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  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I also see it used as an insult by way of the stock phrase "performing monkey" - i.e., someone who does their tricks out of a hope/expectation of being rewarded by The Man ("With The Yellow Hat"?) for it, without knowing or caring about the meanings or consequences of said tricks.

    In the immediate context, it seems at least as likely to me that "monkey" here is a contraction of that type of expression as that it's a racist slur.

  • Jun 24th, 2016 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re: So....

    And if everyone could use whatever radio frequencies they wanted, you would have interference and poor effective signal all over the place, and it would be much harder to do wireless communication effectively at all.

    (That being why those exclusive licenses exist in the first place, of course.)

  • Jun 23rd, 2016 @ 7:21am

    Re: If that's what he's saying it doesn't support his argument.

    Unless the 2009 version is already backdoored, just not publicly so... which may seem unlikely at the moment (for multiple reasons), but which we can't entirely rule out.

    Mind, I'm not saying that this is the case, just looking for ways to parse what he said such that it could make sense and be accurate (even if misleadingly so)...

  • Jun 22nd, 2016 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Slight Mistake Here

    I actually read him as saying something different even from that.

    When he says that

    US companies dominate the international market as for... as encryption technologies that are available through these various apps
    I read him as saying not that the programs, etc., which people use for encrypted communication, are made in the US, but that the "encryption technologies" which underlie those programs are made in and/or come out of the US.

    And to the extent that worldwide encryption technologies are based on accepted standards, which were standardized in the US (and, in at least some prominent cases, which were developed into standards in cooperation with and/or with input from the NSA), he may even be right.

  • Jun 20th, 2016 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Implementation fails

    More than a year and a half later, I just checked; the article is still accessible at the HTTP link, but the HTTPS link still returns a "could not connect to server" error.

    Looks like this was more a "non-binding opinion piece" than anything else...

  • Jun 18th, 2016 @ 11:16am

    Re: I don't understand

    The "our" in the second quote you gave refers not to society or the government as a whole, but only to this specific appeals court, and its superiors in the judicial system - i.e., the Supreme Court.

    A lower/subordinate court (referred to in the first quote you gave as a "district court") decided that the regulation was unconstitutional. That decision may establish that unconstitutionality for the jurisdiction of that lower court, but it is not enough to establish such for the broader jurisdiction of the circuit court.

    Provided that the case at hand does not arise from actions which occurred within the jurisdiction of the disctrict court in question, the circuit court's logic seems solid, if unfortunate and arguably unnecessary.

  • Jun 17th, 2016 @ 5:20am

    (untitled comment)

    This type of thing is cropping up increasingly often recently, as far as I can see, and I honestly don't think it's based on the motivations you're arguing against here.

    I think these type of trademark-related oppositions, whether to the granting of a new trademark or to the use of a term that's trademarked in a different field, are based not on concern that people will think that the two 'products' are the same but on concern that people will think that the name similarity means that (the owner of) one 'product' has endorsed the other 'product'.

    Especially given "moron in a hurry" considerations, this does not seem like an entirely unreasonable concern in many cases.

    This may not be what trademark law is currently for, but some (many?) people seem to think that it should cover this, and if you want to convince them otherwise you will need to present arguments which address the concern which they actually have.

    For someone who is concerned about consumers being confused by the appearance of endorsement, an argument which objects to their use of trademark by ridiculing the idea of consumers being confused by the product similarity - which is not an idea which they hold - is nothing more than a straw man, so it doesn't serve to convince them of anything.

  • Jun 16th, 2016 @ 9:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Moore's law" and medicine

    Extremely belatedly: I'm told that the reason helium is so relatively inexpensive in the US is that the US government has for years, per directive of Congress, been selling off its strategic helium reserve, thus depressing prices.

    Of course, this just ends up meaning that the helium gets used for frivolous purposes like party balloons instead of for critical purposes like the one cited here, but that's political football for you...

  • Jun 16th, 2016 @ 9:01am

    Re: Re: Actually I think it's a great idea.

    I don't think the "you" in the part you quoted was a reference to Google; I think he was talking to the people who are wanting to be paid for being indexed.

    That is, if they charge Google for being indexed, then maybe Google will decide that they're unworthy of being indexed, and the poster won't have to see their (IHO unworthy) content when he searches Google for something.

    That's why he mentions a "domain-based RBL feature" - he wants to be able to blacklist particular domains from the Google search results which he sees, not because he doesn't like Google, but because he doesn't like those sites (and will never follow links to them, so they're useless results to him).

  • Jun 16th, 2016 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Call the authorities

    Their counter to this would be James Comey's post-Orlando-shootings comment that "in addition to finding a needle in a haystack, we're called upon to figure out which pieces of hay may later become needles" - that is, to figure out which people who haven't gone the terrorist route yet are going to do it, so that the attack can be prevented before it happens.

    I'm not sure I agree that they should be called upon to do this, but I can't really argue that they aren't being so called upon.

  • Jun 16th, 2016 @ 8:10am


    Actually, I think the background is that he had been removed from the watchlist(s) for lack of sufficient justification to keep him there, and then he went and did the things which they would have been watching for.

    So the rationale would be that he shouldn't have been dropped from the watchlist, and achieving that would require broadening the range of what justifies being on the watchlist.

  • Jun 16th, 2016 @ 4:47am


    The argument is that since the second judge granted the warrant, there was probable cause after all, they just didn't have the basis to demonstrate it at the time of applying to the first judge.

    The obvious counterargument to that (although not necessarily the one which the court is using) would seem to be that if they didn't have the basis to demonstrate it at the time of the seizure, they did not have probable cause for that seizure itself.

  • Jun 8th, 2016 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Except in their imaginations, or paychecks, or blackmail

    Actually, I can't see where it does say that.

    It says that "the right to be secure against unreasonable searches shall not be violated" and that "no warrants shall issue except as described here", but it does not say that "no search for which no warrant has been issued shall be considered reasonable", or indeed draw any other apparent connection between these two statements.

    The usual interpretation of what it does say is that a warrant (supported as described) is what substantiates reasonability, but as far as I can see, the text itself does not seem to explicitly indicate any such thing.

  • Jun 8th, 2016 @ 5:14am


    It's not even that; Comcast only went up eight points, Time-Warner Cable went up sixteen. It's just that TWC started from so far behind that even that big a jump still leaves it three points behind Comcast.

  • Jun 5th, 2016 @ 7:50am

    Re: We commonly complain around here about there being no good presidential candidates.

    As you implicitly note in passing, the only way out of this bind is to eliminate first-past-the-post single-choice voting.

    And I'm becoming increasingly convinced that the only way the better option (ranked-choice/ranked-preference voting) will ever get implemented, at least in the U. S. of A., is if it's done from the bottom up - in towns and municipalities, then in counties, then in states, then for federal elections one state at a time, and finally on a nationwide level (if only for the electoral college, if that even still exists by the time we get that far).

    I'm moving towards activism in that direction myself, for my own area; if you get a chance to push for it in your own local government, you never know what bit of advocacy might make the difference.

  • Jun 5th, 2016 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: How does this affect the original?

    What happens if multiple parties remaster the (now-public-domain) original, and start filing for takedowns against each other?

  • Jun 2nd, 2016 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, if you look at it in a historical context, the entire US political establishment - including the Democrats - is significantly to the right of what was historically called the center. Bernie Sanders is the closest thing to a genuine leftist the US national political scene has seen in decades, at least.

    (Source: the graphs from The Political Compass, On their charts, both the Democrats and the Republicans are in the right/authoritarian quadrant, although the Republicans are considerably farther in that direction - and, for comparison, every single person I've yet persuaded to take the see-where-you-fall quiz has been in the left/libertarian quadrant. Along with such historical figures as Gandhi.)

  • May 28th, 2016 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Denton should play publisher whack-a-mole

    On any grounds which anyone who wants to file a suit against not-Gawker may raise, just the same as he currently does with Gawker.

    That's the insidious part of this strategy: your actual reason for going after the target never gets brought into the courts (and in fact you never do either). All that gets brought into court is one proxy after another, until the target no longer has the resources to fight back.

    If the target changes its name or other identity, as long as you can still find them, you can still go after them the same way; you know they're the same people, and you're still hostile to those people for the same reasons, and the strategy you're using lets you avoid having those reasons even brought into the picture - much less having them effectively challenged, and still less having you enjoined from continuing to pursue that strategy.

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 8:42am

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

    I think I can see the rationale, actually. It would be something like:

    * Thanks to modern technology, once these things have been created, the cost to create a new copy is essentially zero.

    * Therefore, once the thing has been created, the natural price of a copy of the thing is free.

    * Therefore, any attempt to charge a non-zero price for such a copy constitutes overcharging.

    * Therefore, someone who sets out to create such a thing should go into it with the expectation of never being able to charge for copies of it.

    * Therefore, it is wrong for a creator to attempt or intend to charge for such a copy.

    * Therefore, it is wrong to provide monetary support for any effort which is such an attempt or has such an intention.

    * Therefore, the AC at hand refuses to contribute to a Kickstarter whose end product will be something infinitely reproducible but for copies of which money will be charged.

    I'm not sure I'd agree with the whole thing myself, but at a glance, it seems to hold together internally well enough.

  • May 22nd, 2016 @ 5:30am


    I think it's probably best pronounced as something like "see-oh-tune-crete", only with a bit more separation between the "tu" and the "n".

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