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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

jtwiegand Re:Update to Godwin's law? (456 comments)

They want some fantasy backdoor which is only accessible to LEAs but somehow magically invisible to everyone else. They also do not seem to consider the practical difficulties in securing backdoors against attacks. As secure as backdoors can be, they are nearly always less secure than the front door, and thus they are always a security problem.

Also LEAs tend to focus on criminal behavior which inevitably comes with all consumer-facing security improvements, and ignore the public benefit to be had in mostly private internet communications.

13 hours ago
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New Global Plan Would Crack Down On Corporate Tax Avoidance

jtwiegand Compliant with Tax Laws (324 comments)

If by 'corporate tax avoidance' you mean 'full compliance with all tax laws' then yes, corporations do that all day.

This is not a problem with corporations avoiding taxes; technically speaking they are not avoiding anything. This is a problem because tax law is so hilariously complex that there will inevitably be the so-called loopholes, (which are really just inevitable artifacts of any sufficiently complex system), and corporations with a lot of money will hire a tax-evasion-expert (also known as a tax-compliance-expert) to do exactly that. They will follow the letter of the law and use every scrap of genius to minimize their expenses.

Simplify the tax code; this problem will solve itself (this is at least true in the United States). Multinationals have a different problem, but that is simply the nature of all international laws.

about two weeks ago
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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Says Switching ISPs Is Too Hard

jtwiegand Simply meet expectations (145 comments)

ISPs want to reduce churn, obviously, every business does. Problem is they don't do so in the correct way, they gimmick they're way to avoid customer churn by making it hard to leave, rather than easy to stay. If my ISP wants my undying loyalty they only need to provide what I purchased: unlimited broadband internet at the speed I pay a large monthly fee for, and a minimum of service interruptions would be nice too. Since no ISP I know has ever delivered that to customers, the ones that do get my business.

All I'm doing is waiting for a fiber rollout in my city.

about a month ago
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New Usage-Based Insurance Software Can Track Drivers Using Smartphones

jtwiegand Achievements (137 comments)

I'm sure if there were achievements for driving safely in conjunction with the rollout people would adopt it. I can see it now:

"Merger achievement awarded: 500 cars allowed to merge into your lane from an onramp."

about a month ago
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How the Outdated TI-84 Plus Still Holds a Monopoly On Classrooms

jtwiegand No calculator should be required for (math) tests (359 comments)

Never in high school was a calculator allowed on any math tests. All problems were written to be solvable without a calculator, and they were plenty challenging. And this way, the students were pretty confident when they were going astray on an answer, since most everything wound up being a whole number, basic fraction, or one of the more common irrationals. I graduated High School is 2001 from a public school as well.

Whats more important is that they taught is math, not how to use a calculator. How to use a calculator changes with the calculator, and isn't a particularly valuable skill to learn compared to the fundamentals of calculus and the other higher math. Yes, I almost never do math anymore by hand, I write a program for it, but learning all those fundamental rules about the quadratic equation, even those weird trig substitution formulas come in handy once in a while when solving a weird problem.

Calculators aren't necessary in high school mathematics, and should not be used.

Now for chemistry and physics I can't see no calculator simply because the numbers are so unwieldy most of the time, but I think there is a way to write a test that does not require a calculator.

about a month ago
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NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

jtwiegand Re:Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.... (116 comments)

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. "I fear the Greeks, even though they bear gifts." I believe is the line. It could also be rendered as "I fear the Greeks, especially because they bear gifts," as well. Either way.

about a month ago
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About Half of Kids' Learning Ability Is In Their DNA

jtwiegand Re:Insightful comment lost! (227 comments)

Write up those kinds of posts in a word processor in the future. That way a broken plugin or accidental reload won't hose your progress.

about 1 month ago
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Leaked Docs Offer Win 8 Tip: FinFisher Spyware Can't Tap Skype's Metro App

jtwiegand Re:Metro Skype is useless (74 comments)

This is probably why it's more difficult to exploit; it's a simpler program.

about 2 months ago
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FDA: We Can't Scale To Regulate Mobile Health Apps

jtwiegand Re:Good news (123 comments)

I mean the oversight which is necessary, not that oversight is always necessary. So its not that all oversight is always necessary, but, there are necessary oversight functions for the various levels of government. For the most part I would prefer to be regulated by state and local agencies, but the Federal government has some legitimate oversight functions. The main point is that the issue with oversight isn't the fact of oversight; its the way in which the rules are made an enforced, and especially how there are simply an unmanageable amount of rules to follow which never seem to expire.

about 3 months ago
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FDA: We Can't Scale To Regulate Mobile Health Apps

jtwiegand Good news (123 comments)

This is a very good sign on the whole as it shows that out-innovating the regulatory state is not only possible, but actually happening right now. Our regulatory regime is stuck in the 19th century centralized command-and-control model, and it will stay there. Better to let it fail so that a useful and effective method of necessary oversight can come to replace our gilded age government with an information age government.

about 3 months ago
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Federal Court Pulls Plug On Porn Copyright Shakedown

jtwiegand Re:The US needs a loser-pays legal system (136 comments)

Lawyers work on a contingency basis all the time. There would likely be a market for a contingency-based lawyer in the loser-pays paradigm where the less-moneyed party can get a lawyer who is willing to bet his fee on the outcome of the case. Sure, the fee would probably be high under that model, but that's still a fair bit better than risking financial ruin for losing a case you ought to win because you're outclassed in the legal department. At least in a loser pays system there is an actual incentive to win the case, instead of wear the other side down with endless legalese. There are obviously no perfect solutions in the legal arena, but a loser-pays system is certainly the least bad when it comes to patent trolling and other litigious litigation. Then there is some hazard to reckless litigation, where currently the side with the most money nearly always wins. Under a loser-pays paradigm the side with the better case would have a much better chance of winning, and bad-faith actors in the legal system would have an incentive to act in bad faith less often.

about 4 months ago
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In the Unverified Digital World, Are Journalists and Bloggers Equal?

jtwiegand Short answer: Yes (156 comments)

At least in America, "the press" means "the printing press" and by extension any technology which accomplishes the same purpose as the printing press, i.e. the dissemination of information. Blogs would certainly fall into this category. You can either believe me or read this very convincing paper by Eugene Volokh: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa... So sorry, "media," you aren't "the press." The protection is for the medium, not a particular type of messenger.

about 6 months ago
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Why Buy Microsoft Milk When the Google Cow Is Free?

jtwiegand Google Isn't Free (409 comments)

If a product appears to be free, you are the product. People write down data in documents, and Google is in the data business. Google docs is far from free, you just pay them different.

about 6 months ago

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