Techdirt

by Mike Masnick




Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the some-insight-mixed-with-some-funny dept

Another week done, and there were a ton of great comments, so let's just get right to it. Coming in right at the top was a comment by SpacePirate in response to the news that the TSA was taking its security theater production on the road. He seemed to think it was time to remind us of a little bit of history:
I'm writing a letter, anyone want to sign?

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation...
I'm a bit surprised that won for most insightful, but I think it demonstrates just how fed up some people are with the state of things today. Coming in second was E. Zachary Knight's response to the story about police freaking out about a woman filming them from her own front yard. EZK noted that the idea that this might change their behavior said something important:
If the police must adjust their behavior upon being filmed, perhaps they need to seriously reconsider their behavior to begin with.
Okay. For editor's choice it was really difficult to narrow things down. I originally had a list of eight (eight!) comments I was trying to decide between, and eventually narrowed it down to three. Good work keeping me on my toes. First up, we have an Anonymous Coward explaining how his real problem with all this copyright enforcement is how it is ratcheting up the cost on legitimate customers:
I get the fact that businesses want to be paid. They want to be paid even if the thing I am "buying" isn't actually something that costs them any money (like fees on transfers from my savings account to cover a payment from my checking account... What did that fee buy? A Transfer that would have been free for me had I done this in person with a teller? Or how about a 10 cent text message).

But where I draw the line is when their mechanism to be paid costs *ME* money. Like when I have to set up a "license server" for a software product where the "server's" purpose in a system is just to make sure IBM or Oracle is getting paid for every instance of their product. The time and effort to setup and maintain and trouble shoot these "license servers" drives me right to open source.

The same problem occurs here. Policing copyright is COSTING me money, as a consumer. I don't CARE if company X wants to make money off their content. I don't CARE if company X wants to take action to make sure they make money off their content. But their desire to make money IS NOT MY PROBLEM. Right or wrong, I see no reason I should be forced to pay in real money the costs of policing their business and their customers.

There is piracy going on here, but the pirates are the businesses that are stealing MY resources and MY money and wasting MY time to serve THEIR interests. If they can't figure out a way to pay for their own enforcement, then they need to give it up. There are better purposes for my tax dollars and my communication dollars than to spend them policing the use of their products
Next up, is Rich Fiscus giving an excellent analysis of why Sony is in decline:
Nothing about Sony's recent decline is particularly surprising. Decades ago they were the lean competitor taking on giant corporations which ultimately fell under the weight of their own hubris. Just like Sony today, those companies failed to recognize the future until it took their legs out from under them.

Once upon a time Sony was a company that learned from their failures. Even something as big as losing the VCR standards war could be salvaged. When Betamax lost to VHS, they adapted the technology to create the 8mm camcorder format. They eventually figured out they had tried to pound a square peg into a round hole and found a square hole that needed filling. Now they just look for a bigger hammer.

It's no different than what the companies they dethroned all those years ago were doing, except for this. Thanks to the size of modern megacorporations, their hammers are made up of legislators, judges, and even heads of state. Ultimately it won't stop their demise, but it does mean their death throes will be far more damaging to society than their predecessors.

Sony's problem isn't their mistakes. It's that they forgot the importance of learning from those mistakes. That's the natural cycle of business.
That last bit is so good, it deserves a repeat:
Sony's problem isn't their mistakes. It's that they forgot the importance of learning from those mistakes.
It seems like you could write a whole book on that subject. Finally, in the insightful category, we've got another Anonymous Coward (who says they don't contribute?) pointing out why the FBI is spending so much time trying to hunt down LulzSec:
The problem is that Lulz has committed an unspeakable crime: they have embarrassed people in power. So even though in terms of the actual threat they pose, they're negligible (garden-variety spammers do far more damage every day than Lulz has combined, to date) they must be pursued with high priority in order to prevent the further discomfort of those holding the FBI's leash
Why so serious, let's move on to the funny. The winner, by far, this week was a comment by Prisoner 201, in response to the story of that woman filming cops, in which he got to repurpose a favorite line of law enforcement types:
If the police doesn't have anything to hide, what are they worried about?

Damn that felt good
Coming in second was an old (groan-inducing) joke from Dev Concepts. I'd like to think we'd go for something wittier than old jokes... but, it did make me chuckle too:
When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried.

Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.

When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, "Ah, yes, that's Mozart's Ninth Symphony, being played backwards."

He listened a while longer, and said, "There's the Eighth Symphony, and it's backwards, too. Most puzzling."

So the magistrate kept listening; "There's the Seventh... the Sixth... the Fifth..."

Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate; he stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, "My fellow citizens, there's nothing to worry about. It's just Mozart decomposing."
Ok... on to the editor's choice. First up, we've got Chronno S. Trigger, with a further analysis of the concept of doublethink:
"'Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.' - George Orwell"

Maybe that's why these kinds of people seem so thick to me. It's not that they are, it's just they have 66% less free space in their brains. While I have one belief, they have to have one belief, a contradictory belief, and paradox absorbing crumple zones.
Paradox absorbing crumple zones is too good a turn of phrase to have disappear. Next up, we've got Ima Fish's note that I'm being too hard on copyright holders for declaring that they should be the ones who figure out what exceptions there are to copyright laws, because obviously they know best:
What you're forgetting Mike is that the copyright industry has to be able to recoup their massive investments.

If Rebecca Black has taught us anything, it's that to get a hit song you need to spend millions of dollars in production costs, in hiring the very best musicians, plus promotion and advertising, etc. It's not like just anyone can write and perform a song and have it become an overnight hit. It costs money and the labels are performing a valuable public service in fronting those costs
And, then we've got non-anonymous coward's take on the roving TSA teams, combining that story with the standard claim of people who support security theater at airports, that if we don't like it, don't fly. Now we've got to expand that a bit:
So let me see if I understand. The 4th amendment still applies while traveling, except when using one of the following means:

Aircraft
Bus
Train
Subway
Ship
Car

If you whiners don't want to be harassed, just avoid these.

Will you libertarians please stop complaining?
Oh, and just as a final note, fbzr bs lbh znl rawbl guvf guernq bs qvfphffvba. See you all next week...

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