Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the a-new-conciliatory-tone dept

This week's "most insightful" winner has one of the highest vote counts I can remember. Running away with first place is Mike C.'s comment in response to Hollywood unions calling SOPA opponents hackers and liars and then saying it hopes that any further discussion has a conciliatory tone:
Is it just me, or did anyone else read "We hope a new tone can be set that does not include website attacks, blacklists, blackouts, and lies" and immediately think:

Ok. You first.
Coming in second, we have Skeptical Cynic responding to our story about various public interest groups gathering to have a public discussion about the very, very secret TPP (dangerous trade agreement) negotiations. One of our usual critics insisted that those public interest groups are really front groups and not interested in the public (which, if you knew any of them, you'd know is ridiculous). But SC points out an even more important point:
I don't want to waste time by pointing out the many, many things wrong with your comment. I am just going to say one thing.

Even if everything you say is true, do you really want to live in a world where laws are decided on in secret?
Indeed. As for editor's choice, we've got crade responding to the White House's response to Senator Rand Paul's incident with the TSA. When asked about why it wouldn't allow Paul to get on his flight after he refused a pat down, the White House's statement was: "I think it is absolutely essential that we take the necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe, and I believe that’s what TSA is tasked with doing." Crade pointed out that the misdirection there:
Umm... yeah except I don't think anyone was asking what TSA was tasked with..
And for the second editor's choice, we've got Christopher Weigel commenting on the movie theaters' top lobbyist's response to the SOPA protests:
Here's the part I find truly despicable:

"Senator Dodd and his team are quite good at this. We’ll sit down with them and ask what has to be done to make legislation more narrowly tailored...."

Not "we'll sit down with the people who complained". Not "we'll sit down with Google or the other tech companies that understand how these things work". Not even "we'll sit down with the congressmembers who we're pretending wrote this."

This total [self-censored] wants to "sit down" with the same people who created this overly broad piece of crap in the first place and ask them how they want to proceed. And doesn't see any problem with that.
Too true. But it shows how Washington DC works.

Okay, moving over to the funny side. The winner (by a wide margin) came from the Logician (with his Star Trek-related icon) responding to Wil Wheaton's claim that Chris Dodd was lying:
Well said, Ensign Crusher. As any Starfleet officer knows, the first duty is to the truth.
Coming in second was an Anonymous Coward's response to the Pirate Bay opening up a section for 3D printing files. This AC already came up with the new slogan for the physical object anti-piracy ad campaign:
Don't Copy That Jalopy!
For editor's choice this week, I actually picked out two separate comments that each reference popular movies (didn't realize the connection until after I picked both). Given how much MPAA news there's been lately, somehow that seemed appropriate. First we had TDR channeling the Princess Bride to explain what happened with the MPAA's lobbying efforts:
"You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is, never get involved in a corporate war in America! But only slightly less well known is this: never go in against Hollywood when freedom is on the line! AHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHA—" *thunk*
Then we've got Jeremy Lyman responding to the story of a court forcing some to decrypt their encrypted laptop even if it would incriminate them. Lyman wanted a bit more drama in the scene, and went to A Few Good Men:
Yeah, IANAL, but a warrant means police have the authority to go look for something in a specific location, not the authority to command a suspect divulge information. You have to trick them into revealing the secret by leveraging their own ego:

Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I'm entitled.
Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col. Jessep: You can't handle the truth!
[pause]
Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has tubes, and those tubes have to be guarded by encryption algorithms. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more numerous salt bits than you could possibly fathom. You weep for digital forensics, and you curse the cipher. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That cryptography's invention, while inconvenient, probably keeps secrets. And my use of it, while absurd and incomprehensible to you, keeps secrets. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want secrets to be kept, you need secrets to be kept. We use words like key, code, hash. We use these words as the backbone of a science dedicated to securing communication. You use them as a specter. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain cryptography to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very security that it provides, and then questions the security it provides for others. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a decrypter, and start brute forcing. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
Kaffee: Do you know the private key?
Col. Jessep: I know the premise of encry...
Kaffee: Do you know the private key?
Col. Jessep: 4b752O7o3dgJ#?;6q7IxLBr7:#gUL^!

Boom! Techno-lawyered.
Now, who's going to film these two scenes?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    Not an MPAA member

    Who is gonna film these scenes? It is gonna have to be an independent. The question is, how many lawsuits will they have to answer?

     

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  2.  
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    Greevar (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Not an MPAA member

    42

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Not an MPAA member

    I would unironically pay to see these.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Re: Re: Not an MPAA member

    I blame Douglas Adams for that.

     

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  5.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Not an MPAA member

    Quantum dict5ates that you can either have the number of lawsuits or you can know which companies are suing you.

     

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  6.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Erwin Schrödinger at it again...

    I like what "The eejit" said about quantum theory - you can know the number of lawsuits, or which companies are suing you, but not both. I'd like to think of it like this (stealing liberally from Schrödinger): You put a bill (SOPA/PIPA) in a sealed box (secret negotiations). You can't know if it passed or not until you open the box, but the act of opening the box changes the bill. So, the question, while it is still sealed in the box, does it pass or not, cannot be answered, and the bill you get after the box is opened is not the one that was in the box in the first place... Doh! As someone once noted, there are two things you don't want to know how they are made, sausages and laws.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Not an MPAA member

    Blame Douglas Adams? Why not sue his offspring?

    -Call Frivolous Litigations and Sons Now!

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Erwin Schrödinger at it again...

    Why don't we just hurry up and pass the bill so that we can know what's in it.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 6:14pm

     

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  10.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Not an MPAA member

    Who is gonna film these scenes?

    Chris Dodd heads up the MPAA. I assume that means he knows something about film. Maybe he could shoot the scenes. Better yet, he could take the lead role and shoot himself.

     

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  11.  
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    The Logician (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 7:28pm

    Fascinating. I was not intending to be humorous in my comment, yet I can see now how it is so.

     

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  12.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 9:02pm

    Re:

    *weeps quietly in the background*
    not even trying and he beat me... BAH!

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 9:33pm

    So... 2012 WILL be the end of the world as we know it... but not because of the sun blowing up, or ET invading, or magical barbarian unicorns flying out from Obama's butt. No it will be the year the everyone sold out to USA's corruption. 2012 will be the year of the United States of The World!

    Ok bad humor aside, anyone else noticed that since the beginning of the year, the only thing we've been hearing about is bad legislation being pushed everywhere? Shame on every single country that will protect dead hollywood interests over their own people's.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    Re:

    What do you expect, Hollywood is very good with Propaganda.

     

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  15.  
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    quantum politician, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Re: Erwin Schrödinger at it again...

    You can either pass the bill and know what's in it or you can not pass the bill and not know what's in it. You can't have it both ways, you are either affected by a bill you know the contents of or you are unaffected by a bill you are ignorant of. If we can find a way to know what's in these bills before we pass them then it would be easier for us to choose better bills, but as the Heisenberg uncertainty law of politics dictates, so far we can't, unless someone can come up with a political advancement.

     

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  16.  
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    mike allen (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Agreed Hollywood has produced more propaganda than any other country going back 4000 years. If they say its sunny take a raincoat.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2012 @ 10:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "If they say its sunny take a raincoat."

    If their Hollywood reporting is even half as creative as their Hollywood accounting ...

     

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  18.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 29th, 2012 @ 11:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Erwin Schrödinger at it again...

    *stares at gravatars*

     

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  19.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not an MPAA member

    Blame Douglas Adams? Why not sue his offspring?

    Poor Polly -- come on, she lost both of her parents -- leave her alone.

    Just do what the MPAA does and sue Douglas Adams. Since he is dead, it will be easier to keep him from testifying on his own behalf.

     

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  20.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 1:45am

    Re: Re: Not an MPAA member

    Better yet, he could take the lead role and shoot himself.

    Might as well, he's already shot himself several times in the foot. I hope to see justice at some point when he gets raked over the coals for bribery charges. Fat chance -- but that movie would take some of the pain away.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 2:57am

    I'm sure it's just a coincidence that none of the quotables here originated outside the system you're attacking.

    Ironic oversight, I'm sure.

    #whoops

     

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  22.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 4:30am

    Re:

    And you know, you managed to be humorous yet again.

    When it comes naturally it's just awesome ;)

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:09am

    Re:

    and I'm sure that those quotes were built on prior quotes and language. Just like your words are built on prior words. So does this just go to prove that culture is built on prior culture? Which is why copy protection lengths shouldn't last so long.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Erwin Schrödinger at it again...

    What about it?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re:

    Yeah Mike! Techdirt's posts of the week should have more quotes from other sites. Also more quotes the people who hang around here didn't vote for. You hypochondriac poobutt!

     

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

  26.  
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    greg.fenton (profile), Jan 30th, 2012 @ 10:03pm

    Filming scenes

    Just saw this in a sales meeting recently. The first 20-30 secs are just building momentum.

    A Few Good Expenses

     

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


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