James Burkhardt's Techdirt Profile

James Burkhardt

About James Burkhardt Techdirt Insider

James Burkhardt's Comments comment rss

  • Jul 05, 2022 @ 05:51pm

    How is a genetically-distinct and unique human being “just part of a woman’s body”? I suggest you brush up on your embryology as well as basic logic. Proximity doesn’t necessarily equate to being part of something. Sitting in your car doesn’t make you a part of it.
    Before I begin, lets discuss the sorities paradox. We hopefully both agree a single grain of sand is not a heap of sand. As I add one grain of sand at a time, when does it become a heap? The definition of heap is vague enough that we can't draw a bright line, but we can clearly distinguish one grain of sand from a heap of sand. Now lets consider your question. When is a collection of cells that will grow to be a human become a distinct being? Here you focus on the science. So lets look at the science. In the first 4-ish weeks of pregnancy, an embryo is indistinguishable from its mother. We can not detect its presence, and even if we could, it would be indistinguishable from a polyp or tumor in the uterus. At this point, for all intents and purposes that ball of cells is part of the mother. The question then becomes, when do those cells become a seperate entity? What indeed is a human being? Just this morning I discovered that ~1350 times a year that clump of cells will never grow a brain, and if it survives until term will not survive outside the womb. The term is 'incompatible with life'. Are these embryos, whose future is to lack any capacity for thought, consciousness, or sentience, human beings at all? If they are born, must the state preserve that life at all costs? If they are human at the moment of conception, the state must right? Or did the fetus stop being human at some point? Science has landed on the answer that it can not determine when a human life begins, because the question of what is human life is not all that clear. Some biologists/doctors hold to a moral belief and say the only reasonable choice is at conception. There are however two other major answers. One is at birth. Once the fetus is free of the mother's life support, it becomes its own individual. This provides a clean line as conception does, but without the messy and complicated questions about what happens if the essential elements of life don't develop. Others will say viability is a reasonable middle ground. Viability provides a similar standard to birth, that is once the child can survive outside the mothers womb it is endowed with the right to a live birth, removing abortion as an option in favor of surgical birth. Indeed, I expected a slower roll-back of Roe from Dobbs, pushing the Casey guidance on viability back based on long shot victories of keeping a pre-mature child alive rather than a full on repeal. Simply put, In creatures that use live birth, while we can easily distinguish the baby from the embryo or fetus, there is a difficulty in finding the clear line between. Taxonomy is difficult, and the question of what makes a human a distinct life is not as clear as you make it.

  • Jun 30, 2022 @ 12:21pm

    DMCA bait?

    At first I thought the 'published' blog post C&D was one of those John Steele-esque 'I'm just way too smart' attempts to end-run around press coverage by claiming a copyright in the C&D because it was published, but the length of the DM torpedo's that idea.

  • Jun 30, 2022 @ 10:14am

    You are the one who assumes hand picked refers to Trump. hand-picked is used here as an adjective. They were select carefully with a particular purpose in mind. The term does not interact with the subject ("his"/Trump) like it would as a verb.

  • Jun 30, 2022 @ 10:10am

    No news since Twitter provided Musk with the firehose API. WSJ has a paywalled article whose headlines and blurbs discuss that despite Musk's bravado, analysis of that data likely isn't easy. I suspect we won't hear about this for a while.

  • Jun 30, 2022 @ 09:55am

    Yes. The act of filing a case known to be without merit is an ethics violation for a bar seated lawyer. Giuliani and Powel both face sanctions, and Giuliani has either been suspended from the bar or had his license to practice law outright revoked, I can't remember the exact status there, for filing lawsuits they knew or should have known were without merit.

  • Jun 30, 2022 @ 09:49am

    Brendan Carr is not making a general call for a competitor to tiktok. He is using his role as a telecom regulator to call for a ban of the tiktok app on the two biggest app stores in the US on the basis of consumer privacy. Karl points out that he has repeatedly ignored calls for investigations of US companies under his control on the basis of consumer privacy. Karl points out that former FCC officials are currently employed for the purpose of lobbying for a tik tok ban on behalf of facebook, who seeks to regain its top seat by banning the competition (whats wrong with competition, am I right?) and hints that soft (read: legal) corruption may be in play. Karl notes that a ban of TikTok does not fix the underlying issue Carr has a problem with - lax data privacy that allows China (and only China, apparently, I'd have assumed that India's scam markets might also be an issue) to harvest consumer data. That we have an ocean of data to harvest and TikTok is simply one river feeding it. Finally Karl provides a solution that FCC commissioner Carr should advocate for to resolve his stated privacy concerns without targeting Facebook's competition: Actual data privacy laws. Notice 'Orange man bad' isn't part of that logic chain. Note that Karl hasn't implicated the truth of the privacy concerns themselves. He is only stating that, possibly due to bad motives, Carr has not identified a solution to the presented problem. It is a logical fallacy to assume that if a premise is true (TikTok feeds US data to chinese servers) that the conclusions are also true (Banning tiktok meaningfully affects the ability of the Chinese to gather US data).

  • Jun 27, 2022 @ 07:18am

    The biggest thing I always like to bring up is the FAA did not start real-world testing until after the period for objections to come up, And the issue is radios that don't adequately shield themselves from out of band transmissions that never should have been approved by the FAA for use in the first place.

  • Jun 16, 2022 @ 10:26am

    RE: Quit using email

    Wut? One of the big 'justifications' for closing down the USPS is how spam is endemic in snail mail. Switching to dead trees doesn't solve the issue, and it would likely increase it if somehow electronic communications were deprecated and people starting paying attention to letters again.

  • Jun 15, 2022 @ 08:40am

    well, a look at the source (or at least the april 2022 update) might help you understand. https://www.nclc.org/issues/robocalls-and-telemarketing.html They are tracking the originating line. Citibank has 4 separate lines, probably different call centers, all in the top 50 of robocallers. Thats why 'unknown robocaller' comes up multiple times in december 2021 - they track the originating line, not who they identify as the source of that line.

  • Jun 15, 2022 @ 08:37am

    Your single data point does not invalidate the data of billions of calls. That said, The April 2022 update lists Vehicle warranty Scam at number 6. December might just be a bad time for vehicle warranty scams. https://www.nclc.org/issues/robocalls-and-telemarketing.html

  • Jun 15, 2022 @ 08:23am

    Assets are more than currency. On top of reports cops can now seize the value from gift cards and pre-paid debit cards heavily used by those locked out of the banking industry, cars, phones, tablets, and other high end electronics are expensive and are all used by drug dealers.

  • Jun 15, 2022 @ 08:19am

    Supposedly, to perform civil asset forfeiture, the government has to prove the money was the proceeds of a crime. Therefore, they have proven a crime occurred, and that the asset that was seized is the proceeds of a crime. If they can establish that an asset was the proceeds of a crime, but not establish the criminal behavior of the possessor of that asset, Id guess the connection between the asset and the crime isnt as strong as the police claim.

  • Jun 14, 2022 @ 09:25am

    Public versus private funding is complicated, because the project was an effort of the soverign Lakota Suiox Tribe, but was operated under a US non-profit. It should be 'public funds', as a work funded by the tribe, but US copyright law might see the Tribe as a private entity. As far as I can tell, they claim copyright on recordings of the elderly native speakers made to document the language as it was spoken, stories that were previously not 'fixed' under an oral tradition, and any work product documenting the language.

  • Jun 10, 2022 @ 06:31am

    It should be noted that the big opposition breifs 4-5 years ago all cited the years and years of cases it had taken before the courts wised up to claims the account holder was the infringer, and the long chain of precedent that has been decided to begin to reign in abuse of the courts. None of that is binding on the copyright small claims "court".

  • Jun 09, 2022 @ 11:25am

    A missed legal detail

    A big part of this dispute gets weirdly into the weeds on termination rights, and that the movie was likely complete or substantially complete when the rights expired in 2021 given the movie’s delays for covid. It makes the case much weaker, and highlights the rent seeking - this wasn’t filed after the release was delayed until after the rights expired, or after the marketing campaign for the 2022 release, but after the record box office. Though i can’t wait for the injunction be denied, as the heir clearly wanted renegotiated rights, and licensing is inherently repairable through a monetary award in post.

  • Jun 08, 2022 @ 10:21am

    I suspect that the conflation of 'accounts' and 'users' and 'daily active users' and 'monetizable daily active users' that is rampant in Musk fanboys is the core issue with twitter witholding numbers. Namely, what Musk is asking for is numbers about fake/spam accounts, and twitter knowing that his supposed issue is with the SEC disclosure about mDAU, Twitter is providing him data that to establish mDAU estimates, not the number of accounts.

  • Jun 07, 2022 @ 01:01pm

    Specifically, there appears to be a material difference between the 5% bot account rate reported to the SEC, versus the 20% rate revealed in recent tests.
    SEC filings do not talk about 5% of accounts being bots. That is you and Musk being willfully stupid. It talks about monetizable daily active users, which is a subset of all users (each user may represent multiple accounts, or a single account might represent multiple users) that attempts to quantify the number of daily active users who can be sold adverts or premium features. This isn't genuine scrutiny. Musk had a board seat through which he could have made these inquiries before his purchase that wouldn't have potentially had him on the hook for a $1 Billion fee, or even a $44 Billion purchase. If exposing twitter as having as many bots as Musk claimed before investing was Musk's goal, a smart man would have used that path, not risk investor confidence in his other businesses by announcing he was splitting his time as CEO by adding a 4th behemoth to his docket, a feat previously only accomplished by a man in jail for oodles of fraud.

  • Jun 07, 2022 @ 12:35pm

    I keep hearing the claim he waived all right to future due dilligence, but I don't see that clause. IANAL, but neither do I hear this claim from lawtubers covering the agreement (Hoeg law, a M&A lawtuber explicitly also seeming confused in a comment reply when I asked) I largely agree with this article, but I have been confused by the "waived due diligence" claim.

  • Jun 07, 2022 @ 09:49am

    None of that has anything to do with whether the author of the article claimed the prosecutor acted maliciously in ignoring the presumption of innocence.

  • Jun 04, 2022 @ 08:48am

    You exactly are you talking to?

    Other than dictating to Techdirt what belongs on techdirt, I am at a loss of who your message is intended for.

More comments from James Burkhardt >>