Tim Griffiths’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Dec 4th, 2013 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re:

    There you Americans go again, taking credit for everything. Just remember there wouldn't be an modern "Iraq" if the British hasn't been granted control of a nicely carved up chunk of the Ottoman Empire. All those nice straight state like lines that make up that part of the world are the results of good old fashioned actual empire, not like this modern hands off rubbish of yours!

    The whole political mess that you Johnny Come Latelies are so proud of is almost all grounded in actions of Imperial Europe and our tendency to screw over the natives and each other at the drop of a hat. You may well have buddied up to Saddam and his ilk but only after they had sized power through rallying support against the laughable transparent puppet Monarchies that had been set up under our rule.

    Joking aside the west has been almost literally fucking the region over since the Ottomans got caught up in the massive imperial dick waving contest that was World War 1. That makes it's nearly a century of almost continued western interference, America is the just the latest and currently most visible in a long line of people putting the boot in.

  • Dec 4th, 2013 @ 3:41am

    Mindless eating

    There's an argument that people eating while they are engaged in entertainment do it mindlessly. To the point that they'll eat awful popcorn in amounts dictated by the size of the container.

    I wonder if the study took account of the fact the violent games they used where likely much more fun and engaging than the none violent ones. Not that pinball and golf can't be fun but they are stacking up two of the most well regarded games ever made against "3dgolf"... which doesn't exactly sound like an AAA tiger woods game does it? If it was I don't understand why it wasn't named.

    So are the players of the GTA games more greedy or do more engaged people tend to eat more with out thinking?

    As for the rest of the study, as pointed out, it conflates short term with long term and I thought we all agreed that the short term stuff happened?

    What I'd really like to have seen is a companion study in which they had one group play rugby or some other aggressive contact sport and the other group played actual golf or pinball and the same post game excrements ran.

  • Dec 4th, 2013 @ 3:27am

    Re: Hate to be a critic but...

    I thought it wasn't in question that playing games can cause short term changes in behaviour including being aggressive? In fact it would be strange if they didn't, everything we do has an effect on us and in terms of violent games which are inherently based around engaging and most importantly competitive play it's going to produce natural responses that increase aggression. The issue isn't if games do this or not it's if over a long period games cause base level changes... or more over video games as sports which provide exactly the same short term responses and often include inflicting real physical violence on other real people seem to get off scot free.

    Trying to argue that games can't effect behaviour is ridiculous and irresponsible. It also totally dismisses the idea that game could provide positive impacts. What needs to be argued is "does play violent games make a person more violent in the long term" and directly if that is the result of the game being simulated graphic violence or the result of competitive play.

  • Nov 28th, 2013 @ 1:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: This is a victory for the Beastie Boys and genuine fair use whether you like it or not

    Why so afraid to link to you music? Here's mine former bands EP, it's not even very good but I'm happy to link it. It's music I'm proud to have made and proud to have sold.


    While I'm promoting stuff here is a compilation from a friends DIY label with the bands from the 3 day DIY festival they put on and I played this year.


    Fantastic people, fantastic bands that deserve promotion all of whom wouldn't be afraid to share their music so I find it funny that you want to use this as a way to score points but won't put your music where your mouth is.

    In short actually put up what you think are your credentials or shut up. You have no right to argue that some can't speak to music because they don't make it otherwise. It's not even worth talking about the utter stupidity of that argument in the meantime.

  • Nov 27th, 2013 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh. Did not know that

    Except me... above... :P

    It's a sad thing that the essence of peoples creativity is being clouded by this increasing sense of total ownership of the products of it.

  • Nov 26th, 2013 @ 4:32am


    And they haven't...

  • Nov 26th, 2013 @ 4:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Huh. Did not know that

    I used in other words twice their with out meaning it... or in other words...

  • Nov 26th, 2013 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Huh. Did not know that

    "To be fair, one of the excuses that one of the more recent jackasses tried to use was parody, claiming that because she took the original picture and quickly scribbled over it in one area with MS Paint that it was parody under fair use and not plagiarism.

    Parody inherently negates plagiarism because the merit of it is based on the familiarity of the audience with the original work. In other words you can't claim parody as a defence for plagiarism as you either need the work to be well known or to be willing to provide the original as context. Or in other words parody is inherently tied up with attribution.

    In this case they flat out titled the video "GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg & the Beastie Boys" and the whole merit of using the song is based on the audience being aware of the original work.

    Yeah, you don't need a license and you don't need permission to do so because it's fair use, and normally I wouldn't complain, but trying to make a buck by parodying a song from a recently deceased artist who went out of his way to make sure that his music wasn't used for commercials seems kind of insulting.

    His music wasn't, an interpretation of his song being used to parody the overtly sexist lyrics was.

    Don't get me wrong while I'm not a fantastic musician or artist I do produce work, almost all my friends do in one way or another. I'd hate to see, say, their songs being co-opted and used to support a message that is the antithesis of their politics that drive the creation of their music but if it was done with fair use (or dealings as it is over here) I would have to accept it because being invested in the idea of artist rights is to be invested in the rights of ALL artist.

    To coin a phrase everything is a remix, fair use is one of the bulwarks that prevents this culture of inherent artist ownership from destroying new artists ability to make work. This might not be tasteful and it's your right to dislike it but the reason it can be made is more important to more artist that just one or even 3 guys.

  • Oct 29th, 2013 @ 3:37am

    Won't stop the news, will stop the debate.

    So in this country, thanks to things like super injunctions we've had the absurd situation in many people know a given thing, every one can easily find out a given thing, but no one can talk about in public for fear of legal action. This has largely just involved celebrity legal cases and could, in the most sad way, be laughed off as absurd but it gives us a template for what Cameron is suggesting here.

    By forcing our newspapers to stop reporting on the leaks it does not stop the leaks from being reported on. Given that as yet he has not implemented a national internet filter, that reporting will be easily available to pretty much every one. In short every one will know what has been leaked regardless.

    So the question becomes why would he stamp on the neck of the UK's press at a point when it will not actually stop the leaks? Well that's simple really... the one and only thing that will change is our ability to have an open and honest national debate about what the meaning of what is being reported. It shuts down a persons ability to publicly question the governments actions.

    At this points it's worth remembering these leaks are the government's own damn fault and that the damage has already been done at the point they failed to protect their information. Shutting down our press will do nothing to change that. What's happening here is simply a re-framing of that to making any damage the presses responsibility so it can publicly stifle debate about programs it's worried are illegal.

  • Oct 28th, 2013 @ 2:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pirates aren't necessary to success of these "islands".

    To be fair this can work as one shot protection. If some one says something and OOTB wants to prove it wasn't him he can publicly state the way the numbers are made and people would then be able to check the post against others. He is completely paranoid about people putting words in his mouth because he so consistently does it to others.

    Either that or he honestly just can't tell the difference between his posts and people posting as him.

    As for the "legal" stuff,

  • Oct 24th, 2013 @ 1:33am


    Over the years I've known a lot of people on a lot of drugs and you sir are giving them a bad name by implying they are anything like the the people involved with the MPAA.

  • Oct 18th, 2013 @ 4:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's no reason to expect public leaks before now and given my point is not even reliant on there even having been leaks before now I fail to see why you think that's an counter argument.

    The logic above remains valid, the leaks could have happened before Snowden and they now can't happen after. If anything was leaked before Snowden it's now less valuable and damaging that it was before. Less harm can be cause now than it could be before. The simple fact Snowden could do what he did means what he did made us safer.

    I can say that you are a cat but unless I want to provide a meaningful reason such as "we have no documented cases of cats being able to understand language or use a keyboard" it is pointless. If you are going to suggest that something is the most stupid thing you've ever heard you undermine your point vastly by not logically explaining why that is the case. After all that should be easy so it makes me wonder why you didn't bother...

    Well no... I know why you didn't bother... you're a troll but that's no fun now is it?

  • Oct 18th, 2013 @ 2:51am


    Snowden was able to walk out with the documents and we only know that because he told us. What this tells us is that these kind of leaks could have happened before and over enough time almost certainly would have. By making the leaks, and the way they where leaked, public Snowden has insured that that can not happen. Because the breach is in the public eye they can't cover it up or ignore it. In short Snowdens actions have lead to us being more secure than we where.

    But what about the documents that got out you cry! Well there again we are safer than these documents that very well could have been leaked before Snowden are now public knowledge and every one knows that every one knows at the very least what has been reported. The upshot is that our governments now have to act with the knowledge these programs have been exposed which is vastly preferable to them carrying on like they are secret with a huge gaping hole in the security that protect them.

    Now it's worth noting here that I've not yet even touched on the idea that the leaks where in the publics interests or even if the programs make us safer. What ever side of the argument you are on the above logic remains the same, the leaks could have already happened or happened in the future and in the event of those leaks it's vastly better for the government and our safety that they've been done publicly via filtered and considered reporting. All but one other outcomes of this hole in NSA security are less preferable to this one and the other one is "it just happens to never be exploited" and if you're are trusting your security to a group who banks on that you are in deep trouble already.

    So yes, giving them to the planet, filtered by people who have an interest in not actually causing us harm is the best thing he could do. In fact I'd even go so far as to argue it is the single best course of action that could have been followed given the circumstance.

  • Oct 18th, 2013 @ 2:32am

    Re: Glad we got that nailed down. Now, remember NSA crimes?

    Except that the Guardian has been muzzled from actually doing anything but relying reporting from elsewhere. If Greenwald wants to be actively reporting on the leaks rather than just what you'd term the distractions he is best doing it from elsewhere. From what he is said it's likely he is using his current capital from the story to set up a new venture.

    What's really interesting here how ever is how you call talking about Snowden a distraction which only helps the NSA but then bring up Greenwald making a perfectively understandable career move as if that would be something else. QED OTBB wants to distract us from the NSA, you therefore, by the logic you display in this an other posts, an NSA apologist!

  • Oct 17th, 2013 @ 6:37am

    He is telling us how dangerous he is.

    Cameron is urging for the Guardian to be punished for publishing documents his government couldn't keep secure. It's what a child does when they've been caught doing something they know they shouldn't have, deflect the blame on to someone else for the same problem. "But mummy Johnny Guardian told everyone about the secret stuff! That's bad! If he didn't do that then it no one would know I lost them!".

    A random IT contractor with no special access or privileges than any of the other thousand posts took our government's documents from right under their nose. He acted with such impunity that it's an undeniable fact that the only reason we know these documents had been taken is because he made a choice to tell us. If Snowden, or the people at the Guardian, were less civic minded they could have easily profited from that information in deeply dangerous ways instead of publishing them to force a much needed debate about these programs.

    The thing is that there is an inescapable universal rule that means given we know Snowden did it then it could have be done before him. Given we only know it was done at all because of Snowden himself then it becomes even more likely that the NSA has had leaks before now. Leading to the ultimate irony that Cameron and others are attacking Snowden and the Guardian when their actions means such leaks, in the unlikely event they haven't happened before, can never have happen in a way that is actually dangerous and damaging in the ways people are trying to claim these leaks have been.

    "The plain fact is that what has happened has damaged national security and in many ways the Guardian themselves admitted that when they agreed, when asked politely by my national security adviser and cabinet secretary to destroy the files they had, they went ahead and destroyed those files.

    So they know that what they're dealing with is dangerous for national security.

    And you sir just admitted that you think those files are so dangerous to national security they had to be destroyed but not so dangerous you bothered to make sure the people you blindly handed them over to were able to protect them.

    He is quite literally making the case for why he thinks his own incompetence is dangerous.

    Let me say that again because god damn me does to bear repeating. My government couldn't protect secrets they think are so damaging they want to investigate the press for leaking them. Not the people who couldn't see or didn't bother to look in to the security protecting those documents but the people who brought the gaping security holes to attention in a way that actually demanded action.

    It would be funny if it was so fucking horrifying.

  • Oct 17th, 2013 @ 4:54am

    Re: You can choose to get something, or nothing, but you can't cut me off

    Google music allows for you to upload/match 20,000 of your own files for free which you can then stream to the app or through a browser. If you have All Access you can also pin any and as much music from the service to your device (sadly not your PC as far as I know) as you want for offline listening.

    It's not exactly comparable to what spotify does and I wouldn't say one is distinctly better in that regard, it's just personal taste. I really like how Google integrates both my own music and the all access stuff in to the same space. An EP I brought from a small local band I went to see the other week is no different to some new artist I found through the radio and pin to my device etc. And I much prefer the UI, radio, and integration offered but that comes with hangs ups... there is for example no way to 'just' log in to google music as far as I know meaning that using it for a party is a pain... but ya... I like it.

  • Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:30am


    The response seems to have largely have been "it's just meant to

  • Aug 21st, 2013 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re:

    Don't be silly, that would cost people money, you'll just have to apply for a VPN licence, pay a processing fee and agree to have the traffic logged just in case someone tries to be naughty.

  • Aug 14th, 2013 @ 1:36am

    Re: Re:

    Wait, just so we are clear, this man who wants us to take his argument's logic seriously just dismissed a logical principle that is centuries old as "something you read on the internet" while showing a misunderstanding that would be corrected by 5 seconds on google?

    Wow. Ok. That's a thing.

  • Aug 12th, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Seems like a warmup to the same old game.

    Attacking the site is really an attack on sites that allow for anonymous users. Imagine if the UK porn filters put ask.fm (a vile site) as part of it's dafualt blocks? After all, think of the children whose lives will be saved! And if it's going to be ask.fm why not any platform that allows for any kind of annonimity as, after all, they could be used to bully the children these filters are to protect!

    In very short order you have an extremely compelling reason for sites to simply not allow anonymous use and an attempt to normalise being identifiable online. Which of course won't even stop bullying... it's very easy to identify who's bullying who in schools and yet that, strangely, remains a problem... but I really don't think that's the point.

    This is another case of the government using "think of the children" to push for a change that would be completely ineffectual for that goal but is really attempting to do something completely unrelated. It makes me feel a bit sick actually.

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