Brent Ashley's Techdirt Profile

Brent Ashley

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  • Apr 20, 2022 @ 03:21pm

    What is the problem they are proposing to fix?

    Problem definition

    I would like a clear definition of the problem they are proposing to fix. How is password sharing "bad" and how will they make changes that fix it without breaking valid usage? The Netflix service my wife and I use provides up to 2 concurrent streams. If we try to stream beyond two connections, access is denied and we must kick off one of the existing connections to continue. If we were to share our login with 20 people, we could still never use more than two sessions at once. Is this a problem? How? Why?

    How do you identify the unwanted behaviour?

    How do you determine a login is being "shared" (exact definition required)? Does it have to do with what devices are using it from which IP addresses? My wife and I can currently use Netflix from any computing device on our home network, any of our mobile devices via WiFi or mobile data, from a hotel or office or coffee shop, or at a friend or relative's house, perhaps while on holiday or business trip abroad. I can think of at least 15 legitimate devices using at least 6 different operating systems and many more source IP addresses across multiple continents that would cover all of these completely reasonable accesses to the service just for the two of us without sharing with anyone.

    Solution

    can a solution - identify offensive behaviour - solve the problem - not break valid and common usage This is assuming I'm convinced that there IS a problem, which I am not; however I would truly like to know if anyone could propose a workable solution that does not ruin the existing perfectly functional and demonstrably profitable experience.

  • Apr 20, 2022 @ 03:12pm

    What is the problem they are proposing to fix?

    Problem definition

    I would like a clear definition of the problem they are proposing to fix. How is password sharing "bad" and how will they make changes that fix it without breaking valid usage? The Netflix service my wife and I use provides up to 2 concurrent streams. If we try to stream beyond two connections, access is denied and we must kick off one of the existing connections to continue. If we were to share our login with 20 people, we could still never use more than two sessions at once. Is this a problem? How? Why?

    Yow do you identify the unwanted behaviour?

    How do you determine a login is being "shared" (exact definition required)? Does it have to do with what devices are using it from which IP addresses? My wife and I can currently use Netflix from any computing device on our home network, any of our mobile devices via WiFi or mobile data, from a hotel or office or coffee shop, or at a friend or relative's house, perhaps while on holiday or business trip abroad. I can think of at least 15 legitimate devices using at least 6 different operating systems and many more source IP addresses across multiple continents that would cover all of these completely reasonable accesses to the service just for the two of us without sharing with anyone.

    Solution

    can a solution - identify offensive behaviour - solve the problem - not break valid and common usage This is assuming I'm convinced that there IS a problem, which I am not; however I would truly like to know if anyone could propose a workable solution that does not ruin the existing perfectly functional and demonstrably profitable experience.

  • Nov 03, 2021 @ 08:57am

    Re: Re: less offence, more defence

    Alas, I fear you are right. The Neville Chamberlain appeasement approach isn't going to draw these folks back to rationality.

  • Nov 02, 2021 @ 10:31am

    less offence, more defence

    You can play whack-a-mole targeting sources of misinformation all you want, but it's not going to make a difference until you address the real problem, which is gullibility.

    The majority of the population, subjected to the same barrage of misinformation, has not been swept up in it or conned by it, or at the very least affected to a lesser extent. Maybe increased focus on providing skills and tools to help defend against inevitable levels of misinformation will better help those who have limited capacity to resist.

    It's tough because those who fall for it don't think they need help, and people who haven't fallen for it aren't motivated to help those that have. Overcoming this will require a surge in collective altruism from the user community, the press, and tech providers.

  • Jun 24, 2021 @ 06:58am

    AITA?

    Yes, Excolo Law, you are TA

  • Apr 23, 2021 @ 05:15am

    Variation on a theme

    This reminds me of 9 years ago with my daughter's Art History textbook with no images. (see https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120917/01060120399/university-requires-students-to-pay-180-art-history-text-that-has-no-photos-due-to-copyright-problems.shtml)

    Art and technology by their very nature take a combinative form, building new by adapting and improving elements of old. Copyright, a legal fiction to assign restrictions to the otherwise natural flow and recombination of ideas, is supposed to be meant to promote advancement by giving time-limited ownership as incentive to creators to increase their motivation to share. Instead it is commonly used to inhibit sharing, to impede improvement and innovation, and with ever-increasing terms, to essentially permanently assign ownership.

    Copyright reform is long overdue.

  • Oct 21, 2019 @ 07:30am

    Reframe the issue

    Imagine a campaign that calls for doing away with end-to-end encryption for banking, healthcare, business VPNs, and Cloud. That's the same end result, and people need to understand that calling for one is equivalent to calling for the other.

    Of course the risk would be that somehow this patently ridiculous straw-man notion gains momentum in this bizarro world political climate.

  • Jun 29, 2019 @ 09:55am

    Scope

    I'm perplexed that the scope of this encryption debate always seems to be limited to encrypted messages between humans that the govt wants to be able to see, or file and disk encryption used by miscreants on their phones and computers. That's just the bathwater, and it's full of babies whose loss would have much greater impact. Outlawing (or invalidating the efficacy of) encryption is nothing less than the outlawing of secure communication. The entire world's business and financial systems rely on the confidential transfer and storage of information. The very same highly-placed people who press for broken encryption would stand to lose everything in very short order. The entire payment card industry (PCI) knows the value of encryption; how is it that these folks can have missed the boat? You can't talk about encryption and not know that the scope of the conversation encompasses the very foundations of commerce. Corporate and personal information would be free for the taking in a world where secure communication is made ineffective. Passwords transferred and stored without valid encryption are practically worthless and will soon be found and published, as they already are in places where people do not use effective security measures. Why are people not asking the proponents of these measures how they expect to continue to trust online banking, corporate WANs, DRM and a host of other technologies they rely on to remain stable and powerful, when compromised? Even if they think the master keys are secure in their own govt hands, surely in this polarized political climate they should see the problems inherent in the process of transitioning from one regime to the next. You may not trust the keyholders down the road.

  • Apr 11, 2019 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: When everybody is special, nobody is special

    MacOS is not a derivative of Linux. It comes from the BSD side of the Unix family tree.

  • Apr 11, 2019 @ 08:58am

    When everybody is special, nobody is special

    Anyone with an Android phone or a Chromebook is running a Linux-based kernel. Even the poorly-named Windows 10 "Windows Subsystem for Linux" has the GNU toolset, although it's not strictly Linux because it doesn't use the kernel.

    I guess we're all suspicious hacker types now.

  • Aug 04, 2017 @ 05:16pm

    Re: Re: Fulsome support

    Perhaps you mistake my observation of an absurd reality for a call to action. In the current bizarro political climate, I would not suggest attempting such reverse psychology gamesmanship, as you might well get exactly what you are pretending to ask for.

  • Aug 04, 2017 @ 12:24pm

    Fulsome support

    I think the fastest way to get legislators to abandon all attempts to pursue secondary liability would be to lobby wholeheartedly for it, but make sure it also applies to the manufacture and sale of firearms.

  • Jul 06, 2017 @ 04:36pm

    Enough rope

    I find it odd that the very people who are advocating taking away his petard are those who would be most glad to see him hoist himself by it.

  • Mar 15, 2017 @ 07:27am

    It's about changing your diet

    When I dropped all my cable and switched to antenna and Netflix, my TV watching habits changed.

    It's no longer imperative for me to have immediate access to every thing that I could possibly see. If I don't have access to a sporting event or a TV show, I simply don't see them. Maybe I talk to my family or take the dogs for a walk. Maybe I wait for the movie or show to come out on Netflix in 6 months. It's the behavior change that makes it work, not any attempt to make the experience the same as before.

    Changing your viewing habits is like changing your diet. If you are choosing the chocolate-chip-cookie-dough diet bar instead of an apple, your head isn't in the right space to make it work.

  • Nov 11, 2016 @ 10:20am

    Still half expecting to hear Shkreli lined up as head of the FDA

  • Nov 09, 2016 @ 06:44am

    11: Global Warming Solved

    Now that it's clear that there is a way to harness and focus the unlimited natural resource of stupidity, we will never need to rely on fossil fuels again.

  • May 31, 2016 @ 09:59am

    Whack-a-mole

    "...the law needs to change".

    Then they'll just find/create/manipulate/overextend/ignore a different law. Impunity isn't picky when it comes to post-facto justification or umbrella prosecution, any law that can be stretched to fit will suffice.

  • Apr 04, 2016 @ 08:55am

    Picky picky

    This line of inquiry is all just NIT picking.

  • Mar 29, 2016 @ 03:47am

    If that's the goal

    This presumes that the goal of the current security developments is actually to reduce the effects of terrorism as stated. If it turned out that the real goal was to increase power and perpetuate revenue, we might find that there is little appetite among those in control for a rational approach to saving more lives. Perhaps the current strategy is serving their goals already.

  • Jan 06, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re:

    Of course you can cut the cable entirely, if you are in a sufficiently large metropolitan area and don't need to watch sports. I have over 20 channels via antenna, and none of my streaming is from the Canadian cartels. In Burlington, I have DSL from TekSavvy on a dry loop, so Bell's involvement exists at an infrastructure level but is entirely incidental. If you are not addicted to a) the usual pap that passes for entertainment or b) the notion that you have to watch first-run everything, you can be quite comfortably entertained without indenturing yourself to the BigCos.

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