Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the bingewatch dept

After Portland police arrested a homeless woman for charging her phone at a public outlet, we wondered what purpose that could possibly serve. Of course, the sad truth is it’s not about purpose at all, as one anonymous commenter spelled out in this week’s most insightful comment:

This is far more common that you might think

Having been homeless, I’ve seen a lot of this. Police and security guards routinely bully the homeless because they can: who’s going to defend them? They’re perfect targets for sadistic behavior, and believe me, there’s no shortage of that.

I’ve seen cops/guards steal coats (“that’s too nice for you, you must have shoplifted it”), kick food away (“you can’t eat here”), drag people out of bathrooms (“you can’t wash your face here”), refuse transport to the ER (“you didn’t get beat up, you just got drunk and fell”), steal money (“you can’t beg here, give me all your cash”), demand sex (“blow me and I won’t run you in”), and worse. Much worse.

Nobody sees. Nobody knows. Nobody cares.

Next, we’ve got a response to the baffling ongoing complaints about Netflix not being the same as traditional television with its release schedules, ruining watercooler chats and causing spoiler tension. Violynne pointed out that the whole point of Netflix is that it changed things profoundly:

Two things Netflix did to change the world when it comes to watching a TV show:

-It removed 22 minutes of ads despite being a paid service. Hulu + and cable television can’t even come close to doing the same thing.

-It put the power of viewing in my control, allowing me to actually enjoy watching shows again.

Remember NBC’s “Thursday Night Must See TV”? Yeah, so do I, and it was HORRIBLE. Unless you had an accompanying guide (most had TV guide), you had absolutely no control what episode aired that evening. Repeat? Pushed back because of a long-running football game?

Then there was the idiocy of the “break”, where weeks would go by without any new show, allowing the very few people who didn’t own a VCR/DVR to “catch up”.

The entire television industry was broken since the 50s. It’s thanks to technology it finally fixed itself so a show can be enjoyed, not aired based on when advertisers wanted eyeballs to their products.

There are plenty in this industry who should take notes from Netflix. Right, Hulu?

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ll start out with one more response to the story from Portland. This time it’s another anonymous commenter who proposed a radical solution to the concerns of businesses about homeless people:

There’s a very good productive way for the businesses to get rid of the homeless people. Hire them.

Next, we’ve got a reaction to the latest instance of what I once called copylaundering — the practice whereby big media companies license or otherwise use material they don’t own, then later feed it into YouTube’s ContentID or other automated screening systems, which then accuse the original creators and rightsholders of that material with infringement. As Mason Wheeler points out, the irony hurts:

…and they call piracy “theft”?!?

Over on the funny side, first place comes from the post about Cisco shipping hardware to bogus addresses in order to throw off the NSA’s intercept efforts. It’s a valiant move, but as Michael pointed out, certain aspects of the strategy sounded very familiar:

“We ship [boxes] to an address that’s has nothing to do with the customer, and then you have no idea who ultimately it is going to,”

In a related story, DHL sues Cisco for copyright infringement.

In second place, we’ve got a response to the news that the government will be paying $18,000 to a photographer whose cameras it improperly seized outside a tank plant in Lima, Ohio. Vidiot suggested a continued effort to drive the message home:

Throwing it open to all…

Announcing… The Lima, OH Tank Plant Photo Contest! First Tuesday of every month, we all meet outside the plant at noon, and start snapping away.

Runners-up (which is everybody else) get a free ride in a government vehicle. But one lucky winner takes home the $18,000 jackpot!

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from AricTheRed responding to the insane comparison of Google Fiber to… ebola:

Man if this is true, I sure hope I catch Google Fiber, as there is no apparent effetive treatment for that either…

Finally, we circle back to the complaints about Netflix’s new model for TV viewing, where DannyB pointed out that the solution is easy, and would surely be super popular:

Look Netflix, here is a simple fix.

Introduce an option where a customer can pay an extra fee to their local cable company and Netflix will not allow playing each episode of a series until at least one week after you have watched the previous episode.

For an additional fee, Netflix could add a fixed time window option where you must watch the episode in a fixed time, such as 7 PM Thursday Evenings. Failure to watch it at that time means you miss it and will not have another opportunity to watch it for one year.

For people who really want the premium experience, Netflix could charge customers an additional fee that enables them to experience commercials conveniently inserted by Netflix at points in time where something exciting has happened or some major plot twist has just occurred.

For an additional fee, Netflix could remove your ability to pause the internet stream so that you must watch it live.

None of these ideas are technically infeasible to implement. Those of us who want a superior experience from Netflix should send them feedback to implement these features at once. This would allow us to blame someone other than Google for a change. (Of course, we still could look for some reason to blame Google for Netflix’s lack of the above features.)

Sign me up! 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:

Funniest of week is Techdirt slips and validates intellectual property: "your stuff"!

You can’t even discuss ANY creative act without the concept of “your stuff”. Since “YOUR STUFF” is a valid concept you must give up piracy and attacks on copyright! You can’t use fundamental concepts only when suits you:

That’s the process available to indie artists: sit back and let major players claim your stuff.

Simple substitution* makes:

That’s the process available to copyright holders: sit back and let little pirates claim your stuff.

Jon Rappoport happens to expand (at first) on copyright and “your stuff” at Activist Post: “The extinct dinosaur called The Individual”

Interviewed, Kevin Kelly … the co-founder of Wired, makes a startling remark. In his view the whole issue of copyright is archaic. He explains that all authors draw their ideas from previous authors and therefore don’t own their own ideas.

It’s wonderful to witness such bloviating on the cusp of the New Civilization, in which “you didn’t build that” is taken to unprecedented levels.

Kelly should start a publishing firm; all his authors would work for free. After all, nothing is original, nothing is new, and these writers are merely rearranging other people’s words.

You might be surprised at how many people actually believe this tripe Kelly is passing along.

It’s part of the vastly expanding operation aimed at the individual.

Masnick / Techdirt too is anti-copyright, hold that nothing is new, that authors and musicians and movie makers should work for free, that greasy blob Kim Dotcom should be able to monetize all created content…

Otherwise, as usual, what’s really FUNNY is big items adverse to Google are NOT even hinted at by Techdirt “writers”:

Google reportedly blackmailed websites into giving it content for free

Took me fifteen minutes to compose this piece long as typical Techdirt post. What do Techdirt “writers” do all day yet have so few posts? — Difference is that I just tell plain facts, while they have to figure how to spin lies.

* Since in the piece below, Masnick casually says “Just switch out copyright for patents”, then it’s surely legit to liken indie artists to copyright holders.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:

Re: Funniest of week is Techdirt slips and validates intellectual property: "your stuff"!

Took me fifteen minutes to compose this piece long as typical Techdirt post.

Is that why it’s completely incoherent, scatterbrained, and doesn’t seem to be making any particular point whatsoever? Spend a little longer next time, because honestly I can’t follow any of what you just said…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Funniest of week is Techdirt slips and validates intellectual property: "your stuff"!

Pro tip, Never attempt to become a writer nor blogger. You haven’t the skills nor attitude to pull it off. Your attempt at a post made absolutely no sense, has no coherency to it, and is absolutely uninteresting.

Just Another Anonymous Troll says:

Re: Funniest of week is Techdirt slips and validates intellectual property: "your stuff"!

Simple substitution* makes:
That’s the process available to copyright holders: sit back and let little pirates claim your stuff.

1. Taking a quote from an article and inverting the meaning does not mean Mike and co. agree with that as well, in fact it’s more likely they disagree with it since it’s the opposite of what they said, and was posted by a troll/shill to use as a strawman.
2. Pirates do not claim your stuff and actively steal your money. At worst they offer free, which does reduce your sales by a nonzero number but if you have real fans they’ll buy it anyway to support you. That’s not as bad as having your own content monetized by UMG.
3. This post took me about 5 minutes to compose and conveys more information than 10,000 of your drugged out rants. Techdirt writers put even more thoughts into bigger issues than a troll’s comment, hence it takes longer.

charliebrown (profile) says:

Streaming Services in Australia

Oh hooray, we have Stan (which is a dumb name for a streaming service), Quickflix, Presto and tomorrow we’ll have Netflix. The thing is, I can’t afford to subscribe to every darn service. And they don’t have much I actually want to watch either.

Quickflix charges extra for “premium” shows like “Call The Midwife” and “Game Of Thrones”. In fact, for the price of subscribing to Quickflix for one month then the additional fee for “Game Of Thrones” per season, I could buy the BluRay for a couple of dollars more, or the DVD for a couple of dollars less. And buying the discs means I don’t use any of my monthly data quota.

Anonymous Coward says:

Watching tv on demand ,any program anytime,is a completely
different experience ,
than watching tv with ads every 15minutes.
People in oz are worse off than eu, usa,
they have strict data caps on broadband ,
if u love a show ,eg game of thrones ,buy the dvd or blue ray.
BBC in the uk ,has no ads at all.
most programs avaidable to watch on demand ,
after broadcast is over for a few weeks.
ITS supported by a license fee.

Anonymous Coward says:

I think what people want is probably a feature where Netflix generates a pseudo random list of programs, partly based on your preferences, and lets you watch it.

Anyway, as more people continue to subscribe to Netflix and other such services, the demand for traditionally “cable-TV style” scheduled content will decrease.

Or maybe Netflix will create their own “Netflix channel” option where they show curated lists of content. Who knows?

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

…Where do you get your channels, that they only have 7-10 minutes of commercials?

Seriously. Commercials are nearly a third of the allotted run-time, now. a “one hour” episode useally runs ~42-43 minutes, including the credits (which on most channels, are squished and supplanted by more commercials).

Watched Kolchack this weekend, 53 minutes per episode.

Commercials have gone from 13% to nearly 30%. And that’s on cable. Which costs ~$130/month, without any equipment rental fees. Which you don’t get to opt out of.

Anonymous Coward says:

On the police arresting a woman for charging her cell phone...

I feel like there is something missing to this story in general.

In 2010 at the Rally to Restore Sanity, I stopped at the museum to try to find an outlet to charge my phone.

I managed to get it to about 10% and was approached by security to remove it or be arrested.

I just removed it and moved on.

There had to have been more said that took so much time that a total of 4 officers showed up.

My incident lasted all of 30 seconds.

I’m not saying that what they did was right. I’m just saying that sometimes it’s completely not worth the effort.

What a goofy, first world problem.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: On the police arresting a woman for charging her cell phone...

Do you look homeless?

Obviously this is a pretty awful generalization, but many of the unfortunate homeless people in this country can be identified by some physical attributes.

Once identified in this particular subset of the population, some people treat these individuals differently. That is actually part of the point of the article – while you may have been simply told to leave, the homeless are often taken advantage of or mistreated.

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