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  • Nov 29th, 2016 @ 1:36pm

    The problem is....

    ...They are kinda right...

    "Social Media" is kinda a cesspool...

    Just mentioning "YouTube Comment Section" is enough to make anyone with enough experience with it cringe.

    Twitter... Lets not even get started with that one...

    Facebook, etc. Don't have a problem with "Fake News", they have a more fundamental problem that they don't have a product to sell other than users, their data, and their attention. "Fake News" is only a symptom, not the sickness. (Not like 'I' know how to fix it, I can just recognize the problem)

    Hell look at TechDirt, it lets idiots like me post... ;)

    All of this being said... Governments trying to crack down on one of the few areas where people can -actually- have freedom of speech is nothing more than a power grab.

  • Nov 23rd, 2016 @ 4:07am

    If the EFF ever needed to put "Broken by Design" stickers on something...

    I hate to sound like a 'truther' conspiracy theorist... but I have my masters in CS focusing on Hybrid & Embedded systems...

    And I can pretty much guarantee that if someone with enough money and motivation wanted to... they could steal an election on the state level. Several states (PA is one of them IIRC, I know TN is one too but it matters less for this election since it isn't a 'swing state' ) to this day have e-voting machines that have -0- paper trail, and so once you vote... you have no idea what bits are being flipped inside the machine...

    XKCD got this right years and years ago... if your voting machine needs to run anti-virus... that is like your kindergarten teacher telling you he always wears a condom while teaching... "sure... its 'additional safety'... but he should NEVER EVER NEED IT"... https://xkcd.com/463/

    2004 Ohio had voting 'irregularities' existed where the DEEPEST BLUE areas voted for the most liberal judge in living memory... and Bush on the same ballots... Hell, 2 voting officials went to jail in Cleveland for 'mishandling of voting material' or w/e the 'exact' charge was https://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/1/25/294599/-

    But in ohio that year... none or almost none of the voting machines had paper trails.. (I know because I was the head elections official for my local precinct on election day)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_United_States_election_voting_controversies



    Everyone (except those who are: 1) paid to think otherwise, 2) job requires them to not think so) 'knows' this is a possibility/threat to Democracy... but when one political party gains an advantage from anything that suppresses voter turnout, and screams all the time about "Voter Fraud" ... Any talk bringing up Voting machines and "Election Fraud"(completely different than voter fraud, and much more dangerous) becomes politically tainted...

  • Nov 8th, 2016 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Re:

    "Surely if such a law is on the frontlines of preventing vote buying, then we'd see much more evidence of vote buying in the 21 states where ballot selfies are legal, no?"

    As a former Head Elections Official for my precinct I can tell you that you being either naive or disingenuous. There are very good reasons why ballots are secret (Unless the person themselves invites in someone else to assist them with the ballot, depending on state). The reason is because we HAD voter -intimidation- rackets in the past, and that is why the system is setup the way it is now.

    Simple Example:

    If you work at a local coal mine and your boss tells you that you 'must' vote for candidate A... then he can fire you for 'being rude' or whatever BS made up excuse he uses when he finds out you voted candidate B...

    "Vote buying" really isn't the reason this law exists(Even if that is the reason why it was 'extended' to include selfies in the ballot box)... it exists to protect those who are vulnerable to out-sized influence from those who can impact their lives. (The poor, minorities, single parents, etc. (yes can overlap)).

    I specifically asked a lot of these questions when I was undergoing my election day training... to the point where I ended up having to go ask a local political science/history professor.

    I'd say voter/vote/election protection outweighs this 'single' form of 'speech' (which we all know has limits on it already, such as 'fire in theater' or promoting violence, or even 'talking about assassinating POTUS', etc.)

  • Nov 2nd, 2016 @ 5:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    "why is it asking the Thai government to use diplomatic channels to make an official request?"

    Easy. To get help from their home country, and to show that they aren't a Thai company.

  • Oct 28th, 2016 @ 7:09am

    Am I the only one....?

    Who thinks this picture actually helps his reputation... because look at that girl he is dancing with...

    If he can still get a girl like that with that stupid haircut, it means he has a LOT going for him other than just physical appearance...

    *shrugs*

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 1:43am

    Re: Are we even reading the same article here?

    Agreed, I'm glad someone pointed out this part since in my comment I decided to approach it from the other end of the article with his blanket statement about it 'being good for consumers' w/o any supporting evidence, etc.

  • Oct 21st, 2016 @ 1:40am

    Statement without supporting evidence

    "That's good for customers" This statement doesn't have any supporting evidence for it.

    "Companies dealing in the creation of physical goods now must make products that are impossible to copy exactly from the get go, by focusing on a special feature they can protect, ..."

    Actually I don't know if that -is- good for customers. I'd think that the owner of Stikbox (which did R&D a novel idea) would be less likely to invest a lot of money into further R&D if they have a lesser expectation of ROI. What about inventors who invent something that -is- revolutionary, but -is- easy to copy... (An example of that would be the lightning rod (which yes, I know Ben Franklin didn't patent it so as to save more lives, but still...)).

    Brand loyalty is fine, but requiring inventors to make 'needlessly complex' parts/etc. just for the sake of preventing cheap knock-off Chinese clones (for a short time) I'd argue is ANTI-Consumer. In many ways... Hurts R&D, also hurts people's ability to fix their own products. And, it potentially hurts aftermarket accessories/etc.

  • Sep 8th, 2016 @ 7:18am

    'Via Apps' means NOTHING TO ME

    As someone who teaches Android development... I can pretty much guarantee that they won't make an Android App.

    The APK (binary) would be ripped out of the device (whatever it is) so fast... de-compiled... and then inspected SOO FAST that it would make the cable installer's head spin.

    Then those new APKs would be able to be 'upgraded' with functionality that Comcast/etc. want you to pay for otherwise... such as recording shows...(or whatever they come up with), etc.

    Uhh... you know what...

    Nevermnid... I mean an Android App would be ideal, it would be perfectly secure, no one would abuse it, and it would let you put whatever restrictions you want on it... I promise...

  • Oct 27th, 2013 @ 6:36pm

    How I read this on the RSS feed....

    I read it as

    "mark-hamills-favorite-techdirt-posts-week"

    Am I the only one? I was disappointed that Luke wasn't the author ;)

  • Oct 16th, 2013 @ 8:03pm

    Re:

    as long as the car is made by Telsa I think you meant... ;)

    But, honestly, I'd take a self driving car with GOOG software, from pretty much any manf.

    Especially when they start to realize that people such as myself just want a car from point A to point B , and not about all the other bells and whistles, if the car has AC/heat and a set of speakers with an audio jack input, then I don't care if it is bright pink and shaped like tear drop.

    I don't care about a sun roof, power windows, power seats, XM radio, or anything else like that...

    ....Though I would like a refit to be able to lay completely flat and sleep while it drives me to go see family 9 hours away, that way I can just go to sleep (maybe having to wake up to get gas) and then wake up at 'home' , etc.

    but normally, I just want to be able to get myself and one other person and some 'stuff'(groceries, or w/e) to where I want to go, which is most of the time, me from work and back.

  • Jun 14th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    XBOX One ... aka.. Xbox (D)One

    So the key line in this for gamers and people interested in the new video game consoles.. is:

    "Of course, it appears that some companies, like Microsoft and the telcos are much more comfortable with providing info to the government. "

    Yeah... Microsoft... Try convincing people that you should be trusted with 1080p HD cameras in people's living rooms/bedrooms with highly sensitive microphones that are REQUIRED to online... I don't care what you say about "wanting to protect my privacy", I don't care what you say... at all... Because you didn't... fight for my rights when it mattered...

    Just imagine how quickly the DOJ or DAs will ask for the courts to allow wiretapping the video/audio of xbox one(s)... Is going to happen immediately. How amazing would that be for police to WATCH the suspect in 1080p HD camera... that THE SUSPECT put in his own house...

    *doesn't want to be paranoid... but geeze... buying this system is just asking for trouble....* And all this news coming out the week before/of E3, the largest video game conference there is... is HORRIBLE timing for MS.

  • Aug 1st, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: Another thing

    I agree with your statement, but there is false dichotomy that I feel is being created with Mike's and your statements.

    It is very true that other industries shouldn't be forced to help prop up other industries... But that doesn't mean that that "if government needs to step [in] to help your business model you shouldn't be in business". There are some very evident business industries that the gov't _should_ be assisting. (and potentially levying taxes on other industries or activities to pay for such assistance.)

    1) renewable energies: Solar (thermal/PV/whatever else)
    2) geo-thermal
    3) fusion
    4) wind
    ... etc.
    Because "profit" to a nation or a state can be measured in more ways than just purely instant $. A government ranging from township to federal helping a company in any of the above industries which aren't yet profitable, but will be in the future(and even if they aren't we as a society will need those technologies for self-sufficiently) , and therefore is an investment for the future.

    This is kinda a rant, but it feels like it needed saying.

  • Jul 25th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Whut

    The reason is that this "law/rule/whatever" is NOT meant to be enforced, but to be there in the grab bag of "we don't like what you are doing, so we can kick you out/arrest you because of...."

    This is how laws that seem "silly" work, they aren't meant to be enforced _unless_ you piss off a police officer, or a person who can call a police officer.

    So this rule won't be enforced... unless NBC thinks you are recording video and streaming it online. And then they will say you are tethering to your camera... or w/e.

  • Jul 18th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    Lack of foresight

    I think this will be used a LOT by big companies such as Google, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, ASUS.... and anyone else Apple is suing...

    (Maybe even Apple too... I guess...)

    This alone will really help the mobile computing space ;)

  • Jun 21st, 2012 @ 1:00am

    Re: Re: ITARded

    I would say "yes silly you", but perhaps I wasn't clear, the banned items are of any thing that can be used by their military that has a dual use(so in this case, the ipad/iphone for its encryption capabilities, or perhaps its 3d modeling/rendering capabilities ( I don't know or care really)

    But to explain why this is important:
    Two words: Manhattan Project

    Think about what would have happened if that information had been given to Germany in 1944.

    The idea of giving either science/technology/goods to nations that are hostile towards you is not a good idea. The level of threat an ipad has is much lower than the secrets of the a-bomb... but still, you don't purposely allow your enemy nations to get your goods/knowledge.

    There are exceptions for NGO humanitarian organizations to give them basic medical services, such as the Red Cross (Red Crescent in Islamic nations)... But the only people who know/care about that are the NGOs and medical manfs.

  • Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:52am

    Re: Re: Re: ITARded

    The entire law itself needs work. Even congress has said so.

    One of the research directors at a national lab. was in violation of ITAR, and was working to correct it. So... it is VERY hard to be in full compliance.

    However, that doesn't mean Apple doesn't have to follow that law as it is now. Perhaps to be more fair about it, they should require every person to fill out an e-form stating that they will not export this item to the . This might work for CYA legally, but I don't know on how effective it would be overall. But... it's a start. Also, another idea would be to train every employee to ask where the phone is headed to every customer, same basic idea.

  • Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:32am

    Re: ITARded

    "The iPad was to be a gift for her cousin who lives in Iran."-From the article

    The Apple employee did the right thing here legally. Perhaps the clerk was overzealous, and possibly outside the words of the law (and I don't think they were...) but... they were definitely doing the right thing in the spirit of the law. Preventing Iran from obtaining American Technology that has a "dual use"(this is a key word) as a military object.

  • Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:27am

    Re:

    Actually YES, it IS Apple's job to stop the export of this product to Iran. (See my post below)

    ITAR is taken VERY SERIOUSLY. First story I found Googling about the WELL known story from Tenn about ITAR violations

    Perhaps you've never had to worry about this law, and great for you if you haven't. But for those of use who do... This is a well known topic.

    TRUST ME... ITAR is not something you want to mess with.

  • Jun 21st, 2012 @ 12:23am

    ITARded

    This is in relation to ITAR regulations :Govt's ITAR Regulations and ITAR on Wikipedia

    Basically Apple is being over zealous of ITAR regulations, and not taking the time to identify proper persons of who can/can not purchase "dual use" technology(What an Ipad would count as).

    Iran is one of the nations that are on the _strictest_ export level ... basically you can't export ANYTHING to Iran.

    US Permanent Residents (no matter their national heritage) don't fall into this category because they count as a "U.S. Person"[list below]. And if they do take it to IRAN, it is that person's own fault, not Apple's. (dual citizenship/etc is another thing... but w/e)

    A "U.S. person" can be
    a U.S. citizen;
    a permanent resident who does not work for a foreign company, a foreign government, or a foreign governmental agency/organization;
    a political asylee;
    a part of the U.S. government, or
    a corporation, business, organization, or group that is incorporated in the United States under U.S. law.[20]

    Hope this adds some clarity to the discussion. This is not an "Anti-Muslim" policy. It is the law to stop our national enemies from benefiting from our science/technology. N.Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria (and a few others that I can't think of off the top of my head are on that list, some are coincidentally Islamic, some aren't, that isn't a deciding factor at all, their relationship with the US is what puts you on the ITAR banned list.)

  • Jun 19th, 2012 @ 7:43am

    NSA Exempt from most US laws anyways

    My understanding is that the NSA is exempt from most US laws anyways. (I'm not kidding)

    I know for a fact that they can legally hack into other departments of the gov't because they run the military's college cyber defense contest, since they are the only ones legally able to hack into (any branch of) the military's networks.

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