Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the asking-basic-questions dept

It was a short week, but still plenty of great comments, so let's get straight to it. Topping the charts on the insightful side is an anonymous commenter who raised a simple question about the FISA secret court process:

adjudication requires opposing parties to be present and provide evidence and arguments to the adjudicator. How can the "process of adjudication" be ex-parte?

Meanwhile, second place goes to another anonymous commenter with another simple observation, this time about the Ed Snowden situation:

role reversal...

It used to be that political dissidents would actually SEEK asylum in the US, now they are looking for asylum to get AWAY from the US.

How the times have changed...

Let's keep that pattern going in the editor's choice with one more simple, anonymous point. This time it's about Senator Durbin's disturbing overtures about defining who counts as a journalist:

First step in canceling freedom of the press

Government licenses for journalists. And if your press doesn't meet government standards, they yank your license.

Don't worry citizen, even if you need a government license to operate a press, you'll still be able to speak freely.

And, last up on the insightful side, we've got Lawrence D'Oliveiro, explaining the stupidity of the W3C's belief that DRM in HTML5 is necessary to make content providers keep using the web:

It's The Connectivity, Stupid!

What drives the Internet is not content, but connectivity. There were other online networks before the Internet--anybody remember Compuserve, Prodigy, the original AOL? Their selling point was their exclusive content, which you couldn't get on the Internet. Yet they were all swept aside, simply because the Internet offered better connectivity between people.

The Internet doesn't need content providers. It is content providers that need the Internet.

(I think "internet" should be subbed for "web" in most of that comment, but the broader point remains true.)

On the funny side, it's a tight race. First place is Jessie, wondering what the humorless Attorney General who complained about a satirical "prescription" mug would target next:

The AG's set their sights on their next target:

"An apple a day keeps the Dr away."

This phrase makes light of the millions of uninsured in america.

And in second place, trailing by just one vote, we've got a response to the description by another commenter of Ed Snowden as "the 'I'd let him bang my wife' type of hero that America needs:

Rest assured, I am Ed Snowden.

Would you happen to have a number where I can reach your wife and does she have a valid passport?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out back on the post about DRM in HTML5, where one commenter was stubbornly continuing to insist that "you can't compete with free." Michael offered an appropriate reply:

Back to that one.

I'm going to kick back and drink my bottled water while I watch CBS through my cable provider and wait for someone to come up with an example of paid products competing with free ones by being better or more convenient.

And finally, we've got Akari Mizunashi, who had a suggestion for the Washington Post after the editorial board called for and end to leaks and tried to trivialize The Guardian:

Perhaps the Washington Post should subscribe to the Guardian in order to stay relevant.

Hope everyone had a great holiday, and you didn't miss us too much! We'll be back to business as usual tomorrow.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 7th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    "What drives the Internet is not content, but connectivity. There were other online networks before the Internet--anybody remember Compuserve, Prodigy, the original AOL? Their selling point was their exclusive content, which you couldn't get on the Internet. Yet they were all swept aside, simply because the Internet offered better connectivity between people."

    And they fail at it so very much.
    The rest of the twitterverse was watching something unfold and be discussed... CNN was busily talking about the calories in a muffin.
    The plane crash at SFO, twitter had better information sooner than any of the big players who were still waiting for the teletypes to bring them the story. A majority of the details were already online by the time the "first reports" were making the airwaves with information that was already outdated.
    The internet is where you can find discussion about what Snowden revealed rather than trying to focus on if he is a secret communist out to destroy the country or if Greenwald raped and murdered a girl in 1934.

    No wonder they tap it, they fear what it could lead to.
    The President expressed concern about the democratically elected leader of Egypt being removed from power... I don't think it was concern than Democracy would die in Egypt, I think it was fear that we might get ideas.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 2:27pm

      Re:

      The President expressed concern about the democratically elected leader of Egypt being removed from power... I don't think it was concern than Democracy would die in Egypt, I think it was fear that we might get ideas.

      The internet allows news and ideas to be spread rapidly without having to pass through a gate keeper, and people to self organize to solve problems in an ad hoc fashion. Both of these thing reduce the power of politicians as organizers of society.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 8:03pm

      Re:

      The long term public benefits gained from open communication should have happened long before the Internet if it weren't for the wrongfully government imposed broadcasting and cableco monopolies. To the extent that the big media cartels aren't brainwashing us with nothing but propaganda and lies it's only because of the Internets influence on the media and the fact that the Internet makes it much more difficult to get away with it.

      Decades of a very centralized, self-serving media have resulted in 95+ year copy protection lengths and retroactive extensions preventing anything from entering the public domain. Orphan works maybe forever lost to history to never see the future again. Oppressive laws preventing open communication have resulted in a very broken patent system, government established taxi-cab monopolies, a hotel industry that uses the government to keep competitors out, and the passage of many many very bad, self-serving, laws in return for political campaign contributions and revolving door favors. The public has been asleep and uninformed due to these communication monopolies dominating for so many years.

      It is not enough to simply defend the openness of the Internet. We must take back what rightfully belongs to the public, that which was wrongfully stolen from us. Abolish government established broadcasting monopolies for private or commercial use and abolish government established cableco monopolies.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2013 @ 6:08am

        Re: Re:

        Not to mention laws, and a penalty structure, that are so one sided that they deter restaurants and other venues from hosting independent performers and they even deter bakeries from allowing children to draw custom drawings on their birthday cakes. This hurts the venues, the public, and the artists who are denied the exposure they need to gain an audience and build business models around them. This only helps the parasite middlemen that contribute absolutely nothing.

        Not to mention the FDA is one of the most corrupt organizations out there, tasked with restricting our health freedoms for corporate profits.

        Our laws are so corrupt that, now that the public is more informed about them, we don't even know where to start. I'll tell you where we need to start. We need to start by abolishing the selfish media cartels and the laws responsible for maintaining them. They are the reason the public has been brainwashed, misinformed, and uninformed for so long resulting in such a crooked system. We should no longer tolerate this.

         

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          art guerrilla (profile), Jul 8th, 2013 @ 8:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          yes, you have your finger on the nub of the problem:

          'our' (sic) kongresskritters are *SUPPOSED* to look out for us and reflect our will, they do not...

          'our' (sic) media is *SUPPOSED* to be our proxies, and look out for us, comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, but that system is korporate owned, lock, stock, and (gun)barrel...

          stupid sheeple still have enough cheezy doodles and sugar water, so they don't pay attention to the lapdog media or the korporate-owned kongresskritters...

          art guerrilla
          aka ann archy
          eof

           

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      Bergman (profile), Jul 8th, 2013 @ 5:55am

      Re:

      I don't think a military coup and abolishing the constitution would be a step forward for anyone.

       

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    RubyPanther, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Search warrants

    Aren't most search warrants ex-parte? Seems like these people don't even realize that the trials are normal criminal trials.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 7th, 2013 @ 2:13pm

      Re: Search warrants

      This is not simply getting a search warrant, this is similar to a Grand Jury where a 1 sided argument is all they have to work with. This is making law with no one concerned for the other side of the coin.
      A search warrant is limited in scope, not lets get data on everyone on the country in case they might at some point have had contact with someone we dislike. Let us only have to be 51% sure they might not be American to scoop it and do whatever.
      Oh and a search warrant requires there to have been a crime, not running a wild hunch that at some point this will come in handy.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: Search warrants

        I agree with everything you said except the part about there having to actually be a crime. They can get a warrant if they can show probable cause that a crime was committed was being committed even if no crime actually is or was committed.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

      Re: Search warrants

      If they would just actually go through the process of getting a warrant we wouldn't be having this discussion.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 4:38pm

      Re: Search warrants

      the comment was about "adjudication" which Kotelly claimed which she "participated in" the FISA court. Adjudication has nothing to do with granting a search warrant. Adjudication can never be ex-parte. If anything, it shows how FISA court is re-purposing the english language and the judges are throwing out these terms without regard to what they actually mean.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 6:32pm

    adjudication requires opposing parties to be present and provide evidence and arguments to the adjudicator. How can the "process of adjudication" be ex-parte?

    fist you answered your own question,

    "How can the "process of adjudication", because of ex parte.

    "requires opposing parties".

    Sure, one Party is NSA, the other party is US Government and the Constitution.

    The two parties are "the Constitution" and the NSA.

    But it's NOT a ex parte ruling, all parties "the Court (constitution), and NSA, both parties are 'notified', so no group is 'absent' from the Adjudication.

    The ruling is for the NSA to acquire information (or not), it is NOT for the parties being investigated, they not 'a party' to this ruling, they may be the subject, they are not the party.

    The Adjudication is between the NSA and the Court (representing the Constitution).

    Learn your own law, it's also "Ex parte" NOT Ex-parte

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Jul 7th, 2013 @ 6:59pm

      Re:

      ... I'm sorry, but did you honestly just try and argue that the court, a neutral party in the proceedings, is not only not supposed to be neutral, but is also supposed to be an interested party in a ruling, providing the 'balance' of a second party in a court case, while ruling on a case?

      The fact that your entire post is essentially 'learn your laws before commenting on them' just makes that brilliant claim all the funnier...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 7:41pm

        Re: Re:

        It's darryl. He argued that Bernie Madoff, a known scammer, would disagree with Falkvinge's picture of Snowden and Wall Street, so therefore Masnick is wrong.

        Who else but a complete jackass would stand alongside a known criminal?

         

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      Rikuo (profile), Jul 8th, 2013 @ 12:10am

      Re:

      The Constitution is a party in a court case....whaaaa? An inanimate object, a piece of paper, is supposed to be "notified"...
      "Mr. Constitution, sir, Mr. Piece of Paper, you are hereby notified to be present at the local court house next Tuesday"...is that what you're saying?

      I also love how you go on about "it's Ex parte, not ex-parte"...as if you have the standing to go on about spelling and grammar, having made plenty of mistakes in your own comment.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

    Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    So if the Court determines these searches to be 'reasonable', then it complies with the wording of the constitution.

    You can try to argue these searches to be unreasonable, but there are many examples the Court (and NSA) (and Port Authority), would be indicators that these searches are DONE FOR A REASON, therefore reasonable..

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Jul 7th, 2013 @ 7:08pm

      Re: Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

      ' but there are many examples...'

      Such as?

      Pretty much every single example that has been trotted out has been something that was never a threat to begin with, something that could have been handled perfectly fine through already existing channels without constitutional violations, or were flat out 'least untruthful' examples, so I'm curious as to what examples you mean.

      Also, the 'if a court determines...' bit only matters is the court is actually doing the job they are supposed to be doing, rather than just stamping 'accepted/approved' on every piece of paper that gets put in front of them, as the FISA court has been shown to do.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 7:37pm

      Re: Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

      It's a secret court. I find anything done by a secret court in a supposed democratic republic to be unreasonable. The people have an inherent right to know what their own government is up to.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 9:20pm

      Re: Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

      Even if the definition of "reasonable" is debatable, you can't get around the second half of the amendment. Demanding records for everyone in the country violates this. They need probable cause, and they need to specify PARTICULAR things to be seized. They cannot just on a daily basis get records for everyone in the country.

      But... no, I can't let the first part go. If "secretly spying on all communications all the time" is reasonable, then the clause has no meaning whatsoever. Their actions are NOT reasonable.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 9:55pm

      Re: Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

      You deserve a bullet in your body, because someone says so, and it would be reasonable. Congratulations, darryl; once again you owned yourself. Careful not to slice your dick screwing with your solar panel wife, now.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2013 @ 11:02pm

      Re: Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

      One day after making everyone do the walk of shame your turn will come.

      On that day don't ask for God's help.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2013 @ 7:55am

      Re: Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

      You skipped half the amendment and that's not what reasonable means. Furthermore there are no examples of a court upholding the constitutionality of the laws these activities were supposedly allowed under because the government uses the state secrets privilege to prevent any possible plaintiff from having standing to sue.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jul 8th, 2013 @ 2:40pm

      Re: Simple, It's been demed "reasonable".

      So if the Court determines these searches to be 'reasonable', then it complies with the wording of the constitution.


      Just because a court says something is Constitutional does not make it, in fact, Constitutional.

      these searches are DONE FOR A REASON, therefore reasonable


      Since everything that is done is done for a reason, this standard would mean that there is no such thing as an unreasonable search at all.

      It's a good thing that's not the actual legal standard for what makes something "reasonable".

       

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    Rekrul, Jul 8th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    (I think "internet" should be subbed for "web" in most of that comment, but the broader point remains true.)

    You do know that there's more to the internet than just web sites, right?

     

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