Dr. David T. Macknet’s Techdirt Profile


About Dr. David T. Macknet

Dr. David T. Macknet’s Comments comment rss

  • Jul 18th, 2017 @ 10:02am

    Maybe it'll kill off this creepy business, though?

    Ran across this tweet ( https://twitter.com/brucedaisley/status/885851540124299267 ) the other day, which points to the Fama app (on twitter at https://twitter.com/famahire and at https://www.fama.io/ ). Their entire business model is based on snooping through employee social media.

  • May 5th, 2017 @ 9:33pm

    Search For Pink M16

    Do an image search for "pink M16" or "pink AR-15" and tell me what you see. Yup: those would be actual assault rifles dressed up to be cute and pink. You can skin them however you'd like - there are some Hello Kitty ones floating around.

    So. If a real gun can look fake as hell, and a fake gun can look real, what is law enforcement supposed to gain by going after the toy companies?

    This is idiotic. Guns in the hands of police are the problem. Take them away and we'd be a hell of a lot safer. Fire the police and we'd be better off still.

  • Apr 27th, 2017 @ 3:42pm

    Simulate Throttling

    I think it would be fairly simple to simulate a low-bandwidth connection to, say, every IP address that's owned by a .gov connection. Just lock it all down to dial-up speeds. Nothing says that a company MUST serve things out as fast as the pipes will support (or else YouTube videos wouldn't buffer). If we can get enough companies behind this, or enough which are regularly serving content to .gov domains, then we can put enough pressure to change Pai's mind.

  • Mar 15th, 2017 @ 9:47am

    Remember: single-digit number of cases make it past plea-bargain

    The thing to also remember, here, is that this is a case that made it to court. So, an actual judge got to hear the case on its merits, and express an opinion. How many cases actually make it this far? Yeah, that's right, somewhere between 3 and 5 percent. So, here's the deal: call it 95 percent of all of these cases don't even make it this far, so for every one like this there are 19 others who have just sucked it up and gone to jail, rather than risk their judge being an idiot.

  • Mar 11th, 2017 @ 4:21pm

    Makes Sense

    If you were to combine this with the flagging of suspected bots / trolls, I think it would work nicely. It's sort of like saying, "this is not a place to just dump your comment and run - this is a place for thoughtful interaction with others on a given article and you must demonstrate some level of facility with the concepts in order to participate." You'd still need the flagging, though, because there are some assholes who will read enough to get into the comments just out of spite, and probably feel even happier for having done so.

  • Feb 9th, 2017 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Dear Social Media Platforms:

    The point of a duress password is to protect your data and to provide deniability. Allowing the "required" access defeats the point.

  • Feb 3rd, 2017 @ 12:27pm

    Fabulous Recap

    Keep it up, thanks.

  • Jan 30th, 2017 @ 11:13am

    All Too Familiar...

    The responses you've had are all too familiar to anyone with a public persona. Scott Hanselman has tweeted about it, as have John Scalzi, and countless others - responding to people who only want to hear one side of a person's experience (in those examples, either the tech side or the author side). This proscriptive bullying is an attempt to devalue the person behind the writing - to tell you that you're ONLY valuable because of your writing on a particular subject, and should not speak on anything else because that's not your PLACE.

    Liberties are, indeed, all intertwined, and must be defended as part of a whole. You cannot be free in one venue if your freedoms are arbitrarily restricted in another - that's just not how freedom works, whether you're a radical progressive or a libertarian or anyone in between. I appreciate your writing on them as part of a whole. Keep it up. Also: any time you can speak truth to power, please do.

  • Jan 17th, 2017 @ 12:43pm

    Even better

    Rather than accept Microsoft's word for it, I've simply added the following to my hosts file, so that any request to their spy sites gets simply discarded:

    # Windows SPY sites a.ads1.msn.com a.ads2.msn.com a-0001.a-msedge.net ad.doubleclick.n et adnexus.net adnxs.com ads.msn.com ads1.msads.net ads1.msn.com
    0 .0.0.0 az361816.vo.msecnd.net az512334.vo.msecnd.net choice.microsoft.com choic e.microsoft.com.nsatc.net compatexchange.cloudapp.net corp.sts.microsoft.com co rpext.msitadfs.glbdns2.microsoft.com cs1.wpc.v0cdn.net df.telemetry.microsoft.com
    0.0.0 .0 diagnostics.support.microsoft.com fe2.update.microsoft.com.akadns.net feedback.micr osoft-hohm.com feedback.search.microsoft.com feedback.windows.com i1.services.s ocial.microsoft.com i1.services.social.microsoft.com.nsatc.net oca.telemetry.microsoft .com oca.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net pre.footprintpredict.com preview.msn .com rad.msn.com redir.metaservices.microsoft.com reports.wes.df.telemetry.micr osoft.com services.wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com settings-sandbox.data.microsoft.com
    0 .0.0.0 sls.update.microsoft.com.akadns.net sqm.df.telemetry.microsoft.com sqm.telemetr y.microsoft.com sqm.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net statsfe1.ws.microsoft.com statsfe2.update.microsoft.com.akadns.net statsfe2.ws.microsoft.com survey.watson.micr osoft.com telecommand.telemetry.microsoft.com telecommand.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsat c.net telemetry.appex.bing.net telemetry.appex.bing.net:443 telemetry.microsoft .com telemetry.urs.microsoft.com vortex.data.microsoft.com vortex-sandbox.data. microsoft.com vortex-win.data.microsoft.com watson.live.com watson.microsoft.co m watson.ppe.telemetry.microsoft.com watson.telemetry.microsoft.com watson.tele metry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net wes.df.telemetry.microsoft.com

    I imagine that I should hunt about for an update to that list, as no doubt they're aware of some of us trying to stop them spying, but it's a good start.

  • Oct 18th, 2016 @ 11:48am

    Re: and a possibly fractured penis

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say "penis" is a typo - "pelvis" is likely what the writer was trying to say. Yes, there are mammals with bones in their penises ... humans just happen to not have them.

  • May 11th, 2016 @ 8:04am

    Posturing for PR Purposes

    Part of this may be PR as a tech company to say, "hey, we're not in the government's pocket!" They're trying to spin it as if they still don't take whatever contracts come their way, in other words, when in reality they haven't ended those relationships.

    Part of this may be PR as a company trying to attract job talent ... and getting responses like mine:

    A couple/three years ago I interviewed with Dataminr. I ended the interview process after I learned that their clients included various agencies, because I just didn't want to be a part of a company that did analysis for "those people."

    The tech industry as a whole has tended to lean towards privacy over surveillance, and Dataminr is likely losing out on a lot of talent because they're perceived as being in the pocket of those agencies.

    As a data scientist (see that new buzzword?) I'm interested in their volume of data, and the science behind processing that data. However, until they cease to be a tool of oppression, they'll not be attractive to me. And I don't think I'm alone in making this assessment.

  • May 9th, 2016 @ 12:36pm


    The thing about the way TechDirt does it, though, makes sense: you don't prevent the content from displaying, but give a gentle nudge that says you're monetizing and there are other ways to support you other than to get rid of security precautions. These others don't offer any option but to be less secure / anonymous. TechDirt at this moment knows who I am because I'm commenting and logged in - most of the time I'm not, and clear my browser cookies / history every time I close the browser; to be able to still benefit from the site w/o having to log in is an awesome feature - and, yes, I've supported you 'cause I like your content, but don't need for you to remember that I have done so.

    What these sites fail to understand is that we of the internet have options - we can visit other sites, or drop the title into a search engine and find the exact same content on some other site.

    I block them right back, frankly - I add them as to my etc/hosts file so that if I accidentally try to follow a link I get no content. Makes it simpler.

  • Mar 10th, 2016 @ 10:03am

    Do Not Patronize (as David T. Macknet)

    If you're sending people to someplace that may compromise their security, you're essentially standing by that company and saying, "yeah, your security isn't as important as this story we really know you want to read." Now, if you highlight the link somehow to let us know that it's behind a paywall (which, hey - these sites essentially are, by demanding we look at ads) then I think that's a fairly easy compromise, and says that you are citing your source appropriately but whilst making people aware that the source is untrustworthy.

    Personally, I've added hosts file entries for wired, forbes, etc. which resolve to So, if you link to them, I end up with a blank page, and that's that. I literally cannot be exposed to those sites with this setup, which seems ideal to me.