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  • Sep 18th, 2019 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: 'We never considered criminals might not ask...'

    Yeah, I'd be certain to have not just the contract but a letter on official letterhead signed by someone with authority at the client that stated specifically that "bypass of physical security to gain surreptitious access to the premises outside of normal business hours" was explicitly authorized, and also that "no prior notification be given to site security, in order to insure that the test is of normal site security". If you're doing stuff like this, you make sure it's all spelled out in such a way the client can't claim to not know exactly what was going to happen or not have agreed to it.

  • Sep 17th, 2019 @ 4:27pm

    (untitled comment)

    I suspect nobody remembered the IBM fiasco because everybody at Twitter involved with this was in grade school at the time (or no later than high school) and so wasn't paying any attention to the news reports. It's not quite far enough back to say nobody at Twitter was alive then, but it's getting close.

  • Sep 17th, 2019 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re:

    I think it'll be a long conversation, and he'll learn a lot about how to curse someone out properly.

  • Sep 12th, 2019 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Rhode Island informs us...

    I think the problem is the "unless otherwise authorized by law" proviso in the consent checkbox. They never say anywhere exactly what disclosures are authorized by law. If the law authorizes the DMV to sell information to credit reporting agencies, does that count and mean that your information may be sold even if you check the NO box?

    IMO the rule should be that government agencies that collect personal data SHALL NOT disclose that data to any other party except to:

    1. comply with a lawful court order.
    2. comply with a legal requirement to disclose, in which case they shall at the time of collection or imposition of the requirement inform the person of the information that may be disclosed, the parties to whom it may be disclosed and the exact citation to the law requiring such disclosure.
    3. complete the performance of their lawful duties and render any service the person has requested, in which case they shall at the time of collection inform the person of the information to be disclosed, the parties to whom it may be disclosed and the exact purpose of the disclosure.

  • Sep 9th, 2019 @ 2:08pm


    It might be an interesting argument to make, though, especially if the router was leased from the ISP and thus was the ISP's property and controlled by it the whole time. If one takes the decision's statement as it's worded, then one should look on the computer for the IP address the ISP assigned to it which is almost certainly in the 192.168/16 netblock. That's also almost certainly not the IP address listed as the source of the download of the illegal material (which would belong to the router belonging to the ISP, not the computer belonging to the user). Given that, by the government's own evidence, the ISP they're looking for was not the one assigned to any computer belonging to the user by their ISP, what basis does the government have for the charges?

  • Sep 9th, 2019 @ 12:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    The systems aren't the best the Federal court system can do. They're the best the minimum-wage coders in the off-shore body shops the Tier 1 contractors the Federal court system contracted with to design and build the systems could do. And those systems did their job, after all those contractors got paid didn't they?

  • Sep 4th, 2019 @ 5:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'd be sorely tempted to send the information return-receipt-requested with a cashier's check for $6, just to make sure I had hardcopy evidence I could present in court that I did in fact have a registration as required by the law regardless of what the Registrar might say.

  • Aug 23rd, 2019 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Makes sense

    "If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell." -- Carl Sandburg

  • Aug 21st, 2019 @ 5:11pm


    So you accept that the tax rules are subject to change without notice regardless, and plan so you maximize long-term revenue overall and let the changes come as they will. You may not optimize for any particular set of rules, but long-term you'll come out ahead.

  • Jul 29th, 2019 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Is this a premature decision?

    The evidence was adduced in the Post article itself. Phillips stated what he felt at that time, and it's not within the court's purview to say he didn't really feel that way. Whether his feelings were reasonable might be something the court could rule on, but for defamation that's irrelevant. If your feeling is completely irrational and unreasonable you're still entitled to say you felt that way and your statement of how you felt can't be defamatory to the other party.

    Note that saying how you felt is something different from falsely saying the other party did some specific thing to make you feel that way, but Sandmann couldn't point to anything Phillips said he did that he didn't clearly do.

  • Jul 20th, 2019 @ 2:03am

    Re: Malicious or ignorant

    Third option: the judge has a heavy docket and decided that allowing the case to move forward is a safe option (at worst it's an issue to be decided at trial and the defendant suffers no injury because if their argument is valid they'll prevail at trial) while dismissing the case embroils him in an appeal by the plaintiff about him abusing his discretion. Unfortunately appeals courts have repeatedly been willing to ignore the injury resulting from having to go to trial over something that's an issue of law, not fact, and could have been decided without the costs involved in a trial. I don't think that'll end until defendants repeatedly and successfully argue after prevailing that their costs to defend themselves in court are in fact an injury that they're entitled to recover from the losing plaintiff. Or maybe when both attorneys for the plaintiff and judges start getting bar complaints filed about them willfully refusing to follow binding precedent handed down by the appeals courts about what the law says.

  • Jul 18th, 2019 @ 9:39pm


    Why should any US company be forced to compete on an unlevel playing field against a competitor with immoral business practices that, were the company to attempt to duplicate over here, would make them into criminals?

    US companies leveled the playing field by simply moving the activities "over there" where they're legal. Why else do you think so many of the components used to build gear are manufactured in China or other Asian countries? US companies can make things cheaper by outsourcing the actual work to countries without US labor laws, then import and badge the results and pretend they weren't made overseas.

    Which is why the whole "industrial espionage" argument should be dropped. China didn't need to engage in industrial espionage to get the tech. US companies handed Chinese companies all the detailed technical and manufacturing information and taught the Chinese everything about the technology for the express purpose of enabling China to manufacture it. The outrage is over the fact that China is manufacturing it for their own use rather than solely for the benefit of US companies, no more and no less.

  • Jul 17th, 2019 @ 10:06pm

    (untitled comment)

    And what's wrong with on-spec work? Professional authors do it all the time, it's rare for an author to be guaranteed payment for a book even under contract. More often the author writes the book for nothing (and sometimes they're contractually obliged to write the book) and hopes the publisher buys it for publication, and if the publisher doesn't like the book the author gets zilch (and if under contract for a certain number of books has to keep writing books until the publisher likes enough to satisfy the contract). Same with bands, their contracts are usually for a certain number of albums with no guarantee the label will accept any given album and they just have to keep recording albums and not getting paid until they come up with ones the label likes and buys.

    Of course anyone writing music for Ubisoft under this offer had better be doing it the same way professional authors and bands do it: the publisher has right of first refusal, but the rights remain with the author/band until the publisher actually buys the work. If the publisher doesn't want the book or the album, the author/band is then free to offer it to any other publisher and the original publisher has no more rights to the material. Labels may screw the artists more in the music industry, but no professional author submits their work these days without a signed agreement to a strict limit on how long the publisher can sit on the manuscript (too many authors got burned, I recall authors getting shirty about terms back in the late 80s).

  • Jul 11th, 2019 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re:

    It depends a lot on the speech. Even politicians aren't obliged to let people who don't agree with them yell over other people who're trying to talk, eat up time spewing personal insults at other speakers who don't agree with the bile-spewer, and generally disrupt other people's attempts to speak at meetings, open houses and such. It's harder to do that in an on-line forum, but I can see an argument being made for politicians being able to block people who spam comments to the point it makes it difficult for anyone to follow actual discussions, even if the spamming is completely one-sided, as long as the block is for the act of spamming and not the viewpoint being spammed. My experience is that such spam also inevitably falls under the heading of harassment and abuse as well, just because the people who engage in it have no real rational points to make and are resorting to simply bullying everyone else into shutting up.

  • Jul 11th, 2019 @ 2:56pm

    (untitled comment)

    The ISPs are the ones who've been trying to gouge money out of Google, Netflix et. al. and sell the idea that content providers should pay the ISPs for the privilege of sending data to ISP customers who're already paying the ISP to have the ISP transfer data for them. The ISPs won't raise the caps, they'll just double down on "Oh, if Google wants to use our wires to send data to our customers Google needs to pay us.". Any executive at Google (or any other content company) who doesn't realize that needs to be sat down and forced to read/watch the ISPs making their claims.

  • Jul 10th, 2019 @ 2:54am

    Re: Re:

    And the developers don't sue Steam why? If Steam doesn't want to bear the cost of the fraud, then simply reverse all of the fraudulent transaction and be done with it. But if they only want to reverse half the transaction, taking back the money they paid the dev while letting the player keep the fraudulently-obtained key, that's exactly like someone demanding a refund on a purchase and the store deducting the refund from their payments to the distributor but not recovering the item and returning it to the distributor. If any store was in the habit of doing that, you can be sure the distributor would have them in collections pretty quickly.

  • Jun 25th, 2019 @ 11:30am

    Re: General case vs niche

    The flip side of that is that the people who are in the market for oscilloscopes probably don't register that way to the ad-targeting algorithms because they're only rarely in the market for them and the other 99.9% of their activity swamps any useful indications. If you're trying to sell oscilloscopes, you're better off not trying to figure out which users in your market are interested and putting the effort/resources into advertising aimed at anyone who's looking for oscilloscopes. That's actually fairly trivial, and Google did a land-office business doing just that in it's first decade or so: have your ads put on sites that would pop up high on the list of sites matching the keywords "oscilloscope" and "for sale"/"purchase"/"buy", or on the ad column of the search results page when the search keyword list contains "oscilloscope".

  • Jun 22nd, 2019 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    That's what'd kill them. Say that size limit happens. The next Christchurch shooting (and it will happen, that sort of nutcase is as inevitable as gravity), the uproar will happen again. This time though, it'll be easy to argue for removing CDA 230 protections because it can be done without impacting the large sites that most people use for everyday stuff thanks to the size division. Meanwhile YouTube and the like will be able to point to the viewpoint-neutrality parts of the law to say "We're doing everything we can, but the law says we can't cut off the people who're the source of the problem because that'd cut off that political movement from the platform.". With the uproar there'd be enough support for getting exceptions made for the problematic content on the big platforms while going after the small ones would make the politicians look like they were doing enough to satisfy the outraged groups.

    It'd impact similar sites on the liberal/progressive side too, but there's a lot fewer of the really extreme ones there than on the conservative side.

  • Jun 21st, 2019 @ 11:49pm

    (untitled comment)

    Mostly it's probably because all the general-news outlets carry the same wire-service stories, identical text just with different formatting. Even if they did additional investigation and analysis beyond the basic story, I'd still only subscribe to a couple because I can't justify the expense of dozens of news sites any more than I could dozens of newspaper subscriptions. Specialist/niche sites, same deal just in a more limited scope.

    I suspect the same holds for web sites as for newspapers: subscriptions pay for the paperboy to deliver the things, advertising pays the real bills. That's bad news for web-based news outlets because web sites have gone so far beyond the pale with advertising (originally with amount, size and intrusiveness, now extended to delivery of malware and stalking of viewers across the Web) that they're never going to convince people it's worth looking at the advertising. I think only inertia's kept the majority of news sites open, and inertia inevitably runs out.

  • Jun 21st, 2019 @ 8:51pm

    (untitled comment)

    One thing that'd likely kill support for this: point out to these bozos that this would either destroy conservative websites (by removing their CDA 230 protections) or force them to carry liberal content.

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