Brent Ashley’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jan 6th, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re:

    Of course you can cut the cable entirely, if you are in a sufficiently large metropolitan area and don't need to watch sports. I have over 20 channels via antenna, and none of my streaming is from the Canadian cartels. In Burlington, I have DSL from TekSavvy on a dry loop, so Bell's involvement exists at an infrastructure level but is entirely incidental. If you are not addicted to a) the usual pap that passes for entertainment or b) the notion that you have to watch first-run everything, you can be quite comfortably entertained without indenturing yourself to the BigCos.

  • Dec 28th, 2015 @ 10:49am

    504: Bad Gateway

    Once you get them hooked on freebasicing, it's only a matter of time before they slingshot to methenger.

  • Dec 11th, 2015 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Deserts

    I'm a bit confused by your response in that it draws meaning from my statement that wasn't expressed or intended and then takes affront and chides me for that very thing.

    Again, I grant that "deserves" is loaded so as a consequence of creating a brief and glib quote I failed in expressing blunt tautology rather than pointed blame. Sorry bout that.

    I am not spouting defeatism - my point is that the outcome can and hopefully will be more positive than current prevailing opinion projects

    If the outcome is negative, attributing the cause to those who steered the outcome in that direction is not victim blaming. Perhaps the system as become broken enough that no steering will be enough. I hope not.

    The reason I haven't made direct suggestions on making the government better is that as I'm not American it is not my place to lecture. I'm not telling you what to do, I'm indirectly suggesting that analyzing cause and effect is part of the solution, since I have observed that "more of the same" does not usually turn things around when current practices have been proven not to work.

    I'm still optimistic that America can find a positive path through the political minefield.

  • Dec 8th, 2015 @ 8:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just Deserts

    I see, you read my use of "deserved" as me righteously telling them off for their potential failure, whereas I meant it more as a straight analysis of cause and effect without judgement attached. I should have anticipated your reading of it; it's a loaded word.

    My point was meant to be that the American political and power distribution system seems to have strayed off course. American society can collectively do something to correct the trajectory or they can allow it to career further on its current path, and the outcome and their fortunes will depend on the electorate's own efforts and ability (or not) to turn it around.

    In Canada, we have recently seen a shift in the political winds, brought on largely by the population deciding against one style of politics and opting for another. We too in the scheme of things will get the government we deserve, and I hope it's worthy of the faith that has been put in it.

  • Dec 8th, 2015 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: Just Deserts

    How is it bullshit? The sentiment works no matter which side you're on.

    By whatever measure you want, if America elects someone who proves undesirable, it's because a) they wanted that person and their values or b) their system has become broken and it allowed the undesirable candidate to win despite their collective will, in which case they are the authors of (i.e. are deserving of) their failure.

    If America elects someone who turns out to be good for them, it will be because they succeeded despite extreme obstacles and they will deserve their success. If this new leader manages to lead a corrective path (for any of a number of definitions of corrective), all the more deserving.

  • Dec 8th, 2015 @ 11:30am

    Just Deserts

    The American public, for better or worse, through their election process will get exactly the President they deserve. Let's hope they deserve better than these particular candidates.

  • Dec 8th, 2015 @ 11:22am

    Process flow

    Ok, so assuming they succeed and the govt has back-door keys for all SSL traffic, for instance. Now they have to not only do deep-packet-inspection, but decryption too. They now have the "clear" stream, but maybe the payload is wrapped with another level of end-to-end encryption. Even if that is also back-doored, it needs decrypting, only to find another layer, and another, and the final payload maybe contains steganography and other methods. Where does it stop? (hint: it doesn't). Right, so they have determined that there is some random-looking data I have sent. What if I want to send a megabyte of random/entropy bytes to someone? Will I be branded a criminal?

  • Nov 18th, 2015 @ 8:49am

    Re: Cricket

    Oh, it's even more dangerous with US football. The crafty coaches cover their mouths with their clipboards so the TV cameras don't see them talking to their players. They could be sending covert messages to ISIS for all we know but we've been stymied by this clever obfuscation ever since Snowden. We need to mandate and enforce transparent plexiglass clipboards for all football coaches immediately, because terror!

  • Jul 7th, 2015 @ 1:46am

    Will the real Glyn Moody please stand up

    "Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or, and +glynmoody on Google+"

    So many identities. It would be so much easier if you just gave us your Aadhaar

  • Mar 13th, 2015 @ 9:01am

    Get your headlines here

    With the precedent of awarding damages for songs that simply feel similar, I expect these headlines soon:

    Family of Muddy Waters Sues Entire 12-Bar Blues Music Industry

    Every Country Star Sues Every Other Country Star

    Three Chord Bands Bands All Sue Each Other

    Nickelback Sues Nickelback

  • Apr 30th, 2014 @ 6:17am

    Re: Re: Wild Turkey

    Agreed, it would probably turn out to be a wild turkey chase.

  • Apr 29th, 2014 @ 4:36am

    In related news...

    Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

  • Feb 13th, 2014 @ 9:04am

    Knock knock

    It's a good thing that bad guys would never knock, say they are the police, then rush in and commit crimes. Because that would mess up the whole thing where you can always be certain only the good guys would knock first and say "It's just the cops, so don't be confused by the stun grenades, menacing threats, semiautomatic weapons and ninja getup, because we're really friendly".

  • Dec 3rd, 2013 @ 3:57pm

    Re: Re: Paying no attention

    No, YOU are awesome for getting the reference that everyone else seems to have missed!

  • Dec 2nd, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Paying no attention

    As a Canadian I cannot comment on a bill that I have never seen or does not exist. Although we might just pass it in a drunken stupor.

  • Nov 26th, 2013 @ 11:46am


    There is no rape charge. There never has been. He has been "wanted for questioning."

  • Nov 20th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    The NSA should hook up with the mayor of Toronto.

    Then they could join him in his daily news conferences every time yet another agregious transgression is exposed.

  • Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:21am

    Carts and horses

    "...word games the NSA and its defenders will use to increase spying"

    They don't use these word games to increase spying, they use them to increase legal ass-coverage for spying that they already do.

    It's quite plain that when a novel technique is available to them, they do not wait for supporting legislation before they use it, they implement it completely and if they think anyone will find out and object, only then do they task their spin masters to provide retroactive legislation "reforms" justifying it.

  • Oct 10th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    It's all perspective

    This isn't a story about failures, it's a story about successes.

    In each of these instances, the government employees did exactly what was asked of them and were extremely successful at it.

    They were asked to make sure that these initiatives resulted in a whackload of tax dollars flowing to the corporations involved. The people who asked them to do it are very happy with the outcome.

    Cronyism and regulatory capture are not failures of the system. They ARE the system. It's a worldwide phenomenon.

  • Sep 18th, 2013 @ 8:19am


    When one assesses Hayden as a bumbling idiot or the rest of the players in this and any other government operation (TSA, war on drugs, voting machines...) as incompetent, one is measuring them by the mandate specified in their job description - i.e. to serve the American public, to further the needs of the American people as a whole.

    While these people are reading the relevant legislation via their secret decoder rings, they are also completely dismissing the mandate that the rest of the world is measuring them by and instead following their own agendas. And by those agendas, they are far from incompetent.

    Each of these "incompetent" initiatives is _extremely_ competent at transferring taxpayer wealth to the corporations that supply the equipment and manpower to implement the programs. Is a $100-million abandoned software project an example of incompetence? Yes, if you measure it by the stated mandate. No, if you measure it by the software company's agenda. Is a prison system overflowing their capacity a problem? Yes if you measure it by their expressed mandate. Not at all if you forklift your skids of profits from the penitentiary-building industry.

    Whenever you hear of government incompetence at levels such as this, look for the beneficiary of the "incompetence" and turn your perspective around. You will find that these are some very competent folks.

    They also seem to have some amazing foresight. I have been intrigued more than once at the speed with which expensive scanners or voting machines have been ramped into production and distribution and pushed through certification following on the introduction of the legislation that enables them. It's uncanny.

    Follow the tax dollars.

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