Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the anonymous-schmanonymous dept

We’ve got a double-winner this week, taking first place on both the insightful and funny sides. The comment came from kallethen in response to the State Department’s strange and worrying attempt to spark a fake Twitter feud about the history of intellectual property in America, and pointed out that one of their prime examples was a strange choice:

Okay, is anybody else laughing at how they picked Ben Franklin as an example? Who, as I recall, did not seek to patent his inventions because he believed all should benefit by them?

In second place on the insightful side, we’ve got a response to AT&T’s claim that people can simply choose not to have broadband. One anonymous commenter pointed out the company’s own assertion that this isn’t true:

AT&T’s own commercial: “Food. Water. Internet. We need it to live.”
Sorry for linking an AT&T ad.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more response to the State Department’s propaganda plans, from an anonymous commenter who decided to play along:

Linus Torvalds made an open source operating system #MostAmericanIP

Jonas Salk eschewed $7bn and gave away the polio vaccine #MostAmericanIP

(Though as was quickly pointed out, Torvalds in fact created a kernel, not an OS. But the point still stands.)

Next, we’ve got a solid anonymous response to the all-or-nothing debates about “regulation” that some commenters try constantly to instigate:

Very few people supports absolute anarchy and very few people supports regulation that codifies every little detail.

With that in mind:

“pro regulation” and “no regulation” are mostly just rhetorics, with no value for specific topics. They are sufficiently unspecific to rally around like “change” and “make america great again” to not be a hinderance for dumbing down a discussion and beating the adversary on experience!

Over on the funny side, we’ve already had our first place winner above, so we head to second place where an anonymous commenter got understandably catty about constant demands from some commenters that we cover different topics that they think are more important:

You’re free to start your own blog. You can call it. Neckbeards and fedoras. A users guide to the internet.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, since it’s been a very strong week for anonymous commenters so far, we continue with one more anonymous response to AT&T:

As a parent, I don’t force my children to eat the dinner I make. They have options: take it or leave it.

What do you mean you are going to call the Department of Social Services about my starving children…

And finally, in our only entry from a logged-in user this week, we’ve got stderric with a comment for which I won’t supply the context because it works in so many situations where someone has gone on a paranoid rant seeing political assertions that aren’t there:

The post would make a lot more sense to you if you could read it in Standard American English rather than Regional Paranoid Lunatic.

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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Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Torvalds in fact created a kernel, not an OS

“On top of the operating system is the rest of the system software. Here we find the command interpreter (shell), window systems, compilers, editors, and similar application-independent programs. It is important to realize that these programs are definitely not part of the operating system, even though they are typically supplied preinstalled by the computer manufacturer, or in a package with the operating system if it is installed after purchase. This is a crucial, but subtle, point. The operating system is (usually) that portion of the software that runs in kernel mode or supervisor mode. It is protected from user tampering by the hardware …”

— Tanenbaum & Woodhull, Operating Systems Design And Implementation, third edition, page 3

That is the well-known “MINIX Book”, by the way. So you see, by that definition, Linux is very definitely an ”operating system”.

Thad (user link) says:

I wasn’t aware that there was a definition of “operating system” that included a kernel with no userland. Tanenbaum is certainly a knowledgeable source, though not an infallible one. Is that definition original to the Third Edition, or was it in previous versions? Because I think it’s fair to say that some of our definitions have drifted a bit since 1987.

But thanks for the reference; that’s worth thinking about, and I’ll keep it in mind next time I want to pull out the old “Well, actually…”

Anonymous Coward says:

I'm finally a somebody!

I registered a long long time ago, and have long since forgotten my credentials here. I wish I had logged in so I could claim actual credit for my #MostAmericanIP comment.

Sorry for not knowing the distinction between kernel and operating system, but I did look him up before claiming he was American. “Linus Benedict Torvalds is a Finnish-American software engineer …”

Jonas Salk was first who sprang to mind when thinking about giving away intellectual property. Tim Berners-Lee was second, but he’s not American. I really struggled to come up with other recognizable personalities who gave away their IP. Who did I miss?

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: I really struggled to come up with other recognizable personalities who gave away their IP. Who did I miss?

Trevithick and the other Cornish mining engineers who developed what we recognize as the actual “steam engine” (as opposed to James Watt’s incremental refinement of the antiquated “atmospheric engine”). Unlike Watt, they didn’t bother to patent their work.

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