That One Guy’s Techdirt Profile


About That One GuyTechdirt Insider

That One Guy’s Comments comment rss

  • Jul 23rd, 2016 @ 8:47am

    Can't 'restore' what was never lost

    It's the latter.

    For all the talk through history about equal treatment under the law and justice being blind, it has always been the case that the scales of 'justice' are influenced by station and/or wealth, the only difference is the extent that the influence applies and that at times it's hidden better.

    These days, not so much. The facade is paper-thin at best, to the point that only the naive or insanely optimistic expect equal treatment under the law.

  • Jul 23rd, 2016 @ 2:10am

    Tisk tisk

    Clearly this only happened because they weren't using encryption/security with a built in unicorn gate, as everyone knows that with those in place the only people who can access something are 'good guys', of which the hackers almost certainly wouldn't have counted.

    Had they been using unicorn gate encryption this would never have happened, making for yet another perfect example of the kinds of dangers trying to use secure encryption can cause, and one that I can only hope the tech companies take note of for their own future good.

  • Jul 23rd, 2016 @ 1:55am


    'Sad but true' doesn't quite cut it there, how about 'Revolting and disgusting but true'?

    These days it's all about getting as many people behind bars or otherwise convicted as possible, with actual guilt or innocence of the accused way down the list of priorities.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 6:37pm

    Telling reasons

    If an even playing field, or even one slightly more even is enough to undercut the prosecution's case then they're essentially admitting that they could not win the case without underhanded tricks. If they're doing things properly then it shouldn't matter if the defense knows everything they're going to do and present, because the evidence should still be on their side.

    That they feel the need for trickery and obfuscation positively reeks of weak cases that could not be won on the evidence alone and requires sleazy legal(-ish) tricks.

    The new guidelines were supposed to make things better.

    As for the idea that the new guidelines are supposedly better than the old ones? The fact that they're doing everything they can to prevent the exposure of those new guidelines demonstrates without a doubt that that's a lie. At best they're no worse, but I'd put good odds on them being either the same thing packaged in different language, or even more dishonest and underhanded than the previous guidelines.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: 'Put your money where your mouth is' in a more literal sense

    I would be greatly surprised if any of them did, but schadenfreude alone would certainly be enough to make me want to be proven wrong in that case.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Re: You're doing it wrong

    It's a strange mindset from my point of view, and unfortunately one that tends to be fairly common, but far too many people think that a position or uniform is enough to 'earn' respect.

    (Personally I don't care what uniform and/or badge someone has, I care what they do while they're wearing and/or carrying it. Actions, not outfits or accessories are what make a person worthy or not worthy of respect.)

    In the situation of schools I imagine they think that simply being teachers/principals is enough to make them worthy of respect, with no actions beyond that needed, so from their mindset they already have 'earned' the respect they demand from the students, which simply isn't the case.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 6:08pm

    When all you have is a grenade launcher....

    It doesn't appear that any words were wasted discussing the underlying causes of the protests officers are now facing -- none of which will be resolved with increased police militarization.

    I think at this point they've fallen prey to the 'Just a little more' disease, where rather than admitting that hey, the current way of doing something is clearly not working they instead double, triple, and quadruple down, assuming that they just need to do it even more and suddenly it will work.

    If police with some military surplus isn't cutting it and getting people to respect the police, then clearly the only possible response is to give them more military gear. If a pistol isn't getting them the respect they so clearly deserve then swap it out for a shotgun or rifle, and so on.

    It would be a hefty uphill battle at this point but police could actually drastically reduce the problems they find themselves facing such as protests, lack of trust and respect, that sort of thing. Given that doing so would require actions that they have fought stridently every step of the way up till now(accountability, holding their own responsible and so on) that's not likely to happen any time soon or ever at this rate.

    Actions like militarizing the police even more and granting them even more special treatment under the law on the other hand is just going to make things worse, to the point where you really have to wonder if they've given up on being worthy of actual respect and figure fear will work just as well.

    If that is the case I certainly hope someone influential enough on the police side wakes up and changes things quick, because while you can cow a populous into obedience using fear that only works for so long, and when it fails things tend to be all sorts of messy for everyone, and other than the gun-happy nutters on both sides I don't imagine many people would care for that in the slightest.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Need

    I could drive a tank to get groceries and it would do the job, that doesn't mean I needed a tank to do so.

    There is already such a thing as armored vehicles, they don't need military grade/surplus armored vehicles. As John Fenderson notes if a situation develops that requires military-level gear, call in the actual military.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 5:44pm

    Oh yeah, /much/ better way to spend taxpayer money

    No really, tell us how municipal broadband must be blocked in order to protect the taxpayers from having their money wasted on something that might not be as successful as it could have been, as opposed to entirely wasted throwing it at a company that just uses it to pad out their profits and buy politicians.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Homeland insecurity

    Given we're talking about people who are theoretically employed to protect the public insisting on deliberately crippling security and making the public less safe, colossally incompetent in the general sense is pretty much a given, as they are showing that they seriously suck at their jobs.

    Rather the distinction I was trying to make was between 'Intentionally lacking in knowledge' and 'Knows better and lying'. Stupid or dishonest essentially, one or even both is possible, but at this point 'neither' isn't.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 1:23pm

    'Put your money where your mouth is' in a more literal sense

    At this point I'd love to see someone call their bluff by demanding that if they really don't think crippled encryption is that big of a deal they should match actions to words by having all of their personal data protected by deliberately crippled encryption. Medical, bank, personal email... all of it should be 'protected' by the very same level of security that they are insisting should be acceptable for anyone else.

    They'd hire someone, or someone would volunteer(and I imagine there would be many volunteers for something like this) to intentionally create crippled encryption with a unicorn door, with the key to be held in a 'secure' location that is as accessible as a major company could manage. Once that's done all their personal data would be 'protected' by the encryption, and the public would be informed that it exists, though given no other details beyond that.

    They'd never do it of course, because while they're incredibly dishonest I doubt any of them are that stupid, but it would be nice watching them squirm for a bit and try to explain how crippled encryption is plenty to protect the public, but not enough for public servants like themselves.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 1:12pm

    You're doing it wrong

    the measure would also increase criminal penalties for any crimes in which the victim is a law enforcement officer and “create a culture of respect for law enforcement by organizing a campaign to educate young Texans on the value law enforcement officers bring to their communities,”

    Respect isn't something you teach, it's something you earn, and if more and more people don't respect police it's because they've shown that they're not worthy of respect.

    If he wants to 'create a culture of respect for law enforcement' then he needs to start with law enforcement. Actual accountability, real oversight, equal treatment under the law... giving an already highly 'protected' group even more special treatment is not going to increase anything but resentment and disrespect, and rightly so, 'education' or not.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It feels very much to me like book publishers all of a sudden putting limits on the number of times you can read a book purchased at a bookstore,

    Yeah, about that...

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 12:33pm

    Taking idiocy to it's (il)logical heights

    Kenneth L. Wainstein, a former assistant attorney general for national security at the Department of Justice, told lawmakers that the burden is on technology companies and privacy advocates to show how backdoors would harm user security, rather than on law enforcement to prove that altering the encryption scheme would be safe.

    While he's at it he should demand that companies that create and sell locks provide hard evidence showing how easily picked or bypassed locks would be harmful to security, so he can ignore that too.

    I know by this point that the anti-encryption crowd does't actually have any good arguments to make but they could at least try to avoid the insanely stupid ones like 'Provide evidence about how crippling security would present a threat to security'.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Homeland insecurity

    Because if they did that, when the NSA failed to provide the impossible the tech companies could point to that and say 'Look, a government funded agency filled with smart people couldn't do it with a budget we could only dream about, what makes you think we could do it with less?'

    At this point they have no excuse not to have familiarized themselves with the facts of the matter, which means unless the one making the claim is so colossally incompetent that they aren't fit to run a gorram lemonade stand they know they are asking for the impossible, and they don't want to provide a clear example of their own 'smart people' failing to achieve the impossible that could then be used against their idiotic claims by the companies they're trying to pressure.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 10:50am


    The 'generous' caps also look even worse when you factor in something pretty common:

    Households with more than one person.

    Sure one person might struggle to hit 300 or 600 GB's in a month, requiring a whole lot of binge watching and/or hefty downloads, but add a few other people also using the connection for watching/downloading things and that number starts seeming a lot smaller.

    The idea that 'most' people won't use that much so it's not an unreasonable cap is true(ish) as far as that goes, but completely ignores the fact that a family of people can easily blow through the allotment and start raking in overage fees.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 7:34am

    Re: Re: '

    Not at all, I'm saying that even if I accepted the claim that customers who use their connection a lot presented such a huge problem that caps were necessary for 'network management', then their argument regarding 'fair billing' still fails because it only works one way, up.

    If it's only 'fair' that customers who use their connection more pay more then clearly those that use less should pay less, but that's not what's happening, exposing the 'fairness in billing' claim as a lie and a flimsy excuse to charge more for the same service.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 6:58am


    As for usage caps and overage fees giving consumers "proactive management of their usage" while ensuring "they are being billed fairly," keep in mind that unlike traditional utilities, no regulator checks the accuracy of ISP meters.

    Also worth pointing out, if they actually cared about making sure that their customers were being billed 'fairly' then those who used their connections less would be charged less, just like those that use the connections more are being charged more.

    This however is notably not what is happening. Instead everyone, from those that barely use their connection at all to those that use it regularly are all charged the same flat rate, with the price only increasing if someone uses 'too much'.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 6:49am


    Defamation, probably not. Anti-SLAPP worthy? Absolutely, which is why there needs to be a strong federal anti-SLAPP law, to cut down on baseless threats like this.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 6:41am

    Re: can a DMCA-compliant torrent site *EVER* be 'compliant' enough?

    No, it is not, and never will be enough. So long as it's even theoretically possible to use something for copyright infringement you'll have people claiming that not enough has been done and clearly it's only purpose is to enable or facilitate infringement.

    Have a search engine for your service? You're enabling people to try to find infringing files.

    Don't have a search engine for your service? You're simply trying to hide all the infringing files.

    As you say, whether a site bends over backwards or not they're still treated the same, so they really have no incentive at all to play nice and go out of their way to be 'helpful'.

More comments from That One Guy >>