Mason Wheeler’s Techdirt Profile


About Mason Wheeler

Mason Wheeler’s Comments comment rss

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re: Meet your writer.

    Don't feed the trolls, d00d. Just click "report" and move on.

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Sweet, sweet schadenfreude

    Be careful doing stuff like that!

    If a person is on your property and you tell him to leave and he does not, he is trespassing. Call the police; the law is on your side. But if you attack him--even if it's just with a hose--then the law is on his side and he could take you to court and have a pretty good chance of winning, even though he was trespassing.

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 6:42pm

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

    I'm not quite sure where Google is getting that convenient summary definition in the big box at the top from, but when you look at the actual links it comes up with, they all say "the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group" or very similar.

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 2:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Christians are as bad and how about screw you relgious nutjobs

    Both the Old and New Testaments are full of directives in favor of slavery.

    That's the problem with natural languages: they're very imprecise. We tend to combine things that are superficially similar into the same word (calling American bison "buffalo" even though they're biologically quite distinct from actual buffalo, for example) and most of the time it's a useful trick to reduce cognitive load. But sometimes you get cases like this.

    The terms translated as "slave," "slavery," etc. in the Old Testament referred to indentured servitude to work off a debt, and almost every relevant passage in the Law was about defining the rights of indentured servants and limiting the abusive things that their "master" could potentially do to them. It was an economic choice that could and frequently did benefit the servant just as much as the master, and the consideration in the law for a servant who has worked off his debt choosing to voluntarily remain in the master's service afterwards was something that really did happen.

    All of the abominations of slavery in the American South--treating people as inherently property for life, beatings and other physical abuse, sexual abuse, breaking up families by selling one slave to another master but not their family members--were strictly forbidden and condemned by Biblical law. American slavery literally bore zero resemblance to Biblical indentured servitude.

    As for racism, consider that when Mitt Romney was preaching in France, his church still taught that blacks were cursed and damned.

    Unsurprisingly, your ignorance of Mormon doctrine is very much on par with your ignorance of Biblical doctrine. Please, stick to subjects you actually know about, rather then just regurgitating random stuff you saw on some attack site. It just makes you look bad when someone who's actually studied this stuff sees what you wrote.

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 1:34pm

    (untitled comment)

    Meh. Bitcoin's a bad joke, with a long history of fraud and scams from beginning to end, and the sooner that end comes, the better. If California manages to discourage its residents from getting involved in it, so much the better.

    The underlying blockchain technology solves some interesting problems and might (maybe?) become something useful in the future. But trying to use it as a currency/investment/whatever-they're-saying-Bitcoin-is-now belongs in the "this won't end well dept" much moreso than attempting to discourage businesses from getting caught up in it!

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 10:28am

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

    I just did, and that's what I found: "The deliberate destruction of an entire race." The earliest known use of the term dates back to World War II, to describe the Nazis' attempted extermination of the Jews. (And look at how big of a war they had to set off to even unsuccessfully attempt it! Israel has never done anything even close to anything that could be considered genocidal, unless there's been a major Middle Eastern war of conquest and extermination that I'm somehow completely unaware of.)

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 8:47am

    (untitled comment)

    Imagine trying to do a story about the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit without playing copyrighted clips from the songs involved.

    Techdirt did a story about this lawsuit (more than one, IIRC) without feeling the need to include any sound clips, and the coverage was quite informative. Why exactly is playing the song necessary for talking about legal issues involving the song?

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Genocide: the systematic murder of an entire race/ethnic group. Keep in mind that most Arabs live in Muslim countries in the Middle East, and not in Israel. For Israel to even attempt such a thing, they would by definition have to invade all of their neighbors, and then quite a bit beyond that!

    They've shown remarkable restraint in dealing with the mother of all illegal immigrant problems, probably far more than most countries would, faced with an equivalent scenario.

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 7:04am

    (untitled comment)

    You read the text while driving (don't do that), so you deliver an extra case when you arrive.

    Don't do that? I do that all the time, and it's perfectly safe: my car has a Bluetooth link to my phone, and it uses text-to-speech to read text messages to me. It's no more of a dangerous distraction than listening to the radio.

  • May 1st, 2015 @ 6:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Jewish re-colonisation of the region began after WW1 long before any siginificant US involvement in the region.

    It began long before that. I've read contemporary accounts of the Zionist/re-colonization movement from the mid-19th century. By the time of WW1, there was a rather significant Jewish population again in their ancestral homeland, but outside of Jerusalem, which holds religious significance to Islam, Muslim/Arab occupancy was almost nonexistent, because the land was a hostile, barren desert even by Middle Eastern standards, and no one wanted to live there.

    Today's so-called "Palestinians" are Jordanian invaders who moved in after the people of Israel had done a bunch of hard work to make it liveable, and they have zero legitimacy.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 2:23pm


    Yeah, them and just about everyone else who love to paint themselves as victims of intolerance. It's a pretty common tactic because it works so well. (Just think about how many other groups you could replace the words "Islam" and "Muslims" with in that sentence and have it still be equally true.)

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Israeli policy is at best skirting the line of genocide and at worst a policy of racism that the idea for which they seem to have gotten from their own history less than a century ago.

    Just out of curiosity, what would you consider the appropriate response to being invaded and having your land colonized by people who do not recognize your entire cultural/racial/religious right to exist, at all, and have been trying to wipe your people off the face of the earth for centuries?

    This is the position Israel is in with the "Palestinians," and when you keep this in mind, their response to it all shows remarkable restraint!

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 2:04pm

    Re: How about portraying

    It's worth noting that the criteria laid out by the Bechdel Test are strangely self-serving considering that Bechdel, who invented the test, was (is?) the author of a comic strip about lesbians.

    Just saying...

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Then that should be addressed. I agree that we're too harsh on the victims of drug dealers; but I've seen far too much political sentiment in recent years trying to claim that we're too harsh on dealers themselves, and that's 100% pure, unadulterated crap.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 1:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    This is typical of Middle Eastern Muslim culture; it's another expression of the exact same moral paradigm that leads to covering women head-to-toe in black cloth: "If our people (read: men) are exposed to [insert stimulus here], it will cause them to [insert sin here], therefore they should not be exposed to [stimulus], and if they are, and they fall, the sin is upon the head of [the one who provided the stimulus]."

    This statement logically reduces to "our men have no self-control, and therefore should not be held accountable for their own choices," and it takes a special kind of blindness and complete lack of introspection to say something like this and then, in the same breath, condemn "Islamophobia". Wouldn't any reasonable person be afraid of a moral system founded on that basic paradigm?!?

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 12:57pm


    Also, approximately 48.7% of those are for drug crimes (compared to 2.9% for violent crimes and 7% for sex crimes).

    You had me, and then you lost me. You forget that all drug dealing is violent crime. It's just a subtler, more insidious form of violence than physical force.

    If I were to kill you with a gun or a knife, you might suffer for a few moments, but then it's over, and you're dead. But if I kill you with an addiction, you end up just as dead in the end, but it takes years of suffering and misery before it's over, and along the way I end up taking all of your money, destroying your family, destroying your health, destroying your relationship with your friends, and quite possibly being responsible for your descent into crime as well, in order to come up with more money to feed your addiction.

    Anyone who thinks a drug dealer is somehow less bad than a "violent criminal," or deserving of a lesser punishment than a murderer would receive, does not understand these simple facts.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 12:51pm


    Rubber bullets, Nerf bats, Nerf swords... we've already got these things. So how hard can the encryption stuff really be?

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 11:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Kudos, but...

    These articles only point out that President Obama asked him to consider a certain position, which is a far cry from "Obama changed his mind for him." As an independent agency of the government, the President of the USA does not have that kind of power over the FCC, either in theory or in practice, because when it comes down to it, he can't fire Tom Wheeler for not doing what he wants.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 11:12am

    (untitled comment)

    Someone needs to sit this guy down and explain Kerckhoff's Principle to him. It's one of the most fundamental rules of information security: The Adversary Knows The System.

    It means that any valid discussion of security must begin from the assumption that the bad guys who are trying to break in already know everything about how your system works, but does not necessarily already know the key, and if you can't show that the system is still secure against such an adversary, you have to assume it's not secure.

    Kerckhoff's Principle rejects the very concept of a "front door" that the good guys can use but hackers can't gain access to. If there's another way in besides the private key, you must assume that the bad guys know all about it.

  • Apr 30th, 2015 @ 9:10am

    (untitled comment)

    So let me get things straight. A "civilizational collapse" in an area of the world that never was civilized, leading to the resumption of business as usual--except for a few short decades in the 20th century when the winners of the world wars arbitrarily rearranged a bunch of borders because they could--puts us all at risk of being overrun by a tiny barbarian "army" whose only military conquests have come because the people opposing them are literally cowards afraid to stand against an enemy force even when they have a 30:1 advantage? And that has... what, again, to do with China?

    It's stupid crap like this that makes me want to support the development of electric vehicles and the Hyperloop project. The sooner we can make oil irrelevant to the modern economy, the sooner we can do what we should have done a hundred years ago and quarantine that entire part of the world until they've finished working out their own problems and demonstrated that they're ready to finally join their grown up brothers and sisters in the civilized world.


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