Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the shkrelis-and-trumps dept

This week, law professor Eric Posner joined the crusade of people attacking free speech under the banner of stopping ISIS, stating "it’s common sense that when a country is embroiled in a war, it should counter propaganda that could populate a third column with recruits." Our winner for most insightful comment of the week is That One Guy, who responded to this by pointing out that the premise is correct but the conclusion is wrong:

Absolutely true, however the means to do so is more speech, not less. You don't, and can't in this day and age counter bad 'ideas' by trying to hide them, instead you expose them, and show everyone why they're wrong. You especially don't try and imitate them by silencing any opposing views and opinions, that just gives those silenced a veneer of credibility that they otherwise wouldn't have had, since clearly if you could explain why they're wrong you wouldn't be trying to shut them up instead, and that holds true no matter who's trying their hand at censorship, bullies or cowards.

The losers in ISIS want to try and recruit people? Inform the public just what kind of group they really are, I imagine that right there would decimate any potential recruitment numbers.

Really, bad enough to have pathetic butchers to deal with, we don't need opportunistic cowards doing their work for them by tripping over themselves to hamstring the very rights and freedoms that are supposed to set a 'free' country apart from a dictatorship maintained only through violence.

Also this week, Philips added lightbulbs to the ever-growing list of products broken by anticompetitive DRM by pushing out an update that locks out competing products. One anonymous commenter pointed out a problematic side effect of these kinds of things is the perpetuation of mistrust of software and firmware updates:

And yet people still wonder why many people are hesitant to allow any sort of software update to install. Philips isn't just turning their product into a wall garden. They're teaching more people that "software update"="things stop working like they did".

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more response to the Philips DRM. TKnarr proposed a strategy for fighting back:

Their controllers say Zigbee Light link protocol 1.0 certified. If the firmware update renders the controllers incompatible with Zigbee Light link protocol 1.0 (ie. will not interoperate with bulbs using that protocol), that's a manufacturing defect. I'd simply return the defective controllers to where you bought them and request a refund (a replacement isn't acceptable since Philips has made it clear all of their controllers are or will be rendered defective). Sorting out the defective merchandise with the manufacturer is the store's problem.

The store will probably balk at refunding your money. Your state Attorney General's office would probably appreciate reports of stores refusing to accept returns of defective merchandise, seeing as various warranty and consumer-protection laws require them to.

You won't be any worse off than you were, and you've caused financial and legal pain for people Philips has a harder time ignoring.

Next, we've got an anonymous comment with a point that many people have made since the arrest of Martin Shkreli, but which bears repeating, since Shkreli is an absurdly perfect distraction-sacrifice:

He should absolutely be punished for illegal activity, but for his legal yet scummy actions the emphasis should be on fixing the broken system not finding a scapegoat. As long as the framework exists, a new Shkreli can pop up at any time.

Over on the funny side, we start out by returning to the post about Philips once more. One commenter proposed a thread of lightbulb jokes, anticipating various comedic assessments of how many individuals in various categories it takes to screw one in. This thread didn't last very long, though, because David waltzed in, chose a different formula, and landed a joke so apt it just couldn't be followed:

Here at Philips, light bulbs screw you.

Above, we had an often-made point about Martin Shkreli's arrest. Here, in the second place spot for funny from an anonymous commenter, we have one variation on an often-made joke:

For Shkreli's own good we are increasing the penalty from $10 million to $555 million and jail time to 277 years.

This will allow us to create a better version of the existing framework to ensure all SEC violators are treated fairly and their constitutional rights remain intact.

- SEC Commissioner

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with the story of an HIV dating app that appeared to be threatening the press with HIV infections for reporting on a leak, which is a very classy move. Wereisjessicahyde suggested that if you're going to have cruel and unusual punishment, at least make it proportionate:

Seems a bit harsh.

Couldn't they just give them the Flu for a first offence?

Finally, we've got MadAsASnake with one of the better jokes in response the news that Donald Trump had called for a partial shutdown of the internet:

In other news, the Internet called for a partial shutdown of Trump

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2015 @ 12:26pm

    not a comment on the various comments, but instead a bit of great news. finally, lately, a confrontation between a black man and police in which there was actually an altercation that did not result in the death of the black man.

    no word yet from los angeles police on whether he'd be available to usc for the bowl game.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2015 @ 1:38pm

    oops. i looked at the wrong pic. he's a white guy.

    mystery solved.

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

  • identicon
    Loki, 20 Dec 2015 @ 4:36pm

    The problem with counter ISIS speech with more speech is that many of the people who wish to hide it are often the same people who created the circumstances that caused the problem in the first place.

    Such people will either never be convinced their actions are wrong (no matter how much evidence is provided to them), will never admit they are wrong even if you can prove it, or simply desire the problem to persist for their own personal gain.

    The problem here is that your left trying to counter both their speech AND that of ISIS but they can just lump you in with (if not imply you're an actual sympathizer to) speech they don't like and shut yours down as well.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 20 Dec 2015 @ 5:12pm

      Re:

      I see the a few problems in todays political environment.
      Firstly there is of course the finalcial gain of being dishonest that have been covered plenty.
      But secondly there seems to be no way for politicians to admit they are ordinary flawed humans. When is the last time you have heard a politician say that maybe they were wrong? By this I mean before they gain a massive amount of bad will!
      If not their political opposition or their own political party, then the public simply won't accept any doubt, no matter how wrong they are on the subject. We seem to have some completely rediculous obsession about them sticking to their first expressed notions. If they ever change their mind then they are in for a media storm of big propertions, which leads to the third problem.
      The media who are supposed to act as watchdogs and use the right of free speech to its full extent in order to be a power that rivals our courts and government. What a joke it is today. All they do is "he said - she said" if they are not fully and obviously on one side of the political spectrum.
      I know they have to be neutral (HAHA), but neutrality is not to write that one guy says that 60 foot unicorns exist and another guy say that they don't. Neutrality is finding the facts and tell the public why the 60 foot unicorn does not exist. If they did that, there would be NO socalled "encryption war" and the many other stupid things we see here on TD. It is sad that facts are a fantasy and fiction is reality.

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

  • identicon
    Digitari, 20 Dec 2015 @ 4:52pm

    as an aside...

    anyone else curious about the stingray and like devices??

    https://theintercept.com/surveillance-catalogue/


    this just came out

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


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