Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the what-they-say dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Matthew Cline, responding to two parts of a comment from a defender of a proposed ag-gag law in Australia:

Hi I live in Australia and have seen the incredible damage these protesters are doing. No wonder the farmers want them off their farms. ... These laws although may be oppressive in a lot more places are needed to corrall these twits and take them out of the way of farmers quickly.

There's already trespassing laws to handle that.

And punish them for damage done without taking time and money from the farmers.

And also already laws to deal with vandalism and/or destruction of property.

In second place, we've got bob expanding on a useful analogy about the difference between APIs and software:

I like the comparison of an API to a menu.

Often you will look over what is available to use in the documentation or even the header file and then select the right API that will call the code you need to perform an action. Then you supply any necessary inputs and get some output.

As a diner, you will look over the menu. Select a dish and supply inputs (money) to cause the item to be made. you probably won't see how the food was prepared, cooked, or what is being done by restaurant staff. Then your food comes (output) and it hopefully is representing what was advertised by the menu.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more comment about API copyrightability, this time from crade explaining why it's important for people to be able to copy APIs:

No one said they don't result in "code" or that they aren't a key part. They are not copyrightable because they are usage instructions and not implementation details. The API isn't executable and is not a program.

You need to have the same API in order to replace the application with your own application so that other applications will be able to use your program instead of the one you are replacing. It is an agreement between the calling program and the called program and it only explains how to call the implementation and does not provide any implementation details.

The only reason to copy an API is so that you can write your own competing program to be able to drop in as a replacement for an existing one and the only reason to argue that people shouldn't be allowed to copy APIs is to prevent people from writing their own programs to replace yours.

Next, we've got an anonymous commenter providing an excellent point of comparison for the ridiculous claim that PACER costs $100-million a year to operate:

As a point of comparison, the Internet Archive's budget is about $10 million/year. That's for the whole thing—digital hosting and storage, indexing, physical archiving, salaries, etc.—including as much PACER data as they've been able to get their hands on via RECAP. They charge $0 for people to access those digital copies. Their search engine's not great, but neither is PACER's, and I think they could improve that for less than $90 million.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is David trying to assuage our obvious frustration over broadband industry manipulation of the net neutrality debate, and the failure of government agencies to respond:

Gee, so many negatives.

You sound upset. Do you want free credit monitoring? No need to provide your data and authorization, we already have it.

In second place, we've got McKay with a response to Devin Nunes' latest lawsuit:

"No, no, no, we're not involved with Iowa."
<files lawsuit in Iowa>

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with Stephen T. Stone serving up one more dig at Nunes:

If I say “Devin Nunes is an asshole” three times in a mirror, will I be served with a lawsuit designed to make me shut up?

And finally, because how could I resist, we've got Kev Yassem responding to Jerry Seinfeld's victory against a bogus lawsuit:


That's all for this week, folks!

Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Oct 2019 @ 8:03am

    Re: Credit monitoring

    How is that recompensation rather than making things worse?

    It isn't, but have some sympathy for the poor credit bureaus. They'd be bankrupt many times over if they had to fairly compensate people—or, indeed, pay them for their personal data in the first place.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.