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  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:42am

    This one's a little petty

    > Look, there's no joy in understanding that Talbot's
    > emarrassment has multiplied because of his admittedly
    > hilarious attempt at a coverup, but the world does need
    > to understand that attempts to hide information in this
    > manner will only result in it being further spread.

    The Streisanding stories on Techdirt are generally of the sort where someone tries to use copyright or some other tool of digital information suppression to hide info, and in that respect fit right in to Techdirt's bailiwick.

    This one may be amusing because of they guy's failure to be even at all sophisticated. But I think it's a bit lame for it to have ended up here. There's no real link to the important issues that Techdirt generally concerns itself with. The post just seems to be mocking the guy, and then justifying it with a lame claim about the world **needing** to understand the Streisand effect?

    Misusing copyright and patent law are important topics. The Streisand effect per se is not.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:19am


    Genius. Generalizing, what about a whole line of T-shirts claiming to have invented all sorts of stuff, or just one with blanks:

    I invented _______ in ______.

    You can write your own in with a marker.

    I invented wheels in 1985.
    I invented bread in 1992.
    I invented photons in 2003.
    I invented toasters in 1945.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Fucking people...

    Ahh, after a bit of googling, now I see. He's got an email management company, just wrote a book about email, etc. He's made a business out of being the purported "inventor of email".

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:11am

    Re: Where are the t-shirts?

    T-Shirt idea:

    Subject: Email invented in 1972

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Fucking people...

    I've been wondering what Ayyadurai gets out of this whole fight, aside from bragging rights? I used to presume he was some minor tech drone with nothing else to his name than bragging rights over email. But he seems to be an educated person with many other ways to succeed in life. How did he end up becoming a person with nothing better to do than fight over bragging rights?

    Does this create economic opportunity for him, as a consultant or web developer or what?

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 5:55am

    Re: legal defense

    I'm not sure I'd hire a lawyer who makes an offer of services in a site's comments section.

  • Jan 13th, 2017 @ 5:49am


    KT: "...I have developed site policies designed for every possible occurrence...".

    You realize your credibility plummets after spouting this kind of self-aggrandizing back-patting, right? (I meant that intentional redundant redundancy...) More to the point, claiming you are some kind of expert in forum management doesn't strengthen your weak arguments. It makes them even weaker, because your only claim to a legitimate argument is your own claim of being an authority.

    Your victim-blaming is shameful on two levels. One, the victim in this case didn't even do anything to, in your words, "deserve what [they got]". To suggest that is just you trying to make yourself better in comparison to a strawman you're creating. Second, even if you think they did make a mistake, why does it then follow that they deserve to be sued out of existence.

    We don't live in a world where it is a good idea to leave your wallet sitting on a park bench somewhere. If you do, chances are good it will be stolen. It's predictable, and easily preventable, but does the person who does that *deserve* to have the wallet stolen. No. Period.

    Your attitude suggests you feel that people *should* be punished for not living up to some threshold of moral or intellectual achievement. That is some dangerous thinking, man.

  • Jan 12th, 2017 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    It really is *our* fight, because, for example, I thought about showing solidarity with TechDirt by posting on twitter how Mr.Email didn't invent email, using the same info TD used, but then I was chilled. I don't need a lawsuit anymore than TD does.

    Using the courts as a "tool" in any fight is terrible. Courts should be used to *resolve* disputes on an equitable basis, not as a weapon that helps you win just because you have more money.

    Anti-SLAPP, loser-pays approaches are sorely needed, especially when it comes to free speech.

  • Dec 9th, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Anything can be criminalized

    This is such an idiotic idea. Companies can put whatever they want in their terms of service. They'll be lucky if its flagrantly abused enough that the law is repealed. ("User agrees to tip us a minimum of $5 every month." "User agrees to let our CEO borrow their car whenever he's in town.")

    If companies are at all savvy, they'll just start down a slippery slope towards achieving all their copyright and IP dreams in the form of cleverly worded and benign seeming restrictions. ("User agrees not to create derivative works for a period of two years after receiving their last software update." "User agrees that breaking DRM does irreparable harm to the company and agrees that treble damages, as calculated by us, are an adequate remedy.")


  • Nov 18th, 2016 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re: Sigh

    Don't conflate Trump with the things Trump supporters want. Trump was a disaster as a candidate, is a disaster as a pres-elect, and will be a disaster as a president. We are playing into his hand if we think we need to sugar-coat that in order to somehow win over his supporters. You can sugar coat your dislike of Trump all you want and you will not win over his supporters.

    What may win over his non-fringe supporters (of which there are some) is substantive progress on real issues that have a real effect on people's lives.

    My most favorable interpretation of this election is this: no one supported the person Trump is; they supported him because he was a Rorschach inkblot of indeterminate nothingness onto which they could project the things they wanted, and they were rebelling against a political system that no longer really represents the people.

  • Nov 18th, 2016 @ 7:58pm


    Trump is probably the most distilled version of someone in public life who wantonly and proudly fails to consider his responses carefully. It is that exact quality, and very nearly only that quality, that made him electable. He has nothing else to offer.

  • Nov 8th, 2016 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re: Ignorance of the law is no excuse to be in congress

    That last part was an attempt at humor! ;) (The first three paragraphs were serious.)

    You do make a good point though. We have arrived where we are today because the people don't demand a certain standard of competence out of our elected officials. If we did that, the media would more or less respond as needed. Too many people are willing to overlook various transgressions as long as the transgressor is espousing policies we like. The media, but more especially the people should seriously make a much bigger deal out of holding our representatives to higher standards -- across the board!

  • Nov 8th, 2016 @ 9:41am

    Ignorance of the law is no excuse to be in congress

    Cramer: "Your FCC license and the liberty that comes with your First Amendment rights are not a license to broadcast anything you want or in any way you choose."

    Actually, that's exactly the point of the first amendment.

    There are limitations (porn, obscenity, etc.) which might make his statement true in some technical sense, but the thing he wants to eliminate, bias, or more benignly "opinion", is exactly what the first amendment protects, in particular when it comes to politicians and the government.

    Perhaps what we need is an agency that reviews what our representatives say to evaluate their understanding of our laws and constitution. Whey they demonstrate ignorance, they are required to attend remedial classes.

  • Sep 27th, 2016 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Fairness is a social principle worth protecting

    Ohhh, line cutting while driving is one of my biggest pet peeves!

    Being behind the wheel makes you relatively anonymous. Anonymity emboldens people to much higher levels of bad behavior!

    But for some reason the people at the front of the line still let the line-cutters in! That I don't understand.

  • Sep 26th, 2016 @ 12:00pm

    Fairness is a social principle worth protecting

    Mike, the behavior in the economics experiment you cite isn't ridiculous. It's only ridiculous because you refuse to learn what it demonstrates: that fairness is a social principle and people are willing to pay a cost to increase the chances that things are fair. You conclude by admitting you haven't or don't want to learn this, "I get that it happens, but it still confuses me to no end why anyone could possibly think it's a good result."

    Ruckel went to extremes we might not agree with, especially as there were lower-cost ways (mentioned by you and others) to solve the problem, but this is not, "a weird attempt to insert a 'fairness standard' where it doesn't make any sense". Rather it is an attempt to insert a fairness standard where it makes total sense.

    The only question here is a difference in opinion about about how much it's worth to enforce this standard. This may be an extreme case, so you may find a lot of people agree that they went to far. But that they were willing to pay a cost to achieve a principle is not ridiculous in itself.

    Fairness underlies much of our society's norms. Much of the difference between conservatives and liberals comes down to how much they prioritize things like fairness. (See a TED talk on this: )

    Take another example of this, but non-economic. People in the US stand in orderly queues. Cutting in line is very much frowned upon. You are very likely to get confronted if you cut in line, perhaps even violently confronted. That's just the fairness principle: first come first served. The fairness principle helps avoid an outcome we've agreed as a society is worse: strongest come first served.

    Other countries don't enforce queues to the extent the US does. They don't mind, and it doesn't devolve into brawls. I can hardly stand it myself, but natives don't seem to mind. It's a matter of degree.

  • Sep 2nd, 2016 @ 10:42am


    FedEx may not even know what their customers are copying. They certainly aren't taking the content and then advertising "Hey Come to FedEx to get your Great Minds content". That would be profiting off the copyrighted material.

    As others have stated, as it is, they are only making money off their copying service, completely independent of what content they are copying.

  • Aug 31st, 2016 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Just wait

    Fixing this imbalance of power would help with so many anti-consumer practices that we see every day.

    Corporations can come up with any old "policy" they want and force us to do things their way because they have the leverage. We have few places (sometimes only one) where we can do business. If we choose to stop doing business with one because we don't like their policies (or prices or whatever), then we suffer a real loss. But if a business loses just one customer out of millions like this, they barely notice.

    The government should be the entity that balances this playing field, since they could represent consumers en masse, but it doesn't work out that way.

    The politician who figures out how to do this will change the world.

  • Aug 31st, 2016 @ 8:37am

    Re: Parallels

    I don't think this is the same at all. No one is using their money to run down St. Jude's. They are using information about St. Jude's behavior. And they aren't directly costing St. Jude money. St. Jude doesn't have to directly spend money in response to this.

    Their stock price may go down, and that can be viewed as a loss, but it's only a loss on paper in the near term. St. Jude could prevent any loss in stock price by behaving better. Even if their stock price fell to zero, they could still continue as a business in theory. For example, if their customers didn't walk away.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 6:58am

    Better quality fabric

    Please pick a higher quality fabric for this than you did for the "Nerd Harder." t-shirt. It's pretty thin and insubstantial.

  • May 31st, 2016 @ 2:23pm

    Confirmation Bias

    As @Uriel-238 and @ThatOneGuy already mentioned, this is just another smokescreen for "we wanted to search you". But it's so egregious it gives lie to the phrase "false positive". Seems like what they want here is "all positive" so that when all the results are kept secret, they can just trot out the positive results they like and say, see, it worked; this guy was a terrorist and our fancy software also said so.

    It's just a plausibly-enough technical-sounding solution that politicians can plausibly pretend that it works because most people won't be able to evaluate why it doesn't.

    As a last resort, we can "have a discussion" over it's efficacy.

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