Roger Strong’s Techdirt Profile


About Roger Strong

Programmer in Winnipeg, Canada.

Roger Strong’s Comments comment rss

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 12:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    > But, it's also demanding the removal of the two documents already released, both of which are fairly innocuous (and can be viewed below!)

    ...And I can confirm, have now been viewed and saved by someone outside the U.S.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 7:38am

    (untitled comment)

    > As of September 1, if you want to stream the latest Disney (and by proxy Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar) films -- you need to do it via Netflix.

    The latest from Lucas, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, will only be available on Netflix in Canada this year. In the US it'll be behind a different wall (Starz) for the rest of the year.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: It goes further than that

    No doubt Britain Germany and Italy do too. But you don't see American officials being extradited there over kidnapping and torture, and so you won't see American officials extradited over a mere search engine squabble.

    Google has the option of not doing business in France. It can still run a French-language search engine and charge for advertising in other countries. But with no office or business in France itself, it would be beyond the reach of any French court decisions.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 8:28pm

    Re: For The ESA, It Is “3, 2, 1 ... Ignition”

    I wonder how the ESA would have handled the Space Shuttle.

    First the Shuttle main engines ignite, get up to speed, and get checked out. Only then do the solids ignite. (And THAT's when liftoff happens, ready or not.)

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 1:24pm

    Re: It goes further than that

    > I wonder how the President of France would feel about being unable to enter the US or any country we have an extradition treaty with under penalty of immediate arrest for a crime punishable by 10 years to life in prison?

    He'd probably laugh at the very idea, and rightly so.

    "Remember a few years ago when you were kidnapping people by the hundreds (well, about 200) on EU soil, beating and sodomizing them for "capture shock", and torturing them? Remember when you successfully pressured Germany, Italy and Spain to drop charges against American agents and officials responsible?"

    "Do you really want to want us to bring those charges back so that YOU can be extradited from any other country you visit? Do you really think that censoring Google searches will sound worse than... how did the MI5 agents who were present put it... "his genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding is very far down the list of things they did...?"

    No, the US is not going to start extraditing EU leaders over Google searches.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 10:13am


    Don't count on the law to work that way. People do get threatened with copyright lawsuits when they take a picture of a building. Techdirt had a good story on the issue a year ago: EU Copyright Reform Looking At Restricting Outdoor Photography:

    > 16. Considers that the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places should always be subject to prior authorisation from the authors or any proxy acting for them.

    Examples are given where royalty collection agencies have already pursued "unauthorized" photographs of outdoor structures and had pictures taken down from Wikipedia.

    It's not just architecture. If you consider your chair design to be a work of art, and one of the countless chairs you sold over the years shows up in a stock photo database, you can sue the stock photo company and win.

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 12:24pm

    Meanwhile Up North

    The settlement trolls have arrived here in Canada.

    A family friend that I do occasional tech support for received about 30 copyright notices overnight, forwarded from his ISP under Canada's Notice on Notice regime. The one he forwarded me originates with Vobile Inc. in California, on behalf of Viacom.

    He's a senior citizen in his late 80s living in a retirement home. He has just the one PC connected to his cable modem, and no WiFi. There's absolutely no possibility that he was downloading "The Shannara Chronicles" with BitTorrent in the middle of the night as the notice claims.

    Canada's Notice on Notice system no doubt limits RightsCorp/Prenda/ Voltage Pictures style shakedowns. But seniors are lucrative targets for fraud.

    I've advised him not to contact Vobile. I emailed his ISP on his behalf, and they sent back a standardized form giving the distinct impression that they want nothing to do with it. They'll only hand over his information to the trolls if they get a court order.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Most people" being those who don't believe fantasy claims used to con gullible investors.

    Not only are they not building that hyperloop in Quay Valley - it's just a proposal looking for funding at this point - but Quay Valley itself doesn't exist. It too is just a proposal looking for funding.

    Likewise your "major deal to build Hyperloops to connect several major European cities" just doesn't exist. All that's been announced is a plan to study the idea.

    No-one has built even the most rudimentary hyperloop system - not even a scale working model with loading/unloading/etc.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: People by Pipeline

    No, I'm thinking of - if not a backhoe since these are to be above-ground - then a truck with insufficient overhead clearance denting the tube. Or the vacuum denting a weak tube. Or a wash-out taking out a supporting post and bending a tube.

    All of which will be best viewed from a distance when a train - with no real wiggle-room inside the tube - hits it at 700mph.

    Also that train is designed to NOT touch the rails at 700M but instead float above them. If there's a mere air leak, the train unexpectedly hitting full air pressure at 700mph, chanced are it's going to experience some uneven forces pushing it into the rails or the walls of the tube. Wear eye protection.

    None of this is at all insurmountable. But a commercial hyperloop system is no more "a couple years off" than Virgin Galactic's passenger flights were "a couple years off" after SpaceShipOne's flights in 2004.

    Less even, since we haven't had a SpaceShipOne-equivalent hyperloop test yet. This week's Hyperloop One demo was the equivalent of a bench-test of a sub-scale engine with no spaceship.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 9:22am


    > is working on building an actual, functioning Hyperloop in Quay Valley, CA, with construction expected to begin later this year

    But almost certainly won't. The plan depends on finding someone to fund it. In a futuristic town that has also yet to - and may not - start construction.

    > They've also announced a major deal to build Hyperloops to connect several major European cities. This is something that's really happening,

    Nope. They've announced a deal to **study** building Hyperloops to connect several major European cities. Meaning that the Slovakian government has committed to read their PowerPoint presentation, nothing more.

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 7:35pm

    People by Pipeline

    Wikipedia: List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 7:29pm

    (untitled comment)

    > has tested an open air demo of its prototype train

    They tested a linear induction motor. These have been around for over a century and have been used in maglev trains since the mid-1980s.

    NOT in the demo: The train, and the evacuated tubes it runs in. The test was one step beyond a PowerPoint presentation to wow investors.

    A serious test will include not just an actual train running in an actual evacuated tube, but a demonstration of the pressure doors that let the train move at high speed between non-pressurized (passenger loading) sections and pressurized sections of the tube. And the emergency braking system used at 700mph when a door doesn't open.

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 12:06pm


    Speaking of silly agendas...

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 11:28am

    Re: My whole life is a performance.

    Don't forget the Butterfly Effect, the idea that one small action you take could eventually have a far-reaching ripple effect on subsequent historic events. You may own the copyright on what others far away, later, say and do.

    Which isn't much different from what Gene Kelly's widow is claiming.

  • May 10th, 2016 @ 1:40pm

    Re: And this is why you shouldn't do white-hat security probes...

    A couple years ago I did a Google search on my apartment address to see if anything interesting had happened recently.

    One of the results returned was all of a tenant's personal information needed to rent a suite as a plain text file. Everything needed for identity theft. It was coming from a web site trying to be the go-to place for folks looking for apartments.

    I changed the record number in the URL and got someone else's information.

    I notified the site owner, the 3rd party web development company and the tenant - *without* mentioning calling the 2nd URL. I've seen too many stories of people being arrested after reporting problems like these.

    The tenant went to the press.

  • May 10th, 2016 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: encryption policies tell a lot

    One thing worth mentioning about the statement you paraphrase: Princess Leia's home planet didn't merely fail to slip through the Empire's fingers; they destroyed it outright.

    It's not enough to win against the authorities. You need to escape their vengeance when you contradict them, let alone win.

  • May 9th, 2016 @ 6:18am

    Re: Holy Streisand effect Batman.

    Vote? Ratification is so last century. As Techdirt has reported before, thanks to the magic of provisional application....

    > The growing use of provisional application clauses in treaties is a consequence of the need felt to give effect to treaty obligations prior to a state’s formal ratification of / accession to a treaty.

    ...your country can be bound by these treaties before your representatives get a chance to vote on them.

  • May 6th, 2016 @ 12:32pm


    English: Jane will go to the copyright office.
    German : Jane will to the copyright office go.
    Arabic : To the copyright office Jane will go.
    Yoda: Go to the copyright office, Jane will. Confront the Dark Side there, she must.

  • May 6th, 2016 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Warrant canary

    Back when Stuart Gibson from the Mills Oakley law firm was making bumptious demands of Techdirt...

    > Our client requires that you give the following undertakings by the 5pm AEST on February 15 2016:

    ...I suggested...

    > This site really needs a bank of countdown timers down the side, one for each such "requirement.

    The warrant canary can go in the same area.

    In any case, there's little evidence that warrant canaries work. A court could issue a secret warrant that includes a prohibition against triggering the warrant canary. A year ago Australia passed a law making it illegal to report on warrant canaries regarding new mandatory data retention laws; the US will inevitably follow. Apple's and Reddit's warrant canaries have already been triggered, which makes them useless for future warrants.

  • May 6th, 2016 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Double check.

    Seriously though, no.

    I have a Withings scale that can send my weight, heart rate and BMI to my phone. Except that it doesn't go *directly* to my phone. Every measurement is sent to a server in France before I can see it on my phone. To get a copy of the data I have to log into their website.

    I can ignore their software setup routine that wants auto-post every measurement to Facebook and Twitter. (I get the distinct impression that a crack addiction is a job requirement in the Withings boardroom.) But I take issue with the privacy loss and remote server requirement, neither of which was mentioned when I bought it.

    Now, someone HAS figured out how to simulate the remote server. And figured out how to customize a specific model of router to redirect traffic from the scale to their own server. And they've even posted some sample source code.

    But even with all that, doing it yourself is beyond the capabilities of the average web developer let alone most people.

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