Techdirt

by Leigh Beadon


Filed Under:
history, look back



This Week In Techdirt History: March 18th - 24th

from the looking-back dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, EA/Maxis was dealing with the fallout from its disastrous SimCity launch, which was ruined by always-online DRM (which, it turns out, was also disastrously hackable), by offering up tonedeaf responses while giving away earlier versions of the game as a weak apology. They were drawing ire from other developers, and then things got worse as a security hole was discovered in EA's Origin platform itself. Meanwhile, we were digging in to copyright boss Maria Pallante's call for comprehensive, forward-thinking copyright reform, which included some good ideas like not seeing personal downloading as piracy, but was still largely focused on bad ideas.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, the makers of e-voting machines were doing everything they could to avoid scrutiny, so while machines in Ohio were declared a crime scene, Sequoia was trying to keep Ed Felten away from reviewing its machines and succeeded in scaring officials into backing down — all while a new study showed a massive error rate in e-voting.

This was also the week that the world lost Arthur C. Clarke.

Fifteen Years Ago

It was this week in 2003 that the US invaded Iraq. Though the war didn't dominate our writing on Techdirt, we did take a look at the businesses rapidly moving to explore whether this would help or hurt them, and the discussion around how this was the first true war of the internet era and the implications of that for journalists. And it didn't take long for "war" to oust "sex" and "Britney Spears" as the top internet search.

Also this week: the RIAA moved into the suing-companies phase of its anti-file sharing crusade; a Texas congressman wanted to throw college students in jail for file-sharing, though surveys of students showed they had a much more modern understanding of the issues at stake; and MIT's tech review continued sounding the warning bells about America becoming a surveillance nation.


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  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 24 Mar 2018 @ 5:10pm

    Link To Arthur C Clarke?

    When I click the link, it goes to an article entitled “New Study Shows Massive Error Rates In E-Voting Machines”. Not something that our late, revered Mr Clarke had much to do with, I think.

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 24 Mar 2018 @ 5:16pm

    My Favourite Clarke Quote

    “The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.”

    The only true path to religious tolerance will lie through giving up the idea that right and wrong comes from what some fictional God tells you. Believe what you like, but right and wrong has to come from something we all share in common as human beings.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Mar 2018 @ 8:04pm

      Re: My Favourite Clarke Quote

      I hear ya!. Though raised a Catholic, my concept of god is that entity (he, she, or it) that caused the big bang. It is also my precept that if that entity actually thought that they were being worshiped, they would be doing the multi-universal equivalent of rolling on the floor laughing madly out loud.

      I also believe that 'God' is an entity that is the same being as described above, but is described by various religions to meet their particular bent. The Sumerians, and probably the Mayans though of 'god' as an explanation for causing events, such as storms, lightening, sun, dark, moon, etc..

      I also believe that religion, as we know it today, and probably for the last hundred or so centuries, is a method and system for enabling control over others. As in exerting control over others. To that extent it has worked pretty good. That it is right, or that they are right, or that there is only one right is another matter.

      But that is just me. You are free to think whatever you want. Just don't try and foist it upon me. Or us. The idea that proselytization is a good and necessary end is just wrong. Believe what you want, but don't expect that everyone should believe as you do. Killing people because they don't believe in the fictional god you believe in is just an excuse for murder.

      All gods are fictional. Don't buy that? Give some solid proof that some 'God' exists.

      Wait, we are going to need something other than your beliefs. I stated my beliefs above, but I cannot prove them. The folks in the adjoining universe won't allow it. Then there are the folks in the parallel universe whom have a different point of view. And if you are not warm and fuzzy with those concepts, think about how you might be living in a conceptualized paradigm made up by some stoner hackers trying to invent another world using code we don't know exists yet. Then there are the other dimensions. Whoa...wait till ya see what they have in store for us.

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

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 24 Mar 2018 @ 9:39pm

        Re: that entity ... that caused the big bang

        Assuming there was only one Big Bang. The trouble is that theories that try to explain its known characteristics tend to end up predicting multiple -- indeed, an infinite series -- of Bangs.

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Mar 2018 @ 7:27am

          Re: Re: that entity ... that caused the big bang

          Yeah, there is that, among others. I started thinking about the big bang theory when I heard about some scientists who claimed that before the big bang there was nothing. I have a hard time with that. Creating something out of nothing sounds more like magic than science.

          So, my imagination started to flow, just like the Sumerians who tried to explain lightening or day vs night or seasons. Could it be the end of the previous universe? Could it be a parallel universe? Could it be alternate dimensions, ones we haven discovered or defined yet? Was it some entity? Was it some group of entities? Could it be something else? Was this the first time? Could it be the last time? Or are we someplace in the middle of a streak, or as you put it an infinite streak of bangs. Then there is relativity, not necessarily the the sense the Einstein struggled with, but maybe. Does time run at the same speed for all universes and dimensions? Could a second of 'their' time be eons of ours?

          So many questions, fortunately we have imaginations so that we can make up excuses. Now if we could only get those organized religions to stop trying to force their imaginations upon the rest of us.

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 25 Mar 2018 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: that entity ... that caused the big bang

          Yeah, there is that, among others. I started thinking about the big bang theory when I heard about some scientists who claimed that before the big bang there was nothing. I have a hard time with that. Creating something out of nothing sounds more like magic than science.

          So, my imagination started to flow, just like the Sumerians who tried to explain lightening or day vs night or seasons. Could it be the end of the previous universe? Could it be a parallel universe? Could it be alternate dimensions, ones we haven discovered or defined yet? Was it some entity? Was it some group of entities? Could it be something else? Was this the first time? Could it be the last time? Or are we someplace in the middle of a streak, or as you put it an infinite streak of bangs. Then there is relativity, not necessarily the the sense the Einstein struggled with, but maybe. Does time run at the same speed for all universes and dimensions? Could a second of 'their' time be eons of ours?

          So many questions, fortunately we have imaginations so that we can make up excuses. Now if we could only get those organized religions to stop trying to force their imaginations upon the rest of us.

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 25 Mar 2018 @ 6:56am

        Re: Re: My Favourite Clarke Quote

        In the beginning, Man created god in his own image.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2018 @ 8:00pm

    something we all share in common

    Which I don't believe exists. Maybe you just mean you'd like to impose your morality.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2018 @ 8:41pm

    Two things that go really well together: E-voting machines and self driving cars.

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


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