This week, our first place comment on the insightful side comes from Cdaragorn, offering some perspective on the field drug test that identified donut crumbs as methamphetamine:
How everyone looks at these tests really gets to me.
The test didn’t fail. That’s not the problem. It tested positive for exactly what it was supposed to test positive for: sugar.
That’s the problem with these tests. They are being run by people who have no idea how chemical tests work based on lies from those who created them.
As someone who has studied chemistry, let me make this very clear: it is impossible to make any kind of chemical test that can positively identify a substance in only one test. A chemical lab is going to run the substance through several tests each meant to rule out other substances in order to firmly prove that there’s only one possible substance it could be.
These tests need to be banned outright. At most they should only be used so the officer on the scene can tell if it’s worth sending the substance in for a real lab test or not. Any arrest made based on any single test on the side of the road should be seen as obviously unconstitutional. There’s no way that kind of test can give you enough information to establish probable cause.
In second place, we’ve got some thoughts from madasahatter on the default judgement against Equustek in the legal challenge to its crazy Canadian court order demanding Google delist sites worldwide:
Default judgments rarely lead to any substantive rulings as the winner wins by the other party not showing up. In fact that the court issued such a ruling is a bit unusual but given the origin of the case the judge probably felt it necessary to give a more thorough legal analysis of the issues. The judge is saying under any reasonable understanding of how searches work and US law the Canadian ruling is one idiotic for numerous reasons and two null and void in the US (and by extension worldwide by the same logic).
For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from aerinai about BlackBerry’s promise to break its encryption for the government, noting that analogies to the physical world can only take us so far:
I think that too many times people forget that digital is not the same as physical analogs.
If this data was held in a safe, and only the purchaser of the safe had the key, this would be the government asking Blackberry to break into another person’s safe just because they want them to.
Blackberry has agreed to help them break into the safe. They hire a team of experts that could create a new key. The safe is opened, and everyone is happy.
…except this is a digital world instead. That ‘experts’ didn’t just crack the one safe they were trying to get in; they literally cracked every safe Blackberry has ever made! With just a few kilobytes of data, this ‘key creator’ code can be stolen and used against any safe in existence.
In the world of computer science, this ‘key creator’ is quite literally an encryption vulnerability that now has been created and documented. It undermines the credibility of all encryption from Blackberry. So much for the ‘more secure than Apple’ statement after this occurs, because you are holding on to a vulnerability you refuse to patch.
Great job quite literally slitting your own throat, Blackberry. Because that is exactly what you signed up for.
Next, we’ve got a simple anonymous comment elegantly summing up and tossing out the excuse of having a “tough job” offered by the cop who threw a reporter to the ground:
Looks to me like the reporter got the tougher end of the job.
Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous commenter who had some thoughts about the anti-net-neutrality comments coming from… dead people:
I was thinking the comments by dead people against net neutrality were valid because the only people who would support killing net neutrality were brain dead and/or soulless….
In second place, we’ve got an anonymous comment that I’m not going to bother giving context too because it’s just another response to one of our more tiresome critics:
“Why won’t you be tolerant of my intolerance!”
For editor’s choice on the funny side, we’ve got a pair of video game jokes. First up, it’s Mononymous Tim with a response to Pat Robertson’s assertion that video games are creating a nation of devilish mass-murderers:
Any chance of reversing that by killing demons in DOOM?
Finally, it’s an anonymous commenter responding to Ubisoft’s ongoing Denuvo crusade with one of the best comments about DRM I’ve seen:
DRM is just a puzzle game for a different audience.
That’s all for this week, folks!