Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the sony-baloney dept

There were plenty of reasons to condemn the statement from a Cleveland Police Union rep saying “it’s pretty pathetic when athletes think they know the law.” We focused on the fact that athletes are just citizens, but Oblate took first place for insightful this week by pointing out that singling them out actually adds a dash of hypocrisy to the situation, too:

And yet…

I bet that this union rep is more than willing to criticize the Browns players when they don’t play well.

Even though no one dies when football players screw up.

In second place, we’ve got an expansion on our admittedly simplified (but functional for many purposes) definition of DNS. Rich Kulawiec has the details:

DNS does a lot more than that. It not only handles mapping names to IP addresses, it handles the reverse. It handles mail exchanger records. It handles name server records. It handles SOA (start of authority) records giving the provenance of DNS information, contact points, and caching/expiration timing. It handles mail source authorization. And so on.

The MPAA is (predictably) viewing this in terms of the web, NOT in terms of the Internet. That’s probably because in their zeal to break the web, they either don’t know or don’t care about breaking other Internet functions. These have repercussions far beyond what’s discussed here: for example, if a DMCA complaint about YouTube requires Verizon to forge DNS failure responses for DNS queries related to for everyone on Verizon’s network, then that will break email for any sender whose mail server uses Verizon’s DNS. Same for AT&T and Comcast and Charter and all the rest…which means that nobody on those networks (modulo those uses 3rd-party DNS servers) will be able to send YouTube a DMCA complaint.

And that’s just the beginning. All kinds of services rely on DNS in all kinds of obvious and subtle ways — which is one reason why there’s a dns-operations mailing list whose members are concerned with the ordinary breakage and weirdness involved in a system of this scale and scope. And those folks have enough to do without dealing with intentional disruptions triggered by the same people who file DMCA notices against their own content.

You might think that folks like Rich should be able to quickly shutdown the MPAA’s ill-conceived notions of meddling with the DNS system by simply explaining how dumb it is, but of course that’s not how it works. Someone did suggest they should talk to some engineers, and that brings us to our first editor’s choice for insightful (from an anonymous commenter):

I don’t think that will work. They’ll speak with some expert engineers who will tell them it won’t work. Then they’ll speak with some engineers who will tell them it won’t work. Then they’ll keep going until they speak with some “engineer” who will tell them it will work. They will then tout said “engineer” to the world as an expert network engineer, and proof that their idea is perfectly feasible.

Next, we head to our post about librarians in the fight for open access and plenty of other good stuff. M. Alan Thomas II, a librarian himself, served up a thank-you plus some historical context:

Thank you for your support. We fight hard against censorship, for government transparency, against overbearing copyright, &c., so you can understand why I like Techdirt. (I’d love to see one of the Techdirt regulars on a panel at ALA Annual some year, but that sort of programming isn’t my strong suit.) And we’re usually pointing out these problems years before anyone else gets on board; during what was being called “the Summer of Snowden,” ALA Annual hosted a well-attended panel titled “WE TOLD YOU SO.” (We did one on filtering the same year: “Access denied!”)

Of course, librarianship’s dirty secret is that we didn’t really get this liberal and libertarian until circa the ’60s. For example, we spent the early part of the 20th century fighting with teachers and the newly-minted child psychologists over which profession was best suited to decide which books were appropriate for children, and not in a good way. But today? Libraries are the most anti-government government agencies around.

I’m proud to call myself a Radical Militant Librarian (to quote the FBI and many, many librarians thereafter). Allies are always welcome.

Over on the funny side, voting was kind of slow this week — but it’s no surprise that a jab at Sony still rose to the top. After someone suggested there’s no way Sony would be engaged in DDOS attacks, That Anonymous Coward took first place with some good old-fashioned sarcasm:

yes after all of the jail time they ended up serving for handing out rootkits and leaving peoples computers unusable after the root kit was removed, not to mention the additional jail-time when it was revealed they stole others code for the bundled player on the disc, they would be very wary of doing something childish and asinine.


Next, we head to this week’s special guest post from Senator Ron Wyden, where one commenter gave us what appears to be every single known variation of Ben Franklin’s famous liberty-security-tradeoff line. Jupiterkansas said all there was to be said in response:

Wow, Ben Franklin really ran that one into the ground.

Our first editor’s choice for funny comes in response to CBS’ terrible streaming video offering, the (presumed) failure of which the network hopes to blame on anyone but itself. As one commenter pointed out, the service is a step backwards, amounting to little more than a reinvention of the VCR — and Michael clearly felt a shiver down his spine:

They didn’t re-invent the VCR, they have brought back the Boston Strangler!

Finally, we’ve got one more comment about Sony, this time in response to the company’s decision to start sending letters to news outlets, demanding they stop talking about leaked information. Dfed pointed out, foolishly courting “The Effect” like that is even more inexcusable from a company that really should know better:

So, surely someone at Sony Pictures has actually met Streisand, right?

That’s all for this week, folks!

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

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Anonymous Coward says:

The factoid that’s being ignored by the press is that while violent crimes have gone down over the past 30 years, police brutality has gone up. This year alone 25 cops died in the line of duty while over 400+ unarmed civilians died at the mercy of law enforcement.

Why is that?

I could list dozens of examples of how the general populace within America is being abused by both state and federal institutions but that’s not going to change anything.

The fact is that we’re systematically becoming a nation that’s far worse than any dictatorship…I suppose if as a nation we all recognized that a ‘Representative Democracy” (which is a misnomer) is but a wolf in sheep’s clothing then perhaps true change would emerge…Through ‘direct democracy’…we have the technology to make it happen!

Personally, I don’t ever see that happening within our lifespan and that our nation is on the fast tract towards a bloody and pitiful end…

I’m guessing all of this is going to collapse under its own weight within the next 50 years at the most.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Ever seen what mob justice does?

Now, do you really think a Direct Democracy would work?

People are supposed to serve on a jury to help ensure that a government is not abusing its citizens yet, instead, we make a lot of effort to avoid that responsibility. And the people too stupid to avoid jury duty wind up just getting angry at the person trying to defend themselves while the prosecution and police “legally” get to lie to put someone (too often an innocent) in jail!

Tell me… what makes you think democracy would work again?

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It depends whether you think people are fundamentally unable to be responsible, measured, self-educating and self-organizing, and must always be “ruled” in some way or another, or you think that a more direct democracy could and would encourage a cultural shift towards emphasis on those qualities, and thus have benefits ranging far beyond political mechanics and into society as a whole.

I’m not claiming to be able to make an airtight case for either of those things, but I don’t think utter cynicism is warranted. Social progress is most often fuelled by democratized access to information, education and communication — and we have more of that than ever.

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