Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the how-many-monkeys? dept

The top two vote-getters for "most insightful" this week both came on the same post: the one about Spotify and Facebook's integration, in which Facebook started broadcasting everything you play on Spotify to everyone... without making it at all clear what was happening or clearly explaining how to opt-out. The winning comment came from Blaktron, who made a salient point in a very succinct manner:
Want to know who didn't spam all your friends and piss you off? Napster.
If you're going to compete with infringement, you have to not be significantly more annoying than infringing systems. Coming in second, just behind that comment (and only a few comments down on the same page), was Rob Sheridan, discussing how poorly this reflects on Facebook and how it suggests little understanding of how and why people share information:
This also speaks to an issue with the direction Facebook is going, which I saw a couple blogs highlight the other day: Facebook's vision of "frictionless" sharing (apps that indescriminately auto-share everything you do) takes away what makes sharing valuable: Selectivity. When I share something online, it's because it's something I found interesting and think that my friends or followers would also find interesting. That gives it value, because I'm actively selecting what I think is worth sharing and what isn't. I look at hundreds of things on the internet every day, but only find a handful that I think are worth passing around. If Facebook is telling my friends every single thing I watch on YouTube and Netflix, and every song I listen to on Spotify, etc, those aren't valuable shares for anybody. It's just spam. Taking the selectivity out of sharing feels like a step way backwards in an internet that is becoming very much about social curation and noise reduction. If one of my friends has heard a new song - or even a hundred songs - that they like so much they want to share with me - that's great. But every single song they happen to listen to? Who wants that? I know there are millions of narcisistic over-sharers out there who will lap these abilities up, but it just makes me want to stay the hell away from Facebook.
To Spotify's credit, within days of this hubbub, the company upgraded the software, and it now has a "listen privately" option which is somewhat prominent. Unfortunately, the default is still the other way, the explanation for how the integration works is still unclear, and the "listen privately" option only lasts as long as you have Spotify open. Next time, you have to "listen privately" again. The default should be the other way around.

As for editor's choice, there were a lot of posts this past week involving video evidence of police either lying or exceeding their authority, with discussions around why it's important to have the right to record the police in public to prevent such situations. Some in the comments argued that we were being unfair in using a few examples to condemn the entire police system. First off, this is untrue. In no way do I think all, or even a very large percentage, of police would do such things. But some do, and that's why it's important to call attention to it when it happens, to prevent it from happening in other cases. Along those lines, Dark Helmet made the following comment:
So, out of curiosity, exactly how many nat'l stories of this bullshit do we have to hear before we're magically allowed to suggest there might be a systemic problem? No one is suggesting that every officer of the law is a shithead.

What IS being suggested is that the backlash against videotaping police activity is bullshit because there are enough of these stories to warrant review from every possible source possible. In Chicago in particular, there are many officers who are downright gleeful about the way they can screw with people. I know a couple of them. They used to be friends of mine.

Now they aren't....
And finally on the insightful side, we've got :Lobo Santo quoting Oscar Wilde in response to my post about a call to get rid of anonymity online, because only bad things happen when people are anonymous:
“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” -Oscar Wilde
Okay. Jumping over to the funny side of the great divide. Coming in first was That Anonymous Coward, in response to the story about UK collection society, PRS, fighting with music stores over whether or not they should have a license to play music in stores (you know, the music they're helping to sell). TAC pointed out the obvious:
Free music promotion is killing music sales....
Coming in second, believe it or not, was Dark Helmet's pitch perfect attempt at doing a typical troll post, which successfully used the official word of the day:
Mike, this is the kind of story I just shake my head at. Your obvious attempt to paint several countries in the northern hemisphere with the same brush is so transparent it's a wonder your freetard sheep here still support you. Just because some of these countries are in Europe and there is a court that holds over them, painting the court with the broadbrush and calling them "European" just underminds your cause.

But what more can you expect from Pirate Mike, the broadbrush terrorism-apologist and his merry band of freetard child-porn producers?

(You know what? This is actually kinda fun....)
There were a lot of other funny comments this week, so we'll go with three editors choices (and it was tough to narrow it down to just three, but here we go). First up, we had HothMonster on the story about the FBI breaking up yet another of its own bombing plots. Someone argued that the guy was a real threat because he'd written anti-American stuff on a website and said he wanted to participate in terrorism, to which the Hoth responded:
well we all know people do everything that they say they are going to do on the internet.

I mean sure he didnt have a target, weapons, knowledge to make weapons, money to buy weapons, or any criminal contacts but he said he hated the government and wanted to kill all the bastards in power on the internet. So obviously he was a real threat.

Now if you excuse me I have to go fuck a gaggle of supermodels on a pile of money before i jump my lambo over the grand canyon
He said it on the internet. He's definitely going to do it.

Next up, we have Mr. Smarta**'s wonderful comment discussing the trademark dispute over "scrolls" in the name of a video game:
The Pharoah sat upon his throne, ending a speech to his people of the city.

"Let it be written, so let it be done!" he ordered. "Scribe?"

"I cannot, sire. The use of scrolls has been forbidden across the lands."

The pharoah stood with a look of shock upon his face. "Banned? Who dares to countermand me??"

"Lawyers," the scribe swallowed. "Three thousand years from now, a company will copyright the word 'scrolls' making use of that word an offense. They will sue us and empty our coffers."

"That's ridiculous!!! What about the word papyrus? Can we use that?"

"No, sire. Someone else owns that word, too." The scribe returned, obviously nervous.

"What about 'paper'? Can we say that?" The pharoah inquired.

The scribe shook his head. "No, sire. 'Paper' will also be owned."

"What about chiseling on walls? Can we at least do that??"

The scribe looked around, eventually nodding and relenting his argument.

The pharoah, now pleased, stood up and stated. "So let it be chiseled, so let it be done!!"

... And that's how we have rocks chiseled in Egypt...
And... finally, my absolute favorite comment of the week, coming from Rabbit80 on the thread debating the whole theory of how many monkeys and how much time at typewriters is needed to recreate the works of Shakespeare:
Ffs... Please stop the bickering. The monkeys have already created the works of Shakespeare - and it took us only 5-7 million years!
Indeed. Problem solved. So onward to another week of posts...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Gumnos (profile), Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 1:58pm

    Possessives and redaction...

    Next up, we have Mr. Smarta**'s wonderful comment...


    Am I the only one who wondered whether the possessive form should be "Mr. Smarta**'" instead of "Mr. Smarta**'s"?

     

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

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Possessives and redaction...

    I read the first few paragraphs and I don't think you are correct, of course I'm illiterate and should not be trusted, so I will put forth the links I used to research the subject so you can agree with or correct me.

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/possessives.htm
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/res ource/621/01/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostrophe#General_principles_for_the_possessive_apostro phe

     

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

  3.  
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    Gumnos (profile), Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Possessives and redaction...

    From your first two links, it sounds like either is acceptable as long as one is consistent. :)

    commnet.edu: "Some writers will say that the -s after Charles' is not necessary and that adding only the apostrophe (Charles' car) will suffice to show possession. Consistency is the key here: if you choose not to add the -s after a noun that already ends in s, do so consistently throughout your text."

    purdue.edu: "James' hat is also acceptable."

    Personally, I'm from the Strunk & White category that would use "James's" (or in this case, the original "Mr. Smarta**'s" as was in the post), but I can't see things like that without at least wondering about it.

     

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

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 4:30pm

    Re: Re: Possessives and redaction...

    You type really well for an illiterate person.

     

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

  5.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Re: Possessives and redaction...

    The truth is, it hardly matters.

    "There was never a golden age in which the rules for the use of the possessive apostrophe in English were clear-cut and known, understood, and followed by most educated people." - Tom McArthur, Editor, The Oxford Companion to the English Language (1992)

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Stranger, Oct 2nd, 2011 @ 11:50pm

    Re: Possessives and redaction...

    The form I was taught in Language Arts was that the trailing apostrophe is used in plurality (e.g. cats', girls', guys'; possession of more than one cat, girl, or guy.), whereas the preceding apostrophe is singular only (e.g. cat's, girl's, guy's).

    For example:

    It's the cats' food.
    This is the girls' room.
    It's the guys' last night out.

     

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

  7.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Oct 3rd, 2011 @ 1:15am

    And if your playing conspiracy theory bingo there is a direct connection between :Lobo Santo's winning comment and me winning funniest right afterwards....

    Hurmm.... *pulls fingers down the chin on his mask*

     

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

  8.  
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    Richard (profile), Oct 3rd, 2011 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: Possessives and redaction...

    And in the case where the singular already ends in an s the plural generally interpolates an e = as in

    lass
    lass's (belonging to a lass)
    lasses (plural of lass)

    lasses' (belonging to the plural)

     

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

  9.  
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    Gumnos (profile), Oct 3rd, 2011 @ 4:22am

    Re: Possessives and redaction...

    Which is why the redaction-of-the-final-letter(s) case interested me :) Does one treat it as if the terminal "s" is there, or does one treat it as if it's not an "s", or is there some peculiar exception for redacted letters?

     

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


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