Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the definitions-and-nuances dept
This week, Keith Alexander made a strong argument in favor of continued ineffective surveillance, on the basis that this very inefficacy has ensured that the problem is undiminished and the efforts are still necessary. This prompted BentFranklin to deliver our most insightful comment of the week, reminding everyone of an important definition:
Terrorism is the use of fear to affect policy. General Alexander uses fear to affect policy.
Meanwhile, LG revealed its thirst for data this week when it told Smart TV customers that it would disable features if they refused to share their viewing and search history with third parties. Josh won second place for insightful by pointing out how much less palatable this kind of thing is with an expensive product:
Why are people complaining about Google is generally watching what you do with free stuff, but LG is watching very specific stuff with something you have bought.
If LG gave me the TV for free, I wouldn't have to much of an issue with it, but when you pay $1000 for a TV, I expect some privacy.
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we'll start out with one more from that post, since an anonymous commenter offered the solution to these and other smart TV woes:
Just buy an 'dumb' TV, and get a dongle to make it smart. Much cheaper, can be swapped and less hassle.
Next, we've got Josh in CharlotteNC with some thoughts inspired by Ladar Levison's condemnation of the stacked US legal system:
What has happened to equality under the law? To me this shows a very clear imbalance among those with real access to the legal system (namely those with money or connections to lawyers), and those without.
Every other day I've got to "agree" to some type of legally binding contract to buy things, install basic software, or use basic services - and it all changes without any warning or objection I can raise. I have to sign 20 pages of dense legalese contracts to get a job, and to be expected to keep up with it when it changes without notice. I luckily rarely deal with the government, but the situation is the same there. If you don't want to be screwed by someone with their lawyer, you need multiple lawyers skilled in wildly disparate parts of the legal code available to you all the time.
I know there's a lot of lawyers that read Techdirt. I know most of you are both very good at what you do, and very well intentioned. You're just trying to help those of us without years of legal training navigate through a crazy byzantine system you had no part in creating. But there is something fundamentally *broken* about the legal system.
I'm a technical, engineer type person. When I see something that doesn't work well, or work fairly, or work efficiently I want to fix it. Rather than just working in the system with its faults, what can be done to make the legal system better? What can be done to simplify it for normal people so that we don't need a lawyer for every minor interaction we might have with the government, with other companies (or our own), or any random passerby on the street?
Over on the funny side the voting was pretty slow this week, but after we criticized Google for being a trademark bully, Michael took first place by sarcastically echoing a troll refrain:
Here you go - another Google is great and can do no wrong article. Don't you get tired of being the Google fanboy?
Next, when a German copyright lawsuit raised some extremely unanticipated questions about Jesus and authorship, an anonymous commenter took second place for funny with an appropriately adapted quote:
He who is without copyright violation among you, let him be the first to throw a lawsuit
Editor's choice for funny starts out on our post about publicity rights disputes between celebrities and the brands that (truthfully) boast about their patronage. An anonymous commenter suggested a workaround for the marketers:
The designers just have to be more careful about wording their ads:
"The Prop Master of The Blind Side thought our tacky watch was perfect for the character played by Sandra Bullock."
"Katherine Heigl won't let us say that she shops at Duane Reade. But if she doesn't, this picture shows that she had the good sense to mug someone who does!"
Finally, we've got Beta, who delivered a joke at the expense of the SF police who built a huge fiasco on a single license plate reader mistake:
Q: How many San Francisco police officers does it take to look at a license plate?
That's all for this week, folks! We'll be off enjoying the (hopefully) nice weather tomorrow for Memorial Day in the US, but will be back to our regular posting schedule on Tuesday...