shane’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Nov 26th, 2014 @ 11:42am

    Good old days

    Within my lifetime, I seem to remember no data caps.

    No cap, no worries. How is it easier for them to provide unlimited streaming from specific sources? Why not just unlimited streaming?

    Because they long for the days of cable again. One way communication means all your information from the same people. Monopolies.

    They love them.

  • Nov 8th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    Shut up about it already

    You know, jumping out of a burning building and plummeting to your death isn't torture either. I'm sick and tired of the partisan witch hunt.

    If American had any allies in the Democratic party, we would be allowed to fully win wars. Then all this sneaking around trying to find out who exactly it is we need to defend ourselves from would not be necessary.

    Were any of you morons even alive when 9/11 happened?

  • Nov 7th, 2014 @ 9:27am

    Connecting the Dots

    Yes, cable is for crap. But underlying this is the fact that cable is about to own the internet. I think we need not only Title 2 net neutrality, but a massive deconstruction of cable monopolies in general.

    The trend now seems to be an inexorable flow towards a very small number of people owning all of telecom. And while you may like to think of that as a conspiracy theory, this is exactly what happened with satellite. They eventually maneuvered around to illegalize, not capturing the signal, but descrambling it, which protected the centralized model for global communication for another two decades.

    What is key is establishing a decentralized peer to peer model. The internet is doomed. It was open as long as it took to pay for the infrastructure. Now, a small number of people own the infrastructure, and technology is going to have to evolve away from it or else we are stuck with another dead end attempt at global open communication.

  • Nov 6th, 2014 @ 8:08am

    Learning to Love the Police State

    I've been observing for years now that, really, the internet is NOT like being in your house with a friend. It is a lot more like having a conversation with your friend across the street using code. What you do on the internet is public.

    I've watched with increasing concern as the internet has been designed increasingly around "cloud services" - basically putting everything you do on the web somewhere. I have never liked this business model.

    Maybe some folks will begin to rethink the downhill-only traffic flow model and insist they store their stuff on THEIR OWN COMPUTERS, and only transmit over the internet from and to THEIR OWN DEVICES so that they still own the instruments that contain their data.

    That's the REAL defense against this nonsense. Stop letting the service provider dictate your business model. Stop buying sorry "services".

  • Nov 5th, 2014 @ 8:08am

    "Orientation" a lie

    While no particular fan of Putin or Russia in general (And that's obviously part of the point of the article, isn't it? To tie anyone opposed to homosexuality as a fascist?), I will just repeat that the concept of homosexuality as an "orientation" is bankrupt, as it is entirely impossible to confirm or deny.

    This concept has brought us to the brink of a Constitutional crisis in this nation, setting the right to celebrate what has for quite literally millenia been nigh universally seen as a grotesque sexual perversion in direct opposition to the literal wording of the Constitution, which prevents the state from establishing a religion or preventing the free exercise thereof.

    I cannot imagine anyone at the time anticipated homosexuality being seriously promoted as an alternative to freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.

    I am hopeful that, as the idiocy of the so called "research" establishing homosexuality as a sort of race, class, or gender all its own slowly becomes more publicly understood, that this grotesque violation of not just our civil rights, but of our ability to self govern AT ALL, will be understood and repudiated.

    To put it even more bluntly, I am sick and tired of the political left pushing every conceivable sexual degradation as a civil right.

    We were told we had to have almost no limits on porn in order to preserve freedom of the press and other civil rights.

    Now we have plenty of porn, and also plenty of violations of our civil rights.

    You people are not our friends, you who constantly foist sexual filth on us as if it were something we as a nation need more of.

  • Oct 24th, 2014 @ 8:27am

    Faux Racism

    What's sad is not that people recognize that a street full of black people is statistically likely to be more dangerous than a street with few black people. What's sad is that it is a statistical fact.

    Being against prejudice means you judge each person on their own merits. It does not mean you refuse to acknowledge cultural differences.

    The REASON these streets are more dangerous is that there were a couple of centuries of slavery coupled by a century and then some of legal oppression, then finally period we are in now where the oppression is cultural. We have decided we do not owe the descendants of the people whose culture we raped and pillaged as a nation entry into our better neighborhoods and schools, let alone our lives and our personal sphere of friends and acquaintances.

    Even churches of the same denomination are to this day divided along racial lines in America.

    We have a long way to go, but the problem is not helped by supporting riots pitched because a man in the process of committing a crime was shot while resisting arrest. I have little doubt the officer in this case made some egregious errors, as there just seems to be no excuse for him hopping out of his car solo to chase down the perpetrator, but the fact is that what he achieved at the end of the day was to mete out the death penalty for assault and petty theft, which is just ridiculous.

    Defending the illegal mob mentality carnage though that occurred after the fact as if this were somehow the equivalent of Rosa Parks taking a seat on the bus is dishonest to the point of evil though. I am really sick of this tactic. It does nothing but provide excuses for the continued cultural divide, and give Democrats another few years of dominance of the black vote by deceit.

  • Oct 18th, 2014 @ 10:27am

    Get real

    How is a Mormon Democrat anything resembling a family values conservative? The ties between porn and the Democratic party are well understood.

    Also, I think it is a sad statement about the shrinking freedom of speech and of association in this country that someone would think that offering to fund someone's CAMPAIGN if they promise to vote on a specific issue in a specific way is "bribery". The entire purpose of electing officials is to cast a vote for someone to vote they way you want, and helping to pay for a campaign is classic freedom of association.

    And then there's the fact that the vote was nigh unanimous anyhow? With one abstention?

    What does it take to put a bow on something and call it a wrap these days?

  • Oct 17th, 2014 @ 8:25am


    I'm pretty sure what you are all missing here is the certain lack of engagement with larger issues.

  • Oct 14th, 2014 @ 9:04am

    Actually clever journalism

    I applaud you highlighting the distinction between these two pieces, but I hardly think it was an accident that they aired together. Subtlety helps on so many levels, especially behind the scenes.

    I don't want to make TOO many excuses for the lapdog mentality the Democratic press has toward the Democratic party. I submit to you it's rather obvious why it is. Democratic business folk apparently get the importance of the media and have invested accordingly... But this particular episode seems more like an elegant and graceful stab at the heart of the Obama administration than it does some sort of mistaken and ignorant airing of seemingly opposed pieces, to me.

  • Oct 10th, 2014 @ 7:18am


    The excuses for all of this surveillance just do not hold water. We are constantly told the government is on top of all of this, and then terrorist attacks and large scale crimes happen all the time. There is still a ton of drug related crime. You're going to tell me they can prevent terror but can't prevent crack cocaine sales. It is fairly obvious the reason there have been so few terrorist attacks in the US is because the number of people willing to carry them out is substantially smaller than the number of people willing to traffic in narcotics.

    There are not enough people in the world to effectively keep tabs on all the people in the world.

    All this data just serves as a method for convicting someone based on circumstantial evidence after the fact.

    It's like all of the arguments in support of torture. In the end, torture is actually detrimental to any military effort as it undercuts the perception of the just cause and also motivates the enemy to fight to the death rather than surrender. The reality of spying on citizens is that it causes the government itself to function as a criminal entity, undermines its authority, and in the end does no real good in terms of preventing the acts it purports to prevent. Rather, it replaces them with an even more pervasive threat of violence from the government itself.

  • Oct 10th, 2014 @ 7:12am

    Re: Something seems fishy to me also

    Most of these questions have pretty simple plausible answers. Cashier's checks cost money. If you belong to a small bank or credit union you will not have a branch out of state.

    Flying is often more expensive than driving. I could fly to my grandmother's but I tend to make the nearly five hour drive because the plane ticket is more than the gas and I hate airports these days.

    Just in general, WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO DO ANYTHING SPECIFIC TO AVOID THE GOVERNMENT STEALING. All of these questions you have ASSUME the people are doing something wrong. We are supposed to be innocent until PROVEN guilty, and no one is to lose life, liberty or property without due process of law.

    These laws are patently unconstitutional. The practice needs to come to a screeching halt. The End.

    That's my two cents.

  • Oct 9th, 2014 @ 9:20am

    How is this tech?

    I was randomly stopped and searched for drugs. The dog supposedly gave the go sign. Anyhow, I drive a car my grandmother drove before me, and neither of us do drugs or traffic them. The police found nothing. Lucky me they did not decide to impound the car and take it apart. Possibly some car mechanic left a roach in one of the doors when replacing the window motor...

    Anyhow, stories like this infuriate me, and I am glad to see someone reporting on it, but what exactly does this have to do with tech?

  • Jun 11th, 2013 @ 4:12am


    Someone does something in support of your claimed issues and you deride them for it?

    Cynicism only goes just so far, folks. Rand Paul is not Jesus Christ, but you might at least act like it matters to you when people support your causes. Otherwise you just come across as an anthill to be avoided at all costs.

    More and more I am convinced there is a decidedly leftists bent to this blog. It's as if you're lobbying what you perceive to be your home team to come back to you or something.


  • Mar 25th, 2013 @ 9:26am


    "Technologies which has helped...." I think should be "...which have helped...."

    A little too late it seems, since the tread is already quite lively. Or maybe I am wrong...

  • Mar 14th, 2013 @ 6:40am

    Then why is porn legal

    Porn was mainstreamed above the objections of most in the U.S. The argument was that it is a freedom of expression and free speech issue. Apparently, that only works if you have a method of making tons of money. SAVING people tons of money does not count.

    It's sort of like how raw milk is unhealthy despite the fact that almost no one gets sick from it, but raw oysters are fine even though 15 or so people die from eating them every year.

    Guess which side of each debate has the money?

  • Mar 11th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    I saw....

    "Artists... demand to get laid."

  • Mar 6th, 2013 @ 6:47am


    This goes back to concepts of who should be allowed to vote. As much as the "middle class" folks at the forefront of democratic movements in the early modern era supported the death of monarchy, they did NOT support democracy. What they supported was plutocracy, and that is what we have - with a few democratic outlets built in for appearances sake, and yes, to alert our leaders when there is a groundswell of resentment building.

    Banking, whether central or not, is a method of centralizing control over the economy. When the government ceases taking payment of taxes in kind or in labor and begins to force us to pay taxes in little paper notes issued by a separate group of private interests, we are in effect being put in the service of these said individuals.

    Intellectual property creates a situation where non-physical goods can be commoditized and thus plugged into this same system.

    Limited liability ensures the owners cannot be held accountable. Corporate owners enjoy immunity to lawsuits similar to the immunity the government itself enjoys.

    The stakeholders are the owners, and have been for pretty much all of human history. We are less, and not more free, than medieval man.

    You are attacking only one branch of the system. Seek out the root. The root is the very concept of owning anything that one does not make themselves or else trade for. If you are not attacking rule by ownership, you are not attacking the actual problem. If there is no rule by ownership, then IP becomes immaterial. Rule must be consensus based, truly of by and for the people rather than merely nominally so.

  • Mar 6th, 2013 @ 6:34am

    What this means

    Is that there is not enough pressure being put on politicians to stop supporting this sort of thing. I tried a month or two ago to get some folks interested in taking the Aaron Swartz issue to the streets, and even people here were not responsive.

    Web sites are not going to get it done. Even EFF and Demand Progress are not organizing boots on the ground. I went to several Occupy Austin meetings and never got much support either.

    At some point you are going to have to leverage your tech savvy into something sustainable that presses forward with reform rather than constantly fighting a rear guard retreat against what looks more and more like the inevitable.

  • Mar 1st, 2013 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Then they should not be able to simply reference them. Obviously, regulations need to be openly available. There is no sense having laws no one is allowed to read.

  • Feb 27th, 2013 @ 6:15pm

    Evil gets it Just Deserts

    For once, it seems a reactionary self-important artist is getting exactly what he wants - a growing lack of relevance.

    I like Calvin and Hobbes as well, but Mr. Watterson fails to recognize that when art goes out into the world, it becomes part of the larger community, and to attempt to shut that down is to kill the interactions that eventually grow to make a body of work transcendent - the kind of work that bears repeated viewing, and stands the test of time.

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