PT’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 10th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    Re: Has anyone tested other sites?

    I don't know - I'm still waiting for the screen to refresh.

  • Feb 6th, 2014 @ 10:02am

    Re: Another enjoyable bit of non-fluff from out_of_the_blue.


  • Jan 26th, 2014 @ 12:16pm

    (untitled comment)

    These, especially the Blub, are some of the ugliest and most tasteless nixie clocks I've ever seen. Compare them to what you see here - - or on Etsy.

  • Jan 26th, 2014 @ 12:02pm


    It's a vector display. I see you don't appreciate technical elegance.

  • Jan 16th, 2014 @ 1:05am


    An interesting thought, but just coincidence, and anyway, they don't line up very well. That graph shows top incomes rising towards 1929; the New Editions graph is falling. Also, the New Editions graph shows a recent rise for the sole reason that new books stay in print a few years. By 2025, the copyright bathtub will be longer and the early 2000s will be as flat as the 1980s.

  • Jan 6th, 2014 @ 10:56pm

    This too shall pass

    When I first got on the (wired) internet, I had a plan that allowed me 40 free megabytes a month. Of course files were much smaller then, as were hard drives, and there was no streaming music or video, but I still used 40MB in two days and had a monthly bill bigger than my mortgage. I cancelled the plan. The ISP called me, terribly mystified and hurt, and I told him why. I must not have been the only one, because a year later, every ISP was offering unlimited plans.

    At the present time, we suffer from a terrible lack of competition in cellular services. But it will not always be so. Let AT&T piss everyone off; it will just hasten the day when data caps and annual contracts are a distant memory like 40MB/mo wired plans.

  • Dec 28th, 2013 @ 12:26pm


    When I need a man to unclog my sink or toilet, I already have to pay him an extraordinary amount.

  • Nov 9th, 2013 @ 11:20pm


    I removed Ubuntu from my machines a couple of years ago, not over this, but because it tried too hard to distance itself from the familiar. I didn't have the time nor the inclination to learn a whole new way of doing things. If Shuttleworth were to design a car, he'd probably differentiate it from General Motors by putting the accelerator on the left. And he'd weld the hood shut.

  • Oct 12th, 2013 @ 12:49pm


    Interesting viewpoint, AC. I wonder where you're sitting as you view it.

    From where I sit it's true there doesn't appear to be a lot of debate going on, but it's a rare day when it doesn't come up several times in conversation at the office. In fact, it seems to be creating future political activists out of thin air. If you were to spend a little time researching the left-wing and libertarian blogs you would see the debate is far from over - though of course, it's suppressed on the "establishment" conservative blogs as a dissenting opinion, so you wouldn't see much there.

    Anyway, I don't think TD is going to drop the subject, and as an insider, I thank you sincerely for your contribution to the debate.

  • Sep 12th, 2013 @ 3:23am

    (untitled comment)

    I seem to recall that Amdocs, an Israeli company, handles just about all of the telephone billing for the entire USA.

    Who needs a pen register when our friends already have all the meta data on every call made by everyone to anyone? 'Course, they probably want something in exchange for it.

  • Sep 12th, 2013 @ 3:02am

    (untitled comment)

    Heck's only been in Congress for three years, yet he's already on three important committees, takes $80k (that we know of) from defense lobbyists, and got TV commercials for the last election - his first re-election - paid for by the US Chamber of Commerce. A pretty meteoric career for someone who framed himself as a humble citizen who just wanted to make a difference.

    Incidentally, he got an amendment of his own passed in that same debate, thanks to which the nation will now spend many millions of our tax dollars buying Iron Dome missile systems from Israel.

  • Sep 8th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    That's splitting hairs, Mike - we know what he meant.

    I wrote to my Congressman asking why he voted against Amash. He sent me a lengthy reply full of weasel phrases like "a substantial amount of misinformation about these programs has been spread, mostly through independent, unaccountable media sources" and "I have twice sworn an oath to preserve, defend, and uphold our Constitution. I take this oath very seriously". Then at the end he linked to a press release put out by his office - ct
    That he felt obliged to put this out suggests that I was far from the only person to contact him about the matter.

  • Sep 7th, 2013 @ 3:37am

    (untitled comment)

    A great deal of the hunger in the world is not caused by actual shortages, but by index commodity speculation that drives prices up out of reach of the poor. Index commodity speculation is quite different from the normal kind of commodity futures trading, known as physical hedging. It has nothing to do with leveling market supply and demand. It's a purely financial instrument created by the likes of Goldman Sachs to allow people with massive amounts of money to gamble on the commodity exchanges, which they were previously barred from doing by the 1936 Commodity Market Act. Goldman quietly got the rules changed around 2003.

    Note, they're not actually trading commodity futures. They're doing "Commodity Index Swaps". From Wikipedia, "A Commodity swap is similar to a Fixed-Floating Interest rate swap. The difference is that in an Interest rate swap the floating leg is based on standard Interest rates such as LIBOR, EURIBOR etc. but in a commodity swap the floating leg is based on the price of underlying commodity like Oil, Sugar etc. No Commodities are exchanged during the trade." In other words, you give your money to the Wall Street bank and if the price of your commodity goes up by 10%, you get it back with 10% extra, less fees of course. But the sheer amount of money sloshing around in this business is enough to influence the market price on its own, and naturally, the bank has an interest in moving it in one direction.

    This speculation, and not supply and demand, is the reason you're paying $3.50 a gallon for gas today. Speculation drove the price from $40 a barrel to $140 in 2008, then the bubble burst and it fell back to $33 by year's end. Now they've driven it back up to around $100 again, though in fact, supply has increased and demand fallen since 2008. 2008 was also a peak year for speculation in soy beans, wheat, rice and other staples, which is why just the revelation that the Japanese rice stock existed was enough to collapse the price.

  • Aug 17th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Democracy, Anyone?

    I wrote to my congresscritter to ask why he voted against the Amash amendment. Part of his reply reads as follows:

    [S]ince this disclosure a substantial amount of misinformation about these programs has been spread, mostly through independent, unaccountable media sources. ... The simple truth is that this authority has thwarted 54 terrorist plots since its creation.

    If this is what you get from a member of a group allegedly committed to reducing the size of the Federal Government, there is no hope.

  • Aug 17th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Maybe they will go Full Gestapo.

    It didn't work out so well for Joseph Nacchio, former CEO of Qwest. Perhaps he really was guilty of insider trading, but it seems improbable he would have been prosecuted and given six years for it if he hadn't stood up to the NSA.

  • Jul 18th, 2013 @ 1:40pm

    Re: A "wall?"

    I'm surprised that Baker would bring 9/11 into it, considering how precariously the lid has been secured on that can of worms. There is plenty of evidence that if there was a "failure to connect the dots", it was willful. Some agency was tracking these guys during their time at the flight school in Florida, and other agencies had been told to leave them alone. This is not to say that anyone knew what they were planning to do, but they were certainly already "persons of interest" to someone. As for the FBI, it's been adequately documented by Daniel Hopsicker ( and others that their primary concern after the event was not investigating, but gathering up and concealing evidence and warning inconvenient witnesses to keep their mouths shut.

  • Mar 27th, 2013 @ 3:03pm


    Hello, Google Fiber! When are you coming to my town?

  • Mar 27th, 2013 @ 2:54pm


    Not only that, but they're available within minutes of an episode airing anywhere. It's possible for a guy on the West Coast to download and watch an entire episode before it even starts to air in his local time zone. Consider the appeal of that for someone who has to be up for work before 5am the next morning. It's convenience they would pay for.

  • Mar 20th, 2013 @ 1:31am

    Re: Re:


  • Mar 20th, 2013 @ 1:16am

    Re: Re: I liked this part

    So do you really think that US prices for textbooks will go down? Or have you figured out yet that textbook prices in other countries is going up?

    In a free market, everything is sold for the maximum price the market will stand. This is fundamental economics. And the whole point of Wiley's lawsuit was to interfere with the free market. If they had the freedom to increase prices overseas, they surely would have done so, but the foreign market would not, and will not, stand it.

    The most likely outcome is that US and overseas prices will stay the same. A healthy grey import business will develop, and the publishers' next move will be against the foreign buyers.

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