Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the double-winner dept

Well, well, well. It’s been a long while since this has happened, but we finally have yet another case where the comment that got the most votes for “insightful” also got the most votes for “funny.” Yes, one comment stands alone this week as your favorite — by far (the voting wasn’t even close) — comment in both categories. Step on up Jesse for taking the ultimate prize. The comment was in response to Leigh’s post about the new FBI/ICE anti-piracy movie warnings, where Leigh compared ICE boss John Morton to a shaman, by noting: “Apparently Morton sees method in his madness, though, much like how shamans see method in their rain dances.” Jesse, however, pointed out that that wasn’t quite accurate:

Rain dances are probably more effective than this. At least rain dances don’t make it less likely to rain.

Coming in second on the insightful side was another comment on that same story (which also got a bunch of “funny” votes, though not enough to chart). It was Beech’s comment on a possible explanation for such a useless plan:

Most likely they want to make sure the public is aware that piracy exists, that way more people will be tempted to try it out, thus ensuring these bozos will have a job for years to come

For the first editor’s choice, we’re going to go right on back to that same story, and an Anonymous Coward who pointed out the ridiculousness of thinking education is a solution to infringement:

IP and Piracy is the only crime that people insist will stop if we merely ‘educate’ people properly.

So, why don’t we take the same approach to stuff like shop lifting? Force everyone who walks into a store to sit through a 30 second video on why shop lifting is wrong.

Or how about more serious crimes, like murder? If only the police would come barging into public places to remind people that killing is wrong and illegal! Obviously greedy people who murder to steal money, or out of anger and jealousy would NEVER have killed if they had simply been told ‘killing is wrong and illegal’.

Obviously all the media attention to famous murder cases, and high murder rates in big cities just aren’t doing job at educating people that murder is wrong. People obviously thought it was just another Hollywood drama show when they heard about Trayvon Martin being shot and the police taking the killers word for it being self defense against a dangerous bottle of iced tea! Or Casey Anthony killing her baby, after all, it had a Hollywood like ending where the murderer got away with it! That happens often enough in Hollywood crime shows!

And now, we have a two-for. While I guess it’s technically two separate comments on two separate stories, Rich Kulaweic provided some really excellent commentary on why the government is so incredibly braindead with its attempts to try to get access to information from internet companies. First up, we have his analysis of why CISPA’s data sharing approach will make information much more prone to being accessed by malicious hackers:

One of the best ways to copy information is not to copy it.

It’s to get someone else to copy it, and then copy it from them.

This becomes even better if they don’t need to be convinced, but willingly do so of their own volition. And better still if they pay for it.

More directly: if I were working for foreign government X or foreign corporation Y, and my job was to acquire the secrets of American government and business, I would be all over this bill, doing everything I possibly could to get it passed. I’d probably leak some worthless “secrets” just to fan the flames of hysteria higher. I’d throw some money into fake grassroots efforts to support it. And so on.

Because this (along the FBI push for backdoors, which I’d also whole-heartedly support) will help make my life much easier because it means more copies, and more copies means more opportunities. It also means more people with access, which increases the target surface for compromises, bribes, blackmail, etc.

Perhaps this has already happened.

Note that he mentions the FBI backdoors in that comment. Well, no surprise, that’s what his other comment was discussing. In our post about the FBI’s desire for backdoors into nearly all internet communications, Rich pointed out how this will have all sorts of serious risks by asking a simple question: Which one of these will happen first?

Which one of these will happen first?

A. The FBI will lose the data, as in: FBI lost 160 laptops in the last 44 months. (Rhetorical questions; do you think that’s the full extent of all of the laptops, pads, phones, USB sticks, external hard drives, CDs, DVDs, etc. lost by the FBI? Do you think that they’ve somehow magically stopped losing them? What percentage of these devices had unencrypted or poorly-encrypted data on them at the time they were lost?)

B. FBI personnel will be caught browsing or trading or selling the data for purposes most definitely not related to investigations, as in: Cops Trolled Driver’s License Database for Pic of Hot Colleague or TSA Worker Caught Downloading Child Pornography or Jose Salgado, TSA Agent, Arrested In Child Porn Crackdown.

C. The FBI will outsource analysis to one of the many, MANY contractors who are eager to exploit the OMG!OMG!CYBERWAR hysteria by using “grep” to search for keywords and charging hundreds of millions of dollars for their services. These contractors will be quite thoroughly hacked by the first bored seventeen-year-old with an attitude, as in Stratfor Hacked, the data will be exfiltrated, and then put up for sale on the open market.

D. The backdoors will be discovered after they’ve been inserted but well before the FBI gets around to using them. Their new owners, pleased with their acquisitions, will need to decide whether to use them to fully exploit the services where they’re installed, whether to start feeding entirely bogus (fabricated) data to the FBI, or whether to just siphon off the data and, once again, put it up for sale on the open market. (Alternatively, they could just trawl through the data and look for blackmail material, then offer to keep the FBI from seeing it…for a price. Note that it’s not necessary that such blackmail material actually exist: after all, it’s easy enough to just make it up.) Perhaps a really clever intruder will work out how to use the backdoors to funnel malware to the FBI, which doesn’t exactly have a history of executing IT projects well, see for example: FBI’s Beleaguered Sentinel Project Delayed Again.

Okay, moving on to the funny side. We already mentioned the winner, Jesse, above, but coming in second was an Anonymous Coward, responding to the story about the RIAA downplaying its central role in the almost certainly illegal censorship of Dajaz1. This AC took satire to a new level:

What horrible double standard! First you want the industry to police the internet because heaven knows big search can’t “magically” do it – even though they can magically do so many other things.

Now, NOW! you want the industry to also be accountable?

Sure, the industry can spend all their time and money enforcing and accountabling, but then the cost of your precious DVD’s is going to be like $100.

Then, THEN! you’ll complain that the cost is too high and you don’t care about fixed costs, marginal costs or the cost of tea in China to justify your piracy of said movie.

So, what’s it going to be? A world where DVD’s cost $100 or where you cut the RIAA some slack and let them shut down the odd blog every now and then?

And don’t give me this “try new business models” bs. If those models worked you’d be paying for the content you consumed instead of pirating it.

Put it into perspective. The Death Penalty Information Center has published at least 8 people executed in the United States that were most likely innocent.

I know it’s tough for you freetards to face ACTUAL data. But, why worry so much about *1* blog when the death penalty (which we ALL agree is worse) can’t even be right 100% of the time.

Think about it.

In closing, RIP Junior Seau.

Good stuff. For first editor’s choice, we’ll go with an Anonymous Coward questioning why everyone was so up in arms about Mad Men having to pay $250,000 for a Beatles song. As s/he notes, if people want to use it for free, we just have to wait a short time until it’s in the public domain:

I don’t understand why everyone can’t wait until after 2100 CE in order to make and use content made in the 1960s. Come on guys, respect copyright. If you can’t afford to use it, then you can certainly afford to wait a century.

And, finally, we have another Anonymous Coward back on that ICE/FBI movie piracy video warning. This AC thought that the FBI and ICE were being quite uncreative with the plan, and they should focus more on product placement:

They need to learn from the people who do product placement in movies and television. No one is going to pay attention to a warning at the start of the movie. Instead they need the protagonist’s motivation being that his parents were killed by movie pirates. They need the bad guys being terrorists from The Pirate Bay. They need the love interest declaring how turned-on she is by legitimately purchased content during the nude scene. Every movie should be required to have ten minutes of on-screen propaganda that pirates wouldn’t be able to remove for fear of missing the good bit.

Movie studios couldn’t even object to this requirement. Otherwise their films would be released unrated and be banished to the sort of theater that is coin-operated and offers complimentary tissues.

I’m sure Hollywood will get right on that plan…

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

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PatM (profile) says:

Missed That

Sorry, I missed those buttons on many posts. Had I known this article would bring this to light I would have commented more clearly, whether with more accurate insight or with a more proper witticism, especially in relation to Chelles’ recap article, (which was pure heaven to me, I loved every word written). Congrats go out to those nominated. I’ll pay more attention (put down the white wine) next time 🙂

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