Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the as-the-year-end-draws-near dept

It will come as little surprise that our most insightful comment this week was one of the over 400 comments (so far) hashing out a complex free speech question involving the ACLU. Amidst all the debate about a photographer’s right to refuse gay customers, Beech won approval from both sides by simply being pragmatic:

I’m not sure why this is a lawsuit. If someone is really THAT vehemently against photographing your wedding, why would you try to force them to do it? And if the government can compel this lady to take pictures at the wedding, can it compel her to take good ones? What if she, “accidentally” or otherwise, leaves the camera out of focus? Or only takes pictures of everyone’s feet? Or only takes pictures of derp faces?

It’s not like there’s not a huge number of options of photographers. Wouldn’t you want to choose someone more progressive anyway?

In second place for insightful, we’ve got Boojum offering a description of Google’s anti-spam efforts that gets away from combative language about punishment:

Google really isn’t punishing anyone, they are just improving their product. Their product is to link people with the content they are most interested in. In general, the spam sites are NOT the spots people are most interested in. So the changes to their algorithm moves them downwards in the responses.

It’s no more punishment than it is to not return Automobile web pages when the searcher was looking for the history of the NSA.

Now they don’t like it, certainly! But it’s not being done to punish them, it’s being done to make Google a better search engine for the people doing the searches.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start with techflaws and the simplest possible response to an NSA official’s accusation that the media is “intentionally misleading the American people”:

Pot, meet kettle.

And next we’ve got TheResidentSkeptic reminding everyone that the whole notion of an artist living forever off of a single copyright is unique and bizarre:

Calling All Tradesmen

Get your lawyers out! If an “artist” can get paid every time… why not you? Every time a house is sold – get your cut.. for the electrician who installed the wiring, the carpenters who built it, the plumbers, the painters…

How about using “Hollywood” accounting/residuals model? Then you could get paid every time the lights turn on…or the lock unlocks…or the water runs…

I bet we can NOT come up with something more insane than the government does…

Over on the funny side, we start with another comment on our post about Google’s anti-spam efforts focused on comment-section link-spammers. Mattshow won first place with an attempt to game the system and punish his enemies:

Extagen Male Enhancement tablets are Ranked #1. If you are looking for a safe, effective, natural male enhancement solution, then Start Today and place your order for FREE TRIAL PACK Try Extagen today and experience the results for yourself. Visit us at

In second place, we’ve got an anonymous commenter who attempted to coach Bic on having a sense of humor about its pens and phallic comedy:

They really should have turned it around. “I’m sorry, it sounds like you purchased an imitation. We sell BIC pens. What you are describing is probably a DIC pen.”

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we’ll start with a reaction to the news that the UK’s official internet archive won’t be internet-accessible. Arsik Vek speculated on what sort of quasi-Pythonesque banter could have possibly led up to such an insane decision:

“We’re going to archive all of this for the future.”

“Excellent. Where will we keep it?”

“In a box, in the basement.”

“But then how will anyone ever access it?”

“Why would they want to do that?”

And finally, since we’ve already had one faux-spam message grace the winners’ board, we’ll end with another. When a Philadelphia food blogger was revealed to be chasing a free family dinner with offers of promotion and good reviews, Arioch offered her a more concise and traditional (for the internet) pitch email:

Hello From Sarah
I am a Nigerian Princess residing in the Philadelphia region.
I run a website
My uncle was unfortunately killed in a car accident and left me a large sum as an inheritance.
I am looking for a restaurant that will allow me and four friends to take a meal and drinks in exchange for
1. A good review
2. 30% of the $15000000 legacy of my uncle

That’s all for now! At some point over the next couple weeks, among our various year-end posts, I’ll be running down the top comments for 2013, so stay tuned. Though I won’t be able to scour a year’s worth of posts for editor’s choices (especially ones I haven’t already used), if there are any comments that people think deserve special mention — maybe something you refer back to often or just that still sticks firmly in your head — feel free to nominate them below. Try to make sure they aren’t just good, but they are somehow special (such as comments from non-regulars who stopped by with an insider perspective on a given topic), or really good to a degree their votes may not reflect (such as important comments that came in late after voting died down). I don’t have a fixed plan for using these nominations, but I know there are some comments like that out there, and if I see enough that I think are truly worthy of note alongside the winners-by-vote, I’ll include a section for them in the post.

Until then, happy commenting!

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

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out_of_the_blue says:

FUNNIEST OF WEEK Mike's Friday night sudden alarm at "corporatists".

Sure, this is repeating, YET it’ll always be FUNNY (not necessarily humorous) because Mike has run several puff pieces on Google pushing a court case to be allowed to publish some unverifiable numbers for gov’t requests of user data. (Note that “user” is left undefined; appears to mean a person signed-up to Google and claimed to have agreed to its “Terms Of Service”; whether means anyone just using the search function, we don’t know…) Anyway, not only is the number unverifiable, but it’s meaningless and useless even if real! That’s ONLY PUBLIC RELATIONS.

Just use the evil Google itself on:

google “first amendment right”

I see at least a half dozen recent on that one phony court case.

SO for Mike to run several PRO-corporate pieces — what other purpose do those have? — and now to ONCE disparage “corporatists” doesn’t even balance, let alone explain why he thinks that one PUBLIC RELATIONS court case is worth repeated pieces of our valuable time.

Perhaps Mike has horrible editorial judgment. Perhaps Mike is pro-Google. Those aren’t mutually exclusive, and are both well supported by evidence.

It’s the SNEAKY way Mike goes about this which intrigues me. IF supporting Google is fine, then why the subtle propaganda of sneaking it in with implication that Google is valiantly defending our rights? Especially when by any objective measure, it’s only to publish an unverifiable number? How does having that number help us? Half a dozen pieces focused on those efforts? Now, that’s FUNNY.

The Microsoft Multiplier: Infect one computer with crap and charge to remove it, you’re hunted as a criminal; infect a billion computers with crap and call removing it an upgrade, you’re lauded on Wall Street.


Androgynous Cowherd says:

Calling All Tradesmen

Get your lawyers out! If an “artist” can get paid every time… why not you? Every time a house is sold – get your cut.. for the electrician who installed the wiring, the carpenters who built it, the plumbers, the painters…

How about using “Hollywood” accounting/residuals model? Then you could get paid every time the lights turn on…or the lock unlocks…or the water runs…

I bet we can NOT come up with something more insane than the government does…

Interestingly, a sci-fi author came up with that too, in the form of the “Rights Economy”.

Jeff Green (profile) says:

Copyright for all!

Why is this restricted to artists? I want to see it in sport!

In 1968 Dick Fosbury set a new highjump world record using a revolutionary technique, surely no-one else should be allowed to copy him for free until he’s been dead for 75 years!

Footballers (Soccer players to Americans) should not be allowed to “Bend it Like Beckham” unless they are playing for his team, if your pitcher comes up with a new pitch rival teams shouldn’t benefit for free.

And not just sports! How about typing comments on websites, if someone has had this idea already surely I should have to pay them!

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