Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
It feels like it's been a little while since one comment took the top spot in both categories, but here we are again! An anonymous commenter won Most Insightful by a narrow margin, and Funniest by a wide one, on our post about an app developer hijacking users' Twitter accounts and making them post "confessions" for their piracy (even some who weren't using pirated copies). This AC suggested some alternate text for the hijacked tweets:
"I swear I will stop using DRM products that treat me like a pirate. I promise to stop. I really will"
In second place on the Insightful side, we have another comment that was popular in both categories—in fact, it got slightly more Funny votes, but only enough to bring it to third place on that side since the voting was more competitive there this week. On the first of our series of posts looking closer at the RSC's short-lived copyright brief, fogbugzd had a thought:
The RSC's "full review procedure" probably now includes sending it to the US Chamber of Commerce.
For Editor's Choice on the Insightful side, we'll start with a comment from our somewhat controversial post about the Stuxnet worm infecting computers at Chevron. There was some excellent debate on that post about the real implications of what happened, including some suggestions that we had started to fall under the cyber-scare spell that we decry so often. Whether that's true or not, one comment in particular caught my attention. When politicians talk about cybersecurity for critical infrastructure, we've often noted that the obvious solution to the problem is to disconnect such systems from the internet. An anonymous commenter claiming to have run Chevron systems in the past (and offering a fairly compelling rundown of their system) showed how this is already how it's done in the private sector (with the help of existing regulations, no less):
I don't know of any zero day exploits that have not been patched in reference to Stuxnet. I suspect that those that were used, the company hardware and software were told of the exploit after the it was in place but under speculation I would think they were requested by the US gov to have the patches ready but not to use them until notified.
I suspect this to be the case simply because after the own up of the US involvement almost everyone from Siemens to Microsoft had a patch out in days.
Chevon's SCADA control is not hooked to the net. It runs on a separate system, tied through the company's intranet and by itself is not able to connect to the internet. A separate computer is used for report generation, record keeping, company emails, and web surfing. Changing ladder logic requires the software as well as a dongle to obtain authorization access to alter software settings as well as making changes in operation parameters outside those already set up. I know this because I used to run such systems for them.
It is hooked up this way so that when a hurricane abandonment happens, the offshore platforms are now left running. The crews that operate them come inshore and continue to monitor and operate the platforms from remote control. Due to Federal laws, some operations can not be restarted if they go down unless the operator is physically present to restart them. This due to things like if you had a hole in a line spraying oil and had a shut down due to a low pressure sensor, the last thing you would want is for someone to be able to restart with out looking over the area first.
In addition, video feeds for sea conditions as well as current, wave, on site weather conditions, are all fed through the system. The operators are liable to be several hundred miles from the platform they are controlling under hurricane conditions.
And of course, Aussie fans get screwed over again by the inequities of the pricing schemes on iTunes. Aussie store : AU$16.99 for an Album, compared to USA Store US$9.99...
Or AU$2.19 per track compared to US$1.29. And the AUD exchange rate is $1AUD = $1.03USD.
Since AC/DC is an Australian band, that certainly seemed worth highlighting. Connect With Fans, right?
Now to the Funny, and since we already had the top comment, straight on to second place. On our post about the DOJ-Megaupload-Ninjavideo dance, one of our regular critics suggested that since the government's case against Megaupload isn't dead yet, it must be more solid than we think. Yet another anonymous commenter boiled that sentiment down while also slyly noting that the opposite implication (the fact that the case hasn't succeeded) carries more weight:
obviously, if the government is investigating you, you are guilty
why else would they investigate you?
the govt should throw the book at this guy. they obviously have the evidence against him. oh wait
For Editor's Choice, we turn to an exchange on my thanksgiving post about turkey patents. An anonymous commenter pointed out that there are sure to be plenty of other turkey patents on the way, suggesting "how to cut turkey... on a cutting board" as one possibility. Martyburns thought up an even more likely abstract:
or maybe...how to cut Turkey...on the internet?
This prompted a second AC to start fleshing out the claims:
First, you start by rounding the corners...
Good to know our community doesn't take a holiday from being entertaining. See you tomorrow, folks!