Guy Files Dishwasher User Manual As An FCC Comment On Net Neutrality

from the performance-art? dept

The FCC has confirmed that over 1 million comments have already been filed in the open comment period concerning net neutrality and the open internet. The official comment period closes tonight at midnight (and even that's kind of meaningless because there's a "reply" commenting period for the next few months that will let people respond to initial comments), and we've started sorting through some of the many comments filed. We'll be highlighting some interesting comments and trends that we spot, but last night I found one filing so odd, it deserved a quick post on its own.

Kurt Schaake of Lawrence, Kansas, appears to have filed the Dishwasher User Instruction manual for a Whirlpool dishwasher as his comment.
I don't know if this is an accident, performance art, a weird and incomprehensible statement on the nature of the free and open internet or what. About the only immediate information I can find on Schaake is that he's an engineer who spent a bunch of time helping to rebuild Iraq a decade ago. Here's a photo of him sitting in a "golden throne" at Saddam Hussein's presidential palace. What any of this has to do with net neutrality is beyond me, but it is oddly amusing.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:25pm

    I think he's trying to say that we need to cleanup the FCC.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:40pm

    I don't know if he was trying to make a statement or not but as a web developer for a large company with some Top 500 websites ... I can confirm that anytime you put an upload form on anything on the web you will get the most random stuff you can possibly imagine.

    Trust me when I say that irrelevant filings in this FCC database - political statement or not - are most certainly plentiful!

     

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  3.  
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    MondoGordo (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:42pm

    Perhaps ...

    it's commentary on the efficacy of the FCC commenting process.
    We all know the FCC is, statistically speaking, most likely to do whatever the moneyed interests want without regard to the interests and opinions express by the public commentary.

    Perhaps this is his way of illustrating his recognition of the probable futility of commenting, and at the same time participating in the process. Like writing "Maytag Repairman" on your ballot ...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:47pm

    He's from Lawrence, so this is probably a piece of performance art.

     

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  5.  
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    Christenson, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 2:49pm

    Going Viral, Anyone?

    Mr Masnick, you did want that comment to go viral, didn't you? As MondoGordo says, this one should be a no-brainer for the FCC...*if* the FCC is truly working for the public interest.

    So, a no-brainer manual for the FCC! Brilliant!

     

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  6.  
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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:05pm

    Filibuster: Ur doin it rong.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:06pm

    Re:

    I think he's trying to say that we need to cleanup the FCC.

    An installation manual for a toilet would be more appropriate.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:16pm

    Perhaps he's trying to say that the Internet will be less useful, technologically advanced, and interactive than a dishwasher if Net Neutrality dies. At least with a dishwasher, you get to choose which dishes you want clean and how you want them arranged (at least until some asshole decides to implement DRM that denies this).

     

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  9.  
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    Applesauce, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:29pm

    To assist with washing their dirty money

    He may be suggesting that our good and honorable public servants will have a use for a dishwasher for the money they will get from Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon when they leave the government and go to work for the private sector?
    He's just trying to be helpful.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 3:33pm

    Re: To assist with washing their dirty money

    Ha, had the exact opposite reaction.

    It's like the cat leaping onto every layer of bedding you're trying to change:

    I AM HERE TO BE *NOT* HELPING!

    YOU'RE WELCOME!

     

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  11.  
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    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 18th, 2014 @ 11:52pm

    I think he's either trying to say that we need to cleanup the FCC, or stating the fact that the Internet wil be less useful than a dishwasher if we don't get working Net Neutrality (i.e. for the peole, not corporations).

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 18th, 2014 @ 11:58pm

    I think Marshall McLuhan got it right when he said "The medium is the message... except for when it comes to Kurt Schaake. He's just screwing with our heads."

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 12:20am

    The message is obvious:

    Consumers are passengers on a ship that must be guided carefully between the twin dangers of the bottomless vortex of over-regulation (Charybdis) and the ravenous appetite of corporate interests (Scylla).

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 2:39am

    Well, why not?

    Everyone knows that the comments filed with the FCC are a complete waste of time. Nobody there will read them. They've already been bought and paid for by their buddies at the major ISPs, and they'll do their job -- that is to say, they will do whatever it takes to ensure that their pals continue to make record profits.

    Come now, surely you don't think a comment system which crumples under modest load was actually intended to work? Please. Spare me. The idiots, the fools, the naive suckers busily sharing their thoughts with the FCC might as well be sending dishwasher manuals and cat pictures for all the good it will do.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 3:07am

    Whirlpool.net.au

    Perhaps he was thinking of the broadband discussion site in Australia http://whirlpool.net.au ?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 8:16am

    [OccamsRazor]
    Actually, his cousin (who lives several thousand miles away) desperately needed help with that particular model of dishwasher, and the FCC comment page was the only way to share the document due to the fact that his heavily-filtered internet connection at work is set up to block sites for sharing files and/or documents.
    [/OccamsRazor]

     

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  17.  
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    Abdullah, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 9:51am

    rebuilding Iraq

    Helping to rebuild Iraq? What nonsense is that? The Americans destroyed Iraq and then took over the contracts and jobs for building and construction etc. What a shameful thing to be involved in that business and make a living of the death and destruction you brought to the Republic.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 10:18am

    I have a pretty good guess as to why he did it

    The first three times I attempted to file a comment with the FCC on Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, I got redirected to a page for uploading documents, with no box or link for typing in comments. It wasn't until I connected via Tor Browser that I was able to get through to the correct page on the FCC's site.

    My guess is that the same thing happened to Schaake, but that he never actually managed to get through to the right page. Being unable to type in a comment, he instead uploaded an irrelevant document as a form of protest.

    I must say, by my third attempt, I was on the verge of uploading something myself. It would have to be something relevant, though -- something representative of what the FCC seemingly arranges for American consumers to do every time the country's media, cable, ISP, and telecoms oligopolies come before it with new demands. It would have to be a goatse pic. But since I was pretty sure a goatse pic wouldn't make it into the public record, I just fired up Tor Browser instead and described in a more socially palatable manner the many ways in which I felt I had been personally goatse'ed by the FCC commissioners' past and future benefactors and requesting that, if possible, the FCC consider doing something to make it stop.

     

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  19.  
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    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Jul 19th, 2014 @ 10:33am

    Puzzling

    What puzzles me is how we learned of this upload. Obviously, someone has lots of time to spend weeding through this stuff.

    Since the FCC's normal process is very likely "ERASE COMMENTS.DB", it seems like someone out there is spending a lot of time going through comments for nothing.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 1:03pm

    Re: rebuilding Iraq

    This comment is off-topic. I think you should re-post under the discussion of the article "Kid E-mails LG French-door Refrigerator Schematic Diagram to the DoJ."

     

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  21.  
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    Tim A, Jul 19th, 2014 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Puzzling

    According to the very first paragraph, it's Mike/Techdirt doing it.

     

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  22.  
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    Eli the Bearded, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 10:37pm

    Re: Re: Puzzling

    It seems anyone can look at any comment. Here's a comment submitted by the city of Los Angeles:

    http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6018210584

    I wonder if that site has the emailed comments as well. A simple search for my name on the date I sent it did not return results.

     

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  23.  
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    Sudarto, Jul 21st, 2014 @ 12:17am

    I just now this topic now. So, I want to learn it more. Thank you for all.

     

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  24.  
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    John85851 (profile), Jul 22nd, 2014 @ 11:56am

    [OccamsRazor]
    He wanted to upload a file called "Why Net Neutrality is Good", but his finger slipped and he uploaded "Whirlpool Dishwasher Manual" instead, and found no way to delete it.
    [/OccamsRazor]

     

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  25.  
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    Fred Goodwin, Jul 30th, 2014 @ 8:42am

    Re: Re: Puzzling

    So Mike was casually browsing a million comments and happened to stumble upon this one? Sure he did.

    I think the more likely explanation is that Kurt Schaake tipped-off TechDirt as a way of publicizing his own stupid comment.

    But hey, First Amendment, YAY!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Fred Goodwin, Jul 30th, 2014 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Puzzling

    Emailed comments are not included in ECFS. If you actually filed a comment via ECFS, search on your name (without delimiters like dates) and see what comes up.

     

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  27.  
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    fgoodwin (profile), Aug 7th, 2014 @ 6:17am

    "Frivolous" comments are illegal

    See 47 CFR 8.13(d):
    Frivolous pleadings. It shall be unlawful for any party to file a frivolous pleading with the Commission. Any violation of this paragraph shall constitute an abuse of process subject to appropriate sanctions.
    Of course the FCC doesn't have the resources to sue 1M spammers and trolls. But maybe they should "subject" some of them to "appropriate sanctions".

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    kitchenaid Dishwasher, Oct 24th, 2014 @ 2:09am

    I think people are able to decide what they and their children are able to watch/listen to without the government dictating what is moral or decent. A description of the content before broadcast is more then enough.

    Agree or disagree? why?

     

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


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