Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the getting-right-to-it dept

Another excellent week of comments on the blog. Each week, by the way, we're seeing more people voting, which is nice to see. Jumping right into the winners -- there were three comments that all were very close at the top for most insightful, and there was a big gap after those three. So we'll crown all three winners, and then I'll toss in one editors choice. At the very top, just outscoring the other two, was the following comment from Cornelius, in response to the news of the new charges filed against Bradley Manning. Cornelius gave us his perspective as a former US soldier, noting that a soldier's allegiance is to the people:
As a U.S. soldier, Bradley Manning swore to defend the U.S. constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. He actually did the U.S. public a great service by exposing the wrong doings our government does in our name overseas. How can you not give the guy a medal for exposing U.S. combat soldiers killing Iraqi civilians and their supervisors covering it up by saying they were engaged actual combat. How can anyone take that to the grave. Even if he serves a life sentence, at least he can sleep at night knowing his mind is clear. I can't imagine taking that to the grave with me. Makes me sick just thinking about it. As a former U.S. soldier myself, I never forgot that my duty was to defend our freedom and to protect the Constitution. My allegiance was not to the Generals above me, but to the people I was representing. I love the U.S., but we can not be fearful of government transparency. It's the best way of defending our freedom. History will judge you kindly Bradley
Next up was a long (and, admittedly somewhat off-topic), but still epic comment from the Capitalist Lion Tamer, who sought to step into the comments on one post early to head off some of the "usual" complaints in one of our posts about the WIPO treaty for the blind:
I just want to step in here before we're knee deep in argumentative trolls and issue somewhat of a preemptive strike. Listen up:

You seem to want the government, in conjunction with your pet industries, to craft a new set of laws to deal with what is continually referred to incorrectly as "piracy."

First off, what gives you the idea that any of this will be handled rationally, rather than just another legislative gangbang that prides itself on overreach rather than prudent oversight? What previous government action are you basing this on?

The closest comparison I can find is the so-called Drug War which, despite billions of dollars and decades of action has failed to make any sort of tangible dent in the drug trade. What it HAS managed to do is erode civil rights and privacy. It's also given various drug enforcement teams to rewrite rules on the fly.

Is this your ideal? Some sort of internet SWAT team that will finally lay the smackdown on "freetards" or, failing that, at least shoot them right in the family pet? Is that what you want? Freeloaders doing jail time for victimless "crimes"?

The Drug War is the perfect comparison for your windmill tilting. It's an autonomous but disorganized force taking on an enemy with no real head to kill off. There's no CEO to topple. No President of Illicit Drugs, Inc. to take down. There's just a bunch of cannon fodder and replaceable pawns disguised as "triumphs" and "photo ops."

And when they do have a discernible target, they still can't bring it down. 90% of all heroin comes from Turkey and yet, there's still plenty of smack to go around. Is this the force of justice you want backing up your vindictive legislation? They can't find a field full of poppies in a field full of poppies.

Consequently, like the sore losers they are, they take out their failure on their citizens, throwing the book at weekend pot dealers and street runners with a half-gram of crack in their pockets.

But still you push on, as though you were just one badly written and randomly enforced law away from finally building your wormhole to 1991. Do you really want to give THIS government the authority to paw through all your online activity just to punish the unwashed masses who are apparently virtually shoplifting from you 24/7? Do you really want to give self-interested industries the right to root around in your hard drive in hopes of finding a lawsuit hidden under all the socks and porn at the back of the partition?

Let's try a little theoretical exercise. Your laws are in place and usa.gov.mpaa.riaa.lawyer is tracking my downloading. Three strikes is in play. They can't actually see all the data I'm downloading but they're just looking for patterns.

Here we go.

True story from last time I hung the "Gone Downloadin'" sign up: I head over to Beko Records and download 8 or 9 comps and eps (witch house, electronica, space rock). Then I'm off to The Hood Internet to download their last 3 mix albums. Then off to the Kleptones for a couple of albums. (I heartily recommend "A Night at the Hip Hopera" and "Uptime/Downtime." Everything listed above is being given away absolutely FREE by these labels and artists. No harm, no foul. Right?

Not so fast. The tracking software doesn't like my spike in usage. So it kicks my info to a g-man or whoever's the admin. Hmmm. Let's look deeper.

"Beko Records? Never heard of them. However, I took this job as the tool of the industry so chances are I haven't heard of much. Better wake up the boss."

The boss doesn't know them either but sends out a DMCA "just in case." Their hosting freaks out and shuts them down because they don't want to end up in court. Stupidity 1, Indie Artists 0.

More sniffing. Holy hell, those other two are mashup artists! Infringement galore! Bonuses for everyone! DMCAs all around! Bang. Bang. Two more down.

And my connection dies, followed by a tersely worded email that I have to read at the library. No one involved has done anything illegal and yet everyone gets punished. Even if all the parties are reinstated, it will still be several months and several thousand dollars of fines or legal fees.

If you think that's outlandish, you haven't been paying attention. And if you think this will be handled better than this by a combination of short-sighted industry heads and their back-pocketed representatives, then you're obviously having trouble typing without your lips moving.

The government is woefully unequipped to deal with millions of people on a case-by-case basis, so they end up casting the net wide and hoping they at least drag in some actual criminals along with the innocent bystanders. And in their unsettling exuberance to please their benefactors, they'll be willing to throw liberty and privacy under the bus. After all, this is the same government that panics if you try to carry more than 3 oz. of any fluid onto a plane. This is the same mindset that actually believes laws need to be written to prevent people from texting while walking.

The other aspect that gets lost in your endless shilling is that there are millions of people who wouldn't touch your shoddy, masjor label product with a 10-foot torrent. But they'll get swept up all the same because of their tendency to use the same tools as those "pirating" major label product. We already know that the RIAA and the MPAA don't have the faintest idea how new technology works. This they've proved over the last decade. We also know our elected officials are equally clueless. Combining ignorance with tremendous power will ALWAYS end badly.

And what if I was downloading major label music? If I spent a week doing nothing but filling a 500 GB hard drive with copy after copy of Nickelback's latest, does Chad Kroeger wake up one morning to find his wallet empty? He's out nothing. His "support group" of managers, label execs, A&R reps and other members of this bloated faux entourage may start whining about "lost sales," but the fact of the matter is, I'd never buy their lousy product in the first place. Their music is still for sale at hundreds of venues. I haven't done a goddamn thing to the amount of available product and yet, people like you view this as "theft."

If you want to entertain the last wishes of dying industries, knock yourself out. But don't drag the rest of us into your desperate cash grabs on behalf of your benefactors, who have slipped into a severe dementia. Don't make the world a worse place to live by sacrificing the liberty and privacy of millions just so the major label/major studio life support machine can run for a few more years.

You may now resume your ignorant trolling, most likely already in progress.

[Plus, the RIAA and the MPAA hate the blind. That rules.]

[Plus +: My apologies, Mike. You may have your blog back now.]
Phew. And coming in just behind that one was a nice response from MrWilson to the claim by ICE boss John Morton that seizing domains was perfectly fine because if someone spends hundreds of millions of dollars, they need to be protected. "It's that simple," he said, but MrWilson clearly disagreed:
So if I spend a million dollars to hire someone to draw me a circle and someone else copies that circle, I should be able to sue them for a million dollars because that's what I chose to spend on the damn circle?

The amount invested in research and development or a product's creation does not directly correlate to its value, however much it might correlate to its producer's estimation of value or offering price.

Can I price an item at a million dollars and if someone steals can I then have a million dollars in lost property written off on my taxes?
And, finally, in the editor's choice category, we have the comment that actually did come in fourth, but was way behind the other three. It comes from (yet again) Dark Helmet, in which he issued his manifesto which one can hope will only grow in prominence. It was in response to someone who apparently doesn't quite understand the law or technology, who claimed that for those complaining about hinderances on freedom of information, that they should "stop acting like criminals." Dark Helmet drew that commenter a bit of a map back to reality.
No. A million times no. I want both and I always will. I want the power to act as I please in a way that is legal and I expect not to be harrassed or hindered simply because a small group of people that also act like me happen to do things that are illegal. I expect to be able stand anywhere on the sidewalk my taxes paid for that I damn well please and if, as may happen, the police get itchy about it, I expect NOT to have my pockets searched just because I'm standing there.

I expect to be innocent until proven guilty. I demand that my government realize that they work for me, not the other way around. I insist that laws be crafted by those that represent the people should actually SERVE constituent interests rather than special interests rife with rich coffers built by past piss poor laws. I expect evidence to be utilized when building policy rather than silly faith-based propaganda. I seek the richness of knowledge and joy over the false happiness of extravagent wealth.

I expect my fellow citizens to disagree on anything they wish except that we have the right to disagree. I expect businesses and merchants to work within the framework of reality and common sense, not the false battlefield set up by politicians paid off in the legal bribes we call lobbying money. Most of all, and I mean MOST OF ALL, I expect this country and its representatives to be loyal not to a flag or the gang-like idealogy of our country, but rather to our ideals and our freedoms.

This is the Dark Helmet Manifesto....
And now it's time to bring the funny. Here, again, we had three top comments emerge way ahead of the pack, and nothing else stood out as an editor's choice -- so here are the three winners for "funniest." At the top of the list was a short and sweet comment from Vlad, who's comment also scored well on the insightful scale, but not well enough to make it to the winner's circle for insight. The specific comment was in response to a post about the practice of using "up to" to describe bandwidth speeds:
I'd like this "up to" deal to be a two-way street. If I get speeds "up to 5 Mbps" I'd like to pay for it "up to $50". You know, depending on availability.
Coming in second was a response to a comment by one Bill Long, in which an anonymous commenter chose to go by the pseudonym, long bill. Bill Long had written a number of angry comments about how ridiculous it was that musicians should need to change their business model to survive. This anonymous comment hit back by noting the rather "get off my lawnish" aspect to the original comment.
You annoying youngsters with your new distribution channels, your new-fangled baroque music and your ridiculous business models! Do whatever you want, but don't take away my copyrights, don't compete with my outdated business practices, don't complain when the internet is censored because of my obstinacy and unwillingness to get out of my comfort zone, don't even talk about it! DAMN KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN!!!
And, finally, just behind that was a comment about Rep. Rush Holt, who successfully beat Watson, the Jeopardy-playing supercomputer. I'm sure most of you will get the reference:
Are we sure about, Rep Holt?

Has anyone asked him to describe in single words only the good things that come into his mind about his mother?
And with that, I'm off to get ready for this upcoming week of posts...


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    Darryl, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

    WOW - a Manifesto !!!

    You know ya gotta be desperate when you start to publish "manifesto's" you and the Unibomber.. great company..

     

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    Darryl, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Interesting read :)

    "215. The anarchist [34] too seeks power, but he seeks it on an individual or small-group basis; he wants individuals and small groups to be able to control the circumstances of their own lives. He opposes technology because it makes small groups dependent on large organizations.

    216. Some leftists may seem to oppose technology, but they will oppose it only so long as they are outsiders and the technological system is controlled by non-leftists. If leftism ever becomes dominant in society, so that the technological system becomes a tool in the hands of leftists, they will e nthusiastically use it and promote its growth. In doing this they will be repeating a pattern that leftism has shown again and again in the past. When the Bolsheviks in Russia were outsiders, they vigorously opposed censorship and the secret police, they advocated self-determination for ethnic mino rities, and so forth; but as soon as they came into power themselves, they imposed a tighter censorship and created a more ruthless secret police than any that had existed under the tsars, and they oppressed ethnic minorities at least as much as the tsars had done. In the United States, a couple of decades ago when leftists were a minority in our universities, leftist professors were vigorous proponents of academic freedom, but today, in those universities where leftists have become dominant, they have shown themselves ready to take away from every one else's academic freedom. (This is "polit ical correctness.") The same will happen with leftists and technology: They will use it to oppress everyone else if they ever get it under their own control.

    "

    http://www.newshare.com/Newshare/Common/News/unifesto4.html#25


    Just a part of the Unabomber's manifesto, sounds much like what is often said here!!!!

     

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      The eejit (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 3:06pm

      Re: Interesting read :)

      Well, A-DUH! You do realise that the act of being given power clearly makes you an idiot! I mean, look at Obama! He's done nothing remotely technologically advanced since he came into power! ~He must clearly be an evil Librul CommuMusNaziJew!

      ...Sometimes, I really wish we had a rolleyes emoticon usable here.

       

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 6:37pm

      Re: Interesting troll :)

      Ah, the old Hitler-was-a-vegetarian-what-does-that-say-about-all-vegetarians fallacy...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Mike this guy is writing ABOUT YOU !!!! :)

    He has you fully worked out, as you sure you did not know him ???

    220. Suppose you asked leftists to make a list of ALL the things that were wrong with society, and then suppose you instituted EVERY social change that they demanded. It is safe to say that within a couple of years the majority of leftists would find some thing new to complain about, some new social "evil" to correct because, once again, the leftist is motivated less by distress at society's ills than by the need to satisfy his drive for power by imposing his solutions on society.

    221. Because of the restrictions placed on their thoughts and behavior by their high level of socialization, many leftists of the oversocialized type cannot pursue power in the ways that other people do. For them the drive for power has only one morally acceptable outlet, and that is in the strugg le to impose their morality on everyone.


    So mike im sure you are exactly the same, if you had a magic wand and could make all the changes you want, that you constantly whine about, that would not be enough for you, as it's not the cause you are fighting, its your own little power trip.

    It's clear you want technology, but only if it benifits you, or increases you're 'power'.

    Iv'e often wondered what your motivation for doing this was, apart from money, and its ego and self agrandisation.

    As I have said in the past, I guess it beats working for a living.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 2:20pm

      Re: Mike this guy is writing ABOUT YOU !!!! :)

      Complaints will never cease, part of living is resolving problems, they never stop, so trying to think that you could build a perfect world is silly, like wanting others not to complain.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 8:51pm

      Re: Mike this guy is writing ABOUT YOU !!!! :)

      "if you had a magic wand and could make all the changes you want, that you constantly whine about, that would not be enough for you, as it's not the cause you are fighting, its your own little power trip."

      IP maximists practically do get everything they want, 95+ year copy protection lengths, yet they're still not happy and they're still complaining to the govt that they need more unfair laws in their favor. It's IP maximists that keep complaining, "we want more monopoly power" and no matter how much the govt gives into their complaining, they never stop complaining and they just want more.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 9:02pm

        Re: Re: Mike this guy is writing ABOUT YOU !!!! :)

        and 95+ year copyprotection lengths is evidence of how much IP maximists complain. Copy protection lengths wouldn't last so long if it weren't for the fact that IP maximists have done a lot of complaining in the past that they aren't getting enough monopoly power. It's OK for IP maximists to complain that they aren't getting enough monopoly power, despite the fact that they are getting way too much monopoly power, but the moment that anyone criticizes all the monopoly power that IP maximists are wrongfully given, IP maximists then complain about everyone's criticisms. It's either their way or the high way, anything short of IP maximists getting their way entirely results in their persistent complaining.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 9:07pm

          Re: Re: Re: Mike this guy is writing ABOUT YOU !!!! :)

          And getting their way isn't getting them anywhere anyway!

          "Stricter laws don't work! We need stricter laws!"

          It's circular insanity.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 9:21pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike this guy is writing ABOUT YOU !!!! :)

            "Stricter laws don't work! We need stricter laws!"

            I'm complaining because I have very good reason to complain. The government bends over backwards to give IP maximists almost everything they ask for, to my and the general public's detriment, and despite this IP maximists still complain that it isn't enough. You're darn right I'm complaining, it is my right and duty to complain until this changes and the government serves the public interest. IP maximists think that they're somehow the only ones allowed to complain and that no one else should be allowed to. They think they own the world, that they're entitled to everything they ask for without criticism whatsoever.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 1:29pm

    Another week of koolaid soaked comments getting the "thumbs up". Getting the choir to vote is always a good thing.

    You could replace the "insightful" button with one marked "brain washed idiot" and the same people would win.

     

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      cc (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

      Re:

      Nah, you're just jealous that nobody's paying attention to your vitriol.

       

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      coldbrew, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

      Re: no substance

      There is simply no substance to your comment. None. You don't take issue with one single stance, nor support any of your assertions. Do you really not have anything better to do with your time?

      I guess it's a great thing for those of us in search of a better understanding to have a devil's advocate in the debate, but I would submit that you and your poor argumentation actually works against you (i.e. you've helped to convince me how ridiculous current IP law is).

       

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 3:00pm

      Re:

      You really should try the Kool-Aid. I understand that Mike adds rum.

       

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 4:38pm

      Re:

      Shouldn't really be a surprise. People tend to congregate with like-minded people, especially in single-issue groups.

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 6:07pm

      A Day in the Life of Anonymous Coward (Troll)

      7:30 am - Wake up begrudgingly from a fitful night of sleep. Quickly write down dream impressions: trapped in prison made of words/mocking laughter/MM in a Kool-Aid man costume/last words heard before waking up: "Oh, yeah! Nothing competes with free, eh AC?"/more laughter.

      8:15 am - Take a few moments to allow blood to properly "angry up." (Heat to 212 for 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool briefly. Maintain holding temp of 140-165 for next 8-12 hours.)

      8:50 - Brew pot of cruelty-free coffee, paid for with an honest day's wages and served with a tablespoon or four of self-righteousness. Call up X in Phoenix to see if he's up for rabid commenting at 8:30. X says it's already past 8:30, citing lack of Daylight Savings Time.

      8:30 (or 9:30) - Curse under breath while making a belated start in the TD comment threads. Wonder briefly why government continues to let Arizona and Indiana run roughshod over outdated but highly ingrained legislation. If we let every state choose its own time, where does it end? Anarchy, that's where. And the bad kind of anarchy that knocks down outdated laws and grandfathered-in preferential treatment.

      11:30 am - Holy crap! Time flies when you're making circular statements! (You are in a maze of twisty falsehoods, all alike.) You've nearly missed the opening states at the Paris IP Convention Thingy! (AKA, "Let's Keep Doing the Stuff That's Not Working, Only Harder!" Public not invited.)

      You click the link to stream the video feed only to be told that this isn't available in your country. Run a quick irony check. Still clean! Oh well. Time to get a bit hackerish and fake out the Parisian servers. After drawing the shades, locking the door and turning of the webcam, you get to work using tips gleaned from various "piratey" sites. Note to self: turn sites into ICE later. Stupid useful pirates won't know what hit 'em.

      1:00 pm - After an hour or so of being preached to by the choir leaders, you settle back into a brief, but calm nap, secure in the knowledge that the more things change, the more bitter and powerful industries will fight dirty to keep things the same. Pink Floyd is pretty good napping music. "Meet the new boss, etc." Irony detector still clean. ZZzzz.

      2:30 pm - Wake up from a nap feeling refreshed and ready to take the battle to all the thieves in the world, especially the ones that stole all that music from your website, forcing you to relearn all your instruments and start from scratch. Lousy fast-moving, reasonably bright freetards!

      3:30 pm - After an hour of intense analysis and witty ripostes, you take a break to clean the angry spittle off the monitor. As the haze is cleared away, you notice you've used every instance of your/you're incorrectly! GRRRAARHH! [Another pause to re-clean.]. It doesn't matter. The sheer devastating intelligence of your hundreds of comments will show through, shutting up those stupid kool-aid drinkers once and for all.

      3:45-5:30 pm - Continue to type yourself into the corner as you fire off rebuttal after rebuttal at those stupid kool-aid drinkers who apparently aren't going to be shutting they're mouths anytime soon.

      6:15 pm - Break for dinner and a quick game of Minesweeper. Hit F5 about 500 times to see what the freetards are saying now. Christ! You look back to notice you even screwed up their/they're in your internal dialog. Briefly consider suicide. Realize that, for what is ostensibly a selfish act, it would make entirely too many other people very happy.

      7:45 pm - Check website stats and bemoan lack of hits. Blame it on piracy and infringement rather than on the fact that you spent all day angrily tilting at windmills rather than, you know, attempting to reach out to your fans.

      8:30 pm - Do some quick googling to make sure your music isn't out in the wild, hitchhiking with strangers before ending up a lifeless corpse somewhere in the uncatalogued servers of a foreign storage locker.

      9:00 pm - Success! Some freetard has posted your song on Youtube! You quickly fire off a DMCA takedown notice. That'll show the little bastard what's the what. "Found this while surfing the web," indeed. "Nicely textural piece of ambient house." Whatever. "Click thru on the link below for more info." Bite me. Having safely resecured your legacy, you pause for a moment to calculate your losses from the 1,500+ views. No wonder you're barely making ends meet!

      You post a victorious note at your website along with a viciously worded warning in the general direction of future helpful infringers, illustrating this debacle with a chart showing a clear correlation between Youtube views and additional hits on your site. [Note to self: irony detector may needed recalibration.] You also add a bold-lettered, all caps warning to the top of your page stating your zero-tolerance policy on theft, using the always popular "stealing a car" metaphor. You also attach some public domain clipart [yep, definitely broken] of a car to drive home the point, pausing for a moment to enjoy your inadvertent pun.

      10:00 pm - Having righted all the wrongs and secured your IP for yet another day, you fall to sleep peacefully on a huge pile of money. Your sleep is the sleep of angels. Avenging angels, perhaps, armed with elliptical rhetoric and entitlement rather than a flaming sword and a stout shield, but angels nonetheless. As you fade from consciousness, you are alarmed to find yourself greeted by a familiar nemesis. "Oh, yeah!!!"

       

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        ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

        Re: A Day in the Life of Anonymous Coward (Troll)

        I'm eagerly awaiting the day when a comment in the "Of the Week" thread becomes a winner in the next "Of the Week" thread.

        That day may have dawned.

         

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        PEBKAC, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

        Re: A Day in the Life of Anonymous Coward (Troll)

        Thank you for the grins, CLT. *throws roses*

        Also:

        "But still you push on, as though you were just one badly written and randomly enforced law away from finally building your wormhole to 1991."

        My favorite quote here on TD this week. Thanks again! :)

         

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        The Monster, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 3:55pm

        DST

        It's "Daylight Saving Time". Not savingS. You don't put daylight in a bank and save it. You wake up earlier in the morning because the sun is up earlier in the morning. Thus you are saving the daylight for while you're awake.

        Not that the average specimen of Techgeekus Nocturnis is expected to understand the idea of being awake during daylight hours.

         

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        The Monster, Mar 9th, 2011 @ 4:04pm

        DST Part Deux

        Oh, and Indiana has used DST statewide since spring of 2006. The only confusion there recently has been the shuttling of various counties between ET and CT. AZ, excluding the Navajo Nation (which extends into other states that use DST), as well as HI, VI, PR, GU, AS, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, continue to use Standard Time all year, as does the Mexican state of Sonora just south of AZ.

         

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    Chargone (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 2:47pm

    ... i begin to suspect we might all be better off if this feature's articles didn't actually have a comments thread. there's not much new of use that can be said in response to it, after all (and what can be can probably go in the (linked!) thread the comment in question is in), leading to trolling, mocking of trolls, and little else.

    'course, i can also see the arguments for why this wouldn't be best... but even if we measure it in terms of trolling quality, these comment threads are sad :(

     

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      Planespotter (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

      Re:

      I haven't been coming here long, maybe a year or so but in that time I have seen an incease in ACs who openly comment garbage in response to articles posted by Mike and the team who never ever respond when they get called out. My general hypothesis is that Mike and others who truly grasp CwF+RtB, 21st Century business models etc have got the establishment so scared that they now actually spend their profits trying to discredit anyone who proves that it works. The more money these organisations spend the quicker I see their eventual demise. The people that come here to read about new techniques, new models and examples of how they work really don't engage to greatly with the TAMs and ACs of this world, I think we eventually apply some form of mental filter, you see an avatar and know whether to skip the writing or not.

      Whether this weekend roundup or posts, insightful/funny should have comments is a decision for Mike I suppose... personally I'd let them continue to speak, I use it as a "filter update" and lets me ignore even more shills the following week.

       

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        cc (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re:

        I wish there was an option to hide AC comments + their replies, unless they are marked insightful. If the ACs want to be taken seriously, they should at least sign up.

        Tbh, I'm sick of seeing the same ACs disagree with Mike on every post just for the sake of disagreeing. I find that stalky, disrespectful and irritating, and what's even more irritating is that I often find myself compelled to reply, only to find out that they'll simply make the same BS arguments the next post. I think they're shitty debating opponents to boot, because they don't even TRY to listen to what the other person is saying.

        Like I've mentioned before, the ACs probably aren't paid shills. I think they're IP lawyers who like to see friction between the pro-copyright crowd and those who want reform... so they're here to aggravate (most of them admitted to being IP lawyers when asked).

        That they all showed up at around the same time could mean they also know each other, but it may be coincidence. And of course, there's always a chance they are fake personas like those from HBGary, though I still like to think that's far-fetched. ;)

         

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          Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 4:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm sick of seeing the same ACs disagree with Mike on every post just for the sake of disagreeing.

          Indeed. That's definitely the most irritating part. You could call them trolls, but honestly I think it's just the face of partisanship; people choose a side and then feel compelled to defend that side regardless of fact or logic. They disagree with Mike about intellectual property, so if he also comes out against kicking puppies, the only thing they have left is to defend puppy-kicking as the morally correct choice, because if they agree with him about anything, Mike will "win".

          It's no different than the issues we face at the national level, really. It's never about intellectual honesty, and always about spin. It's never about "Are they right?", and always about "How can we make them look wrong?"

           

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          Atkray (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 4:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If the ACs want to be taken seriously, they should at least sign up."

          No I disagree. Signing up is a cumbersome process that forces the individual to reveal entirely too much personal information. The time required is also quite substantial especially when you live in a world of billable hours.

          Besides the arguments that they make, by and large destroy any hope they might have of being taken seriously.

          I actually find it telling that someone lacks the personal integrity to at least create an online identity to be associated with. Perhaps it is because they change their arguments frequently and would be caught up by their own inconsistencies.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I, for one, am Anonymous because I want my comments to be judged by the strength of their arguments, not by who I am or what I might have said in the past.

            I want each comment of mine to stand alone. To be judged alone. To be praised or damned, alone.

            This is why I am Anonymous.

             

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              vivaelamor (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 4:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I, for one, am Anonymous because I want my comments to be judged by the strength of their arguments, not by who I am or what I might have said in the past."

              I think posting as Anonymous Coward is fine, it's just important to understand that those without a pseudonym are likely to be perceived differently due to the lack of individual identity. People are already asking for an option to hide Anonymous Coward comments unless marked insightful, which is evidence of that perception bias.

              The upshot of posting as Anonymous Coward may be that people are less likely to blindly agree with you or dismiss you based on an individual identity. But then they may be more likely to dismiss you because you have the shared identity of Anonymous Coward.

               

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 9:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I wish there was an option to hide AC comments + their replies, unless they are marked insightful. If the ACs want to be taken seriously, they should at least sign up.

          To be fair, there are very insightful ACs as well. Don't blame the bad comments on anonymity -- though, I do find it amusing when the anonymous commenters mock anonymity.

           

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            cc (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 12:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'm not saying the anonymity option be removed completely, just that the drop-down list that lets you choose what comments you want to look at should give the option to ignore non-logged-in comments unless those comment have been marked insightful.

            In other words, the AC option is preserved for those who don't abuse it and post truly insightful stuff, but gives me the ability not to feed the trolls who constantly post flamebait -- and the trolls we get here really like to be fed.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            To be fair, it would be great if you would stop moderating AC comments.

             

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          Rose M. Welch (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 3:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I wish there was an option to hide AC comments + their replies, unless they are marked insightful. If the ACs want to be taken seriously, they should at least sign up.

          SLOG has that. I wish TD did. :/

           

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        Yeebok (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 12:12am

        Re: Re:

        It would make sense if half the commenters here are from people using the hbgary persona software .. :)

         

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    Bob Vila, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 4:43pm

    Where's the most reported comment of the week?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 5:28pm

    By assigning a unique mark/logo/etc. to an AC in each thread, some of the points presented here are ameliorated somewhat.

    Just an observation, but it appears to me that the majority who may comment here do not do so using their actual name. While this obviously makes it easire to follow their comments from thread to thread, responses are still being made to one who is practicing some measure of anonymity.

    I have an unusually rare last name. Normally, it does not cause any problems when I use it on a professional blog (I am an attorney). However, quite recently it has caused me and my family incredible grief and concern because I happened to use it on another site associated with one of my personal interests, photography. I now have a suicidal lunatic in Eastern Europe sending emails both to me and my family, telephone calls at all hours of the day, voluminous contact messages on social media sites, etc.

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 7:00pm

      Re:

      ...responses are still being made to one who is practicing some measure of anonymity.

      Pseudonymity. It's not quite the same. I'm not actually a machinima observation, but it allows you to follow me from thread to thread. People take me (slightly) more seriously than if I was AC-with-the-redish-avatar.

       

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    Ryan Diederich, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 6:28pm

    I think....

    I doubt that ACs are IP lawyers, more likely just sheeple. Dense city folk, the reeeeeaaaaalll dumb kind.

    I like the idea of hiding AC comments. I bet if they were hidden by default, the number of signups would increase (as people who want their side heard will want to) and the annoyance would decrease (as ACs often have nothing good to say at all.

    And yes, of course us 'radicals' will always be complaining. If you are satisfied with your shitty imperfect world, so be it. But dont try to stop me from improving it.

    A world where no one innovates, repairs, improves, or makes their opinion known is a sad world indeed.

    Piracy was never a crime, it was an opportunity to make money off of innocent individuals.

    I like the drug comparison. If Im toking up I may be breaking the law, but Im not doing anything to anyone. I can understand that misconceptions about the effects on health and whatnot caused drugs to initially be made illegal.

    I can only hope that in the future people will realize that almost all drugs have medicinal value, and keeping them regulated is limiting advances in the field. For example

    Magic Mushrooms cured cluster headaches (the most painful thing known to man) in 22/26 patients. Also cured depression in cancer patients, for over 6 months!

    Cocaine is the base substance from which many local anesthetics are derived, lidocaine, novacaine, etc.

    Weed cures loss of apetite, depression, and some migraines as well.

    The list goes on and on. The same is true for piracy. If the big wigs would just stop and check their sources, they would find out that the benefit of piracy outweighs its negative affects.

     

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      Ryan Diederict, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 7:29pm

      Re: I think....

      Ryan, all we would do it use different names on every post. like it matters. If Mike wants us to sign up, I suspect each of us would create a ton of accounts and use a different one for each answer. You need to concentrate on the content, not the name of the post.

       

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        Atkray (profile), Mar 6th, 2011 @ 8:59pm

        Re: Re: I think....

        "Ryan, all we would do it use different names on every post. like it matters."

        Actually it does matter because if you post in one thread that you like apples and think they are the ultimate food, and everyone should only eat apples; then in the next thread post that you want everyone to eat nothing but cabbage, it pretty much confirms to everyone reading that you are inconsistent in your views. That tends to undermine your credibility and reputation.

        "You need to concentrate on the content, not the name of the post."

        See above regarding credibility and reputation. Both of these are earned, respect is given (often taken for granted) to all. I maintain that an A/C that takes on a name it gives more weight to their posts. I suspect most of the people that frequent Techdirt read the posts in threads that interest them regardless of who posts them, very few concentrate on the name (mostly the ones that want to accuse Mike of something)so your defense is not really appropriate. The purpose of the snowflakes is to enhance the experience for the readers by allowing them to follow an individual's comments within a thread. Using a name allows readers to follow an individual across threads and time. Choosing not to do so is certainly your right and privilege, just don't be surprised when people exercise their right and privilege to form (possibly incorrect) opinions about you as a result.

        Say what you want about Darryl but at least he has the integrity to sign a name (whether it is his real name or a nome de plume) to his posts.

        Darryl > Anonymous Coward.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 9:03pm

        Re: Re: I think....

        Heh, I was just going to do what you did thar.

        I often post anonymously out of 1) forgetfulness or 2) just not wanting to deal with naming myself. I don't come here to troll but to maybe join the discussion. Mainly I just read. I agree that it's the substance of the post that matters, not the name of the poster.

        Trolling ACs (those who make no real substantive contribution) only prove themselves to be of no consequence; their only purpose is to annoy through insult and being deliberately obtuse.

        ACs who contribute in an argumentative or counter manner bring something to table, in that they serve to refine the arguments against them.

         

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    identicon
    Pixelation, Mar 6th, 2011 @ 9:43pm

    "Has anyone asked him to describe in single words only the good things that come into his mind about his mother? "

    His mother? Let me tell you about his mother...

    Have you ever taken that test yourself Mr Decker?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 2:41am

    The new VCR(a.k.a. Android/iPhone).

    I don't think many people noticed, but some Android phones have an optional video output cable that comes with them.

    When I saw that hunting for a new phone for my wife it immediately pop up in my mind that this could be the killer of DVD's and Bluray. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

    Also wife was asking about SD cards, she wants to trade files with her friends at work and she needs a removable media to do so.

    Ok so this has nothing to do with anything, I'm sorry, is just something that got me excited for some random reason and have absolutely nothing to do with the actual post :)

    By Anonymous Scourge.

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 7th, 2011 @ 2:48am

    Thanks for the votes!

    Well, this has been an unexpected pleasure, all of it stemming for one man's yearning to yell loudly (and lengthily) at the internet.

    It's a mixed pleasure. It's always a good feeling to see one's comment earn the praise and respect of others. However, it was with some dismay that I realized well after posting that (and several other comments) that I saved a misspelled URL as my default. So... that rocks. Life once again steps in and makes sure that it doesn't all go to my head (or my blog).

    Thanks again!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 7:14am

    Wow, in the top comment list twice in the last two weeks. I need to figure out how to monetize this new found fame. Anyone have Righthaven's number handy?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Mar 7th, 2011 @ 11:56am

    Will those whose comments are deemed funniest or most insightful license them using CC-by-sa so that the rest of us can extend them, modify them, or quote from them liberally?

    It would be interesting to see comic strips and other extensions to these, as well as be able to post them for others to see.

     

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


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