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  • Nov 15th, 2017 @ 5:41am

    We can use his analogy

    If DAG Rosenstein insists on the 'house' analogy, how about I fix it for him:
    "I want the government to have skeleton keys to every house in the country, no matter how secure. The government promises never to use the keys without judicial oversight and a proper warrant. And they also promise that nobody else in the world will be able to sneak into the keystore and take a key." ... like that won't happen!

  • Oct 30th, 2017 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Unintended consequences

    Globally, IP address location is appallingly inaccurate. For many ISPs it just locates you at _their_ HQ. And the data in the commercially available geo-location databases marks where the IP address WAS at one point, rather than where it is RIGHT NOW.

    I've seen logged in users on the sites I work on flip in a heart-beat from one end of Japan to the other because they've flipped ISP from domestic Wifi to LAN (for example) whilst keeping everything else consistent, or one mobile network to another whilst still logged in on the same device. (Of course this could also be evidence of incompetent session cookie stealing, but the behaviour is too consistent for that.)

  • Oct 30th, 2017 @ 5:33am

    Re: Breaking the internet

    The text does not ban cookies. It bans tracking cookies that are shared between sites. Cookie-based session control is fine providing you don't provide that data to a third part.

  • Sep 25th, 2017 @ 5:28am


    Has Jeff S read Snowcrash recently... all federal employees undergo regular polygraph tests. Neal Stephenson gets it right again. ;)

  • Sep 13th, 2017 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: blah blah blah

    If you're living completely off grid, you won't be reading this article or your comments.

  • Aug 24th, 2017 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Re:

    What's the number of comments got to do with when someone discovered TechDirt? The question was "when did you discover Techdirt, and how?"
    It was not "when did you start commenting on stories on TechDirt?"
    Quality not quantity.

  • Aug 23rd, 2017 @ 10:58am

    (untitled comment)

    As best I can tell, I think I first found out about TechDirt around October 2007 - around the time of this article:

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you think TD people mark posts as trolling JUST to exclude dissenters, why are we able to read your comments? So far you've managed to avoid being flagged in this conversation, despite the criticism of TD and TD forum participants.
    Criticism and dissent are a fine and dandy part of debate. It's lying and trolling and downright insults that get you (and others into trouble).

  • Jul 19th, 2017 @ 3:57am

    Why choose Elvis in the first place? (as Ben Ketteridge)

    I'm very firmly on the fence on this one. Perhaps I'm just old enough (mid 40s) to have a very firm association with Elvis being Elvis Presley. And Elvis Costello being someone who chose the name because of the association with The King. (not that I'm particularly a fan of either of them, but that's not really relevant).

    So, why did BrewDog think that Elvis Juice was in any way associated with a drink that's a pale ale flavoured with grapefruit? Did Mr Presley have a thing for such flavours? Or IPAs - I really doubt this one!

    I know brand names don't have to have a reason, but given the strength of the association between 'Elvis' and 'Elvis Presley' in common culture. It seems a strange choice if you weren't looking to hook into that association.

    Yes, I know Elvis is a good old Welsh name, and there are a number of other Elvis's around, but come on...?

  • Jul 14th, 2017 @ 5:34am


    Does the DHS only employ stupid fantasists, or people with a psychopathic aversion to the success of the American tourist industry? [shakes head in international bemusement]

  • Jun 2nd, 2017 @ 5:08am

    Claim no knowledge

    Simple. If I actually wanted to bother visiting the US (no idea why I would), I will simply deny that I have an social media accounts, never use email, and can't remember phone numbers beyond my current one. (which I rarely answer even when it does ring) There is simply no justification for this level of intrusion. So I simply won't intrude upon your soil.

  • Mar 12th, 2017 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Traveling in the USA with cash.

    But surely that illegal - you're dodging taxes levied by the government at the border. You must be a crimin.... oh, wait!

  • Jan 24th, 2017 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: use Tivo!

    Yup, I use the same approach. The other big win is that I don't have to sit around for four hours or more to get the whole game - it takes, what, about an hour? For four 15 minute quarters? Who'da thunk it!

  • Jan 20th, 2017 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    People in the field have been saying that for several decades. I was watching TV science shows in the 70s, and studying the field in the late 1980s when I regularly heard it, and we're still hearing the same 30-40 years later... same with flying cars, as it happens.

  • Jan 20th, 2017 @ 4:43am

    What is AI?

    For many years, we've been using the term AI in a very fuzzy way. The only definition that I've come across that is at all philosophically helpful is 'that which we cannot yet do with a computer'.
    In the early days, a computer that could play chess was considered an exercise for AI researchers, now we know that it is a question of combinatorics and efficient search spaces. There's no 'intelligence' or creative thought required on the part of the computer.
    In the 80s the fashion was for machines that could advise humans on whether to accept someone's life insurance or mortgage application. Now that's just data mining and decision trees.
    We've had emergent behaviour in robotic swarms described as AI, but that was really only when it was hard to pack enough processing power and electrical power into a small mobile device. It's still interesting (in my opinion), but it's not intelligence.
    There have been many attempts to have computers create music - long thought to be the epitome of human creativity. But there are now systems that can do a pretty good job of it.
    Once we know how to create systems that can emulate emotional responses, that won't be AI any more either.
    Whilst I agree that it is good that the EU are considering the issues, I do hope they remain on the 'regulation' side of the argument, rather than the 'self aware entities with rights and responsibilities', as whatever comes from this field will be manufactured because we know how to build it and understand what we did to program it.
    And if we do decide that machines can be self aware entities with rights and responsibilities, how then do you punish such a device if it breaches the law? Turn it off? (Is that state-sponsored murder?) Restrict it's connectivity or movement? You'll still be providing electricity and other resources. It's not a good place to go.

  • Sep 14th, 2016 @ 9:56am

    First sentence in the article

    On the list of countries I've always wanted to visit but would be somewhat scared if I did, Russia is probably near the top.

    And for those of us who've actually visited Russia (whilst it was still the USSR, as a matter of fact), consider that the US is also 'near the top' of the list. (for very small distances of 'near')

  • Jun 22nd, 2016 @ 1:33am

    Tourism suffers?

    If you start seeing international tourist numbers drop in the US it'll be because of this kind of inhuman behaviour by agents of the state (be it State or Federal, I care not) towards other humans.

    I've said for a number of years that I never once want to step within the boarders of the USA. I've found it easy to maintain that as it's expensive to go there. Now I just have yet another reason to stick with that policy.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 1:33pm

    Sarcasm warning

    It would such a shame if Apple engineers accidentally left a bug in the software such that when the iPhone is compelled to load it, it accidentally brute forces the lock, exceeding the security count, making the phone delete everything. (even if the current version of iOS shows no such behaviour)

    After all, there are never show stopping bugs in production code... are there?

  • Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 2:58am

    One specific error in the quoted document

    A cookie is not by definition in any way a session identifier. A web page can use a cookie to store a session identifier, but you can use a cookie to store something as simple as a language preference (eg, "lang=en") and that is a cookie that in no way identifies a specific person, or their specific interaction with a web page (or site) in the way that a session cookie can.

    I hate this kind of fuzzy thinking and manipulation of our technology to make a political point in a report. Too many reports avoid using accurate enough language to be right, whilst giving reporters (who're generally not specialists) and therefore the readers of their reports an inaccurate understanding of a simple technology.

    Cookies are a Good Thing(TM) in general, that can be used to less-than-spotless purposes, but they are not by definition dangerous. Just like computers.

  • May 13th, 2014 @ 3:46pm

    It's Oracle we should be criticising

    The pressure point here is not the courts. We all know that the vast majority of lawyers and judges are specialists in their subject ... the law. However, almost all of them have terrible blind spots when it comes to understanding the real world (just like physicists!). So it's no wonder the lawyers don't get it ... and just want to keep on making money out of making sure nobody quite gets it.

    The people we should be ripping apart here are ORACLE! They're the idiots who don't understand that their own products implement published APIs. Specific example: Oracle sell WebLogic - a web application server (let's not get into the merits, or otherwise, of the technical capabilities of the product). This HAS to respect the 2.5 or 3.0 web application API (or specification, if you prefer), otherwise no developer is going to use the tool to deploy their applications.

    To the best of my knowledge, Oracle don't own the web application API, but do they really want to license the use of the spec from those that do?

    This is, of course, just one example. Oracle's products also implement JDBC and ODBC APIs, and many others in the course of implementing various interfaces. Most fundamentally of all, they use APIs to talk to the OS and disk systems upon which the Oracle DB must run.

    Oracle are the BIGGEST idiots here. This WILL come back and bite them in the proverbial. And it won't take long, either.

    It's not the courts who need to see sense, it's Oracle that need to grow some balls and get over themselves.

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