Adam Bell 's Techdirt Comments

Latest Comments (150) comment rss

  • How The DMCA's Digital Locks Provision Allowed A Company To Delete A URL From Adblock Lists

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2017 @ 04:31pm

    I should add to that that I block ads on Techdirt too -- but I respond to their funding drives.

  • How The DMCA's Digital Locks Provision Allowed A Company To Delete A URL From Adblock Lists

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 14 Aug, 2017 @ 04:30pm

    Dear Admiral

    I'm a strict follower of the DannyB philosophy. If I'm not allowed to block the opening ad before I can see content, I NEVER see the content -- I just click away. Same applies to sports videos as to news feeds. If it starts with an inbuilt ad, I click away promptly.

  • Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 12 Mar, 2017 @ 01:56pm

    Traveling in the USA with cash.

    I used to carry cash just under the reporting limit at the US/Canadian border ($10,000) for the simplest of reasons:

    1) I receive part of my income in US dollars and keep them in a US dollar account in Canada.
    2) Converting currencies involves a bank conversion charge of about 3-3.5%
    3) Using a Canadian credit card in the USA invokes an additional fee for conversion.

    So, on a shopping trip with my wife, I pay for rooms in cash, she pays for purchases in cash. Simple.

  • Techdirt Survival Fund: I Support Journalism

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 19 Feb, 2017 @ 09:25am

    Email Sent in 1976

    I sent my first email from a Digital Equipment Corp VAX via ARPANET from my office at MIT to a colleague on sabbatical at the University of Tokyo in 1976. The only difference between that and today's email systems was that routing was up to you, e.g., you had to specify how the mail would hop to its destination.

    I contributed.

  • Google's Self-Driving Car Causes First Accident, As Programmers Try To Balance Human Simulacrum And Perfection

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 01 Mar, 2016 @ 12:12pm

    Google changes rules

    The algorithm has apparently changed to recognize what every boater knows -- the right of way rules yield to "bigger". Most folks don't challenge busses or giant dump trucks in any situation and most large vehicle drives take advantage of that.

  • Lawmakers Speak Out On Apple Being Forced To Create Backdoors; Some Wisely, Some Ignorantly

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 18 Feb, 2016 @ 05:39pm

    Everyone is assuming that the FBI cannot already break into that phone. If they can, they clearly don't want it known. By attempting to force Apple to do the deed they set the precedent they need to force every phone company to comply. Separate events, really.

  • PayPal Continues To Drive People To Bitcoin And Other Solutions As It Starts Cutting Off VPNs & Open Internet Solutions

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 06 Feb, 2016 @ 09:07am

    Canadians Often Agree with Cliff

    I haven't used Paypal for so long that I can no longer remember what they did to deserve my drop out. Like several others here, they pissed me off in early days and I never went back. If, as someone said, Paypal is the only payment option offered there's no sale. Haven't bought or sold anything on eBay for years for the same reasons.

    It's a story oft repeated. A company invents a really clever way of doing something, think they've got a monopoly, and sometimes take a very long time to discover that they're encouraging competitors.

  • UK's Snooper's Charter Includes Mandatory Backdoors For Encryption

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 04 Nov, 2015 @ 08:03am

    Foreign Phones

    What about folks who travel to the UK with an encrypted phone? Will they be denied roaming service by UK providers? Will it become impossible to use the Wi-Fi system in your hotel if you're from away? Tourism might take a serious knock -- I, for one, wouldn't go to England because I have an iPhone and would want to use it.

    In addition, aren't "pirate" services likely to spring up all around the UK? "Roam with us -- we can't decrypt your phone". Be interesting too to see what foreign embassies have to say about this -- are they to be unencrypted too?

  • Australia Ploughing Ahead With TPP Negotiations Even Though It Has Never Checked If Any Previous Trade Agreement Was Beneficial

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 23 Jul, 2015 @ 08:00am


    "... It Has Never Checked If Any Previous Trade Agreement Was Beneficial."

    Glyn is missing the point here. Beneficial to whom? This is not about the general population or economy of Australia, it's about legacies for politicians.

    And c'mon now; name any country anywhere that ever checks whether any new law, agreement or regulation actually produces the intended result.

  • Washington Post Observes Encryption War 2.0 For Several Months, Learns Absolutely Nothing

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 20 Jul, 2015 @ 08:47am

    Golden Key

    The two key luggage lock is the perfect exemplar of why a government-held "golden key" is a laughable concept. Who is most likely to steal from your luggage? The same folks for whom you must provide a key.

  • Keurig CEO Sort Of (But Not Really) Apologizes For Company's Ridiculous Foray Into Obnoxious Coffee DRM

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 08 May, 2015 @ 12:57pm


    I've owned a Keurig 1.0 for quite a while now and I've probably run 5 kinds of tea (not Keurig) and 6 kinds of coffee (not Keurig) through it several times a day. Never had any of those risky foreign (not Keurig) K-cups fail in any way.

  • Daily Deal: Premium Aluminum 4-Port USB Clamp Hub

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 28 Apr, 2015 @ 01:16pm

    Daily Deal

    Site refuses to let me, an international potential customer, log in.

  • Drug Dealers Swapping Down To Old Cellphones To Stay One Step Ahead In The 'Tech Arms Race'

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 02 Feb, 2015 @ 05:07pm

    My wife and I have an old pair of Doro clamshell phones. Battery lasts a long time, no advanced features, not even a camera, very short phonebooks -- each other and kids. Thinking we'll keep them for a while.

  • Spying On Sharing: Canada's Intelligence Agency Collecting Data And IP Addresses From Free File-Sharing Sites

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 28 Jan, 2015 @ 03:25pm

    Re: Terrorism, Child Porn, Drug Smuggling......

    "It has never been about stopping terrorism. That's just the buzz word they use to justify what they do."

    Agree. Given their abysmally poor record in actually catching anyone anywhere the primary motivation is to increase their budgets by adapting the appropriate buzz phrase.

  • IRS Also More Than Willing To Steal Money Under The Pretense Of Crime Fighting

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 28 Oct, 2014 @ 08:11am


    Is the US becoming a government-run kleptocracy? Beginning to look like it.

  • Netflix/CRTC To Showdown Over Confidential Business Information The Government Refuses To Protect

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 23 Sep, 2014 @ 04:16pm

    CRTC vs Netflix

    As a Canadian who has always sneered at CRTC's Canadian Content provisions preferring to let the marketplace rule what's available, I practically cheered when the news reported that they'd said "no f'ing way" to the data request. What particularly surprised me during the initial exchange was that the commission members seemed surprised by this.

    If this all goes against Netflix and the CRTC wants to tax them, then I hope they discontinue Netflix in Canada for two reasons. First, it sets a dreadful precedent that an Internet company should be treated like a TV company, and second, they have a substantial following here in Canada and I'd like to see the CRTC eat the uproar if Netflix buzzes off. Of course most folks will still watch as before because a service will spring up in the US to let them do so via Tor, say.

  • Canadian News Outlet Warns Canadians That US Law Enforcement Officers Will Pull Them Over And Seize Their Cash

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 16 Sep, 2014 @ 05:00pm

    Traveling in the USA with cash.

    For 15 years now, my wife and I have avoided cross-border credit card fees and the exchange rate agio by using the income from two small US retirement funds from 15 years I taught at university there long ago. Instead of converting it, I saved it for fall and spring two-week long trips to the the US during which we'd pay for everything in cash; motels, meals, all purchases. Nothing went on a credit card. Traveler's Checks are a PITA.

    This fall instead of Christmas shopping for a bunch of grandkids, eating, leaf watching, etc. in New England, we're going to Montreal. I certainly don't want to risk losing the amount we usually spent but the US economy certainly has from now on. We're off to Montreal instead this fall.

  • The FBI's Criminal Database Is Filling Up With Non-Criminals And No One In Law Enforcement Seems To Care

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 22 Aug, 2014 @ 04:26pm

    Arrest Records

    In Canada, there are 2.9 million records that include not guilties and discharged cases, but while Police can view these "non-conviction dispositions" the RCMP does not "generally" release that information to employers or border guards, said a spokesperson for RCMP, which maintains the database. The federal Criminal Records Act prohibits police from disclosing convictions for which a pardon has been granted.

  • Google Struggling To Deal With Right To Be Forgotten Requests — Will Now Delete Wikipedia Page From Search Results

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 04 Aug, 2014 @ 05:23pm

    What astonishes me that when it is clear that a court does not understand what it is dealing with that there is no recourse, no "what the court has ruled is impossible to do" hearing or panel. Technology is way past the average aging judge.

  • What Makes You Tell Others About Techdirt?

    Adam Bell ( profile ), 02 Aug, 2014 @ 10:47am

    I subscribe to Techdirt's RSS feed and so often read a particular story and end up reading the whole next/previous string for the article. Headlines are a strong inducement for reading on, but I never read attached documents and only rarely follow links -- I regard them as footnotes.

    As a retired engineering professor, I favor the "techie" stuff and as a citizen with normal proclivities for privacy even though I've really nothing to hide (I've never been one to bare my soul and I am law-abiding), I follow the whole Snowden story and its spin-offs.

    I rarely read the comments on an article beyond the point of the first that is snarky or a straw man argument, but I always read your analysis of the best of the week's insightful and funny comments.

Next >>