Mason Wheeler’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Dec 8th, 2016 @ 7:22am

    (untitled comment)

    This is very interesting. I've seen software with EULA clauses that say you're not allowed to publish benchmarks of this software. Would that clause be invalidated under the new law?

  • Nov 30th, 2016 @ 7:01am

    Re: Recount

    "I don't care if my team lost 4 games out of 7; they scored more runs overall, and that makes *them* the *real* winners of the World Series!"

    Nope, sorry. That's simply not how it works.

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not totally serious, but...

    what is this I don't even

    I'm sorry, Mike, but that response is completely incoherent and, as far as I can tell, has nothing at all to do with the thing that I wrote that you're responding to.

    Also, you totally Godwin'd yourself.

    Come on, you're better than this!

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Let's assume there's voter fraud

    No, I specifically and quite clearly meant "the Republican party and not simply the Republican presidential candidate." Please look over what I wrote again, with a bit more reading comprehension this time, as I was clearly referring to all the elections rather than simply the one that you're focusing on.

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

    Is it too much to hope for that the racism-ists will do a bit of introspection after all this, and maybe finally learn the meaning of the old tale of The Boy Who Cried Wolf?

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not totally serious, but...

    Better question to be asking: why do these MILLIONS of people not have valid ID? (Or, to put it another way, if 90-99% of Americans can do it, what's stopping these guys?)

    It's not difficult to get a state ID or driver's license. (If anything, it's *far too easy* to get a driver's license, as it theoretically requires demonstrating you're capable of driving, but I think everyone here would agree that experience shows we hand those out *far* too easily. But that's a debate for a different time.) It's not some arduous task that a reasonable person would conclude acts as a credible barrier to enfranchisement.

    If you do not comply with basic, simple prerequisites, you're unable to perform actions that depend on those prerequisites. Why should voting be a special case? If it's really that important--and I agree that it is--isn't it really that important to put into place simple, common-sense measures that any legitimate citizen who cares enough can easily comply with, in order to ensure its integrity?

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 12:48pm

    (untitled comment)

    I must admit, I'm a bit confused here.

    Techdirt is always talking about horrible people making horrible false copyright infringement claims, and I fully agree that it's horrible and the people doing so need to be smacked down hard.

    Now that someone doing so actually got smacked down hard for it, you're saying there's a problem with that?

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Let's assume there's voter fraud

    Generally, the fewer people that vote the more favorable it is to Republican candidates.

    This would seem to not hold up against the facts: the 2016 election had the highest voter turnout in recent memory, and across the board--not just in the Presidential vote--the Republican party won in a landslide.

    As I've said before on here, it was pretty much inevitable, as it's the Republicans' turn to screw things up now. It's a clear pattern that's been going on for decades in American politics: we didn't like Bush Sr. raising taxes after saying "read my lips, no new taxes," so we threw him and his party out and elected Clinton, who was even worse. We got sick of his endless scandals, so we threw him and his party out and elected W, who was even worse. We got sick of his moronic antics and endless wars, so we threw him and his party out and elected Obama, who was even worse. (Are you seeing a pattern yet?) Then we got sick of him and his party causing trouble for us with health care, race relations, civil rights, and oh-by-the-way not doing anything to put an end to the endless wars he campaigned on opposing, so we threw him and his party out and elected Trump, who is almost guaranteed to be even worse.

    Anyone who was surprised by Trump's victory is simply not paying attention.

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

    One thing I do know: every time I've gone to the DMV, wherever I'm living at the time, there are a lot of minorities there.

    Sure, I'm just one guy, but I'm a guy who's and moved around a lot, and I've never seen any compelling evidence to back up this narrative that's being pushed on us.

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

    I assume that by "mime" you mean "meme"?

    (I'm almost hoping you're not, because it amuses me to think of French clowns meddling in our elections while trapped in glass boxes.)

  • Nov 28th, 2016 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: The Laughable Postion of Democrats on the Integrity of Voting

    Making it easier for people to vote is a good thing. You disagree?

    I disagree. Unless you were to replace the word "people" with "legitimate citizens," in which case I agree wholeheartedly.

    Voter fraud is inconsequential

    This is an example of what they call "lying with statistics." The camp pushing that narrative loves to point out how few people get prosecuted for voter fraud each election. And they're right; it is a really small number of people. However, in doing so they conveniently ignore all the reports of cases like the districts with more votes cast than registered voters that make it clear that there is massive fraud going on.

    Put in that context, the statistics about such a tiny number of people being prosecuted take on a horrifying new implication: there is massive fraud going on and in the vast majority of cases, we have no clue at all who it is!

    But the "documents" to prove eligibility of voters is ... designed to stop certain groups from voting.

    Yes, exactly. No one disputes this. The question is, who is it designed to stop from voting? The people actually trying to put these laws in place say it's to stop people who don't have the right to vote from voting, whereas critics like to push the racism-ist narrative that it's to stop underprivileged minorities who do have a legitimate right to vote from voting.

    I'm more inclined to side with the first group, for three reasons. First, as noted above, there is widespread fraud going on and we have no idea who's doing it. Why not take simple, common-sense measures to weed some of it out?

    Second, because the racism-ists have cried wolf so many times, and done so much harm to ordinary, decent people in the ensuing witch-hunts, that it's worth taking anything they say anymore with a rather sizeable grain of salt.

    Third, because one thing that's a legitimate voter ID everywhere is a driver's license/state ID card, and I've actually gone through the process of one, many times and in many places due to moving around for different jobs, and the process in no way fits the racism-ists' narrative of some massive, arduous ordeal that acts as a barrier to enfranchisement.

    Think back to the last time you did it. You go to the DMV, which is a few miles away from your house. Close enough that you could probably walk if you didn't have a car, or (depending on where you live) take the bus. Then you sit around for a long time waiting (and waiting and waiting...) for them to get around to you, and you pay the fee (about $20,) fill out the paperwork, and they send you your new ID card/driver's license in a few days. It's good for quite a while--how long depends on where you live, but generally between 3 and 10 years.

    The racism-ists' entire narrative falls apart when you think about it critically instead of simply accepting their wild accusations at face value. Stop to consider, for a moment, just how arduous it really is to, in the worst-case scenario, have to visit the DMV for a few hours and pay $20 once every 3 years. It's difficult to conceive of any scenario in which that presents an actual barrier to any legitimate American citizen, no matter how disadvantaged.

    So can we please drop the "voter suppression" conspiracy nonsense already? It doesn't even pass the laugh test.

  • Nov 23rd, 2016 @ 11:52am

    (untitled comment)

    What's in a name?
    That which we call a Twitter
    by any other name
    would be just as full of Twits.

  • Nov 23rd, 2016 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: If the EFF ever needed to put "Broken by Design" stickers on something...

    DailyKos is a liberal site that doesn't promote hatred of people.

    If you think this, then you are not paying attention. They blatantly promote hatred of all things conservative, often in so many words. There's been more than one article on there that literally used the word "hate" in the context of how any right-minded reader should feel about the subject of the current excoriation. Some of them were written by Markos, the guy who runs the site.

    The only difference between them and Breitbart is who they're inciting hatred against. Both are ugly, festering menaces that are destroying our culture, rotting it away from the inside.

  • Nov 23rd, 2016 @ 4:52am

    Re: If the EFF ever needed to put "Broken by Design" stickers on something...

    It looks like you're trying to make some good, legitimate points, but be careful who you cite. Unfortunately, your credibility goes right out the window when you link to a site like the Daily Kos, an extremist site dedicated to raving irrational hatred of all things even the slightest bit conservative. They're basically the Left's answer to Breitbart.

  • Nov 21st, 2016 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Dear America

    You say that as a joke, but JFK said it very seriously: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

  • Nov 18th, 2016 @ 1:02pm

    Re: That makes more sense

    I got the same mis-reading, but I thought it was going to be about Erdogan.

  • Nov 16th, 2016 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Solar Propaganda

    He's using extremely slanted and deceptive language to describe Net Metering in the worst possible terms. Just ignore him.

  • Nov 15th, 2016 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: What doesn't have hidden fees these days?

    How is that at all relevant? If the airline doesn't keep any fuel reserves to smooth out bumpy pricing, why is that my problem as a customer?

  • Nov 14th, 2016 @ 1:21pm

    (untitled comment)

    > But, that doesn't seem to be the reason why Trump is against these deals. Rather, almost all of his commentary on these agreements is about how other countries are "winning" and the US is "losing" from these trade deals

    And he's right about that much, at least

    > and how he's ready and willing to jack up tariffs and basically set off trade wars with some of our largest trading partners. That's bad, and will likely cause a lot more harm than good.

    Personally, I've always been a fan of Tom Clancy's suggestion that our fundamental trade policy should essentially be "our markets are as open to your country's trade as your country's markets are to our trade." If you want a level playing field, you could do a lot worse than to make the other guy play by his own rules and see yow much he likes it.

  • Nov 14th, 2016 @ 8:47am


    Yeah, this is a basic idea I've been proposing for a while now:

    The Crime Does Not Pay Act

    Any corporate entity found to be guilty of illegal business practices which brought in revenue shall be fined a minimum of 100% of the revenue received through illegal means.

    Eliminate slap-on-the-wrist fines that can be written off as the cost of doing business, and so many things start to fix themselves.

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