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Comments

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Encrypt Your Smartphone — Or Else

pin0chet Re:Data on the phone vs. data presented on the pho (304 comments)

To my knowledge, no court has addressed that particular issue to date. Professor Adam Gershowitz argues in his 2008 UCLA Law Review article http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1084503 that courts addressing warrantless cell phone searches might consider distinguishing between data that is stored locally on a cell phone and data that is accessible via a cell phone. The rationale for such a distinction is rooted in the notion of the "immediate grabbing space" which police are allowed to search incident to arrest.

more than 3 years ago
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Encrypt Your Smartphone — Or Else

pin0chet Re:Slightly Inaccurate Summary (304 comments)

Fair point; my short summary doesn't specify that warrantless searches of cell phones seized incident to arrest are presumptively lawful (barring exigent circumstances) only if the cell phone is "immediately associated with the arrestee" (i.e. in the arrestee's pocket). The article explains this crucial distinction in detail, noting that if you're arrested, your phone enjoys substantially greater protection from warrantless search if it's in your luggage, glove compartment, or trunk, rather than on your person.

The article further notes that California's Supreme Court is one of several courts that have ruled that cell phones seized incident to arrest may be searched without a warrant. However, Ohio's Supreme Court reached a different conclusion in a 2009 case, so the matter ultimately be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama Faces Major Online Privacy Test

pin0chet Re:A good step forward, but... (72 comments)

Unlike government, not one of the firms in the coalition has the power to force you to hand information over to them. If you don't want Google or Microsoft or AT&T to have your information, don't use their services. Also, if a firm fails to adequately protect your data and you suffer harm as a result, depending on the terms of service you may be able to sue the firm. But if government wrongfully seizes your data, you generally cannot sue (absent acts of blatant bad faith.) And government has no financial incentive to safeguard your data, while companies like Google have a LOT to lose if their privacy reputation is damaged due to a data breach or other unscrupulous practice.

more than 4 years ago
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Are There Affordable Low-DPI Large-Screen LCD Monitors?

pin0chet Get a 2560x1600 monitor and run at 1280x800 (549 comments)

Easy. Get a 30" Desktop LCD like the Dell 3007wfp and run it at exactly 1/2 its native vertical and horizontal resolutions (1280x800). You essentially get the same quality as if it were the native resolution (well, one to one mapping at least) and none of that crazy TV stuff. The best part is that if somebody with, well, "normal" eyes wants to use the monitor in its full 2560x1600 glory, they can simply switch the resolution.

more than 4 years ago
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Microsoft vs. Google — Mutually Assured Destruction

pin0chet Re:First Nuclear Weapon Equipped Post (416 comments)

What's so bad about the emergence of "free crap?" Gmail, Google Earth, Bing, Hulu, Google Docs are all pretty solid services considering the price tag...

about 5 years ago
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US District Ct. Says Defendant Must Provide Decrypted Data

pin0chet Re:Would the smartass approach work? (767 comments)

It'd work for about a few seconds, or until the cops could perform a simple dictionary brute force attack.

more than 5 years ago
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WSJ Says Gov't Money Injection Won't Help Broadband

pin0chet Re:Right Wing Nuts (647 comments)

Wi-Max really can't operate without exclusively-licensed, and there's simply not enough of it to go around. The FCC has been dragging its feet on the AWS3 band, for instance, which is prime ground for a Wi-Max network. Breaking the DSL/Cable duopolies can happen only if the command-and-control spectrum allocation process is abandoned. Tim Wu made this point in the New York Times a few months ago, but it seems that nobody at the FCC has listened to him.

more than 5 years ago
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WSJ Says Gov't Money Injection Won't Help Broadband

pin0chet Re:So we've got a duopoly (647 comments)

The tax breaks and other incentives given to the telcos by Congress in the 90s for network build-out never actually mandated the construction of residential high-speed fiber networks. (Read the 1996 Telecom Act if you don't believe me).

The telephone companies were never legally bound to deploy 50mbps symmetric FTTH. What actually happened was that some telco execs testified to Congress that incentives would hasten FTTH deployment. There were some extremely bold predictions made--predictions that turned out to be wildly optimistic--but if you look at the legislative history of the 200 billion, there is simply no basis for jailing anybody.

more than 5 years ago
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WSJ Says Gov't Money Injection Won't Help Broadband

pin0chet Re:So we've got a duopoly (647 comments)

What about Wi-Max? Or LTE? Or unlicensed Wi-Fi? Alternatives to cable and telco ISPs don't have to involve digging up the ground. They can use the airwaves. But since the FCC maintains rigid control over all but a few relatively small chunks of the spectrum, there are too few frequencies available for entrepreneurs to use. And the artificially high price of the spectrum that is available is held largely by major incumbents. Increase the quantity of spectrum available to firms, and new entrants would actually have a shot at getting their hands on enough spectrum to build a competitive WISP.

more than 5 years ago
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WSJ Says Gov't Money Injection Won't Help Broadband

pin0chet Re:Cognitive dissonance... (647 comments)

The bill doesn't define the term "open access"--it leaves that up to federal regulators. This means that if the FCC or NTIA decides to define open access as application-neutral network management, then ISPs wouldn't be allowed to give time-sensitive applications priority over non-time-sensitive ones.

more than 5 years ago
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Google and Friends Release Net Neutrality Measuring Tools

pin0chet Re:Define slowing (126 comments)

I live in a pretty typical suburban area and I can choose from the following residential ISPs:

Comcast (up to 16/2)
Verizon DSL (Up to 6/1)
Covad DSL (up to 10/1)
Wireless 2.4Ghz (up to 3/1.5)
Wi-Max (up to 3/3)
Satellite (up to 3/384)

So while I don't have any perfect substitutes to cable broadband, it's hardly accurate to say that I'm stuck with cable if they do anything to seriously anger me.

more than 5 years ago
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Google and Friends Release Net Neutrality Measuring Tools

pin0chet Re:Metered Service (126 comments)

Metered service makes sense, but only if there's a significant minimum charge. If an ISP charges, say, $1 GB, that wouldn't make sense because most users would end up paying $5 to $10 a month even though the ISP's cost to simply maintain the physical plant and support system for a minimal usage customer is at least $15 or $20 a month.

more than 5 years ago
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Efficiency Gains Could Prove Proposed Plasma Ban Shortsighted

pin0chet Re:Tough call (278 comments)

There are several fallacies here. First, the idea that watching TV doesn't constitute "real wealth" is false. The very manufacturing plants you admit are valuable exist solely to provide goods and services that consumers demand. No, TVs aren't necessities, but that doesn't mean they aren't of economic value. Value is in the eye of the beholder, and lots of people quite clearly get utility from their television sets. So televisions are just as much a form of wealth as any other good.

Second, power plants are in almost all cases privately funded, at least in the U.S. The money you pay each month to your local electricity provider is going to a privately owned firm, albeit one that likely enjoys rate-of-return protection granted by government. Power is not running out, either. Will the cost of energy today persist as fossil fuels become more difficult to obtain? Probably not, but lots of neat forms of energy become viable once prices rise. By the time oil, uranium, coal, and natural gas resources all begin to dwindle, new technologies will have made new forms of elecricity generation economically feasible.

You claim that people tend to underestimate long-term costs and overestimate short-term gains. The LED example, however, actually shows that people are making the right decisions by sticking with plasma. The amount of electricity required to power a TV is still quite inexpensive--around 3 to 5 cents per hours--and so it'd take years to make up for a $300 price difference. And since pretty much any TV currently sold is going far past its obsolescence, it's fairly unimportant how long a TV will last. 8 years of 12 years are both very long timeframes among the modern consumer.

more than 5 years ago
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Efficiency Gains Could Prove Proposed Plasma Ban Shortsighted

pin0chet Why not just tax energy use? (278 comments)

It's never made sense to me why governments think that micromanaging things like what lightbulbs can be sold or how much power TVs can consume is a smart method for curbing energy use.

If your goal is to improve energy efficiency, economists have figured out a remarkably simple and efficient method: tax electricity use. A 25% surcharge on each kilowatt-hour used would cause people to buy more energy-efficient products, meaning companies would shift resources toward building less power-hungry devices. A simple energy tax has the same ultimate effect as regulating efficiency across myriad consumer electronics, but without the need for a massive government bureaucracy.

more than 5 years ago
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Most Hackable Coupon-Eligible DTV Converter?

pin0chet Re:Why bother? (479 comments)

You're mixing up Blu-Ray DRM with ATSC digital broadcasting. The "analog hole" with respect to unprotected outputs won't ever be disabled by broadcasters because the broadcast flag has been ruled enforceable. The article you link to specifies that MS merely chose to voluntarily comply with the flag, but there is no penalty for circumventing it and nearly every converter out there ignores it.

more than 5 years ago
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Most Hackable Coupon-Eligible DTV Converter?

pin0chet Re:Why bother? (479 comments)

What are you talking about? There are no "holes" to be patched--MPEG2 transport streams are unencrypted. Though I don't doubt that content owners would surely love to impose DRM on broadcast content, it's simply not provided for in the ATSC specifications for MPEG2 over-the-air transport streams.

The infamous Broadcast Flag--the only element of DRM to have ever loomed over broadcast television--is dead and buried. Besides, none of the DTV converters currently available have any DRM-compliance built in.

Barring the highly unlikely event that Congress decides to modify the ATSC spec after tens of millions of TVs with DTV tuners are owned by consumers, there is zero chance of DRM becoming an issue with digital television programming.

more than 5 years ago
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DTV Coupon Program Out of Money

pin0chet Re:Why is the government even subsidizing this? (591 comments)

You forget that you don't have a right to have your favored use of the airwaves dominate other, potentially more valuable uses. Nobody is entitled to spectrum, and nobody ever promised that analog broadcasts would be around forever.

Of course it's a pain when technology leaps ahead of us--as an owner of ISA cards, EIDE disks and Socket 478 CPUs I know all too well how painful obsolescence can be. But times change, and the benefits of adapting to progress far outweigh the costs, however severe they may sometimes seem.

more than 5 years ago
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DTV Coupon Program Out of Money

pin0chet Re:Why is the government even subsidizing this? (591 comments)

A decent $100 UHF directional amplified rooftop antenna will easily pick up a UHF DTV signal 30 to 40 miles away at minimum if there aren't any obstructions. Some people can even get a usable signal from even further away. Also, a cheap $35 indoor UHF amplified antenna from Terk can get a signal up to 20 miles away even in fairly dense urban areas. Not nearly as good as old-fashioned analog, to be sure, but a lot of DTV signal strength is good equipment.

more than 5 years ago
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DTV Coupon Program Out of Money

pin0chet Re:Why is the government even subsidizing this? (591 comments)

It's not a question of who needs spectrum, but rather how we should allocate the airwaves in a way that gives the most utility to the greatest number of people. The key is getting as much value for society as possible from a resource that only can go so far.

Television broadcasts aren't the only possible use of spectrum. What about wireless broadband? Or digital terrestrial radio? Or mobile phone service? Every chunk of spectrum occupied by an analog TV channel is one less piece that can be used for something else. With the remarkable technologies that now exist--WiMax, EVDO, and soon LTE--policymakers must realize that spectrum has a whole lot of potential and none of it involves analog anything. Compare the number of people who rely on TV broadcasts to the number of people who subscribe to mobile phone service, and it's quite clear which type of spectrum use is more popular among consumers.

more than 5 years ago
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DTV Coupon Program Out of Money

pin0chet Re:Why is the government even subsidizing this? (591 comments)

You forgot one important justification for the DTV changeover: ending a massively wasteful use of spectrum.

A single analog TV channel uses a 6 Mhz of spectrum. And most channels sit vacant to avoid interference. Just four channels--24hz--is enough bandwidth to run a full-fledged mobile 3G network. You tell me what's a smarter way to use that chunk of spectrum.

Besides, relatively few people even get television from an antenna anymore. Technological advances have always caused some to lag behind--why should TV be any different? I don't get why people just assume that it's in the public's interest for broadcasters to control massive quantities of spectrum when pretty much every engineer and economist has demonstrated that broadcasting analog television signals is a complete waste of spectrum.

I see why you might think that market didn't "demand" a conversion to digital broadcasting, that's only because the people who benefited from the analog era had no incentive to move on.

Command-and-control spectrum allocation is on the way out. Letting politically powerful lobbies like the National Association of Broadcasters dictate how the public airwaves are used is unacceptable. We need to figure out a way to use spectrum intelligently, and the DTV conversion is a good step in that direction.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Encrypt Your Smartphone -- Or Else

pin0chet pin0chet writes  |  more than 3 years ago

pin0chet (963774) writes "Modern smartphones contain ever-increasing volumes of our private personal data — from text messages to images to emails — yet many smartphone security features can easily be circumvented by thieves or police officers equipped with off-the-shelf forensics equipment. Worse, thanks to a recent California Supreme Court ruling, police officers may be able to search your smartphone for hours without a warrant if you're arrested for any reason. Ars Technica has an article exploring the legal issues surrounding cell phone searches and explaining how you can safeguard your smartphone from the prying eyes of law enforcement officers."
Link to Original Source
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One Policy, One System, Universal Service

pin0chet pin0chet writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pin0chet writes "In response to the FCC's Notice of Inquiry on 'a national broadband plan for our future,' telcos and advocacy groups have submitted thousands of pages of comments. Unfortunately, it seems many of them have forgotten the biggest mistake telecom regulators ever made:

The American Telephone and Telegraph Company, or "Ma Bell," operated its telephone monopoly for the better part of the 20th century. For sixty years, regulators nurtured Ma Bell's control of the industry, convinced that the telephone market was a natural monopoly...Today, as the FCC invites comments on "a national broadband plan for our future," no one seriously believes that telecom monopolies are a good idea...[yet many of the proposed new rules] are precisely what created the Bell monopoly in the first place."
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Video games and school shootings--Moral panic?

pin0chet pin0chet writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pin0chet (963774) writes "An important new paper by researcher Chris Ferguson, discussed on ArsTechnica here, explores the public frenzy over video games that inevitably erupts whenever a school shooting occurs. Ferguson argues that the mass media, professional activists, and politicians are to blame for moral panics over video games that inevitably occur after school shootings. Ferguson also found that data linking video games with violent behavior is sparse and that the public fixation on gaming as a cause of violence is entirely off base. As a Technology Liberation Front article points out, real-world statistics strongly suggest that societal trends point toward less--not more--violence as video games have become more prevalent in our society."

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