catsmoke’s Techdirt Profile


About catsmoke Techdirt Insider

catsmoke’s Comments comment rss

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 11:20pm


    Let us not conflate the National Republican Congressional Committee with any serious body in the republic. The NRCC is yet another fly-by-night scam operation whose principals have the goals of: (1) meeting the bare-minimum legal requirements for qualifying, with the IRS, as a tax-exempt 527 organization, and (2) absconding with 90% (or whatever non-persecutable maximum percentage) of the money they collect.

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 11:05pm

    A reasonable price

    Is overblocking -- including public domain works -- a reasonable price to pay to avoid infringement?

    Don’t we already have an answer to this question, in the realm of justice in public policy?

    “It is better for one hundred guilty people to go free, than for one innocent person to be punished.”

    Perhaps I fail to ken fine details of the intersection between a moral and a financial “price to pay,” but one of those two nodes dwarfs the other unto insignificance.

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 10:54pm

    Re: 'I didn't think the leopards would eat MY face!'

    I struggle to find much sympathy to offer

    While you find that it requires no struggle to blame the victims?

  • Apr 8th, 2021 @ 10:45pm

    privy, see

    We take information privacy seriously at WFS

    ...the privacy of WFS information—so we say nothing to you about our unethical planting of our unethical software.

  • Dec 17th, 2020 @ 2:46am

    to fix it

    A great deal of the world wide web’s problems are due to money being exchanged for the direction of visitors to websites.

    The practice must be banned. Link aggregation sites are a pox on the internet. Websites should rely on their own merits to draw whatever organic traffic they are worthy to attract. It would clean up massive portions of the web, to make mandatory the cessation of paying third parties for the sake of directing visitors to certain websites. It would also ease a transition to much greater transparency.

    Aggregator sites, of all types, are unnecessary duplication, and their proliferation does not serve the common interest. Duplication is always wasteful. Ideally, a central authority would regulate all markets, and eliminate the production inferior goods, both physical and virtual. “Economic competition” and the “right of a person to make a bad decision” be damned.

  • Oct 23rd, 2020 @ 5:52am

    Re: Rebuilding will take decades

    nor can we equip them with the...critical thinking skills enough to know their own best interests

    Educated workers draw higher wages, so amoral capitalists wreck our institutions of learning.

    Obsessed with money, and their default move is to exploit other people. Probably devoid of any sense of fairness. Remember Brett Kavanaugh throwing a tantrum and saying if he was denied a seat on the US Supreme Court, then that would be an injustice of seismic historical proportions?

    Twisted and weird beyond my ability to comprehend.

  • Sep 26th, 2020 @ 11:00pm

    full court?

    consumers (thanks to the press) will genuinely view this as a "discount,"

    An ironic statement, since TechDirt is “the press” and it is doing the exact opposite of what it predicts “the press” will do.

  • Aug 16th, 2020 @ 10:42pm

    Why pay to re-tweet?

    I’m unable to divine why Person A would pay money to Person B so that Person B would perform the service of taking a tweet written by Person C (who has no previous relationship with Person A, and whose tweets would not seem to have any applicability to the goals of Person A) and sharing that tweet with a large audience.

    If Person C had written a tweet that had said “Send money to my bank account #1234567” and Person A happened to have access to that bank account, then I could see Person A wanting to broadcast that tweet as widely as possible. But it’s unlikely such a situation would arise.

    Is the explanation that the tweet is some re-usable cash-grab instrument? I can imagine something such as “If you like this tweet, then send $50 to bank account #8901234” but there is no tweet that is such an effective tool, it cannot be imitated. So why would there be a need for Person A to steal a tweet from Person C, for dissemination by Person B?

    It doesn’t seem to make sense.

  • Aug 6th, 2020 @ 2:22am

    Re: Parable Time

    I couldn't help it. I'm a scorpion!

    What is the reasoning behind this so-called parable? It makes no sense.

    Does the illustration mean to imply that some bad actors should be excused for their wrongdoing, due to their inherent wicked natures?

    That’s a blaming-the-victim paradigm.

    I’ve heard this parable over and over again, during my lifetime, and it’s always seemed to be pure foolishness.

  • Jun 7th, 2020 @ 3:10am


    CDT has...many success stories behind it. Hopefully this is another one.

    The Complaint filed by CDT seems well-reasoned and well-spoken.

    Experienced attorneys will conduct the defense, but on what basis? Trump’s argumentation is shadow-boxing. He dances in circles, attacking nothing. If he had half a brain, he’d be dangerous.

  • Jun 7th, 2020 @ 2:47am


    Cotton sits in the Class 2* seat of my ancestor James Henderson Berry, who represented Arkansas in the US Senate from 1885 until 1907.

    He shames me, and all Arkansans.

    *but not 2nd class!

  • May 8th, 2020 @ 5:04am

    Substance (1990)

    It's hard to imagine that threat [to Nintendo revenue] is anything substantial.

    When someone values $1 more than they value their own arm, then their idea of a “substantial threat to revenue” might surprise you.

  • Apr 30th, 2020 @ 5:46am

    Re: Obamaphone Fraud

    Fining a shady telecom $6 mil for the telecom's attempt to sucker $1.2 mil out of the program.

    Tracfone did not “attempt to sucker $1.2M out of the project.”

    Tracfone paid back $1.2M of the Lifeline money it had illegally collected. That $1.2M was a small portion of Tracfone’s total theft. The proposed $6M fine is based on evidence collected on Tracfone’s misdeeds in states (Florida and Texas), over the second half of 2018. But in 2018, Tracfone was paid Lifeline money for the entire year, for 42 states.

    Given the population of Florida and Texas, and assuming that those remaining 40 states have an average share (relative to the US total) of the cell phone market, then we can estimate that the $6M fine is based on about 10% of Tracfone’s illicit Lifeline gains in 2018. (Florida and Texas combining for 50M people, out of the 42 Tracfone-covered states having an estimated 269M people, and the fine only addressing one-half year of Tracfone’s illegal Lifeline gains in those two states where evidence was collected.) Based on this alone, Tracfone probably deserved a $60M fine, for their 2018 violations.

    It is preposterous to maintain Tracfone is facing a potential fine that is five times as large as the amount Tracfone illegally acquired through the Lifeline program. The $6M fine is a pittance, next to Tracfone’s career illegal Lifelife haul.

  • Feb 29th, 2020 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Chose His Owned Ad Venture

    I’ll also add that the books are, without fail, letdowns. The works usually feature imaginative, detailed setups, without any well-developed conclusions, no matter the choices made by the reader. Incongruous diabolus ex machina endings litter every volume: Aliens are prone to appear, to kidnap the protagonist and instantly quash the story, in any time, place, or setting. The worlds of the narratives are internally inconsistent: An important element of the setting (for example, in its world, is magic real?) may fluctuate between different states, from page to page. As a whole, the books have little artistic merit. They are poorly-thought-out failures, especially in the wildly varying tones of their varying narrative branches, in which one “choice” leads to a conclusion which is an absurd joke, and its alternative “choice” leads to a grim death.

    I do not recommend the series. It may serve a critical young reader as fodder for analysis of a promising concept which never fulfills its potential. Otherwise, it is best avoided.

  • Feb 29th, 2020 @ 10:36pm

    Chose His Owned Ad Venture

    As a reader who purchased Choose Your Own Adventure books soon after their first publication, and who was undoubtedly in the publisher’s target demographic, and as someone who has had a lifelong communion with American books and publishing, I must say that my perception and understanding of Choose Your Own Adventure has been, since the late 1970s, that the phrase was specific to one book series by one publisher, and a product that, in my experience, always had the features of a distinct, consistent marketing design.

    There were imitators, over the years, and the idea of letting the reader continue along chosen branches of a narrative path is a basic idea.

    And to my recall, the expression “choose your own adventure” rarely is found in pop culture sources. It is more of a scarcely-found in-joke than a universal meme.

    I’m personally dead-set opposed to the tactics used by “[t]rademark bullies looking for a payday” and I wholeheartedly agree that those bullies “should more often have to at least face the risk of losing their trademarks entirely.”

    “Intellectual property” is an oxymoron. Private property is a bane of mankind. Nevertheless, in my world, the idea of Choose Your Own Adventure has never had a generic or recurring general meaning. The concept is simple, and has been imitated, but that phrase and the trappings and livery of the original book series are a cultural artifact that is discrete, unique, and distinct.

  • Jan 25th, 2020 @ 12:51pm

    For how long? For—how long?

    It's pretty much just fine print extortion.

    Which is pretty much a felony. Pretty much time to put some of these corporate criminals into prison.

    America is a race-to-the-bottom realm of consumer exploitation. We must destroy every principle and punish every agent of profits-over-people ideology.

  • Jan 5th, 2020 @ 2:58am

    Re: Well, I saw this one coming…

    someone comes in out of nowhere with a claim that human DNA from aborted fetuses is in vaccines, and that somehow “causes gender identity disorder”

    Someone who probably denies the fluidity of gender identity is saying that gender identity fluidity is caused by vaccines.

    If whoever made this claim does possess both opinions at the same time, then they are—even now—doubtlessly suffering an existential crisis, racked by throes of cognitive dissonance.

  • Jan 5th, 2020 @ 12:14am

    Admission denied

    Do “admit to” and “not deny” have the same meaning?

    Do I admit to everything that I do not deny?

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it