madasahatter’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 29th, 2018 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Comcast

    Actually any device with a guest account could have this problem. If it is setup by default many may never reset the credentials.

  • Aug 25th, 2018 @ 6:22am

    Not Surprised

    The problem with adopting infantry style tactics by the police is the fundamental difference between military and proper police tactics. Infantry tactics are about seizing and defending positions from other well equipped foes. In the case of seizing a position, minimizing time is a key element to maintain offensive movement and minimize casualties. In almost all (not all) police situations, waiting is an ally as you are not dealing often with a large, well organized force that is truly cohesive (gangs are nasty but not well organized fighting groups). So once you have a group isolated, you can often sit and wait for them to give up. Not very sexy or photogenic but effective.

    The few times a SWAT time would be useful they are often not immediately available. It is the first on the scene that have to deal the situation with whatever they have with them. And it may be over by the time SWAT shows up.

    One case people claim SWAT would have useful was UT Tower massacre by Charles Wightman(?). But in reality he was taken done by a scratch force of police and civilians (using their private weapons) who stormed the tower and killed him in a shootout. Here, it was the availability of people on the scene with weapons that stopped it.

    Also, once a valid warrant is issued, the timing of the execution can be done to minimize risk to the everyone. For example a search warrant does not need to served at 4 AM but can served at a more civil hour. Same for an arrest, one does not need to storm the residence but can wait for time and place where that is not necessary.

  • Jul 27th, 2018 @ 3:57pm

    (untitled comment)

    That few, Amazon needs some more work.

  • Jul 26th, 2018 @ 2:06pm


    I was thinking the same thing. The fallacy is that Voksi is the only person who can crack Denuvo when there are many more with skills to do so if they try. They will end up playing 'whack-a-mole'.

  • Jul 5th, 2018 @ 4:00pm

    Another One Bites the Dust

    Copyright as it is structured in the US can be argued to be unconstitutional. The Constitution grants Congress the authority to set up patents and copyrights for the purpose of promoting useful arts and science. It is understood to be a limited period not something like 150 years or so as it is now.

  • Jun 22nd, 2018 @ 4:04pm


    He has the correct interpretation. Records created by the action of the individual should be treated as if they are owned by the individual regardless of the actual possessor of the record. Yes this slows down a case as warrant is needed to get the records but it stops fishing expeditions. In reality, I doubt there would be any real difficulty in getting a warrant for the records of legitimate suspect.

  • May 26th, 2018 @ 6:16am

    Historical Note

    GPDR came about because of a few well known sleazes (looking at you Zuckerberg) who believed any user data they can get and use is theirs for the taking. The problem was the usage. Many were not using it to possibly benefit the user but to benefit themselves first. There is a big difference between an email from a retailer you have bought from in the past and a targeted ad based on a user profile generated by combining personal data together.

    When an idiot like Zuckerberg says there is no reason for privacy one has to wonder if really knows what the issue is. The problem is most people do not share all their personal details to everyone they come into contact with. This is normal as certain relationships require a very limited sharing of personal information. And when their are children involved most parents try to limit who, what, where of their children's information which almost always limiting the parents' information. Those of us who have been around the block a couple of times have learned the painful lesson not to willy-nilly trust anyone with personal information as will often come back to hurt you if you are not careful.

    Thus, amoral idiots like Zuckerberg create a serious problem by hiding behind shysterly EULAs. This often triggers an overreaction from the politicians, hence GPDR or the equivalent.

    It should be noted most of the wailing-and-gnashing-of-teeth is from companies who are not used to a very strict privacy regime. Those who are in industries like healthcare are already under stringent legal obligations very similar to GPDR when comes to personal information and its use. Not to say it is not overkill for most situations.

    The interesting part is the fine structure which is unusual. The fines are set up to give a balance sheet a real hurt. This will make the C-suites and other pointy-hairs take notice and actually do something. Also, it could expose them to investor wrath when maximum fines hit a couple of times. I think this deliberate; make the fines steep enough that a couple of hits will anger the stockholders enough that they will intervene and replace the current mismanagement.

  • May 18th, 2018 @ 4:39pm

    Re: NJ...The Garden State

    Growing up in the 'Sewer of the nation' I could see this happening as the state government was rife with corruption back then and I doubt it has changed. I suspect the real reason was an attempt to shake down the pizza joint.

  • May 8th, 2018 @ 10:10am

    Paywalls & Newsites

    One problem with paywalls is one might be interested in 1 or 2 articles a year from a site. Also, for a paywall to work, the reader has to believe the site is worth the money. Most general news sites are not worth spending any money on give the generally poor job they do reporting any stories.

    The reason ads are detested are many and it is both the fault of the ad flingers and the sites for not controlling them and allowing them do interact to much with browsers. Fix the ads and you might see more ads displayed. Plus, ignore the hype about overly targeted ads as they are about as effective as a generic ad.

    What some YouTubers are doing is using funding sources such as Patreon to get people to voluntarily pay a few bucks a month to keep the site going. Watch your costs carefully and you can have a viable site but you are probably not going to get rich.

  • May 1st, 2018 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Another blast from the past...

    I think the problem is not that many object to ads per se but that ads that put our computers at risk, interfere with browsing, etc. Basically the ones you mentioned.

    The problem for most advertisers is the deliberate click through rate is dismal. Plus, Wanamaker's dictum comes into play - "Half the money spent on advertising is wasted, but you do not which half".

  • Apr 28th, 2018 @ 6:16am


    These two patents should run afoul of prior art. Amazon has been making recommendations since I can not remember (at least 14 years or so). Google has been returning search results based on a text string for about 20 years now. For that matter the whole idea of targeted ads is based on variation of both what Amazon and Google do.

  • Apr 21st, 2018 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: DNC lawsuit

    Also, the Russian activities were to stir the pot on both sides to raise the tensions. What is missing is whether the Russians really cared who won and what is their long term goal. I suspect their long term goal is stir up enough trouble to hamstring any administration and hopefully keep them distracted to give Russia more wiggle room. The effectiveness is not measured by who won but how much turmoil results; I would say it was extremely effective.

  • Apr 21st, 2018 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Doesn't this open the DNC to discovery?

    Only if they are party of the suit. Otherwise, no.

  • Apr 21st, 2018 @ 5:36am


    With Watergate, a break-in in progress was discovered and the guilty were caught. Eventually, the connection to Nixon's campaign was discovered and later Nixon's involvement in the cover up.

    In 2016, we have an incompetent DNC IT staff not properly secure the servers. The strong possibility of a DNC insider being the source. Plus the fact Hilary run an incompetent campaign as if she never bothered to read the Constitution.

  • Apr 21st, 2018 @ 5:28am

    Re: Doesn't this open the DNC to discovery?

    If it gets that far. The DNC will be asked about their security practices and for logs. Also, there is no 5th Admendment in civil trials so public testimony could prove interesting.

  • Mar 3rd, 2018 @ 5:36am


    The court got it right. The fact the BBC's efforts could be evaded by someone's personal efforts does not negate the fact the show was blocked for distribution in the US. Geoblocking can be evaded by some relatively easy methods but these methods require the user to actively do something; something many will not do even if they are aware of the methods.

  • Mar 3rd, 2018 @ 5:31am

    Prototypes vs Production

    AVs are in the prototype phase of development, which might be lengthy. In this phase, one of the goals is to find the situations where the AVs do not perform correctly (why the disengagements). Once these are known, they potentially can be fixed. If a sufficient number and type can be fixed then AVs become production ready.

    A logical flaw is that every disengagement automatically means an accident. Without knowing the details of each event it is hard to say if an accident would have actually occurred or whether the fault is with the AV.

  • Feb 23rd, 2018 @ 3:23pm


    Age, birth date, birthplace, etc. are facts., like many information aggregation sites, relies on the completeness of the relevant information to be useful. Plus the judge basically said the real problem is not age discrimination by sexism.

  • Jan 20th, 2018 @ 5:44am

    Guerrilla Marketing

    What the Internet does best is guerrilla marketing. They had no marketing budget but the torrents gave them the buzz to generate ticket sales and PayPal payments. It sounds like they made a little money also.

    For small budget films this can work reasonably well as the break even is fairly low. Another key is whether the film is worth watching. Something the studios have forgotten; make films worth watching and people might show up.

  • Dec 16th, 2017 @ 5:27am

    Re: Instead of blaming IDIOT for using illegal drugs, Techdirt blames police.

    Once they took him into custody they were responsible for his welfare. They did not take someone in medical distress to a hospital for evaluation and care. If they had and he died there is no case because they would have done what they could.

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