In Memoriam: Lee Reherman

lee rehermanLee Reherman — better known to many as American Gladiator, ‘Hawk’ — died February 29th in California. He was 49.

Some might wonder what difference that makes, as we seem to have a glut of famous people of all ages dying at present, but Lee had a role you won’t see if you look at his Wikipedia page as I write this. He was BattleBots™ very first host at the Long Beach, CA event back in 1999. Continue reading…

 

Inquest Holds Police Accountable for Hillsborough’s 96 Dead

A Coroner’s inquest today found that West Yorkshire Police, and specifically Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield was “responsible for manslaughter by gross negligence” in the 1989 incident which left 96 dead and 766 injured. The injuries were sustained by Liverpool fans as they were crowded into stands at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium beyond its capacity, leading to people being crushed against the fences. The police, and some media, blamed Liverpool fans for the actions, and accused them of rowdy and drunk behavior which not only caused injuries, but which hampered efforts to assist those injured. To put it simply, the police caused a massive tragedy, blamed the victims, and lick-spittle pockets of the ‘press’ joined in to put the boot to a city that’s routinely derided for all manner of things. Continue reading…

 

Geolocation – The Fools Tool

Geolocation is one of those tools that the less technically minded like to use to feel smart. At its core it’s a database, showing locations for IP addresses, but like most database-based tools, the old maxim of GIGO [Garbage In, Garbage Out] applies. Over the weekend Fusion’s Kashmir Hill wrote a great story about how one geolocation company has sent hundreds of people to one farm in Kansas for no reason other than laziness. And yes, it’s exactly as bad as it sounds.

Most people often aren’t the most technically minded, give them a tool, tell them it CAN produce an output, and they’ll assume that any output that looks like the best quality possible, IS the best one available. It’s extremely common with ‘forensic evidence’ and jurors in court cases, where it’s given weight well beyond its actual evidentiary value (to the point that they now distrust cases without it) – there’s even a name for it, “the CSI effect”, named after one of the TV shows that uses it as a cornerstone. Continue reading…

 

Comments on the DMCA

Image_removed_DMCAThe US Government’s 3-month consultation on the DMCA ended last night, and as always, I waited until the last day to even start.

As a result, instead of a massively long and detailed submission with lots of details and references, they got… 2900 words mostly rattled out in a stream of conciousness, and with references to TorrentFreak and Techdirt in the main. It’s not my best, but hopefully my random and slipshot writing is entertaining enough to keep people’s attention, and factual enough for them to take notice.

Continue reading…

 

One Year Without Sir pTerry Pratchett

It’s now been one year since pTerry died. It’s easy to remember, as it’s also the birthday of a close friend. There’s not a lot more that I can say here, that I didn’t say last year, except for the experiences over that last year. Continue reading…

 

Safer Internet Day 2016

safer internet dayIt’s always important to be safe on the internet, and that more than anything means being safe about your information. Too many people leave information out there that can lead to being stalked, attacked, or otherwise compromised, so your privacy is vitally important.

I’ve spent some 20 years online, a lot of it working on privacy issues, and sometimes annoying the wrong sort of people. I’ve also contributed to a bunch of cases focused on ways to track and locate people. So I’ve got a good idea what is and what isn’t ‘safe’.

So right now I’m going to give you a few tips for internet safety. Continue reading…