reticulator’s Techdirt Profile

reticulator

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  • May 20th, 2020 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Contact tracing

    Thank you for the link. Schneier usually says something sensible to think about. In this case, though I can't name it, I believe there's an informal fallacy in his argument:

    Schneier: And without ubiquitous, cheap, fast, and accurate testing, you can't confirm the app's diagnosis. So the alert is useless.
    [There's a straw man hiding there -- the app doesn't claim to provide diagnosis -- but it's not the fallacy I'm concerned with.]

    Testing is an essential predicate for control until we have a vaccine or "herd immunity" (don't hold your breath for that). The general plan for control of the pandemic before a vaccine is available is

    A(testing) + B(knowledge of contacts) => C(hope of control through isolation measures)

    Schneier says without A, an app to help with contact tracing is useless. I agree. But then, "without ubiquitous, cheap, fast, and accurate testing" you can't do effective contact tracing (neither with nor without an app, especially if there's asymptomatic spreading).

    But that doesn't mean an app to help with contact tracing is useless under all circumstances" does it?

    That doesn't mean that an app to provide some help with contact tracing is useless. It seems more accurate to say it may be premature. Testing capability varies from place to place, and may improve with time.

  • May 20th, 2020 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Contact tracing

    There's a wee bit of confusion in your comment. May I try to clear it up?

    AAC: I have some doubts about how many will sit through some TV program where they read out numbers for you to see if your a winner. I don't have TV, so it wouldn't work for me.

    The "radio program" is part of the introductory analogy using raffle tickets, not part of any actual implementation. Apps implementing tracing using the facility provided by Apple and Google would download lists from the public health agency providing the app [the agencies might confederate the data so the app would work as the phone travels from one jurisdiction to another]:

    Article: Phones download the list of positive keys and check to see if they have any of them in their on-device databases.

    As for

    AAC: How many times will any individual check, or how often?

    Again, there's an app. The app does the checking. Perhaps the implementer provides a default frequency, and the user may have a preference to modify it.

  • Mar 30th, 2020 @ 12:17pm

    it's not just death for health care workers

    This isn't about workers complaining about management's ideas of proper working conditions, or compensation, or other normal concerns.

    If health care workers are unhealthy -- or dead -- they can't care as effectively -- or at all -- for the general population, and more will die. Triage policy discussions (for example, here) acknowledge that.

  • Mar 21st, 2020 @ 11:32am

    the FBI just wants to be special, eh?

    As the notice below from the Social Security Administration shows, others in government are also (shall we say?) deprioritizing FOIA response.

    It's pretty obvious, though, that the FBI approach is worthy of its DNA. Note that SSA doesn't say the won't accept requests as usual, only that they won't process them "during the pandemic" (this phrase in the heading is softened by "until further notice" in the notice itself).

    What workloads is SSA not doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Created: March 18, 2020

    We have suspended the following workloads until further notice:

    • We will not start or complete any current medical continuing disability reviews. If you have a - medical continuing disability review pending, please do not request medical information from your doctors at this time. We will follow up with you for any medical evidence once the COVID-19 public health emergency subsides.
    • Where possible, we are suspending our processing and collection of overpayments.
    • We are not conducting organization or individual representative payee accountings.
    • We will not be able to process a third party requests for information, except from appointed representatives and representative payees
    • We will not process any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. [emphasis added]
  • Oct 5th, 2018 @ 5:47pm

    conviction vs indictment

    Probably typing a little fast... but iirc from when I was in high school long ago, you might secure an indictment from a grand jury, but probably not a conviction

    I'm not indicting Tim, just asking for cleanup before it becomes red meat for some troll.

  • Mar 29th, 2011 @ 9:51am

    it's all about futures - cell phone as payment systems

    The cell carriers NEED the "3rd-party billing" process to be fast and loose, with no setup required, no authorization by the customer, no customer contact at all. It's all about defining "due diligence" for a new business practice - they want the bar set low. They are salivating over the prospect of skimming merchant fees and transaction charges from payment systems that use cell phones to replace credit and debit cards, and those systems will never be widely used if customers are allowed to sign up and perform authorizations on a per-merchant or per-transaction basis. NOTHING will EVER get the carriers to make 3rd-party billing complicated.
  • Aug 5th, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    monopolies are not illegal

    Please! A monopoly is not illegal in and of itself. What is illegal is abuse of monopoly power. Sometimes the consequence of abuse of monopoly power is the breakup of the monopoly. Sometimes, as with IBM in the early 60's, it's careful oversight to prevent recurrence.

    I don't believe Mike has ever said that copyright itself should be abolished. He often says that abuses of copyright should be curbed.

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