HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.
HideTechdirt is off for the long weekend! We'll be back with our regular posts tomorrow.

btr1701’s Techdirt Profile


About btr1701

btr1701’s Comments comment rss

  • May 2nd, 2018 @ 10:58am

    They Openly Admit It.

    "Facebook official Campbell Brown, a former anchor on NBC and CNN, told attendees at a recent technology and publishing conference that Facebook would be censoring news publishers based on its own internal biases."

    Pretty much says it all.

  • May 2nd, 2018 @ 10:06am


    Not sure why an ISP would need to spy on what sites you're trying to access in order to block access to pirate sites.

    Just put a block on the pirate sites that causes users to run into a brick wall if they try to access them. It doesn't require looking at any specific user's attempts.

  • May 1st, 2018 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Another can of worms...

    > Is there an expectation of privacy if you leave a
    > fingerprint in a public place rather than in a private
    > home?


    > Could a cop go undercover at a restaurant favored by a
    > suspect to gather fingerprints for chemical analysis?


  • May 1st, 2018 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re:

    > I would rather talk about the term false positive. 2.5%
    > may not sound like much. Unless your test result happens
    > to fall into the false positives and your life and career
    > are destroyed

    And can this test distinguish between drug residue on the fingers because of the person's drug use and drug residue on the fingers because the person happened to touch something (a doorknob, a steering wheel, a restaurant chair) that had drug residue on it?

  • May 1st, 2018 @ 12:00pm


    > When creating an account and supplying a sample, the
    > terms should state - is this your own sample? Otherwise
    > its a fishing expedition.

    The entire purpose for which these sites exist is so that people can go on 'fishing expeditions'.

  • May 1st, 2018 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Not guilty yet

    > As members of the public we're not in a position to make
    > a judgement on 'the preponderance of [published]
    > evidence' - that's for the courts and a judge & jury of
    > his peers.

    No, we can make judgments about this just like we do with a million other things in our lives everyday.

    What we the public can't do is punish someone based on our judgment. Only the state can do that after a finding of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Apr 27th, 2018 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Re: We deserve it!

    > After the 14th, states lost the right to "reserve powers to the state" for certain
    > things.

    Nonsense. No court has ever held that the 14th Amendment repealed the 10th Amendment, or that the 10th Amendment no longer has any legal force or effect.

  • Apr 26th, 2018 @ 10:35am

    Re: We deserve it!

    > As long as we keep refusing that the Constitution only
    > grants government powers, and powers not listed are
    > denied then this is the result.

    Actually, the Constitution explicitly states in the 10th Amendment that all powers not explicitly granted in Article I, Section 8 are reserved to the state and local governments. They are not denied to the government altogether as you claim.

    So basically, since the Constitution is silent on the power of the police to use a dead guy's fingerprints, that power belongs to the local cops. And guess who was using the fingerprints here? Yep, local cops.

    This is all perfectly in line with the Constitution.

  • Apr 26th, 2018 @ 10:31am


    > But the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to dead people or
    > their belongings.

    Seems to me that even though the guy is dead, his property is still part of his estate, which survives as a legal entity, and whomever is the beneficiary of that property either via will or intestate succession would now have standing to assert the 4th Amendment's warrant requirement.

  • Apr 25th, 2018 @ 10:44am

    Re: Slippery Slope

    > I know a LOT of people that would love to make their
    > roads "locals only".

    My general attitude toward this is, if you want to live in a gated community, pony up the dough and move to one. But you don't get to treat the public roads, that I helped pay for with my taxes, as your private property.

  • Apr 25th, 2018 @ 10:42am

    Re: California Attitude Problem

    Yeah, I forgot about that. Google has already caved to local pressure regarding the Hollywood Sign.

    As you note, if you search for "Hollywood Sign" and hit "Get Directions", the app takes you to the Griffith Observatory several miles away from the sign. It used to take you up Deronda Drive, which dead ends right below the sign and makes for a fantastic souvenir photo. It's also an extremely narrow residential street with no parking, so there are legitimate problems with hordes of tourists showing up. Google acquiesced to requests from both the city and the neighborhood residents to re-direct traffic elsewhere.

  • Apr 25th, 2018 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Not on my street!

    > To be honest, with how dangerous this road sounds, it
    > seems this is something that should have been addressed
    > sooner.

    After reading through this thread yesterday, I decided to stop by this Baxter Street hill on my way home from work and check it out for myself. Wow. The Google Street View pics don't do it justice. I've never encountered a hill/crown like that in my 35 years of driving.

    Cresting the top of the hill, it's like going over the first drop of a rollercoaster. The road seems to just disappear in front of you. You can't see anything over your hood except open air. It's actually kinda scary. You just have to nudge the gas and take a leap of faith.

  • Apr 24th, 2018 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: L.A. Traffic

    A local talk radio team did just that-- followed the money. And it turns out this whole thing is being funded by some New York City hedge fund billionaire who's also an environmental zealot. He's pouring money into city programs (and city officials' election coffers) to do all this crap.

    Somehow it makes it even worse to know that my daily commute is being turned into a living hell by some elitist asshole from the other side of the country who doesn't even live here.

    The irony is that more people *would* ride the buses and trains if the city's other lefty-liberal lunatic policies didn't make doing so a nightmare.

    The buses and trains here are literally teeming with homeless bums who use them as their daily shelter. They lay all over the benches and seats sleeping, doing drugs, or drinking themselves into a stupor, the cars reek from their body odor and urine, and they spread cholera and hepatitis. That's when they're not begging you for money (in many cases aggressively demanding it), or relieving themselves in the corner. And, of course, many of them are also mentally ill and will unpredictably attack you for no reason.

    Then there's the gangs. Since many of these commuter routes go through places like Watts, Compton, and Inglewood, you can easily find yourself sharing a train car or a bus with a dozen Crips or Bloods, who have been known to rob entire cars en masse.

    And the city allows this to happen then wonders why no one normal wants to give up the pleasant environment and safety of their car to descend into that nightmare just to go to work and back every day?

  • Apr 24th, 2018 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re: Not on my street!

    > Only one major problem... it's not no outlet, the sign is
    > a complete lie by NIMBY's to keep college students and
    > college commuters off their street.

    The people who live up near the Hollywood sign are infamous for doing stuff like this. They put up fake road signs and barriers all the time to keep the tourists away. The put up saw horses with "Road Closed for Construction" signs across the street when there is no construction at all.

    To a certain extent, I'm sympathetic about how the hordes of tourists-- empowered by smart phone map apps-- have upended their quiet neighborhoods, but at the same time I have to say, hey, you moved right next to one of the most recognizable and iconic landmarks in the world. Tourists are part of that package. It's not like you didn't know what it was when you moved in.

    Same with the ultra-rich folks in Malibu. The law in California is that there's no such thing as a private beach. With the exception of some military and government property, from the Mexico border to the Oregon border, every inch of the coastline is public land and the public can't legally be blocked from access.

    But a guy who pays $20 million for a Malibu beach house likes to believe he bought the beach, too, and they're notorious for having private security run people off, claiming it's private property. To that end, they've developed all sorts of strategies for discouraging parking along Pacific Coast Highway, which is the only road that services most of Malibu's coastline. The homeowners post fake "No Parking" signs and even go so far as to construct pretend driveways and fake garage door facades to eliminate the availability of street parking spots.

    Incidentally, Malibu used to be one solid wall of beach houses stretching for miles, with each house's property wall blending in with the next so there was literally no way to access the beach from the road unless you were a homeowner. Back in the 80s, someone sued, claiming it was an illegal restriction on public property access and the state Supreme Court ordered that the city had to provide intermittent public access points to the beach at regular intervals along PCH, so a bunch of rich people had sidewalk-sized sections of the property condemned and confiscated to construct these cut-throughs to the beach. Boy were they pissed.

  • Apr 24th, 2018 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Not on my street!

    > The problem is, people are already clamoring for the
    > ability to keep Waze from routing down their street.

    Not just streets. Entire towns are banning Wazers. Here's one in New Jersey that made pass-through traffic illegal in the entire town.


  • Apr 24th, 2018 @ 11:51am

    L.A. Traffic

    > The city's government believes the traffic/mapping app
    > has made Los Angeles' congestion worse.

    The city council has got a lot of damned nerve accusing some software company of making the traffic worse in this town when *they* are the ones actively making it worse. Intentionally so.

    The mayor and the council have embarked on this insane plan to create "road diets" on most all of the major surface streets in Los Angeles, which is just bureaucratese for blocking off and taking away traffic lanes. Reducing 4 and 5-lane boulevards down to three or two lanes.

    Supposedly this is for pedestrian "safety", but a couple of these bastards were caught on an open mike discussing the real reason for it: They don't like the suburban commuter lifestyle and people stubbornly insisting on using their freedom to drive their cars, so they're intentionally making traffic as unbearable as possible so we'll finally say to hell with it and use their buses and trains to get around instead.

    Figueroa Street downtown is currently undergoing one of these "road diets". It used to be five full lanes wide and now it's down to two. That part of my commute used to take 5 minutes; 10 minutes if I was unlucky and caught all red lights. Now it takes me 45-50 minutes to traverse the 2.1 miles of Figueroa from the 110 freeway to 7th Street.

    And they have the fucking gall to blame Waze for the traffic problems?

  • Apr 20th, 2018 @ 10:41am


    Seems like these sex workers need to move their site to an ISP outside the U.S.

    FOSTA and SESTA don't apply in Belize, yet we all have access to internet sites hosted in Belize.

  • Apr 19th, 2018 @ 1:44pm

    Excess Taxes

    > If there are extra tax dollars around, they're better
    > spent locally, where they'll do the most good.

    Or, hey, here's a thought: Maybe if the government has more money than it needs, it can just cut taxes and give the money back to the people who actually earned it.

  • Apr 16th, 2018 @ 12:06pm


    > The Ninth Circuit acknowledged that while it had the
    > power to dismiss an appeal if the parties so requested
    > it, it did not have the obligation to do so if there were
    > countervailing interests.

    I'm trying to figure out how this works if both parties want to just walk away. If no one submits briefs and no one shows up to oral arguments, what does the court have to rule on?

  • Apr 16th, 2018 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re:

    I'd hate to be the local PD that dropped $30,000 of its budget on one of these things only to have Apple fix the vulnerability a week later.

    Now the chief has a $30,000 paperweight for his desk.

    Next thing: Suing Apple and trying to hold them liable for damages for fixing exploits in their own software because it bricks these expensive work-arounds the cops are spending so much money on.

More comments from btr1701 >>