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US Supreme Court Says Wiretapping Immunity Will Stand

psiphiorg Re:so, basically they are saying... (203 comments)

Sometimes there are multiple cases which offer similar questions but different facts. If they pick one case that has a lot of complicating factors, where they might not even be able to get to the main question they want to answer because an "easier" solution comes up to get rid of the problem, that's an ineffective use of the court's time. Better to take the case that gets to the heart of the question and ensure that they can actually be effective.

about 2 years ago

Facebook Privacy Boosted As Private Message 'Leak' Is Dismissed

psiphiorg An easily disproven claim (44 comments)

I remember checking into the claim of a security change when the claim was first made. It was easily disproven by checking my Facebook E-mail notifications from 2007. Every message that had been identified as a private message was not on my wall, and every message that was on my wall had been identified as a wall post.

about 2 years ago

First-Sale Doctrine Lost Overseas

psiphiorg Re:No precedential force (775 comments)

It should also be noted that Costco only loses this particular defense. The case now resumes back in the District Circuit, where Costco can raise other defenses to Omega's claims. Any of those other defenses could potentially save them, but of course the District Court's rulings on whether those defenses may be used can be appealed to the Ninth Circuit and potentially the Supreme Court again.

And once all of these preliminary matters have been heard, then the actual trial will begin, and whichever side loses can appeal the decision in the case up to the Circuit Court, and even the Supreme Court.


more than 3 years ago

Illinois Bans Social Network Use By Sex Offenders

psiphiorg Re:Incoming 1st Amendment Challenge (587 comments)

The main problem with the Illinois law is not that it limits free speech, but that it is ex-post facto sentencing.

No, it's not. From the text of the law (Public Act 096-0262):

[730 ILCS 5/3-3-7(a) ...] The conditions of every parole and mandatory supervised release are that the subject:
(7.12) if convicted of a sex offense [...definition location...] committed on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, refrain from accessing or using a social networking website [...definition location...];

[730 ILCS 5/5-6-3(a)] The conditions of probation and of conditional discharge shall be that the person:
(8.9) if convicted of a sex offense [...definition location...] committed on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, refrain from accessing or using a social networking website [...definition location...];

[730 ILCS 5/5-6-3.1] (s) An offender placed on supervision for a sex offense [...definition location...] committed on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly shall refrain from accessing or using a social networking website [...definition location...].

There is nothing ex post facto about this law. It only applies to people who are convicted of crimes committed after the law takes effect.


more than 5 years ago

Database Error Costs Social Security Victims $500M

psiphiorg Re:DB indexed on the wrong key, obviously ... (299 comments)

when a 1500 page bill lands on a congresscritter's desk 2-3 days before the vote, what do you expect?

I expect them to vote "No", on the grounds that they don't know whether it's a good bill or not. Sure, whoever gave them the document said it was a good bill, but a Congressman should know better than to trust another Congressman.


more than 5 years ago

NASA Sticking To Imperial Units For Shuttle Replacement

psiphiorg Re:Imperial measurements are for song lyrics *only (901 comments)

"Driving speeds are in KM/H and distances in KM and meters, but western Canada was surveyed in miles, so we have mile roads, townships, acres, etc."

Fascinating... Canada has its own unique unit, the township, which apparently isn't in use anywhere else. In the US, a township is a political or organizational area which may be of any size. Actually, it looks like it is that way in much of Canada as well; it's only in a few provinces where "township" refers to a 6 mi × 6 mi square.


more than 5 years ago

SSN Required To Buy Palm Pre

psiphiorg Re:And? (543 comments)

I've never been able to make a collect call to a cell phone. I'm told that that is because cell phone providers block incoming collect calls.


more than 5 years ago

Harlan Ellison Sues For "Star Trek" Episode

psiphiorg Re:wow (483 comments)

"why is this coming up now?"

Because a recent novel trilogy—Crucible by David R. George, III—was based significantly on that episode (among others). The books came out in late 2006, and Harlan announced at that time that he was planning to sue Pocket Books/Paramount to either scrap the books or get gobs of money.

As for why it took two and a half years from "I'll sue!" to actually suing, I'd imagine that his lawyer(s) tried negotiating with Paramount/Pocket first.


more than 5 years ago

Illinois Declares Pluto a Planet

psiphiorg Re:Too right! (512 comments)

"It changes how they define planets. They have created a new piece technical legal jargon, 'planet.' All this means is that when you are talking to the government, and in the far-fetched situation where the word 'planet' comes up, you and the government are speaking a different language."

Actually, it means that astronomers and the Illinois government are speaking a different language. People are free to use the word "planet" as it's defined in the English language, and don't have to use it in the way that a small group of scientists use it, nor in the way that a small group of politicians use it.

If the Illinois government used the word "planet" around me, they'd be using it the same way that I do.


more than 5 years ago

Anyone Besides Zune Owners With New Year's Crashes?

psiphiorg Gmail crashed for me on January 1... (480 comments)

It may just be a coincidence, but my Gmail account became "disabled" on January 1. When I tried to log in the evening of the 1st, it came back with the message "Sorry, your account has been disabled. [?]". The question mark was a link to instructions on how to re-enable it, but those instructions are apparently out of date. They say that if your account is disabled, you can enter your username and password, and you'll be presented with a CAPTCHA; if you enter that, you'll be allowed to log in. However, I was never presented with a CAPTCHA, so I can't complete the steps.

Has this Gmail outage affected anybody else? Is this a repeat of the December 6th outage, or is it just me?


more than 5 years ago

EA Hit By Class-Action Suit Over Spore DRM

psiphiorg Wrong word (538 comments)

Several times in the PDF, the word "uninstallable" is used. However, it is used incorrectly. If the program actually were "uninstallable", then one of two things would be the case: (1) you would be able to uninstall it, or (2) you would not be able to install it.

Neither of these is the case. I believe the word the author was looking for was "ununinstallable", meaning that it could not be uninstalled.

Let's hope the lawsuit is undismissable because of this typo.


more than 5 years ago


psiphiorg hasn't submitted any stories.



First entry!

psiphiorg psiphiorg writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Well isn't this interesting? My very own user journal at slashdot. I'd been considering some sort of weblog for a while, and this just might be a nice place to start one.

I wish I could get rid of my uninvited guest. And figure out where he's keeping the key, since I thought I'd changed all the locks. Something's still open, though, and I need to figure out what it is so I can have it shut and sealed.

I'm not sure what else to write about today. Maybe I'll think of something inspiring and thought-provoking, something worthy of much attention, something sidesplittingly funny, or something yellow. Or maybe not. Stay tuned.


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