Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the talk-of-the-blog dept

After it was revealed just how secretive the FBI is about its hacking tools and surveillance techniques, dfed stepped up to win most insightful comment of the week by latching on to one particular piece of language:

"Protect our trade craft" is a statement a surveillance outfit, not a law enforcement agency, makes. That's the terrifying disclosure: The FBI just admitted they aren't interested in law enforcement, they are interested in espionage.

In second place, we've got a response to the comment from Getty (who have filed an antitrust complaint against Google in the EU) that "by standing in the way of a fair marketplace for images, Google is threatening innovation, and jeopardizing artists’ ability to fund the creation of important future works." Mason Wheeler read that and saw another big word-choice red flag:

Here's a good rule of thumb: anytime the largest player in a market complains about someone else interfering with a fair (or free) market, it's generally safe to assume a priori that the complainer is either a sleazy monopolist or trying to become one.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with another comment on that same post, this time from an anonymous commenter who pointed out the simple thing that makes complaints like this seem so ridiculous:

Or they could block Google from hotlinking their images by simply editing their .htaccess file?

Next, we've got a comment from Dave Cortright expanding on the Burr-Feinstein obsession with being "above the law":

Might as well apply this template to other areas too

Doctors are not above the law. When a witness dies, valuable information is irretrievably lost. So we propose a bill that requires doctors to comply with court orders to bring these witnesses back from the dead so they can be questioned. We aren't mandating how this is accomplished, only that they comply with our demands.

Over on the funny side, first place goes to AnonCow for his creative reinterpretation of the transcript of senators questioning James Clapper:

Senator: "How many Americans have data collected on them?

Clapper: "I can't answer that question."

Senator: "Why not?"

Clapper: "The last U.S. census was in 2010."

Senator: "The 2010 census reported a population of 308.7 million Americans."

Clapper: "Ok, go with that...."

In second place, we've got Jeffrey Nonken responding to Windows 10's on-air fail during a weather broadcast:

The weather forecast

Sunny, mild, and scattered chances of Microsoft being douche bags.

GWX Control Panel FTW.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from NotACableShill who dropped by to double down on the alarmist rhetoric around set top boxes:

Not to sound alarmist here but in addition to turning everyone to piracy, utterly destroying privacy, complete theft of the future, and forcing ethnic segregation the likes of which history has never seen, allowing 3rd party cable set top boxes will also corrupt our youth, murder puppies, resurrect Hitler and pull asteroids from the skies causing untold damage and destruction to the world that rivals the dinosaur extinction (be sure to get your tickets to Ice Age: Collision Course in theaters July 2016).

If you don't want to live in a puppyless, post-apocalyptic world run by Zombie Hitler, you must side with the Cable Companies to which I am absolutely not affiliated with in any way.

And last but not least, after the latest revelation of DMCA abuse being used by shifty reputation management companies, an anonymous commenter vented some frustration over continued insistences that DMCA abuse isn't a big deal:

There's no proof that the DMCA is being widely abused except the article a week highlighting widespread abuse and the fact that an entire industry has sprouted up to take advantage of it in the absence of any punishments. But other than all the widespread abuse of the DMCA, there's no proof that there's widespread abuse of the DMCA.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 1 May 2016 @ 4:09pm

    Here’s Something Else For Republicans To Ban...

    ... a US study shows that a simple notification letter is sufficient to make a significant difference to voting rates. Saying you’ll ask about it later (even if you don’t) magnifies the effect.

    Of course, we know that anything that improves US voting rates tends to favour Democrats over Republicans. So guess which party will want to put a stop to this “abuse” of democracy before it gets out of hand?

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

    • identicon
      kallethen, 2 May 2016 @ 6:34am

      Re: Here’s Something Else For Republicans To Ban...

      I believe I've read that both parties have used those notification letters in the past, each time the opposing party angrily complaining about them.

      Personally, I agree that it's a dirty tactic. Sadly, it's the nature of politics to get dirty. And if the current primary races are a foretelling of the upcoming election, we're gonna need lots and lots of soap.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 1 May 2016 @ 8:45pm

    Not including Jim Sterling's amazing YouTube hack...

    It was noted twice, for NSLs and the precedent of holding a person in contempt of court until he reveals a password, how the circumstances could be easily used by malicious third parties.

    That kind of deserves special mention, I think.

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

  • identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, 4 May 2016 @ 6:05am

    GWX Control Panel FTW.

    ^THIS!! I've got it and it really does the job. :)

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


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