Dennis F. Heffernan’s Techdirt Profile


About Dennis F. Heffernan

Dennis F. Heffernan’s Comments comment rss

  • Aug 10th, 2015 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Agreed that G+ is far from a "failure", unless success is only defined by utterly destroying everything in your path.

    G+ is far more useful to me than Facebook. The content is far better, esp. the stuff coming from the huge shared Science circle I follow.

  • Jan 7th, 2015 @ 4:06pm

    Satire Or Not?

    Two Words: Poe's Law

  • Sep 23rd, 2014 @ 12:48pm

    Nice, but...

    ...they're just going to change the laws to require companies give them access when requested.

  • Jul 17th, 2014 @ 4:24pm



  • Jul 16th, 2014 @ 2:27pm

    From Nothing to Something

    Back in the Eighties I was a regular user on the Steve Jackson Games BBS. My sister was involved with some online activists, even putting out her own email newsletter ("Activist Times Inc"). She sometimes used my Amiga 2000 (RIP) to do so.

    And then one day I woke up to find the SJG-BBS had been seized by the Secret Service and one of her online activist buddies (who was connected to a writer at SJG) had been arrested for swiping a document off a phone company system.

    She was in years when I told her we could very easily have the Men in Black knocking on our door.

    That didn't happen and the case turned out to be complete bullshit (and was one of the things that led to the creation of the EFF). But of they had come for us there wouldn't have been Thing #1 we could have done about it. With the Guilt By Association attitude in vogue the odds are that everyone is connected to someone found something a spook somewhere doesn't like.

  • Jul 15th, 2014 @ 4:03pm

    Eh, don't agree

    I think requiring real names is a good idea and this is a move in the wrong direction. I will probably change my G+ name to the nom de guerre I use these days for consistency but I'll leave my real name in the Info field.

  • Apr 24th, 2014 @ 7:25am

    I most vehemently concur.

    I've already decided my next mobile device, when and if I can ever afford one, will be a Nexus or GPE device. I've had it with bloatware.

  • Apr 14th, 2014 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Criminal record

    According to the article the kid is 15; unless they've compounded this comedy of errors by several orders of magnitude by charging him as an adult any record of this will be a juvenile record, which is sealed. Even assuming it doesn't get expunged he should be able to leave it behind him.

    Not that he should have to, of course. Every authority figure in this process needs a beating.

  • Apr 11th, 2014 @ 1:54pm

    Swipe at Open Source

    Personally I liked their little attack on open source software:

    "The Heartbleed flaw, introduced in early 2012 in a minor adjustment to the OpenSSL protocol, highlights one of the failings of open source software development."


    "While many Internet companies rely on the free code, its integrity depends on a small number of underfunded researchers who devote their energies to the projects."

    Let's remember though that while open source developers may have introduced Heartbleed by accident, they also revealed it when they found it. The NSA, by contrast, exploited it even though it was their duty to reveal it. And when the commercial developers at RSA introduced a security flaw, it was deliberate because they were *PAID* to do it.

  • Oct 10th, 2013 @ 7:36am


    "Dennis, you're wrong. Uniformed officers have a duty to intervene whenever a crime is being committed. But, that responsibility or that requirement is murkier for undercover officers."

    No, they don't. I did look it up; so did other people in the discussion. The police are under no *legal* obligation to protect any specific individual person. The department or municipality may throw an officer who fails to respond under a bus if they feel the bad publicity isn't worth it but when push comes to shove there is no legal recourse.

    Sadly, it has to be this way, or the police would never be able to function. They'd be barraged by nuisance lawsuits.

  • Oct 9th, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Re: (as Dennis Heffernan)

    "Please. "Not on duty"? Bullshit. POlice officers are always on duty, even when they're not "on the clock". if a police officer or someone in law enforcement sees a crime being committed, they have a duty to interfere with whoever is committing that crime."

    No, they don't. The police are not responsible for the safety of any particular citizen, even when protection has been explicitly offered. I.e. those restraining orders women get against stalkers are worthless; the police don't have to enforce them and probably won't.

    The legal issues start here with the creation of what's called the Warren Rule:

    ...and go on through some other rulings, but the long and short of it is that the police are not responsible for your safety.

  • Mar 23rd, 2013 @ 8:26am

    Smoking is different

    I have nothing good to say about Bloomberg's war on salt and soda, but smoking is different. If all smoking did was kill the smoker I'd say "knock yourself out, preferably before you breed". That's not the case though. Second-hand smoke impacts the health of everyone nearby. I myself have asthma from second-hand smoke, according to the doctors that treated me. People have the right to make their own choices but not to choose for others. The tobacco industry needs to die.

    As for arguments like "Funny how all of these articles that mention "Nanny State" never mention the huge hidden taxes all of us pay for health care costs of tobacco and sugar water users": if you don't want to pay for the health care costs of other peoples' choices then stop trying to socialize health care. C. S. Lewis went on at some length but I'll keep it to the opening line for the sake of brevity: "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." The truth is that socialists don't care about "helping the people", they're just another brand of control freak.