Not an Electronic Rodent’s Techdirt Profile


About Not an Electronic Rodent

Not an Electronic Rodent’s Comments comment rss

  • Jul 28th, 2016 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: immediately disqualified

    That would disqualify all major party candidates of the last 100 years (and a majority before that).
    I must have missed the part where that would be a bad thing?

  • Jul 25th, 2016 @ 5:51am


    we need to cut out the bad parts to save the system
    I think you meant, "Cut out the bad parts and rebuild the entire system from first principles", there, but I agree with the sentiment. Courts ought to be essentially open and even-handed instead of covering up systemic corruption and biased in favour of the rich and powerful.

  • Jun 11th, 2016 @ 5:09am

    Re: It's Obama

    I am wondering which party figures it out first... that supporting a lying politician gets everyone no where.
    Apart from getting everyone elected to office and/or in a position to negotiate favourable laws and "trade" deals to make themselves and cronies even more of the already ludicrous money they already control, you mean? Of course it doesn't get "normal" people anywhere, but they don't count, do they?

  • Jun 9th, 2016 @ 7:17am

    Close, but...

    No, Edward Snowden had not sparked a global debate about privacy
    Well he's sort of right, in that aware people in the UK knew privacy was being screwed long before Snowdon and attempted to debate it... but the UK Government response has always been similar to the rest of his tirade - i.e. sticking his fingers in his ears and going "La, la la la la! I'm not listening!"

  • Apr 23rd, 2016 @ 2:24am

    Re: Would you like a border sham? Would you like it Sam-I-am?

    Where "border" includes international airports, so by far the majority of the U.S., and particularly the majority of its citizens, are not under the protection of the Bill of Rights these days.
    Doesn't even need to include airports to be outrageous... A quick look suggests that an area over 5x the size of the entire United Kingdom is encompassed by "100 miles from the actual border".

    According to the ACLU, the "border" exemption applies to approx 2/3 of the US population! (~200 million people!)

    From this side of the pond it increasinly looks like the US government is like: "Oh, yeah... the Constitution... fabulous document... in the abstract. Let's just not have it apply to actual people, right?"

  • Apr 15th, 2016 @ 5:26am

    What the (*&%*&%$*&%(*^^)%$%$!!!!!

    Not sure how the hell you get a trademark on "No.3" when Pimms No.3 has been around on and off since about 1851.... Trademark law is dumb.

  • Apr 1st, 2016 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Only part of the problem

    Not only do they not (or at least, none of the major ones I know of), but they make it a point to tell you very clearly that they don't, and if anyone calls to claim otherwise, don't talk to them.
    But UK banks, credit card companies, insurance companies and others do and if you complain about it, the answer is basically "tough shit".

  • Mar 31st, 2016 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Only part of the problem

    My bank has never, not once, called my and requested a password. In fact, my bank has (obnoxiously) often sent me emails telling me they cannot access my password, and will never request it on a phone call or email
    Yeah, that's what they say and as far as your online password that's correct. However, phone bank services etc often use a "password" as shorthand, or sometimes certain characters of a passphrase. Failing that, they will usually verify your identity with personal details such as DOB, mother's maiden name etc... in the case of insurance, sometimes make/model/reg of vehicle.

    All this I have no problem with.... except when they phone you and request this kind of info, which (I suppose US banks may not), UK banks etc do all the time.

    And no, I don't give out that kind of information... I find the call centre number independently and ring them back to discuss whatever it is so I can be sure I'm actually talking to the company they claim to be.... I've even complained about the practice and got told "Well that's just how we do it and we have to prevent fraud" - basically a "We're doing it to cover our ass, not yours"

    My point is that this kind of practice conditions most people to simply answer this kind of question to (at least) anyone that they think they have a trust relationship with. People putting their password into the site of a "trusted brand" is hardly surprising considering.

  • Mar 31st, 2016 @ 10:58am

    Only part of the problem

    Whatever the list of password do's and don'ts are, that list must certainly include something about not simply typing your passwords into online search fields for fun.
    The saddest bit is that, stupid though it is, people are largely conditioned to accept this kind of social engineering attack (Yes I know it wasn't an attack, but it may as well have been!).

    How often to banks/credit card companies/insurance companies ring you up and demand you "verify" your identity by handing over all sorts of personal info and/or passwords? Basically the same thing.

    As for password security.. well :
    Obligatory XKCD

  • Mar 31st, 2016 @ 6:08am


    It also shows that the one-sided nature of corporate sovereignty -- where companies can sue nations, but not the other way around -- not only tilts the playing field unfairly towards investors, but encourages them to abuse the system even further. Both are compelling reasons to drop corporate sovereignty chapters in trade agreements completely.
    Well, yes indeed.... but the argument;
    "Our corporation basically bought you the election and you wouldn't want those 'fact finding' trips to stop either, would you?"
    is far more compelling and suggests this kind of thing is unlikely to stop any time soon...

  • Mar 29th, 2016 @ 5:33am

    Re: Perjury...undermines trust in *ENTIRE* FBI

    What about the perjury???
    This was my question too... talk about double standards. IANAL, but surely you've got perjury, perhaps a contempt of court and would Apple not also have a cause of action to sue for having been dragged into court with all the associated costs under false pretences?

    ...or is breaking the law something that only happens to people who are not agents of the state?

  • Mar 28th, 2016 @ 12:50pm

    (untitled comment)

    Can I put in for transfer to another planet? One in which a muppet like this is so close to being elected president is way too bat-shit insane even for me....

    besides, it may not long survive if he does...

  • Mar 25th, 2016 @ 10:57am

    Re: Failure?

    We need to consider that in a free society there are limits to what can be "stopped".

    ...Though I can never tell if years of governments promising a magic "stop" button has caused it, or whether a large chunk of the population believing there is a magic "stop" button leads governments to promise one.

  • Mar 24th, 2016 @ 7:43am


    I've lived all over the country, and I've never heard of "Space City" being readily identifiable with Houston,
    Well I live several thousand miles away on another continent and have never been to Houston and I've heard the nickname "Space City" for it... does that count?

  • Mar 22nd, 2016 @ 9:23am

    Of course

    The "anti-lobbying" clause to be inserted into new grant agreements will create a barrier to evidence-based policymaking and will have unintended effects on the work of [Parliament's advisory] select committees.
    "Because, damnit, how is a good politician supposed to pass laws based on blind faith if you keep coming at me with all these facts!?"
    - Every politician ever

  • Mar 21st, 2016 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: "Now remember son, don't say or do anything. At all. Just sit there and try to look harmless."

    You can probably go to jail for not answering questions there.
    If only you were just being facetious instead of factual...

  • Mar 19th, 2016 @ 7:48am


    So the UK as a whole (the people and the governments) have perhaps a different view of things because of their experiences.
    You seem to be attempting to imply that the UK does this crap because "we know how scary is really is out there and this is what's really needed".

    Wrong... in fact 180 degrees wrong. Certainly any UK citizen alive in the '80s is familiar with the threat of terrorism more intimately and immediately than the mot ofthe US but that lends a rather more sensible perspective. Such people know that, while terrible, the actual threat is small - potentially even vanishingly small - and barely worth more than a slightly cautious thought in day-to-day life.

    The issue is not whether the UK population wants this law (it doesn't)(, the issue is whether the UK government wants this law that will in fact do little to combat "terrorism" that is not already being done) for other reasons and whether the UK population is little enough aware of the real dangers of it to swallow the propaganda or only raise a mild and polite English protest.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 3:54pm


    Infringing on a patent for attaching foam to an arrow shaft????

    How the hell many ways are there to do that which aren't totally obvious to anyone with a bit of foam, a stick and an adhesive of some kind???

  • Mar 15th, 2016 @ 9:20am

    Surely not a mistake

    But many in the administration have begun to suspect that the F.B.I. and the Justice Department may have made a major strategic error by pushing the case into the public consciousness.
    Surely deliberate, rather than a strategic error? After all, in a democracy giving "the people" an unvarnished chance to weigh in on major issues is what it's all about... right?


    Yeah, OK, I had a hard time keeping a straight face even typing that...

  • Mar 12th, 2016 @ 2:28am

    wrong again

    I haven't flown commercial in a while, but my understanding is that it's not great fun going through security. But we make the concession because -- it's a big intrusion on our privacy -- but we recognize that it is important.
    Nope. We "make the concession" NOT because we "recognise it's important", but because our personal reasons for travel are sufficiently important to put up with the annoying and intrusive crap and because enough people have yet to stand up and say, "You know this is totally bullshit, right?"

    Looks like you're 2 for 2 on being wrong about security front, Mr. Obama...

More comments from Not an Electronic Rodent >>