Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the insight-harder! dept

This week, Hillary Clinton more or less told Silicon Valley to, once again, “nerd harder!” to find ways to stop terrorists from radicalizing people online. Norahc won first place for insightful with some fair play turnabout:

Perhaps if in her role as Secretary of State, she had “diplomat harder” we might have found a way to prevent the radicalization of people. Then again, that would entail people like her (including the other candidate) having to do real work instead of demanding other people work harder.

Our second place comment also comes in response to that post, and this one racked up so many votes that it also took first place on the funny side (it’s been a while since we had a double winner!) Machin Sin took a closer look at the notion of blocking radicalizing speech:

Under this logic all speech coming from either Hillary or Trump should instantly be blocked. For that matter they should both just be locked up.

I can’t think of anything that could cause more radicalization than the steady stream of stupidity that flows from those two. Some of the bombers are probably just happy knowing that by blowing themselves up they wont have to listen to any more news clips about those two bozos.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Dave Cortright responding to the parade of false statements used by the intelligence community to smear Edward Snowden:


Look, it’s great that Snowden turned out to be a nearly impeccable character that his opponents have to resort to lies and serious distortions to discredit him. But even if the guy were a drug addict with a penchant for young boys, THAT DOES NOT IN ANY WAY CHANGE THE *FACTS* OF THE MATTER AT HAND.

This whole report is just a pathetic attempt at redirection, focusing on the messenger rather than the message. And more to the point (which Greenwald astutely pointed out in his piece), Snowden was not the one who made this information public. If anyone should be scrutinized by the government it is the JOURNALISTS and their institutions who analyzed the information he provided and independently determined it to be newsworthy.

Fuck the oxymorons on the House Intelligence Committee. I hope the next leak FUBARs each and every one of their personal and professional lives commensurate with the bullshit our government has put all of the previous intelligence whistleblowers combined.

Next, we’ve got a small but important anonymous observation about HP disabling third-party ink cartridges with a firmware update:

There is a serious and long-term unintended consequence that MS, HP, et al are not considering here: they are teaching users that *installing security updates is bad.*

Over on the funny side, we’ve already had our first place winner above, so we head straight to second place where That One Guy noticed a fun detail in our story about the downfall of game studio Digital Homicide:

You just can’t make this stuff up

“Games like Wyatt Derp, Temper Tantrum, and The Slaughtering Grounds (the first game Sterling reviewed)”

There is just something so very fitting for a company like that to make a game and call it ‘Temper Tantrum’, given their typical responses to criticism. What next, a game called ‘Vexatious Bully’? Or how about ‘Victim Complex’?

For editor’s choice, we start out on the bizarre story of Macedonia’s copyright licensing collective actually banning Macedonian music from the air in protest of having to face competition. One comment stood out as especially appropriate:

Do they also claim ownership of the word Pyrrhic

(I don’t know if this was the intention of the commenter, but I found it amusing since Macedonia is in fact only about a hundred miles from the historical region of Epirus, home of King Pyrrhus himself. So… maybe!)

Finally, for the sake of symmetry, we’ve got another response to HP’s ink cartridge debacle. Roger Strong cut short those with plans of doing their own re-inking:


(I’m not sure how well that one would work on a t-shirt, but you never know…)

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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ECA (profile) says:

get a hint..

“There is a serious and long-term unintended consequence that MS, HP, et al are not considering here: they are teaching users that *installing security updates is bad.*”

LEts see..
I have suggested many times that Every company has wanted to control THEIR products, inside and out.. A friend recently asked about win10..
I mentioned he look at Windows Phones/tablets/xbox..
He thought for a second, and siad “OMG…you are right”

BE prepared to be required to BUY everything for win10 from MS store..

Thad (user link) says:

Re: get a hint..

I mentioned he look at Windows Phones/tablets/xbox..

Yes, but Windows Phone and Windows RT are abject failures.

MS would certainly like to be able to act as gatekeeper for every piece of software installed on its devices, but it’s not gonna happen on PC. There are far too many businesses relying on obscure third-party programs; if MS tried to break compatibility with them then the resulting backlash would make Vista and 8 look like small potatoes.

One of the biggest mistakes MS has made this past generation is assuming its customers in one area are similar to its customers in other areas. Phone users are okay with only being able to access a small subset of programs offered through a store controlled by the OS vendor; that means laptop users will be okay with that too, right? Nope. Console users are okay with paying a monthly subscription fee in order to access online multiplayer; that means PC users will be okay with that too, right? Nope. And, conversely, PC users accept as a fact of life that they’re not going to be able to resell their software; that means console users will be okay with that too, right? Nope.

So I disagree with your premise that there’s a legitimate threat of MS implementing an “all apps must go through the App Store” policy. I think such an attempt would backfire spectacularly. BUT your comparison to Xbox is apt for a different reason: because yes, game consoles are platforms where “security update” usually means “update to prevent you from using your device in a way that the company doesn’t want you to”. This hasn’t had too big a security impact on consoles because most console users aren’t actually interested in homebrew, and just run the updates. But importing this style to the desktop (and devices like printers) is potentially catastrophic; teaching users that they can’t trust security updates is going to make everybody less secure.

(BTW I’m the guy who wrote that anonymous post; I posted anonymously because for some reason my posts were getting flagged. Doesn’t seem to be happening anymore so here I am using my name again.)

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: get a hint..

Part of the problem is MS trying to change things to a Simpler environment..So that releasing something for 1 works on the others..
WHAT they dont see..
is that an OS is 1 part and an ENVIRONMENT/desktop interface is another.
Just because they run with the same ideas and are Compatible between each device…does not mean they have the same LOOK.
DX12 is already on Xbox..and with a few adjustments, Most things for xbox will work on the PC..
Most companies are learning that EVEN a C64 can do most things in business.. And winxp EVEN if you hacked it, is a good OS/environment..If it works DONT change it..

And if it comes down to it, Jumping to Linux for business is GREAT..

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: get a hint..

Those are all reasonable observations but I don’t think they’re strictly relevant to my point about security updates.

I actually think Win10 represents real progress from Win8’s misguided “let’s make the desktop behave like a phone” metaphor. Being able to write an app that’s cross-compatible across multiple different devices and architectures and has a different interface on each is a laudable goal; in web development we call it responsive design, and I think MS has the right idea.

In fact there’s a lot I like about Windows 10, but the forced updates, spyware, and transition from a la carte patches to cumulative updates are all major causes for concern.

EVEN a C64 can do most things in business..

Well, bullshit. Anything that can’t handle high-speed internet is a toy. George R R Martin may be able to get away with writing books in Wordstar, but that’s because his job involves working in isolation with as few distractions as possible from the world outside his own head. Anybody whose job is to collaborate with one or more other person needs a networked device. You’d be hard-pressed even to operate a cash register without an Internet connection in this day and age.

And winxp EVEN if you hacked it, is a good OS/environment..If it works DONT change it..

XP’s desktop metaphor is fine, but if you think the core of the OS was future-proof then you don’t know what you’re talking about. First of all, it was 32-bit; are you planning on using a computer that tops out at 3GB of RAM in 2016? (Yes, there was a 64-bit version of XP. Have you used it? Hope you weren’t planning on connecting any peripherals and expecting them to work.)

And then there’s security. While Vista’s approach to security was mixed, and UAC has rightly been criticized as cluttering up the desktop experience with prompts that just teach users to click on “yes” all the time, there were some other, much more important changes under the hood, in ASLR and DEP.

And driver/executable/kernel signing is an excellent security feature, so long as power users have the option of turning it off.

And if it comes down to it, Jumping to Linux for business is GREAT..

That’s a pretty massive oversimplification. I’ve used GNU/Linux as my primary OS for over a decade, and it works great for my daily use; it’s also true that as more apps migrate to the Web, the OS becomes less important, and there are a lot of desktop environments now with a near-zero learning curve for migrating Windows users. (Cinnamon looks more or less like Windows out of the box, and Xfce and MATE can be configured to.)


Gimp’s still not Photoshop, and LibreOffice still isn’t MS Office. And Exchange server compatibility for non-MS E-Mail clients is still limited to nonexistent.

There are a lot of organizations — I’m thinking government organizations and small companies in particular — that could really benefit from migrating to free software. But it can be a very costly transition, and for some jobs Linux just doesn’t have equivalent programs to the ones they currently use.

ECA (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 get a hint..

See what you are saying Is important, but the internet ISNT..
And IMHO, anyone setting there system withn access to the net, better KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING..

Its the thought that with dial up, it took time to infect a machine, with high speed…it takes les then 1 second..

Basically Email only would be great..
Isolated internet computer at MOST..

But for 90% of what an office has/does/will do…Any computer will work..and a C64 would be great as most people wouldnt even know how to open the data..

As to linux, try open office..
Look at Thunderbird..

What I WISH is that MS was JUST an OS…and I could decide/design my OWN desktop..but every time you get things set and understand whats going to happen in windows..they CHANGE to another version..and even the OLD version cost as much..the main change was 64bit..

we could debate this for WAY to long, and this isnt the place for it..

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 get a hint..

No, sorry, the notion that dialup is good enough for most businesses is utter nonsense. The Google homepage is 972 kilobytes. The fastest dialup connection is 56 kilobits per second. A byte is 8 bits, so 56 kilobits per second is 7 kilobytes per second. So you’re talking about 139 seconds — more than two minutes — just to load the Google homepage. Not to actually search for anything, mind you, just to punch into the location bar and press Enter.

You are right that it takes longer to download malware on a dialup connection. It also takes longer to download everything on a dialup connection.

Protecting computers from malware by turning them into useless paperweights is not a solution. When somebody has a hangnail, do you suggest cutting off their hands?

As to linux, try open office..
Look at Thunderbird..

That your examples of good open-source alternatives are both projects that were basically abandoned in 2012 suggests to me that you either have no idea what you’re talking about or are just messing with me.

we could debate this for WAY to long, and this isnt the place for it..

Respectfully, this is not a debate. You’re saying things that are ill-informed, outdated, or just plain wrong, and none of them have a damn thing to do with security updates, the subject of my original post that you claim to be responding to.

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