Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the commentathon dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is David, taking a moment to process one particular comment from the Michigan State Police who were taking well-deserved flak on Twitter for bragging about stealing $40,000 from a driver:

“We develop probable cause in order to seize money,” he said

That's sort of blunt. I had to read that several times. No shit.

In second place, we've got Stephen T. Stone replying to one commenter who defended Trump's lawsuits against his media enemies by saying that news outlets keep calling him "gross and malicious names":

Which names, specifically, aren’t at least partially accurate, given his history of…

  • bankruptcies
  • failed businesses
  • extramarital affairs
  • support for “birtherism”
  • racist rhetoric
  • sexist rhetoric
  • xenophobic rhetoric
  • anti-queer policy positions
  • insulting invective aimed at his enemies
  • trying to have his enemies investigated and possibly jailed
  • obstructing federal investigations

…on top of the accusations of sexual assault/misconduct levied at him, including a withdrawn (but still believable) accusation that he raped one of his wives and his own comments about grabbing women by their genitals without explicit permission?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with That One Guy and another comment about the Michigan State Police:

'Look at what we got from our latest robbery!'

Dumb criminals end up in cells.

Smart criminals end up in law enforcement.

Had someone without a badge robbed someone of tens of thousands of dollars, took pictures and then posted both pictures and an admission of guilt to social media it would be the easiest armed robbery case ever, however because the robbers in question have badges this time I imagine it will result in a slap on the wrists at worst, thanks to screwed up laws and spineless judges.

It really shows just how corrupt and out of touch police can be when bragging about robbing an innocent person is something that didn't immediately get shot down as an incredibly stupid idea.

Next, we've got virusdetected with an excellent comment about patents:

The problem with the patent system is...

That it's never obvious what a patent actually covers and there are a huge number of patents that can readily be reinterpreted to cover an idea never specifically mentioned. The U.S. Patent Office has been incompetent for decades, regularly allowing patents on the obvious, on mathematical tautologies, and on ideas that are total nonsense. It is almost impossible to write a computer program that doesn't trample on someone's copyright or patent, but there's no way the programmer can find that out. I learned this long ago, when I wrote a program for a character-based display. To identify the cursor position, the program logic applied an exclusive OR (XOR) to the bits under the cursor. XOR simply reverses all the bits, which results in highlighting the character on a screen; another XOR reverses the operation. This is a property of the definition of XOR, which has been part of basic logic "forever." However, there's a patent on using it to flip the bits to make a cursor. Huh? Worse, it's a hardware patent, even though the implementation is in software.

That comment came in response to our post about a former refrigerator manufacturer that is trying to use patents to extract payments from companies using open-source, royalty-free video format — which is also the source of our first place winner on the funny side. LorgSkyegon swooped in with an early response:

I definitely think this refrigerator company

is going to chill the use of this new system

In second place on the funny side, it's That One Guy responding to a commenter who noted that Fox News might not be so easily accused of acting like state media when a Democrat is in power:

Nonsense, I'm sure they will be just as supportive of a democrat president and would never sink to petty things like, oh I dunno, act like the color of the suit the president wears is a huge deal, especially after the silk glove treatment they've given Trump.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we've got two more responses to the police in Michigan. First up, it's an anonymous commenter trying to get their head around one of the most questionable arguments against needing to actually prosecute people in order to take their stuff:

"claiming having to prosecute drug dealers would result in fewer drug dealers being prosecuted."

If we prosecute more of them, fewer of them will be prosecuted, QED.

And finally, it's wshuff digging further into the statement that was the subject of the first place insightful comment:

"We develop probably cause I order to seize money." So if it takes probable cause to seize money, and we seized money, it follows that there must have been probable cause. And if a woman weighs the same as a duck, she's a witch.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Mar 2020 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You've got an echo chamber to yourself, Hamilton. It's got the White House. Just go back to blaming the Freemasons while the rest of us actually invest in proper scanning technology and social distancing.


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