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  • Dec 7th, 2017 @ 8:57am

    Extra-judicial punishment?

    I can't come up with any other reason to expose the identity of the defendant except directly or indirectly enabling additional punishment.

  • Dec 6th, 2017 @ 12:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    Following the link to the Abbott story, it appears that he solicited sex from multiple 13- and 14-year-old boys. That usually happened in person, with multiple years of electronic messages providing confirming evidence.

    This wasn't a case of pursuing 17-almost-18 year olds, this was unambiguous pedophilia. Something like that isn't usually kept hidden. His fellow officers must have suspected or even known about it. Even if they thought that the 'evidence gathering' passed constitutional muster, why would they let him be involved?

  • Dec 6th, 2017 @ 12:45pm

    Re: Re:

    Is it really true that the police resisted this order?

    The first time the police took pictures of his penis, and told him to make it erect. That didn't happen, so the prosecutor filed for and received a warrant.

  • Nov 30th, 2017 @ 8:44am

    Major flaw in the study

    If I'm offer a 45 day 'Free Subscription', I don't go any further. I've been throughly educated that I'll be locked into an expensive subscription that is nearly impossible to cancel.

    I try to avoid such 'free subscriptions', but some are really difficult. Recently I had to deal with OnStar, which makes it trivial to subscribe, renew or increase your service online. But if you want to cancel or reduce your service you have to call, wait on hold for a long time, and be subject to a sales pitch before they will cancel the service.

    This is a nearly universal experience, and most people learn to treat 'free' offers with justified suspicion. The researchers must have a strong bias to ignore the effect.

  • Nov 28th, 2017 @ 7:52pm

    And the police officer got...

    This guy was guilty, but was really just an uninformed mule. He was sentenced to 15 years.

    It appears that the dirty police officer, who stole and handled the drugs, as well as committing many other crimes using his badge, was sentenced to only 5 years and 10 months in total.

  • Nov 22nd, 2017 @ 8:54am

    Re: Free OTA

    The reason cable companies pay for 'rebroadcast' rights is because the FCC explicitly allows the broadcasters to charge.

    The broadcasters actually get a choice of 'must carry' for free, or they can negotiate a rate and risk not being carried.

    It's an absurd situation. Local stations spend millions on powerful broadcasting equipment, carefully situated towers and electricity in the hopes of reaching the maximum number of viewers. But when the cable company will carry the signal for free, to otherwise-unreachable viewers, and report the exact number of customers, the broadcaster expects to be paid.

  • Nov 18th, 2017 @ 6:23am

    Re: DA and Arrest

    At first that seemed off-topic, but it (and the following comments) provided a great deal of additional info.

    The sheriff went to Liberty University, the far-right university founded by Jerry Falwell. It's not known for high academic standards. It is known for its political and religious stance. They make it clear to incoming students that free speech takes a back seat to religious belief.

    The truck owner worked for the Sheriff Dept until relatively recently.

    The arrest was for an offense in March and April 2014 (when she worked at the Sheriff's Dept?).

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 10:47pm

    Re: First paragraph condescending as if member of the bar,

    I assume that you think that your comment was coherent, rational and added to the discussion.

    It doesn't read that way.

  • Nov 3rd, 2017 @ 3:48pm

    Re: Re: Why would a rational person want to delete Trump's account?

    Here a question to ponder.

    A person is displaying a Nazi flag in their window. Should that be banned? Why?

    Isn't it better to know the attitudes of the person up front? Especially when they aren't... typical.

  • Nov 3rd, 2017 @ 11:17am

    Why would a rational person want to delete Trump's account?

    The only reason I could think of would be to stop him from embarrassing himself. And that's pointless, since the account would be certain to be quickly restored.

  • Nov 2nd, 2017 @ 3:41am

    Re: He wasn't charged with obstructing traffic

    If being in the street was the problem, the police would have added on a citation for that.

    It seems pretty clear what happened. The police officer was part of the security detail. He was told by someone working for the campaign to harass the reporter. He did. The officer thought that the profanity was a justification to roughly arrest the reporter. Before they filled out the arrest report the officer was told the law was unconstitutional, so they had to substitute 'disorderly conduct'.

    Without the video, the officer's narrative would stand. Before the age of ubiquitous video cameras I certainly would have believed it. But with the video it's clear that the police officer was arresting the reporter for a violation of section 511. They needed to substitute a different charge later to justify the arrest. Without a plausible charge -- one that wasn't obviously unconstitutional, the police couldn't justify the force used during the arrest.

  • Oct 31st, 2017 @ 10:58pm

    How much would you pay for...

    How much would a police department pay for a dice roll to do an otherwise-improper search?

    When viewed from that perspective, the ideal test kit would have a high false positive rate, with some attribute (such as lower cost) that justifies its use vs. a more accurate test.

  • Oct 31st, 2017 @ 9:19am

    Complete own-goal

    My previous perception was that 'eco-terrorist' referred to those extremists that were willing to destroy property and even kill in "raise awareness" for their 'cause'. They do evil things like spike trees, burn down buildings and release ill-adapted animals to the wild.

    Now when I hear that phrase I'll just expect regular people with moderate views wanting reasonable constraints on companies that would otherwise destroy the environment to make money.

  • Oct 30th, 2017 @ 9:26am

    Is this just a competitive position?

    His comments might have no technical basis. They could be pure market positioning for a government-enforced windfall.

    Blackberry went from owning the smartphone market to having a vanishingly tiny share. That is a trillion dollar screw-up. It puts them near the top of the worst business misses of all time.

    With that perspective, it's understandable that the CEO would grasp at any straw that might cause a government to mandate them back into relevance.

  • Oct 17th, 2017 @ 3:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    Hopefully this case will result in much more careful consideration with a default judgment. It was easy to foresee that transferring the copyright could only lead to the plaintiff stirring up trouble.

  • Oct 13th, 2017 @ 8:40am

    (untitled comment)

    "One million accounts" is quoted. But it appears that fewer than 5000 of them were active, and there is no estimate of how many individuals that represents.

    Just looking at this website is illegal in many places. It's likely that the users regularly created and abandoned accounts to avoid leaving an obvious long-term record of their activities. Some may have have done it as frequently as every use. 5000 active accounts over a year might be only 100 active users.

    A similar thing is true for the image view counts. Most users are presumably going back to the site rather than downloading incriminating content. And viewing with their browser caching turned off, or even with browsers that retain no state. Each time the page is viewed the images are downloaded. In some cases just scrolling up and down will load an image multiple times, or re-load the page to render additional content.

    The count of individuals is important. Police are justifying their actions based on large counts. If the reality is there are few people creating and viewing child porn, it may be that the police are actually the largest purveyors and consumers.

  • Sep 11th, 2017 @ 11:35am


    More to the point, how is having money and credit cards in a wallet evidence of the suspected crime? Before this was a seizure, it was a search -- why were they searching in the first place? What relevant evidence did they expect to find in his wallet?

  • Sep 7th, 2017 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re:

    The equipment is free, but it can be extremely expensive to operate and maintain. A Bearcat spare tire is $5K. Helicopters cost at least a few hundred an hour, up to $1K.

    Once you can pass the cost to someone else, there is a strong incentive to move every expense in the operating cost column. For instance leasing the equipment instead of purchasing, and have the lease contract include training.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 10:46am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm sure many companies would be happy to rip up the rules and start over.

    Not because they want clarity and fairness, but because they expect that they will be able to grab a bigger piece of the pie.

    Even if that happens, licensing of existing content will continue under the current rules, so deciding what those rules actually mean is important. And once the rules are clarified, there might be little reason to make new ones.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 10:40am


    There used to be arguments over what constituted a "copy" sufficient to implicate copyright law, but that has long been decided. Ephemeral copies are not covered.

    There might be thousands of identifiable "copies" along the distribution chain, but legally that counts as Zero Copies. Not one of the copies from the master tapes, through storage, memory and registers of uncounted servers and routers counts. You don't need a separate license for DRAM chip, swap disk, flip-flop and transistor along the way.

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