beltorak’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 15th, 2015 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Re: Next up ...

    That would be far too inefficient. They'll just create a Collections Department, and the theaters will only have to pay MPAA, and the MPAA will find the appropriate actors and disburse the money accordingly. Just like GEMA. It works really really well, I mean, GEMA is rolling in it!

  • Apr 14th, 2015 @ 8:49am


    As john said, it's impossible. Basically you are asking for DRM on the key. But it's literally logically impossible to hide something from someone after you've already shown it to them.

  • Apr 14th, 2015 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: The thing is...

    Stego is great for hiding from the casually curious; but a statistical sweep of all "noisy" files would reveal suspicious alterations unless you are willing to use only 1 bit in 8 for the data.

  • Apr 14th, 2015 @ 8:30am


    You got your stories wrong. It was the RSA company that defaulted DUAL_EC as the default random number generator in its BSafe product in exchange for 10 million dollars; DUAL_EC was created by the NSA and rammed through NIST's standardization practices over the objections of most of the other security professionals and cryptographers.

  • Apr 10th, 2015 @ 4:45pm

    (untitled comment)

    > CHS 1 ... asked Booker what he wanted to do. Booker answered, “Anything. Anything you think is good. I will follow you.”

    You know, at this point if there were any functional brain cells in the agent's head he would have just said "OK pal, game's over. I'm really with the FBI [flash badge], and you are really an idiot. Just keep in mind we're watching you now, and if you think you can get away with any of this jihad-y bullshit we'll be all over you like shit on rice." and cooly walk off into the sunset.

    There, crazy averted.

    OK, maybe this wouldn't be the best thing to happen, but it might make a great scene in some True Lies-esque movie.

  • Apr 8th, 2015 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: To be fair

    I don't think we can answer how effective it is in drug trafficking, since we all know the DEA has a vested interest in keeping that criminal enterprise alive, and even participates from time to time.

    I don't think I can reasonably argue that the NSA et al has a vested interest in keeping terrorists around to fly planes into our buildings. I'm not quite *that* jaded yet. I could be wrong of course....

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Unfortunately I agree with Chris. Google is doing the dev a favor, because that's how the deal is structured.

    > I think that once arbitrary decisions hurt somebody financially one can at least question the legality of such moves under anti-trust issues.

    This is in no way shape or form an anti-trust issue.

    The only fix I see* is to start turning this into a contractual relationship. If you are submitting an app to a store and the app generates revenue for you, then you should be entering into a contract with the store provider. Then you would have grounds to sue for breach of contract and possibly loss of revenue.

    'Scuse me while I go watch pigs fly and unicorns birth rainbows.

    * - and it's not a really good fix either; you would still have to have a lot of money to win the case and make it worthwhile to even file the paperwork.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: No, not really surprising at all

    why should there be a cost to operating in different legal regimes? why should there be a cost at all? let's just skip straight to the end goal here and allow corporations to sue *any* government they are under, foreign or domestic.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 12:29pm

    call me a conspiracists

    but could it be that the UK had this BIS commission this finding to gain more leverage in something *they* want out of the deal?

    without knowing what the whole deal is, it's hard to say.

    (and like any good conspiracist, i haven't bothered to find out if the UK positions are public or available, i'm just throwin it out there)

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 12:19pm

    this is straight out of animal farm

    ... Clover, who thought she remembered a definite ruling against beds, went to the end of the barn and tried to puzzle out the Seven Commandments which were inscribed there. Finding herself unable to read more than individual letters, she fetched Muriel.

    “Muriel,” she said, “read me the Fourth Commandment. Does it not say something about never sleeping in a bed?”

    With some difficulty Muriel spelt it out.

    “It says, ‘No animal shall sleep in a bed with sheets,”’ she announced finally.

    Curiously enough, Clover had not remembered that the Fourth Commandment mentioned sheets; but as it was there on the wall, it must have done so. And Squealer, who happened to be passing at this moment, attended by two or three dogs, was able to put the whole matter in its proper perspective.

    “You have heard then, comrades,” he said, “that we pigs now sleep in the beds of the farmhouse? And why not? You did not suppose, surely, that there was ever a ruling against beds? A bed merely means a place to sleep in. A pile of straw in a stall is a bed, properly regarded. The rule was against sheets, which are a human invention. We have removed the sheets from the farmhouse beds, and sleep between blankets. And very comfortable beds they are too! But not more comfortable than we need, I can tell you, comrades, with all the brainwork we have to do nowadays. You would not rob us of our repose, would you, comrades? You would not have us too tired to carry out our duties? Surely none of you wishes to see Jones back?”

    - George Orwell, Animal Farm;

  • Mar 24th, 2015 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re:

    I don't think so. Right now we know it's "legal" under section 215, but if that sunsets and they keep doing it, we still won't know it's on going, and we will be back in the dark about what authority they will be claiming it's legal under. Repeat claims of "we don't collect blah blah blah under this program".

    Does it show that I have abundance of distrust?

  • Mar 18th, 2015 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re:

    - No BitTorrent. With BitTorrent you're not just downloading; you're also forwarding what you've downloaded to other random users. In other words, publishing.

    Which is kinda weird if you look at it; it's not like you are making a zillion copies and spam-mailing it to otherwise non-active recipients; you are fulfilling a request by someone else obtaining their "generally acceptable" downloaded copy....

    But I suppose it makes sense if you take the color of the bits to matter; i.e.: it doesn't matter if the authorized publisher is handing out DVDs door to door, if you get it from the pirate bay, it's unauthorized. Or, more simply, it doesn't just matter what you got, it matters how you got it, even if you have every legal right to have it.

  • Mar 18th, 2015 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Anti-circumvention laws apply?

    I don't think the DMCA anti-circumvention clause applies. I used to think so, but a quick DDG search turned up

    That's not to say you won't be charged/sued anyway of course. And the anti-circumvention clause is still awful because it rests on the possibility of infringement instead of actual infringement. But in this case I think you are clear because the technology does not protect access to any copyrighted work.

  • Mar 18th, 2015 @ 2:20pm

    Re: What about use by others?

    unfortunately perjury requires proof they they knew they were lying; hanlon's defense neatly eviscerates this.

  • Mar 17th, 2015 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple fix that Netflix could do...

    oh yeah, i don't doubt it. i used to be a navy nuc so i am aware of a lot of sources of radiation all around us.

    but in defense of the lead aprons, while today those machines don't put out a lot of xrays (, i don't think the same thing was true decades ago when the laws that required them were made. Unfortunately I don't have any ready sources; and it wouldn't surprise me to know that am xray or two was even back then comfortably under background. we are talking about the same public/country that put a 30 year moratorium on new nuclear reactors after three mile island, even tho no appreciable effect of the leaked contamination or radiation has been measured. but, you know, "radiation", it's invisible, and it causes cancer, so it is scary.

  • Mar 17th, 2015 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Simple fix that Netflix could do...

    i thought modern TV sets just show the blue screen when they detect too much "static"? sad really, used to be a good way to illustrate how much radiation there is in everyday life.

    we should *totally* bring back '80s style television just for that reason!!1!

  • Mar 17th, 2015 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    wait, are you trying to tell me that people just adapted to a new situation? there was no act of congress, no court order, no executive branch facilitation? what kind of crazy bullshit are you trying to pawn off on us here?

  • Mar 17th, 2015 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I can probably help answer this with my vast store of rampant speculation.

    TV Shows are for the most part created with the understanding of needing to support advertisement slots. They script, direct, and shoot around these blocks of times just like you work around a physical pillar. So plot developments and scene changes are broken into these time boundaries, like acts in a play. Some shows try to stretch a dramatic moment over the commercial break, so you leave with a closeup of someone's puzzled mug, and come back to the exact same spot in time. (Some shows have also adapted to this in the extreme by replaying a few moments before the ad breaks; then there are shows that rewrite history during the replay... but ignore those for now.)

    Now we throw in consumer devices that were created to automatically skip ads in recorded shows. It has to have some way of detecting these ads (if it is to be worth a damn), and to do that it probably uses some measure of the signal that indicates the commercial video is not "native" to the show. Perhaps it will detect an excessive number of black frames with zero audio, or an audio base frequency shift, or the picture colorspace is different. (I have no idea how Dish's Hopper works btw. rampant speculation.)

    To combat this (consumers are not seeing our ads! o the horror!) the show producers and ad networks try to make the ads feel like as much a part of the show as possible, at least as far as being able to fool the software.

    So the hulu devs have a couple of easy choices. They can just automatically insert ads at certain time markers (offset a bit to avoid splitting any contiguous voice patterns), or they can try to find a scene break where the background is drastically different. Or (as I don't watch hulu either) they can go the extremely cheap route and just put ads in at 18:00, 28:00, 38:00, and 48:00....

    Slightly off topic, even though I don't watch a lot of TV anymore (or movies really), I am occasionally blasted with a thought while watching a movie - you know the cognitive-emotional roller coaster you go through when a great movie is adapted to a crappy cable network and they shoehorn the ad break into the last part and it completely destroys the flow of the plot's tension? Yeah, at those moments I am thinking "this is exactly where Lifetime will put 5 minutes of ads"... and it has the exact same effect of pulling me out of the movie for a bit.

  • Mar 12th, 2015 @ 10:33am

    Re: Get a foreign email account

    I think there's a very good chance that in the MS-Ireland case the person in question is *not* a US citizen. MS made the analogy that it would be like Ireland issuing a request for a US citizen's emails from servers on US soil.

    But you also have to watch what country your emails are in. For example, Australia has gone full retard, which upsets me because I've already paid for my fastmail account; but regardless I'll be switching to runbox soon.

  • Mar 12th, 2015 @ 6:25am

    if only it worked like this for the public

    Isn't this the same thing that ended up shutting down Ladar Levinson's lavamail? "Oh, you can't tap a single email address? then just give us the keys to all your encryption. We promise not to look at anything we shouldn't...."

    Shame it doesn't work like that in the other direction;

    Because it would take too long to find the specific documents covered under this FOI request, we now request all documents in your department. We promise not to look at any documents not covered under the FOI request. Honest.

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