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Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

penix1 Re:anonymously sourced evidence? (113 comments)

No, it truly is easy if there is probable cause.

This is from: http://legal-dictionary.thefre...

Probable cause is not equal to absolute certainty. That is, a police officer does not have to be absolutely certain that criminal activity is taking place to perform a search or make an arrest. Probable cause can exist even when there is some doubt as to the person's guilt. Courts take care to review the actions of police in the context of everyday life, Balancing the interests of law enforcement against the interests of personal liberty in determining whether probable cause existed for a search or arrest.

If they are not planning to arrest someone, then why the warrantless search? The point is, if the police can articulate their suspicions clearly enough with a modicum of evidence, they get the warrant.

5 days ago
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Florida Supreme Court: Police Can't Grab Cell Tower Data Without a Warrant

penix1 Re:anonymously sourced evidence? (113 comments)

The question should be what is so fucking hard about getting a warrant? They are handed out like candy these days so what is so hard about getting one?

5 days ago
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NSA CTO Patrick Dowd Moonlighting For Private Security Firm

penix1 Re: Conflict of interest is just what they do (83 comments)

What would or should be illegal about it though?

He is using government property for private gain. Namely his access to classified information. Information that will allow him to demand a higher salary that he wouldn't have without that inside access. Also, we have no idea YET if this private company has any government contracts with the NSA since that info would also be classified. Watch for this tidbit to come out much later.

5 days ago
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How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

penix1 Re:Research (165 comments)

I do think the bias in reporting used to be less overt than today, but I think it's always been there to some extent. Human nature doesn't change so easily.

There is a big difference between bias and pure opinion. Today opinion is quite often reported as fact. It is the difference between what is reported (bias) and how it is reported (opinion).

The fairness doctrine perhaps made sense in a day when our information choices were limited (I'd still argue against it in principle, as I think it stomps all over the first amendment).

I am having difficulty understanding how giving opposing views on an issue or news item in any way hinders free speech. If anything it enhances it giving the intended audience a broader understanding of an issue. Without it echo chambers such as Fox News and MSNBC exist in a vacuum polarizing even further their respective audience.

I'm not quite old enough to remember the Vietnam and Watergate years, but I certainly do remember the pre-internet media days. For all it's faults, I'll take today's information age any day, even if the mass media has fallen quite a bit in stature and relevance. What we've gained, IMO, more than makes up for it.

I have no problem with the Internet when it is used properly. But as is often the case, too much trust is placed in what is on the net and these days critical thinking skills isn't in great supply. The Internet has caused traditional media to compete with something they can't compete with. Namely instant content creation. This story is just one example of an error on the net going unrecognized by both professional and lay observers. That is the pitfall of the open Internet. Do I want it to change or to go back to a disconnected world? That answer would be a resounding no. But I wish people would take what is on it with a grain of salt and realize that it isn't definitive.

about two weeks ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

penix1 Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (193 comments)

It teaches hate and violence, but point that out and people call you racist (as if there was some kind of Muslim race) and froth at the mouth.

All religions teach hate and violence of some form or other. Organized religion itself is nothing more than political control of a given populace. The whole concept of "hell" is using the threat of violence to control behavior. The point is, most, if not all, religions have their violent tendencies.

about two weeks ago
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How Spurious Wikipedia Edits Can Attach a Name To a Scandal, 35 Years On

penix1 Re:Research (165 comments)

to find that the audience prefers misinfotainment over news. They demand entertainment over learning. Illusion over reality.

I am old enough to remember a day when the news was actually just that... News.... No opinion mixed in. Just the facts. When opinion was offered, usually after the real news, it was labeled as such.

Then media consolidation happened, the fairness doctrine was tossed and newsrooms nationwide were expected to turn a profit. It is that, not the audience, that caused the decline of in-depth reporting. It is expensive to actually check all the facts in a story. It takes time, money and more importantly sources willing to put the story out. In trying to compete with the Internet, broadcast TV and newspapers nationwide have a tough time beating the net to "the scoop". Lastly, corporations (read "advertisers") are the real ones dictating what the audience sees. You will never see a story about an advertiser because that would be biting the hand that feeds them.

I argue the last in-depth reporting really only happened when the Vietnam war brought the horrors of war to people's living room and the Watergate scandal opened people's eyes to government corruption. Since then, the government learned the lesson and wiped out all trace of regulation of what is supposed to be the watchdog of government itself.

about two weeks ago
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DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

penix1 Re:Yet again government agency abuses privacy (191 comments)

Additionally, I don't think any of the major social media companies allow "non-real name" accounts. Didn't Facebook recently apologize to Drag Queens because of that policy. If the government sets up an account to impersonate someone else, then they have just violated many companies' terms of service.

How? They are using a real name... Just not their real name.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

penix1 Re:Can't trust the Democratic leadership ... (425 comments)

See what you just did? You went from comparing apples to oranges to comparing apples to apples. Tax percentage per year vs GDP (a yearly measurement) is better than the meaningless mufti-century debt to yearly GDP. Add up the GDP in the history of America and compare that to the debt and you would be comparing apples to apples again. Or, compare the debt incurred this year to GDP and again be in balance. Either way, I disagree with your conclusion since the government "staying out" of the economy lead to the great depression being far deeper than it needed to be under Herbert Hoover.

http://www.history.com/topics/...

Hoover undertook various measures designed to stimulate the economy, and a few of the programs he introduced became key components of later relief efforts. However, Hoover's response to the crisis was constrained by his conservative political philosophy. He believed in a limited role for government and worried that excessive federal intervention posed a threat to capitalism and individualism. He felt that assistance should be handled on a local, voluntary basis. Accordingly, Hoover vetoed several bills that would have provided direct relief to struggling Americans. "Prosperity cannot be restored by raids upon the public Treasury," he explained in his 1930 State of the Union address.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

penix1 Re:Can't trust the Democratic leadership ... (425 comments)

If you study the debt numbers vs GDP...

That is a meaningless comparison. Here is why:

http://mythfighter.com/2009/11...

To quote his baseball analogy:

What would you say if I told you the total number of hits the Chicago Cubs made in 2008 is 47% of the total number of runs the Cubs have scored in all of their 100+ year history? You might well say, "Huh? What does one thing have to do with the other? One is hits; the other is runs. One is 100+ years; the other is one year. It's classic apples vs oranges." And you would be right.

Federal "debt" is the net amount of outstanding T-securities created in the history of America. The GDP is the total dollar value of goods and services creating this year. The two are unrelated. The federal government does not use GDP to service its debt. In fact, federal debt service stimulates the economy, so more debt is stimulative.

about two weeks ago
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Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

penix1 Re:And some say Obama isn't a Republican (425 comments)

Well the Democrats want it to be a gay authoritarian expansionist kleptocratic coin.

While the Republicans want it to be a wide stance authoritarian expansionist kleptocratic coin.

Not so much of a difference to me...

about two weeks ago
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The Single Vigilante Behind Facebook's 'Real Name' Crackdown

penix1 Re:is there any rationale for this requirement? (305 comments)

Am very curious why they would have this requirement.

They claim it is to curtail "cyber-bullying" (AKA- Trolling). There is no reason they can't show aliases instead of real names while still requiring real names to sign up. Even Google is seeing that this option is better than the real name policy they used to have.

about three weeks ago
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It's Not Just How Smart You Are: Curiosity Is Key To Learning

penix1 Re:.. and this is new ? (83 comments)

Curiosity leads to motivation, stuff you do in an unmotivated or bored state never come out well and (thankfully) will not be remembered.

Actually, I believe it isn't curiosity that was tested. I believe it was interest. Interest != curiosity. Curiosity would involve something the subject didn't know. Interest is something totally different since it relies on a topic the subject already has some familiarity with.

about three weeks ago
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Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots

penix1 Re:Now if they could only fix... (278 comments)

The exchange with the Mariott Rewards is in data so you are still paying for the privilege in the form of data. Also, part of the cost is shouldered by the non-rewards guests. It's still no free lunch. It is simply shifting the medium of payment.

about three weeks ago
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Marriott Fined $600,000 For Jamming Guest Hotspots

penix1 Re:Now if they could only fix... (278 comments)

I've been staying at various Marriott hotels for years and the wifi has always been free.

No it hasn't. The price is included in your room fee. Don't think that if it isn't itemized it is free. There is no such thing as a free lunch as the saying goes.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

penix1 Re:Beyond the law? (354 comments)

So far only the Eleventh Circuit has heard anything relating to the production of passwords and they went with the doctrine of the mental cognition from producing decrypted data more demanding because it is "more akin to requiring the production of a combination". The Supreme Court has found that being compelled to produce the key to a safe was not a violation of the 5th but producing a combination is. I will refer you to this paper which shows why applying the key-combination algorithm shouldn't apply to encrypted drives.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/pa...

I agree with the author's final assessment:

Alternatively, courts could explicitly incorporate interest balancing into the calculus. So the decrypted data could be compelled only if there is a significant state need for compulsion. Drawing this line in practice would not be difficult. Imagine the government subpoenas the accused for the production of decrypted data and the accused moves to quash on Fifth Amendment grounds. Under this approach, the motion would be denied if the government shows it could not realistically obtain the data through investigatory effort. This procedure would not be uncommon, as similar iterations exist elsewhere in criminal procedure. Obtaining a search warrant, for example, requires the government first show the existence of probable cause, and a later determination that cause was deficient may result in excluding any evidence obtained under the warrant.

about a month ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

penix1 Re:Beyond the law? (354 comments)

Ummm... You need to re-read the Constitution if you think the court ruling on a warrant is "disingenuous and illogical". The courts are simply following the Constitution you deride them for not following. BTW, it is the 4th that concerns this more than the 5th although they do go hand-in-hand most of the time.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

You are referring to the part "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;" It is the court that dispenses due process of law. So encryption would most certainly block that due process.

Lastly, there are remedies to compel a suspect to comply with court orders to include imprisonment for contempt of court. Many have gone to jail for not complying with a legally issued court order to divulge their encryption password. So I don't see what this FBI Chief's issue is. He is using the age old "ticking time bomb" argument that was used to justify torturing detainees in Guantanamo. I don't buy it.

about a month ago
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Stanford Promises Not To Use Google Money For Privacy Research

penix1 Re:Researcher Integrity (54 comments)

In short, it is not evil for a donor to say funds can't be used for a study where there doing so would produce a conflict of interest.

Which completely invalidates the whole concept of peer review. Go ahead... Try and find funding for privacy research amongst the crowd without any interest in the data. Good luck with that. Open peer review of any study is necessary to weed out bias. After all, you would pay for data you have no interest in right?

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

penix1 Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (385 comments)

Double posting from the same article with this nugget:

Why the difference? The Florida landfill did not have a clay cap during the study, which would have sealed it from the elements. Caps are federally mandated to reduce pollution from water flowing into landfills. In the process, however, they reduce moisture content in the waste, the "master variable" in helping garbage decompose.

http://www.engr.wisc.edu/news/...

Does anyone know if that capping is still a federal mandate? If so, this is a case where regulation against one hazard is creating another.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

penix1 Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (385 comments)

The residents are still free to waste all the food they want as long as they put it in the correct bin.

Although the issue here is about what bin you put waste food into, let me point you to a 1998 article on the topic of waste landfills and the types vs. the time of decomposition:

http://www.engr.wisc.edu/news/...

The point I am trying to make is that this law is targeting the wrong thing.

The study found that food decomposes relatively quickly. After six years in the Madison site, pasta, lima beans, peanuts and sunflower seeds all lost at least half of their dry weight, and pasta almost completely vanished. In Florida, the food samples were all more than 75 percent decomposed after only two years.

Newspaper was the only material that showed little change: Only 17.4 percent decomposed in Florida after two years, and 8.5 percent in Madison after six years.

Given a choice, putting the fine on paper products especially newspaper makes more sense from the point of view of reducing landfill real estate. Of course, someone putting food in the paper bin would upset the recycling process a miniscule amount not one that is too difficult to solve at the dump site. I suspect this is more about generating more revenue selling the compost since that pile would be reduced from wrong bin sorting. That's just my speculation though not supported by any facts.

about a month ago
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Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

penix1 Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (385 comments)

Personally, I cannot wait to move into a completely rural area where I can either compost it or burn it. Saves $40/mo for as little as they have to do at my bit of the street.

Even in rural areas there are restrictions on what you can burn and when you can burn it. I live in one of the most rural areas in the country here in West Virginia and can tell you that you can be fined if you burn the wrong things at the wrong times.

Things like plastic, painted materials or other hazardous materials such as furniture foam and rubber are banned. That still doesn't stop people from doing it but the fines can get very steep especially for repeat offenders.

about a month ago

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