TKnarr’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 3rd, 2021 @ 9:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    I actually think Biden's right, the trigger that sets things in motion for the next major war will be some sort of cyber-attack. Not because the US or any other power intends to start a shooting war over it, but just because that event started a chain of misunderstandings and judgemental errors that will result in the shooting starting. Remember that the last time we were on the verge of a nuclear war (1995, Boris Yeltsin had actually retrieved the launch codes and was prepared to issue launch orders) it was because of the launch of a Norwegian research rocket. And Russia had even been told about the launch beforehand, the information simply hadn't been passed up the chain of command. My guess is it'll be the same thing: a cyber-attack (or more than one) gets everyone finger-pointing and causes disruptions that could be taken advantage of, then something else happens on one side that gets misinterpreted by the other side, someone in the chain decides that if they wait long enough for solid confirmation it'll be too late to act, or a couple of opposing pilots get a little too rambunctious and an accidental missile release triggers itchy trigger fingers on both sides, or an innocent vehicle gets misidentified as a threat and shot which triggers retaliation...

  • Jul 1st, 2021 @ 10:16am

    (untitled comment)

    Another option would be to simply exercise Congress's authority under USC Article 3 section 1 to establish courts other than the Supreme Court. Make APJ judges actual judges, their proceedings actual court proceedings, and just to mess with the Justices make those courts directly beneath the Supreme Court itself so any appeals of their judgements go straight to the Justices for consideration. I don't even see anything in the Constitution that requires Congress to require confirmation of judges when establishing the courts, since they wouldn't be officers of the executive branch but be part of the judicial branch even if appointed by the director of an executive agency.

    It seems like the Supremes are determined to eliminate any non-political or insulated-from-politics positions in the executive branch and return it completely to the spoils system.

  • Jun 24th, 2021 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re:

    Why only limited to .ir domains? The US didn't limit itself to only seizing domains hosted in .us after all.

  • Jun 24th, 2021 @ 6:05pm

    (untitled comment)

    The question the US government needs to ask themselves is this: can the government of Iran seize the domains of US news outlets to prevent them from spreading what the Iranian government considers disinformation? I mean, the Iranian authorities can get the same kind of court order the US government got and all, so why would their seizure be any less legitimate?

  • Jun 18th, 2021 @ 8:19pm

    (untitled comment)

    One wonders what's going to happen one of these days in a state with a "stand your ground" law when someone notices armed intruders (the SWAT team) on a doorcam and proceeds to deal with said intruders as the law allows for. Sure they have body armor, but .30-caliber rounds from a hunting rifle will penetrate that easily and single-slug deer-hunting rounds from a shotgun won't even need to penetrate.

  • Jun 17th, 2021 @ 7:51pm

    (untitled comment)

    Personally I think things like this are a good thing. Making the whole copyright mess cause actual financial damage to large corporations (by eg. having a triple-A mainstream game title flop because gamers can't safely promote it to others) may be the only way to get the mess fixed.

  • Jun 14th, 2021 @ 4:35pm

    Re: But think of the children

    And of course the question of whether the web site in question even had any authentication set up, or if it (like so many) simply assumed nobody would ever use anything other than their real name to submit a quote. As one judge has pointed out, "not desired" doesn't equate to "unauthorized".

  • Jun 9th, 2021 @ 8:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    And this is going to remain the case as long as platforms are liable for failing to remove content but not liable for wrongfully removing content, and copyright holders are entitled to damages for proven infringement but not liable for damages for wrongful claims of infringement.

    One addition I'd love to make to the DMCA is that if a counter-notice is filed and the copyright holder fails to file an infringement suit within 90 days of being informed of the counter-notice, they are barred from ever bringing any further claims for the items involved (including future DMCA notices) and are automatically liable for statutory damages equal to the damages that would have resulted from their claimed infringement.

  • Jun 8th, 2021 @ 10:54pm


    By that logic the camera on the cel phone used should render the phone manufacturer liable. After all, it was the phone manufacturer, not the user, that put the camera in there and made the phone. And surely they knew that, since that camera can be used to document how fast you're travelling, teenagers would use it to document themselves going for exactly those same high speed numbers to show off just as you say. Similarly for the car manufacturers, knowing that simply putting a speedometer in the car would encourage reckless teenagers to capture an image of it to demonstrate just how fast they were capable of going.

    I don't buy that.

  • Jun 7th, 2021 @ 1:57pm

    (untitled comment)

    I prefer the methods outlined in "David's Sling" in the data duels. Rather than removing the bad information, it's tagged with details of it's problems, links to supporting sources for correct information and the results of applying the corrected information to the argument the bad information was supposed to be in support of. This allows a response to the "think/do-the-research for yourself" line from the conspiracy theorists: "We did, and here's what we came up with.".

  • May 28th, 2021 @ 10:28am

    (untitled comment)

    Citizen, a division of Omni Consumer Products, Detroit, MI.

  • May 27th, 2021 @ 11:09pm

    (untitled comment)

    I really think the courts need to rethink their standards for sanctions. It's one thing when the defendant has to bring up things not mentioned in the complaint to get the complaint dismissed. But when the defense can win a motion for dismissal based solely on what's in the complaint, not sanctioning the plaintiff's attorney should be the exceptional case.

    At the motion-to-dismiss stage the judge can rule only on matters of law requiring no determination of facts, and any ambiguity has to be taken in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Given that, if the judge can find from the plaintiff's own complaint that the complaint doesn't state a case then the plaintiff's attorney certainly should have been able to come to the same conclusion. So either they filed it knowing it was baseless (which they're required not to do) or they filed it without doing their research on what the law and precedent say about it (which is also an ethical no-no) or they need to go back to law school. If it's really a valid complaint then they should be able to find at least one case that's still good law with a set of facts close enough to theirs to require a determination of facts to decide, which would let the complaint survive the motion to dismiss.

  • May 24th, 2021 @ 1:00pm

    (untitled comment)

    The biggest problem with privacy issues is that the Internet companies tend to give you Hobson's choice: you either accept them doing whatever they want or you don't use their service at all, even when it's entirely possible for the service to work fine without collecting all that user data. Mostly that happens because they've settled on a business model that depends on selling that data for their revenue, without that they have no other source of revenue.

    I don't like the idea of legislating business models, it tends to be too easy to abuse that power. For these cases I don't think it's necessary though. Just legislate liability: any company that collects personal information is 100% liable for the actual costs or a statutory damage amount, whichever is greater, plus legal costs and fees for every person whose data is compromised where that compromise can be traced back to their collection of the data. That means that if company A collects data and sells it to a data broker and that data broker's systems get compromised the data broker would be liable <i>and</i> company A would be liable. For companies it's then a business decision whether the risks associated with collecting personal information are worth the costs.

  • May 21st, 2021 @ 9:44am

    (untitled comment)

    “Even the best AI moderation has some error rate,” Guo said. He said the company’s models show that one to two posts out of every 10,000 viewed by the AI should have been caught on Parler but aren’t.

    The problem is that AI moderation has two error rates, not one. The one he describes is the false-negative rate, the rate at which it mistakes a fail for a pass. The other that he doesn't mention is the false-positive rate, the rate at which it mistakes a pass for a fail. The two tend to go hand-in-hand: to reduce the false-negative rate you usually have to increase the false-positive rate and vice-versa. That's why you'll often have your doctor have you get a medical test and when the results come back they'll tell you they need you to come in for another test. The first one is a screening test that's fast and cheap and has a low false-negative rate, so if it comes back clean you're definitely clean. If it comes back positive they need to run a more sensitive (hence more expensive and time-consuming) test to get the real results, helped by the population for it having a much higher percentage of actual positives.

  • May 20th, 2021 @ 5:55am

    (untitled comment)

    Time for streamers to type "alternatives to Twitch" into a Google search and go researching.

  • May 17th, 2021 @ 12:27pm

    (untitled comment)

    At least in the process Pai managed to botch it badly enough to give the Biden administration the perfect basis for rolling back Pai's policy changes related to network neutrality and restart the evaluation process from scratch.

  • Apr 19th, 2021 @ 8:55am


    The people running those servers were notified, repeatedly. They took no action to apply the permanent fixes that were available. Their compromised machines pose a security risk not just to the owners but to everybody else on the Internet. If nothing else they permit the criminals behind the infections to download any and all personal information that may be accessible from those machines and use those machines to attack others.

    If the FBI's going to abuse it's authority, this is the way I'd prefer them to abuse it.

  • Apr 9th, 2021 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re:

    Objection. Rusty nails are at least theoretically usable for something, making them more welcome than DRM.

  • Mar 30th, 2021 @ 9:06pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's a lesson that some in the video game industry refuse to accept over and over again.


  • Mar 30th, 2021 @ 12:38pm

    (untitled comment)

    What I don't get is why Aerialink ever had the ability to redirect SMS/MMS traffic through their gateway in the first place? There's no way for consumers to request that sort of redirect, so it couldn't have been at the number owner's request. The carriers are already the SMS/MMS gateway for their own networks, so they wouldn't need to request such a redirect. The only time I can see them needing that is if they were subcontracting operation of their own gateway out, and it doesn't sound like that was the case here. So why would there even need to be the ability for a third party to request control of SMS/MMS routing? It sounds to me like this is something that should never have even been implemented.

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