Zgaidin’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jun 22nd, 2018 @ 6:00am


    I'm not so sure. You may be correct, of course, but it seems that the true culprits are a the publishers who smuggled this into their installers and patches. Red Shell licensed a software package to ZoS (and others). It's not Red Shell's job to inform anyone that they did so.

    As a gamer myself, I understand why people are pissed and why they're taking action, but direct your anger where it belongs.

  • Jun 19th, 2018 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Opting Out

    While the cynical part of me that likes to watch karma come back around a curb-stomp idiots approves of this idea, on the whole, I don't think any of us would really like to see the internet so fractured. That is, however, the direction we're headed in some ways. The suspicious, conspiracy theorist part of me thinks this may be the point since it was much harder to question your government's narrative about what's going on in the rest of the world when you couldn't just hop on Reddit, Discord, Twitter, etc and ask people in other nations about it.

  • Apr 20th, 2018 @ 9:03pm


    Text is green. You are likely to be eaten by a Nym.

  • Apr 5th, 2018 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Was a good cop, now a silent cop.

    I don't think anyone would argue the point that incentives are skewed into encouraging cops to keep their mouths shut about misbehavior by other cops. However, a perverse incentive system is not an excuse for an immoral decision.

    Richard M is right. Even if you, personally, never beat the shit out of anyone, or kill anyone without good reason, or take a bribe, or plant evidence, or whatever - if you know other cops do and you keep your mouth shut, you are part of the problem, and a bad cop.

  • Mar 19th, 2018 @ 11:16pm

    Re: Just which criminals were you talking about?

    Wow, when I started reading your comment, I thought the second sentence was going to read: "There are those criminals who rob and murder and rape and extort other people, etc.. and then there are criminals who aren't cops."

    Sadly, still true.

  • Mar 13th, 2018 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Trump's usefulness

    I would have to assume it's Demon. Devils are Lawful Evil.

  • Dec 7th, 2017 @ 1:04pm


    Too lazy to go back and check, but I believe the original story was about traffic-cams that issued automated tickets for running a red light, and Mr. Jarlstrom's research indicated that the yellow light timing on intersections with these devices was much shorter than those without.

  • Nov 28th, 2017 @ 4:42am

    Re: Re: Why title for Facebook's perspective? Favor it over users?

    I'm not sure I agree with this assessment of TD's viewpoint. I've read several articles over the last few years criticizing EU and non-American law makers and judges for the exact opposite, for passing laws and delivering judicial decisions that are likely to have a negative impact on non-American innovators and start-ups trying to break into a digital space. Speaking as an American, I agree with that sentiment because I would like a more geographically diverse set of providers for internet services. One, I think a diverse market pushes companies to offer better services, or at least differentiate them sufficiently enough that I might find one I like better than another. Two, I'd be thrilled to have as many of my "third party documents" stored outside the US as possible.

    That's always been my takeaway of TD's criticism of non-US law & policy decisions in the tech sphere: they're intent has been to hinder US-based giants, but the unintended consequences always look worse for EU and other non-US up-and-comers, who don't have access to the monetary and political resources of the big incumbents to fight them.

  • Nov 23rd, 2017 @ 4:23am

    Honestly don't have a problem with CEO response

    According to his wikipedia article, Khosrowshahi didn't become CEO of Uber until August of this year, so it appears that none of this happened under his watch (or if the last parts of this shitshow did, he didn't have any part in it). He found out about it, ordered an investigation, and then went public with the info. That seems like a pretty stand-up thing to do. Honestly, I'd like to dislike this guy, as I worked at Expedia during his tenure and left the company with a very nasty taste in my mouth (he had nothing to do with it personally), but I just can't find any fault with his response here. If you're going to change a company's culture, it has to start at the top, and this looks like a promising start.

  • Nov 22nd, 2017 @ 9:55am


    I was thinking about something like this while reading the article from yesterday about Google collecting info while an Android device wasn't networked.

    I don't know enough, and am willing to admit that, about the tech to know if this is possible, but could someone build an app that peer-to-peer swapped random information, like bits of GPS data, small sections of browser history, etc with every other user of the app on a regular basis? Basically, since we can't stop the snoopy bastards from digging through our hay piles, can we make our hay piles so big and so full of fake needles that searching it becomes worthless?

  • Nov 22nd, 2017 @ 6:21am

    Re: Pig. Leg. Wrong.

    While you're almost certainly correct in this case, Mike's point about Clarke's Law and it's reverse is still valid, and something to bear in mind as policy makers try to legislate uses for technology.

    As with any field of knowledge both broad and deep (say medicine and it's related sciences), the wider and deeper the field grows the more impossible it is for even an "expert" to know everything about the field. If you're a professional app developer, you probably know a ton about APIs, app dev languages, and the hardware and firmware in the products you develop for. That doesn't mean you know much more than any layman on the street about AI development, how to code a robust encryption algorithm, or design a new chip set. My ENT is a good doctor, but his knowledge of neurology is limited to whatever he learned in med school and his internship, and even that's at least out of date by 10+ years. He's not really qualified to make a neurological diagnosis or prescribe medicine to treat a neurological disorder. If, like these legislators, you're not a tech expert of any kind, it all looks like magic, and the temptation to believe that it can be made to do whatever you want is real. I'm not a tech expert, but I've been tinkering with computers as a hobby since 300 baud modems were the order of the day. Beyond setting up a new desktop for use and slightly more advanced troubleshooting that a clueless layman, my tech knowledge can most adequately be summed up as "there are some things current technology can't do." That's what my 20+ years of fiddling around with these machines has earned me, and I'm fine with admitting it, but these guys don't even have that going for them, which makes even their well-intentioned ideas (which I agree this is probably not) frightening.

  • Nov 21st, 2017 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: It is still possible to not use a cell phone

    His response could have been phrased better, certainly, but there's no denying that even *if*, cellular devices aren't fundamentally required at this point for everyone, the number of people for whom they are required (for work if nothing else) increases year by year. Sure, maybe you, personally, can avoid cell communication right now. Maybe you'll even be one of the last holdouts that doesn't need it, but the genie is out of the bottle, so to speak. Companies and entities, both those you work for and those you do business with, are going to continue finding ways to leverage the technology and at some point even if a few people can avoid using it, most people will not be able to do so, even if they so desired. So, saying "you don't have to use the devices" isn't a particularly valid long-term solution. They're more necessary today than they were yesterday, and will be more necessary still tomorrow.

  • Sep 26th, 2017 @ 5:13am


    "The officer who performed the attempted search and actual arrest wouldn't say whether he was acting on specific information about Rabbani, or simply hassling someone UK police had hassled several times before without feeling the need to turn it into a terrorism case."

    Wtf does this even mean? Can the judge not compel the officer to answer the question? He's not a reporter that gets to protect his sources. He's a law enforcement officer presenting evidence for the prosecution. If he can't or won't specify that there a) was evidence, and b) where he got it, then there isn't any evidence. Right?

  • Sep 7th, 2017 @ 5:49am


    This article opened with "Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida" and all I could think was, "With a name like that in Florida, this can only end hilariously badly."


  • Aug 29th, 2017 @ 7:00am

    Sad Trombone

    CCTV + Lip Reading Software + Facial Recognition Software + Third Party Doctrine = No More Privacy in Public places

  • Aug 11th, 2017 @ 3:50am

    I don't get it

    I do not understand both law enforcement and the courts' reticence to implement warrant requirements for things. Any adversarial portion of a warrant happens well after the fact, once charges are brought, and getting the warrant in the first place seems like a formality these days. Exigent circumstances can bypass a warrant requirement. I can envision such an instance with CSLI, such as a kidnapping victim doesn't know where they're being held but manages to get a hold of a cell phone briefly and calls 911. Great! Call the provider, explain the situation, and tell them you need the CSLI for that phone.

    The only possible explanations I can think of for this attitude are laziness (they don't want to fill out the forms and affidavits, go to the judge, etc.) or malfeasance (they're using 3rd party doctrine to get info on people they have no business getting info on, like spouses or other romantic interests, personal enemies, etc.) Neither looks good, but I could believe either from police (or both!), but the courts alignment on this issue baffles me.

  • Mar 2nd, 2016 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad but true

    Electing the least effective politician into office (any office) should always have been the purpose. Government is always some combination of coercive force and brute force, and never anything else. Even when it promotes something you agree with, it's still forcing a significant portion of the population to alter the way it lives, speaks, acts, and conducts business to avoid legal trouble.

    "It may not be possible to do away with government — sometimes I think that government is an inescapable disease of human beings. But it may be possible to keep it small and starved and inoffensive..." R. A. Heinlein

  • Feb 18th, 2016 @ 11:43pm

    Re: sorry but no

    I'm sorry, but I don't agree with your assessment. Neither the imminent threat rules or the care taker exception apply here. Was there blood? Yes. Was there enough blood to suggest someone's life was in immediate danger? No. Was there any other indication that someone was in immediate danger? No. If a violent attack on someone which produced blood and was severe enough to be reasonably concerned for that person's safety, then there would be a lot more blood than a few drops here and there. The officers didn't hear anyone in there shouting for help. By their own testimony, they didn't hear anything that would suggest that someone was in there. So, either no one was in there, or there was a corpse in there from a very weird murder. In either case, they had ample opportunity to detain the defendant and obtain a warrant for the search.

    What this was really about was that the cops smelled pot in the locked room. Coupled with the bong, pipes, and immediately visible pot, they absolutely had ample probable cause to obtain a warrant, but then they have to detain the suspect, drive him back to the precinct or lock-up, fill out the extra paperwork that goes along with both a search warrant request and detaining a suspect, wait for the warrant, and then go back to the house to conduct the search. So they cited the tiny amounts of blood as reason to apply the care giver exception and conduct a search without a warrant. See how much time that saved them? Their shift was probably over in about 3 hours. They could probably get a warrant in that time, but probably not with enough time left to conduct the search themselves. Someone on the day shift would have conducted the search and gotten credit for a major drug bust. Between the 4th amendment and the combination of their time and hassle, the answer was easy.

  • Feb 18th, 2016 @ 2:48pm

    Logic & Clarity

    "So in the same way I’d argue we legalize drugs, why not have a careful, legal pathway to break into a phone?"

    There's no logic to be found here, but I'll try to provide clarity. This is rather sophisticated psychology. Look at the first clause in the sentence. With regard to just this clause, responses will break down into 4 groups.

    1. People who already agree. This is a small subsection of the population, mostly hardcore social libertarians, the occasional honest fiscal conservative who recognizes that the War on Drugs has been a money pit since it's inception, and of course serious drug users, but probably not abusers. This group reads this clause and sits up and takes notice of the rest of the sentence.

    2. People who vehemently disagree. Mostly the sizable minority of Americans who still believe that the War on Drugs is the correct path. They're not going to agree with the next clause, may even throw the paper away in a rage, but that's okay with our columnist. One, the overlap between Guardian readers and these people is fairly small. Two, the overlap between these people and people with pathetic/non-existent security is fairly large.

    3. People who don't necessarily agree, but probably agree somewhat (i.e. people who think we should legalize marijuana) and think this is a thought-provoking statement enough to ensure their future attention. This is the only group she actually cares about.

    4. People who, like most of the users of this sight are either tech savvy enough or privacy concerned enough (or both), that they were already turned off by the earlier part of the article. They've already decided the writer is either an idiot or complicit in the erosion of our privacy. Now, they're just reading to find out what complete nonsense the writer will spout next.

    This is called "turning the tip" in carny/circus shows and con games. It's basically the process of figuring out who among the crowd will buy tickets/is hooked on the con, and sloughing the rest.

    Each group will have one of 4 reactions to second clause.

    Parts of group 1 (mostly everyone but the drug users), a small section of group 3, and all of groups 2 & 4, will disagree with the second clause because: a. it doesn't fit with their preconceptions, b. they're so angry they going to disagree with everything she writes or, c. like Tim, they're too rational not to spot the logical fallacy. Those people are the slough.

    The remainder of group 1 (mostly drug users), and most of group 3, will fail to spot that there's no logical connection between the first clause and the second. They'll read the second clause where she uses the keywords "careful" and "legal," which most Americans and most of the Western World have come to associate with feelings of safety and security. It's the sales/persuasion section of neuro-linguistic programming. In this case, using words we have a subconscious association for to bolster confidence in what comes next. If she achieves this confidence, these people will overlook the negative association they have for the phrase "break into" that comes after.

    A minority of group 3 won't fall for the word trap. They will just walk away feeling shaken, a little confused, and uncertain of their opinion, which will probably make it easier to convince them the next time someone presents a similar argument.

    So, you were right, Tim; there's no logic to it at all, but hopefully this gives some clarity.

  • Oct 26th, 2015 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Sorry, but PUBLIC recording of PUBLIC acts vs. GOV recording of PRIVATE acts

    That's not the argument I'm making at all. The article springboards from the notion that constant surveillance changes behavior. It's bad when the government does it to us because it violates our right to privacy and has "a chilling effect" on certain behavior (right to association, right to free speech, press, etc.)

    It's simply dissonant to argue that similar constant observation won't have an impact on police behavior. It will, and mostly that's good. If it stops even one person from being beaten to death for no good reason, that's all worth it, but if it's gone so far, or if the police as a national institution are so rotten that they simply can't or won't do their job while being observed, then we need a more drastic solution than cameras. As several of you have said in the past, it may just be time to fire all of them and start over.

    That was the point I was trying to make, and apparently didn't make very well.

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