A Dan’s Techdirt Profile


About A Dan

Manchester NH, USA.

A Dan’s Comments comment rss

  • Jun 4th, 2015 @ 12:15pm

    Is this typical now?

    I see an army of non-logged-in posts, so that you can't really tell if any of them are the same person or see any kind of historical trends. I suppose this is part of why a bunch of sites have gotten rid of anonymous postings - at least with pseudonyms, even if someone has a bunch of separate ones, you can keep track of reputation somewhat.

    How do we foster good anonymous or pseudonymous discourse in the face of these kinds of attacks? Add "verified" accounts? There must be a way.

  • Apr 10th, 2015 @ 1:17pm


    There was a study I read about a while (a few years?) ago about violence and video games. What they discovered was that it wasn't violent games that caused people to respond aggressively/violently, it was frustrating games. I wish I could find the link, but some simple Googling isn't turning it up.

    Basically, I think the experimental evidence has shown that your comment is correct.

  • Nov 25th, 2014 @ 9:11am

    What a coincidence

    Well, now that we're past the mid-term elections, it's a much more convenient time to have potentially-incriminating or emails come out. They have almost 2 full years to do damage control before the next election.

  • Aug 20th, 2014 @ 3:01pm


    In a manner consistent with, not manor (unless I'm missing a pun).

  • Aug 3rd, 2014 @ 10:17am

    More mainstream articles

    There are a few criteria that really determine whether I send someone a link to a story.

    1. Does it have a simple, obvious explanation which differs from other sites? Things like "No, [country] didn't really just [kill/embrace] net neutrality" or "No, [country] didn't just abolish software patents" are useful to send to people, because they tend to put the whole situation in perspective with background and an update for where we currently are.

    2. Does it need community knowledge? If a story has a lot of snide references to past stories, I will often avoid sending it to people. I recognize your meaning, but they will not. Talking about how something has been thoroughly "debunked" in the past is not always convincing. I don't want them to be put off and think the site is just a self-reinforcing single-narrative perspective. Anything that says "nobody said" typically falls into that same bucket. You may not have said it, but that doesn't mean nobody did.

    3. Does it have useful links to past stories? The lists of when things happened in the past, often included as several links-as-words in a sentence, are actually really useful for developing background.

    So it looks like the things that I am most likely to send people are stories that help build background on an issue without needing community involvement of any kind. I like the site, but I want anything I send to people to be as objective, informative, and professional as possible.

  • Aug 1st, 2014 @ 10:41am

    Reminds me of another absurd reaction

    This is similar to the ignorant reaction when some high-profile people have used the word "niggardly", but it's even more absurd since "homophone" is a word in common usage. These people should not be running a language school.

  • Jun 5th, 2014 @ 8:38am


    That paragraph was a nightmare. I took the test in 2003 or 2004, and even then most of us didn't know how to form several of the letters (because we hadn't used cursive in years). It took about half an hour for the single classroom's worth of kids to copy that paragraph. The proctor eventually told us to just make it up if we didn't know letters.

  • Mar 27th, 2014 @ 12:29pm


    The worst is that it's not even a misspelling, it's just a slightly different transliteration of his name. It's like how 'ß' should be considered equal to both 'ss' and 'sz' if you're doing a good job. Their name matching was obviously not done well.

  • Mar 10th, 2014 @ 8:15am

    Re: I think someone needs to do more proofreading

    Beat me to it - typo in the article, using "pubic" instead of "public".

  • Oct 3rd, 2013 @ 9:25am

    ... So Far

    This is true at this time. I hope I am not alone in hoping that some day technology truly does destroy jobs. In my ideal world, "jobs" are not be necessary. If we can automate away our needs, everyone can do what they choose to do, instead of being forced into a job in order for themselves (and the economy) to survive.

    Yes, there are social changes necessary. I hope someday, due to advances in technology, they will happen. Jobs are a necessary evil, not something we should idealize.

  • Sep 30th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Re:

    My first thought was OnStar as well. I would bet they have all of the data from it.

  • Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Different types of "points"

    There are 2 different types of points on the Xbox. 1 is "achievement points" or "gamerscore", and the other is "Microsoft points". Microsoft points are what you can use to buy stuff. Achievement points are what you earn for completing pieces of games, and aren't actually used for anything (they're basically just an aggregate high score for yourself.)

    I would assume that this would reward you with Microsoft points, not achievement points. They already do something similar with small rewards through their Xbox Live Rewards program, which rewards you with Microsoft points for completing their survey each month; this sounds like a logical expansion on that program.

  • May 15th, 2013 @ 3:38pm


    Timothy Geigner, you are a Hater!

    (I'm sure you were already a sinner.)

  • Mar 5th, 2013 @ 5:14pm

    The beer merger

    If you listen to Planet Money's podcast on the potential beer merger, it's really interesting. Apparently the big two act together with price increases, and it's only the competition from Corona that keeps the beer prices down. It definitely sounds like it's anti-competitive, not an acquisition because they really like the company.

  • Feb 21st, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Gosh, the importance of this leaves me (rightly) silent.

    out_of_the_blue is correct on "whither"/"wither"

    And I'm pretty sure the self-referencing is SEO, not circular logic. I think this article's actually quite reasonable about it, though.

  • Feb 13th, 2013 @ 11:10am

    Not street addresses

    He says "Suburb" and "sans exact address", which would fall into the category of Town or City, not street address.

    Of course, in most cases, Name + Suburb is probably enough to uniquely identify an individual.

  • Jan 7th, 2013 @ 9:03am


    I think you're a bit offtopic, but I feel I should respond anyway.

    Abortions are not about being offended. The argument against it is, "You're killing an innocent child" (or, "You're killing an original-sin-guilty child who will go directly to Hell", if you're a sufficiently devout Catholic).

    I am not saying that I agree with that view, but you're mischaracterizing it.

  • Dec 12th, 2012 @ 8:20am


    This was offered as an option when my girlfriend bought her Nexus One a few years ago, if you are into that sort of thing.

  • Dec 5th, 2012 @ 7:27am


    The argument for dollar coins in the US is based on a faulty premise: That they'll be in circulation for enough time above dollar bills that they're worth the added expense to make.
    Listen to the Planet Money episode:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/11/30/166253822/episode-364-should-we-kill-the-dolla r-bill

    Our dollar bills are already cheaper to produce than coins, and longer-lasting than the small notes that all the other countries used to have. Switching to dollar coins is a bad idea for us, even if it made sense for other countries.

  • Nov 29th, 2012 @ 11:36am

    Funny post from a Friend

    One of my Facebook friends posted this:

    In response to the new Facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that I am a pure retard for allowing myself to be trolled by this. My copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention. I don't know what this means, but whatever). I am arrogant enough to think that my work is worth stealing. Being a citizen of our highly litigious society, I will sue you for everything you have. (Anyone reading this can see what a gullible lemming I am, and can join me in ignorance by posting it on their facebook wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws.) I don't have the intelligence to realize that this is a hoax, and posting this is as effective as using a Swiss cheese condom.

    By the present communiqué, (check me out using big words) I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to sell my info. I am ignorant to the fact that when I signed up for this account, I agreed to Facebook's TOS, and I don't have the common sense to simply not post if I'm so afraid of having my stuff stolen. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. (That means YOU, Zuckerberg) The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute). I don't know what this means, but I'm posting it because everybody else is doing it. Also, if I was so concerned with my privacy, I guess I shouldn’t have created a facebook account in the first place.

    Facebook is now an open capital entity, and because of that, advanced alien civilizations laugh at us, and refuse contact with Earth. Allowing everyone to use it was a poor decision, and it is well on its way to becoming the next Myspace. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you are smart enough to know not to buy into a hoax. If you do post this, you are proving that not only do you not deserve a facebook account, but you are unworthy of an internet connection, and you should just go back to making cave paintings with your fellow neanderthals.

    My news feed shows me a lot of your "intellectual property" Who would want to plagiarize most of you anyway?

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