Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the giving-thanks-for-the-comments dept

It's a short week, but we've still got plenty of great comments to highlight, so let's dive right in. In first place on the Insightful side we've got Bob with a response to the revelation that Keith Alexander offered to resign, but was refused because the White House didn't want Snowden to "win":

He didn't just win, he continues winning...

Snowden won. Period.

They should accept this, and move into the world with the rest of us where this is an undeniable fact of life.

They were doing something that the majority of people would not support, without justification or oversight.

Snowden exposed them to the world. The world got pissed. That all happened.

Continuing to live in the delusional alternate reality where Snowden is a traitor, and they are going to get to go back to business as usual is only going to drive more people away from the American tech industry.

They need to sack-up, pardon him and bring him home, initiate a national debate on the use and abuse of the programs, and start restoring our credibility as a nation committed to essential, universal, civil liberties.

In second place, we've got an anonymous comment pointing out one of the most plainly absurd flaws in the patent process:

This is what really cheeses me about the patent system. One of the requirements for patent validity is that an invention be non-obvious to one skilled in the art. Yet at no point is anyone actually skilled in the art really involved in the decision making process. Sure, they can make various filings or be expert witnesses. But the final decision still always lies with an examiner, judge, or jury that more often than not has no idea what is sitting before them.

For editor's choice, we start with a comment from Greevar, noting that when cops described a teenager they near-fatally tazed with the vague label of "aggressive" it suggests they had no concrete reason for what they did:

Aggresive

The use of that word makes it quite plain that the police are lying through their teeth. If that student was an actual threat to anyone, they would be able to be much more specific about what he did. "Looked ready for a fight" is a bullshit excuse, the kind of bullshit a kid would try to push on you if they wrecked the car when they didn't even have permission to take it. Are the police so immature that they make up lies as weak as a teenager would?

I think the evidence will show that the officer recklessly endangered, and possibly killed, a young man who's only crime was being brown and getting in the way of a thug with too much power that lacked the brains to use it properly.

I will never trust a cop so long as they continue to cover up the crimes they commit with impunity. No cop that breaks the law deserves to be protected. I don't care how great they are and how much they've done, police should be held to a stricter standard than most because they have been trusted with the authority and safety of their community. Power goes hand-in-hand with accountability and responsibility. If you abuse it, you deserve to be held accountable for it. If you have it, you need to use it to protect the people, not force submission. Leave your ego at home; this isn't an arena to live out your power fantasies.

Next, we've got Javarod, countering the old "if you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to worry about" statement about privacy concerns with one of the best responses I've heard:

I have nothing to hide...

But its still my nothing, and i want to decide who gets to see it.

Over on the Funny side, we've got a dominant winner this week, with ChurchHatesTucker taking both of the top slots. First place goes to his more-sarcastic take on the news about Keith Alexander's stymied resignation:

Whew!
Good thing they prevented Snowden's revelations from having any kind of impact on the NSA, AMIRITE?

And for second place, some more well-targeted sarcasm, this time directed at United Airlines for nearly killing a passenger's dog with mistreatment and trying to keep it quiet:

Poppycock!
What possible trouble could a large faceless corporation get into by mistreating dogs and/or kittens on the internet?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from peter, who heard about a patent troll's attempt to discredit NewEgg's all-star roster of cryptography experts, and imagined a conversation that may well have happened:

Lawyer 1. "Hey. I've heard they got an expert witness in cryptography" Lawyer 2. "So what? Get our own expert to confuse the Jury"

Cryptography Expert Witness. " You want me to testify against WHO?"

And finally, when we pointed out that the DOJ was finally beginning to accept that Julian Assange didn't break the law, one commenter asked if anyone in the department lost their jobs for launching such a fruitless crusade against him. Pixelation knew it doesn't work that way:

Fired? This is how you fast track yourself to Senator.

That's all for this week, folks! I hope everyone had a great long weekend — we'll be back to business as usual tomorrow.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 12:26pm

    'when we pointed out that the DOJ was finally beginning to accept that Julian Assange didn't break the law, one commenter asked if anyone in the department lost their jobs for launching such a fruitless crusade'

    i think what would be a reasonable answer to that question would be have they managed to get the needed laws rewritten to cover this sort of situation? you know the situation i mean. where someone who has done nothing wrong, is up for arrest and probable execution, to be carried out against the nearest wall as soon as possible, before having chance to defend themself and before those that want this punishment have to admit they were wrong!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Aggressive

    Cops are experts on all things. Go ahead, ask one about almost anything and you'll see what I mean. So I'm sure if a cop thought some kid "looked ready for a fight" then he must have been right and was protecting the public by putting him down. We should all be thanking the cop for his selfless fulfillment of his duty.

    /s

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 4:39pm

    he won some battles but the war isn't over

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 5:18pm

    Snowden wasn't even in the fight

    The fight is between what the NSA says to the lawmakers and courts, vs what the NSA says to itself.

    It's the clash of the truth vs the lies.

    The NSA is fighting its own documents and its own words.

    This is why I don't think General Alexander offered to resign, because he's a manipulator, he manipulates. Whether it's congress or the courts or foreign politicians. That is what he is, and that is what he does.

    How can the President both be throwing him 'under the bus', and yet not accept his resignation?

    I think the timing of his retirement had more to do with the election cycle than anything else. I think he fancied himself as a Putin figure, all powerful with all that dirt on ever politician.

    Now they can see that he had two faces, with the liar-face pointing towards them, when they thought it was his truth face.

    He will retire into shameful ignominy, good riddance.

    But his illegal mess still needs to be fixed. We still need to eject the traitors in the UK who helped him spy on Brits, we still need to secure the privacy right.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 6:32pm

      Re: Snowden wasn't even in the fight

      "The NSA is fighting its own documents and its own words."

      as opposed to what ?? fighting someone else's documents and words ?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 11:42pm

        Re: Re: Snowden wasn't even in the fight

        As opposed to fighting 'Snowden' which was the claim attached to the 'Alexander offered to resign' claim. That Obama said no to the resignation, because then Snowden would win, as if they were fighting Snowden and not their own leaked documents.

        Of course that made no sense, it was one of the reasons I thought the resignation claim was fake and simply another attempt at manipulation.

         

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          That One Guy (profile), Dec 1st, 2013 @ 11:47pm

          Re: Re: Re: Snowden wasn't even in the fight

          I'm still confused as to why people think resigning was supposed to be punishing him, unless it also came with a trial immediately after.

          He wanted to resign for the simple reason that it would enable him to duck out and avoid responsibility for his past and present actions, nothing more, and certainly not due to some feeling of 'shame' for what he'd done and ordered.

           

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    Beech, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 5:21pm

    The real win

    The real way that Snowden "won" is that he made the American people inherently trust their government less.

    Before Snowden there was a guy at work who went on and on about all the ways the government tracked you. He had two computers, one where he kept all his information, and a second that was connected to the internet and only received the information he wanted to allow on the internet. We all laughed at him as a paranoid rube.

    We laugh a lot less now.

    So in my small place of work we had 2 kinds of people. One who was paranoid and everyone else who thought he was crazy. Now we trust the internet less and are all just as paranoid as he was. And he is of the mindset of, "Well if this is just the things we KNOW about, imagine the kind of stuff they're doing that hasn't gotten out yet!" So he trusts the government less than he did before. He's started wrapping his driver's license and credit cards in tin foil. Taking the battery out of his cell phone when he isn't using it. People laugh at him for his new levels of paranoia, but not exactly as hard as they did at first.

    Because what if he's right this time too?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 6:23pm

      Re: The real win

      "Now we trust the internet less and are all just as paranoid as he was"

      so you are saying that before Snowden you fully, 100% trusted the internet, and believed everything on 'the net' was true and honest ?? and that everyone else did as well ? really !!!!!

      so before Snowden you did not know Google kept all your search terms for years, provided those terms to law enforcement, that NSA did not spy on people, that the FBI did not spy on people, that emails can be subpoenaed, servers can be confiscated, and no people were ever hacked and engaged in hacking or crimes on the internet, or that terrorists do not use the internet and modern communications to assist them in their activities ?

      Or that the new is full of liars and criminals, blackmailers and thief's and general scum !!! but now you know (because of Snowden) that the internet and the world is not a perfect place, and not everything is 'black or white' ?

      I am waiting for Snowden to tell us something we did not already know, or expect!! But I am not holding my breath waiting...

       

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    6, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 5:48pm

    "This is what really cheeses me about the patent system. One of the requirements for patent validity is that an invention be non-obvious to one skilled in the art. Yet at no point is anyone actually skilled in the art really involved in the decision making process. Sure, they can make various filings or be expert witnesses. But the final decision still always lies with an examiner, judge, or jury that more often than not has no idea what is sitting before them.
    "

    That's not really the case in most of the patent prosecutions before the office. In the vast majority of prosecutions the examiner is experienced in his art. So much so that they are regularly called upon to help in classifying/searching for new inventions prior to other people filing for them. They're "experts" in that regard, because they spend all day reading about those arts, day in and day out for 30 years.

    That said, in some arts it is much more difficult to understand truly what you have sitting before you even if you are somewhat expert. Software and business methods are a couple like that. Generally this is because of the terminology often employed in the drafting of the claim. That is done intentionally by lawyers to game the system.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 6:07pm

      Re:

      In the vast majority of prosecutions the examiner is experienced in his art.

      Right.

      Pharmaceutical patents make up the vast majority of prosecutions—and the patent examiners all have vast experience with hard-core mind-twisting drugs.

       

       

      Or something like that.

       

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        6, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 8:28pm

        Re: Re:

        Nah bro, there's all kinds of other arts. Eating utensils, motors, bicycles, brakes, glasses, cutting machines, molding machines, hair drying machines, the list goes on and on. And like I said, in the vast, vast majority of cases the examiner is quite familiar with his art.

        Pharma is by no means the vast majority of prosecutions.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 9:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          [L]ike I said, in the vast, vast majority of cases the examiner is quite familiar with his art.

          No one believes you.

           

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        6, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 8:28pm

        Re: Re:

        Nah bro, there's all kinds of other arts. Eating utensils, motors, bicycles, brakes, glasses, cutting machines, molding machines, hair drying machines, the list goes on and on. And like I said, in the vast, vast majority of cases the examiner is quite familiar with his art.

        Pharma is by no means the vast majority of prosecutions.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 6:05pm

    Snowden won. Period.

    If you have to claim he won, then explain how he won, that is a clear indication that in fact he DID NOT WIN...and is not winning..

    Gandhi won, and no one has to explain how or why he won, Luther King win and no one had to explain or justify that.

    Snowden did not win, and the few people who think he has won feels they have to explain and justify how he in fact won, all Snowden has done if give the people who already hated the US Government more reason to continue to hate them, and more reason to attack it.

    if you are looking for reasons to express hatred for anything establishment and US Government Snowden is your hero, but if you are looking for actual real facts and real opinion, then it is clear he far from won.

    also 'winners' don't generally cheat, lie and steal to 'win' or run away to another country and hide from their 'convictions'.

    the other question is, if you think he won, what did he win?

    WHAT DID HE WIN ???

     

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      Pixelation, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 6:30pm

      Re: Snowden won. Period.

      "WHAT DID HE WIN ???"

      Seriously? Wow, an NSA appologist.
      He won in that the American people are informed about the UNCONSTITUTIONAL/ILLEGAL spying the NSA is doing. Amongst other things.

      "also 'winners' don't generally cheat, lie and steal to 'win'"
      Then why did the head of the NSA lie about this?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 6:44pm

        Re: Re: Snowden won. Period.

        where was I a NSA apologist ? who has been imprisoned for unconstitutional/illegal spying from the NSA or the US Government ??

        Why did Snowden lie and cheat about this ? works both ways, if you can prove it is a lie, make your case, if not that then is only your opinion.

        Do you think Snowden when using other people passwords and account told them the truth as to why he wanted those passwords or do you think he lied and cheated to get that information ? (hint, he admitted he lied and cheated to get into others accounts).

        He lied and cheated fellow Americans, for his own 'gains', but you expect that everything he says is true, when you know he lies and lies for his own means and gains.

        so you think you caught the NSA head in a lie, you have also 'caught' Snowden lying and cheating (and admitting it), but somehow that is ok !!!!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 8:32pm

          Re: Re: Re: Snowden won. Period.

          Yup, he is a liar, a liar that lied to the government to get information for the public.

          But he at least fessed up to it in public took all the heat and made no shameful excuses for it, which is more than I can say for the American government.

          Which one should we all trust?
          The one that has the courage to say what he did and face the consequences of it or the one that continues to lie and cheat.

           

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          JMT (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Snowden won. Period.

          "He lied and cheated fellow Americans, for his own 'gains', but you expect that everything he says is true, when you know he lies and lies for his own means and gains."

          This sounds like the the weak and simplistic argument I'd expect from a teenager, complete with mindless patriotism thrown in for good measure.

          Snowden lied to the "fellow Americans" whose wrongdoings he wanted to expose, entirely for the benefit of hundreds of millions of other "fellow Americans" and non-Americans.

          And what exactly is it you think has he's gained personally? It looks to me like he's made immense sacrifices.

           

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 6:57pm

        Re: Re: Snowden won. Period.

        and "Seriously? Wow, a Snowden apologist !!!

        and

        NSA won in that the NSA are still conducting the spying they are doing amongst other things.

        nothing is 'illegal or unconstitutional' until it is deemed to be so by the appropriate courts, taking a life can be illegal but that is determined by a court, and taking a life in self defence may be totally legal, you don't know until a court makes that determination, anything else is opinion.

        You might think the person was murdered, but if the court determines it was in self defence it is not murder, you might think the NSA is acting illegally, but until a court determines that you don't know its your opinion, your are welcome to your opinion and I respect that, but it is only your opinion, and is not necessarily correct.

        if you accept the rights of the constitution, you must accept the obligations of it as well, otherwise you might as well 100% reject it and try some other system (dictatorship possibly), what is not constitutional is not using the same constitution to make the determinations, the constitution states it is responsible for that determination, so saying something is unconstitutional (ie NSA spying) when it has not been determined by the constitutional process to be unconstitutional is in itself unconstitutional.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 8:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Snowden won. Period.

          nothing is 'illegal or unconstitutional' until it is deemed to be so by the appropriate courts, taking a life can be illegal but that is determined by a court, and taking a life in self defence may be totally legal, you don't know until a court makes that determination, anything else is opinion.


          So greenlighting drone assassinations is illegal then?

          Some things you don't need a court to see it is wrong.
          Do you need a court to show you why spying on everyone for no reason besides wanting to is bad?

          The constitution also says that we should decide as a people, it says nothing about forfeiting that right to the courts, that is why militias where empowered by the American constitution to guarantee that if push came to shove people would be able to push back, doesn't matter if it is the legislative, the judiciary or the executive.

          Even courts have limits, as one president famously proved by saying "they can say it is illegal, I just want to see them enforce it now" or something like that.

          Laws are supposed to be easy to understand instead they morphed into a messy web of tens of thousands of rules that even goes against each others with no clear means to see what is right or wrong anymore and you believe that is fine?

          You probably is a criminal and doesn't even know it.

           

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          That One Guy (profile), Dec 1st, 2013 @ 11:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: Snowden won. Period.

          'nothing is 'illegal or unconstitutional' until it is deemed to be so by the appropriate courts'

          Or at least that's what they've been trying to get people to believe, 'it's not illegal if you don't get caught!' and whatnot.

          Although, such thinking would certainly explain why the NSA and other affected government agencies are doing everything they can to keep their activities from being examined and tried by any real court, they know it would not go their way.

           

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      bgmcb (profile), Dec 1st, 2013 @ 7:21pm

      Re: Snowden won. Period.

      Wow a ward of the state here to claim anyone that disagrees with the government hates America.

      I will agree just shining a light on cockroaches is not winning. The American people won a small victory when the cockroaches were exposed.

      Snowden will have won when the NSA is replaced with an agency with inherent constitutional integrity.

      The NSA should have ended with the soviet union, that's the only way the agency could have ended honorably.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 8:25pm

      Re: Snowden won. Period.

      My admiration and trust.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2013 @ 8:37pm

      Re: Snowden won. Period.

      If Snowden didn't end up doing shit then why all the hullabaloo, finger-pointing and frantic hiding?

      darryl just hates it when due process is enforced.

       

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      Pragmatic, Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 3:45am

      Re: Snowden won. Period.

      He raised awareness of state malfeasance against its own people and got us talking about it. That's what he set out to do, so I'd call that a win.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 8:50am

      Re: Snowden won. Period.

      If you don't want to call it winning, then what do you call accomplishing the goal you set out to accomplish?

       

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      JMT (profile), Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 11:34am

      Re: Snowden won. Period.

      "Gandhi won, and no one has to explain how or why he won, Luther King win and no one had to explain or justify that."

      Nice attempt at deflection, but this doesn't pass the laugh test. Millions of words have been written about the actions of both Gandhi and MLK. What they did and the impact they had has been explained at great length.

       

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        Anonymous, Dec 4th, 2013 @ 6:00pm

        Re: Re: Snowden won. Period.

        Who is Luther King? I know who MARTIN Luther King was...he and Gandhi ended up the same way.

         

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