from the free-as-in-speech dept
This week, some extremely interesting questions were raised by the arrest of a man for tweeting a GIF designed to induce an epileptic seizure (and bragging about it). Though there are a lot of nuances to the legal situation Thad won most insightful comment of the week by rejecting the idea that a GIF can't be a deadly weapon simply because one has never been used to kill before:
They'd be hard-pressed to find a moon rock that's actually killed someone too, but if somebody were to beat Eichenwald over the head with a moon rock after stating that he intended to kill him, I don't think the "nobody's ever been killed with a moon rock" defense would hold up.
In second place, we've got an anonymous response expanding on the explanation of why older, well-off readers are among the biggest ebook pirates:
There is no mystery here. I mean specifically in this instance of older and wealthier people pirating digital books. Its simply a reflection of the publishing industry's failure to grasp the times. People are not stupid, if they can very obviously see that a giant chunk of your production costs just evaporated, they will decide your product should be less expensive. And that's what happened here. People in this age range lived through the digital revolution and understand what books used to cost, that book prices have only gone up, and that Amazon and Apple both have colluded with publishers to keep digital costs artificially high strictly to prevent an impact on physical sales.
Cause, ya know, people who read a lot of books tend to also read a lot of news and are often better informed than the general populace.
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more comment on that post, including yet another reason:
I've got an older eBook reader, and finding legitimate books that work on it is quite a PITA - not only because of unsupported formats, but also because online bookstores refuse to sell to me because I'm in the "wrong" country. When it's easier for me to google " epub" and get a working link within 2-3 clicks, why should I bother jumping through hoops?
I'd like to point out Baen here - they're the only one I found where buying a book (that works everywhere) is simpler than downloading off random sites.
Next, we've got a response to the recent SCOTUS decision that lets patent trolls bide their time before suing, which CanadianByChoice notes is only going to incentivize the exact opposite of what patents are supposed to achieve:
So, really, this tells innovators to not bother .. because someone ELSE is just going to come along with a patent (probably old, unheard-of and vague) and take it all away from you.
Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous commenter who offered up my new favorite response to silly "what does this have to do with tech" complaints on our posts:
Why doesn't Fox news concentrate on news about foxes?
For second place, we head to the latest development in the Paul Hansmeier story, where $180,000 cash found hidden under his bed lead to bankruptcy fraud investigations, and to an eyeroll from an anonymous commenter:
At least that has a plausible explanation.
I mean, I'm finding loose change under my couch cushions all the time.
For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out on our post about the legal battle over a mattress review site, some of which hinges on the safety of "food-grade" materials. TechDescartes had a thought on one commenter's story about their can of "food-grade" Rubix Cube lubricant that also warns it is "HARMFUL OR FATAL IF SWALLOWED":
Especially when applied to a Rubik's cube.
What if this is all a trick by Big In-Flight Movie to force us to pay for their crap?
That's all for this week, folks!