Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the fraud-etc. dept

The FBI has been having a real tough time recruiting young tech savants to its cause, and this week our first place winner for insightful is an anonymous comment with some clear and simple thoughts on why that is:

He’s hoping to attract patriots, except the real patriots are the ones unwilling to help the FBI violate the Constitution and civil liberties at every opportunity.

But the agency might not need that expertise — after all, Hillary Clinton thinks the military might be the best response to hacking attacks like the one that targeted the DNC — which gave Wargazm a thought that won second most insightful comment of the week:

Are we just going to gloss over the idea that she thinks a *hack of the DNC* is grounds for introducing a new doctrine for dealing with cyber attacks?! Last I heard the DNC is NOT a government agency.

What exactly does she propose we defend here? If Russian hackers go after a grandmother’s bank account, are we going to put boots on the ground? Or is the goal just to prevent Democrats from being embarrassed during an election year?

One more thing: How the hell does she look at the DNC hack and not immediately change her position on encryption? If we had strong, encrypted email services readily available and easily used by anyone…bam, no DNC hack. Instead, she talks about using the military to respond. Christ.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ve got a pair of responses to the astonishing scandal in which Wells Fargo has fired 5,300 employees for fraudulent billing practices. First, That One Guy questioned the idea that this could be any kind of ‘mistake’ or accidental product of bad incentives:

Which might make sense if we were talking about a few, or even a few dozen people doing it across the entire company, but when we’re talking about literally thousands of employees the idea that no-one in management had so much as a hunch that something fishy might be going on before the investigation pointed it out to them goes right out the window.

As the article and the first AC noted, either upper management knew and looked the other way or they were so grossly incompetent that they never caught on, either way they need to be fired at best given the idea that they really had no clue is minuscule when you consider how many people we’re talking about here.

Next, we’ve got a response to that comment from MadAsASnake, who explained how it could be both — a broken incentive system coupled with managerial negligence:

This happened a lot in the UK as well. The incentives given to floor staff are usually in terms of “conversion rates”. The targets are based on the “best” staff calculated on those conversion rates. The “best” are invariably those that are cheating.

In one case I am aware of, one staff member “upgraded” the accounts of all 13 customers she saw that day. In return, she was:
– rewarded with a commission for each sale
– rewarded with a bonus for being a top op
– given recognition throughout the company

When her manager reviewed those upgrades, it was plain that the customers had not agreed to them. So what happened? The manager had to contact all 13, explain the “mistake” and put it right. This member of staff:
– kept the commission, bonus and recognition
– was not reprimanded (how could you having so publicly congratulated her)

The new targets the following week were increased in proportion to this record achievement. The reason this gets really out of hand is that those staff not making the targets face criticism and sometimes even dismissal for poor performance.

My wife was a co-worker in this branch. As she said, you could do you job with integrity, or you could hit your targets which were spectacularly unattainable. My guess is that stupid incentives structures combined with a refusal to reprimand dishonest behaviour is behind this too. The management need to be sacked whether they knew or not.

Over on the funny side, our top comment is one that pops up frequently whenever we level criticisms at Google (this time, over the Feedburner/ link shortening fiasco). JD offered up the classic ironic-faux-troll:

Clearly this is just more proof that Mike Masnick is a Google shill.

Next, we have a quip on a thread about Comcast’s broken broadband meters which seemed to be vastly overcharging people. One commenter asked if it would be called fraud to sell 10,000 tickets for a show with a 3,000 seat capacity — and Michael had an answer:

No. That would be called an airline.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we follow up on that with a good ol’ crossover comment from DannyB in response to Trump’s lack of a cyber policy against ISIS:

Dear Mr. Trump,

Here is a simple cyber policy for ISIS.

Make them have to use Comcast.

Finally, we’ve got one more response to our problems with Google’s link shortener — an anonymous commenter who found the silver lining:

And the good news is that you probably won’t be charged with a CFAA violation!

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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Whatever (profile) says:

“Over on the funny side, our top comment is one that pops up frequently whenever we level criticisms at Google (this time, over the Feedburner/ link shortening fiasco). JD offered up the classic ironic-faux-troll:”

Calling out Google over something minor while ignoring all the other “not evil” things they do is, well… draw your own conclusions.

I am guessing Automattic is on that list now too… 🙂

Whatever (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh, I dunno, let’s ask Julian Assange (he’s a saint around here, right?):

Or you could read the on Quora for some examples and extra links:

You know, the basics.

Oh, and thanks to the usual Techdirt “censors” for flagging my comment. You should be proud to provide censorship on a site that supposedly fights for freedom of speech!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

He’s already been identified as, and openly admitted to, altering his IP addresses and using pseudonyms to persistently troll the site.

Had this been any other website he’d be banned. Under his own legalistic insistence he’d be charged under the CFAA. Yet he’d still rather spend his time pissing and moaning.

But what did you expect from the tactical mastermind who claimed that John Steele would win his appeal?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

99 percent of that looks like grasping at straws

The EU doesn’t like the search results. Well, they can start their own search engine then.

The problem is that certain companies that have a poor product for a high price are outraged that their search results are lower because no one likes their product. So they complain to the government, and offer back door dealings, so that the government can do something to help them by blaming Google. and broken governments and shills like yourself pretend to buy into it hook line and sinker when you and the government both know better. It’s nonsense and no one is buying it.

Tax avoidance. Every company does this. Fix the tax laws.

Google hides its own problems? Let me guess, did you Google those links that you linked to? Because that one link pops up at the top of the list if I google search

examples of google evil behavior

So apparently they aren’t hiding it. Unless the link puts itself to be unlisted in a Robots.txt file I suppose.

The privacy violations regarding street view. This was in fact covered on Techdirt and most people don’t really think getting wifi names that publicly broadcast themselves is such a big deal. Again, grasping at straws

Patent infringement. The patent system really really sucks and everything can be considered infringement these days. Big deal.

Yeah and so they are buying patents to avoid having to infringe. Why is that a bad thing? Much better than the patent trolls you shill for that buy patents so they can sue everyone despite the fact they produce nothing. At least Google innovates and they don’t go suing others for infringement (unless it’s a defensive lawsuit).

Again, grasping at straws. The only unethical one I see here is you, shilling for the patent trolls like the tool you are.

Buying off companies that protect privacy. No they’re not, that’s just a bunch of conspiracy nonsense and most of that was already discussed here on Techdirt in the comments. I’m not going to wake that zombie, it’s dead. You probably still think they’re buying off Techdirt too. And I’m sure you think Obama wasn’t really born in the U.S. and he is secretly the Muslim antichrist right.

You really need to do better.

Infringing on privacy. Possibly but what evidence do you have they are breaking any laws? They have your e-mail? Well, they need to store it. It still seems like you are grasping at straws again.

Being part of the PRISM government surveillance system. Oh, because Google denies it then they must be part of the system, right? Also if Google does receive a ‘lawful’ gag order by a court it can put them in a tough spot but I blame the NSA and the secret court orders, not Google, for that.

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