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  • Apr 27th, 2018 @ 8:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: I suspect they are vastly under reporting CBP assualts

    The issue isn't how the assaults are calculated. The issue is that they didn't recalculate previous years using the SAME calculation method. As in accounting, if you change the way you calculate a number, to make meaningful comparisons with previous years you must recalculate all numbers that you are comparing in the same way.

    To conclude that assaults are increasing, one must compare each year in the same way and show the numbers are increasing using the same formula. If you don't, then no viable conclusion can be reached.

    Any government official with an ounce of sense would understand this.

  • Sep 20th, 2017 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re:

    Not quite sure what point you're trying to make here...

    What has a generator's connection have to do with using two connections for the solar panels instead of one?

  • Sep 20th, 2017 @ 10:31am

    (untitled comment)

    Of course, it depends on how the law is written, but I can think of a loophole that might be available...

    First, if the law says that the solar panels must be tied to the grid without saying that they must be tied to the grid ONLY, one could do both, i.e. tie the panels to the grid AND directly to the house, through the appropriate controls of course. Then one could use power supplied by the panels directly at the flip of a switch, and still comply with the "must be connected to the grid" requirement.

    Second, a switch that automatically disconnects the panels from the grid at the instant that the grid goes down complies with the "your solar-power system must power down along with the rest of the grid" from the grid's point of view. That is, from the grid's point of view, the panels WOULD be powered down, since they would be disconnected. Which in truth is the ONLY way to power down solar panels (unless one manually disassembles them). So the disconnect switch setup would in fact be the same method used to power down panels regardless of any direct connection to the house. Making the reconnect action back to the grid a manual task would satisfy any safety concern as well.

    All in all, engineering two connections instead of one is the way to go.

    In the meantime, I would start a grass roots movement to rewrite the law AND to push to elect a new representative.

  • Jun 6th, 2017 @ 9:55am

    (untitled comment)

    It would seem to me that if a person was apprehended inside their home or hotel room based on tracking their cell phone to determine their approximate location, one could make the fourth amendment argument.

    Even if the suspect was apprehended outside of their residence but in close proximity to it, one could argue that tracking their cell phone while in their residence led law enforcement to their residence.

    I suppose one could forego the convenience of carrying a cell phone to avoid the issue altogether (or do what I do -- leave it on airplane mode until I want to make a call. I don't really want to talk with anyone anyhow.).

  • May 10th, 2017 @ 10:10am

    (untitled comment)

    Here's hoping that Google continues to expand their ISP role. Also, Elon Musk's intention to launch a satellite based system is intriguing (with faith in Elon that the cost and speed will be reasonable).

  • Jun 6th, 2016 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Spies are professional liars and manipulators.

    While I agree in general with you comment, there's one critical distinction here. The NSA has been caught persistently lying to the very people who give them their authority, namely Congress. When an organization actively works to subvert the very oversight controls that govern their operation, it's time to bring that organization back under control. What we need, and what we don't have, is a Congress that will bring the out-of-control NSA back under control.

    I hold out no hope that the current Congress will do that. It remains to be seen if the next Congress will do anything. The next test will be in 2017 when Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008 must be reauthorized for things to continue as they are.

    It also wouldn't hurt if Congress would actually apply our current laws, or mete out penalties for lying to Congress, another thing that the current Congress has consistently failed to do.

  • Jun 6th, 2016 @ 2:41pm

    (untitled comment)

    [...]the agency decided to present the single email as though that were the extent of Snowden's complaints.

    As I have said many times and will continue to say (until proven otherwise), the public spokespersons for the NSA et al have proven time and time again that when they speak, you should assume they are lying and go from there. You will be right most of the time.

    As for the NSA's competency, one should remember that they have failed to identify a single terrorist attack prior to it happening since (and including) the 9/11 attack, even though they have been collecting ever increasing data with their surveillance programs since long before 2001.

    I am sure that the people that work at the NSA are dedicated to protecting the USA and its citizens. I just wonder how long it's going to take for the NSA bureaucracy to admit the current approach is an abysmal failure.

  • May 18th, 2016 @ 9:40am

    Cord cutting more feasible every day

    Story about a new (not quite active yet) TV streaming service being developed by Bittorrrent, Inc.:
    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/05/bittorrent-inc-announces-live-streaming-t v-service-powered-by-p2p/

  • Apr 14th, 2016 @ 2:19pm

    When the government is involved...

    Start with the assumption that they are lying and go from there.

    You will be right more than 50% of the time.

  • Apr 6th, 2016 @ 9:54am

    Re: Simple tests

    It is much more simple than that...

    The All Writs Act is a law written by Congress. If a law conflicts with the limitations placed on the government by the Constitution, then the law is declared "Unconstitutional" in the way it is trying to be applied. In other words, the law cannot be applied that way. End of case.

    The only thing that is going to stop the All Writs Act from being abused by the FBI or anyone else is for one of these cases to reach the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS). Once one does, I am confident that the SCOTUS will agree that the All Writs Act cannot be used to circumvent any amendment in the Constitution, period.

  • Mar 29th, 2016 @ 12:40pm

    (untitled comment)

    I cannot image that the All Writs Act could ever be used to force a company (or an individual) to write computer code that they did not want to write.

    Computer code is speech, and the First Amendment states that the Government cannot force someone to say something that the person does not want to say. There is no conceivable argument the DOJ could make to override the First Amendment. When it comes to the All Writs Act versus the Constitution, the Constitution wins every time.

  • Mar 14th, 2016 @ 12:29pm

    Paramount is right...

    ...but only because of the overreach of copyright law.

    Actually, they're not right, unless they themselves own up to the copyright infringement they are guilty of in the unauthorized reuse of fan generated Klingonese.

    Personally, I call for the boycott of all things Star Trek. (something a lot easier to do, considering the exceptionally poor plots in most of the Star Trek movies produced -- a personal opinion, of course)

  • Feb 24th, 2016 @ 12:16pm

    (untitled comment)

    The email and notice actually sounds like it was generated by a bot. I say this because of the confusion around the "selling a counterfeit product" claim. Surely no human could be so stupid as to make an obviously bogus demand?

    If generated by a bot, said bot could be getting Eduardo into some real legal trouble really really fast...

  • Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 6:55am

    Fiber is good for your health

    I remember just a few years ago when there were people actually moving to be in Verizon's fios deployment. Of course, in relatively short order, Verizon abandoned that buildout for most of the nation.

    Here's hoping that Google will eventually cover the majority of the population and (finally) bring true competition to wired internet access.

    As an aside, I wonder how long it will take for Google to get into the wireless access arena?

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 3:07pm

    (untitled comment)

    Remind me not to hire any lawyers that work for the Harvard Law Review if I need expert copyright law representation...

  • Dec 28th, 2015 @ 9:02am

    A boon for US surveillance

    Whether you agree with their methods or not, most would agree that the NSA is very good at finding ways to capture communications. If the Chinese Government actually forces a backdoor into all encryption used in China, one can expect that the NSA will be quick to take advantage of that. It is likely that this will be a short-lived requirement (and may help us make the point here in the US as well), once some highly sensitive Chinese data becomes freely available to the US...

  • Dec 21st, 2015 @ 3:38pm

    (untitled comment)

    Steam is a disaster, at least on the Mac. I installed Steam on my daughter's MacBook Air. It made numerous changes to the point that the program could not be turned off or disabled. Tried to uninstall it and the process literally destroyed the system. The computer would no longer start. Had to reinstall the system from the recovery partition.

    Never again with Steam.

  • Dec 21st, 2015 @ 3:28pm

    (untitled comment)

    Throughout the 20 1/2-hour ordeal, the children's pet rabbit scampered around the house.

    I'm surprised they didn't shoot the rabbit (being afraid for their lives and all)...

  • Dec 9th, 2015 @ 7:11pm

    (untitled comment)

    Lest we forget why Apple, Google, and others have worked to provide automatic, end-to-end, strong encryption...

    1) The mass indiscriminate surveillance as practiced by the NSA and their friends has been declared unconstitutional, yet the Government has no plans to stop it.
    2) The directors of the CIA, NSA, and FBI have a perfect track record of lying to Congress each and every time they have been required to testify about their actions and surveillance programs.
    3) Companies like Apple and Google are routinely served with National Security Letters, with NO oversight required of the agencies doing the serving, and where an absolute gag order accompanies the letters.
    4) The CIA, NSA, and FBI each routinely and persistently ignore the law when it gets in their way (with no penalty for breaking it).
    5) The NSA has been caught secretly subverting encryption standards, hacking servers and communication lines, tapping foreign dignitaries, tapping the United Nations private conferences, exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities, planting malware, etc., single-handedly nearly destroying the overseas marketplace for internet services provided by US companies.

    To be worthy of trust, one has to act trustworthy. Considering the damage that the NSA et al has done to US internet businesses, is it no wonder that we are where we are today? If the US Government insists on backdoors or some kind of key escrow for every service, all they will do is succeed in finishing the destruction of US internet companies overseas. It definitely won't stop encryption.

  • Nov 5th, 2015 @ 8:28am

    Evidence of security theater

    Consider: The TSA confiscates liquids because they might contain liquid explosives or obnoxious chemicals. Yet, it is obvious that they don't really believe that, since said liquid is normally dumped into a trash can right next to the security point.

    If I were a TSA agent and thought that a bottle of liquid might truly be dangerous, I sure as hell wouldn't drop it into a trash can sitting next to me.

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