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  • Feb 20th, 2015 @ 10:21am

    This story is not true

    I would suggest changing the title of your article since this story isn't true. According to an article on
    The Hobbit Got A Kid Suspended: 6 BS Stories That Went Viral

    "The "millions" ballpark [number] came from an anecdotal report from a think-tank employee who noticed that slightly more Indonesians claim to use Facebook than the Internet, an interesting result that raises a legitimate question about how people think about and use the Internet. Quartz took that and conducted their own (1,000-person, confusingly worded) poll to confirm it, resulting in the misleading headlines you see above. Now, there most likely are Facebook users out there who think it exists outside the Internet, but we're guessing most of them are under 7 and using it exclusively to play Candy Witch Farmers Alliance or whatever."

  • Feb 17th, 2015 @ 5:21pm

    Why is there such a need to punish sex offenders extra?

    Putting aside the very real issues of people being jailed for minor "sex offenses", why does our society force sex offenders to go through this extra nonsense?

    How many people get arrested for robbery, are put in jail, serve their time, but they don't have to go on a "violent robber registry". How come they're not branded as robbers for the rest of their life, like sex offenders are?
    When was the last time a robber went door-to-door telling everyone in the neighborhood that he had just been released from prison for holding up a 7-11? Yet that's what sex offenders have to do.

    You might say, "Oh, but sex offenders will keep doing it so we need to keep track of them."
    Okay, then, prove that sex offenders have a higher recidivism rate than other violent crimes, including robbery.

  • Feb 12th, 2015 @ 12:03pm

    First world problem

    Wow- I'm amazed there are people that have such wonderful, meaningfull lives that their only complaint in life is that their friends send them text messages in green. The horror! How will they ever go on in life with such a burden?

    Seriously, though, like other people are saying: this is simply a color choice based on whether the text message is sent via iMessage or SMS. Would these complainers prefer another color?

    And is Apple really trying to get users to hate Android? Apple has more money than any other company in the world, even more than Google. Why would they stoop to this kind of pettiness? Why would their designers secretly choose a "bad" color? And why didn't they choose red, which is even worse than green?

    So, time for Occam's razor: either the designers thought green was close enough to blue to signal a change in text messaging or there's a huge conspiracy to get people to switch to iPhones by using a "bad" color rather than use advertising and marketing.

  • Feb 10th, 2015 @ 7:38am

    The terrorists have already won

    Yet again, this proves the terrorists have won. Why couldn't the TSA agent ask the guy to eat a PowerBar to prove it wasn't a bomb or ask the guy to show off his watch? And in a better world, the agent could pretend to be a techie and get the guy talking about features of the watch. After a few minutes, it would be obvious that the guy was a runner or a very good liar.

    But, instead, the terrorists have achieved their goal of making TSA agents live in a world of fear where everyone is treated like a suspected terrorist, any snacks could be bomb material, and any electronics can be a detonator.

    I also wish there was a way to hold agents like this personally responsible. Instead, the issue will be handled the sames as when police officers do something bad: the agency or union will pay out, the payment will come out of the agency's budget (which is funded by taxes), and everyone will have to pay a little more to cover the lawsuit.
    So how is the agent punished? Maybe he's suspended of fired, but does that really balance having a guy arrested and having an arrest record (even if the charges were thrown out), and then lying about it in court?

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 12:00pm

    Re: How about this idea?

    Actually, this is happening already.
    When I saw X-Men last summer, I saw ads for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds", which would be shown in theaters. This was a 2-part episode plus some interviews with the cast and crew. Honestly, this would probably be better than some of the later Star Trek movies. ;)

    I don't know how much money Paramount or the theaters made, but it seems like it would be pretty easy to show more shows in the theaters simply because the content has already been paid for.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 11:41am

    Separation of power

    Doesn't this just prove the separation of powers?
    The legislature writes the laws and lets the police figure out how to enforce it, and they both let the court figure out if the law is even legal or enforceable.

    It would be nice if the legislature tried to pass enforceable, good laws in the first place, but that would be too hard compared to "doing something" about an issue.

  • Feb 3rd, 2015 @ 11:19am

    Not about copyright

    This isn't about copyright- it's about sending a message that Disney will come down hard, with all guns blazing, on anyone who leaks an image without their permission.

    Is this fair use? Sure, but who's going to upload an image now and risk Disney's lawyers coming after them?

  • Jan 29th, 2015 @ 5:15pm

    Nice way to give business to your competitors

    I can see the press release now:
    DJI: We ban your drone from flying in Washington.
    Every DJI competitor: We don't.

    Hmm... I wonder which company is going to see more business and income?

    And even then, why is it the drone maker's responsibility to force their users to be responsible? It's like a car maker saying you can't drive the car into a certain area. We can debate whether this is for "safety" or "security", but the fact is that people should be able to make decisions like this on their own: if you want to fly a drone into the White House, go right ahead... but be prepared when you're arrested by the Secret Service.

  • Jan 29th, 2015 @ 5:07pm

    What about other Chinese restaurants?

    Does this mean that the China King and Toyko King restaurants near me aren't related?! But they both have "King" in the name. That sounds like product confusion to me!
    And as I look closer, they both serve sweet and sour chicken, General Tso's chicken, and egg drop soup. They must be the same restaurant!

  • Jan 29th, 2015 @ 5:03pm


    Why is suing them an option?

    The case will be settled by the police union or even the police department, which will come out of the city's budget, which will mean taxpayers have to pay for this. Then, because the city has to pay the lawsuit, they may cut the budget of the public defender's office, where she works.

    There's no incentive for police not to do things like this since they won't be held personally accountable.
    Oh, they shouldn't do these things because it's the right thing to do? That's a nice dream to have.

  • Jan 26th, 2015 @ 10:43am

    Does picture quality matter?

    On a related note, does the movie industry think picture quality matters or not? Sony (and others) push their curved 4K TV's and super-hi-def blu-ray players for the home market, yet the MPAA still thinks it's okay to send DVD's to their screeners? Why not send them 4K TV's so they get the best viewing experience also?

    And if the picture quality doesn't matter, then that would explain the MPAA's need to go after cam-corders: if people see the story, even at a crappy resolution, then they won't go see the IMAX version or buy the blu-ray.

  • Jan 26th, 2015 @ 10:22am

    Punishments should be a deterrent

    Punishments should be a deterrent so people won't continue the behavior. A $25,000 settlement is most definitely not "punishment".

    First, the government isn't really paying this out of their own pockets- it'll be the tax payers who actually pay it.
    Second, what's the TSA's budget: $5 billion? $10 billion? Okay, I'm exaggerating, but this amount is nothing compared to their total budget. It's like you or me getting fined $5- we'll pay it and move on.

    So how is this going to deter the TSA agents from doing it again? It may be unfair to fine someone $25,000 for "just doing their job" but how about firing them? How about creating an environment where it's unacceptable to detain people just because they want to learn another language.

  • Jan 5th, 2015 @ 10:20am

    Didn't we learn from Iraq

    It seems like our government is ready to blame North Korea for the hacks the same way they blamed Iraq for 9/11.

    And like people are saying, why does the US government have to "do something" when Sony is a Japanese *company*? It's not like the hackers hacked into a government agency.

  • Dec 23rd, 2014 @ 10:46am

    Re: The wheels are already greasy?

    Greasy wheels or squeaky wheels...

    Is it safe to assume customer service experiences fall on a bell curve? If so, then some people will have crappy service, more people will have poor service, most people will have average service, some people will have good service, and a small percentage of people will have excellent service.

    We've been hearing from all the people who have crappy service, so where are all the people who have excellent service?
    I know the press tends to inflate the crappy-service stories, but why doesn't Comcast itself start a marketing campaign to promote all the excellent customer service stories? Or have they just given up?

  • Dec 22nd, 2014 @ 11:24am

    An alternative...

    Or maybe there are people sitting around in back rooms:
    "You know guys, since we're pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, we have all these troops that we're using."
    "And people are getting tired of hearing about ISIS, Putin, and Iran. Is there anyone else we can turn into a bad guy and rally behind?"
    "How about Cuba? They've always been a good fall-back. But now Obama's making friends with them."
    "Has anyone used North Korea recently? Bingo- our new boogeyman, out to destroy our freedoms with their cyberattacks on American companies!"
    "Um, Sony is a Japanese company."
    "Don't bother me with the details! Let's get this war started."

  • Dec 22nd, 2014 @ 11:16am

    Please define "gravest threat"

    Like other people are saying, how does the FBI define "gravest threat"?
    Some hackers hacked into an insecure *private* company, threatened "something, something, movie theaters" and suddenly this is a "grave threat".

    But that's good- keep up the hyperbole and soon everyone will be so dulled by every "gravest threat" that no one will listen.
    It's almost like they've never heard the story about the boy who cried wolf.

    On the other hand, this is excellent cover to move away from the torture report.

  • Dec 22nd, 2014 @ 11:10am

    Change the narrative

    Like the linked article in Wired points out, the hack probably did not come from North Korea.
    So the first thing that security experts need to do is change the narrative: people already believe and accept that the hacking came from North Korea to the point that the headlines say "North Korea" instead of "hackers".

    Like other commenters are saying, the same US government that's trying to push a connection to North Korea is the same government that pushed WMD's in Iraq.

  • Dec 19th, 2014 @ 8:25am

    Nuclear option

    If this were the real world, it would be like if someone was selling stolen goods and the MPAA nuked the entire neighborhood and all roads leading into the neighborhood.
    Oops, that person was selling stolen goods in the middle of New York City and now people can't get into the city? Well, don't blame us for nuking the bridges- that one guy should have thought about this before he stole those items.

    Isn't this what might happen to YouTube if the MPAA gets their way and their lawyers decide to file complaints with Verizon instead of YouTube? Who cares if there are 999,999,999 videos that don't infringe.

  • Dec 19th, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Yes, you can stop piracy

    You want to know how? It's what TechDirt has been saying for ages: make the product widely available for a reasonable price.
    Personally, I think if people are pirating something that means there's a market for it that the producer isn't fulfilling.

    How did iTunes become the biggest seller of music when it's so easy to illegally download music?
    How does Pandora and Spotify stay in business if those evil pirates are stealing music?

    Has anyone ever looked to see how many people pirated U2's "Songs of Innocence"? You know, the album that was given to everyone who had an iTunes account?
    What, no one pirated this album because they already got it from an official source?

    And another example:
    Back in 2005, when the new version of "Doctor Who" started, no TV channels in the US would show it. So how did Americans see it? Yep, they illegally downloaded it.
    Now, BBC America (the official BBC station in the US) is showing the episodes on the same day they air in England.
    So why should Americans pirate the show when they can see them for free on BBC America?

  • Dec 19th, 2014 @ 7:44am

    Police should be held to a higher standard

    Two points:
    1) It seems like there are so many police-behaving-badly stories that have come out recently, it's no longer all that noteworthy
    I believe every story about police behaving badly is noteworthy, because like you said, this shines a spotlight on their activities. I hope society gets to the point where we don't have to report these stories simply because police no longer behave badly.

    2) Look, free and open speech is immensely important
    Yes, free speech is very important, but it also comes with responsibility. Just like people can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, people shouldn't bait people into violent confrontations. And what about the idea of holding police officers to a higher standard than regular people? This includes behaving appropriately on social media sites like Twitter.

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