halley’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 28th, 2015 @ 2:19pm

    (untitled comment)

    Cops won't change their attitudes until they start getting fired and put in jail for this kind of thing. Hold them to a higher standard. If you can't hold them to a higher standard, at least hold them to the same standard as anyone else. Smashing things and intimidating people and assaulting people are all pretty clear illegal behavior. When cops do illegal things, it should be a career-ending move.

    But spokespeople keep defending them and investigations usually go nowhere.

    That said, this lady was clearly jabbering nonstop while filming. Cops have to be able to let that slide off them without escalating the situation. It has to be a part of their training. It doesn't mean she's not being obnoxious.
  • Jul 18th, 2014 @ 11:17am

    (untitled comment)

    Sounds like Verizon is guilty of exactly the same thing that Chris Christy's staff got caught in. They wanted to put the squeeze financially, so they put the squeeze on the available lanes through the tunnel at rush hour. For the simple price of removing a barrier or adding a bit of CAT5, there would be no problem. No problem means no chance to beg for more money.
  • Mar 12th, 2014 @ 7:37am

    (untitled comment)

    I don't like the term scare quotes but I think that was what you intended to write here.

    it is imperative that the Justice Department (it's gotten so hard not put square quotes around that phrase) investigate
  • Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:24am

    Re: Drones

    You are right, the word 'drone' has scary connotations. There's no good definition.

    A drone could be autonomous, or remotely piloted by camera, or remotely piloted by sight from the ground. It could be a hovercraft, a fixed wing plane, a helicopter, a multicopter. It could have jet turbine engines or propellers. It could have a drop payload or a projectile weapon or a laser weapon or a specialized camera. It could have GPS guidance or laser illumination guidance or be able to fly freely. It could weigh under two pounds or over two tons.

    I think the only consistent traits are that it flies, it is under active control, it can return to home, and it is unmanned. If it's on the ground it's some other kind of robot. If it's in space, it's more of a probe or rocket. If it doesn't return, it's a missile or projectile. And so on.
  • Mar 7th, 2014 @ 7:05am


    I know you're just winging it (so to speak) but your proposed rules are way off and unworkable.

    A one-pound toy helicopter you can get in a shopping mall can easily fly faster than 40 MPH forward speed. Banning them bans everything.

    Conversely, an 8-pound 600mm rotor hobby helicopter has only about 1/6 gallon of liquid fuel, and can kill a person who stands too close to the rotor blade while it's in a standing hover. Your limits are way too lax there.

    There is an organization in the US called the AMA. They do three things: they advocate safe flying with lots of helpful advice to pilots; they offer insurance for pilots to cover mishaps when flying responsibly; and they lobby on behalf of responsible pilots for reasonable government policy.
  • Mar 7th, 2014 @ 5:25am

    (untitled comment)

    As a model aeronaut, I am very happy about this ruling. It will get challenged and shape FAA powers, but I think a lot of good will ultimately come of it.

    However, there is still the FCC. Many multicopter, helicopter or airplane "drone" model operators use a video downlink from the aircraft. These downlinks are often transmitting video at a higher power rating than the general public is licensed to use, or in a frequency band that the general public is not supposed to use. A common variety uses 2.4GHz at 600 mW, for example, while a typical WiFi router is 100 mW. For this, the hobbyist can apply for a standard "HAM" amateur radio technician license, and enjoy their downlink video system. Similar to the FAA rule, HAM licenses cannot be used for commercial purposes at all.
  • Feb 28th, 2014 @ 9:14am

    Re: Put up an edited version

    Or just do the StreetView-Face-Blur on the whiny bitch in question.
  • Feb 12th, 2014 @ 9:39am

    (untitled comment)

    My favorite is the following exchange between Mr. DeFilippis and Mr. Reimer of ASCAP on December 19th, 2014, PX 193.

    What year?
  • Feb 10th, 2014 @ 6:38am

    (untitled comment)

    Fun to laugh but it's really pretty silly to assume the NYT is the uneducated party. I just take it as the NYT introducing vocabulary to a readership that won't know these terms.

    When talking about 3D printing, the big story was whether you could download a gun. Terms like "sintering" and "lower receiver" may be obvious to 3D hobbyists and gun enthusiasts, but not to most of the Times' readership. Remember the breadth of the readership of the New York Times isn't just skinny-tie-wearing technology types, but they do comprise a portion of the electorate.

    Now, some people don't need quotes around novel jargon (I identified and figured out the jargon "A1" all by myself without them), but the NYT may have a style guide that favors them. No big deal.
  • Feb 7th, 2014 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re:

    No really, that phrase exists in the article, with a typo. I'm not commenting on the content. It is a choice soundbite though.
  • Feb 7th, 2014 @ 6:28am

    (untitled comment)


    ...this is all due to one FBI agent totally fucking things up...
  • Jan 31st, 2014 @ 4:31am


    Take these two points:

    * there are only a few 'bad apples' on the force
    * each good cop knows one or more of those 'bad apples' on the force

    Any cop who protects a bad cop is a bad cop.

    If those good cops want respect, they will arrest and prosecute the bad cops, and they won't let arbitrators or unions get them off the hook. Period.
  • Dec 5th, 2013 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re:

    Need to be careful here about "public domain."

    In this case, Judge Alsop is using the legal phrase to indicate any information that has been exposed to a wide, arbitrary or uninvolved set of parties. This phrase, along with "open source" had definitions long before their use in software. It's not about ownership, it's about whether a secret has been breached.

    Trade secret law would be more similar than copyright.

    In terms of copyright, the phrase is about ownership, not about secrecy or breach. All of society "owns" things in the public domain (viz CC-0 where there is no legal concept of public domain ownership). (Even if you don't agree that information can be owned, the law has not caught up with this practical truth.) The legal concerns are pretty different, or should be. It should be a civil matter.
  • Dec 4th, 2013 @ 10:57am

    (untitled comment)

    Pixel Piracy Producers Proffer Pirates Pirated Pirate Plaything
  • Oct 28th, 2013 @ 11:54am

    (untitled comment)

    They'd be greeting us with roses as liberators.
  • Oct 22nd, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    Sure, some people will sign anything, even without understanding it. Let's look farther.

    A lot of people will sign
    petitions to allow a vote on any important issue, even those they disagree with. Until a ballot actually writes out something, it's all just a thought experiment. Their premise is that debate about actual concrete proposals beats out debate about hypotheticals.

    Some of these people have learned their lesson, when the issue they wanted to debate hotly against actually got onto the ballot and passed because the rest of the populace didn't understand the hot debate.

    But this "well, let's vote on it" mentality is not entirely a bad thing.
  • Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 6:26am

    (untitled comment)

    Now that a few dozen smaller bombshell releases have been made in the press, it's time to start collecting them in an easy-to-digest format. People are going to get bombshell-fatigued; I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the revelations already. Infographics, bullet lists, executive summaries. Group related findings together; explain the implications of each. Make up a checklist of all the forms of communication, or a matrix if you want to break out everyone, residents, citizens, and other populations under surveillance.
  • Aug 27th, 2013 @ 8:30am

    (untitled comment)

    The blogger-isn't-journalism thing again.

    "The larger sense I get from the criticism directed at Mr. Assange and Mr. Greenwald is one of distaste — that they aren’t what we think of as real journalists. Instead, they represent an emerging Fifth Estate composed of leakers, activists and bloggers who threaten those of us in traditional media. They are, as one says, not like us."

    My reply to this:

    If every individual is a member of the militia, for Second Amendment purposes, then also recognize that every individual is a member of the free press, for First Amendment purposes.
  • Jul 24th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    (untitled comment)

    Oh come on. Talk about making a controversy over nothing.

    > it could just be that the "trademark" refers to things like the specific logo used (though, then they shouldn't have needed to put that ™ after the word), and the copyright could refer to the specific content

    That's all it is. The boilerplate phrasing doesn't say "The content of the comic called HACKTIVIST has copyright protections for its creator, and the creator will be using the term HACTIVIST for all the marketing related to this particular comic." So what?

    It also doesn't say "The entire concept implied by the coined portmanteau 'hacktivist', a combination of 'hacker' and 'activist', has been subjugated by a single individual who will deny any and all use of the term in every context in perpetuity."

    Stop reading into things that aren't there.
  • Jun 7th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    (untitled comment)

    Just throwing this out there, but some people will say "but, but, SSL/HTTPS!"

    Google the phrase "compelled certificate creation attack". If the root CAs have been compelled to allow a proxy box to be in the middle of the certs process, then they hold the real cert while the two parties have the "legally" forged/compelled certs. When crypto keys get exchanged, they see all the traffic, so the rest is open-book.

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