Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the a-new-conciliatory-tone dept

This week’s “most insightful” winner has one of the highest vote counts I can remember. Running away with first place is Mike C.’s comment in response to Hollywood unions calling SOPA opponents hackers and liars and then saying it hopes that any further discussion has a conciliatory tone:

Is it just me, or did anyone else read “We hope a new tone can be set that does not include website attacks, blacklists, blackouts, and lies” and immediately think:

Ok. You first.

Coming in second, we have Skeptical Cynic responding to our story about various public interest groups gathering to have a public discussion about the very, very secret TPP (dangerous trade agreement) negotiations. One of our usual critics insisted that those public interest groups are really front groups and not interested in the public (which, if you knew any of them, you’d know is ridiculous). But SC points out an even more important point:

I don’t want to waste time by pointing out the many, many things wrong with your comment. I am just going to say one thing.

Even if everything you say is true, do you really want to live in a world where laws are decided on in secret?

Indeed. As for editor’s choice, we’ve got crade responding to the White House’s response to Senator Rand Paul’s incident with the TSA. When asked about why it wouldn’t allow Paul to get on his flight after he refused a pat down, the White House’s statement was: “I think it is absolutely essential that we take the necessary actions to ensure that air travel is safe, and I believe that’s what TSA is tasked with doing.” Crade pointed out that the misdirection there:

Umm… yeah except I don’t think anyone was asking what TSA was tasked with..

And for the second editor’s choice, we’ve got Christopher Weigel commenting on the movie theaters’ top lobbyist’s response to the SOPA protests:

Here’s the part I find truly despicable:

“Senator Dodd and his team are quite good at this. We’ll sit down with them and ask what has to be done to make legislation more narrowly tailored….”

Not “we’ll sit down with the people who complained”. Not “we’ll sit down with Google or the other tech companies that understand how these things work”. Not even “we’ll sit down with the congressmembers who we’re pretending wrote this.”

This total [self-censored] wants to “sit down” with the same people who created this overly broad piece of crap in the first place and ask them how they want to proceed. And doesn’t see any problem with that.

Too true. But it shows how Washington DC works.

Okay, moving over to the funny side. The winner (by a wide margin) came from the Logician (with his Star Trek-related icon) responding to Wil Wheaton’s claim that Chris Dodd was lying:

Well said, Ensign Crusher. As any Starfleet officer knows, the first duty is to the truth.

Coming in second was an Anonymous Coward’s response to the Pirate Bay opening up a section for 3D printing files. This AC already came up with the new slogan for the physical object anti-piracy ad campaign:

Don’t Copy That Jalopy!

For editor’s choice this week, I actually picked out two separate comments that each reference popular movies (didn’t realize the connection until after I picked both). Given how much MPAA news there’s been lately, somehow that seemed appropriate. First we had TDR channeling the Princess Bride to explain what happened with the MPAA’s lobbying efforts:

“You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is, never get involved in a corporate war in America! But only slightly less well known is this: never go in against Hollywood when freedom is on the line! AHAHAHAHA! AHAHAHA—” *thunk*

Then we’ve got Jeremy Lyman responding to the story of a court forcing some to decrypt their encrypted laptop even if it would incriminate them. Lyman wanted a bit more drama in the scene, and went to A Few Good Men:

Yeah, IANAL, but a warrant means police have the authority to go look for something in a specific location, not the authority to command a suspect divulge information. You have to trick them into revealing the secret by leveraging their own ego:

Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I’m entitled.
Col. Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Col. Jessep: You can’t handle the truth!
Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has tubes, and those tubes have to be guarded by encryption algorithms. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more numerous salt bits than you could possibly fathom. You weep for digital forensics, and you curse the cipher. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That cryptography’s invention, while inconvenient, probably keeps secrets. And my use of it, while absurd and incomprehensible to you, keeps secrets. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want secrets to be kept, you need secrets to be kept. We use words like key, code, hash. We use these words as the backbone of a science dedicated to securing communication. You use them as a specter. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain cryptography to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very security that it provides, and then questions the security it provides for others. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a decrypter, and start brute forcing. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.
Kaffee: Do you know the private key?
Col. Jessep: I know the premise of encry…
Kaffee: Do you know the private key?
Col. Jessep: 4b752O7o3dgJ#?;6q7IxLBr7:#gUL^!

Boom! Techno-lawyered.

Now, who’s going to film these two scenes?

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

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Spaceman Spiff (profile) says:

Erwin Schr?dinger at it again...

I like what “The eejit” said about quantum theory – you can know the number of lawsuits, or which companies are suing you, but not both. I’d like to think of it like this (stealing liberally from Schr?dinger): You put a bill (SOPA/PIPA) in a sealed box (secret negotiations). You can’t know if it passed or not until you open the box, but the act of opening the box changes the bill. So, the question, while it is still sealed in the box, does it pass or not, cannot be answered, and the bill you get after the box is opened is not the one that was in the box in the first place… Doh! As someone once noted, there are two things you don’t want to know how they are made, sausages and laws.

quantum politician (user link) says:

Re: Re: Erwin Schrödinger at it again...

You can either pass the bill and know what’s in it or you can not pass the bill and not know what’s in it. You can’t have it both ways, you are either affected by a bill you know the contents of or you are unaffected by a bill you are ignorant of. If we can find a way to know what’s in these bills before we pass them then it would be easier for us to choose better bills, but as the Heisenberg uncertainty law of politics dictates, so far we can’t, unless someone can come up with a political advancement.

Anonymous Coward says:

So… 2012 WILL be the end of the world as we know it… but not because of the sun blowing up, or ET invading, or magical barbarian unicorns flying out from Obama’s butt. No it will be the year the everyone sold out to USA’s corruption. 2012 will be the year of the United States of The World!

Ok bad humor aside, anyone else noticed that since the beginning of the year, the only thing we’ve been hearing about is bad legislation being pushed everywhere? Shame on every single country that will protect dead hollywood interests over their own people’s.

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