Dark Helmet's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week...

from the Dark-Helmet-Approved dept

We're going to try something new for a bit to see how it works. Lots of blogs put up weekly summaries of the posts they want to promote the most, and we've considered doing something like that as well. However, after thinking about it, we decided it might be more fun to have a member of the wider Techdirt community pick his or her favorite posts each week with a short explanation of why they liked those posts. Each week we'll ask a different community member. To kick it off, who better than champion commenter Dark Helmet (aka Tim Geigner), who provided the following....

Wow, what a week.  Mike has planned a pretty cool little weekly feature, asking a different regular Techdirt reader to highlight their favorite posts of the week, and he asked me to give it a go this week.  Obviously Wikileaks has been the dominant topic, but there was plenty else going on as well.  I'll list my top five favorite stories below:

1. If Assange Were In China, US Politicians Would Be Cheering Him On: If there's anything that drives me completely up the wall, it's hypocrisy.  This instance is particularly transparent, especially if we keep in mind all the heralding our politicians were doing over Twitter's role in providing insight into Iran's elections and subsequent rioting.  It's just never as funny when it happens to you, is it?

2. So Wikileaks Is Evil For Releasing Document...But Dyncorp Gets A Pass For Pimping Young Boys To Afghan Cops: I've made no secret that I think too much transparency is better than too much being hidden with our government.  Stories like this show why.  Two things spotlighted by this story: I don't think that people realize how many private contractors make up our fighting forces and how detrimental those groups tend to be in our supposed efforts to win over the hearts and minds of belligerent nations.

3. NIH Won't Let Others Supply Life Saving Drug Even Though Genzyme Can't Make Enough: It feels odd to say that I like a story that involves people truly suffering, but examples like this are how you can get people interested in some of the real issues surrounding intellectual property.  It's one thing to trot out examples of multi-million dollar corporations bickering with each other over patents, but it's quite another to point at a case like this and say, "Look!  People are dying!"

4. Getting Rid Of Fantasy Numbers In Copyright Debate: I enjoyed this post for two reasons.  First, I grew up routinely hearing the saying: figures don't lie, but liars figure.  The point being, of course, that facts are beautiful things, but the methodology for arriving at numbers can be extremely important.  Second, some of the negative comments from the community truly made me laugh ("it does not matter at all, what the actual numbers are").  Awesome in its simplicity.

5. One Way To Deal With Child Bullying: Have The Whole Internet Stand Up For You: As I'm sure all of you can tell, I'm just a big ol' softy at heart.  I like chick flicks, puppies, and grandmas.  But more than all of those, I adore stories that illustrate the good in people.  To hear of this example of a large group of people offering encouragement, aid, and support warms the cockles of my heart.  Plus I'm a huge Star Wars fan (who'd have guessed?).



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    johnjac (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    Cool

    I like this feature. A little some extra to get us through the weekend without TechDirt.

    Note: the hyperlink to #4 is pointed the #3's story.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Damn, may have to make a real profile after all. Well plaaaaaaayed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    yayyyyyy

    weekend content.

    GO tech dirt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    i'm all about some weekend content.

    hell, i suppose i'll have to register now.

     

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    Jaws4theRevenge (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Weekend content: it's the last whole tortilla chip when you thought only the broken bits were left.

     

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    monkyyy, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 12:59pm

    i do like dark helmets posts, and and he`s one of the only people i remember their name online, but shouldn't you have done "top posts this week" with some of his posts rather then just give only him such honors?

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      I take it to mean that the roundup posts will be by different people from week to week.

      Regardless, I'm happy for any content on the weekend.

       

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      someone (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 5:25pm

      Re:

      I have no issues with Dark Helmet getting some fame for all of his great posts.

      Maybe it could be a weekly contest where Mike can pick the best "Posts of the week" submission and get some competition going.

       

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    Atkray (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Love this.
    Link to getting rid of fantasy numbers leads to the NIH post.

    I noticed because I'm helping a high school senior do an AP searching paper on copyright and Techdirt is our starting point.

     

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    Yeebok (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 1:41pm

    Good idea, Mike. I think it's great. Weekend content is always good.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 1:58pm

    What about the posts that prove that the FBI agents are much too stupid to ever catch a real criminal and so the best they can do to look productive is to go after their own FBI fabricated terrorists (and then they even botch that and get caught).

    Incompetent morons, probably can hardly even tie their shoe, yet alone catch a real terrorist.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      Heck, we'll probably be much better off if the FBI was composed of monkeys, at least monkeys won't entrap people to prove their usefulness and justify wasted tax dollars.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Though it was funny how the FBI used to blackmail elected officials under J. Edgar Hoover by wiretapping them, spying on them, and demanding favorable legislation with the threat of revealing personal information about them and their mistresses, which would embarrass the officials to their wives. Thanks to him the govt emplaced ten year FBI term limits after that fiasco. The FBI went from blackmailing elected officials to entrapping non terrorist threats.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      Oh, and as part of Homeland security's hopeful new efforts to one day catch a real terrorist they have even teamed up with Walmart to tell you to report suspicious activity in hopes that they can just come in and have the terrorist handed to them with no effort required whatsoever. They can then prove to the American people their usefulness and tout the day of their usefulness for the rest of their existence as justification for your wasted tax dollars.

       

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      Blatant Coward (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 11:17pm

      Clothes make the clowns

      Give them some credit, they DID catch their shoes.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 2:42pm

    Mostly, your post proves that you drank the kool aid.

     

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    Ben Rosser, Dec 11th, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    Yay, weekend content!

    This has just made my day, I always miss not having fresh Techdirt articles to read on the weekend!

     

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    Shadojak (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Hmmm, hopefully, they won't have the trolls doing this, lol

    would be kinda irritating.

    Although..... MIGHT be fun to see if they can give us any favorite posts that are from TechDirt, lol

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 11:08pm

      Re:

      "Hmmm, hopefully, they won't have the trolls doing this, lol"

      Actually, that would be a great idea. It could start a discussion from both sides of the fence. It is not something that would not amount to much.

      You have the media industry broken up into various lobbying groups and companies. Each with its own agenda and profit margins. If you have seen a chart of corporate interactions, lobbying, collection agencies, and debt structures. You would realize that the lobbying and collection agencies are the last ones that will fail.

       

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    I'm glad people are liking this feature. It isn't really new content of course, but it'd be cool to see what other erg readers choose for their stories....

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Id have thought my editor would catch it. Oh well, off to a drunken Xmas party

     

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    interval (profile), Dec 11th, 2010 @ 9:30pm

    Oh man...

    As if you didn't have a big enough head...

     

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    TwoWords (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Thanks for a nice Sunday morning read :)

    damn guess i will have to find more time to read and comment
    on more things.

     

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    quickbrownfox, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    Dark Helmet is one of my favorite commentators. Nice to see him get recognition for having good judgment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 1:43pm

    Missed Article

    You missed the article about Ghost writers.

    "Researchers for the Horror Writers Association published a new study that many readers of "Ghost Writing content" are believed to be employed to write tales that involve ghosts."

    There was much laughter all round at the irony of this fact.

    http://www.horror.org/news-supporting.htm

     

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    PopeRatzo (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    OK...

    Nice job, Dark Helmut.

     

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    d, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:00pm

    Lets see what we have:

    If Assange Were In China, US Politicians Would Be Cheering Him On

    The US borrows trillions of dollars of china a year, as well, china is a massive manufactoring base for the US, ie, china makes a hell of alot of things americal cannot live without.. (and money).

    China is a massive market for the US, and the US is (or could be if they had any money to spend), an a market for china.

    The US borrows of china, to find your wars, your social security, your medicare, your tax cuts and your government..

    You honestly believe that the US government hates china ?

    If china wanted to own America they would simply call in their loans. America could not pay what they constantly borrow of china..

    America needs china, and cannot live without china's support and money, and you think US politicians would try to gain brownie points against their friend the chinese ?

    Its stupid statements like your heading that shows everyone how little grip you have on reality.. you have such a narrow world view, that you fail to see the forest for the trees.

    If Assange Were In China, US Politicians Would Be Cheering Him On

    Agin, get informed, find out about the facts, and the reality of the situation, once you do that you will see that it is not possible for what you claim to be true..

    It would not be possible in afgan culture for a non-afgan for function as when you call " a pimp".

    It also boils down to the fact that this is not illegal in that country, it is a cultural tradition, have been happending for thousands of years, its accepted as ok, the kids are volentary.

    And it goes to the fact thats its Afganistan, and not the US of A.. US laws do not apply there, and the US have to acknowledge cultural tradition, and local law.

    I think you forget that it is NOT america, and just because Americans are there (among others), that somehow US law is applicable there !! why because the US is there ?

    And whereever the US goes America and its laws goes with it ??

    No wonder most of the world look at America at the moment, and in the worlds of clint eastwood, its a clusterfuck..

     

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      interval (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

      Re: Lets see what we have:

      "The US borrows trillions of dollars of china a year"

      Not exactly, the figure is much smaller, more like millions per year, I believe in the hundreds of millions, but still. China is one of our largest creditors, however I need to check to make sure it is our largest. We barrow from many nations and organizations, not just China. And as America needs China, China needs us as much. America is China's NUMBER ONE MARKET. Make no mistake, the love flows both ways.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 8:57pm

      Re: Lets see what we have:

      Hello Darryl. Nice rant.

       

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:10am

      Re: Lets see what we have:

      Yeah, that thing about 3 miles over there from where you're going? That was the point. Sorry you missed it.

      The point of the 'US would cheer him on' wasn't about America hating China or American politicians hating China... it was about how American politicians have cried out against China's censorship of the internet... and if Wikileaks had leaked Chinese-suppressed information, the US Politicians would have cheered him on for breaking through the Great E-Wall.

       

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    Darryl, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Petitions wording, makes all the difference..

    NIH Won't Let Others Supply Life Saving Drug Even Though Genzyme Can't Make Enough:

    Mike, more FUD, the petition was asking for them to give up on the royalities of the product, altogether, it was not asked for someone else to manufacture the drug and pay them royalties, NIH said, if they got a manufacturer (that they could trust), who was willing to pay royalties, they would have that petition.. The way mike puts it, the way mike puts everything, with spin and bias. when the facts are usually quite different..

    If it was actually a dire problem, that is what dole-boyle is for..

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:14pm

      Re: Petitions wording, makes all the difference..

      "NIH said, if they got a manufacturer (that they could trust), who was willing to pay royalties, they would have that petition."

      Uhm... no. The petitioners offered to pay GenGenzyme royalties (as is stated in the article) and the funding for the research to produce that drug was provided for by the NIH (ie: tax dollars).

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:15pm

        Re: Re: Petitions wording, makes all the difference..

        (or at least the petitioners offered that royalties would be paid by whoever else produced the drug *)

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

        Re: Re: Petitions wording, makes all the difference..

        Oh, n/m. It was Darryl that posted it, I should have known. Not even worth responding to, Darryl is very well known for telling obvious lies.

         

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    Darryl, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:19pm

    Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

    Getting Rid Of Fantasy Numbers In Copyright Debate:

    what debate ?? what fantasy numbers, who cares..
    The only people who care about the numbers is the producers of content, it is what they BELIEVE that matters, what they believe determines if they are willing to risk invensting in creating content..

    Who else matters ? So get rid of those fantisy numbers in your own mind, if that makes you feel better. Disregard the many independent studies that confirm those numbers, and the discredited 'studies' that have since been proven wrong.

    And throw all that away, because it does not mean squat.

    The movie industry does not care what YOU say are the figures, they care about one thing, THE FIGURES, and being the creators of that content, THEY ARE IN THE BEST POSITION to asses the damage externalites can have on their proposed investment..

    so think what you like, kid yourself that it matters, dream of a day when someone will believe you. Because that is all you go.. what you know does not matter, unless you are paying for or creating content for the market.

    You are a consumer in the market, you have no idea about the risks of creations of content, and even if you did have an idea.. it does not matter at all..

    Its those that matter that count, and that is not you, or me, its the people who actually pay for the creation of content.. deal with it..

    how can anyone say an industry is wrong, when they are not in that industry, and do not have the numbers available to base that statement on you know,, FACTS..

    No the industry that is actually doing it, taking the risks, doing the work, creating things to sell, NO, they do not have a clue about what is going on,, but Mike does !!!..

    amazing.. hubris

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:22pm

      Re: Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

      "The only people who care about the numbers is the producers of content, it is what they BELIEVE that matters, what they believe determines if they are willing to risk invensting in creating content.."

      Truth makes no difference, only what you believe.

      "Disregard the many independent studies"

      What independent studies? Point to one.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

      Re: Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

      "THEY ARE IN THE BEST POSITION to asses the damage externalites can have on their proposed investment.."

      Which should mean that they are in the best position to substantiate what their claims. Where is this substantiation?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:43pm

      Re: Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

      "how can anyone say an industry is wrong, when they are not in that industry, and do not have the numbers available to base that statement on you know,, FACTS.."

      Because the industry provides no evidence to support their position and there is plenty of evidence that disagrees with it.

      "No the industry that is actually doing it, taking the risks, doing the work, creating things to sell, NO, they do not have a clue about what is going on,, but Mike does !!!.. "

      The same industry that constantly contradicts itself.

      The same RIAA that can't even keep track of and provide an updated list of who they have signed and what content is under their control (a third party has to do that). The same RIAA that hardly ever pays its smaller artists what they owe because it's too expensive to keep track of everything.

      Why should we take anything they say seriously?

       

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        Darryl, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 5:36am

        Re: Re: Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

        you dont get it, they dont have to convince you, or need to prove anything at all to you..

        You are not making decisions about if a movie or a song is created.

        You just care that it is, you are not taking any risks, so why does the movie industry have to convince you..
        .
        And how can they, no matter what they say, what other studies independent of the industry say.. You refuse to believe it..

        You also refuse to provide any real evidence, to support the claims you make that there is little or no damage.

        You wont believe studies, and you have no studies that prove your case..

        Nice but delusional.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

          > you dont get it, they dont have to convince you,
          > or need to prove anything at all to you.

          They do if they want to pass laws restricting my freedom based on those numbers.

           

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 9:38am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

          What btr said, in addition to using those number to convince me to purchase their products and services.

           

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:25am

      Re: Mike knows - but the industry does not !!!

      "what debate ?? what fantasy numbers, who cares..
      The only people who care about the numbers is the producers of content, it is what they BELIEVE that matters, what they believe determines if they are willing to risk invensting in creating content.."

      Who cares? How about the people affected by the laws passed by legislators who are swayed by this false information? How about the legislators themselves? I'm sure they'd care if they were being lied to to be swayed.



      "The movie industry does not care what YOU say are the figures, they care about one thing, THE FIGURES, and being the creators of that content, THEY ARE IN THE BEST POSITION to asses the damage externalites can have on their proposed investment..."

      "how can anyone say an industry is wrong, when they are not in that industry, and do not have the numbers available to base that statement on you know,, FACTS.. "

      What?!? How does being 'in the industry' somehow create a magical world where only they can add 1 + 1? The funny thing about FACTS is that they can be corroborated by independent reviews. Just because analysts and mathematicians are not 'in the biz' doesn't mean that they can't review the information and reveal the mathematical errors, misinterpretations, and straight-out lies being given by those 'in the biz'.



      "No the industry that is actually doing it, taking the risks, doing the work, creating things to sell, NO, they do not have a clue about what is going on,, but Mike does !!!..

      They do have a clue what they're doing... and now we have a clue that they're lying. I'm sorry if that doesn't interest or concern you, but why would you defend them?

      Darryl, you state all this as if Mike's opinion on the matter is moot... and perhaps it is. But you completely overlook the fact that Mike is pointing out stories and research that shows the FACTS given by the industries are WRONG. An opinion is neither right nor wrong, only misinformed... but a fact can be wrong.

       

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    Darryl, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:25pm

    good story until mike tried to gain points from it.

    One Way To Deal With Child Bullying: Have The Whole Internet Stand Up For You:

    I dont think it was quite the "WHOLE INTERNET" but it was certainly a few good people..

    A far better story than those kids who killed themselves due to bullying..

    But again, Mike could not help himself, and try to gain some points from it, by trying to downplay bullying, or that effectivness of this action in the long term..
    that is quite sad,, but expected, human rights come in second place, when freedom to copy, steal or menice is done via the internet.. as if if you do it on the net, you can do what you like...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 6:45pm

      Re: good story until mike tried to gain points from it.

      No one is downplaying bullying, we just don't think that intrusive government is the answer.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Dec 12th, 2010 @ 9:03pm

      Re: good story until mike tried to gain points from it.

      "A far better story than those kids who killed themselves due to bullying.. "

      I read all your rants. What I have determined is you are a Socialist-Progressive. You want everyone to be protected. It is not possible. Your vision of a society where everyone has everything they need will not happen. EVER!

      Enjoy the holidays. Blow out a candle and wish for peace on earth and good will to all men.

       

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        Darryl, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 2:08am

        Re: Re: good story until mike tried to gain points from it.

        A 'socialist-Progressive",, well that is interesting.

        so I want everyone to be protected ? really, do I want the law breakers to be protected ?

        DO it want thiefs and criminals protected, I dont think so.

        I do agree that everyone should be protected to some degree, even criminals still have some rights to protection.

        What is your alternate reality?

        what would someone who is not what you call a socialist-progressive?

        Only some proOnly some protection for some people, ?? And who gets to choose who those people are ?

        Or no protection for anyone ? Make it a free for all, strongest wins the prize ?

        Who are you against being protected ? If it was you who actually made that decision ?

        Everyone pays for this protection, they pay a debt to society, for your Government, your laws, your police, the security and your economy.

        Like it or not you elect, from birth to live in a society, by that societies rules and statutes, that are put in place for society to function, and not to collapse in ruins..
        Which has happened to a great deal of societies throughout history.

        Many empires have been built and lost, most are usually lost due to a breakdown of a functioning society.

        If you believe the US is 'too big to fail' you need to look at history, and take away from that what a breakdown of social rules and social order results in.

        All you file sharers who are trying to 'stick it to the movie industry' do not seem to realise you are not stealing off the movie industry, but you are stealing potential content lost to everyone, forever..

        And all you are doing is helping to bring your society and country to its knees, no regard for future generations, or for all those honest people who like a functioning society. You are screwing yourselves, your friends, and your country men, and the planet..

        So according to you if you cant protect everyone, (and you can), you might as well not bother protecting anyone.. Or just protecting those you feel deserve that protection!..

        So you get to pick the 'chosen ones', I'm sure you will include yourself on that list, right at the top.

        Might as well as make yourself emperor, so you can make the rule you like, and punish anyone who does not follow you're ideology.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 7:29pm

    Oh, and about the whole arsenic replacing phosphorous article, there are some critiques out there.

    "Redfield and other detractors point out that when NASA scientists removed the DNA from the bacteria for examination, they didn't take the steps necessary to wash away other types of molecules. That means, according to the critics, that the arsenic may have merely clung to the bacteria's DNA for a ride without becoming truly ingrained into it.

    The report's detractors also note that the NASA scientists fed the bacteria salts that contained trace amounts of phosphate, so it's possible that the bacteria were able to survive on those tiny helpings of phosphate instead of the arsenic.

    "This paper should not have been published," University of Colorado molecular biology professor Shelley Copley told Slate's Zimmer."

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20101208/sc_yblog_thelookout/scientists-poking- holes-in-nasas-arsenic-eating-microbe-discovery

    More evidence that NASA (perhaps rushed through the experiment because they) just wanted a headline to gain more funding and that NASA should stick to space related exploration and leave biology to the biologists?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2010 @ 8:21pm

    Neato

    I came here to read a article. What I got was a love note from Dark Lemming, err Helmet to Mike of previous week's articles.

    I know I should expect this from Dark Helmet, but it's infuriating thinking that there was something important enough to write an article on the weekend, only to read it and find everything be something old.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 7:30am

      Re: Neato

      "Lots of blogs put up weekly summaries of the posts they want to promote the most, and we've considered doing something like that as well. However, after thinking about it, we decided it might be more fun to have a member of the wider Techdirt community pick his or her favorite posts each week with a short explanation of why they liked those posts.

      Sorry... I think you missed this. Y'know... the part where it explains that the TechDirt community member would PICK POSTS FROM THE PRECEEDING WEEK AND COMMENT ON THE SELECTION.

      Seriously, did you read it? It's a week-in-review.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Thanks everyone

    For all the nice compliments, and even dissenting opinions. But now that I've made it through a beer-infused holiday party and the worst Bears loss of the season, I did want to note that this feature isn't going to start and end w/me, and it really isn't about one person.

    From what I understand, it's going to be a community thing, and everyone who wants to will get a turn (allowing for one person a week, of course). I'm actually really stoked to get some insight into the opinions on the stories from the OTHER people around here....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 13th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    So much support of weekend posts. What are all of you losers doing trolling techdirt over the weekend? Time to put the kool-aid down and go outside.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 13th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

      Re:

      I actually enjoy kool-aid thank you very much. I also got quite a bit done out & about this weekend and still had time to read these posts. Unfortunately I didn't get to engage in stimulating conversation with these wonderful people until today. So... I'm sorry... what were you trolling about again? I forgot.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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