Tanner Andrews’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Dec 1st, 2018 @ 9:23am

    (untitled comment)

    why the Defense should ALWAYS have any lab-tested items (including fingerprints) independently tested

    Sometimes that is not practical. EIther the state has conveniently used up/lost the samples, or there is no budget for it.

    Remember that, for budget purposes, the state has the full budget of state government behind it. Few defendants have the same access to funds. That assumes that samples can even be had for testing. Many times the state is very reluctant to allow defense testing.

    Also, there is essentially no cost-shifting: defendant wins, that's nice, but he does not get his fees or costs. Interestingly enough, the state automatically gets to add ``investigation costs'' to pretty much any judgment and sentence.

  • Nov 19th, 2018 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Presenting Exhibit A: The WH's own statement.

    either did not run that by any lawyers, or the ones they did run it past are just abysmal

    Rudolph Giuliani

  • Nov 19th, 2018 @ 3:58am

    Some Advantages to Off-Shore Operations

    For an entity like the Romanian investigatory journalism group, being off shore (or at least having the public face off shore) could be an advantage. It is less likely that a foreign court would be sensitive to the pain felt by the presidential cronies.

    On the other hand, for a US entity, it can be good to be somewhere not too closely allied to the US govt. Being off shore offers some real protections. It is certainly not impenetrable, if the host govt decides to turn you over you can still be cooked. But it is better than being within the easy reach of the feds.

    I can offer little specific guidance as to good places for relocation. (That's not my job. My job is to try to prise the information out of the govt in the first place.)

  • Nov 19th, 2018 @ 3:45am

    Re: More than one Orange County

    I find out Orange County is referring to Los Angeles

    You might want to go back and find out again. Los Angeles is not in Orange (CA). Of course it is not in Orange (FL) either.

  • Nov 17th, 2018 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: [mark-up]

    Damn. Is there some reason the use markdown checkbox cannot be checked by default?

    Is there any chance of finding the person who thought that this "markup" stuff was a good idea, instead of using HTML like most of the world's web browsers? If we find him, we can use the pointed sticks.

    Then, the "markup" box could be unchecked by default. We would we'd use normal HTML. You would not have to worry about a special language for one forum.

  • Nov 16th, 2018 @ 10:37pm

    Re: Re: No Such Thing as a ``Palestinian'' Flag

    Or a country of "The International Red Cross" with a flag. Or a country of "The Boy Scouts of America" with a flag. Or a country of "The Holy See" with a flag.

    Right. Like I said, there is no more a country of "Palestine" with a flag than there is a country of "Central Arizona" with a flag, though there may be some sort of affinity group.

    For pretty much any such group, if they have art depicting a bear flying a kite in their preferred colors, it is hard to see a California state school having the power to restrict their use of that art. The challenge is getting good art, not a need for state permission from a state which uses a bear as one of its symbols.

  • Nov 15th, 2018 @ 4:33am

    No Such Thing as a ``Palestinian'' Flag

    bear flying a kite with the colors of the Palestinian flag

    There may be some sort of affinity group, but there is no more a country of "Palestine" with a flag than there is a country of ``Central Arizona'' with a flag.

    As for the bear, well, let me feign sympathy for the school. Images of bears are fairly common. Indeed, if memory serves, there is a bear on the state flag of the state where the school is located. Claiming control over bears, with or without kites, is an obvious over-reach.

    [and who's idea was this "markdown" crud where you cannot even use proper quotes?]

  • Nov 14th, 2018 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Clearly a legal scam

    If it's clearly a legal scam, why are you capitulating.

    Often there are economic justifications. If fighting costs more than {you can afford,the anticipated return from winning,some other limit} then it may be a sound business decision.

    In the case of the non-profit transport safety site posting ancient power points, and disregarding the positive good of eliminating power points, I would see the business decision as comparing zero (income) to non-zero (cost to fight).

    Fix the copyright litigation system, which may be a fairly large and difficult task, and you may lower the cost to fight so as to obtain better outcomes.

    I have seen cases where ``losing'' makes more economic sense than winning.

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Intent can be a factor like it is in many other aspects of the law

    Intent is a factor. When we refer to Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (US 09-Mar-1964) ``malice'', we are considering intent. The person publishing the defamatory information had to either intend to publish false information, or acted with such reckless disregard of likely falsity as to have imputed knowledge.

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 5:30pm

    (untitled comment)

    'Counting votes is stealing the elections' seems incredibly nuts

    It may seem nuts, but it is the law in the U.S. See Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98,109 (US 12-Dec-2000) (counting votes could result in undesired result).

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 5:25pm


    hope the FBI or GBI does something [about Brian Kemp voter suppression efforts]

    Law enforcement appears to be doing something. (https://www.kempforgovernor.com/posts/news/sheriffs-across-georgia-back-kemp-governor)

    This may not reflect glory upon them.

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 4:49pm

    entertainment lawyers who demand that every possible thing

    entertainment lawyers who demand that every possible thing seen on a screen must first be licensed, that's not how copyright law actually works

    Well, I could agree that it is not how copyright law is supposed to work. However, Ringgold v. Black Entertainment Television, 126 F.3d 70 (US 2d Cir. 1997). There. the court said that a total of 26 seconds of out-of-focus views of parts of a museum's poster showing a quilt infringed on the copyright of the quilt producer.

    The poster was visible in the background for a total of 26 seconds of a TV show. Trial court dismissed complaint, appeals court revived it.

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Anti-members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

    a city that has a right not to be destroyed by the irresponsible tourist who inflict Nevada

    I have never heard of tourists inflicting Nevada upon people. I admit that it would be harsh if they did so, and the locals would have a right to object.

    On the other hand, if the city atty is a religious superior to the municipal judge wrongly deciding issues in his favor, it is certainly fair game to mention that as a possible explanation for the patently wrong rulings by that municipal judge. I am glad that the appeals court did not go that route, but commentary by the public (for our purposes, non-parties) may reasonably go beyond the bounds of the appellate review.

    I have no real knowledge of the relevant church hierarchy. However, I have seen tourists, as my state is badly infested with them. I have not, to date, seen them inflict Nevada upon the locals. A fair number of them do come downtown to inflict an odd form of hard-shell Baptist religion upon us.

  • Nov 10th, 2018 @ 12:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Yelling Fire!

    I blieve Justice Holmes said it was the worst decision of his career.

    Well, that's a hard call. Yes, Abrams was a bad decision, generally speaking opposed to much of what the U.S. claims to stand for.

    But then Justice Holmes was also the author of Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (US 02-May-1927).

  • Nov 2nd, 2018 @ 1:46am

    Re: Debt to society

    Look at the "convicted felons lose their right to vote, and can rarely if ever regain it"

    There is at least a historic basis for this. There is a not-so-subtle bias in felonizing misbehavior, and prosecuting felonies, in order to reduce the risk of darker-complected persons voting. In Florida, the 1968 constitution brought this forward into the ``modern'' age.

    The war on drugs and Nixon's southern strategy arise from the same motives. It is not entirely arbitrary to more heavily penalize crack cocaine than powder cocaine. At least perception helps to explain agriculture theft laws, too.

  • Oct 25th, 2018 @ 7:37am

    Re: Certificate of Authenticity

    Where he will receive a 100% genuine order.

    Well, if he thinks that a fake let this guy out'' order, faxed to the prison, is an original notion, he is probably out of luck. Still, if I were the sentencing judge, I'd probably include a note that saidcheck with the court prior to release''.

    No guarantees, other than that taxes will increase, but at least the judge will have tried.

  • Oct 23rd, 2018 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re: Security cameras needed to combat police corruption

    You'd almost need a hidden HDD somewhere -- and maybe more than one, so the police can find one and stop searching

    How do you figure ``almost''?

    It has been three years since link [2015 techdirt article] the cops got caught because they disabled only the visible security cameras and stole only the visible computers doing the recording. By now the news should have reached even the most benighted hinterlands: have a second, less visible system, so you have something left after the cops are done stealing.

    And, yes, this ``markdown'' stuff appears to be a crock, not sure why HTML got broken. Maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time.

  • Oct 22nd, 2018 @ 7:45am

    no worries there

    seriously consider simply shutting off access in that country

    Much simpler solution: have no office in that country. With no office, and presumably a corresponding lack of assets, they are free to ignore any decrees from Vietnam.

    Think of it as a message: ``I fart in your general direction, which I am allowed to do from here in the States because we have a First Amendment and you all have an unappetizing little dictator.''

  • Oct 20th, 2018 @ 12:57pm

    Student Government is Like Unto Passing Gas in a Hurricane

    And that's likely why the student government is not screwing around here

    Student government normally has no actual power as to the operations of the school. It does, often, assist in deciding how to dole out student activity fees to student groups, but cannot set the level of fees. Of course it has no effect on hiring, firing, or advancement of administrators.

    So, when the student representatives threaten a vote of no confidence or censure, that means that perhaps the student newspaper will report the result. The actual effect is readily ignored.

    Of course, since I am out of their state, I do not expect that my comment will have any more effect on ISU administration than a student vote of no confidence.

  • Oct 19th, 2018 @ 4:35am

    (untitled comment)

    it seems like a waste to buy something with options/accessories that one will never use

    Often it is cheaper for the vendor to make it that way. If all the units are fundamentally the same, then you have less cost of differentiation.

    That does not mean that they cannot, via straps or jumpers, enable a subset of the available options.

    Car vendors are notorious for this. I used to have one which supposedly lacked the car alarm feture. Certainly there was no user interface provided. However, over the years, something fell off and the car thought it had an alarm, just no way to disarm it other than to disconnect the battery and wait.

    Radio vendors likewise. Jumpers let them decide which frequencies you were allowed to hear, based on the intended country of sale.

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