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  • Jan 13th, 2019 @ 6:27pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'm sorry to have missed Scote's comment about not wanting to see "a separate page/site for comments". In point of fact (and I speak from experience here), a single page can contain content from more than one server, and there are several ways to do that.

    Sadly (but not unexpectedly), Google ignores the robots.txt file if the content is called (linked) from another resource. But... Google does obey the 'noindex' META tag, and the "X-Robots-Tag" resonse header.

    If either of those are inserted into the page sitting on the "comments" server, then Google (and perhaps Bing as well) should not be able to see the actual content, only the call to that page. But to the user, everything would appear seamless, as it does now.

    (For all I know, Mike is doing exactly that now!)



  • Nov 14th, 2018 @ 2:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    I must admit, I'm surprised at the reach, and the findings of preceding courts, that a civil disagreement can be forged (weaponized) into a criminal one. Yes, the government can't legally interfere with a citizen's activities without good cause, that's the Liberty part of the First Amendment and the due process clause of the Fifth. But to say that an individual person can be dismissed for whatever cause is somehow... automatically a criminal action on the part of the dismisser? That's not what the Founding Fathers meant when they formulated our Constitution and Amendments.

    While you as a citizen are "free" to enter any government building or open place that conducts goverment business, there are good and sufficient reasons why you can't enter each and every one of them... security being the highlight of this day and age, but we certainly didn't start that just 17 years ago. Likewise, a newpaper or other outlet of news that holds itself out to the public as a source of information has no special "right" to enter a government structure that somehow negates the requirements placed on "normal" citizens.

    Indeed, the only protections afforded to the Press are a freedom from government interference in what they print, and what spin they may impart to that information. The Founding Fathers may have intended that, in a polite society, members of the Press would be civil in their discourse with government personnel, and that was a failing, I'll admit. But nonetheless, we're stuck with what they gave us, and for the vast majority of the time, it's worked out quite well, in my opinion.

  • Nov 14th, 2018 @ 2:31pm

    Constitutional cite needed, please

    ... on the whole I think governments should be much more inclusive of media. But if the decisions are based on the content of their reporting, it would appear to be entirely unconstitutional.

    Per my usual recalcitrance to take anyone's statements at face value when they reference some particular law, I have to interject here that there is no Constitutional requirement that the President (nor any other Federal office holder) must hold open press conferences. In fact, it was only 105 years ago (less than half of our country's age) that Woodrow Wilson held the first such. Sadly, the prevailing conventionally held wisdom that "open to one, open to all" is not a guaranteed right. The concept really hasn't even been enshrined in law, at least not directly. Indirectly, I can see that in several ways, but not directly.

  • Nov 7th, 2018 @ 6:14pm

    Be careful what you wish for, HBO...

    ... the Malodorous Orange will likely respond by calling you "Fake Entertainment".

  • Nov 7th, 2018 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Implied Endorsement

    I always wanted to know... who gave artists as a class the right be more moral than the rest of us?

  • Nov 7th, 2018 @ 5:47pm

    Re: They should have put out their own version

    Either that, or perhaps "Stormy Is Coming!"

  • Nov 7th, 2018 @ 12:35pm

    Speaking of examples...

    I consider this to be a "reverse canary" that deals with NN. Consider:

    All ISPs have always had the ability to do a MITM attack of this nature, but for the most part they haven't, if for no other reason than not wishing to drive customers away. AKA, good business practice.

    Banhof is one of the staunchest defenders of the principles of NN, but now they've been forced to do a MITM attack for reasons that are highly repugnant to Americans (of the USA variety) - keeping mind that other countries don't make the same laws as we do. I see this as a warning shot aimed at dinosaur businesses - it says that things can get much nastier than they might desire, that maybe they should take a moment to think things over. After all, if there's no law against each ISP "poisoning the DNS" they carry for their customers.... now who's speaking from power?

    It's also an example for other ISPs that might wish to fight back in a similar manner.

    To Mike:
    I understand the core idea of adhering to one's principles, and the idea of setting a good example for others. But if Banhof were to lie down and wait for someone else to save them, that would have exactly the same result as planning to fail. Remember, all that's necessary for Evil to succeed is for Good Men to do nothing.


  • Nov 2nd, 2018 @ 7:42pm

    Yes there is a solution....

    It is not easy to seal off every possible vector of attack. There are always new attacks.

    It is possible to seal off all but one vector of attack - simply isolate the data into a non-web-facing storage area. i.e. it can be accessed only from a local console. Keep that console in a locked room, and your exposure is quite limited indeed. Put a card reader on the doorlock, and a camera in the hallway, and you'll know who's been selling user data to nefarious parties, without permission.

    Yes, it's possible that a MITM attack can take place during the initial yielding of data by the user, but that would take considerable resouces in both time and processing power, each of which are more easily detected than the usual back-door skullduggery about which we hear so much.


  • Sep 13th, 2018 @ 9:49am

    Re: This is going to be stupid hard to legislate.

    I respectfully disagree.

    Instead of saying (legislating) that IoT devices must be more secure, California could simply implement the "All Things Cause Cancer" concept into a rating system for these units.

    For instance, a board/commission/bureau could apply a meaningful set of tests to a device, and develop a rating that would be required to be displayed prominently on boxes at the retail level. Likewise for advertising, both online and off. Failure to display said ratings as required would simply mean "no sales allowed here".

    California, like it or not, has more than 10% of the total American population, thus setting it up as a leader in potential sales. If something fails in Cal., likely it won't go over too well in the rest of the country. Again, like it or not, that's the way of things in these times.

    I'd suggest that Cal "draft" some of the industry big-wigs like Bruce Schneier and others of like knowledge, to get a first-pass methodology for this kind of testing. Obviously it will need to be monitored and modified as real-world devices come in for testing, but in esssence, a Rating System of any kind will be a good measure for retail-level buyers to think about, as they make their decisions.

    Enforcement efforts might include Mystery Shoppers who can be on the lookout for unrated devices, plus sales people that espouse that buyers "just ignore that rating, it's worthless".


  • Sep 5th, 2018 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re:


    Allow me to both agree and disagree on some of your points, please.

    1) Alleged filters on social media are something about which I know nothing - I refuse to give up my last shards of privacy, so I don't participate in anyway. I limit my on-line presence to Fora such as yours, where I usually find evidence of the median participant IQ to be somewhat higher than that of a raw carrot.

    2) The fact that "most people don't care that much" is concerning, at least to me. It says a whale of a lot about apathy, and opens a large diorama of reasons for that willingness to not participate in one's own government, even at a visceral level. Wanting to avoid assholes and/or trolls of various kinds is laudable, but in point of fact, if we avoid them, then we are just pretending to ourselves that they aren't there in reality.

    Compare this to the SESTA/FOSTA crap - "If we remove this (already criminal) activity from the internet, then it will go away entirely". I'm sure you can think of other examples near and dear to your heart.

    To quote Sgt Springer, from my Boot Camp days: "If you stick your head in the sand, then your ass is exposed, with a couple of nice big red rings painted on it." Better to know where they are, what they're doing, and how to keep them from causing ever greater harm.

    3) I must defer to my statements in 1) above. However, I do hold out hope that you're correct, that people will become less inurred to the actions of their fellow citizens, particularly those in the business of governing others. I'm not looking for outrage and a desire for retribution, I'll be happy to see merely a high degree of concern and a willingness to express a thoughtful opinion. (Read that last as: not an emotional outpouring, devoid of any rationality.)

    Thanks Mike. ;)


  • Sep 4th, 2018 @ 10:23pm

    (untitled comment)

    The reason this won't work? It will do no more than reinforce one's opinions, which will stem from what one reads, and accepts, as fact(s).

    The fact that no post ever published, anywhere, at any time, on any medium, has stated "This is my opinion, you should make up your own mind.", or words to that effect, tells me that we internet uses, all of us, are pretty much looking to be part of the herd, and not very willing to stand out for our own selves.

    Stated another way, this idea will lead to confirmation bias on a level never before dreamed of. I predict that somewhere along the line, the repercussions of "us versus them" is going to become very ugly.

    Please note that I am not saying that we should be forced to read other's opinions that we find to be repugnant, but simply that we should not wander willy-nilly down a path of "I don't like what 45 is saying, so I'm going to tune him out, just ignore him and all of his cronies." At some point in the future, when they're pretty sure that we're all ignoring them, they're going to come for us. And it won't be with pitchforks and firebrands, either. The survivors will be lamenting that we could've had prior warning, if we were not so close-minded, and had been paying at least a little attention to their rantings and ravings.

    Uncharacteristically, I have no "better solution" to the problem. Sorry, I'll keep thinking on it, but in the meantime....


    p.s. Sorry Mike, hope your Cheerios still taste OK!

    Disclaimer: See the quote in my second paragraph.

  • Aug 31st, 2018 @ 10:16am

    Re: Net neutrality hypocracy

    Perfect demonstration of someone who slept through Civics class in high school.

  • Aug 19th, 2018 @ 7:52pm


    In a manner of speaking, he is out of their pocket.... although I don't expect that he'll be discussing the things they do wrong in the foreseeable future.

  • Aug 12th, 2018 @ 9:10am

    (untitled comment)

    The subtitle needs a slight correction:

    From the it's-a-court,-not-a-wholly-owned-subsidiary-of-the-NSA dept


    But I was wondering... what does FISC stand for again? The best I could come up with was Fookin' Inept Secrets Coverup.


  • Jul 24th, 2018 @ 9:52am

    Re: The Judge is right...

    (Don't know who Cliff Richards is??? He did the theme song for Windows 95!)

    Err, not quite. Although you've taken a wide liberty with the term 'theme song' for any MS product, I'll grant you some leeway.

    But for a fact, I was there at the original presentation, and I still have the box of W95 that billg himself handed to me. The tune that was played during the intro (with none other than Jay Leno as MC).... that was The Rolling Stones' "Start Me Up".

    If you were going for 'the funny', then you succeeded for the most part. If you were somewhat serious, then you should've said that C.R. fronted for The Shadows, until they could cast him off and become the supergroup there were destined to be.


  • Jul 13th, 2018 @ 8:14am

    (untitled comment)

    I have only one question:

    If these so-called government employees aren't "law enforcment officers or investigators", then what the Hell are they doing there? Because it sure looks to me like they are enforcing laws of the land, i.e. "The law says that you can't bring that on the plane", "The law says you have to do this or not do that", and "You must obey the law, or you will be arrested", etc.

    If that isn't law enforcement at the fullest extent, then I shudder to think what might actually qualify as such.

  • Jun 26th, 2018 @ 10:59am

    Re: BTW

    In 2005, the USSC determined in an eminent domain case (Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469) that each state has a right to determine how eminent domain will work within that state. IOW, there is no federal statute that forecloses any state from writing the law as it wishes. This precluded the Court from 'intruding upon the affairs of the state', and let the lower courts' rulings (in favor of the City) stand.

    Sorry, I don't like it either, but that's the way the ball is currently bouncing.

  • Jun 24th, 2018 @ 6:40pm

    Re: Re:

    I did indeed misquote the law as commonly found, by omitting the word "falsely" in front of "yell fire".

    While Popehat always has good lessons to teach, in point of fact, there are many small, and not-so-small, towns and cities with the exact law on the books. Correctly put there or not, enforced or not, it's just plain common courtesy that one does not incite others to act in a dangerous way (IOW, make them panic) without good cause. But our society does have a small percentage of bad actors who received questionable parenting in their formative years, hence the "trope" is codifed to some degree. That's not always a bad thing.

    Did you happen to read the comments? I think some of those were quite telling, and I wish Ken had delved into discussion with at least a few of the commenters - that would've been even more instructive.

  • Jun 22nd, 2018 @ 8:56am

    (untitled comment)

    Again, two things....

    a) Selective enforcement. Have you ever successfully defended against a citation for excessive speed by stating to the Judge that "everyone else was going 10 over, why'd he pick on only me?" The Judge is thinking to himself "Why do I get all the loonies", but he's saying to you "Why did you choose, of your own free will, to exceed the speed limit by any amount, thus breaking the law? Which you just admitted to in open court. Guilty as charged. Next, please."

    b) Yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre is against local laws almost everywhere - yet it is a form of expression. I'd hate to foot the legal bills for attempting to controvert this one.

    The public's right to a peaceful environment whenever reasonably expected trumps one's "right" to disturb that peace without good cause. (Although in Chicago, you need only two things to drive a car - a working horn and a working middle finger....)

    The whole case rests on attempting to invalidate a portion of Cal Vehicle Code 27001 for repugnance to the Constitution. I don't foresee much success in that regard, though there maybe an admonishment from the court that the scope of 27001 might need some closer attention. Personally, I'll bet it stands, and that Porter will be seeing fewer portraits of dead Presidents in her wallet as a result.

  • Jun 21st, 2018 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Because they realize there's no benefit in doxing people that have no shame.

    OK, the shame is on me for forgetting that little factoid. ;)

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