by Mike Masnick

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the no-subject dept

A little background on generally how we put together this list. In our backend, we can take a look at the top votes in either category, along with a few other things. To kick off the weekly process, we tend to look at the top 10 scores in both categories (as well as some comments we "marked" for editor's choice). Usually we get enough from there. Sometimes we go scouring for more editors choice options. Either way, a quick look down the top 10 list usually gives me a sense of which stories were important. Some comments have no subject (and are listed as "no subject" but that's usually about 1/3 to 1/2 of the posts. And yet... this week all ten of the top ranked "insightful" posts have no subject line. Not sure if this means you guys are sick of subject lines or it's just a total coincidence. Either way, I found it randomly interesting.

Moving on... topping the list of most insight was this "no subject" comment from Zakida Paul in response to the latest news on the Megaupload trial farce:
The only one who has come out of this in any positive light is Kim Dotcom. The farce of the whole case has pushed pushed public opinion in his favour, which is the opposite of what the entertainment industries and governments wanted.

The NZ government look like America's bitch bowing to pressure from foreign governments.

The US government's reputation as the world bully has been solidified in their eagerness to do anything to appease big business.

The entertainment industries look even more like petulant children whining about big bad technology.

The various law enforcement agencies look like incompetent fools who can't organise a proper legal investigation.
Given Kim Dotcom's background and general reputation prior to this lawsuit... the fact that he's the one coming out of it in a positive light is really quite stunning -- and may be the biggest failure of them all when it comes to this case. How do you take someone with a terrible reputation, some questionable business practices... and make them look good? As almost always seems to happen, the folks who pursue these kinds of legal claims never seem to think through the the response to their initial move. They must be some of the worst chess players in the world.

Coming in second, is a simple ("no subject") comment from an Anonymous Coward in response to the story of how former Copyright Register Ralph Oman thinks that any new technology that impacts copyrighted content must be assumed illegal until Congress gives its approval for it. As the AC noted:
Now here is a perfect example of Copyright stopping innovation.
For editor's choice... I'm actually going to post a series of comments responding to that same story about Oman's wacky comments. All are on the same general theme, which hopefully make the point. First up, DannyB's historical take:
Technologies such as Gutenberg's printing press should have to apply to the Pope and the King for permission to exist. Wouldn't want to rock the boat with disruptive new technologies.
Next up, an Anonymous Coward's take on the same theme:
Sorry, Mr Ford. Motorized carriages are just too disruptive for the horse and buggy business. They could destabilize the economy. We can't give you approval to build the factory. Try China, I hear they have cheap labor.
Same AC comes back with more:
Sorry, Mister Bell. Your telephone system could be disastrous for the telegraphy business. We can't allow that.
Then Tunnen took two of the ones above, and added two more:
We're sorry Ford, your Model-T will be disastrous for the horse and cart industry.
We're sorry Edison, your light bulb will be disastrous for the candle industry.
We're sorry Gutenberg, your printing press will be disastrous to the scribing industry.
We're sorry modern science, your thinking will be disastrous to the alchemy industry. =P
I'll stop there, but I think you get the idea...

Moving over to the funny stuff. We've got ComputerAddict with the (very) narrow victory with his comment concerning the US military declaring Wikileaks an enemy of the US:
[This comment has been censored due to fear of becoming the enemy]
You should have seen the original comment!

Coming in second was something of a meta comment by Beech, taking a line out of Tim Geigner's post about Portugal realizing that personal file sharing was legal, and saying that it was so funny that it deserved to be voted funniest. And many of you agreed:
"Sure, that makes sense. Everyone knows if you're looking to avoid having to send letters and do paperwork, becoming a lawyer is the way to go. "

Just decided that this quote deserves a shot at the "Funniest/Most Insightful." Tim for the win!
Man. We gave Tim yesterday's coveted "favorites of the week" (the first three-peater), plus he even wins funniest comment on a comment he didn't even make... People: Tim's ego is already overcrowding our office space (despite the fact that he lives 2,000 miles away). Do we really want to encourage that kind of thing (okay, the answer is that, yes, yes we do).

Editor's choice time. No Tims allowed. First up, we've got Grey Ferret jumping in with a comment on the Copyright Office's investigation into whether or not we should establish "resale rights" (i.e., a way for artists to get paid again and again every time their work is resold) for visual artists. GF cuts to the heart of the matter to show why this kind of "incentive" is clearly needed:
This is obviously needed since it will provide incentive for people to FINALLY start creating visual art in the U.S. Once this incentive is in place, I wonder who will become the first American visual artist??? Exciting times....
Exciting times indeed. And that brings us to our final funny comment. On our story about a hospital tech deciding not to patent his special lanyard that protected hospital staff from being strangled, some took issue with the idea that this invention might even be patentable, citing some prior art. However, an Anonymous Coward noted how this tech's invention might distinguish itself in a way that could be patentable:
Maybe his have rounded corners.
May all your inventions have rounded corners. Back tomorrow with more...

Reader Comments

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  1. icon
    Greevar (profile), 30 Sep 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Rounded corners

    I guess that means Apple has a claim against every child safe product on the market. If Apple continues to claim patent round corners, then they must want children to come to harm! Think of the children!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Zimzat (profile), 30 Sep 2012 @ 12:43pm

    The funny list could use some better funnies. Those were sarcastic, or they were funny in the "that's so stupid it should be funny", but they weren't "laugh out loud" funny. :/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2012 @ 2:24pm


    I would love to see you make up some humour and take it next week (seriously!) since I agree that there has been a bit too many /sarc comments. It is, however, a lot harder to do it that way and still be pertinent to the article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Chargone (profile), 30 Sep 2012 @ 2:41pm


    ... if we had a 'DOH!' or 'sad but true', or even 'and this is why reality sucks' button a lot of the funny (and a number of insightful) comments would end up getting that instead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    The eejit (profile), 30 Sep 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re:

    But can you imagine how much reality would suck if we had a "...and this is why reality sucks" button? ITs would be a recursive sucking of reality!?!?! THE END OF ALL CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT!?!?!?!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    lolzzzzz, 30 Sep 2012 @ 4:22pm

    hey i got one

    how about being banned fomr a torrent site for cheating when they admit you didn't cheat and ahad a gigabit seedbox....

    ya and ya goto the chat and ask why they are accusing you of cheating and you get called 16 different names that dont exist in the dictionary....

    YOU laugh and say well guess what all that stuff i downloaded you got from a site i am a member of now and i dont need you.....

    KARMA baby....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Atkray (profile), 30 Sep 2012 @ 4:54pm

    Chilling effects

    People are afraid to laugh out loud.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    G Thompson (profile), 30 Sep 2012 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Rounded corners

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Tor (profile), 1 Oct 2012 @ 12:32am

    Small typo

    Typo: "the the response"

    (there's also "pushed pushed public", but maybe that was how the comment was written)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), 1 Oct 2012 @ 3:42am

    Regarding the subject line, I decided to take the "content = ads" approach and realized the content and subject are the same thing.

    I didn't want my comment interrupted with a 30 second subject read.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2012 @ 4:01am

    Re: Re: Re:


    Not really. The stack would overflow eventually, and the "earth" process would blow up. No big deal, except that someone would have to bother $DEITY to restart the earth process again. $DEITY said he would fix the recursive sucky reality bug, but the people "upstairs" keep bothering him to do other stuff (mostly they just don't know how to open their email) so he just hasn't gotten around to fix it...

    Oh, and as it turns out, gravity (that's the load balancer) starts misbehaving causing the other processes on the solar_system mainframe (mercury, venus, etc.) to spin out of control, eventually crashing the entire solar_system. $DEITY said he would fix the load balancer to prevent this one day, but the gravity code is such a mess and was written so long ago that nobody really knows how it works any more so $DEITY won't even bother to touch it. He hopes someday someone gets fed up and calls for a full rewrite.

    So, no, it's not the end. It is just a huge annoyance. And all because you non-techies keep asking for features without realizing the full implications of such features. Stick to playing solitaire.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2012 @ 7:20am

    Re Mr. Oman's amicus brief, it is always interesting to read comments that in substantial measure are driven by content and tone of articles written by principals at TD and posted for comment.

    Of course, in the case of Mr. Oman's amicus brief the content and tone of the article mischacterizes what Mr. Oman actually presented in his brief to the court. Pick and choose some lines or paragraphs out of his brief and you can easily spin it into saying whatever you wish. In the process, however, his actual argument falls by the wayside. I guess it is much more "fun" to place an argument pertaining to US copyright law in a negative and inaccurate light than it is to thoughtfully and accurately analyze the totality of what was actually said.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    trish, 1 Oct 2012 @ 8:11am

    techdirt makes me happy XD

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    trish, 1 Oct 2012 @ 8:11am

    techdirt makes me happy XD

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    trish, 1 Oct 2012 @ 8:12am

    damn you double post!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Mike Raffety (profile), 1 Oct 2012 @ 12:46pm

    (no subject) (really!)

    What's the point of putting a subject line on a discussion thread COMMENT, which is usually only a few words or at most a few sentences long? The "subject" is the discussion thread being commented on!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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