Bob Jonkman's Techdirt Profile

Bob Jonkman

About Bob Jonkman

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  • Feb 27, 2020 @ 02:57pm

    This encryption debate is like "Rock, Paper, Scissors", except it's with "Truth, Lies, Stupid." But in the game of "Truth, Lies, Stupid" it's always "Stupid" that wins.

  • Apr 17, 2013 @ 07:45pm

    Geek and Poke

    Oliver Widder had something to say about this last year:

  • Feb 08, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: But wait there's more...

    Here's a good link that explains some of the confusion caused by the Anne Authority claiming Trademark or "Official Mark" rights over a work that should be in the public domain.

    Irony Alert: It appears the article is behind a paywall, but there's a good chunk of the beginning made available, and there seems to be a free 1-day subscription too.


  • Feb 07, 2013 @ 11:18am

    Competing rootkits

    Of course, removing rootkits is already illegal in Canada. All the rootkit authors need to do is declare that the rootkit is a Technological Protection Measure for their content, and it is automatically protected by the recently enacted copyright legislation (formerly Bill C-11).

    There will need to be a central registry of rootkits and citizens whose computers have been rooted. Canada has lots of experience in that field, e.g. the gun registry.

    Rootkits will need to be designed carefully to avoid collisions between competing rootkits. We'll need an industry rootkit consortium, and a rootkit standards body.

    If the law allows for only one rootkit on one PC then the government can initiate an auction to determine which "interested party" gets to put their rootkit on which PCs. This could be a revenue generator for the government.

    Of course, there will be a new federal department, Rootkits Canada. Think of the civil service employment opportunities!

    We can have rootkit lobbyists. Politicians can run on the Rootkit Platform. They can join Rootkit Party of Canada (who will probably be in opposition to the Pirate Party of Canada).

    Exciting times ahead...


  • Jan 31, 2013 @ 01:51am

    OpenStreetMap changed its license

    Glyn, you may want to check with someone from the OpenStreetMap project. Over the last two years or so they've transitioned their mapping data from a Creative Commons license to the Open Database License. This affected thousands of contributors, who had to sign off in order for OSM to retain their data. More details at


  • Nov 18, 2012 @ 10:45pm

    Don't give them any ideas...

    I love the idea that we might start busting patents with science fiction on a more regular basis.

    Up next, patenting science fiction.

    Of course, with the state of patents today, we may not be able to tell the difference.


  • Oct 18, 2012 @ 02:25pm

    Bad Actors

    It seems that just about everyone involved in this is a bad actor:

    * Those who posted the images of beaten women, teens, and other people who were expecting privacy
    * Reddit, for allowing it
    * Violentacrez, for encouraging and participating
    * Adrian Chen, for infringing on Violentacrez's expectation of privacy
    * Subredditors, for censoring posts about Gawker
    * Violentacrez's employer, for firing him without cause

    Of course, everything seems to be legal. But it all offends my sense of morality.

    It's been pointed out that morality is subjective.

    YMMV. Your Morality May Vary.

  • Oct 16, 2012 @ 08:48am

    Occam's Razor

    There's a much simpler explanation: Politicians like the law just the way it is because it lets them snoop on private communications.

    Think of the terrorists!


  • Sep 20, 2012 @ 10:45am

    But was it an improvement?

    Before asking questions about conflict-of-interest or abuse of Wikimedia Trustee powers, ask a more fundamental question:

    Have these entries improved Wikipedia?

    If the Wikipedia entries now have more information, additional facts, better grammar and spelling, then perhaps the entries that B(r)amkin made aren't such a bad thing. In fact, if he's prevented from contributing because of conflict-of-interest rules, perhaps those rules should be changed, since by preventing good contributions they're actually detrimental to Wikipedia.

    On the other hand, if B(r)amkin's entries aren't NPOV (Neutral Point Of View), contain factual errors, or are full of typos, then what prevents the regular Wikipedia community from improving those entries so that they DO meet Wikipedia's standards? THAT would be a sign of Wikipedia working the way it's supposed to.

    I wonder how many of those people complaining about those entries have actually taken the time to fix them...


  • Sep 19, 2011 @ 05:29pm

    Need text links

    Hi Techdirt: Can you post ordinary text links for those embedded objects? Some of us use browsers that are restricted in what they can display, eg. no Javascript, iframes or media objects. But there's no problem in downloading an actual video file...


  • Jan 10, 2011 @ 09:16pm

    LinkedIn is not accurate

    LinkedIn does not accurately display what a user enters as his job title.

    For example, my LinkedIn profile shows Computer Support Generalist at The Working Centre, but I've actually entered Contract Computer Support Generalist at The Working Centre. I also tried Computer Support Generalist Contract Position but that didn't work either. I wonder what else LinkedIn alters (censors?).

    Moral of the story: If you read it on The Internet it isn't necessarily true.


  • Sep 28, 2010 @ 01:09pm

    Making money by giving away music for free

    This summer there was a free concert in our town. We really liked the band that played (Gavin Knight and the Rhythm Resurgence), and stopped to talk to them after the show; asked about websites and concert calendars and so on. Gavin Knight himself GAVE us a copy of the band's CD.

    We went to see them at The Boathouse a few weeks ago. And we'll be going to see them again next month.

    Now, these guys may be playing for a hobby; maybe they all have day jobs -- I don't know. But by giving away their music the first time, we're now paying for cover charges and restaurant meals so we can listen to the music we enjoy. There's lots of money to be made, not directly from selling the music, but from all the peripheral businesses that rely on the music industry.

    Graham Henderson is full of horse puckey, and can't prove a thing.


  • Mar 19, 2010 @ 04:14pm

    Old way == easy, new way == hard. Or not.

    AC: Old way of doing business = easy

    MM: Not even close. The old way was very very hard.

    AC: New way of doing business = very very hard.

    MM: Wrong. It's much, much, much easier than the old way.

    I think the two of you are looking at it from opposite ends. Anonymous Coward writes from the PoV of the Record Industry Executive. Under the old model, the artist had a very, very hard time of making it, constantly at the whims of the Record Industry Executive, who had it very, very easy with an exclusive lock on distribution. But under the new model, the artist has it very, very easy, with a World Wide Content Distribution System and Marketing Engine at his fingertips, while the Record Industry Executive has it very, very hard trying understand all this new-fangled media stuff.


  • Mar 19, 2010 @ 04:41am

    more of the same...

    There's more of the same discussion on the Spark Exchange blog.

    Even for musicians knowledgeable about the nature of the Internet, knowing that their music will be shared, knowing that the Big Music labels are unlikely to make them mega-stars, even then some musicians are afraid to embrace new business models.


  • Dec 26, 2009 @ 11:56pm

    Vimeo is a commercial service

    A bit of paradox: Vimeo is a commercial service, so anything posted on Vimeo is used for commercial purposes (increasing Vimeo's revenues), so Vimeo should be banning everything posted on Vimeo.

    But seriously, folks...

    Any time you give a third party control of your material they can do with it what they want. It may go against an up-front agreement you made with them, and you may have recourse to the courts. But in the meantime, they've got your video and you don't.

    If you want to be immune from these (frivolous) actions, then host your own content. Provide the video in an accessible format (.OGV or .MPG) and make proper use of the HTML "object" element, or the HTML5 "video" element.

    Don't use Flash (no guarantee Adobe will continue to support it), don't use YouTube or Vimeo or any other service you don't control.


  • Nov 24, 2009 @ 01:00pm

    Videos available in non-Flash?

    I'd love to see these videos -- are they available in a real, non-Flash video format like .OGV or .MP4 ?

    I'm using a computer that doesn't have Adobe Flash, but can play real videos quite nicely.


  • Jan 20, 2009 @ 11:57pm

    Bell also throttles resellers

    Of course, smart Canadian ISPs don't throttle their customers' traffic. Unfortunately, Bell will do it for them -- Bell throttles all bandwidth of third-party wholesale resellers, so it's not possible for any Canadian to get unthrottled service.

    The cable providers are just as bad. From I've heard that there is only one third-party ISP brave enough to resell Rogers wholesale broadband, and that gets throttled too.

    There won't be true competition until the third-party providers have their own tubes into their customers' premises. After digital TV is enabled in Canada (2011) I hope all that surplus TV bandwidth gets auctioned off to independent ISPs.

    Wireless will be the salvation of us all.


  • Sep 14, 2008 @ 09:07am

    It's been done.

    Wired Magazine is not the first "content provider" to open their creative process to their consumers. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has done it with their shows Spark and Search Engine (sadly muzzled for mocking the government). And then there's Snakes on a Plane... --Bob.

  • Nov 19, 2007 @ 10:39am

    Re: Parallel the Musician's Strike in the '40s

    I'm not sure I can find this online. I listen to a local jazz station JAZZ.FM91, and one of the hosts, Glen Woodcock mentioned this many years ago -- at least, that's where I think I heard it. You may need to contact him for primary source material...


  • Nov 19, 2007 @ 09:42am

    Parallel the Musician's Strike in the '40s

    The current writer's strike reminds me of the Musician's strike in the 1940's -- the orchestras of the big bands and backups for vocal stars argued with the record labels about royalties for recordings. While they were quibbling, the law of unintended consequences took effect, and small, individual bands took over where the large orchestras used to be. Rock'n'Roll was born, and no-one really listens to big band music any more.

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