Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the what-does-steve-jobs-have-to-do-with-grocery-stores dept

Taking the number one spot in voting (by a decent margin) for “most insightful comment” this week was from That Anonymous Coward in response to filmmaker David Newhoff trying to compare “copyleft” folks who are seeking more reasonable copyright laws and who are fighting against needless and dangerous expansion… to people who are anti-gay marriage. This is exactly as ridiculous and insulting as you’d expect, and TAC didn’t hold back in telling Newhoff how he felt:

*walks up to the podium, a small amount of feedback echoes across the loudspeakers*
Mr. Newhoff, on behalf of “My People”… GO FUCK YOURSELF.
I’d say something eloquent, but GO FUCK YOURSELF says so much more.
How DARE you try to equate copyright with the discrimination “My People” face on a daily fucking basis.
How dare you try to frame your pathetic argument that the bad people are stealing from you when my people are regularly discriminated against, beaten, and murdered.
Fuck you, Fuck your shilling, Fuck the lobbyist asswipes you shill for.
As soon as I can get married and not have to keep looking over my shoulder wondering if this might be the next bigoted asshole to beat the shit out of me we can discuss copyright. Until then… GO FUCK YOURSELF.
*drops microphone and walks off stage*

For second place… we actually had a tie. I don’t recall ever seeing that before, but you get both of them. First up, is Sneeje responding to the MPAA’s insistence that if the court lets legitimate users download their stuff from Megaupload’s shuttered servers, that they have to guarantee not a single download infringes. Sneeje suggests this is a pretty big double standard considering the ability to file DMCA notices without proving that a work actually infringes:

Since those that send DMCA notices only have to assert that the notice is factual and correct, why not let those users just simply assert that their downloads do not infringe?

And since that requirement of the DMCA notices appears to be completely toothless, the same should be for these.

And then we have Ima Fish responding to me stating that the Australian government inviting a “consumer representative” to its secret anti-piracy gathering “raised questions,” after it came out that the head of that consumer rights group was very active in the fight for stronger copyright enforcement. Fish corrected my claim that it raised questions:

You’re kidding right? This doesn’t raise any such questions. This answers such questions. Definitively.

Fair point.

Moving on to the “editor’s choice” awards for most insightful, let’s start with Chris Rhodes responding to someone on the thread about Fiona Apple telling her label to “do nothing.” Someone responded that without her label, no one would know who Fiona Apple was in the first place. Rhodes suggested it’s not that simple:

Depends. If she were starting her career today, it’s quite possible that she’d be just as well known.

Back when physical media was the only way for fans to get your content, the labels were necessary to have your music widely disseminated. Now they aren’t necessary.

As an analogy: Just because supplies for the first automobile factories were shipped in by horses doesn’t imply that horses continue to be necessary after the automobile was available to everyone, you know?

Good analogy. And our second editor’s choice comment comes from Richard, in response to Hollywood, yet again, seeking a backroom deal with some tech companies. Richard pointed out how ridiculous it is to do a backroom deal like that:

Their problem is that if they did have that backroom chat with the tech industry they would wake up a few years later and realise that the companies they talked to no longer mattered.

40 years ago they would have talked to IBM

20 years ago it would have been Microsoft

15 years ago Yahoo

10 years ago Google

6 years ago Myspace

Now Facebook

in 5 years time?

Plus: doing a backroom deal with Hollywood would be a quick suicide method for an innovative Tech company.

Okay. Enough with the insight. I know you guys only come here for the funny stuff. Coming in at the top spot, by a somewhat wide margin was our faux-troll Mr Big Content, who responded to the story about Fox News trying to link the Flame malware to Angry Birds because they both used the same coding language. Mr BC trolled hard, and it’s so good that I’ll even leave in the homophonic errors:

If their writing legitimate software, why don’t they use a legitimate, accepted language, like Microsoft Visual Basic? The mere fact that there choosing to use something obscure like Lua shows that they must have something to hide!

This is why I love Fox News. They ask the tricky questions that nobody else dares to contemplate! You’re site could learn something from them, Mike!

Coming in second was BentFranklin responding to the story of beer giant Labatt threatening a newspaper with legal action, because a photo they used of alleged killer Luka Magnotta showed him holding a bottle of Labatt Blue:

I don’t always kill people, but when I do I prefer to drink Labatt’s Blue.

For editor’s choice… you’re actually getting four (count ’em) comments this week instead of just two… but it’s actually two sets of two comments, that were each different variations on the same story. First up, we’ve got two responses to the news that Canada was raising its music tariffs for things like playing music at weddings, which included the bizarre feature that if anyone dances at your wedding, it costs twice as much. Jeremy Lyman decided to look on the bright side:


An actual reason not to dance at weddings. Thank you Copyright Board of Canada!

uncoordinated white guys

And then there’s the comment from “safety from copyright dance” who composed some lyrics to a tune you might recognize:

We can dance if we want to.
If we leave these copyrights behind.
‘Copyrights wont let us dance and if we can’t dance.
Well, then we’ll leave them behind.

Damn. Now I can’t get that song out of my head.

The second pair of posts deal with the insane claim by the US Commerce Department that the fact that Steve Jobs had a bunch of patents and made some cool devices, proved that the patent system was great. An Anonymous Coward built on the fact that the details of the DOC’s report that it was defending, showed that it claimed that the largest employer of “IP intensive” jobs was “grocery stores,” and made the obvious connection:

Every time I go to a grocery store I thank Steve Jobs.

Similarly, OC, suggested some other correlations that made just about as much sense:

Ok, so Steve Jobs had a lot of patents. He also had lots of black turtle necks. And pancreatic cancer. Clearly, to succeed all innovators need to dress in black and develop a deadly illness of their choice.

What will those crazy cats at the Commerce Department think of next?

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

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Anonymous Coward says:

If their writing legitimate software, why don’t they use a legitimate, accepted language, like Microsoft Visual Basic? The mere fact that there choosing to use something obscure like Lua shows that they must have something to hide!

Trouble is, neither are full blown languages. Instead they are script languages, that are easy to get the basics down on but short on the real intricate stuff. Lua is only obscure to those that don’t use it. VB is much the same. Excel uses a version of VB noted as VBA. Similar to VB but not a stand-alone.

If you are a professional programmer, you’re going to go for the full blown language to have all the capabilities there to do things. If you are a hobbyist programmer chances are it will be a script language.

The trouble with Fox News and the troll, is both are talking out their hats but can’t identify the hat from a hole in the ground.

Anonymous Coward says:


Trouble is that this is a brilliant detail on Mr BC’s part. Calling Visual basics a programming language only enforces his point that there is no real difference between his comment and the Fox News story: They are both conspiratorial in nature and both misunderstand/misinterpret something basic of a techno-“whatever it is called” thingy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Scripts are typically quick and dirty. Whereas a ‘programming’ language is meant to be much more thought out and deliberate. You have more control with a language at low level functions than with scripts.

You use a script language for something quick. You use a compiled language when it’s going to be around a long time. Scripts being as they are not compiled tend to run slower than compiled ‘full blown languages’ but are more of a pain to do because you must compile and debug each instance. Whereas a script language you just reload and run the for the next debug.

Anonymous Coward says:

“As an analogy: Just because supplies for the first automobile factories were shipped in by horses doesn’t imply that horses continue to be necessary after the automobile was available to everyone, you know?
Good analogy.”

Wow, that is possibly the worst analogy possible. It attempts to belittle all the things that have been accomplished in the last 40 or 50 years in the music industry, and make it sound like they were only around for the first few minutes.

It’s sad that you guys think this is useful.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:


Getting away with payola and exerting control over the media.
Getting copyright extended to life +120 years.
Getting the right to spy on users.
Getting the right to commit copyfraud and face no penalty.
Getting the right to lock culture away in a farce of what copyright was supposed to be.
Getting the right to stifle innovations that “could” be used to harm their copyrights.
Getting the right to screw artists in Canada out of 60 billion dollars, and then the gall to try and force an insurance company to pay for the bad acts.

They mattered once, the did contribute but they are working on making themselves completely irrelevant.
They sell things to consumers to stay in business, they declared war on their customers and treat them like scum and wonder why they make less… hurm someday business schools will explain that screwing your target demo over will end poorly.

I know I missed some other highlights of the last 40 or 50 years of the music industry, but that is what is killing them… they still think its 40 years ago and they are the only game in town.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

*takes a bow*

Top slot and rms showing up in the thread… it was a good week.

I thought it was much more telling that Mr. Newhoff did not come to see the article and discussion but instead very safely from his own blog called it a hatchet piece. A nice little walled garden where he has to approve the posts before they appear.

These were just “logical” constructs and if I was smarter I would have understood that. I understand why he only has 1 IMDB credit, he isn’t that creative.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

You have more control with a language at low level functions than with scripts.

I?m not sure what kind of toy ?script? language you use, but the more modern ones I am familiar with?particularly Python?give you very comprehensive access to low-level features.

In the case of Python, you have as standard the struct module for doing low-level data manipulations, and ctypes for making use of native libraries that do not offer a Python language binding. The latter even lets you pass Python routines that the library can make calls to.

Chargone (profile) says:


from memory: something written in a full language will run itself. something written in a scripting language needs an actual program to run it.

i may be over simplifying or misunderstanding, but that was the basic explanation a friend of mine gave me.

(example: i don’t know what language Paradox uses for their grand strategy games, but the AI runs off Lua scripts, which modders can write and which don’t do anything on their own without the game to run them. (that said, paradox’s games store a lot of other things in plain text files rather than the executable or specialised file types for ease of modding too, but that’s mostly just data files, nothing complicated that actually does anything, just values the game looks up.)

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:


It seems to me that the line between scripts and full languages – in terms of how they are applied – is blurring. As the commenter above mentions, Python (clearly a script) is used for all sorts of heavy-duty stuff. JavaScript can be an ungodly mess, but it can also make really well-organized object oriented applications – and has some pretty great possibilities there, with its on-the-fly complex object notation and extremely flexible implementation of lambda concepts.

With web apps becoming as big as they are, there are a lot of EXTREMELY well-thought-out applications operating entirely on scripts – JS on the front-end and PHP on the back-end being the most common combination.

I’m not saying that scripting languages will ever entirely place compiled languages – that wouldn’t make any sense. But I don’t think the simple distinction of “quick and dirty” versus “thorough and organized” really applies the same way it used to.

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