Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the the-final-frontier dept

This week, we took a look at an interesting question: should the police be able to take control of self-driving cars? One anonymous commenter won most insightful comment of the week by pointing out one of the key problems with this idea:

The problem is that if the police have the ability to take remote control of a car, then the bad guys will also have that capability, along with secret services, therefore the car should normally avoid collisons with anything, and obey hand signals and visible signal lights..

More Important is giving the occupants the ability to override the automatic system, so that for example they can force the car to drive away from, or even through a hostile crowd. Without that options, it becomes easy for gangs to hijack vehicles, spread out across the road to force the car to stop, and then move in behind the car.

In second place, we’ve got the result of an exchange on our post about an incoherent anti-Netflix editorial in the Wall Street Journal. The writer’s ?bizarre comparison to the airline industry prompted one commenter to wonder what point he thought he was making, spurring Michael to offer up an interpretation:

I think he is trying to argue that the airline industry – which is clearly failing, hated by most of it’s customers, being propped up by the government, and showing little or no signs of change is a shining example of a good way to run a business.

Oh, I guess that’s what the cable industry actually DOES think.

For editor’s choice, we start out on our post about the EPA’s wrongheaded support of using copyright law to prevent people from tinkering with their cars’ software. Ninja expanded on the point that potential dangers are not a reason to prevent modification:

This cannot be emphasized enough. Thinkering with mechanical parts can do a whole world more damage to the environment than anything else. Many people here remove pollution control mechanisms from their trucks because it decreases the consumption by 3-4%. You stop it by having vehicles undergo obligatory auditing or something but not by preventing people to mess with what they own. This is specially true when you are dealing with agriculture equipment where a lot of farmers do their own maintenance and need access to the software because they wouldn’t have the funds to pay for maintenance from the company itself.

Next, after we wondered if Danny Rodriguez’s Supreme Court win would help prevent any unauthorized searches, That One Guy made a solid case for why it won’t ?because of a fundamental flaw in the system:

No, it won’t, and in fact it won’t even slow such searches down. All a cop has to do is claim that they were unaware of the SC ruling, and they’ll get to search cars to their heart’s content.

So long as police can rely on the ‘Good faith exception’, they don’t have to pay the slightest bit of lip service to what the law actually says, so long as they think they’re within the law when they do something(or are willing to lie and claim as such). If anything, the ‘good faith exception’ provides incentives for cops not knowing the law, as the less they know, the more they can get away with.

For cops, ‘Ignorance of the law’ is not only a valid excuse in court, it’s a desired state.

Over on the funny side, first place goes to a response to Apple’s refusal of a court order to decrypt messages for the DOJ. ?Ben suggested a rephrasing of the reply:

Apple should respond to the DOJ:

No messages were found responsive to your request

(to paraphrase the DOJ’s seemingly favorite response to a FOIA request)
… and since they don’t have any decrypted iMessages, it would actually be true.

For second place, we head to our post about Getty Images and its disastrous anti-penguin copyright crusade. One commenter suggested we dub the meme-penguin’s successor “Getty Streisand” in honor of the debacle, but an anonymous reply provided an even better moniker:

I prefer Petty Images.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, just for fun, we’ve got a double-serving of Star Trek references of varying obscurity thrown out by our commenters this week. First, after someone invoked a paradox on our post about confidential informants, one anonymous commenter harkened back to the original series episode I, Mudd:

Every cop in Tampa is now standing still, head listing to the left, repeatedly muttering ‘Norman, coordinate’.

Next, on a DailyDirt post about the many challenges involved in space elevators, another anonymous commenter showed off his even more encyclopaedic Trek knowledge with ?an obscure reference to the Voyager episode Rise:

yeah, like spending time with Neelix in a enclosed space for hours. No thanks, I would rather listen to Harry’s latest recital.

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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Shill says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, something about everyone here drinking the techdirt koolaid. Yeah, you know, the koolaid.

BTW, our shilling organization has been looking for new talent and are wondering if you would be interested. The requirements are posted here

One of the issues that we face is that too many of the usual shills, such as the ones that frequent Techdirt, are on crack. We advertise top quality shills and we end up with the nonsense you see here on Techdirt. So we need new talent to offer our clients better quality shills.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

In fact let me post a sample of exactly what I mean when I say that too many of our shills are on crack.

“Man, the freaking left wing paranoia about trade again on Techdirt. What’s the big deal about “secret” negotiations? It ultimately will be made public. Then the duly elected representatives of the people will have a chance to approve or reject. Seems the real beef is that the protectionists don’t have anything concrete to demagog right now, which pisses them off.”

Wow, just, wow. What was this guy on when he posted this one wonders. Perhaps he’s been drinking too much kool-aid. He’s an embarrassment to all us shills and to our shilling organization. and he’s probably selling whatever drugs he’s on to other shills which would explain why all of them seem to have similar issues.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Man, the freaking left wing paranoia about trade again on Techdirt. What’s the big deal about “secret” negotiations? It ultimately will be made public. Then the duly elected and properly bribed representatives of the people will have a chance to approve or reject. Seems the real beef is that the protectionists don’t have anything concrete to demagog right now, which pisses them off.”

Fixed that for you. Or him. Whatever.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well, they’ll say that is because of “international treaties” and will leave up to you to check it out.

Still, their goal is that people won’t be able to protest when the treaty is being ratified. They don’t mind having to wait 5 years as long as they get to rape us.

That, of course, if such a clause is deemed acceptable and no one leaks the text.

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