at least four times quicker, because that's what they clocked a guy doing just recently.

All hail motion-capture.

Fight!"

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