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  • Jan 14, 2022 @ 04:21am

    Re: US Treasury Secretary writing for TechDirt

    Timothy Geithner was Secretary of the Treasury during the 2008 financial crisis. I would find it VERY amusing if he were to write an article shilling for NFTs on TechDirt!!! I think you meant Timothy Geigner?

  • Jan 14, 2022 @ 04:36am

    Green Bay Packers stock like GOOGL

    Neither has voting rights but shares of Google GOOGL can be bought and sold and investors can make a profit if the price goes up.

    Also, I'm not convinced that NFTs or DAO is an easier way to offer decentralized, widely distributed ownership than an actual common stock offering.

  • Oct 29, 2021 @ 01:12am

    Re: LOLOL

    PA Observer: I am curious. Are you referring to Cathy Gellis as the "poster", and if so, why is this the most ridiculous post on TD in many years? I looked at your comment history, which seems well-informed. (I looked at my own, realized I haven't commented since 2014!) I'm not a legal pretender, merely a statistician at a bank. My understanding was that the Sedition Act of 1917 or so was a bridge too far, and was mostly replaced by the Espionage Act (conviction of such being punishable by death but only in very specific and extreme circumstances). KKK and Illinois neo-Nazis have the right to assemble and speak freely, without prosecution or harassment by the US government. The Jewish residents of Skokie, IL were not happy about the neo-Nazi parade. President Carter wasn't thrilled either, but he was on the side of the ACLU and First Amendment. The neo-Nazis got a permit, held their march in Chicago without harming or being harmed, then departed never to return. That's how the First Amendment applies to protected speech, yes? Child pornography and incitement to violence/rioting are the only exceptions, yes? The law hasn't changed although willful misinterpretation of it has since 1973, e.g. the ACLU would never file an amicus briefs for neo-Nazis now.

  • Oct 28, 2021 @ 09:23pm

    Re: This argument tends to remind me

    I'd suggest that most people, when referencing the phrase, "one can't shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre", are appealing to a colloquial expression that has no actual bearing on the letter of the law as it exists today and for the past hundred years. The "correction" does not keep getting ignored. Rather, it is upheld, and is very much the point of protected speech under the First Amendment. For example, I was listening to Chris Cuomo (the CNN guy) exchange heated words about the harm caused by hate speech. Chris Cuomo is an attorney. When pressed, he readily acknowledged that he considers hate speech to be immoral, but certainly NOT illegal.

  • Oct 28, 2021 @ 08:54pm

    Re: What about conspiracy?

    No, it doesn't work like that. Two or more people can be convicted of, and punished for conspiracy IF AND ONLY IF at least one of them actually does commit an illegal act. See 18 U.S. Code § 371 (Conspiracy to commit offense against or defraud the United States). If the conspirators talk about doing something illegal, but none of them DO anything illegal, there is no crime and free speech is not restricted.

  • Oct 07, 2014 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Two lessons here

    Adobe is probably tracking reading speed, bookmarks etc. just like AMZN did. I used Adobe Digital Editions, the free e-reader using EPUB (?) format. It was good, but not better than any others. This sounds like the best option to me:

    buy the printed version that's usually cheaper and more pleasant to read at home.
    I don't like messing with DRM.

  • Aug 29, 2014 @ 05:46pm

    Re: We need to get into a borrowing society...We do?

    There isn't anything wrong with "stockpiling" cereal. As long as you eat it, it is a discounted bulk purchase, and nothing to feel guilty over. Well, if there aren't food shortages! As for renting power tools, great idea! I think Home Depot and small non-chain hardware stores used to offer that.

    Most of the sharing economy so far seems to enrich a tiny number of middle men who own the distribution platform, with inconsistent or questionable benefit to users/customers. I do NOT see Google in that role though.

  • Apr 26, 2014 @ 01:43am

    Secret negotiations

    This is really awful:

    The Obama administration has revealed so few details about the negotiations, even to members of Congress and their staffs, that it is impossible to fully analyze the Pacific partnership. Negotiators have argued that it?s impossible to conduct trade talks in public because opponents to the deal would try to derail them.
    That isn't how U.S. government works. There are always opponents to legislation by some members of Congress. Hiding the details from them, and the public, is wrong, and very ominous.

  • Apr 22, 2014 @ 12:46pm

    Thank you etc for ottonomy

    I visited your website from your profile here, after reading that URL to the MoveOn news.

    Wow! You are so kind and introspective, based on what I read. You seem like a very good person, emotionally and ethically. Keep up the great work, and don't doubt yourself!
    * No one here is allowed to poke fun at me for this, okay?

  • Apr 22, 2014 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: MoveOn for Louisiana GOP

    Speaking of LA education, I think they may have seen the light, scales falling from eyes. (Sorry, that was for dramatic effect. I am not a Christian, but love their way with words sometimes).
    I say that with respect to the highly STATIST Common Core, which Gov. Jindal is finally turning away from.

  • Apr 18, 2014 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Here's the image:

    Thank you!

    Waging war on Medicaid... ugh, that isn't good.

  • Apr 18, 2014 @ 04:49am

    MoveOn for Louisiana GOP

    I haven't seen the billboard or read the text. Two thoughts:
    1. This is bad precedent by MoveOn. It will open the floodgates for more mudracking political crud, from all parties. I'm tired of that, don't need more. I doubt I'm the only person who is sick of politicized discourse about every little thing.

    2. It doesn't imply any deficiency in voter intelligence to assume that a state's trademarked slogan is used exclusively by that state, or in support of the elected officials (and policies) of that state. The Lt Governor should have taken a "wait and see" attitude, rather than sue. Depending on how the billboard is worded, it might lead viewers to believe that MoveOn is organizing on behalf of the Louisiana GOP. Now wouldn't THAT be ironic!

  • Apr 18, 2014 @ 04:23am

    Judge Shelly

    That was the first thought I had too.

    It is a remarkably unfortunate surname. Bad anglicization maybe? Middle initial "D" doesn't help either...

  • Feb 07, 2014 @ 07:45am

    Re: Say what Christopher Best?

    Hello CBimerrow formerly of IT support! I didn't know any other way to reply to you, about what I read on the TechDirt insider chat thingy. That's where y'all talk to each other and we get read access. You mentioned something that I noticed and winced at (just like you did, when you said, "it burns!") but no one talks about. Same as the reaction on TechDirt Insider chat; no one replied to you, re this
    I agree, it is unsightly! The UTM's are for Google, or other web analytics "campaign metrics". I strip them away whenever I post or send a URL. They look cheezy. Even if I'm using a URL shortener, I want that crud gone. I was curious why the person you were IM chatting with didn't post this instead,
    Is it considered immoral or rude to excise the crud, because the URL creator can't surveil (track?) as well? That URL was so lengthy that it forced the sidebar chat widget to scroll out to 4 times width!

    For etiquette's sake, I'll return to the current topic. Why don't these comments have any respect for IT? IT departments are NOT always clueless bureaucrats who don't know how to set a password other than to "password". Someone else described how their IT department isolated Macs because of PC viruses (I didn't say that quite right, it's down below). Just maybe, the IT guys know something that the users don't know, about security. The user's job, in this case, is to be a developer. IT doesn't sit around all day doing nothing. Their job, among other things, is to be real-time up to date about viruses. Macs are not immune, regardless of OS used. Even computers running Linux can be vulnerable.

    As for getting in the way of business and customers, I learned the hard way that IT needs to be consulted. I worked on a project using PHI (protected health information). At the beginning, before we bid on the contract, one of our IT guys warned us that there would be problems with using VolP as part oF the dEliverable, that HIPAA didn't allow it, in that context. Client said it would be okay, but didn't check with their own IT guy, nor anyone else. So we did months of work and sure enough, our IT guy was right. We should have spent some time to see if he were correct, before proceeding further. We were still paid, nothing terrible happened. Client had to spend more though, for us to do (lots of tedious) changes.

    IT security can be a huge pain to deal with, like a law enforcement bureaucracy in your midst, e.g. a visit from Tyler in Data Security was much worse than having the Assistant District Attorney stop by to "ask you a few questions"! It is management's job to reign in overzealous IT, or replace any who are incompetent.

  • Feb 07, 2014 @ 08:44am

    SEC OMG!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, TechDirt and Mike Masnick for sharing this with us! And thank you for so kindly posting the full text of the document.

    I knew about the NRC having no reporting procedure to track breaches pertaining to accidental release of sensitive information, because I noticed an entry in the Federal Register (or somewhere similar) saying that they needed to draft and instate one, in October or November last year. I wasn't aware of the pervasive carelessness in so many other U.S. government departments though.

    The SEC is my primary interest. Lax security increases exchange infrastructure vulnerability. There is another concern, namely, the always-tempting opportunity to exploit and profit from unauthorized access to material non-public information.

  • Jan 29, 2014 @ 12:51am

    Re: Re: Re: native code execution

    Yes. This is a very convincing argument against DRM in HTML5. Urg... plug-in's.

    I have never used a file sharing site, never illegally downloaded software, music, video or anything else. I'd be happy to give my computer to the MpAA, RIAA, NSA etc. to peruse. I'm very boring! Yet I still don't like the idea of DRM in HTML5. It will cause profound interoperability problems.

  • Jan 29, 2014 @ 12:35am

    Jimmy Wales gets no salary

    Are you certain about that? I don't see why he wouldn't get any salary. He should. He does work!

    Jimmy Wales has a variety of shortcomings. I could find many examples of his vanity, accepting large cash honorariums for speaking engagements, sailing on Richard Branson's yacht etc. Nevertheless, Wikimedia Foundation should pay Jimmy Wales. Maybe they should pay him more than they do now. Maybe if he were paid better... well, I've said enough. Everyone who works as an employee of the Wikimedia Foundation should be paid a living wage.

    Lots oF people use Wikipedia content, including the U.S. government. Google does too. They link to it for definitions in their help pages, as is their right, under the CC license.

  • Nov 21, 2013 @ 11:39am

    Everyone is worried about this

    This is all going on at the same time. First there is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). That's what they renamed it! It was originally Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement or TAFTA. It is so complicated and lengthy that it is difficult to understand any of it. I tried to read the document that Wikileaks kindly provided. I am certain that the opacity is by intent though. The CFC folks wrote this about the implications of TAFTA - TTIP in plain language.

    Then I read a super creepy commentary by Vint Cerf via TechCrunch. He met with the head of SANS and two FCC commissioners and lots of other people at an off-the-record "privacy thought leaders" dinner in Washington D.C. a few nights ago. Immediately afterward, he made the creepy announcement about right to privacy being a transitory anomaly, unknown in human civilization until the 1960's, and an inevitable, necessary casualty of the "digital age".

    And now... THIS! From what I can tell, Colum Lynch seems like a sensible person. This latest not-privacy scheme at the UN is something to be concerned about.

  • Sep 14, 2013 @ 09:43am

    Re: School district and The State

    Yes, school districts are agencies of the state. Here, the state is California, which is large and influential. One school district has implemented Geo Tracking. Another, larger district (Burbank) is already considering doing the same..

    These are minors. First, they are protected under the Fourth Amendment. Where does the school district draw the line of in loco parentis, despite the child having one, or two, parents or legal guardians?

    Even if this were limited to school, I wouldn't like it. It would be better for schools not to allow SMS, Twitter and Facebook during school hours, instead of this 24 hour per day/ 7 days per week surveillance. That is so wrong!

    The school is using contractors. If there were a choice, the school district IT department would be required to observe privacy law and be less likely to exploit student information than an outside, private contractor. I'm just saying "what if", as this tracking, 24/7, of all minors is not ethical, whomever does it; with the exception of parents, as a personal family decision that should not be dictated by the school district, nor the state.

  • Sep 14, 2013 @ 10:23am

    Decisions about document release isn't up to us

    Unless circumstances have changed, Glenn Greenwald had all 30,000 to 50,000 of Snowden's documents. Glenn Greenwald is in Brazil, and not likely to be delivering the remaining documents to the NSA in Washington D.C. nor the NSA's Utah data center.

    Whether the documents are destroyed or not isn't up to anyone but Greenwald. The Guardian is his employer, but I'm sure another newspaper would be happy to work with him, if The Guardian weren't.

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