Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the pressing-on dept

This week, it should come as no surprise that Tim Cushing's epic post about the OnPress attribution trolling saga yielded our runaway winning comment of the week, taking first place in both the Insightful and Funny categories by a wide margin. It comes courtesy of an anonymous commenter who highlighted the simple but massive irony of the situation surrounding Shaun Shane's poem:

I enjoy the irony of someone being a complete jerk regarding a quote about being polite and civil.
Second place on the Insightful side goes to Josef Anvil on our post about an Australian court finally wising up when it comes to Google's third-party liability. Josef broke things down to basics:
I just don't understand why this is so confusing for people. Fact #1: The internet is a COMMUNICATION platform, just like the telephone.

Fact#2 Google is NOT the internet, it's a search engine. It indexes websites like the card catalogue in a library.

Is that so hard to comprehend?

If you wouldn't sue your phone company for the misconduct of its users then you shouldn't sue internet service providers for the same thing. If you wouldn't sue your library because someone left misleading advertising on display in public, then you shouldn't sue Google for the same thing.

NB: The internet is not some magical thing that turns shit that we already know how to do into new patents.

For editor's choice, we start out on our post about national firewall rumblings in Iceland. PaulT took on an absurd quote from Iceland's interior minister:

"But surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet."

That has to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen a politician say, which has to be a new record. For many reasons, but I'll focus on the two most obvious:

First, define "porn". You can't. It's a totally subjective term. Sure, hardcore penetrative sex might be unquestionably porn, but what about mere nudity? If so, how much nudity? Does the definition of such change depending on whether the subject is young or old, male or female? Going to the moon is easy by comparison - it's a clearly defined goal, the only hard part is working out how. With blocking porn, you can't even tie down an objective since every Icelandic citizen will have a different idea of what "porn" is.

Secondly, the issue is not blocking porn, it's how to do it accurately without destroying perfectly legitimate material. Every attempt to implement any such block *always* stops non-pornographic material and *always* leaves some porn unblocked. On top of that, even if you somehow managed to accurately block every time, that one horny teenager is going to find a way to route around said blocks and then it's completely ineffective. Yes, that includes offline methods, which you're not going to be able to block - I shudder to think of some of the unintended consequences.

Oh, and from the original (urgh) Daily Mail article that the Mashable link is referring to:

"This move is not anti-sex. It is anti-violence because young children are seeing porn and acting it out"

Sounds like you have a *parenting* problem... Just another "for the children!" excuse for implementing censorship on adults.

Next, we go to our post about Bjork's Kickstarter "failure", where an anonymous commenter noted how that word isn't quite right for the situation:

This was not a "failure!"

Platforms like Kickstarter have changed the way the market is functioning, and our ways of thinking about it (even here on Techdirt) have to catch up.

Bjork's campaign did not fail, even though the results were not what she was hoping for. She successfully learned that the market was not interested in this product.

Spending £375,000 of her own money? Now THAT would have been a failure.

Using Kickstarter is more like running a science experiment than it is like selling a product. It increases the efficiency of the market by orders of magnitude, and apparently beyond our ability to think about it clearly.

On the Funny side, we've already had our first place comment, so we'll move on to number two—and what do you know, it's not only also from the OnPress post, but from Tim Cushing himself. In this case, it was a response to a comment from one of our often-confused trolls, whose grasp on the subject matter seemed tenuous at best:

Bob -

Pretend this post is an anatomically-correct doll. Show me on the post where you stopped reading.

For Editor's Choice on the funny side, the first choice comes in response to Chris Dodd's latest comments, where That Anonymous Coward noticed a particular quote and realized that this is likely a classic case of PEBKAC:

"We can and must have an Internet that works for everyone"

So that is the source of the problem, he can't figure out how to use the internet.

And finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't make a nod to the comment thread on our post about Chubby Checker, but in this case the award goes to Oblate for bucking the obvious trend with one of the few family-friendly jokes in the entire thread, responding to another commenter's self-confessed typo problem:

Next time use a Chubby Spellchecker.

And with that, we're done! See you next week.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 17th, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    YAY I got a cookie!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2013 @ 2:09pm

    "We can and must have an Internet that works for everyone"

    No, he wants an Internet, and a world, that only works for him.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 17th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

      Re:

      More correctly he doesn't give a shit about the internet, but they pay him to take a position so he does.

      I am willing to bet that the **AA's only current job is to play chicken little screaming the sky is falling and trying to downplay the facts to keep themselves in existence.

      Revenue from the cartel membership has been cut back in recent times, so they need to keep the piracy boogeyman alive and well because only the **AA's can stop it... if they get enough cash.

      If they membership paid all of the cash they dump into the coffers of the **AA's to smart people they would have beat apple to the punch on iTunes, they would have a robust system for selling content globally, and they would have unified the law globally stripping out their own rules about treating the globe as sections rather than 1 thing.

      They would have adapted their business model to reflect reality instead of wasting money trying to keep the old one afloat because they would have seen it was pointless.

      One wonders why they stay with the MPAA specifically given how terribly wrong they were about VHS. VHS was a windfall for the studios, and they spent millions trying to kill it.

       

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        Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 3:18am

        Re: Re:

        I guess I stay confused. The content industry bitches about Google "stealing" its revenue all the time.

        Google doesn't offer content, with the exception of YouTube, but that isn't Google content. Google makes the bulk of its revenue on ads. Most people have learned that one of the best business models on the net is ad revenue. Get the eyes, and sell them.

        Hollywood studios have the most awesome back catalogue of content ever, but they want us all to pay per view and that just isn't going to happen. Ok the thing that confuses me most is...

        Why won't the studios just get together and offer up their entire back catalogue on a site that charges $1 per month to subscribe AND rakes in ad revenue, as I can imagine that the page views would be in the billions in no time?

        Yes I know the answer is that they feel that no one would go to the movies any more, and while I agree there would be a small drop at the box office, I imagine that the revenue spike from subscriptions and ads would greatly offset any losses in box office sales and DVD rental.

        You would think they would love being able to hide all the additional revenue on movies and never having to worry about paying out royalties ever again.

         

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Google makes it so even Chris Dodd and his staff can locate movies they want to watch. I mean we did find MPAA owned IP addresses torrenting, they claimed no it was faked yet they are still onboard with CCI.

          Viacom decided YouTube was only rich because it "stole" their content, ignoring that the snippets might drive more business to them.

          The cartels feel they are the only ones who can make any money where their content is involved. They shut down fan sites, they censor reviews, because they plan to do something about this if the current plan to make the internet go away fails.

          The back catalog could be offered for more than $1 and people would pay... IF they can download and enjoy the content how they want to not how the cartels demand.

          People will always go to movies, not only for the movie itself but for that hushed shared sense of an event, but they are even killing that off with nightvision clad ushers hunting down anything with a camera.

           

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Feb 17th, 2013 @ 2:58pm

    ""But surely if we can send a man to the moon, we must be able to tackle porn on the internet."

    That has to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen a politician say, which has to be a new record. For many reasons, but I'll focus on the two most obvious:

    First, define "porn". You can't. It's a totally subjective term. Sure, hardcore penetrative sex might be unquestionably porn, but what about mere nudity? If so, how much nudity? Does the definition of such change depending on whether the subject is young or old, male or female? Going to the moon is easy by comparison - it's a clearly defined goal, the only hard part is working out how. With blocking porn, you can't even tie down an objective since every Icelandic citizen will have a different idea of what "porn" is.

    Secondly, the issue is not blocking porn, it's how to do it accurately without destroying perfectly legitimate material. Every attempt to implement any such block *always* stops non-pornographic material and *always* leaves some porn unblocked. On top of that, even if you somehow managed to accurately block every time, that one horny teenager is going to find a way to route around said blocks and then it's completely ineffective. Yes, that includes offline methods, which you're not going to be able to block - I shudder to think of some of the unintended consequences.

    Oh, and from the original (urgh) Daily Mail article that the Mashable link is referring to:

    "This move is not anti-sex. It is anti-violence because young children are seeing porn and acting it out"

    Sounds like you have a *parenting* problem... Just another "for the children!" excuse for implementing censorship on adults.
    "

    So, I have to ask, just how long have kids been playing "Doctor", or "Mommy and Daddy At Night"? A LONG time before the Internet I think... :rolleyes:

     

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      PaulT (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 2:42am

      Re:

      Yeah, I had a lot more to say here but I didn't want to get too ranty (thanks for the pick TD!). There's all sort of other problems, ranging from the difference between soft and hardcore, amateur vs. professional, etc. That some Icelandic couples who like to use porn in their own sex lives will be blocked because some parents are unable to supervise their own kids. That kids have always and will always copy adult behaviour, and that may include activities that adults would find inappropriate (often innocently, even if adults clearly recognise how inappropriate it is). That a block is literally impossible, because porn is not something that only exists online.

      But, then, I'm clearly putting more thought into the reality of the situation than the politician himself.

       

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 3:19am

    Wow

    When I'm near the top of the insightful comments, you know it's a slow week.

     

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    anonymouse, Feb 18th, 2013 @ 5:01am

    Solution

    What happened to the project to move all porn to the .xxx domain. I think that would have worked better than any other solution they have come up with so far, yes a determined kid will get to it if they are determined enough, but at least they should be a little older and be able to handle it a little better than a 6 - 7 year old.

     

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      Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 6:58am

      Re: Solution

      That solution sounds good until you look at all of the collateral damage/chaos that would follow.


      The only way to move all porn to the .xxx TLD would be through some sort of government regulation, and if that ever passed you can bet that the content industries would demand .movie .music .news and any other dot that they thought they could control. They would claim to be the only creators of real content and exercise the strictest control over their TLDs and seek to prohibit content on any non regulated TLDs.

      In other words they would try to force the web to mirror plastic disc selling. And that's just the simplistic version.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 7:36am

        Re: Re: Solution

        Yeah, that's why the whole thing died. It all sounds good until you understand how ridiculously huge and impossible a task it would realistically be, let alone the unintended consequences of such a thing.

        Take the issues I mentioned above and multiply them by 1000. Anything that would guarantee that porn was only on the .xxx TLD would have to be a true international effort. It's unworkable if people overseas can just put anything up on a .com, or if countries in control of their own TLDs don't agree with the plan. Then, of course, those countries would need to agree on what "porn" is. Some countries would consider Rihanna videos to be pornographic, while others wouldn't consider total nudity to be pornographic unless displayed in an openly sexual manner. Plus, of course, any 8 year old who's more technically proficient than their parents (i.e. most of them) would be able to find ways to route around such a block - offline if no online solution is found.

        Nope, any such effort is a fools game from its conception. About the only thing it could ever achieve is to lower the number of kids stumbling across porn accidentally (while never doing anything to stop those seeking it out), and even then imperfectly. I managed to stumble across porn in the VHS era, why do morons think it's possible to block it completely now?

        Why bother with such harebrained schemes, when there's so many more realistic problems out there - the dipshit parents who apparently can't supervise their young childrens' home internet usage, for example? If your child accesses porn because you weren't supervising them because you found it easier to let them have a computer in their bedroom - that's on you, not the porn industry or adult viewers. I know that politicians love these things to grandstand and scapegoat, but the rest of us should be more realistic - and the fact is that this will never work.

         

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      Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 18th, 2013 @ 6:58am

      Re: Solution

      That solution sounds good until you look at all of the collateral damage/chaos that would follow.


      The only way to move all porn to the .xxx TLD would be through some sort of government regulation, and if that ever passed you can bet that the content industries would demand .movie .music .news and any other dot that they thought they could control. They would claim to be the only creators of real content and exercise the strictest control over their TLDs and seek to prohibit content on any non regulated TLDs.

      In other words they would try to force the web to mirror plastic disc selling. And that's just the simplistic version.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Jim G., Feb 19th, 2013 @ 9:56am

    I was the person who wrote the "This was not a "failure!" comment, but was only recorded as an Anonymous Coward.

    Maybe this will inspire me to summon up my courage and finally register for a Techdirt account.

     

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