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  • Oct 04, 2019 @ 09:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Internet of things

    Set up a Pi Hole and keep an eye on the logs for a while whenever you add a new device to your home network. Heck, set up a Pi Hole anyway; it's pretty much point-and-click even for a non-techie. Even with a tuned hosts file and a decent ad blocker running, it's not unusual for a Pi Hole to block a quarter of all DNS requests.

  • Sep 11, 2019 @ 05:28pm

    Google and Apple are in the BUSINESS of selling that very information. The only difference is, the Fed wants it for free. But if $RANDOM_NUTTER_CO met the price, Google and Apple would provide it without a problem... as they do to thousands of other marketing companies.

    There's NO expectation of privacy with anything you do with a smartphone. Even if it's laying there turned "off" on the table.

  • Sep 10, 2019 @ 05:09am

    this makes literally no sense at all.

    Sure it does. "It looks there might be evidence of preference or prejudice in our hiring system, so, 'Oops, computer problem!' will dispose of the evidence."

    There are multiple Federal guidelines for computers, backups, data retention, accountability, and so forth, all of which had to be violated for something like that to happen by accident... or one person doing it deliberately. Occam's Razor favors the simplest theory.

  • Aug 28, 2019 @ 09:52am

    these and another memo were "accidentally" revealed to Backpage's defense lawyers, but then the judge sealed them and ruled them off-limits for the defense, despite their exculpatory nature.

    Well, so much for that whole "discovery" concept.

  • Aug 25, 2019 @ 10:25am

    I haven't read anything about it for some years now, but back in the 1990s Microsoft used to use local police to serve warrants for "suspected license violations" of Microsoft products. Microsoft investigators rode along with the police, and Microsoft "reimbursed" or "contributed to" the PDs involved.

    Widely reported in the industry newspapers like Inforworld and PC Week at the time; Google isn't turning anything up with various combinations of keywords. Interesting.

  • Aug 16, 2019 @ 12:42pm

    My 12-year-old dumbphone will quit working in a few months, when Verizon shuts off 3G service. I might use the phone two or three times a week... enough that I'm strongly tempted to just drop the phone in the trash when it stops working and tell Verizon to cancel my account.

    I wasn't real happy with Verizon selling my tower location information to third parties (my phone just barely predates GPS); the mass of spyware built into modern smartphones makes them too much of a security problem to consider, and frankly, I suspect the same chipset is inside the cheap "feature phones", just not brought out with a fancy touchscreen. It would be crazy to develop a less-featured chipset just for a tiny portion of the market.

  • Aug 06, 2019 @ 05:49pm

    Hey! The TSA paid tens of millions for tools to do the same basic thing. They could be repurposed for "social media" easily enough.

    They didn't work for the TSA, but face it, that's not their purpose anyway...

  • Jul 23, 2019 @ 09:29am


    When were the last times the "fascists" got together, rioted, blocked roads, beat up old people and reporters, or wore masks and used bike locks on anyone they didn't like? Any time in the 21st century will do.

    Can you even name any fascist groups in America? Okay, you might know about the American Nazi Party, which occasionally issues press releases and sells pamphlets. They're probably the largest outfit, with perhaps a few hundred members nationwide. Without resorting to a search engine, can you name another? Hint for cheaters: most of the ones you'll find listed by the SPLC have literally dozens of members, or have been defunct since the 20th century.

    The only people out there who are a problem are... the pantifa.

    So, if you're a PD trying to keep tabs on potential rioters and civil unrest, where are you going to put your limited resources?

  • Jul 23, 2019 @ 09:14am

    The use of geofenced location data certainly isn't new

    Back when "smart" phones were being developed, this was specifically what the inclusion of GPS hardware was for. Rapturous articles were written about it in the communications and computer industry magazines.

    "The system is working as designed." Too bad so few people paid any attention...

    That "911 locator" stuff? That was later.

    Even before that, the "phone company" - all of them - would sell you a "reverse directory" with all the land lines near any given physical location. Political campaigns were major users of those, too.

  • Jul 17, 2019 @ 02:20pm

    Re: Don't throw pain patients under the bus

    In America the modern attitude is "suck it up, pain is good for you." So you have people with terminal cancer, multiple compound fractures, or open-heart surgery given Tylenol or placebos and told "that's all we're allowed to give you." There's also the problem that for surgery, American anesthetists may be trained to use various drugs, but in practice they only use IV Demerol or morphine and are very reluctant to use anyting else, even when a patient has a documented history of bad reactions from them.

  • Jul 13, 2019 @ 11:13am

    didn’t result in any arrests.

    Which isn't the same as "no packages were stolen" or "the cameras didn't show anyone stealing packages."

  • Jul 11, 2019 @ 05:00am


    In the USA, truth is considered an absolute defense against defamation.

    In Britain and much of the Commonwealth (and Indonesia was once British) it doesn't work that way; even if the accusations are true, you can still sue for damages.

  • Jul 11, 2019 @ 04:58am

    No problemo. They've probably found it's simpler to just use wiretap information for "parallel construction."

    Remember, "It's not perjury if the prosecution does it!"

  • Jul 09, 2019 @ 07:52am


    I am often amazed that they aren't selling more bodycams to citizens.
    Police-type cams are bulky and priced for "other people's money" budgets. I wear a "spy cam" type camera that looks like a fat pen. There are tie-tac-sized ones that will talk to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The problem with carrying a camera is that if it's identifiable as such, it's likely to be smashed or stolen during the encounter. One that streams video to a remote server will eat up your data plan. "You pays your money and you rolls your dice." Those of you who use phone apps to record audio; police are wising up to that, too. Don't be surprised if your phone gets stepped on or mysteriously reset to factory default while it's in their hands.

  • Jun 18, 2019 @ 08:11am

    Re: Side Question: Aren't Lyrics Poems?

    Lyrics go hand in hand with musical scores, and copyright enforcement goes way back. "Happy Birthday to you!
    If you sing this, we'll sue!
    Because we own the copyright to
    Happy Birthday to you!"

  • Jun 18, 2019 @ 08:27am

    but it's full of ads that subsidize the price over time and create stable revenue for the manufacturers

    Really? A thousand bucks' worth of viewer information per TV? A lot more, actually, when you deduct the ones in public areas and rooms with nobody watching them. For a TV that lasts, what, three or four years before it croaks or they buy a bigger one?

    Also note the people who watch the most TV tend to be children, the elderly, and the poor; not exactly your top purchasing groups. So for a thousand dollars per TV, with maybe a quarter of TVs in view of anyone who might be a customer, that's about a thousand dollars' worth of marketing information per viewer per year.

    I think that "thousand dollars per TV" is between two and three orders of magnitude larger than the actual marketing value of the information they might collect. It's a scare number to try to browbeat people into buying 1984-style TVs that watch them back, to make them stop complaining about it.

  • May 23, 2019 @ 12:14pm

    So... 9 years of domain seizings. The average Federal bureaucrat has 262 working days per year. That's 2,358 working days. That comes out to 424 domains seized per day. For an 8 hour working day, less breaks, checking email, meetings, and gossip, that's 6.5 working hours per day. (which is, incidentally, a very generous figure). 65.2 seizures per hour.

    That comes out to seizure of one domain every minute or so.

    My goodness, those are some busy little beavers, aren't they? I'm sure all proper diligence and paperwork are done for each seizure... and note time for reviews, follow-ups, and so forth aren't included.

  • May 09, 2019 @ 09:08am

    The purpose isn't "accurate identification." It's to build up such a bulk of incriminating data that refuting it is pointless.

    Think of the Stasi in the DDR. They knew that the majority of the information they had was either grossly inaccurate or outright faked, but it didn't matter; seeing the boxes full of documents, even people who knew better thought "there there's smoke there's fire." Which was the purpose of building those files in the first place.

  • May 04, 2019 @ 11:21am

    or the fact that it's 91% minorities.

    Given the demographic makeup of Chicago, there's nothing questionable about that.

  • Apr 23, 2019 @ 01:53am

    Re: Hard

    Nah. It's just lazy police work. "Arrest them all and let the courts figure it out." Makes their stats look good even if the arrests turn out to be bogus.Appropriations, raises, and promotions for everyone!

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