Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the text-versus-subtext dept

When LeaseWeb deleted Megaupload's servers this week, the second commenter to the post began a sentence with "If Dotcom is so darned eager to prove his innocence..." No need to read further, as there's already a big problem with that statement, and an anonymous commenter took most insightful comment of the week by pointing it out:

He doesn't have to. The DOJ needs to prove his guilt.

Failed basic civics, did you?

While the first place comment saw a glaring error on the surface, the second place comment saw a problem by reading between the lines. Faced with Microsoft's capitulation on the subject of Xbox One DRM, Mason Wheeler saw an old negotiator's trick:

When you listen to what they're actually saying, what it sounds like to me is the "Door-in-the-face technique" in practice. It goes like this:

- I want something that the people I want it from aren't going to like.
- I ask them for something far, far worse. They say "no way!" and (metaphorically) slam the door in my face.
- I come back and ask them for what I really wanted all along. They give it to me, because I'm suddenly sounding a lot more reasonable.

Keeping this in mind, let's look at what Microsoft actually said:
After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
- What I want: DRM on all games in the form of a universally required activation system. But gamers hate DRM. They wouldn't accept that.
- What I ask for: always-online DRM requiring a persistent Internet connection. Gamers slam the door in my face and let me know that there's no way I'll sell any consoles with an onerous restriction like that.
- What I give them instead: DRM on all games in the form of a universally required activation system. Gamers buy my console because I "listened to them" and did away with the always-on Internet requirement, which I never intended to actually implement in the first place.
- I laugh all the way to the bank.

For editor's choice, we'll start with yet another eagle-eyed commenter (this one anonymous) who spotted some troubling language in the leaked NSA rules for using data:

I'm deeply concerned about this, actually (emphasis mine):
Retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;
Remember, my fellow Americans: only criminals encrypt things.

Next, in response to the FBI's admission that going through a proper legal process to get data takes too much time, so they don't do it. ChurchHatesTucker coined a new adage to suit the situation:

If you're looking for a needle in a haystack, you don't start by collecting all the haystacks.

On the funny side, we open with a quick quip from the post about the Xbox change-of-plans, delivered by S. T. Stone and winning funniest comment of the week:

Let's get the obvious joke out of the way:

So, who wants an XBox One-Eighty?

And in second place, we've got a little snark from Akari Mizunashi, who looked at the stupid idea to place DRM on books by changing certain words and saw a silver lining:

There's a well hidden silver lining with this type of DRM.

For example, anyone downloading a Twilight book would ultimately wind up with a better story, thanks to the re-writes performed by the DRM.

>:]

And finally, for editor's choice on the funny side, we've got two comments taking on the obvious target of the week (again). First is the unhelpfully-named name with a solution to the Megaupload server deletion problem:

Doesn't the NSA have a backup copy of the Megaupload servers?

And second is an anonymous commenter with a good old fashioned joke:

Just remembered something I heard a day or two ago—

NSA Director walks into a bar.
Bartender asks, “Did you hear the one about… ?”
NSA Director interrupts, “Yep.”

I guess if they can monitor phone lines, why not punch lines? [Rimshot.] I'll be here all week.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Androgynous Cowherd, Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    That book DRM isn't new, BTW.

    The basic concept behind that book DRM isn't all that new. Encyclopedia companies, cartographers, and the like back into the 19th century (if not farther) would sometimes put a few dummy entries in their book or fake towns on their map that they figured no normal user would look up, as they'd never hear of them to want to look them up, and use these to detect if a competitor had plagiarized substantially from them.

    Nowadays, they just put that annoying fading-in-and-out watermark that says "(c) Google 2013" at random places on every map tile. :)

    (I wonder if anyone ever tried to go to a dummy town marked on a road atlas for gas, found the town didn't exist, ran out of gas, and sued the mapmaker? Well, there was a fictional case of that, anyway ... sort of. It's one of Fred Saberhagen's Berserker short stories, and one of the titular self-replicating machines is tricked into going to a nonexistent planet where it runs out of fuel and winds up adrift and no longer a threat. Other worthwhile targets for such a trick that come to mind include Unicron and Galactus.)

     

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  2.  
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    horse with no name, Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Silly comment

    He doesn't have to. The DOJ needs to prove his guilt.

    Failed basic civics, did you?


    it's classic for this to be a top Techdirt comment. It's sort of book learning versus reality here. Book learning says "innocent until proven guilty", but that is an absolute statement. The reality is much more complex. By deposing criminal charges against Kim, the state has already gone a long way to show him as potentially guilty. If he fails to show up in court, one can only conclude that he is too scared of being found guilty to face justice.

    Thus, while "innocent until proven guilty" always applies, it's clear that Kim's tap dancing and delaying extradition at every turn is all about avoiding coming to court, making him look less and less innocent all the time. Thus, the original comment writer has it right, he really does need to come to court to clear his name, rather than cowering behind the NZ courts.

    His actions speak louder than words.

    PS: Day 8 of the Techdirt blockage of my comments. No, it doesn't mean people are down voting my posts, rather that every post I make is being automatically held for moderation and only appears after approval by Techdirt staff. If China was doing this to blog posts or websites, you all would call it censorship. Mike and Leigh and all would rail against it like the end of the world. Yet, on Techdirt, censorship appears to be a key way to put down dissent.

    For every day that this sham continues, Techdirt loses credibility. It's hard to stand on high moral ground when you use the same tools you rail against.

     

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  3.  
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    WulfTheSaxon (profile), Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 6:34pm

    Re: That book DRM isn't new, BTW.

    From my understanding, while fake towns do exist, fake dead-end streets are more common so that nobody will be inconvenienced.

    Apparently there’s a Wikipedia article (or several): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fictitious_entry

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 7:04pm

    For me the most funny part was to see AJ freakout, out-of-his-mind try to make nonsensical statements and so on.

    I don't think those people on the "otherside" realize that their only friends in this world are Mike, Google, Pandora and others they try to vilify.

    The born-dead-DRM that those people came out to defend, was just hilarious, programmers solved the problem of how to check for differences in text a long time ago by necessity to track their own source codes, that is why watermakrs based on text are a laugh.

    Then come the Pandora's article, Pandora pays something the next P2P social apps will not there is nobody to centralize and collect anything, you push people and guess were are they going to go.

    GNU Social
    Friendica
    Movim
    Pump.io
    Salut à Toi
    MediaGoblin
    Diaspora
    BuddyCloud

    For search:

    Seeks Project
    YaCy
    DuckDuckGo
    Starpage

    All of them are extremely censorship averse. To any type of censorship, and the industry is pushing people directly into their arms.

    Recently Russia started purging its largest social network of "illegal music", Russians are trying to just encrypt the music, but that is difficult you still need to make it available and so it will get detected, but what happens if they start migrating to a decentralized social network away from VK and Facebook?

    BAM! there is nobody anymore to complain to, you have to go after individuals and that is a strategy that have lots of room to backfire badly. No matter how good a legal team you have, the public have billions of interested individuals capable of reviewing millions of legal documents in any language imaginable and they will find a weak spot somewhere.

    I will call it now, the entertainment industry will give pirates all they want because there is nothing they can do otherwise and will claim victory against piracy when their sales start going up again and it will, places like Africa and India prove that. but only if they start working with their new found "friends", Google, Pandora, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Netflix, Facebook and others.

    Big names in that entertaining industry will have to be secretly scream "bloody pirates, we hate you, we hate you", and smile in public. If they don't they will be superseded by the guys who can battle pirates in their own realm and offer services that are better, faster and more desirable than pirates can and they are again Google, Pandora, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, Netflix, Facebook and others, which are starting to not only build their own impressive infra-structure, but platforms for the creation of original content exactly because legacy players keep trying to stop them at every turn, is so expensive to license anything that is cheaper to go out and spend billions in that other stuff and make it themselves.

    The old guard will fall, they are the old way of thinking about how things got done, they are ill prepared for this new digital age, they don't understand the market anymore, while Netflix spend millions tweaking algorithms to understand where people are and developing the means to detect that and monetize it(i.e.:PaidContent: Netflix’s decision to renew Hemlock Grove shows its algorithms are working), while studios and TV networks spend millions in lobbying, guess who will end up with more customers?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/29/amazon-programming-tv-push_n_3352163.html
    ht tp://filmmakermagazine.com/68152-youtubes-agressive-move-into-original-content/
    http://mashable.com /2013/02/11/microsoft-la-studios-xobox/

    I can see where this is going, AJ & The copytards will get crushed under the boots of progress. Kicking and screaming, one way or another, things will change.

    Pirates don't care because they are comfy and Big Tech is laying the foundations of the new Empire(evil?).
    AJ? well he got a law degree apparently, he is on his way to become the next Jack Abramoff, blue is way on his/her way to fabricating his/her first effective tinfoil hat prototype, time will tell, darryl, well, he is going on tour on the Australian outback away from pirates, he found a way to defeat the evil bastards, he will seek seclusion and invent the next big thing in the middle of the outback desert and will not tell anybody about it. Those darn pirates will see who they are dealing with LoL

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2013 @ 7:07pm

    Re: That book DRM isn't new, BTW.

    Against plagiarism that works fine, against usage...hmmm...well...what can I say, did anybody ever saw somebody not use something because it was watermarked?

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 24th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: Silly comment

    Two things:

    1. Being charged with something doesn't mean shit. If you think being charged goes 'a long way to show him as potentially (nice weasel wording!) guilty' then you really did fail basic civics. It does not such thing in reality.

    2. Fighting legal action in court also makes 'him look less and less (more weasel words!) innocent all the time?' I know you want to pretend that somehow it's different because he's fighting in a NZ court instead of a US court but that's simply the legal stage the case is at at the moment. Court is still court and he's still in a court fighting the charges no 'hiding' or 'failing to show up in court' or any other bullshit you make up as a euphemism for not coming quietly and without fighting it like a good little lamb.

    Thus the original commenter has it wrong but you've got it even more wrong. Being charged doesn't make you guilty and fighting it at every turn, not just the turn that's most advantageous for those accusing you, doesn't make you look less innocent.

     

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  7.  
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    Josh Brancek, Jun 26th, 2013 @ 10:44am

    OMG, some of these comments are quite funny indeed!!!

     

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


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