The Wanderer’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Feb 16th, 2018 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Key take-away is that courts often, usually, and I'd say in this area, over 97 percent of time, GET IT RIGHT.

    Hint: "kudos" is not a plural noun, it's a mass noun. There is no such thing as a "kudo", unless you're talking about a person named like some of the characters in Meitantei Conan.

    It's not even pronounced the same way. "Kudos" rhymes with "dose", not with "doze".

  • Feb 15th, 2018 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So, Site visitors are cows to be milked?

    FWIW, the JS from most of those domains isn't necessary for "the Techdirt experience" to function.

    I'm only allowing scripts from Akamai, Google APIs, and Techdirt itself, and I can use the full functionality of the comment system, as well as see the Insider Chat box. The Soundcloud embed (or I assume that's what it is) at the top of the page doesn't appear to work, but then I don't want it to; I'd be happier if it weren't even there.

    IIRC, even the Akamai permission isn't necessary; I'm pretty sure I've seen other Techdirt articles, just recently, where that wasn't listed in the source domains of present scripts.

    I can indeed see scripts from Twitter and from other Google domains, but they aren't being allowed to run, and the site still works fine.

  • Feb 13th, 2018 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Will software be next?

    It is a sign of intelligence to avoid saying anything except when you have something to say.

  • Feb 13th, 2018 @ 8:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So in 2013 HBO states of whatever, and this is my United States of Whatever, and this is my United States of Whatever

    Oh, I don't mind people prodding at him. It's just the continual repetition and expansion-of-the-exposure of the trolling Subject line that annoys me.

    As you say, though, tastes differ - and it's hardly like you're the only "offender" (if that word even applies) in this regard, so even if I convinced you to inconvenience yourself by changing the behavior, that wouldn't stop anyone else from perpetuating it.

  • Feb 13th, 2018 @ 7:16am

    Trump a King?

    So... he claims that black people evolved from (and therefore still are) animals, but that white people were created by God...

    ...and he apparently likes Trump, who is (as far as anyone can tell) white...

    ...but he calls Trump a King?

    Doesn't he realize that the King family is clearly black?

    I wonder if the MLK estate could find something to sue over in that...

  • Feb 13th, 2018 @ 5:56am

    Re: Trade Secrets = Bad?

    I'm not even clear on why trade secrets should be protected by law at all.

    With copyright, the public offers a temporary monopoly in order to encourage the public release of the material; in exchange for this, when the monopoly expires, the public gets the material in the public domain. (In theory.)

    With patents, the picture is much the same, except that - while the scope of what can be patented has stretched out of all recognition and reasonability - the terms have remained within mostly-reasonable limits.

    With trade secrets... what does the public get, in exchange for enforcing the keeping-secret of these things? The information never gets released, and the only way it benefits the public is by way of the fact that the public can buy the product or service from the company - which it could do anyway, even if the secret thing were not secret. As far as I can see, the companies benefit from having these things remain secret, and the public gets nothing out of the deal.

    If you don't want to register a copyright, or file for a patent, or any of the other myriad facets of public-disclosure-in-exchange-for-temporary-protection intellectual-property law which have been come up with over the decades, why should the public be restricted from doing whatever it wants with the information if it can get its hands on that information?

  • Feb 13th, 2018 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So in 2013 HBO states of whatever, and this is my United States of Whatever, and this is my United States of Whatever

    I don't use E-mail notifications for/from Techdirt, so that would explain why the possibility of that as a factor didn't occur to me.

    Is that really a particularly useful metric, given the number of comment threads which exist with no Subject at all?

    I mean, it's true that this guy is at least nice enough to provide the characteristic Subject line as an indication that it's him commenting, so the absence of such would usually be enough to indicate that it's not a reply in one of his threads.

    I'm just not sure that being able to filter out his threads in notifications, alone, is enough of a positive to outweigh the negative of having part of the attacking message which people decided to hide remain visible in every single reply.

  • Feb 12th, 2018 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So in 2013 HBO states of whatever, and this is my United States of Whatever, and this is my United States of Whatever

    Myself, I wonder why apparently none of the people who reply to this guy ever delete the lengthy, rant-y Subject: line, to avoid having people be spammed with it even when the original comment gets hidden.

    (This deep in a reply thread, it wouldn't help, since the damage has already been done.)

    I can only guess it has something to do with the non-threaded comments view, but do enough people really use that for it to be a serious consideration? It seems like it would be difficult-to-impossible to follow the discussion properly without threading, regardless.

  • Feb 12th, 2018 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re:

    Maybe not something quite that transparent.

    They might be considering Opp, or alfalfa speech, or...

  • Feb 12th, 2018 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Betteridge's Law of Headlines seems applicable

    The only way for the statement in the latter part of the headline to be true - that is, for the answer to in fact shock me - is if the answer is "no".

    So either the statement is false, or the law still applies.

  • Feb 12th, 2018 @ 5:33am

    Betteridge's Law of Headlines seems applicable

    "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

    Or as I prefer to modify it, "Whenever a headline asks a yes/no question, the answer is always "no"."

    Almost every rule has its exceptions, however, and hope does spring eternal...

  • Feb 11th, 2018 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    Er... I'm pretty sure this is already talking about "the new NAFTA", i.e., what people are negotiating over because Trump demanded to renegotiate NAFTA.

    So unless you expect Trump to pull out of the trade talks he himself caused to be initiated, and unilaterally withdraw from the existing NAFTA without anything to replace it - in which case I don't see how there'd be any "unilateral trade negotiations" to follow - I'm not sure what you're talking about.

  • Feb 11th, 2018 @ 8:59am

    Re: "Allowing people to insult you is stupid!" "So we should block you then?" "Anyone BUT me!"

    Yeah, that would follow.

    I'm sure he'd just evade the blocks and consider himself justified in doing so because he's smart enough to figure out how to do so, but then, I never claimed that the viewpoint was self-consistent.

  • Feb 11th, 2018 @ 7:09am

    A possible rationale

    I think the reasoning here might be something like:

    • The Olympics are a live performance, much like a concert or a sports game.
    • The rights to that performance belong to the IOC.
    • Therefore, any video recording of that performance which is not authorized by the IOC is a violation of the IOC's intellectual-property rights.

    If you start out with the assumption that the performance itself is what is copyrighted (or similar - I'm not entirely up on the terminology surrounding the are of intellectual-property law dealing with live performances), then the fact that the video belongs to the reporter becomes irrelevant, because it's what the video depicts that belongs to the IOC.

    I don't think that's a particularly good avenue to have exist, but I suspect that under current law it in fact does.

    If anyone can think of a counterexample - by which I mean, a case where having this type of restriction available would be a good thing - I'd be interested to hear of it.

  • Feb 11th, 2018 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Techdirt with lame topics spaced 3 hours apart yet presumes to advise multi-billion ESPN: "ur doin' it all rong!"

    I parse his statement as being that offering people the opportunity to criticize you, when you have the option of not permitting them that opportunity, is stupid.

    I'm not sure I would classify that as a complaint; it looks like more of a criticism.

    An odd and probably ill-founded criticism, but still.

  • Feb 11th, 2018 @ 4:40am

    Re: BAT considered bad

    What we need is a fourth competitor, whose name starts with an F.

    That way, we can start calling the group "BATF", after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

  • Feb 10th, 2018 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think you mis-parsed him (because he mis-punctuated).

    I think he was saying not that people replying would be a negative, but that the only thing people would say in response would be "TL;DR".

    Which might be true (although given the number of personalities around here which seem to get entertainment from baiting him, who knows), but doesn't necessarily mean what he might think it means.

  • Feb 10th, 2018 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: All my questions NOT answered.

    Have you checked to verify that the scripts which provide the functionality and the scripts which provide tracking, et cetera, do actually come from different domains? Even if they do in the case of Techdirt (which may well be the case), they certainly don't always.

    Given the number of sites out there which do not work properly unless scripts from googleapis.com are allowed, and the fact that when I check the NoScript "domains from which this site wants to load scripts" on Techdirt I see ajax.googleapis.com on the "allowed" list, and the fact that AJAX is used for "asynchronous Web applications" (per Wikipedia), and the fact that the comment-flagging buttons and/or the show/hide feature look to be exactly that sort of asynchronous interface, it seems entirely plausible that part of Techdirt's commenting system may rely on the AJAX scripts hosted by Google for use by others.

    (The scripts by which Google most actively tracks people probably do run from different domains, but as far as I can tell, there's nothing to stop Google from noticing and logging access patterns to googleapis.com just as much as ones to its other domains - and that would permit tracking, even if in a lesser form.)

    If that is the case, then "the scripts that allow commenting and voting/flagging" are not "completely different from" "the scripts that come with a price".

    Note that I am not saying that that is the case with Techdirt. My original comment on this subject was very much in the form of an "if", with minor supporting circumstantial evidence, specifically because I am not currently in a position to testify on that subject. I could just as easily believe that an experiment which showed that it is not the case as one which showed that it is. (I haven't bothered with even the minor inconvenience of carrying out such an experiment because, to date, I haven't actually cared that much.)

    But I have seen enough sites which do not work properly without allowing scripts from at least googleapis.com that I do consider the original position to have a small kernel of validity.

  • Feb 9th, 2018 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: All my questions NOT answered.

    Hence, on this site, at worst, you have some ads served and maybe some tracking from Google. However, that has jack all to do with commenting on the site. TD could have just as easily coded it to use JS and run absolutely nothing from Google or any other site.

    They could have, but they (apparently?) didn't, and that fact has consequences which are worthy of being noted. It isn't a major negative, but it is still a negative.

    The act of commenting is also not what triggers 'the price' as just browsing the site does the same thing.

    It isn't the act of commenting, at least not as such - it's the act of interacting with the parts of the comment system which rely on that JS.

    IIRC from last time I tried it, it is in fact possible to both read comments and post comments here without allowing scripts - although I think that was before the switch to Markdown, so the "post comments" part may no longer be true.

    But it is not possible to "show hidden comment", to flag comment (in either a positive or a the negative way), or to see the Insider Chat, without allowing scripts.

    It is, however, entirely possible to browse the site without doing those things. I did so myself when I first started coming here, until I got curious enough to want to see some of the hidden comments.

    (I agree that the AC in question is a nut, mind. This just happens to be one detail where his nuttiness sits on top of on a small kernel of valid point.)

  • Feb 8th, 2018 @ 8:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Eh? Unless I'm much misreading things, this isn't about prosecuting a journalist, at all.

    This is about a journalist requesting that the government release documents to him, so that he can write a story.

    If he already had the documents, there would certainly be First Amendment issues with any attempt to prosecute him for publishing them.

    But I don't see how there are any First Amendment issues around refusing to give him documents he doesn't yet have.

    There are other reasons why the refusal would be problematic, which is why he's apparently going to get them anyway - at which point First Amendment protections over publication may come into play. But at this stage, I don't see how the First Amendment enters into it.

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