from the text-versus-subtext dept
When LeaseWeb deleted Megaupload's servers this week, the second commenter to the post began a sentence with "If Dotcom is so darned eager to prove his innocence..." No need to read further, as there's already a big problem with that statement, and an anonymous commenter took most insightful comment of the week by pointing it out:
He doesn't have to. The DOJ needs to prove his guilt.
Failed basic civics, did you?
While the first place comment saw a glaring error on the surface, the second place comment saw a problem by reading between the lines. Faced with Microsoft's capitulation on the subject of Xbox One DRM, Mason Wheeler saw an old negotiator's trick:
When you listen to what they're actually saying, what it sounds like to me is the "Door-in-the-face technique" in practice. It goes like this:
- I want something that the people I want it from aren't going to like.
- I ask them for something far, far worse. They say "no way!" and (metaphorically) slam the door in my face.
- I come back and ask them for what I really wanted all along. They give it to me, because I'm suddenly sounding a lot more reasonable.
Keeping this in mind, let's look at what Microsoft actually said:After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.- What I want: DRM on all games in the form of a universally required activation system. But gamers hate DRM. They wouldn't accept that.
- What I ask for: always-online DRM requiring a persistent Internet connection. Gamers slam the door in my face and let me know that there's no way I'll sell any consoles with an onerous restriction like that.
- What I give them instead: DRM on all games in the form of a universally required activation system. Gamers buy my console because I "listened to them" and did away with the always-on Internet requirement, which I never intended to actually implement in the first place.
- I laugh all the way to the bank.
For editor's choice, we'll start with yet another eagle-eyed commenter (this one anonymous) who spotted some troubling language in the leaked NSA rules for using data:
I'm deeply concerned about this, actually (emphasis mine):Retain and make use of "inadvertently acquired" domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information on criminal activity, threat of harm to people or property, are encrypted, or are believed to contain any information relevant to cybersecurity;Remember, my fellow Americans: only criminals encrypt things.
If you're looking for a needle in a haystack, you don't start by collecting all the haystacks.
On the funny side, we open with a quick quip from the post about the Xbox change-of-plans, delivered by S. T. Stone and winning funniest comment of the week:
Let's get the obvious joke out of the way:
So, who wants an XBox One-Eighty?
There's a well hidden silver lining with this type of DRM.
For example, anyone downloading a Twilight book would ultimately wind up with a better story, thanks to the re-writes performed by the DRM.
And finally, for editor's choice on the funny side, we've got two comments taking on the obvious target of the week (again). First is the unhelpfully-named name with a solution to the Megaupload server deletion problem:
Doesn't the NSA have a backup copy of the Megaupload servers?
And second is an anonymous commenter with a good old fashioned joke:
Just remembered something I heard a day or two ago—
NSA Director walks into a bar.
Bartender asks, “Did you hear the one about… ?”
NSA Director interrupts, “Yep.”
I guess if they can monitor phone lines, why not punch lines? [Rimshot.] I'll be here all week.