The etymological fallacy is insisting a term should mean what it originally meant. I'm not - I'm fine with the new use of snake oil. Unfortunately, if you use that new meaning, then what Whatever said is moronic and incorrect from every angle and in every way. However if you examine it through a more critical light of where that term comes from and what history it belies, then what he said is pretty much on the money and a lovely defence of Techdirt - and it actually makes sense and is accurate to boot! Really I'm throwing him a bone, making him look much more perceptive than he actually is.
Haha, nice story Mike, but Since (a) you ain't Chinese, and (b) you didn't understand my frame of reference, then you fail.
Not Mike. Not a story where the nationality matters (just a bit of historical context for you). And not failing to understand your frame of reference - explaining to you how you failed to understand your own frame of reference.
I was referring to snake oil salesmen... you know, the guys selling crap and claiming it's the best.
Yup. It's a nonsense term based on historical distortion. And the irony is that, to someone who bothers to understand what snake oil actually was, your weak attempt at wit makes the opposite point from what you hoped. Now you know! Always nice to educate someone, even someone who fervently resists being educated.
You're just on a roll with totally not understanding the expressions you're using today, huh?
Do you understand what the "full retard" joke was saying, like, at all? It was a commentary on what the public will accept/not accept due to their own discomfort and denial, not on what is "correct". The entire point was that all popular depictions of mentally challenged characters are largely cop-outs, tempering their disorders with fantastical superpowers to make audiences feel a bit better about themselves and spare them having to grapple with the reality of those conditions. It was a commentary on the fact that depicting the actual truth about a difficult subject is not a good way to get ahead or find success, because people don't want to be confronted with difficult truths, and established industries especially don't want to deal with them when money is on the line. They are only interested in sanitized depictions.
So once again, really, you nailed it! The entire point of this campaign is to fund our reporting on the sort of unpleasant, unsanitized truths that we would be "wiser" to shut up about if our sole interest was industry acclaim and traditional success. We don't intend to tone down the reality of the situation in order to make people feel comfortable or avoid posing challenging questions about privacy, encryption, government surveillance and law enforcement.
So yes: Techdirt is going to go "full retard" on encryption!
It's absolutely awesome that you are harping on the "snake oil" angle. Do you know why? No, you probably don't. Let's learn together!
"Snake oil" was something brought to America by Chinese rail workers. It was actually an effective treatment for inflammation - its composition then was extremely similar to modern anti-inflammatory rubs and ointments.
But then... "patent medicines" rose in popularity. These were the nonsense tonics that we actually think of when we say "snake oil": Dr. Suchandsuch's Magical Whatever Tonic. Either totally inactive, or just a mix of alcohol and hard opiates. Very dangerous, very rarely real medicine.
These medicines were in competition with "snake oil". Then one patent medicine maker started aping it, selling his own "rattlesnake oil", which was actually totally ineffective as an anti-inflammatory compared to Chinese snake oil. Federal investigators found that it didn't contain a drop of actual snake oil, and this is when the term became associated with "fraud". Popular depictions of the "snake oil salesman" arose in film, but these depictions were in fact based almost entirely on western patent medicine sellers.
So, what is "snake oil"? A genuine, effective medicine given a bad name by the smear campaigns and dishonest business practices of patent holders, legacy industries and Hollywood. Techdirt indeed!
Yeah but that's the thing - everyone feels that, and I wasn't suggesting you're any different. And that's precisely why America and so many other modern states recognized that bans on cruel and unusual punishment, and other rights even for criminals, were an important founding principal - because a system can (theoretically) be immune to wrath in a way people can't. So sure, people can and will all feel that rage, but when a whole community endorses it you end up with children treating "stone the prisoner" (metaphorically or literally) as a game they look forward to. And anyone who can do that, can do it to anyone. Our brains are only concerned with justice at the upper levels - the deeper bits that get numbed to, and then practiced at, harming people are much less discriminating.
Too bad for those persecuted and arrested unjustly by the Government, no?
That's part of it, but it's also about those justly arrested and convicted.
I mean look, I'm not overflowing with sympathy for murderers, and there are certain breeds of human monster that make me feel they deserve any horrors they must endure. But it isn't all about sympathy or what anyone "deserves" — it's about what our treatment of the guilty does to us. It's not healthy for a human being to be able to throw someone in a hole to suffer and die, to stand over a starving wretch and feel nothing, to hurl stones with glee and cheer when they draw blood. It's not healthy for a society to condone those things, or to ignore them. Perhaps one can personally believe that certain people deserve those treatments, because their actions have rendered their humanity forfeit — but there is no way to dish them out without sacrificing your own humanity to do so.
Well, for me, it's what exactly you mean by "murderers should have no rights." Leaving the encryption thing aside momentarily, that statement by itself is either (a) poorly thought through, or (b) quite radical and monstrous.
Are you saying convicted murderers shouldn't have the rights that protect them from cruel and unusual punishment, for example? What about their ongoing right to due process, including their right to appeal their conviction? Or their right to access the parole process?
What about the right under the 14th Amendment to not be treated unequally based on race, sex or creed? Prisoners retain that right. Should they lose that, so we're free to punish murders more or less based on their race? Do they lose their right to medical care? Do disabled prisoner's lose their right to accessible prison facilities?
Debate the encryption aspect all you want - but "murderers should have no rights" is a barbaric starting point.
When something is preconfigured to use the same MIDI channels output by a massive array of control boards ranging from incredibly cheap to the highest-end of professional gear, plug and play actually does work quite well.
But anyway... Yes, I acknowledge that you could do everything this board does with a wide variety of vintage computers, and also with the proper software on a modern computer. You could also do everything this board does with... this board. Your call, really. It's still a cool device.
Where are you finding Amiga 500s for $50? Don't forget, you need the MIDI expansion unit too. And how much work/knowledge/software do you estimate it would take to integrate it into a modern MIDI workflow as a graphics generator controlled by the CC and Pitch Bend channels, compared to this plug-and-play device?
I'm not trying to be a jerk but, it just seems weird to point out that a machine whose explicit purpose is to reproduce vintage technology is... reproducing vintage technology. Of course it's not doing anything an Amiga couldn't - that's the entire point.
Indeed. That one looks quite nice - though, I still think there are some innovations that make this one worthy of note. The Griffin one seems to have quite complex configuration software - which is both a pro and a con, since it looks like it needs quite a lot of upfront work to get it performing all the functions you might want it to perform.
The nOb doesn't require any software-side configuration at all - it doesn't even have special drivers, it's just a standard USB serial human interface device like a mouse. By using a basic set of input types controlled by the two toggle switches, and targeting the input based on where your mouse cursor is, it allows really rapid on-the-fly use of lots of different controls with no upfront settings work.
There's also a pretty interesting stretch goal, which is integrating it with eye-tracking equipment, so that you can select what control it is mapped to by *looking* at it. I have no idea how good that would actually be in practice, but it's certainly a cool idea.
That's what the indictment says. Unfortunately, it's not true. The JSTOR terms said (and say to this day) that automatic downloading is only banned if it interferes with the operation of their services:
undertake any activity such as the use of computer programs that automatically download or export Content, commonly known as web robots, spiders, crawlers, wanderers or accelerators that may interfere with, disrupt or otherwise burden the JSTOR server(s) or any third-party server(s) being used or accessed in connection with JSTOR;
Now, it has been argued that Swartz did do just that — but if that's true, it was apparently not a big enough deal for either JSTOR or MIT to have any real beef with him. If there's anything false in the statement that "the license was clear anyone could download as much as they wanted" then it's the word "clear" - perhaps that should be, "strongly suggested with only vague caveats"