back to article Bloke cuffed after 'You deserve a seizure' GIF tweet gave epileptic a fit

A man suspected of maliciously tweeting a GIF to a magazine writer that induced an epileptic attack has been collared by the FBI. In December, Kurt Eichenwald, a Newsweek journalist who has written about living with epilepsy, appeared on the US Fox News show Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss his claims that the then-President- …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What an asshole

    He gives anonymous folks a bad name. Claiming that act as "free speech" is par for this douchbag's shit-stained course. Scumbags with flags and guns, and little common sense.

    1. Number6

      Re: What an asshole

      I suspect a court would hold it in the same regard as shouting "fire!" in a crowded cinema and claiming that was free speech too.

      Of course, the First Amendment just stops the government from prosecuting you for saying it. I don't believe it protects you from demonstrably criminal consequences thereof, in the same way that the Second Amendment allows gun possession but using that gun to maliciously kill or injure someone is not protected.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What an asshole

        I suspect a court would hold it in the same regard as shouting "fire!" in a crowded cinema and claiming that was free speech too.

        I would call it more like giving someone with a known nut allergy peanut butter. Yelling "Fire" has the potential of harm, but in this case we are dealing with a certainty of grievous harm. I wish this f*ck many unhealthy and painful years in prison.

      2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: What an asshole

        The fire-in-a-crowded-theatre argument is not a justification for restricting speech. It was originally posited as an ad-hoc justification for imprisoning a man for "espionage" in world war 1, whose only crime was printing a pamphlet peacefully opposing the draft. Here's a good article on it.

        Eugene Volokh explains it as well.

        And this is a very good paper on the matter.

        This isn't a free speech matter and this man's prosecution doesn't need to be defended in terms of "restrictions" on free speech. The argument should not even be addressed except to point out its irrelevance.

        It's a simple assault, no different to flashing a strobe light in an epileptic's face.

        (e: corrected war)

        1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: What an asshole

          GD suggested "The [shout-"FIRE!]-in-a-crowded-theatre argument is not a justification for [imposing reasonable limits on free] speech."

          (I trust that I've made reasonable clarifications to your claim.)

          Actually it's a perfectly good counter-example to unlimited free speech. The purported origin and arguable historical mis-use of this famous example do not make it any less perfect. It remains perfect as the initial wedge to crack open any claims of unlimited free speech.

          It's quite similar to "Your freedom to swing your arms ends where my chin begins," on physical freedoms.

          The history is interesting, but does nothing. The phrase has enduring value far beyond any examples of historical misuse.

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Responsibility

              Here's the deal: if I have a food allergy, it's my responsibility to inform restaurants and anyone who might be cooking for me of said allergy, or I need to find other ways to avoid it. If, on the other hand, you know that I have said allergy and attempt to slip the culprit substance into my food, you have just made it your responsibility. The fact that Eichenwald could have taken better steps to avoid flashing GIFs in no way detracts from the reality that Rivello allegedly deliberately caused him to have a seizure through a premeditated act.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Responsibility

                  In other words, if you're deathly allergic to a common food ingredient, you DO NOT EAT IN RESTAURANTS. I know of a few friends-of-friends who took their chances and ACTUALLY DIED.

                  If you have an allergy, you tend to stick to restaurants who you know to take allergies seriously and who take care to instruct new staff in this as well. It's relatively easy to sense if they take your comment about allergies seriously, but I would agree that if in doubt, avoid.

                2. Tom Paine Silver badge

                  Re: Responsibility

                  Secondly, most restaurants have a disclaimer about not being responsible for "accidentally" slipping allergens into your food even if you've informed them of your allergy.

                  Not in the UK, they don't. For the last year or two everywhere serving food of any sort has a sign warning that if you have allergies, tell the staff. If you've told them you've a peanut allergy, and they give you food containing peanuts, and you die, they go to jail.

                  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/may/23/restaurant-owner-mohammed-zaman-guilty-of-manslaughter-of-peanut-allergy-customer

                  1. CrowleytheDemoncat

                    Re: Responsibility

                    In the US a 'disclaimer' such as that above is meaningless at law.

                    Prominent signs and warnings, such as they have at Dairy Queen and Baskin-Robbins, (two US ice cream shops,)for instance, "Nuts and Nut Products Served Here" are a warning of cross contamination which with extremely nut sensitive people can be through the air. (An electric nut grinder, nuts in the blender with other dry items, ground before liquid is added, etc.)

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: Responsibility

                      Just curious. What if the allergy sufferer is illiterate? I think that claim was used in the McDonald's coffee suit (which got tossed out for a different reason), claiming the plaintiff couldn't understand the "Caution! Hot!" warnings on the cup because he couldn't READ the warning.

                      Just wondering if there's a precedent for when a business gives fair warning but the victim was not in a position to read or comprehend the warning.

              2. Colin 22

                Re: Responsibility

                While it may not be the case under US law, in the UK we have the maxim of "take you victim as you find them" i.e. you can not use the victim's condition as a defence. (Historically is comes from a case where someone with a weak skull was punched, causing death, where someone with out the condition would have survived)

                1. CrowleytheDemoncat

                  Re: Responsibility

                  It is the same under US law. We even study the same history of the 'eggshell' skull victim.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: What an asshole

              People post strobing shit on the internet ALL THE TIME. If you have epilepsy it's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to protect yourself in public places, including online.

              If you don't know defensive techniques it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY if you get knifed, have your wallet stolen or have a substantial amount of teeth smashed out by a random passerby. No excuses, you have dared to show yourself in public and you must have read that these things happen, even if it is on the other side of the planet. It sucks, but that's life.

            3. mrmond

              Re: What an asshole

              "There are a lot of things epileptics can't do, like driving. It sucks but that's life."

              Huge generalisation, I've been driving for years, there's no blanket ban on epileptics unless they actually have seizures.

              Only 3% of the 1 in 100 people with epilepsy are photosensitive and suffer this kind of trigger which doesn't excuse the guy who sent the gif being a dick.

              As for most epileptics being careful around screens, never heard of it, modern lcd televisions & monitors don't have that problem.

              1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

                Re: What an asshole

                @mrmond

                "As for most epileptics being careful around screens, never heard of it, modern lcd televisions & monitors don't have that problem."

                MODERN monitors, yes. CRT devices like old tellies were a major problem. I had photo-sensitive epilepsy when I was a teenager - keeled over when too close to the telly watching Apollo 13 splashdown (which was the last time I did).

                And no, no driving ban or restrictions as it was all a long time ago.

                1. mrmond

                  Re: What an asshole

                  "MODERN monitors, yes. CRT devices like old tellies were a major problem. I had photo-sensitive epilepsy when I was a teenager "

                  I thought we were talking about these days, not a lot of old CRT's about :)

                  Happy to hear you grew out of anyway

          2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: What an asshole

            If the argument rests on a false premise, then the argument is false.

          3. John Gamble
            Boffin

            Re: What an asshole

            "Actually it's a perfectly good counter-example to unlimited free speech."

            Didn't read the articles, did you? Start with the first link, the one to the Atlantic article. Your argument is flatly wrong.

            If you need a broader historical perspective, I recommend Perilous Times: Free Speech During Wartime, by Geoffrey Stone.

            1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: What an asshole

              JG tried to rebut the obviously-correct and he utterly failed.

              It's not about the location of the boundary, it's that there are boundaries. Your rebuttal is against your own imagined strawman. Thus: Fail.

              Feel free to run the experiment yourself. Go to a theater and start yelling "Fire!". Let us know how it works out. End of debate.

              Another freedom test is eating a double meat hamburger in a public venue. Hold the burger vertically. See how it goes. 25% odds you'll be tasered, arrested, tossed in prison.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What an asshole

                Another freedom test is eating a double meat hamburger in a public venue. Hold the burger vertically. See how it goes. 25% odds you'll be tasered, arrested, tossed in prison.

                That is evil on an epic scale. Love it :).

              2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

                Re: What an asshole

                Clear proof that you have ignored the rebuttals entirely. But that's par for the course, really.

              3. John Gamble

                Re: What an asshole

                "JG tried to rebut the obviously-correct and he utterly failed."

                Oh dear. Still didn't read the article.

                Read the article. Rebut with evidence and facts. Don't try to impress with made-up scenarios (seriously, not one, but two imaginary cases? You really don't know what a straw man argument is, do you?)

      3. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: What an asshole

        "I suspect a court would hold it in the same regard as shouting "fire!" in a crowded cinema and claiming that was free speech too."

        I think a court would hold that in the same regard as shouting "fire" in a microphone, with your victim tied up two inches from a 1,000 watt speaker.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What an asshole

      Absolutely. Makes you wonder what the world's morons did before the internet came along.

      1. thomas k

        Re: before the internet

        They beat me up and stole my lunch money at recess.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: What an asshole

      Next time he should just say it with flowers - and send him a Triffid...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What an asshole

      Is there any evidence that he actually had a fit? I do wonder if he is claiming he did just to get one over on the idiot that sent this? Surely you would look away immediately once opened if it flashed - and there must be lots of other content that flashes on the internet?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What an asshole

        Is there any evidence that he actually had a fit? I do wonder if he is claiming he did just to get one over on the idiot that sent this? Surely you would look away immediately once opened if it flashed - and there must be lots of other content that flashes on the internet?

        1 - if it had or had not actually doesn't matter much - the intent matters. Even an intent to harm can get you a conviction - admittedly smaller than when it caused actual harm - but the "haha, it was but a joke m'lord" defence was effectively neutered by the fact that the police discovered this guy (a) made a habit of this and (b) had researched the harm angle prior to sending. This was no accident and no joke (for those that think it funny to harm someone else, a stance I disagree with), intent was easy to prove, and thus the risk to society.

        2 - depending on the type of epilepsy, two or three flashes may be enough and if you're intent on looking at something you're going to react too late.

        3 - even if if he reported it to "get one over", good on him because he did take out a menace.

        Personally I would convict someone like that to be barred from anything more sophisticated than an etch-a-sketch with half the "sand" removed.

        Update: he DID have a seizure.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What an asshole

          I was skeptical of the claim that the gentleman actually had a seizure induced by the email. After reading the linked to article in the Atlantic, I am more skeptical.

  2. Van

    settings-autoplay=off

    I've known peope with epilepsy theyve always been careful around screens.

    Very surprised Eichenwald didn't have autoplay turned off. Gifs on twitter soon get annoying anyway.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: settings-autoplay=off

      Gif's everywhere are annoying. I shudder think how many I'd see in a day without Adblocker running. I have friends with epilepsy and they say the ads are the worst and ad companies blow off their complaints.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: settings-autoplay=off

      Firefox about:config image.animation_mode = none / once

      A good setting for epileptics. And everyone else.

      #bringbackblink

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: settings-autoplay=off

        There was a time, I distinctly remember it, when web browsers had simple menu options to disable autoplay and animations. Opera was very good at that sort of nicety.

        Until the went as a chrome re-skin, of course. And Mozilla decided to chase Google in the "lets dumb down the browser" competition.

        1. Drew 11

          Re: settings-autoplay=off

          You forgot to mention Apple Safari in your "dumbing down" comment.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: settings-autoplay=off

            Apple Safari can't be "dumed down" because it's already at absolute dumb.

  3. DNTP

    For some unlucky people

    The Berryman Logical Imaging Technique is, unfortunately, close to being real.

  4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Attempted manslaughter?

    He tried to fuck him up in such a way that he knew could have killed him.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Attempted manslaughter?

      If it's premeditated, then it can actually be attempted MURDER.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Attempted manslaughter?

      No such thing. Manslaughter is death resulting from a lesser crime going wrong. Deliberate manslaughter is called murder.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Attempted manslaughter?

        It all depends on the circumstances. Manslaighter can be "intentional" as in it was started by a deliberate act, but the act itself was not meant to kill. That would be a First Degree Manslaughter: committed by a deliberate act but not one with murderous intent. Meanwhile, a death that occurs accidentally but during the commission of a serious crime like a violent felony can be considered either First Degree Murder or Felony Murder: either way, it's among the lowest of the low because it's considered wanton disregard of innocent life during a deliberate violation of the rules of society: basically, willful and even eager defiance of society.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Attempted manslaughter?

          I believe "attempted manslaughter" is best translated as "reckless endangerment".

          But "attempted murder" would probably be a better fit in this case, as there was clearly malicious intent.

          Of course IANAL, TINLA.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

        Re: Attempted manslaughter?

        Very good, Poirot. Spot the question mark.

  5. MNGrrrl
    Alert

    Trivial fix

    I contacted an organization after doing my own research into photo-sensitive epilepsy, and learned much the same as this guy did. Unlike this guy, it was because I'm a programmer and had concerns over a game mod with user-customizable lighting, which included rapid strobing and complex lighting effects that could, non-deliberately, lead to disaster.

    As an ethical and old school hacker, I believe knowledge is power and it should be free. Everyone should have free access to computers, whether they're American, or Iranian, christian or muslim, rich or poor, black or white -- disabled, or not. The benefits to humanity having that knowledge at their fingertips outweighs all other considerations -- an idea that is perhaps too radical for today, but nonetheless, I profess it.

    I know technology can sometimes cause people problems -- this website tends to catalog such failures with gusto. But when it crosses the line and starts restricting people's access to knowledge -- and affecting people's physical well-being certainly fits that mandate -- then it falls on me to uphold the unspoken principles of my community and fix it.

    And to be blunt... this is a very simple problem to fix. Almost every kind of graphical interface pins down to either OpenGL, or DirectX -- and the computational requirements to scan frames progressively and mitigate potential 'strobe' events is trivial. It can be implimented in hardware, software, or both, with minimal overhead. Unfortunately, because of how the industry f*cked itself sideways with it's stupid copyright and trademark laws, and endless patents on total non-innovations by people from the brain slug planet... there's no easy way to get at the part that needs fixing, and fix it.

    Which is exactly how they (Apple, Microsoft, Google) want it. And if you ask me, it's about time we kick them firmly in the balls and tell them to put the safeguards in place to protect a vulnerable segment of the population -- if for no other reason than that we should not fear that our technology will try and kill our kids when we're not looking. Japan found this out the hard way when Pikachu flew through the air in flashing red and yellow strobes... followed shortly by children flying through the ER, accompanied by flashing blue lights. Television is usually safe, because they know about the problem and scan everything prior to it being aired.

    Our computers, unfortunately, remain ticking time bombs for jerkwads like this guy to abuse on a whim -- and there is no reason we couldn't have stopped him from succeeding. This isn't like gun control or bomb building where there's maybe a question about whether it's for protection, or someone with an oddly specific set of legally-purchased items -- this is completely preventable, detectable, and has no legitimate application.

    And while yes, I think this guy deserves a long send off to prison... two things: First, premeditated murder requires clear intent and a reasonable likelihood it could actually result in death. Giving someone seizures can lead to death, but as even this case demonstrated -- it doesn't necessarily. Which makes it some variety of homicide, reckless endangerment, etc. Stop trying to lawyer up, people -- leave that to the police. Just say he was a dickhead and deserves a long time behind bars to think about the exact level of stupidity that landed him there, not sit here and try to pick apart what crime he should be charged for. But if you really need one, here's one: Criminal Stupidity. Which should, in my estimation, be punishable by taking the warning labels off everything in the house and letting McMoron El Stupidnuts live there for a couple months. When the time's up, open the door. If he walks out, he's a free man. If he doesn't... we're free... of him.

    1. Richard Jones 1
      Coat

      Re: Trivial fix

      I agree with everything you said and upvoted your thoughtful post. However, I also feel that sending out what appear to be death threats and a notification of an intent to take what he desired to be deadly action, is really not the brightest action. Following through with something clearly designed to activate a potentially harmful condition was dumber than being purely stupid. Stabbing someone or even shooting them is also not always fatal, but has anyone seen that being used as a defence?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trivial fix

        Yes, our local paper here just had a story about someone being found not guilty of attempted murder when he broke into someones house and stabbed them in their bed. They were only found guilty of wounding with intent.

        A few years ago a girl was killed in a park who was stabbed for being goth/emo. No murder conviction as the defendant claimed they hadn't meant to kill.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trivial fix

      <quote>

      investigators obtained a search warrant for Rivello's computers and found direct messages in his Twitter account to other people including the phrases "I hope this sends him into a seizure," "Spammed this at [victim] let's see if he dies," and "I know he has epilepsy."

      They also got access to Rivello's iCloud account and found a screenshot of Eichenwald's Wikipedia page which had been altered to show a fake obituary with the date of death listed as December 2016.

      </endquote>

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Trivial fix

      "First, premeditated murder requires clear intent and a reasonable likelihood it could actually result in death. Giving someone seizures can lead to death, but as even this case demonstrated -- it doesn't necessarily."

      So does poisoning someone. Doesn't always work, either. But as the seized computer evidence shows, murderous intent was clear at the time (Quote, "let's see if he dies", unquote).

      As for fixing this stuff, you have to realize that, for many people, strobe effects are desired. At least games that flash give a fair warning to photosensitive epileptics (either on the cabinet or in the manual). It's a case of you can't win 'em all. That's why Japanese TV, while it discourages strobe effects, doesn't outright ban them. Instead, an advisory comes up at the beginning of these kinds of shows: basically, sit further from the TV and turn on the lights. And BTW, it wasn't Pikachu that caused the fits in the 90's but Porygon, which is why that one episode never went stateside.

  6. Paratrooping Parrot
    Coat

    That college name

    I have a feeling that Wor-Wic Community College was named by someone who heard of Warwick University, but didn't know how to pronounce it.

    1. Martin 47

      Re: That college name

      It's in the USA so more likely didn't know how to spell it.

      1. 404 Silver badge

        Re: That college name

        The Native American Wor-Wic Tribe is very litigious and will most likely be sending a cease and desist letter shortly.... OR:

        "Wor–Wic Community College is a 2-year institution located in Salisbury in the Eastern Shore region of Maryland, offering both credit and continuing education classes. The college's name is a portmanteau of Maryland's Worcester and Wicomico counties"

        There ya go.

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: That college name

      Why would you think that there are no "Warwick"s in the USA? It's a big place and the original puritan settlers had little imagination when it came to names. Cast a look over the maps of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.First thing I noticed when I came here was that for every old Indian name there were two ported from Blighty. The only surprising thing is they bunged "New" in front of "York".

      Anyway, I don't think it's called Warwick University any more is it? I thought they mashed it together with the Lanch and called it "Coventry University", which for all the city has a history going back beyond the days of Stephen and Maud sounds bloody horrible. Dunno why.

      1. Phil.T.Tipp

        Re: That college name

        They actually bunged the 'New' in front of 'Amsterdam' mate.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Take your meds. NOW!

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Actually, flashy ads ARE discouraged after the Electric Soldier Porygon incident. If a news article features flashes and so on, they do tend to note "This segment contains flash photography/flashing images". The idea is to avoid strobing, but if you gotta, give fair warning.

    3. ThomH

      The story is: someone set up an account with a name intended to deride a particular religion, then sent the message "You deserve a seizure" to a known epileptic along with a seizure-inducing image.

      ... so you've decided to blame the victim and add an extra paranoid dig at his religion. It's pretty easy to disagree with your assessment of this story.

      The sad thing for the rest of us is that people with nothing to contribute to the world have a lot of spare time for Twitter.

    4. HieronymusBloggs

      "that journalist should be the one in a bubble"

      Given the level of stupidity displayed in your post, maybe you should join him. You're clearly not equipped with a sufficient number of brain cells to avoid hurting yourself.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "some zionist media place"

      is this a fake news comment thing? is that now a thing?

      Clearly this is not real and makes no sense.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " if hes such a nancy boy, he shouldnt use the internet"

      Obviously he uses the internet at his own risk in general.

      "what about flashing ads and such, sounds to me like a way for more censorship, brought on by some zionist media place"

      I think the primary issue here is why he sent it (the intent) rather than specifically what he sent. I don't think there are any plans to ban flashing images.

      We already don't have real freedom of speech in the UK and anything deemed as causing "harassment alarm or distress" no matter how unreasonable that might be is already illegal along with anything that might offend various minorities (unlike the US) so maybe you should go complain about that if you care about censorship so much...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        We already don't have real freedom of speech in the UK and anything deemed as causing "harassment alarm or distress" no matter how unreasonable that might be is already illegal along with anything that might offend various minorities (unlike the US) so maybe you should go complain about that if you care about censorship so much...

        I think it's more along the lines that having freedom of speech does not automatically absolve you from being responsible for the consequences of what you say. That's what the whole not yelling "fire" in a theatre thing is about - it combines these two things to save time for the terminally stupid.

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Ignoring the deliberate assault aspects of the case

    am I the only one who thought 'Snow Crash'?

    1. John Gamble

      Re: Ignoring the deliberate assault aspects of the case

      Nope, but I can go back even further and bring up A. E. van Vogt

    2. Afernie

      Re: Ignoring the deliberate assault aspects of the case

      Also Andrew Langford's "BLIT" and the "Langford Death Parrot" ward in Charles Stross' Laundry Files series of novels.

  9. Ropewash

    How...

    ...How did these folks survive the Geocities era?

    Welding helmets?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How...

      More easily configured browsers.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something really doesn't sit right with me on this article, now you can either down vote or explain to me why my logic is wrong, I would prefer explanations.

    Man goes on tv and claims trump has spent time in mental institution. This is ridiculous because clearly if he had there would be record of this and as we know trumps relationship with the various three letter agencies is strained to say the least then evidence would have been produced and he wouldn't be president.

    Then some douche goes and does this which enables the press to repeat these claims which is counter productive to the person they supposedly support.

    So what is really going on here? Is this how fake news works? Am I questioning this article solely because of all the fake news and fud out there?

    1. John Gamble

      I'm not certain what there is to question. Yeah, the Reg could have used an alternate headline from "A Confederacy of Dunces", but that doesn't change the facts of the case. It doesn't matter how big a nitwit the victim is, he was still attacked.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Er? But?

      Man goes on tv and claims trump has spent time in mental institution.

      You mean like 'Trump Towers' ?

      this is a joke and I am not being serious.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mr Eichenwald doesn't have much credibility. He had to admit that he made up the story about Trtump being in a mental institution - and that wasn't the first lie he has been caught in. Unless there is evidence that can be verified to support his claim of having the seizure, I'm inclined to call BS.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I question whether Rivello actually did it "

      People shine lasers on aircraft cockpits. Some of them get caught. Conclusion: Some people are malicious idiots.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Only an idiot would do such a thing without covering his tracks."

      The world has a copious oversupply of idiots.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "The world has a copious oversupply of idiots."

        Unfortunately the clever people have designed a world in which idiocy is not instantly terminal. It's unexpected consequences.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: "The world has a copious oversupply of idiots."

          @Voyna i Mor,

          clever people have done this out of self preservation because idiots seldomly kill themselves. They are way too stupid for that. They tend to take others with them.

    3. gnasher729 Silver badge

      My estimate that out of any group that you choose, about half a percent are complete and utter idiots. And obviously the idiots are those who are getting caught, so among people who get caught doing malicious things the percentage of idiots is higher than half a percent.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Migraine

    Flashing lights can also induce these, this is particularly bad with some folks so various IEE standards

    do actually specify minimum and maximum flash speeds/durations for consumer electronics items.

    Interestingly some imported bicycle lights and childrens toys blatantly ignore this.

    I did wonder if manufacturers like Samsung, Sony etc should add anti-strobe algorithms to their phones to help guard against malicious code.

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: Migraine

      "I did wonder if manufacturers like Samsung, Sony etc should add anti-strobe algorithms to their phones to help guard against malicious code."

      That shouldn't actually be very difficult, if you accept slightly lower graphics performance and slightly delayed playback: All you need to do is find out _exactly_ what an epileptic reacts to badly, then compare every frame that is displayed with the previous one. I think you could do that with videos, gifs etc. if you accept a slightl delay of every frame, which would be unnoticable if you delay sound as well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE. Re: Migraine

        The minor modification should also IMHO add back the "Lux" blue blocking feature missing from older firmware, along with the option to turn off power-leeching 3G entirely in good 4G coverage areas.

        Just needs a couple more tick boxes. "Block malicious graphics", "Enable night mode", etc.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see it now...

    If a web page has any type of "flashing" it will be required to put up a warning. This evolves into EVERY web page putting up a warning "just to be safe". Continue this enough, and the warning becomes useless.

    At times I don't know which is worse: The disease, or the cure. Time will tell.

    In California, we have these "Prop 65" warnings that seem to have evolved into this pattern.

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    This one's easy isn't it?

    Put 'em in a room with a photic driver until they each have the condition themselves.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have had the strobe spam,ads and popups many times

    The fact is that on computers there is a lot of content floating around that might kick off a fit, anyone using a computer for any time must know this. Using a PC without taking reasonable precautions is accepting the risk and all the potential outcomes.

    As has been said in this thread, limiting frame rates or browsing via a kindle or just reading emails as txt are options but since clearly Kurt elieves it is someone elses responsiblity to prevent his fits then he knowingly exposed himself.

    Yes the guy who posted the flashing content is guilty of intent to harm but that doesnt mean Kurt is innocent.

    Does a female shark trainer, for example, have the right to compensation if she gets attacked by the sharks she works with because she was menstrating? Personally I would say that she knew the risk both when she took the job and when she got in the pool.

    John's tweet isn't like him throwing blood in the water simply because until Kurt gets into the pool with the blood there was no risk.

    If Kurt can see the blood but chooses to get in anyway then who really is to blaim?

    If Kurt never gets out of the pool then he has caused the problem and should not bitch about the outcome, by the time John comes along you can bet Kurt had ignored a lot of bites already and has just taken exeption to the lastest

    1. lucki bstard

      Re: I have had the strobe spam,ads and popups many times

      'because she was menstrating?' - The problem with that analogy is that I cannot turn off epilepsy although the lady doesn't have to enter the pool. Regardless of Kurt's opinions and comments; being deliberately pushed into a seizure, apart form the hurt and embarrassment of the seizure (chewing on tongue, smashing head on floor etc) it means that he may now be restricted from driving for a period of time, might have upset those around him seeing him go into a seizure.

      'If Kurt can see the blood' - That one is interesting tbh, some epileptics see aura that give them a warning that they are about to have seizure, most however would just have a seizure so never have the time to leave the water.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I have had the strobe spam,ads and popups many times

        "'because she was menstrating?' - The problem with that analogy is that I cannot turn off epilepsy although the lady doesn't have to enter the pool."

        Likewise you do not actually HAVE to use a computer, if you chose a career that required it's use then I would imagine that you have taken minimal precautions such as limiting exposure to content that might kick you off. This would be reasonable behaviour and on a par with wearing a jockstrap in contact sports, likewise not doing so is accepting the obvious outcome.

        Epilepsy in the analogy was equivilent to being female something that is also outside of the individuals control and comes with menstration as Epilepsy comes with fits. Getting in the pool is choosing a career that knowlingly puts you at greater risk than your peers, basically pretending that your risk is the same as others.

        If you then knowingly refuse to take even the minimal precautions, you are courting danger and should accept the obvious consequencies with good grace. Example If you poke your fingers into a stranger's open house window and get bitten by the owners dog, which you could clearly see, would you also sue to have the dog put down? Your actions triggered the event and without you chosing to ignore the obvious consequencies there would have not been a problem.

        I see far to many cases of "something bad happened that was an obvious outcome of my own behaviour and yet somehow I am blaimless". You are not blaimless, you are a liability and should be put somewhere safe for your own protection as well as others.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: I have had the strobe spam,ads and popups many times

          The difference being that at least women tend to know when their period is coming and can schedule things around it if necessary. Epilepsy is a little more random than that.

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