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  • 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. ;)

  • Jun 21st, 2018 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed. Bastiat's point was that the shopkeeper was forcibly removed from control of what he rightfully thought of as "his money". (In this case, the force was that the window must be repaired quickly, else the original purpose of the window was merely a vanity.)

    Control of his money, regardless of how he exercised that control, is the name of the game. Choosing which segment of the overall economy to "encourage" was his right, even if it meant that his exercise of that control was to simply save his money for a period of time, before actually spending any of it.


  • Jun 20th, 2018 @ 4:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'd like to contribute two things, if I may:

    1) Why isn't Anonymous doxing these clods, especially their financial records? We know that these Neanderthal-thinking freaks of nature are taking money from the special interests, but we can't prove it without some help from those that can do the dirty work of exposing the money flow. (Apologies for the insult to our ancestors.)

    2) I'm pretty sure that the answer here is obvious - Those who ordinarily link to news-sites need only present a bill to the appropriate source for each link, detailing that the link, and the attendant traffic therefrom, was not free. Indeed, the link was put in place, free of charge, by a private party who is authorized in all ways and means to conduct business in a profitable manner. Failure to pay the bill within a reasonable timespan will automatically (via an AI agent) remove such further linkage from that private party's site until remuneration in full, and a contract signed to the effect that there are no, and will never be any, license fees to be paid in either direction.

    In my opinion, the word 'license' is rapidly coming to mean "to take money from someone legally but unethically". That's sad.


  • Jun 18th, 2018 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Horrible Idea

    I guess my description did leave out few things.

    In my purview, there is only one creator, or a partnership wherein each partner contributes a known amount of effort in a creation. All other persons who did not participate in the immediate act of creation are hangers-on, sucking at the teat of creativity. This is not to demean the day-to-day workers, but in point of fact, they only helped to bring a story to a screen (or to a stage, a book, etc.) - they did not create the story. This applies especially to those you termed as risk-takers/investors.

    In my view, risk is automatically an assumption upon the very act of creativity. If a created product does not sell, then the creator has lost at least some time and effort, and perhaps some money as well. So to spread some of that risk to others, by way of investment, that's easy - create a temporary partnership that allows for a full recoupment of the investment, plus a handsome ROI, perhaps even a royalty that goes on for a period of time. But the copyright for the created work remains with the creator, it does not transfer for any reason. Why? Because we've seen all to often that some bigwig will get their hands on a property, tell the creator that they can't do anything with it after all, then turn around and produce it with another's name on the credits screen. Happens more often than one might think.

    As for actors, directors, band members, roadies, costumers, non-creating singers, all such folks... they too are just helpers along the way to publishing the story - they are not story creators, although I will give them their due credit - they can (and do) often make a difference in how the enacted story is received. Compensation for varying degrees of accomplishment can certainly be negotiated, but it should not be to the detriment of the creator.

    Bottom line here: a story is just that. A story translated to a different medium is still a story by that creator, regardless if he/she intended it for such translation. Pretensions of "big risk that must have commensurate rewards" is only a lawyer's dream in taking money from the deserving (the creator) and partying the night away.


  • Jun 18th, 2018 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Horrible Idea

    > abolish copyright, period.

    Well, the founding fathers thought in terms of time that a reasonable business person can take advantage of the copyright, i.e. get his/her book published (and other analogues to that).

    But in those days, that was "real time" to them - there was never any reason to anticpate otherwise. Nowadays, we operate on something that the F.F. never dreamed of, internet time. Call it anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 times faster that what they saw in 1776. To me, that means that copyright is a valid concept, but it needs to be adjusted for today's world. Let's just set it at 6 months and call it a day, shall we?

    And while I have this nice, sturdy soapbox under my feet.... Who in the Lowered's name took it upon him/herself to think that a dead person can be persuaded to create more works just because his/her grandchildren inherited the copyright? No one else in the family inherited the creativity to come up with new stuff, or they'd already be doing it under their own name!

    Moreover.... (yeah, yeah, I'll get it out of my system RSN.) We could certainly fix copyright in a hurry, if we just adhered to the original convention - a person has copyright for the duration of yadda yadda, blah blah, woof woof, and so on. Nowhere in there was it ever anticipated that the copyright would be sellable as a commodity. Simply restore the concept of copyright as belonging solely to the creator, unsellable and unheritable by explicit law, and we're done here.

    I daresay, if the public knew even a fraction of what it has lost in potential creativity, the reaction would dwarf what happened in Germany in the 1930's.

    And if push really came to shove, let's start bombarding our representative (or more correctly, those who claim with a collectively straight face to represent us) with copies of The Meloncholy Elephant by Spider Robinson. Seems like about the right time for that little "civic intercourse" with them, eh?


  • Jun 14th, 2018 @ 8:44am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm not the brightest bulb in the drawer, but I can't seem to wrap my head around why everyone (including Google at this point) doesn't see the easy solution...

    Google makes money from advertising, right? So why not call each snippet an advertisement, and send a bill to the appropriate source? And when said source doesn't pay up, after a short period that adequately demonstrates a permanent reticence, then simply cut them off until the bill is paid.

    And make it mandatory, opting out must be a conscious decision, not the default. (Failure to pay the bill would qualify as a method of opting out.) Of course, the opt-out is not half-way, it also means "we're opting out of having our ads (nee news items) displayed".

    Hey, it's just good business sense, yes?

    </not s>

    NOTE to Google: Be sure to put this 'business method and model' into your Terms Of Service Agreement, so that no one can claim you didn't warn them.

  • Jun 8th, 2018 @ 10:28am

    Re: Google needs to force the issue

    > they are paid 1 billion **EUROS**

    T,ftfy ;)

  • Jun 8th, 2018 @ 9:38am

    Re: controller misinterpretation

    A mic stand "controls" where the microphone will be positioned (hopefully in front of one's mouth), the translation was a bit too literal.

    But yes, for more than 60 years the mic stand has been (pardon me) a stand-in for a phallic symbol. You have to wonder, is the Chinese government trying to dissuade people from enlarging their population?

  • Jun 5th, 2018 @ 9:30am

    Re: Fiber is hard

    I can push more over a 80Ghz ultra-high frequency microwave link faster than a run of fiber optic.

    Not likely. Besides the fact that 80GHz would be in the Extremely High Frequency band (not UHF), a single fiber cable (not a bundle) can carry more than enough data to satisfy the average residential customer in today's world (2018). In fact, it's not economically viable to run just one single fiber, it's much cheaper to simply run a small bundle to each destination, even to a single family residence. As need increases over time, the bundle can handle such expansion with ease.

    But moreover, where do you expect to find a family-budget-friendly transceiver (or modem, in computer parlance) that can drive that microwave link? Looked at any communications catalogs lately?

    And as noted already, you're gonna be using a fiber to drive that setup, as pretty much the best-quality co-ax cable tops out at 60GHz or so. Under lab conditions, fiber can now hit 255THz

    So let's put paid to this scenario: If you are going to punch out more than 100 milliwatts of RF at that frequency, you will be obtaining an FCC licence in order to stay legal... for starters. Getting someone else to lay your fiber is a one-time expense, and no legal hassles on your part. And let's nor forget that microwave transmissions are not immune to bad weather conditions, nor are microwave towers immune to minor tectonic shifts, aircraft (manned or otherwise) that can't seem to avoid things sticking up out of the earth, the list goes on....

    (Side note: high-end audio equipment from the 1990's usually came with an optical coupler (S/PDIF-TOSLINK). This technology ain't new, folks.)

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