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FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

spinkham Re:Because it's wireless. (303 comments)

No, you may not. Under what exact circumstances the police may or may not is more dicey, but not too relevant to this case.

Stingrays are not collecting voice data, but metadata. More like a pen register than a phone line tap, but legally those require

The real truth is we don't have any real legal precedent on whether these are legal with or without warrants or not, as they and their workings have been systematically hidden from the courts. The FBI has been confiscating both the hardware and all details about them whenever people discover local law enforcement has been using them, sometimes in defiance of local judicial rulings.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

spinkham Re:Excercise and diet (372 comments)

Quantify your activity level and improve it.

The FitBit (or Nike Fuel, or Jawbone up, or even a basic pedometer) is a nifty tool to help you quantify who much you move in an average day, and to encourage you to improve it.

about 2 years ago

Why We Love Firefox, and Why We Hate It

spinkham Re:Firefox - spiritual benefits (665 comments)

Actually, startup and memory use is the reason I don't use Chrome.

Firefox has a setting to only load tabs when you click on them, and Chrome doesn't. Because of how many tabs I keep open from session to session, Firefox is a much better choice for me at the moment.

If and when Chrome ever closes this bug, I may well jump ship too. But Firefox 15 will be out in a few weeks, and many of the memory leaks will be fixed, so we'll see. ;-)

more than 2 years ago

Curt Schilling's 38 Studios Struggling Financially

spinkham Re:who? (158 comments)

It's vaguely interesting to me because he used to be my aunt and uncle's next door neighbor in Kennet Square, PA. He seemed to be a nice guy, but his bulldogs were a bit over the top.

I heard he played some stick-ball game or something also, but I must admit I don't care about that very much...

more than 2 years ago

US Judge Rules Against German Microsoft Injunction

spinkham Clash of the Titans (272 comments)

Motorola Mobility is now a subsidiary of Google.

According to this article, the actions started in Nov 2010, before the acquisition, but it's now a patent war case of Google vs Microsoft.

more than 2 years ago

Cops Can Crack an iPhone In Under Two Minutes

spinkham Re:We need full phone encryption. (375 comments)

iOS has "full drive encryption" in iOS 4 and later.

It's just protected by a 4 digit pin which can be easily brute forced by default.

You can use a stronger passcode, but you have to type it on every unlock so few do.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way To Deal With Roving TSA Teams?

spinkham Re:Well... (1059 comments)

Oh, they do. They may not care what is *right*, but they care what the people want.

If you want to get the attention of an elected official, it's much more effective to appeal to their pocketbook or need for campaign volunteers than to their sense of decency,

about 3 years ago

Will Firefox Lose Google Funding?

spinkham Re:New versioning scheme (644 comments)

They do have a stable SDK with forward compatibility now, just most extensions were not written to use it as they were written before it was released. Like Chrome's API, it's less powerful than the XUL addons, but it covers what 95+% of addons need.

IMHO they should have released the SDK first and pushed for developers to use it, and then started rapid release, but that's not how they did it. ;-)

It's a legacy problem like that many other systems have. Getting big enough that people bitch about some of the early imperfect decisions you made is a problem many devs would like to have. ;-)

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Handling and Cleaning Up a Large Personal Email Archive?

spinkham IMAP (167 comments)

IMAP is another potential answer.

I run Dovecot locally, and it stores every mail I've ever received, indexed for quick searches.

This way I can get my mail with all history and a fast search index on all my devices also.

more than 3 years ago

iPhone Auto-Combusts On Australian Airplane

spinkham Amazing! (277 comments)

Energetic chemistry is energetic.

Go find some RC enthusiasts and ask them if they've seen LiPos burn. There's a good chance they have.

That's why we charge our batteries in a lipo bag or other fireproof container.

Of course, RC batteries are abused much more than those in phones, but it's highly non-surprising that occasionally one lights on fire.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Science Sights To See?

spinkham My search must be broken (363 comments)

Is it really possible that in 80 posts, no one has suggested The Geek Atlas?

It's a book of 128 geeky sites to visit, with background stories and science discussions for each one, as well as the normal location and logistic information.

There's also a website with maps and other content, as well as an iOS app that will give you info on the places closest to you and other handy reference info.

more than 3 years ago

88-Year-Old Inventor Hassled By the DEA

spinkham Re:Iodine isn't freely available (757 comments)

It's also damn easy to make.


You'd have to be fairly confident in your chemistry skills to put the result in drinking water purifier, but for home chemistry and presumably for whatever it's used for in meth production(yeah, really don't feel like googling that), it should be fine.

So once again, our laws only hurt the legal users.

more than 3 years ago

TSA's VIPR Bites Rail, Bus, and Ferry Passengers

spinkham Re:And? (658 comments)

Luckily there are people who can do something who care.

TSA operates with the blessing of local law enforcement and the property owner of where they are. They have no jurisdiction, nor law enforcement powers, and are totally dependent on these individuals.

From wikipedia:

Savannah incident - Amtrak temporarily bans VIPR teams, 2011
In early 2011, a TSA VIPR detained and patted down people at an Amtrak station in Savannah, Georgia. The incident became rather controversial. According to Trains magazine, Amtrak Police Chief John O'Connor described the TSA behavior as illegal, and in violation of Amtrak policy. The incident led Amtrak to temporarily ban VIPR teams from Amtrak property.

more than 3 years ago

Google Reader's Social Features Merging With Google+

spinkham Re:Meh (100 comments)

Yes grammer nazi, I care a very little bit, such that I could in fact care less, but not very much less.

more than 3 years ago

Google Reader's Social Features Merging With Google+

spinkham Meh (100 comments)

As long as it still works as a sync agent for Reeder on Mac and iOS, I could care less. Reeder is so much better than the Reader interface anyway.

more than 3 years ago


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