Violynne’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 7th, 2016 @ 12:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    More embarrassing perhaps is the fact that the FCC, tasked with protecting broadband consumers, hasn't shown the slightest interest in either cracking down on this behavior, or if not -- ensuring that usage meters are accurate.
    This isn't embarrassing. It's just downright inaccurate reporting by someone who thinks this is the responsibility of the FCC.

    The FCC doesn't protect consumers. This responsibility actually belongs to two separate parties: The FTC, or Federal Trade Commission (and given that wonky middle letter, I can see where confusion lies) and Congress.

    Now, the real embarrassing situation is how both are literally the biggest problem in allowing ISPs to get away with what they're doing.

    The FTC could easily step in and put down the idiocy of municipal monopolies
    and stop states from blocking braodband competition, but their excuse is always "But the FCC hasn't properly classified the internet for us to do our jobs."

    That's bullshit, but the power of Hollywood money goes a long way.

    Then there's Congress, which not only holds power over both the FTC and the FCC, refuses to do anything but pass ridiculous patent and copyright laws which benefit the very industries which own the very ISPs themselves (excluding AT&T, but they've always been favored by the government thanks to their willingness to open their communications to them).

    In fact, history even proves the power of the FCC is limited because not only did their first reclassification fail to pass, but their most recent reclassification was done using laws written before everyone dealing with them were born.

    This leaves Congress, and given their responsible behavior in recent decades, is pretty much a lost cause.

    Which is why I said in the Twitter fiasco, it's up to tech companies to stand up and unify their users to direct them to Congress and force them to change the ancient laws plaguing the industry.

    When Facebook and Google shut down their sites, this was enough to piss people off to write Congress and shut down SOPA.

    If this country is going to change the law, then Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, and hundreds of other popular sites should shut down, put their reason, and have users complain to Congress.

    Otherwise, nothing will change.

    At any rate, this issue is no longer a priority for me.

    Now, I'm more focused on the terrifying prospect a cartoon mouse is about to enter the public domain, and the company behind said mascot owns two of Hollywood's most profitable franchises and has money to throw into coffers.

  • Oct 5th, 2016 @ 4:36am

    (untitled comment)

    I can almost guarantee that one of the early comments on this post will be some of you insisting that all the companies denying doing this are flat out lying. I don't agree with that...
    Back in the early 2000s, there was a staggering report released which showed the NSA and FBI had access to the internet in ways people couldn't imagine. This was the "first" the public heard about the snooping.

    And just like this article does with the statement above, people instantly ignored it because they didn't believe it.

    Fast forward nearly two fucking decades when a person walks out with powerpoint presentations that the world finally believed.

    Here's the thing: Has anyone ever questioned how the original report in 2000 came to be?

    At the time, the world's operating system was Windows.

    Perhaps ask Microsoft how the information from the NSA was leaked.

    As I said many times, what's the point in trying to address these issues when the very first thing people do is say "No way. A company wouldn't do that."

    It was even said when Snowden leaked the documents.

    Denial is not a river in Egypt.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re:

    It may feel like a favorite coffee shop, but feelings don't pay the bills, so again, the point about this being a business was lost. At least a coffee shop sells coffee, but it doesn't rely on ads to run itself.

    That's the elephant in the room that everyone ignores in these discussions. Remember a while ago when Techdirt was transparent about running this site based wholly on ad revenue? They couldn't do it and needed additional support.

    That's not a business. That's a charity, or if you'd like, a tip jar. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's impossible to sustain on ad revenue alone, especially when only a few of the patrons support it outside the ads (and it sure doesn't help to allow people to block ads).

    It's all well and good for Techdirt, but that's why they can't figure it out. And if Techdirt can't figure it out, whose primary business is to get clients to pay for improving their business, what chance does any digital distributor have?


    The advertising necessity for an internet "business" is completely foolish because the internet wasn't designed to be a business.

    Before anyone screams "Google", best take a look at how they run the company: it has nothing to do with running a business on the internet, but a physical business to puts ads on the internet.

    That's a pretty big difference to run a business.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 9:41am

    (untitled comment)

    Read the website, but see no mention of a "chameleon" (rotating IP addresses from a single server) feature.

    Does it exist with this service?

    I'd write them, but don't want to risk a sales pitch while purposely eluding the question.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 9:17am

    (untitled comment)

    I love how the article ignores the fact any non-advertising business relying on advertising to exist misses the entire point about being a business.

    Newspapers weren't about the community, unless this translated as "captive audience".

    The entire notion of the monopoly should have made this obvious.

    The biggest reason why "businesses" haven't figured things out is because they didn't have a clue to begin with, including Techdirt.

    News is not a commodity. It's a consumable. Like an apple, the value exists only for moments before it's gone.

    What's left after that? Nothing.

    It's more apt to compare Techdirt and news sites selling t-shirts, mugs, and subscriptions to a 7-Eleven, where the news is the loss leader trying to shill overpriced products.

    At least 7-Eleven knows it's a convenience store. Newspapers can't call themselves anything, really.

  • Sep 7th, 2016 @ 11:40am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm more shocked the gaming community didn't take to social justice media and send death threats to Bethesda because they didn't get characters made after their dead loved ones.

  • Sep 2nd, 2016 @ 8:29am

    (untitled comment)

    We can finally put to rest this ridiculous "ads are content" rhetoric, thanks to this article.

    After all, if no one cared about content interrupting content, then this article should have been written with a positive attitude, not a negative one.

    Cal it as you want, Mike, but the reality is no one enjoys content interrupting content, regardless how well they're made.

    The reality is this, and has been for some time: content is now interrupting the ad stream.

    CBS just proved it. They pull this crap with their on-demand on cable, too, despite consumers paying for the channel.

    If only companies would stop using advertising as a primary source of revenue, none of this would be an issue.

    Oh dear ...

  • Aug 30th, 2016 @ 9:05am

    (untitled comment)

    ...what stops Comcast from charging you more if you want 4K Netflix streams to work? Or AT&T deciding it can charge you more if you want your Steam games to download at full bitrate...
    These already happen now.

    Every cable company in the US charges a higher price for HD channels despite broadcasts being mandated to be HD.

    It's laughably insulting to see how an HD movie somehow costs $2 more to stream than an SD movie.

    As far as gaming downloads, they *are* throttled, regardless if you're going through Steam or a console's store.

    The day I see my download speeds match my ISP speeds is the day I wake up and say, "How in the hell did I get to Japan?"

  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 10:20am

    (untitled comment)

    Here's the thing, though: if you want to get upset about this, don't get upset at Twitter. Get furious at parts of the DMCA...
    Not only No, but FUCK NO.

    I am going to get mad at Twitter, and every other company which refuses to stand up against these idiotic copyright laws as they have the means to do so.

    Remember how SOPA was defeated? Facebook and Google took their sites down, just to name a couple.

    If they had not, the DMCA would have been the least of our worries.

    The reality is copyright law isn't going to change. The MPAA has done well to infect the brains of the young with bullshit (go read up on mod authors and how they feel about "stealing").

    The industry won.

    We lost.

    The ONLY way copyright law now gets fixed is if companies like Twitter, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others stand up against the law.

    Since their revenue is solely reliant on the insatiable appetite of its users to know how big a Kardashian's ass has gotten today, it's pretty obvious copyright law isn't going anywhere.

    PS: thanks to the fucking idiots who paid money to see the latest Star Wars and Marvel movies, in less than 5 years, we're going to see how those billions are spent when copyright law comes up for renewed extensions.

    We're going to lose. Again.

  • Aug 9th, 2016 @ 9:05am

    (untitled comment)

    Let's re-write this article a bit differently, to show why it's funny:

    "Consumer, who replaced a perfectly working thermostat for the sake of an app, now wonders why this new thermostat can't heat or cool their own home. Turns out, it's been hacked."

    Translation: consumer lacks common sense, and expects us to feel sympathy for their plight.

    Tell me a story about how a 7 year old girl was killed because some asshole was trying to catch cartoon animals while driving their 2000 pound automobile, then I'll show compassion.

    Common sense is disappearing from this country at an alarming rate.

    Yes, I do blame technology. It's literally keeping people from thinking on their own.

  • Aug 1st, 2016 @ 8:45am

    (untitled comment)

    Look at the bright side, Mike.

    If this case does go to trial, Getty images just put their own foot in their mouth by admitting they believed the images to be in the public domain and were charging people for it.

    There's no way to excuse this now.

    Hopefully, the lawsuit is so damaging, Getty becomes a footnote in the annals of internet history.

  • Jul 8th, 2016 @ 9:12am

    (untitled comment)

    As much as I try to understand the decision not to report the person's name, I've a more troubling feeling this situation is just another example of a growing problem this country is plagued with.

    Let me be clear on this: the person who sent the letter, all intentions for the better, abused the court system twice: the first was filing for selfish reasons and the second was making it disappear.

    By refusing to release the name is a nice gesture for the regrettable filing.

    By refusing the release the name after finding out the case was removed from public record is a disservice to the public.

    Had the person not written Techdirt, would the missing case ever been discovered if Techdirt's journalism hadn't fact checked?

    I'll respect Techdirt's decision not to release the name, court, judge(s), and attorneys who violated America's justice system, but realize I'm extremely disappointed by the decision.

  • Jun 1st, 2016 @ 2:06pm


    Basically, yes. The article says it plainly:
    If you read it again, that's not what it says.

    An acknowledgement of information released by a patient is not a HIPAA violation.

    Had the provider made this acknowledgement without prior patient statement, then yes, a violation did occur.

    I'd need to see the Yelp review in question before I can make the actual determination.

    It's unfortunate that HIPAA was another law rushed without regarding the consequences. The changes of the past few years has made it more and more difficult to speak about anything regarding patient data outside of a hermetically sealed, padded, sound-proof room and it's getting atrocious.

    I'm all for protecting one's privacy, but an email address is not a privacy violation, yet it's one of the key words tagged for "privacy info" in a growing list of absurdity.

    Providers should take extreme care to mention any information that may be patient related and stick to using generic replies.

    I also feel patients should be forced to waive their rights if they make these same privacy-ending remarks on any site to which the provider shares.

    What's good for the goose...

  • May 27th, 2016 @ 2:14pm

    (untitled comment)

    A pointless victory.

    No one won this case.

    Especially those who ignored the fact APIs have always been covered by copyright.

    Common sense has, once again, failed us all because you can't fix stupid.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 10:31am

    (untitled comment)

    Starting this week? Maybe I'm missing something here, but the 300GB cap has been with us since day 1, and that was over two years ago.

    Maybe it's for those "unlimited" accounts still floating around?

    At any rate, it's not like any of this matters. It's just another fine job by a monopolistic industry who requires us to grease up and take it where the sun doesn't shine.

    At least they're not charging us for the lube... yet.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 4:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Oh, boy. Karl writes another article, I get angry at his lack of understanding, and yet another pointless post will be made given I know damn well he's not going to change his opinion.

    Karl, how is this any different than current entertainment licenses today?

    Exclusive is what supports the consumer's purchase. Fair? Probably not, but it's been this way for centuries.

    Let's put this in perspective so you can understand it better. Disney recently purchased both the Marvel and Star Wars franchises.

    Prior to the announcement from Netflix, where could anyone stream any movies of these franchises? I'll tell you: No where.

    Now, for the first time ever, in the history of both Marvel and Star Wars, people can actually stream these shows.

    First. Time. EVER!

    Yes, the industry is moving like a glacial landmass to work towards providing people what they want to see and are willing to pay for.

    But the reality of the situation is people do not have to hunt and peck because there are only three services:

    Maybe 4, if YouTube can figure out what the hell it wants to do, but those are the big three.

    Just like the big three in "radio" are:

    Yes, there are others out there, but if you're looking to license exclusive content, you're going to go with the bigger players who have established the customer base.

    What we should be taking away from this isn't criticism, but appreciation that maybe, just maybe, the rest of the movie industry will get off its lazy ass and do what Disney is doing, even if this means we have all three subscriptions which is still cheaper than cable.

    PS: there's still no such thing as unlimited data. >:]

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 4:39am

    Re: Stupid question, but...

    Sometimes. Many tattoo parlors I've seen have art books people can select from.

    So long as the final image isn't a copy from the book, the tattooee claims copyright.

  • May 23rd, 2016 @ 11:28am

    (untitled comment)

    Manning can't appeal.

    He* was convicted by a military court, not a criminal court.

    While many will argue his chances were slim because of a stacked deck (along with me), it's irrelevant.

    The rules are much different. He should have waited until he was discharged before blowing the whistle, to which 1) he could have found more secure ways of whistle blowing and 2) he would be facing charges in criminal court, not military.

    I wish her luck, but it's pointless. No way is any judge going to grant an appeal.

    *Manning was male during the whistle blowing arena, hence the use of "his" in the context during that time.

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 7:00am

    (untitled comment)

    What, no complimentary Google tax?

    The UK is slipping.

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 5:31am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm sorry, but how did "I don't see any bad guys here" derive from the moron-in-a-hurry test as to not differentiate "Pilot House" from "House Spirits"?

    I'd definitely call House Spirits the bad guys here, especially that it's reasonable to see Cary is now paying for the license to use the name (which is probably more expensive in the long run than it is to pay $10k immediately).

    I can definitely see a potential for confusion for the first, not the second.

    Though, I'm going to be frank here: Cary shouldn't be in business. If he couldn't even take a day to cursory check the open, free to use trademark website to ensure he wasn't even close to a lawsuit, then he certainly deserved to pay for that lesson he clearly didn't learn from.

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