Caleb’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Feb 16th, 2021 @ 12:16pm

    Isn't all cellphone data encrypted now by default?

    And a basic border search does not allow government officials to view deleted or encrypted files.

    So unless I willingly unlock my phone (didn't a court recently rule that you cannot be forced to unlock your phone) all data on the phone is encrypted so no data on the phone is viable for a "basic border search".

    Isn't that how logic works?

  • Feb 11th, 2020 @ 9:51am

    Not really the case.

    My understanding of the original article was that the car in question had Autopilot enabled for demonstration purposes at the request of the original (pre-auction) dealer. Tesla was not paid for Autopilot to be enabled for the car. The car was then auctioned at some later point. Tesla was not informed of the auction else would have disabled the features which had not been purchased. The dealer who purchased the Tesla then sold it as is. When the buyer registered the vehicle, Tesla noticed that for that VIN, they had not received payment for Autopilot - so they disabled it.

    This is not a bait and switch. The original dealer failed to inform Tesla that the car had been sold (auction) so that Tesla could update the features purchased.

  • Dec 17th, 2019 @ 7:08am

    Re: Perhaps a tad over concerned about the UK one

    When the US first instituted the federal income tax (Revenue Act of 1913) the lowest tier of taxed income was $3000 per year at 1% and the highest was 6% on $500,000 per year. The average annual salary in 1913 was $1296. Thus the federal income tax was only targeted at the wealthy (double or greater the average annual income). By 1918 the top rate had increased to 77% from 6%.

    What does the above have to do with unexplained wealth? Governments, once granted a new ability, will never fail to extend that ability to the maximum limit. An argument that this is only about wealthy sounds a lot like the arguments made for civil forfeiture in the US as part of the "War on Drugs". We will only seize those cars, houses, and bank accounts of drug runners... etc. Thirty years later the average amount seized in civil forfeiture is something like $3k and the average person so accosted is generally earning below the median (ie, unable to afford to mount a defense). Techdirt has written several articles on this in the past.

    I would be careful of believing that "this will never happen to me" because sooner or later, it will.

  • Jun 19th, 2019 @ 6:58am

    Impact of section of Sotomayor's dissent that is quoted

    "The First Amendment leaves a private store owner (or homeowner), for example, free to remove a customer (or dinner guest) for expressing unwanted views..."

    Is Sotomayor now arguing that business owners are free to work with or deny work for whomever they choose (freedom of association)? If so, what does that mean for the troubled baker(s) of cakes in Colorado and Oregon that have been in the news?

  • Jul 30th, 2018 @ 1:38pm

    They just don't get it.

    Charter has been airing anti- DirectTV and AT&T ads in my local market for the past few weeks that highlight those providers new offerings which strip the various sports networks for a "lite" offering.

    The ads consist of various people all basically saying "No sports? Not switching.."

    THAT is your differentiator? THAT is what you are going to bank your customer retention on? That you provide access to overpriced, overvalued sports networks on your basic tier? Thanks for informing me that your competition actually has a better offering! How are their demographics pointing to a larger segment of their customer base wants sports in their mandatory tier?

    As Statler said to Waldorf, "SELL!"
  • Jan 3rd, 2017 @ 5:38am

    Can we call this what it is?

    It's not "fake news". It is yellow journalism. We already have an appropriate term, that comes with significant history and lessons learned. Calling it fake news masks that history and leads me to wonder why someone chose to differentiate the two.

  • Aug 2nd, 2016 @ 11:04am


    How about we convince a few companies to post/tweet/blog about "supporting" Chinese/Russian Olympians?
  • Jun 7th, 2016 @ 10:02am

    Where were the hard drives originally seized?

    I raise the question as any device, and any information on said device, willfully taken onto federal property (ie, a military base) falls outside the 4th amendment prohibition on search and seizure does it not? If the contractor in question maintained offices on base, then any information within those offices (on computer or in a file cabinet) effectively belonged to the US gov't in any case. This is a fairly standard rider on any kind of onsite office provision within a supplier/gc contract.

    I did not notice in the provided docs the location of the seized material. Nor did I notice the gov't make that argument. But I am surprised it did not appear.
  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 11:19am

    Calling 4Chan

    Back in the day, it was rather amusing to insert words or phrases in emails, website comments, etc which were supposedly on various government watch lists.

    Doesn't the above just beg the response that those so inclined simply reference some innocuous movie title and one or more of the words "bit, torrent, pirate, etc" in any comment or post they make?

    For example, the news in SC mentions that the torrent of rain received recently is causing a bit of a Flood.

    Let's all contribute to the noise, shall we?
  • Feb 27th, 2012 @ 10:21pm

    Harry Turtledove

    I am fairly certain that the majority of Mr. Turtledove's work is available via Baen and know that two of his early works are available in the Baen Free Library available for download. Best of all, Baen doesn't believe in DRM!

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