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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 09, 2015, 01:17:34 AM
^Far from it. Grin Wink
52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 08, 2015, 09:18:18 PM
^A thought: perhaps we're too easily equating 'corporate researchers' with scientists? And 'corporate sponsored research' with science? Wink
53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Matchstick - A streaming stick using Firefox OS [Kickstarter] on: February 08, 2015, 08:24:17 PM
I really wish they'd push out what was specified a couple of months ago ... then think about better hardware.

+1!  Thmbsup That, in a nutshell, is exactly where I stand too.

I don't mind losing the money should it come to that. (IMO, if you can't afford to lose your contribution to a Kickstarter campaign, you shouldn't be pledging to begin with.) What bothers me is that things like this can contribute to undermining the whole concept of crowd-funding. And I think it's crucial that independent grass roots project funding campaigns like these exist. Otherwise everything innovative will eventually come to rely on government and corporate largess to make them happen. And we all know where that has gotten us so far.
 tellme
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Matchstick - A streaming stick using Firefox OS [Kickstarter] on: February 08, 2015, 11:30:02 AM
^Excellent point. I wouldn't mind embedded h.265 either. Grin But like I said, if true, their inner geek seems to be drowning out the business realities. Three of the most important of which are to: (1) deliver on time; (2) deliver what was promised; and (3) deliver on budget.

When it comes to tech devices, the speed of improvement is such that nearly anything you buy today will be a far less optimal purchase 6 months from now. As you noted, playing the "let's make it mo' better" card (which I don't recall anybody asking or expecting them to do - they had their goals and stretch goals - and we supporters were perfectly happy with those AFAICT) is a neverending treadmill. Fine if you're a patron of the art. But less so if you just ran a successful kickstarter campaign and you now have legally binding promises to deliver on. (Kickstarter can say what they want about "the need to be understanding and patient." If you don't deliver as promised, you can very easily open yourself up to a plethora of very real legal woes. And it can take as little as a single complaint to get those gears rolling.)

Suddenly springing a 6-month delay on their supporters  -  on top of their earlier two month "oops!" delay - calls their good judgement into question - and puts their credibility at risk.

I personally think some of the reasons they've given are pretty lame except for the DRM/licensing issues - which is one of the first things they should have gotten settled even before they started, considering those two things are the tail that wags the dog when it comes to content delivery.

I'm not getting warm fuzzies...but in the absence of anything concrete, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. For now. huh
55  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: How To Filter Out Background Dining Hall Noise From Voice Recording? on: February 08, 2015, 08:42:03 AM
You could try cleaning it with some of the filters available for Audacity. There's not much (that's doable) you can't accomplish with Audacity. And it's free for the download.

I've never tried doing what you want to do with it, although I do use Audacity for a lot of other things. Look here and here for some ideas to get you started.

The real challenge is going to be the somewaht random character of dining room noises. That makes it difficult to filter them out without also removing things you'd rather not from your audio source. The best you can probably do is get rid of enough of the sounds that make you want to scream so that your recording is at least tolerable to listen to.

One of the mantras of the recording world is: "Don't try to fix it in the mix." Which is to say, getting your original source as good as you possibly can is 90% of achieving a good recording. So if you plan on doing a lot of recordings in environments like the above, look into getting a standalone portable recorder (sometimes called "field recorders") with noise suppression features such as musicians and news reporters use. Tascam, Zoom, Sony, and all the usual big names in audio make them. Not cheap. But what price do you want to place on keeping your sanity?

Luck!
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 08, 2015, 07:39:35 AM
Never mind the New Age movement, astrology, or ectoplasmic production, peer review of alchemy gets you no further, even if Sir Isaac Newton is doing the review. Peer review of Isaac Newton’s physics was rather hard as he was, and remains, peerless in that field.

Yes. But you and I are apparently so brainwashed by government and corporate propaganda and indoctrination that we're now unable to have an appreciation for woo. undecided

The exchange starting around 0:45 on this If Google We're a Guy Part-3 video captures what goes on in my mind every time I get buttonholed by somebody peddling woo who "got 'educated'" as they like to tell you they did. Look for this woman and her question:

[attach]

(Side note: the actress they got in to do Apple's "Siri" is priceless. Watch the whole video plus parts 1 & 2. They're hysterical, to say nothing of spot-on!  Grin)

I have to remind myself what Euripides observed almost 2500 years ago: "Whom the gods destroy, they first make go mad."

I don't have the patience to listen to Mr. Sheldrakes 'censored' talk a third time. Two times was more than enough for me - to say nothing of the 36 minutes and 38 seconds of my life I'll never get back which I invested in order to do so. However, John Baez created a 36-question Crackpot Index to evaluate and rank presentations such as his. I've put it in the spoiler below if anybody with the time to waste would care to take a crack at it. Wink

57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 07, 2015, 04:28:42 PM
I'm not surprised it wasn't aired. I watched it twice and still think it's pretty lame.

Here's Mr. Sheldrake's write-up in Wikipedia:

Quote
Rupert Sheldrake


Alfred Rupert Sheldrake is an English scientist,[3][4] author,[3] public speaker,[5] and researcher in the field of parapsychology,[6] known for his "morphic resonance" concept.[7] He worked as a biochemist and cell biologist at Cambridge University from 1967 to 1973[3] and as principal plant physiologist at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics until 1978.[8]

Conceived during Sheldrake's time at Cambridge, morphic resonance posits that "memory is inherent in nature"[3][9] and "natural systems, such as termite colonies, or pigeons, or orchid plants, or insulin molecules, inherit a collective memory from all previous things of their kind".[9] Sheldrake proposes that it is also responsible for "telepathy-type interconnections between organisms".[4] His advocacy of the idea encompasses paranormal subjects such as precognition, telepathy and the psychic staring effect[10][11] as well as unconventional explanations of standard subjects in biology such as development, inheritance, and memory.[12]

Morphic resonance is not accepted by the scientific community as a real phenomenon and Sheldrake's proposals relating to it have been characterized as pseudoscience. Critics cite a lack of evidence for morphic resonance and an inconsistency of the idea with data from genetics and embryology, and also express concern that popular attention from Sheldrake's books and public appearances undermines the public's understanding of science.[a]

Despite the negative reception Sheldrake's ideas have received from the scientific community, they have found support in the New Age movement,[26] such as from Deepak Chopra.[27][28] Sheldrake argues that science should incorporate alternative medicine, psychic phenomena, and a greater focus on holistic thinking...

In short, a whole lotta New Age magical and wishful thinking being peddled.

Just because something would be really cool if it existed (or worked a certain way), it's still a very far cry from establishing that it's real. Science says if there's no concrete and verifiable evidence to support a hypothesis, it remains an unproven hypothesis - at best. New Age says: the absence of verifiable evidence is immaterial because that invariably means you're looking in the wrong place - or at it in the wrong way. In short, you lack the "gift," or the "awareness," or are not "sufficiently evolved" to see things the way they do.

I personally heard nothing new in what he's saying. I'm a child of the 60/70s and I've heard almost all of this talk in one form or another before. Those 60/70s were fun times. Anything was possible! And the incontrovertible proof and validation of all those marvellous and mystical "alternate realities" were (supposedly) just around the corner. They'd all "eventually" (that favorite word of dreamers) become established fact and "western so-called science" would finally get its well-deserved comeuppance! Yup! Any day "real soon now."

And just a short forty years later I'm pleased to report...uh...we're still waiting??? WTF?  huh

When he opened up with the usual shop-worn New Age straw man attacks on science (which does not make the claims he says it does), my eyes already started to glaze over. A fun thing to watch perhaps. But hardly "an idea worth sharing." Unless maybe you're into the whole post-modern/deconstructionist way of 'thinking.'

Also, the characterization that his talk was "banned" and "censored" is not accurate. That was the characterization made by the person (revolutioneevolve) who posted the video under their own YT account. TED had merely decided the presentation did not measure up to their standards for inclusion in the TED Talks and removed it from their own TED channel. They have not issued DMCA notices to have it taken down from anybody else's channel. So I hardly see where there's some vast conspiracy to suppress and silence (another favorite New Age accusation trotted out whenever anyone disagrees with a favorite New Age guru) Mr. Sheldrake. And they have a whole page on the Open for Discussion blog at TED that explains the whys and wherefores of their action - along with counter arguments and objections by Robert Sheldrake himself. So he's hardly being censored - not that TED actually has the authority or clout to do something like that to begin with. They're not a government or church. So how could they possibly "censor" anything?

When you get past his (and his supporters') hyperbole, I think it's clear that the people who bring us TED were not impressed with Mr. Sheldrake's talk and decided they'd rather not host it on their main channel as a result. And it might possibly also be worth remembering that deciding what TED wants their name associated with is something that is well within their rights considering how TED is a private organization rather than a public institution. I can't see many here disputing that right. At least not in good faith considering we're (mostly) the good liberal/libertarian/anarcho-leaning (pick a flavor!) thinkers we are. Right?

This is where the people at TED explain their position and decision on Mr. Shendrake's talk in greater depth. It hardly sounds like the Spanish Inquisition to me.
 Wink Cool
58  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Matchstick - A streaming stick using Firefox OS [Kickstarter] on: February 07, 2015, 01:42:28 PM
I understand delays, and I always thought their February promise was optimistic. But it really sucks that they'd wait until three weeks before it's promised in our hands to announce a 6-month delay. With a delay of this scope, it had to be something they've known about for quite a while; why wait so long to tell those of us who financed the project from the start?

^This! Thmbsup



I'm a little disappointed since I backed this one too. I felt somewhat confident in doing so because they had already shown a working prototype.

I'm thinking they're having trouble clearing the legal hurdles for content licensing and DRM. If that's the case, all bets are off since those deciding on yea or nay can be quite arbitrary in their decisions - to say nothing of being subject to influence (i.e. pressured) by existing players who generally wish to shut newcomers out of the market. Which they can do.

Alternatively, there's also a very real chance that they're actively trying to find someone to buy them out and walk away. I say this because they've done a lot of talking about partnering with developers and content providers on a come-one come-all basis. So it's not like they haven't touched bases with companies in the same line of business.

A buyout might also be necessary because their open sharing of technology, schematics, etc. is more than enough to dampen the interest of venture capitalists. VCs like secrets and generally insist on exclusivity, preferring not to have competitors too up on what their funded businesses are doing.

The optimist in me thinks it's just a delay because they kids are letting their 'geek' get in the way of their business.

The businessman (as in pessimist) in me thinks they've either run into a snag that is not technological (i.e. legal, licensing, real or threatened IP lawsuit, etc.) -or- some of their earlier stated goals conflict with operating as a 'smart tech business' and therefore any hoped for "big money" investors are now giving them the cold shoulder. Which could mean serious cash flow issues despite the resounding success of their campaign. Especially since $500k doesn't go very far when you're tooling up for mass producing inexpensive electronic devices.

But since they're not publicly traded, they're under no obligation to share info about what the problem (if any) may be. And (if there is a problem) they've simply decided not to.

My gut tells me something unexpectedly went sideways on them and they're now trying to buy some time.

My heart tells me: "I want your gut to be completely wrong about all this."

Be interesting to see how it plays out. huh
59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google, designing the font of the future on: February 07, 2015, 09:47:06 AM
I see from the info it was designed by Monotype. Kiss Small surprise it's as well done as it is. Thmbsup
60  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google, designing the font of the future on: February 07, 2015, 08:41:21 AM
Looks good. However when I went to get their recommended All-in-one CJK super OTC font from the link on their download page, all I got was this:

[attach]

Same went for any other download link on the download page.

Oh well. smiley
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What are the consequences of an FCC Internet "utility"? on: February 06, 2015, 10:05:18 PM
My next question would be, what did we accomplish by this step of formally classifying the internet as a "common carrier" ?  who does this benefit?  what is going to change?


We established an additional revenue stream for the government, of course,

Indeed.

Quote
which they will use to bribe ISPs into not withdrawing service from less profitable rural areas, not jacking up the rates of those living within those areas.

I think it will be more to bribe them to marginally upgrade their services to something that approaches barely usable. They already have plant and equipment in place so there's some small incentive for them to continue milking it until they can't any longer. And then sell their fully depreciated and obsolete equipment and non-profitable business divisions off to some poor sucker at fire sale prices - like what AT&T recently sold to Frontier Communications - or to the Baby Bells a few decades earlier.

Sure looks like it's "business as usual" - as in: the public, once again, getting fleeced blind. undecided
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: February 06, 2015, 09:49:21 PM
I'm not sure how funny this actually is.... tellme

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edx9D2yaOGs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Edx9D2yaOGs</a>

63  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The banality of a darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 09:33:03 PM
Now, would anyone like me to lecture on number agreement and ambiguity in English grammar?  Grin

LOL! No. Thank-you, pleaseGrin

This one is for you Ren...even though I'm sure you've already seen it:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4vf8N6GpdM</a>

 Thmbsup Thmbsup
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The banality of a darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 09:25:21 PM
^The choice of using the word 'darknet' as an adjective was purely my own. And unless conventions have changed, 'darknet' has primarily been used (in my experience) to refer to the anonymous part of the deepweb where connections get made where neither the identity of the person accessing - or the server hosting - is known. So yes...I guess anonymous web = darkweb.

At least to me it does.  smiley

If somebody is taking it to mean 'criminal' because the activity I was posting about clearly is, I don't really know what to say. People think that about the deepweb too - although I've always understood the deepweb to be the parts of the Internet that aren't reachable via regular public search engines. Or in some cases (often by design) sites that are not able to be reached by any search engine at all.

But again, these are geek terms. And while the definitions for this sort of "in" terminology are generally agreed upon, the specific details, amendments, qualifications, wrinkles, semantic gamesmanship, and attempts at disambiguation often go on ad nauseam. (Even geeks have their private agendas and axes to grind, just the same as normal folk do.)

Hope that clarifies my end. If there was a disconnect, it's hardly your fault. Or mine really. You can probably google a thousand articles that would disagree with my use of the term: darknet. And there'd likely be just as many that wouldn't. So think Humpty-Dumpty in Carroll's Through the Looking Glass:

[attach]

Quote
Humpty Dumpty took the book and looked at it carefully. 'That seems to be done right —' he began.

'You're holding it upside down!' Alice interrupted.

'To be sure I was!' Humpty Dumpty said gaily as she turned it round for him. 'I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that seems to be done right — though I haven't time to look it over thoroughly just now — and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents —'

'Certainly,' said Alice.

'And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'

'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.

Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'

'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.

'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'


Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them — particularly verbs: they're the proudest — adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs — however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

'Would you tell me please,' said Alice, 'what that means?'

'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

'That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I always pay it extra.'

'Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.

'Ah, you should see 'em come round me of a Saturday night,' Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side, 'for to get their wages, you know.'

(Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can't tell you.)

'You seem very clever at explaining words, Sir,' said Alice.
65  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What are the consequences of an FCC Internet "utility"? on: February 06, 2015, 08:44:24 PM
Looks pretty much to be regulated like Title II to me, though I could be wrong.

Thoughts?

This from Techdirt?

Quote
Stop Saying That The FCC Is 'Treating Internet As A Utility' -- It's Not
from the mythbusting dept


Now that FCC boss Tom Wheeler has made it official that he's going to present rules to reclassify broadband under Title II for the purpose of implementing stronger net neutrality rules (details still to come...), the opponents to this effort have come out of the woodwork to insist, over and over again, that reclassifying is "treating the internet as a utility." The cable industry's main lobbyists, NCTA, decried "Wheeler's proposal to impose the heavy burden of Title II public utility regulation...." and AT&T screamed about how "these regulations that we're talking about are public-utility-style regulations..." Former Congressman Rick Boucher, who is now lobbying for AT&T whined that "subjecting broadband to public utility regulation under Title II is unnecessary."

Hell, even those who are merely reporting on the issue are calling it "treating internet as a utility." Here's the Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNET, Engadget and the Associated Press all claiming that the new rules "treat" or "regulate" the "internet as a public utility."

And they're all wrong. While there are some "utility" like aspects in Title II, Wheeler actually made it pretty clear he's not using those sections in the net neutrality rules that he's putting together (though, again, the details here will matter, and we haven't seen them yet). What he's doing here is just using Title II to be able to designate broadband as a common carrier, but just being a "common carrier" is not the same as being a "public utility" -- a point that John Bergmeyer at Public Knowledge makes nicely, by highlighting that there are lots of common carriers that aren't utilities...

Interesting... (read the rest of it here)
66  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The banality of a darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 04:15:58 PM
^Um...I'm using 'darknet' as an adjective. Just like 'web developer' is not someone who is necessarily doing development work the Internet itself.

If I wanted to say "a developer on the darknet" I would have said so.  undecided

I suppose you think a "game developer" is someone who does development work on games? Why couldn't she be someone who's "game" for doing some development work? And not necessarily software either! tongue tongue Grin

And I think that's the point that Ren was getting to.

Yeah. I think I might have figured that out previously. That's why I changed the header line. Wink

Note: Ren and I grok each other pretty well most times. (We go back a ways and usually try our best to keep each other young.)  Grin
67  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The banality of a darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 03:44:23 PM
... I develop software.  And I'm on the internet.

... I'm an... internet developer

[attach]

Thank you! Remain standing...Do not attempt to move...Keep your hands in plain sight at all times...
68  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What are the consequences of an FCC Internet "utility"? on: February 06, 2015, 01:54:21 PM
In what way, exactly, is this treating internet providers as a utility?

Are mobile phone providers regulated like utilities? Because this is weaker than their Title II rules.

It looks more like a platypus to me.  cheesy

Same here. The deeper you get into what's being said by those who will actually get to decide, the more this all starts to look like it's just more 'puppet theater' for the kiddies.

69  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 06, 2015, 01:45:53 PM
The sad thing is it isn't the scientific process or peer review that's the problem. It's the subversion and perversion of them that's causing the huge amount of recent public distrust in things "scientific." And whenever there's doubt, there's always someone ready and willing to step in and twist it to their own advantage.

Be it politics, economics, religion, or science - once the practitioners of a given discipline abandon their high road, a mounting wave of public distrust soon follows. And surfing that wave are all the self-nominated pundits and opportunists. Each with an agenda.

To my mind, that's the real tragedy - and danger - in all of this.
70  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: February 06, 2015, 01:21:10 PM
^I think I'd rather just swallow a quarter pint of liquid starch with a little salt in it while looking at a picture of a potato chip. Same result, but less chewing needed. Although...in fairness, that 'can' they come in does find its uses when employed as part of a wifi cantenna. There are many better cantenna designs out there. Most using cans that hold stuff I'd much rather eat. But the Pringles version does do the job.

 Cool
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The banality of a darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 01:07:03 PM
@Ren - to your very good point, I've changed the header in the OP to read "a Darknet developer" rather than "the Darknet developer." It's much more accurate to phrase it that way. Thmbsup
72  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The banality of the darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 12:06:48 PM
Whether it's online scammers or just garden variety Congress critters, it usually just comes down to Dunbar's number. It's the difference between  hurting real people or the idea of people.

Bingo! Thmbsup That's where you frequently bump into that nebulous border between imagined and actualized sociopathological behaviors.
73  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: February 06, 2015, 11:56:22 AM
^I agree. For many, they're a successful and entertaining musical stage act. Wink If their fans wish to see them perform, I'm all for it. Considering I'm not "too sexy" for anything (including sex), who am I to say otherwise?

It's like Pringles®. I don't 'get' Pringles®.

[attach]

But they sell well...so what do I know? Grin
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The banality of the darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 11:37:35 AM
I'd like to clarify a bit too. smiley

75  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / The banality of a darknet developer on: February 06, 2015, 08:06:17 AM
There's an interesting post over at Motherboard.com that speaks depressing volumes about the mindset behind some people who indulge in online criminal behavior. Far from being the revenge-seeking villains or revolutionary saboteurs of Hollywood and television legend, they're ordinary and somewhat boring individuals with an attenuated sense of morals and responsibility. Their sole motivation? Money, plain and simple.

Quote
This Anonymous Web Developer Makes Counterfeit Banking Sites for $15K
Written by
Jordan Pearson
Staff Writer (Canada)


February 5, 2015 // 03:00 PM EST Stylish design matters: both for legitimate websites, and the shady scammer sites that only need to look legitimate in order to convince someone to hand over their credit card information. Online criminals need competent web designers, and cash-strapped programmers sometimes need the business—if they’re willing to put aside their scruples in exchange for a bunch of Bitcoin.

I came across an old post on the r/darknet subreddit by a web designer soliciting scammers to enlist their services to build phishing sites—fake websites that look just like real ones (say, Gmail) but really only exist to siphon personal and financial information from unsuspecting victims. “Looking for a real web designer who'll turn your questionable project into something professional looking, no questions asked and 100% anonymously?” the poster, who went by the username WolphReph42, wrote. “You've just found your guy.”

I was interested, but not in their services. I wanted to know what it was like being a web designer on the darknet. So, I emailed him using PGP encryption, crossed my fingers that he hadn’t ditched his disposable Safe Mail account yet, and asked.

“I'm no criminal myself,” wrote WolphReph42. “I don’t find ways to scam people, I’m no hacker, I’m not a drug lord that spends his time in a ill-lit room behind a Chinese restaurant smoking a cigar and counting wads of cash: I’m just like any other person, with a good job and enough pay to support a comfortable but not too lavish lifestyle.” ...

What's very sad to me is the incredible naivety this geek has about the seriousness of what he's involved himself in:
 
Quote
WolphReph42 insists that he’s not a criminal, although he told me that he suspects he may be charged under intellectual property copyright laws due to his website spoofing. Still, he doesn’t believe he can be charged for the damage eventually inflicted on the site’s victims.

I spoke with David Fraser, a lawyer specializing in internet technologies at Canadian law firm McInnis Cooper, to get a legal perspective on WolphReph42’s activities. Unfortunately for him, he may be in more danger than he imagines.

“Copyright infringement would be small potatoes compared to the larger crime,” Fraser said. “Culpability is going to depend on what they know or what they ought to have known about their role in the overall crime—fraud, for example. In the totality of the circumstance, in terms of what they know, I think the prosecution would look to how they’re advertising their services.”

As for what the penalty might be for a mercenary web designer doing under the table work for scammers, Fraser said courts may sentence them to prison if the site’s fraud is found to be over $5,000. WolphReph42 told me that he protects his identity using standard PGP encryption, Tor, proxy servers that mask his true location, and a new laptop every few weeks.

But will that be enough?

“Nobody wants to be a potential accessory to a crime,” said WolphReph42. “As for me, I just like money.”

Regardless of anyone's opinion of what WolphReph42 is doing, one thing he obviously doesn't get is the first two rules for breaking rules. It was best expresses in the movie Fight Club where members and prospective members were told: "1st RULE: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB. 2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB..."

Be interesting to see how this plays out long-term now that WolphReph42 has outed himself to a journalist. No would-be client in their right mind would go near somebody this clueless going forward. He's also painted a nice day-glo target on his forehead blabbing like he has. Hopefully, no agency that issues badges is shopping for someone to make a sad example of.

And, hopefully, no former clients are getting nervous about it either. Many of these folks have particularly unique and effective ways of reminding their hired help to keep one's mouths shut.


Full article here.
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