Whatever’s Techdirt Profile

what_ever

About Whatever




Whatever’s Comments comment rss

  • Feb 13th, 2016 @ 12:18am

    Re: Re: Re: CenturyLink Cancelled

    If your time is worth $500 a day, I would say you could probably afford either something better than centurylink, or to hire someone to watch your house for the day to wait for them.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 9:59pm

    Re:

    The problem you face here is that legal drugs should (and likely would) be regulated by the governments, require testing, labeling, quality control, and proper packaging - not to mention that they would collect taxes out the ying yang. The next result would be to push users back to illegal drugs.

    If you don't think so, consider what happens when cigarette taxes are raised too high. In Canada. Quebec and Ontario quickly found out that they created a whole business for people to smuggle in untaxed smokes from other locations, to sell "floor sweeping" smokes are cut rates, and generally to bypass the system, because the public wanted them cheaper and it was possible.

    Regulated and legal drugs wouldn't be cheap. In the US, the product liability laws alone would likely make it almost impossible to really operate. The costs for legal drugs would be high, and thus the black market of stepped on, cut, and contaminated street crud would continue. That kills, hurts, and maims more people each year than we care to imagine.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Companies who ignore the past are bound to repeat it

    I think the law is a bit silly, but it is the law. It is for the people of France to decide what is right or not right for them.

    I actually think it's a story more about the future of the internet. After many years of no borders and growth without consideration for local laws, rulings, and yes TAXES, various governments are getting interested in regulating and collecting from the online world. This sort of thing shows a certain amount of sovereignty when it comes to the online world.

    For me, Google is now doing all they can do. Short of outlawing VPNs and TOR, they cannot do much else to stop French citizens from accessing material outside. Removing it entirely would be a punishment for the 99% of the world not subject to French law, and that wouldn't be acceptable.

    Perhaps 10 years from now we will be looking at an internet that is often different depending on where you live or where you are at the time. The laws, the legal system, and the tax man are all catching up to the internet world.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 9:04am

    Re: Companies who ignore the past are bound to repeat it

    " As such anything short of that will be considered not good enough, and they will demand even more so long as they can."

    The difference here is that Google had taken the needed step to put themselves in the "right" rather than in the questionable. They are now doing everything normally technically possible to stop French citizens from accessing the material that has been deemed unacceptable to French citizens.

    Any further push from the French regulators (as you suggest to have those links removed from Google worldwide) could be very easily met with a challenge in front of the EU courts. While it might be expensive and take time, Google is a company with plenty of both on hand and the legal team to pull it off.

    My guess is that Google's lawyers figured out that until they capitulate by forcing french surfers to a "french only Google", they would be leaving themselves open for legal action. Now they can show the sort of good faith and effort required to prove that their intention is to go along with the (idiotic, moronic, mindless) rulings of the French regulator. They have moved themselves from "arrogant company" to "cooperative and willing company", and a model corporate citizen for any push to get more concessions outside of France.

    Oh, for what it's worth, the current Tax witch hunt in many parts of Europe make it very likely that big companies like Google will end up with an office in just about every country in the Union to transact the business in that country. As such, it's very much in Google's interest to play ball, rather than risk the potential penalties that could come.

  • Feb 12th, 2016 @ 6:35am

    (untitled comment)

    Safer is a relative term. I think "less risk of being killed during the transaction" might be more accurate, but the safety is a huge question.

    Illegal narcotics, no matter how you slice it, are a huge risk. Buying online from an unknown, untracable source could mean that you are buying the best blow ever, 99% pure - or that you are buying borax powder, rat poison, and compressed sugar with a side order of PCP. You don't know.

    See, when you have a regular dealer, that person is sort of your quality control. He (or she) generally buys from the same sources that have provided the same sort of product over and over again, and they in turn buy from the same sources, and on up the ladder. Yes, your drugs will be stepped on, but your dealer generally won't stiff you with shit product because he knows you will look for someone else to supply you in the future.

    Online essentially shifts ALL of the burdens to the purchaser. You have no dealer to rat out if you get arrested, you have no source to point to. It's your drugs, and you have nobody else to blame except {{snowman123}} on a rickety dark web site. You also have no come back if he sells you a bag of sugar instead of coke, because he's anonymous and shifts names 100 times a week.

    So yeah, you are less likely to die in the transaction, but your risks are off the charts in every other part of the deal. Not sure this is "better".

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 5:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    To me, the problem is simple: Calling someone an idiot is expressing an opinion. Saying they do drugs (and continue to do drugs) crosses a line from opinion to a statement of "fact" that others could misunderstand or take as the truth.

    Put another way, if a newspaper wrote "James Woods was sniffing drugs again last night while posting on twitter", they would be quickly printing a retraction and their lawyers doing their best to avoid getting sued into next week.

    Why should twitter or any other digital publishing medium have a different standard for such comments? Because the interwebs?

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 5:39pm

    Re: Re:

    The question goes to credibility. The line of questioning that Wyden was following wouldn't even exist without their first having been wrongdoing by people accessing documents and providing them to Wyden.

    It's an important question - it's quite similar in nature to a 4th amendment issue. If the material is obtained illegally or through less than savory means, shouldn't that also be part of the discussion?

    Wyden wants to ignore wrong doing that he LIKES to go after the wrong doing he doesn't like. That isn't playing fair at all.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 5:33pm

    Re:

    Except of course that isn't how the dogs are trained. If they trained them to generate false positives, the dog would always do it, because it's the shortest route to getting it's reward.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Again, it's not 25% getting arrested for nothing. It's 25% of the time that the dog alerts but no drugs are found during a search. Nothing more than that.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: 4th Amendment Maximialist's Take

    Do you enjoy being a dick? Question is about the same.

    Would you care to add to the discussion, or are you just here to be annoying?

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:36am

    Re: 4th Amendment Maximialist's Take

    "If the cops had reason to suspect he was in possession of weapons at his brother's farm, why didn't they apply for a warrant? "

    The space between "have a feeling" and probably cause is actually pretty high. Just a feeling, an inkling, perhaps "rumor on the street" sort of thing just doesn't add up to a warrant. Yet, it does add up to a reason for additional surveillance, which may turn up evidence which could be used to build a case, and give the probably cause required for a warrant.

    "What made it unconstitutional was the fact it was the brother's farm. "

    Doesn't matter if it was the Governor's farm. If what they are observing is in view from a public space, it's fair game. The only legal question here is that of using technology which allows them to keep an eye (from a public location) for longer than they might with just officers. The court correctly figured out that if they can watch for one minute, they can watch for essentially an infinite number of minutes. The use to technology is moot, except that it likely provides a better record of what was seen.

    Watching a property (or watching a car, or whatever) from a public location is black letter law legal. It's open and shut really.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 9:30am

    (untitled comment)

    I think you need to consider that a drug dog is providing probable cause, and not passing absolute judgement. 75% success rate (dog signals and drugs are found) is actually a pretty good result.

    Remember, the dog may react to the scent of drugs that the officers are unabled to find. That could be because the drugs are well hidden (trap door or similar), it could be because the drugs were recently removed from the vehicle (like they made a delivery), or that a certain amount of drugs may be present in the car in a quantity that the police are unable to spot.

    It seems entirely reasonable.

  • Feb 10th, 2016 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Re:

    I have the same opinion that I have about groups creating think tanks and other astroturfing fronts on the other side - it's comical.

  • Feb 10th, 2016 @ 9:06pm

    (untitled comment)

    I don't see freaking out here. What I do see however is someone asking Wyden to man up and admit that perhaps his staffers have ALSO broken the law, and Wyden avoids the matter entirely. There is no freaking out, rather there is a solid and valid attempt to get a slimy politician to stop throwing rocks in the glass house.

    Why doesn't Wyden answer the questions? Then again, why doesn't Wyden explain how he got rich in office?

  • Feb 10th, 2016 @ 9:51am

    (untitled comment)

    Totally enjoyable to see a Techdirt writer get his ass handed to him in a big way.

    Free Speech does not an absolute. There are limits, both in law and in practice. This is one of those areas where limiting the speech pending the outcome of lawsuits and legal action is perhaps the best thing.

    Their lies and misrepresentations are powerful and they are getting repeated by anti-abortionists as gospel. There is not amount of legal action that will ever undo this monstrosity of a video. One thing for sure, it's not journalism, and you are really not very bright if you support their right to continue to push this stuff on the public.

  • Feb 10th, 2016 @ 9:43am

    Re: Re:

    "We'd still be dealing with proprietary black box systems, and innovation would have been slowed to a crawl."

    Not at all, a black box system is just an invitation to make your own, for others to create. A lack of innovation or moving forward should be something that drives innovation and new development. Then again, if you think that producing a knock off part is somehow innovative, then I guess you are right.

  • Feb 9th, 2016 @ 9:23pm

    (untitled comment)

    Sorry Glyn, but as much as you appear to be morally on the right side of the argument, the reality of technology isn't the same.

    More and more of the things we use each day are based on a combination of hardware and software. The hardware alone doesn't do anything, the software provides the functionality and connection between the various parts. Without software, your "smart" phone would be nothing more than a collection of parts. That isn't just the OS, but also the firmware that runs sub-assemblies and the various bits and pieces.

    In order for many things to work properly, those sub-assemblies and plugged in parts must be right. Not almost right, not kinda right, but right. A fingerprint scanner that doesn't scan exactly the same (or sends the same results for all fingers, regardless) may in fact defeat the function and make the device less secure.

    With the problems of product liability and the the potential for both legal action and loss of face in public, it's not surprising that companies are not interested in allowing third parties to install unchecked components or to make modifications.

  • Feb 9th, 2016 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, no, I didn't miss that part. What you don't understand is that whatever improvements they make would be for those who can easily obtain internet service, and would do little for those who just plain cannot easily afford it.

    India's caste system damns a huge segment of the population to a life of poverty and menial work for pennies (if even). Making the internet a little bit faster for the middle class ain't going to help out the millions of people who just can't afford it or aren't going to get it.

  • Feb 8th, 2016 @ 9:37am

    (untitled comment)

    Unlike many places, the Indian government has no problem denying any and all benefits to the lower caste of people in the country. It's pretty shameful to block what may have been a reasonable choice for people who have no service at all.

    India is perhaps one of the most backward counties when it comes to human rights and equality. It's really a good idea to follow their models and choices, right Karl?

  • Feb 8th, 2016 @ 8:57am

    Wash, rinse, repeat

    It's the story of Karl. :) It's incredible that you can write almost the same story every day.

    Seriously thought... it's hard to see that the various companies feel that they can offer "over the top" services which do not count against bandwidth. If they didn't think they had a legal leg to start on, they might not be going here, at least without so much enthusiasm.

    My take is that the amount of bandwidth available is a contractual issue and not a neutrality issue. If you can reach all sites without impairment, the meaning and core of net neutrality has been met. That your service contract my only let you stream a half a dozen movies a month in that amount of bandwidth is not a neutrality issue.

    Over the top zero rating services (especially those with an additional price tag on them) are not against neutrality, not any more than selling extra bandwidth or even having a more expensive unlimited plan. It's a consumers choice at that point.

    There is a point where it's just a business and consumer choice to offer services beyond just a pipe.

More comments from Whatever >>