Dark Helmet's Favorite Posts Of The Week 3: The Reckoning

from the these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things dept

Hey, everyone! Mike asked me to do the favorites post this week, and I'm really excited. I've never done this before, so hopefully I don't screw it up.

For my first favorite post, I'd like to offer up me. Yes, a simple click on my profile will give you access not only to some of the most cleverly written prose this side of an Irish poet, but in one of them I even included a cat picture! Cats! On the internet! How did nobody think of this before?

That said, there were other posts that tickled my facepalm bone this week as well. Take for instance the admission of DHS Boss Janet Napolitano that she doesn't have email or use online services. I had originally thought that the most plausible explanation for this would be that she's actually a puffer fish, but nope, full blown human being there. The absuridity of a modern civil servant having enforcement control over a common set of tools without ever using them is astounding. I'll be going to the DMV this weekend (I may even be there at the time this goes live) and I'm having a hard time imagining myself marching up to the Department of Motor Vehicles boss, asking him how he got to work that day, and having him reply, "I walked of course, young man. I wouldn't want to get in one of those automobile thingies. They're freaking dangerous."

Let's follow that up with the good news that more people are realizing the truth about regulatory capture in the telco industry in these United States Of Slow Freaking Internet Connections. I'm lucky enough to be in the 3rd largest market in the country, so I at least have some choices, but they're still expensive compared to other countries throughout the world. Still, think about small, rural areas and the limited and expensive choices they have. Hell, each time he hits refresh on the Techdirt home page, my friend Tim Cushing has enough time to go milk the cows and fashion another belt from a rope in that high school graduating class of a town he lives in before the browser is done loading. And he has to sacrifice a family member every third moon for that service.

Speaking of Tim Cushing, I dug his piece on Dinesh D'Souza and his claim of a conspiracy against the film 2016: Obama's America, involving members of the President's campaign uploading the film to YouTube in order to decrease ticket sales. Never mind that this would be a curious strategy for the campaign, being as how then the movie, which is less than kind to President Obama, would be free for anyone everywhere to see. I won't get into politics here, and anyone who has discussed politics with me on this site knows that I'm an equal opportunity hater for both parties, but if you are one of those people who wants to tell me how "smart" and "thoughtful" and "not incredibly limited in both intelligence and personality" D'Souza is, go jump on YouTube and look up the debate he had with Christopher Hitchens and get back to me.

And finally, I'll include Glyn Moody's piece on the effect the Megaupload fiasco is having. Anything that helps more people put copyright into the proper perspective is welcome, even if it takes highlighting some of the ridiculous actions by government bodies. This is not to excuse infringement (I'm forced to include this statement or else Average Joe will ego-gasm all over the comments again), but to blow it so far out of proportion as does the case against Dotcom is ridiculous.

Phew, got through it. Wasn't quite sure if I'd make it, but I did. So until next week, Techdirters, keep it classy.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 29th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    I've been mentioned!

    Hell, each time he hits refresh on the Techdirt home page, my friend Tim Cushing has enough time to go milk the cows and fashion another belt from a rope in that high school graduating class of a town he lives in before the browser is done loading. And he has to sacrifice a family member every third moon for that service.

    On the internet, no one knows you live in a town of 1,300. That being said, I have been offered the opportunity to "upgrade" to high-speed dialup, but, you know, the cows won't milk themselves, even after a 30-slide Powerpoint presentation and a stuttering "How To Milk Yourself" video piped in fresh from Youtube. (If only Youtube would offer something lower than 240p... perhaps some sort of a flipbook...)

    As for the belt situation, we have a saying around here: "Give 'em enough rope." While most of you are probably entertaining images of mass suicide (some of you because of what I just typed), the reality of the situation is less horrifically tragic. Whenever a youngster* in our town is spotted wearing sagging, below-the-ass dungarees**, the town elders*** are prone to firing off the above statement in the general direction of anyone with enough rope, most likely the town ropesmith. Once the new belts are fashioned, the youngsters are restrained (often with OTHER rope) and said belts forcibly applied, bringing said dungarees in accordance with Township Statute 112-24.B -- "All dungarees, riveted jeans, skorts and sweatpants must be word at 'retiree' level (defined as "no more than 2.5" below lowest nipple)."

    * Township Statute 84-5.1: The word "youngster" must applied to all citizens below the age of 50 years, regardless of sex, color or creed.

    Exceptions: Any person over the age of 45 who has lived in the Township for the entirety of his life and/or is boring you with pictures of his/her "beautiful" grandchildren (especially if said grandchildren are approaching child-rearing age [14 and above]).

    ** Township Statute 88-3.B: The word "dungaree" shall be used to indicate any pants or pants-like clothing worn below the waist. NO EXCEPTIONS.

    Exceptions: Biker shorts, Snuggies. (Any citizen wearing any combination of these two exceptions is instructed to remain indoors so as to prevent any sullying of the Township Lingo with their very existence.)

    *** "Town Elders" - (From the Township Lawbook and Mad Lips Combo Pack) n.; Any person or persons who has
    (a) lived in the Township longer than 30 consecutive years
    (b) lived in the Township since birth but looks older than you
    (c) the cop
    (d) any denizen of the retirement home(s), regardless of origin, because for damn sure, they lived a lot of life and seen a lot of things, YOUNGSTER, possibly even the Great War(s) and the Great Depression(s) and Gerald Ford's "presidency."


    So, that explains the rope-belt and the cow milking, but really doesn't address the continued offering of "high speed dialup." This is available via the local cable company which also handles phone service and I would imagine it targets customers who last purchased a computer during the latter half of the Clinton administration, back when having a built-in modem was "thing," rather than just a waste of a slot.

    Of course, sometimes we just like to do things at the pace of life here in rural America, including loading images and banner ads. The cows DO need to be milked and we can't just waste time sitting around in front of the computer waiting for the porn gif to load all three frames before moving on to a series of shopworn "milking yourself" entendres. ("Shopworn" is what happens when you don't take a break. Especially with sawdust in the air...)

    Suffice to say, no one around here hits "refresh" if they can help it. Our internet is like a Hubble photo of deep space. Each web page is view into the distant past, much like Main Street itself, which is a picturesque look into yesteryear, before the town was "booming," filled with a mixture of viable businesses and abandoned shopfronts whose interiors look like the kitchen junk drawer, only filled with many of the things you'd need in a kitchen. Like, drawers. And sinks. And irregular lengths of pipe. And floorboards. And about 20 years of newspapers. And a set of tractor tires.

    Well, I'm off to milk the cows (possibly in quotes) and see if the ropesmith can whip me up some sort of cummerbund for tonight's Fall Harvest Spectacular. (Suit and tie required. The latter is mainly used as a makeshift tourniquet for the many inadvertent limb removals performed by various horrifying farm implements being operated by drunks in cummerbunds.)

     

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    Dementia (profile), Sep 29th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Glad to know I'm not alone in the slow internet age of rural America.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2012 @ 5:19pm

    On the internet, no one knows you live in a town of 1,300.

    Don't be too sure. I had you pegged as a rube. I'm sure there are others.

     

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    Greevar (profile), Sep 29th, 2012 @ 5:58pm

    Re:

    Never miss an opportunity to toss out unprovoked insults.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2012 @ 6:55pm

    Never miss an opportunity to toss out unprovoked insults.

    C'mon. How can I not comment. This bumpkin finds "Dueling Banjoes " to be romanic music.

     

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    The Amazing Sammy (profile), Sep 29th, 2012 @ 9:41pm

    I always get a chuckle out of the Obama's America people. As a Libertarian, I can correctly define what a Liberal, or a Conservative is. Being neither, I have this flexibility. I also know people wearing tinfoil hats when I see them.

    What gets me about that particular group is that they can't correctly define what a Liberal is, nor can they define what a Conservative is, or where they fall into the spectrum of political dogma. That should be a big red flag for anyone considering taking them seriously.

     

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    Jay (profile), Sep 29th, 2012 @ 10:07pm

    Re:

    Obama is "liberal" about as much as Justice Kennedy is "less conservative" and that's the problem. If Obama truly were liberal, he would be more popular. He just recently admitted that he is a Blue Dog Democrat. In other words, he's conservative. It puts his policies into perspective. His health care keeps the health industry in power, he spends less in federal funds protecting public sector jobs (lowest federal spending out if all modern presidents), and he has a severely low grade when it comes to transparency.

    If he were truly liberal, the US would have universal health care, no need for a police state, and a government that wanted to help its citizens instead of taking money from Social Security to balance the budget (which Obama plans to do unless more people become aware of his conservatism)

    Kennedy... Yeah, he thinks money in politics won't corrupt... Libertarianism at its finest...

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 12:01am

    gawd, the full page ads on this site SUK

     

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  9.  
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    Watchit (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 12:51am

    Re:

    That. they. do...

     

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  10.  
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    Watchit (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 12:55am

    Great post Dark Helmet, most entertaining Favorite Posts of the Week Post I've read in a while!

    Now if you'll excuse me my youtube video finally finished buffering... goody, I've been waiting months for this!

     

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  11.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 2:14am

    I know this isn't sticking to the article here, but I just wanted to point something out.
    Average_Joe, where were you in that Megaupload article, the one talking about the New Zealand Prime Minister had to apologize publicly to Kinm Dotcom because the NZ Intelligence Service had illegally gathered intelligence on Dotcom (the NZ Intelligence Service is allowed by NZ law to gather intelligence only on foreign nationals, not on citizens or permanent residents. Dotcom fell under the latter category)
    Why did you. Mr. "The Law is the LAW! and you must follow it!" not appear anywhere in that article's comment section? Any time there's another article discussing copyright, you pop up pretty quickly, but that article you didn't.
    Methinks it was because there was simply no way for you to twist it around into your "Follow the LAW!". You saw the Prime Minister, the head of the government, having to apologize and went catatonic for a while.

    Either that, or you're just a hypocrite. You call us out on breaking copyright law, but when laws are clearly broken left right and center to investigate possible breaches of copyright law...you're silent.

     

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  12.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 2:18am

    Regulatory Capture? Really?

    While I agree that regulatory capture occurs and is not a good thing in general, poor broadband in the US is much more because of a lack of competition and attempted price fixing.

    The original article seems to imply that the USF was designed to be spent on fiber service that was never delivered. Then amazingly David Johnston goes on to praise municipal broadband services but then says he doesnt think governments should run broadband services even though he thinks they do it better ( WTF moment ).

    The whole issue is about greed. The telcos and cable co's are just trying to figure out how to convince us that metering is the best policy so that they can charge as much as possible.

     

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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 2:59am

    “Suffice to say, no one around here hits "refresh" if they can help it.”

    +1 QOTW!

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 4:45am

    Re:

    *Ahem* Adblock *Ahem*

     

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  15.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 4:48am

    Re:

    Idiot troll hypocrisy is hardly a shocker.

     

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  16.  
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    charliebrown (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 5:08am

    Re: I've been mentioned!

    I didn't know whether to tick "Insightful" or "Funny" at first. I realized that it is indeed a "Funny" post first and foremost. If this was a FaceBook comment, I would hit "Like" without hesitation.

     

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  17.  
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    Greevar (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    Re:

    What ads? I don't see any.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Concerning Janet: "The absurdidity of a modern civil servant having enforcement control over a common set of tools without ever using them is astounding."

    It would like having a priest giving marriage counselling. Oh wait...

     

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  19.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: I've been mentioned!

    "All dungarees, riveted jeans, skorts and sweatpants must be word at 'retiree' level (defined as "no more than 2.5" below lowest nipple)."

    Where does that leave the elderly townswomen?

     

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  20.  
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    Greevar (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Regulatory Capture? Really?

    It's not just metering. It's also the incumbents trying to push people to continue to rely on obsolete, read-only distribution models. A fast and efficient broadband network would be counter to their goals of profit because using existing infrastructure and forcing customers to accept cable packages or even TV/Phone/Internet bundles is more profitable. The legacy services provide them a higher margin and more options for adding in new ways to charge customers. They're now trying to find ways to do that with internet service while hindering it to the point that people must continue to rely on the higher margin services that we neither need nor want.

    The truth is, the internet is fully capable of providing all the services that used to be divided into separate industries and permitted businesses to charge for them individually. They now seek to artificially divide the internet into individual services they can charge us for and metering is just the beginning. They try to convince us that VoIP, IPTV, and general internet are separate services that they have a right to charge us for. However, the internet doesn't see it that way. The internet only sees those things as different kinds of traffic on the same road, much like trucks and cars are different vehicles on the highway.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Re:

    And we find you to be "romanic" depressive.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

    Re: Re:

    The American definition of "liberal" is a bit backwards. If someone is liberal in the true sense of the word, wouldn't he be for LESS government and MORE freedom?

     

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  23.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re: Re: I've been mentioned!

    "2.5" above the lowest nipple..."

     

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  24.  
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    Jay (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're confusing libertarianism for liberalism...

     

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  25.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Sep 30th, 2012 @ 10:20pm

    Re:

    In the sense that they may or may not have any 'book experience' on the subject, but no actual practical experience to speak from?

    Yeah, you're right, it is just like that. Well, other than the fact that one of them can, at most, ruin a marriage while the other can cause just a titch more damage due to having no practical experience on their chosen subject.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2012 @ 11:59pm

    Re: I've been mentioned!

    ". Hell, each time he hits refresh on the Techdirt home page, my friend Tim Cushing has enough time to go milk the cows and fashion another belt from a rope in that high school graduating class of a town he lives in before the browser is done loading."

    Your own fault. In the end you would be unwilling to pay what it would really cost to give you service. I am sure you can get someone to run a fiber out to the back 40 for a few dollars :)

    Perhaps this explains your limited view of the world.

     

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