John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 16th, 2017 @ 9:10am

    When is censorship due to religion good?

    Are they trying to block adult sites and magazines because of Sharia law? This is the United States! How dare they try to force their religion on us! The nerve of these people! It's called "separation of church and state"! I'm going to protest and maybe get violent!

    Oh, wait, it's Mormon law that's being forced on everyone? Never mind. There's nothing to see here since this is a "good" religion.

  • Oct 3rd, 2017 @ 12:48pm

    But fake news is entertainment

    Since most media outlets are basically entertainment driven, they'll talk about the stories that get the most attention/ readers/ viewers. And the more outrageous and fake the news, the more it gets passed around Facebook.

    I know this is an old joke, but it seems like the media cycle goes something like this:
    CNN: Obama eats a hamburger at McDonald's.
    MSNBC: Obama goes to McDonald's to eat a hamburger.
    FOX News: Obama tells Burger King to shove it by eating at McDonald's.
    CNN reports: FOX News reports that Obama hates Burger King.
    FOX News: The lying CNN is lying again.

    BBC News: China invades North Korea. US media concerned with Obama eating hamburgers.

  • Oct 3rd, 2017 @ 11:46am

    The Good Fight

    It's interesting that everyone is talking about piracy and CBS AllAccess now.

    Did you know that "Star Trek: Discovery" (STD) was originally supposed to air back in January, but was delayed due to reshoots and other production issues? Instead, CBS used this same strategy with "The Good Fight", the spinoff of "The Good Wife": the first episode was shown on regular CBS and the rest of the series was shown on AllAccess.

    Yet there were no discussions back then about how CBS AllAccess wasn't a good deal or how CBS was greedy or how people were pirating the show.
    I'm sure "The Good Fight" had decent enough numbers and far less piracy to convince CBS executives that the idea would work for STD.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 10:13am

    A joke too far

    This reminds me of the joke on "Friends":
    Joey is taking a lady out on a date and asks Ross where to go.
    Ross: Take her to the Met.
    Joey: The Met? That's great! I love baseball.
    Ross: No, not the Mets, the Met- the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    Joey: Really? That's confusing. You'd think one of them would change their name.

    So it would be more logical for the Mets to go after the Met since the words are so similar. No one will confuse a software program for a baseball team, but they might confuse the locations in New York.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 10:08am

    Re: Pepperidge Farm Remembers

    I was just going to mention this.
    I remember the point of cable television was to get commercial-free channels, such as HBO.
    And in return, cable channels got their income from subscribers not advertisers.

    But then channels like TBS and WGN came along as decided they could charge customers to be on "extended cable" service *and* charge advertisers for commercials.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 9:54am

    Re: Huh?

    It's not illegal for a federal person to have another e-mail address as long as that e-mail isn't used for federal business.
    The line starts to get very gray when a federal person uses a private company as his official communication channel. This would include using a private e-mail address or server and believing it was secure enough. And it would include Trump usinghis own Twitter account to send out official Presidential communications rather than using the official @POTUS Twitter account.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 9:40am

    Take a look at the development chain

    So what kind of website developer thinks it's a good idea to be able to change the URL and display someone else's data without any kind of verification? How about at least comparing the URL to a cookie to see if the logged-on user has access to that account.

    Then what about the testing/ QA department who didn't think to run this kind of test?

    Then what about the department manager who didn't think to tell the testers if they ran this test or ask the developer to write secure code?

    How did this company even make it to the stage of releasing production-ready code, which I assume is available in the usual app stores?

  • Aug 7th, 2017 @ 12:24pm

    On the other hand

    What kind of system allows people to give a rating without any comments? Why did the person give a 1-star rating? Is it an unsatisfied customer, someone being a jerk, or even a competitor looking to damage someone's business?

    Second, why would anyone think a 1-star rating with no comment is a valid review? When I read the reviews of a product, I read the *comments*, not how many 1-star ratings it received. In fact, I ignore any ratings without a comment to back up the rating.

  • Aug 1st, 2017 @ 10:04am

    Nice story, but still no solution

    On the other hand, what can a person do? They sit down at the pizza restaurant, sees that there's free Wifi, sees a TOS, clicks OK, and uses the free Wifi.
    Is anyone really going to read the TOS? And if they do read it, I doubt anyone will think "Hey, I don't want to hug a dog. This Wifi isn't for me"!

    In other words, this is a nice story, but it still doesn't address whether a click-through TOS is a legally binding contract. Sure, the company could argue that hugging a dog is a small price for getting free Wifi, but still.

  • Jul 27th, 2017 @ 12:12pm

    It's not over

    Did Darden say they were going to stop using these IP bots? If not, then the issue it's settled. Although the situation worked out fine for this guy, I can easily see this happening again.
    In fact, I'd be willing to bet that an IP bot will send a notice to TechDirt for daring to mention Olive Garden (or olivegarden) in an article talking about Olive Garden.

  • Jul 24th, 2017 @ 11:12am

    Playing devil's advocate

    And I know this is probably a stretch, but what United wants to inspect the comic books for insurance reasons? I saw some photos on Facebook of some guys holding an Action Comics #1 (worth around $2 million), so I'm wondering if United is trying to prevent any fraudulent insurance claims.

    I can just see someone filing a claim saying United lost their luggage and of course their copy of Action Comics #1 was in the bag, so please pay a claim of $2 million. Or maybe someone claims United lost their complete run of Action Comics #1-20.

  • Jul 24th, 2017 @ 11:05am

    File a counter-suit

    I wish some enterprising lawyer would take up this case and counter-sue:
    1) No, Darden doesn't have to "enforce" its trademark to keep it. The counter-suit should go after the lawyers that told the executives that this was true OR go after the lawyers who send robo-letters.

    2) Even if this was true, who in the world thinks it's a good idea to file a takedown notice against a review site... and a review site with good reviews?
    What would happen if he took his site down and replaced it with "Olive Garden sucks" instead of the good reviews?

  • Jul 24th, 2017 @ 10:31am

    I can see both sides

    On the one hand, if customers are paying for 10m/s, then that's what they should get. If Verizon wants to slow their speed, then tell them and give them an option to pay less each month.

    On the other hand, did it affect everyone or just the "uber-nerds" who run speed tests to make sure they can get 4K data streams even though their mobile devices can't support 4K.

  • Jul 19th, 2017 @ 3:04pm

    Yes, you can copyright common names

    Yes, you can copyright common names if you can convince the public that you own the name.

    This "Elvis" issue is a good example, but here's another: did you know that CBS/ Paramount own all usages of the word "Enterprise"? Okay, maybe they don't own it, but they've pressured/ scared/ convinced enough websites that they do.
    At digital product sites such as Turbo Squid, sellers aren't allowed to mention the word "Enterprise" in a product description, even if the product is a 1800's schooner, a space shuttle or the aircraft carrier.

  • Jul 19th, 2017 @ 2:40pm

    When are companies going to stand up to this?

    When are companies going to stand up to this kind of search and seizure? Or are they not worried that the government (and its agencies) are collecting data from their employee's computers? Or have companies not said anything because it hasn't happened to them yet?

    I seem to remember a case a few months ago where a scientist from the Joint Propulsion Lab (JPL) visited some relatives in the Middle East, but then his computer was confiscated by border patrol when returned. And look at all the designs on his computer- he's obviously a terrorist planning something and he must have falsified his JPL credentials.

    In all seriousness, the guy was trying to do some work while on vacation and now border patrol has his computer, which means he can't do his work *and* the JPL has to get him a new one *and* all of his documents and data are now in the red tape of "we'll return it eventually".

    Are people not supposed to take their laptops/ pads/ phones with them so they can get some work done?

  • Jul 19th, 2017 @ 2:18pm

    I like the phrase unreal news

    "Unreal news" sounds so much fancier than "fake news". It's like the news came from some other reality, say like a video game.

    They should include a disclaimer to make sure people don't confuse this with news about the Unreal development engine or any Unreal video games, which could be considered "Unreal news".

  • Jul 17th, 2017 @ 11:37am

    What if the study measured how many were caught

    So the study was ended when the TSA hit a 94.4% failure rate (17 out of 18)?
    What would happen if the study only ended a certain number of items were caught? If the ratio is the same and the study ended when 20 items were caught, then we're talking about 360 contraband items getting through for every 20 items caught.

    Never mind- I suppose it's better to say "17 in 18 items were missed" instead of "20 in 360 items were caught".

  • Jul 17th, 2017 @ 11:20am

    But where do influences come from?

    "Mr Oxendale says some artists are now having the requirement to name their influences written into contracts by their record labels"
    And how exactly is this done, especially when artists may not even know consciously where their influences come from? How many artists seem to make something up, but in reality, all kinds of influences and pieces and parts have been rolling around their head?
    Are we heading down the path of "Well, you should have known that your song maybe could have been influenced by this other song"? Well, gee, of course a musician is going to be exposed to other songs.

  • Jul 17th, 2017 @ 11:13am

    Why stop with Nitely News

    If the networks were smart, they'd just rename the show to "The News". Then when every network does this, "The News" becomes the largest-watched show in history.
    Of course, Neilson would show that it aired at 6:00pm. 7:00pm, and 11:00pm on every channel, but why nit-pick?

    Or Neilson could figure out that the same news show airs every weekday at the same time, no matter what the network decides to call it, and then average the ratings together.

  • Jul 17th, 2017 @ 11:03am

    Maybe Trump doesn't want to be president

    It's my theory that Trump doesn't want to be president because he realized early on that being president isn't the same as being a CEO and there are too many critics.

    First, he tried trolling the people of the US by saying he'd build a border wall to keep Mexicans out... with no concrete plans.

    Then he fills his cabinet with other CEO's and large-donors who have no political or diplomatic experience. Sure, the CEO of Exxon will definitely be a good representative of the US abroad. And sure, a brain surgeon will make an excellent Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

    Then he sends out crazy Twitter tweets that should be far beneath the behavior of a US president. Why does the president of the United States need to get into a Twitter war with CNN anyway? And what's a "covfefe"?

    Then when he's still not kicked out of office, he demands a recount of all the votes. Sure, he tells everyone that it's to look for fraud, but maybe it's to see if Hillary actually got enough votes to win.
    That way, he wouldn't have to quit being the president and he could complain about the "unfair recount" that he himself ordered.

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