Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the say-it-loud dept

This week, our first place winner is Gary with a simple and important take on the idea of the government seizing pharma patents:

What? The government can’t just go around seizing property left and right!

Good things Patents aren’t property – they are limited licenses granted by the Feds that can and should be yanked if abused. You have no intrinsic “right” to exclusivity only a government backed and unnecessary monopoly.

In second place, we’ve got PaulT with an answer to the question of why CBP tends to add years to males’ estimated ages and subtract them from females’ estimated ages:

So they can turn the males into adult criminals and justify locking them up and boost crime statistics… and also turn the females into victims and similarly boost crime related to immigration.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with SirWired giving a rundown on the reality of supposed health dangers of 5G and other wireless signals:

The basic physics here aren’t that hard.

Skin attenuates radio signals. Period. End of Story. There is no conceivable mechanism by which 5G could cause health issues at any dose a consumer would be exposed to. The only effects on tissue would be due to simple heating, which are not going to be significant at the small fractions of a watt smartphones run at. I’m not sure what there is to study.

There might be separate considerations for workers maintaining live transmission towers, which are already accounted for in existing occupational-health requirements.

(And the strange fixation on brain cancer makes even less sense! If, for the purposes of argument, we pretended that 5G phones emitted, say, x-rays, there are cancer-susceptible organs that would be much more affected than your brain; notably the skin, salivary glands, and thyroid. Your brain is on the other side of your skull, and bone attenuates radiation quite well.)

P.S. (If you want to read up on the literature about the topic, ignore any text entirely that does not specify frequency, dose, and duration. And if they do specify those three crucial items, actually pay attention. If you do pay attention, you’ll see that the research shows a glimmer of an effect at well-in-excess of consumer doses for days. If you don’t pay attention, it’ll be like proclaiming “Driving past an asphalt plant is bad for you” after reading a study about people cleaning out tanks full of exotic volatile petrochemicals at an oil refinery for years on end.)

Next, we’ve got a comment from Project Gutenberg volunteer Jeroen Hellingman noting that we left something out of our calculations about the storage media needed to store all music or movies:

At Project Gutenberg, we’ve spend like 30 years to digitize almost 60.000 books. You will need about 100GB to download them all. Even in the unlikely case you can read one book a day, you’ll still need two life-times to read them all.

Now start looking at the millions of books on…, or although illicit, Library Genesis.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is That One Guy, who identified a fatal flaw in the notion of making politicians wear lie detectors:

Terrible idea, the thing would constantly be going off, deafening anyone around them. Better by far to attach a truth telling device, you’d only rarely hear that beeping if it was attached to a politician.

In second place, we’ve got an anonymous theory about the London police’s questionable claim that their facial recognition technology only makes an error in “one in 1,000” instances:

That comma is a decimal separator, not a thousands separator…

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with Glenn pointing out the most basic issue with widespread deployment of facial recognition:

Thank god that no two people look alike!

And finally, we’ve got btr1701, who figured out the cause of Netflix’s first-ever subscriber loss:


One guy changes his password and Netflix loses 130,000 viewers…

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:

If any right is abused its drug patents ,drug x is 100 euro, next year price goes up to 1000 euro .
Americans are driving to canada to buy drugs,
as they are much cheaper there .
People who have good health insurance may not know how much drugs cost ,as the hospital pays the bills .
Re media storage . theres no need for anyone to put all books or music on one sdcard ,no one has the time to read every book or watch every tv show .


Health care costs, specifically prescription drug prices, have created a significant barrier to the economic well-being of patients in the United States and around the world. With 75% of Americans >50 years old taking prescription medication in 2013, the United States spent nearly 40% more per capita on pharmaceuticals than the next closest country, Canada.1 Approximately 1 in 5 Americans do not fill prescriptions because of prohibitive cost Canadians, Germans, and Australians experience this problem.3 As we discuss in this article, brand-name drug companies have engaged in strategies that have delayed or prevented the availability of generic drugs, thereby increasing the price paid by patients, governments, and insurance companies.

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