Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the which-is-more-important? dept

So… this is awkward. For the first time ever, the winner of the “most insightful” comment is… um… me? I assume this won’t help with those who insist this whole voting thing is rigged. Anyway, it was on the post about DHS’s ridiculous demand to Mozilla to remove the MAFIAAfire add-on, and Mozilla’s wonderful response. One of our “regular” critics chimed in to say that he didn’t think it was a good idea “to get ‘cutesy’ with the DHS and the DOJ.” To that, I responded:

I find this to be an interesting statement on two levels.

1. I don’t see how requesting that a government agency back up its demands with a legal basis is, in any way, shape or form, getting “cutesy” with the government.

2. I find the general sentiment you express here horrifying. You actually think that if the government comes to you and makes a request outside of the law, you should just obey? That seems to run entirely counter to the American way of standing up for what you believe in and not being bullied by the government.

I really find it sad when people who claim to be patriotic Americans really are just willing pawns of authoritarianism.

I don’t know that that’s really all that insightful, but thanks for the votes either way. The second place comment (just a few votes behind mine) was actually also responding to that same “cutesy” comment. This comment was from Gwiz, and actually gave a similar, but more concise response than mine:

Asking relevant questions about important issues that effect everyone is not being “cutesy” at all.

It’s called being a good American.

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
— Benjamin Franklin

Since we’re piling on concerning that particular ridiculous “cutesy” claim, I’ll have my first editor’s choice insightful comment be yet another response to that from an unregistered user named AW who brought some more historical perspective:

Yes and those darn colonists shouldn’t have gotten “cutesy” with the King of England…did you miss the basis of liberty in the USA? We don’t give in because government told us to.

As for my final editor’s choice on insightful, we’ll jump over to Friday’s post about the FBI lying to the court about information related to a Freedom of Information request. btr1701, who has noted in the past that he, himself, is a federal agent of some sort, clearly was not pleased with the FBI’s actions here and said so:

Seems like the agents who did this should get a contempt citation and the US Attorneys that allowed it should be brought up before the bar on ethics charges.

On that note, we switch over to the funny side of the field. The winner there is, once again, Gwiz (nice week!), this time for his comment responding to Sony’s claim that because it found a file that was named Anonymous the non-group “Anonymous” must have been responsible for its latest data breach. Gwiz likes that kind of thinking and intends to use it elsewhere:

I just found a text file on my hard drive named Ed_McMahon.txt and when I opened it said “You may have won $1,000,000”.

Sweet! This is *proof* that I am rich!

Off to tell the boss where he can shove this job…

In second place is an anonymous commenter responding to the same story above about Mozilla standing up to DHS, leading to this new browser market comparison chart:

Mozilla: “Chrome’s got speed, IE’s got name recognition, and Opera’s got indie cred, but we’ve got bigger balls.”

As for editor’s choice, we’ve got one from fogbugzd concerning a proposed bill in Chicago to require phones to have software that would disable SMS txting software for teens if the phone was travelling above 5 mph. fogbugzd did a nice job highlighting one issue with such software:

Rumor has it that this feature is already built into smartphones, but we can’t get the kids to tell us how to turn it on.

And, finally, as the second editor’s choice, we have DannyB’s response to the claims from the content industry in the UK that fair use is bad because it “leads to litigation.” DannyB notes that the same argument can be used elsewhere:

Copyright is bad because it leads to litigation.

Patents are bad because they lead to litigation.

And… we’re done. Enjoy your Sunday. Monday comes soon enough.

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Interesting that two comments lauded above concerned my “cutsey” post. Unfortunately, they do not reflect an accurate understanding of what I said.

Nowhere did I suggest “bending over” to the DHS. All my comment was intended to reflect is that at the present time a much more circumspect response to the DHS’ request would have been more appropriate and likely to bear fruit by receiving a response from the DHS. Response in hand, other questions could have later been sent. Instead, it now seems almost certain that no response will be forthcoming, leaving one to wonder what might be going on behind closed doors within the DHS.

On a final note, those who may post here who practice law may appreciate that Mozilla’s counsel may have exposed himself to problems under the rules of practice that govern those who are members of the bar. If his client wants to stand on a soap box so be it. But as counsel this was a poor move.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Sorry, but you’ve already revealed your nature. It’s a little too late to fix that.

Amusing though that nowhere in your (typically condescending) comment do you ever actually manage to address why you feel that cowering in fear when the government comes calling is the path you would take.

athe (profile) says:

Re: Re:

On a final note, those who may post here who practice law may appreciate that Mozilla’s counsel may have exposed himself to problems under the rules of practice that govern those who are members of the bar. If his client wants to stand on a soap box so be it. But as counsel this was a poor move.

I’d suggest that the counsel to DHS in recent times is probably poorer…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“All my comment was intended to reflect is that at the present time a much more circumspect response to the DHS’ request would have been more appropriate”

Appropriate to accomplish what? Allowing an out of control government to continue expanding its tyranny?

“and likely to bear fruit by receiving a response from the DHS.”

The DHS has had enough time to answer questions from the time that the domains were “seized”. If they still haven’t answered them, and those domains still haven’t been restored by now, then what makes you think they will suddenly answer questions now? Being complicit hasn’t worked so far (those in charge of the domains were complicit to take them down and, still, no one got answers).

I think it’s much more likely that we will get answers if more attention is brought to this (though I still think that it’s unlikely they will answer the questions and that Mozilla could very well end up getting punished). Unfortunately our MSM (one that benefits from govt imposed monopolies, so you know who’s responsible) hardly covered this important issue.

However, Mozilla has a reasonably large audience and the DHS knows it. and the govt is generally lazy, they generally take the lazy way out, so it might be a good idea to require more work of them to go through the due process that the law requires of them before complying with their request, partly because the extra necessary work might make the work necessary to answer those questions seem like relatively less work. Or at the very least it could encourage the DHS to go through the due process necessary to make Mozilla comply, which isn’t such a bad thing (given that they probably weren’t going to answer any of those questions regardless).

The argument that we should sacrifice our rights and allow the govt to illegally oppress us because we are hopeful that the govt just might be slightly more likely to answer our questions if we comply to their abusive demands is nonsense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Though, personally, I would have complied with the takedown. But I would have made darn sure that my target audience knew exactly why they were being deprived of their plugin and who was responsible. I would have sent my questions to the DHS and made sure my target audience got a list of the questions that I was asking the DHS and I would have told the DHS that everyone will be made aware of the reason that the plugin was removed and that the questions will be posted on the Internet for everyone to see and so will the answers when they answer. Until these questions get answered, people will be made aware that these questions still haven’t been answered.

It’s kinda like what Google is starting to do with videos that have been removed from Youtube, I think it’s a good idea to let everyone know why they are being deprived of something and who is responsible. IMO, that’s the best way to get more attention to this copy protection issue.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:


This isn’t particularly insightful or funny, but it is true, and right in line with warnings Mike has been giving the entertainment industry for a long time:

When I was a kid, there was no TV (and radio was mostly for detecting tornados (it buzzed when a tornado was around) and for “Amos and Andy”.
So, when we had those things (TV – portable radios – YAY!) I went into music and movies big time! Then the radio began to have problems playing what I wanted (too expensive) and went into junk! Movies became both expensive, and (to prevent people seeing them for free) only in theaters.

Eventually I lost interest; after all, you had to jump through hoops to enjoy yourself, and I like things simple. So, because music and movies were so hard to access (what I liked, anyway) I eventually began to see all that as “not all that necessary anyway”. Now I sometimes listen to classical music, but movies – music – who needs it?
Would I go to movies, and pay for music, if it was a part of my life? I always did! Even though it was free, I paid for the better experience. But now that it is so hard to access, except in ways that the entertainment industry dictates, I really am not interested.

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