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  • Aug 29th, 2018 @ 10:23am

    Code words and ciphers pre-consumer electronics

    I tried to do some research and never found anything, but was there never any legal precedent set for someone being forced to give up a code word or cipher prior to consumer electronics?

    It seems like it would have been common for people who knew a call might be recorded to use code words for certain activities. Has a court ever ruled that a defendant must give up their private definition to a code word?

    Cryptography and other methods to obfuscate information has existed long before personal computing and I find it difficult to believe there isn't any legal precedent, but I can't find any.

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 11:55am

    Valid Copyright

    When I first heard of this video I started doing research on the copyright because I was interested. Now I am not a copyright lawyer so I don't know if this is all 100%.

    In 1967 you had to register your copyright within 28 years, which was what you had for your first registration length. You could then renew the copyright at the end of 28 years for additional time. The 1976 copyright act removed the need to renew your copyright registration and extended the length of time for recordings from 1967, but left the original requirement to be registered within 28 years of creation. So the question becomes did somebody register the copyright of the recording between 1967 and 1995?

    I started looking through scanned copyright registrations with 1967 and made it through a few years before I just gave up, but I never did find any registration in those first few years.

    If anybody wants to dig through scanned images from 1967-1978 and then search through the digitized records from 1978-1995 here is the link:

  • Dec 18th, 2014 @ 10:59am

    Re: Succession - imposing obligations

    It has been years since I took any law course and I never completed any law degree or become a lawyer, but I do remember some part about rules against perpetuities. I think it was 21 years after the death of the original contract holder or something like that.

    So the requirement could be valid against the estate and holders of that property for 21 years, but he died in '85 and it has gone through a secondary estate so I don't think they have any valid claim, but I could always be wrong.

    But ignoring those facts it is still ridiculous in my opinion that they are trying to force this type of an issue and make this woman fight them in court over an award they gave to a man over 60 years ago.

  • Nov 13th, 2014 @ 11:17am

    Seems 20K is a normal price

    I work for mid-sized business with 12 physical locations across three states so I get to deal with a number of providers and $20,000 seems to be a pretty common price.

    In one city there was a local provider that had a franchise agreement with the town so nobody could provide cable but them. I wanted to replace our existing T1 for $950/month with something faster and cheaper. The local cable company with wanted $23,000 and a five year agreement to provide service.

    The interesting part about their price is a different ISP that was in the neighboring town was willing to dig us private dedicated fiber for $21,100 and a five year contract.

    I have many stories about annoying ISPs and only a few stories about ISPs I like to deal with and don't seem to be trying to rip you off.

  • Apr 23rd, 2014 @ 7:38am

    Felony Charges

    Under Illinois law perjury is a Class 3 Felony punishable by two to five years in prison. If I lived in the area this happened I know I would be writing to every politician and local official demanding that the officers be put on trial and held to the same laws as everyone else.

    The only way a police force can maintain any credibility in my mind is that when a situation like this happens is to immediately have the perpetrators face prosecution for their crimes. Unfortunately most police departments in the US have developed an 'Us' vs 'The Public' attitude. They have to realize that they are citizens themselves and we are their peers with equal rights.

  • Jan 10th, 2014 @ 3:32pm


    I am actually surprised that OnStar hasn't been mentioned in any of the recent NSA scandals recently. They collect a lot of data on your driving and location and in the past they sold it to third parties so I'm sure they would be giving it to the government.

    Maybe that insider document is just in the backlog of Snowden files.

  • Jan 6th, 2014 @ 1:19pm

    A Modest Proposal

    It is a simple idea that Senators should be treated the same as other citizens. All people should have the same lack of privacy when it comes down to it.

    Shy should we treat congressmen differently by the government than any other person?

  • Aug 19th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    The NSA Defence

    Anytime somebody commits a crime now but didn't mean it they should be allowed to use "The NSA Defence".

    You weren't trying to hit the other car in the parking garage. That's OK, use the NSA Defence.

    You didn't mean to start a forest fire by not putting out your campfire. That's OK, use the NSA Defence.

    If the government can use it, why can't everyone else?

  • Jul 24th, 2013 @ 8:43am

    Think outside the box

    I know how this can be solved by the NSA, it's easy.

    National Geographic is an outside group of people, so they are probably scooping up all the metadata on every National Geographic email address. All you have to do is 'query' the system for emails that were between National Geographic and NSA agents then search those individual email accounts.

    (I can also guarantee you that if they thought somebody was leaking classified information to them they would know every employee that has ever emailed them ever within hours)

  • Apr 5th, 2013 @ 6:29pm

    He should research before he speaks.

    You would think that somebody that would look at their own numbers before trying to piss of a group of customers.

    The most recent numbers I could find show that Microsoft has moved over 66 million Xbox 360 consoles and that there are over 40 million Xbox Live users. That means that over one third of their customers don't want or use the online features of the console.

    Now I know that Microsoft has crazy amounts of cash, but I am guessing even they don't want to lose over one third of their customer base. And those numbers don't even count the people like myself that do have a Live subscription but are concerned about always online requirements to use something I have purchased.

    Source of numbers are from 2012 so they are a little old:

  • Apr 2nd, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    I Understand Cable Frustration

    I can understand the frustration required to put up a site like this after my most recent encounter with a cable company that just happened today.

    I work for a company that has locations spread across a decent sized region and one of the things I do is managing our communications (phones & internet). Because of this I have dealt with providers that range from the single town telephone coop to the big guys like Comcast, Verizon, and CenturyLink. I thought I had seen crazy after doing this for years but just today I have a new definition of crazy.

    I have a new location that is in a city that signed an exclusive franchise agreement with a cable provider years ago. Somehow, even though they are the only provider allowed in city limits, they don't have cable in the ground near our building. If I want them to bury a cable I have to pay 100% of the trenching fee. That price estimate came in at $98,000. I almost laughed in the salespersons face when I was told that price.

  • Dec 3rd, 2012 @ 8:38am

    Fast Internet Growth

    I have never understood why something 'needs to be done'. Compare the growth of the internet to our last major communications development, the telephone network.

    The telephone was developed in 1870, and by 1900 had started to take off. The most recent number I have heard is 6 of the world's 7 billion people have access to a phone line (land or cell). Almost 100 years to reach that type of penetration. The internet by contrast was developed in the 1960s and commercialized in the early 90s. It has already reached over 2 billion people. (If anyone could find penetration rates over time to compare that would be awesome)

    Now I do believe that governments can have a role in helping the internet grow, but the governments I see pushing for ITU control don't appear (to me) to have the goal in mind.

  • Jul 6th, 2011 @ 12:12pm

    More than the movie

    Some theaters are realizing people go to their locations for more than just the movie they are showing. One of our local cinemas recently showed the extended cut for all three Lord of the Rings movies over three weeks (one each week).

    They showed the movies in their largest and newest theater (the seats are actually really comfortable). I went even though I own the complete extended cut of the movies and have watched them. Many of my friends also went with me even though many of them also own the movies. We went because this was a rare chance to see the full extended cut on a huge screen with a great sound system with a dozen friends.

    It looked like they did pretty good for the turnout as well, the theater was also close to full.

  • Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:05am

    Infinity Ward's Choice

    Infinity Ward made the choice to cut out some of their biggest fans, but as a purely numbers business the group of people they cut out was extremely small.

    I feel it is sad when this happens as I am one of those people they cut out. I had been looking forward to the game for a long time and now I won't be buying it, and I would have been two sales as I have a 360 to play with my casual gaming friends, but prefer PC gaming. (I have both versions of COD4 and COD:WAW)

    I will probably borrow it from a friend for the single player story but I refuse to give them money after what they have done, even though I know it is probably going to be an insignificant gesture against such a huge game.

  • Oct 1st, 2009 @ 9:28am

    Globe in London

    Speaking of theatre that does more than simply performs a play, my friends and I had a great experience at the Globe Theatre in London.

    My friends convinced me to go to the production of Romeo and Juliet. I honestly didn’t want to go because I have never cared for theatre but agreed to go with them simply for the historic value of standing in the pit at the recreated Globe Theatre. It is probably the best memory I have from my ten days in London.

    The performers were awesome in their acting, and they kept interacting with the audience at different points. Before the play started and during the intermission, a group sang Shakespeare era songs on stage as we got let in, and at one point they were singing a love ballad and singled out my friend standing directly at the edge of the stage and all circled around her singing. During the performance they would also make their way through the pit area that was packed with people as well. When they were going to the masquerade ball, they wove through the crowd singing and one of them told the guy next to me he had strange clothes to be going to a ball.

    Overall it was a great 'experience' and a highlight of my trip, because it was more that just sitting and watching people on stage.