Sure, and if anyone was talking about building everything to functionally block them out then that'd be bad. But who is suggesting that?
I'm suggesting that within whatever overall global discussion you have, there has to be the ability for people to build and moderate their own communities. That's obvious. But there are those who cry "violating my free speech!" when any community wishes to exclude them - and that's idiotic.
If you want to argue that the concept of a right to free speech can/should/does extend beyond the government, that's fine. Admirable, even.
But does that make the second frame of the comic untrue? Can/should/is anyone required to listen to you, or required to provide to you a forum in which to speak? I don't see how. Not only does that make no sense from a rights/freedom perspective, it's just functionally impossible. It's not even desirable — should a serious medical conference be forced to invite homeopaths and spirit healers, because failing to do so would violate their free speech? Should it be illegal to turn away Jehova's Witnesses without first inviting them in and hearing them out?
The key difference between this and other such devices is that these tags for a mesh network. As far as I know, nobody else has offered that. Systems such as the one you describe use the phone as a hub -- it locates all the various devices that are tagged. That is not the case with Trakkies: each device is independent and they all form a network, and each one is capable of locating and interacting with all the others. There's no hub, no centralization. That's what makes this stand out to me.
As for the charging, I'm not sure if they are chargeable or not, but they DO have replaceable standard flat batteries that you can pick up almost anywhere.
It actually was one of the early popular internet clips as well, but you're absolutely right that it started as a bootleg VHS. In fact it's doubly notable for being a popular clip that bridged that transition. Anyway, I've adjusted the post, because you're right that it's dumb not to mention that.
One very simple example would be a voting system. You can create your own tokens on blockchain technology, and they don't have to represent currency, or follow the same rules, as it's all highly programmable.
So say you issued everyone in your organization or whatnot a single "Votecoin", which has the ability to be "spent" on a candidate or option or whatever the vote is about, but is otherwise non-transferrable. Everyone "spends" their votes.
What has that accomplished? Quite a lot: you get a full public ledger of the entire vote, accessible and verifiable by everyone involved, but in which everyone remains anonymous, and in which fraud is impossible, all completely online without the need for any sort of agency or watchdog to run the whole thing beyond simply issuing the "Votecoins", and no need for any kind of additional security or encryption.
Well, now I know you're just a troll, not even someone sincerely trying to have conversations. Your opening comment was glowing and sycophantic, referring to the new service as easy and convenient. And now you want to deny that. Pathetic.
It's a bullshit anti-piracy campaign targeted at people who already paid to see a movie, which is idiotic, and it's a promotion for a worthless "service". If you have any valid point at all, it's that we didn't mock them as extensively as we should have.
But of course, you're full of shit, because now you're pretending that you knew it was a terrible service all along - and yet your first comment on this post is eagerly promoting it with language straight out of the press release.
For years we've pointed out that the industry's much-boasted-about abundance of legal sources is actually an unnavigable mish-mash of overlapping services with wildly varying quality, availability and limitations, and that even if the average person does have a legal alternative to piracy it's likely that actually replacing piracy would mean signing up for a dozen different services with separate bills, and it still wouldn't get them anything... if they can be bothered to figure them out at all.
Does Hollywood respond by trying to unify some of these services? By opening up new licensing terms to allow wider cross-platform availability? By scrapping all that shit and launching a new, flagship platform that promises to offer all the movies there are, and actually delivers?
No, no, no... It has a genius idea instead. "Clearly what we need," said one bigwig to another, "is a special search engine to help people navigate our dozens of terrible services slightly more easily."
How could they be so dumb? Maybe they just truly don't know how to innovate at all. Or maybe this is what happens when your thought process isn't so much "how can we offer our customers a great service" as it is "how can we seemingly invalidate our customers' complaints, so they can't serve as excuses for the behaviour we want outlawed"
IMO eliminating the anti-circumvention clause just leaves the issue, and the cat and mouse game of breaking drm.
Would it though? I mean, there's already an arms race, and even with anti-circumvention protections, the breakers beat the makers every single time. The ONLY thing that keeps some kind of a lid on it is the fact that people need to be careful about distributing DRM-breaking tools, and so those get relegated to pirate sites and other backwaters that scare off average computer users. Remove that one limitation and I don't see how DRM-makers would stand a chance...
I think Leigh might have a point here, I can imagine that being difficult and problematic to pin down language and eliminate the potential for abuse via contract law and such.
I do think this is something really big that you and Mason aren't fully considering. Law is not great at technology, in general. Either it's very specific, at which point it works well for a short period of time but then rapidly becomes obsolete or nonsensical or begins to apply to new things that weren't intended, OR it's broad and general in an attempt to be future-proof, and ends up having all sorts of immediate unintended consequences.
Some of your notions -- ban DRM! ban closed-source software! ban all that bullshit! -- are admittedly appealing in an anarchist-utopia sort of way. But I'm not at all confident that writing laws to accomplish such things is simply a legal-wording challenge to be overcome — I think it may be an insurmountable task.
Plus, I really do like to focus on things that can be done immediately. Yes, we probably do need some idealists out there pushing for the banning of all DRM - but if we want to see any actual near-term change on that front, what we really need are pragmatists out there fighting against ant-circumvention provisions, because that's still a very meaningful change that would strike a huge blow to DRM, and it's one that's actually legislatively realistic.
Honestly I don't doubt there are areas where we are lacking certain bits of knowledge -- we're a small team covering a lot of topics, and we're also part of a broader community of people covering this stuff, and count on others to bring some of their expertise to the table too.
On my end, the frustration is when these things get boiled down into what I consider unfair blanket statements, like the idea that we are "tonedeaf about privacy concerns" or Mason's assertion that we "don't think DRM is bad" (the latter is clearly laughable to anyone who reads Techdirt). But once you move past that, there's plenty of good conversation to be had.
All the issues with DRM could be solved just fine by getting rid of anti-circumvention provisions.
In fact, let's flip this around: what are the issues that you think would remain after anti-circumvention rules are gone, that would require limiting people's rights to write software how they choose?
I just don't see any justification for legally preventing software makers from limiting the functionality of their software as they choose, as stupid as it might be for them to do so. Again, extending that control beyond the bounds of the software itself, such as the sony rootkit, is a different story -- but outlawing DRM seems like a needless restriction on people's rights, which is not something I support.
Here's one more question, just out of curiosity: would free trial versions of software that disable after a given number of days also be illegal?