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  • Apr 26th, 2016 @ 4:06pm

    Obscenity laws are a mess

    Restricting obscene speech or actions is a quagmire of laws that might be on the books, but may or may not be legal. Take for example indecent exposure laws. If a woman goes topless in the NY library it's not allowed. Unless, she notifies the media that she's protesting. Then it's all legal....

    You get the same things with these trademark laws. Let's say the KKK comes up with a new slogan. It's obviously protected speech, but if a sports team used it then it's no longer protected?

  • Apr 25th, 2016 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Exigent Circumstances

    Ehh, I like the decision but this was probably more of an issue with policy and training than anything else. I'm perfectly willing to believe the officer was following poorly written instructions or not even thinking about how he turned the phone off.

    I'm glad the court didn't go with a 'just this one time' it's ok decision though.

  • Mar 21st, 2016 @ 9:36am


    Terrorists communicate via personal conversations. Therefore, we must make it illegal to have personal conversations without a representative of the government present.

    The word you're looking for is Telescreens.

  • Mar 17th, 2016 @ 9:30am


    It's already started. Cisco saw a drop in sales after the pictures of the NSA intercepting their boxes in transit were released. If the FBI goes that route and wins, then the NSA don't even need to intercept shipments. They can just modify the source code and secretly demand Cisco sign it. Same goes for Windows.

    It's been shown before that they can man-in-the-middle just about any network traffic. The next over the air, or mandatory windows update might contain all sorts of goodies from the NSA.

  • Mar 2nd, 2016 @ 6:24pm

    Long term consequences

    Like the Italian case against Google execs this is going to have a long term effect.

    My bet is FB is going to move everything they can out of Brazil, and they won't be the only ones doing so.

  • Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 11:25pm

    Re: Don't fall for the hype, indeed

    But it's the "fastest Wifi" that made me laugh the loudest.

    It made you laugh, it made me ask when the FTC is going to get their act together and sue Comcast for deceptive advertising.

    I doubt it will actually happen though, they've been able to get away with their claims of "Up To" speeds so far.

  • Feb 17th, 2016 @ 1:09am


    The interesting thing is this is about a laser printer. The laser printer segment has typically not actually run using the razor blade model. That's why a laser printer with the same features as an inkjet costs several hundred more dollars.

    Thing is, these printers are typically bought by businesses or prosumers. While some businesses might stick to buying only brand name, everyone else who hears about this might re-evaluate if Lexmark is someone they want to continue doing business with. Brother makes some pretty good and inexpensive lasers after all.

  • Feb 17th, 2016 @ 1:03am


    Well yeah, but you run into the same issue that self encrypting drives have. The data in flash memory is encrypted with a huge key which is kept on the encryption chip. There's no way to read the key without de-encapsulating the chip, and that carries with it significant risk. Those things are meant to be tamper proof after all.

    If apple did this correctly, the encryption chip is a separate component, that can not have its firmware changed. It can even still be in the same package as the CPU. By tightly defining the security element's inputs and outputs you can create an extremely hard to crack system, even if it can't receive firmware updates.

    My fear is that the checks, including the counter for number of retries is handled by upgradable firmware. That would mean not only could apple crack any phone, but the next time a bootloader jailbreak is found everyone else could too.

  • Feb 16th, 2016 @ 4:05pm

    Supreme court power

    It really makes me wonder just how much power the supreme court has. I mean if the CAFC keeps doing so badly, does SCOTUS have any options aside from continually smacking them down?

    To be fair, SCOTUS is powerful enough that they could wipe out entire categories of patents or copyrights with a pen stroke. The question is if CAFC keeps it up can they just explicitly say that they don't consider anything that court does as binding?

  • Feb 9th, 2016 @ 11:38pm

    FTC, FCC legality

    Thing is, these leagues are by definition monopolies.
    The US Government allows them to exist because in some situations having a monopoly is advantageous to many competitors. In theory, the government heavily regulates these monopolies. In practice, lobbying dollars tend to speak louder than voters.

    The thing is, that breaks down when a large issue causes the population to band together. In this case, either the Federal Trade Commission, or the Federal Communication Commission could change their rules to disallow blackouts.

    They have a pretty big case for deceptive trade practices if someone paid for something, and are then being threatened if they attempt to obtain what they paid for.

    Looks like the NHL is about to lose quite a bit of money. Either through lost subscriptions, or from lawsuits and regulation. Heck, it will probably face all three.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:18pm


    People don't like steam because of the DRM. I was actually annoyed at how my physical copy of Skyrim is essentially just a steam code.

    What people like about Steam is it's convenience. Want to buy a game, or give one as a gift? Super easy via Steam. Downloading and installation are easy as well.

    If you make buying something easier and more convenient than pirating then people will buy. The thing is companies think DRM does this, but most DRM actually makes it harder to buy then pirate.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What is the big effing deal??

    In other news, people can be assholes, but still be correct.
    We all hate it, but you have to look past the messenger to the actual message.

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 12:52pm


    The big question is if this is even legal.
    Sure it might be for a private institution, but it's been found by multiple courts that public schools have the same restrictions as the government does. I mean, these universities get there own sanctioned police force for crying out loud. That' means they're bound by the U.S. Constitution.

    It'll be interesting to see if there is a lawsuit. I can just see campus lawyers cringing. Especially given the likelihood that FERPA was violated.

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 10:16am

    Twitter done goofed

    Yeah, pick a fight with the EFF. That's how good publicity is made.

    I'd be surprised if the mod that suspended the account doesn't at least have a reprimand quietly put in his/her file. The stupidity isn't quite to the level of suspending Trump's account, but in terms of possible backlash it's pretty close.

    See, for example, T-Mobile's CEO bashing the EFF for what could happen.

  • Feb 2nd, 2016 @ 3:26pm

    That's funny

    Remember the EU policy on cookies. That's the kind of craziness we're talking about.

    For those who don't remember. That's where the first time you visit a site it says it's going to set a cookie. The idea was for people to be able to say "no thanks". What instead happened is anyone with browsers set to not remember cookies couldn't visit those sites anymore. The exact opposite of what the EU was trying to accomplish.

    This is the NSA stealing data from foreign data centers because it's not on US soil. The EU reaction is to make sure that data stays off US soil.

    It's doubly funny because the EU doesn't like geo-blocking, but the only way to make sure data stays inside the EU is to use geo-blocking and geo-redirecting.

  • Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 12:10pm

    One gets reprimanded, the other gets $$

    I know that one about textbooks is somewhat old, but I'm still amazed by it. I mean, it's hard to imagine more of a conflict of interest for the department chair to mandate his own book.

    I know at my university they had signs saying to call if we spotted this kind of "fraud, waste, or abuse."

  • Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: "Out of print" textbooks

    The publishers can make more money if students have to buy all new textbooks. It's greed pure and simple.

  • Jan 20th, 2016 @ 1:46pm


    The interesting thing is this bill is using almost word for word the same language used in many concealed carry permit laws.* The part about registering, background checks, and competency is pretty boilerplate.

    *There are so many of these I'm not going to track down which one he's probably copying.

  • Oct 19th, 2015 @ 11:43pm

    Divisions within the company.

    Deus Ex is produced by Eidos Montréal. They're either partners with, or owned by Square Enix. Regardless, it's probable that they have a bit of power, and are shielding this mod pack. Try this on a different Square Enix game and you might not be so lucky.

  • Sep 4th, 2015 @ 11:01am

    GAO: No Secure Connection (https://) Required

    Interestingly, I can't access that GAO link in a secure manner. My browser automatically tries to connect to HTTPS first, but I get show a page which tries to direct me to the HTTP home page and says this:

    No Secure Connection (https://) Required

    You have reached the website for the Government Accountability Office. However, your browser is trying a secure connection (https). GAO's public website can be reached by following the link to

    Annoyingly it directs me to the home page, so I have to find the link again, after I decide to not browse securely.

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