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  • Apr 18th, 2018 @ 9:00pm

    (untitled comment)

    *sigh* I was going to make a snarky post about the government version of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect, where you all can see how government handles everything within your area of expertise so badly and then blindly assume it will handle things you know little of just I would end up preferring the ministrations of a heartless, investor-funded corporation over the magical treatments of placebos, homeopathic tinctures, ginseng and altruism, handed out by the super-efficient bureaucracy.

    But really, the mortality rate will hover around 100% in either case so...not very funny.

    The comments about a functioning Patent system being the REAL solution for motivating and monetizing medical innovation while also benefiting society are more on point than the "heartless bastards!" outrage posts though.

  • Apr 7th, 2018 @ 2:53am

    (untitled comment)

    Yeah, it appears to be a really, really difficult problem that people just can't wrap their minds around yet...but only because they are trying to solve the problem without pointing fingers at a sacred cow. Makes any solution much trickier.

    As "Cattress", above, stated: "...the reality is that police and other public sector unions have too much power and the local laws giving them that power need to change." This reality also applies to the apparently-difficult-to-correct problem of Civil Asset Forfeiture, which, even when normally unenlightened state legislatures attempt to resolve it, owes its persistence to...yep, you guessed it, support from the police unions. I mean, it's a policy that encourages theft from, and abuse of, the very citizens they are supposed to 'serve and protect', especially minorities, but gosh, we just can't put our fingers on why it's so hard to root it out.

    For a perfect trifecta, it's also a central source of resistance to the recalibration of marijuana policy. It benefits SOMEBODY to have otherwise-harmless people permanently marked as "felons". It benefits SOMEBODY to have non-violent customers of the prison industrial complex...but it sure as hell ain't the citizenry.

    Go ahead and pretend this behavior of this particular union is atypical of unions in general if you must, but none of this gets resolved without reform of police unions.

  • Jan 13th, 2018 @ 3:13pm


    Well, if they're just throwing up their hands and saying "Fuck it. We can't get into this phone. Let the guy go." then yeah, they will have demonstrated that there is a problem. But, once again, not the one they think.

  • Jan 13th, 2018 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Might have to get off their asses

    And, correct me if I'm wrong...but wasn't the FBI able to solve cases WITHOUT information from cell phones "back in the day"?? I mean, in the 40s they solved crime without access to everyones' text messages, and in the 30s they were able to go after gangsters without their voicemails, and in the 60s they broke criminal cases without having every suspects emails..maybe they could try and figure out how THAT was done, and, you know, emulate those procedures?

  • Dec 17th, 2017 @ 7:32pm

    Re: Florida Public Officials

    Sooo...are you saying there are some special "good things" that warrant illegal actions by elected officials? Okay, we go by feels instead of principles. Got it.

    And you're absolutely sure, based on some vague 3rd? 4th? hand statement, that these actions were undertaken "for the chiiildrens" and not for a competitor of this company?? Like how they protect the public, and not restaraunt owners, when they go after food trucks. That kind of good works?

    Maybe. And maybe decades of evidence have failed to trigger an adequate degree of cynicism. Abuse of government power directed at people of whom you disapprove is still abuse of government power.

  • Dec 8th, 2017 @ 9:44am


    Yeah, I think TechDirts' admirable interactions with the Copyright and Patent aspects of governmental overreach puts other aspects of said overreach right in their wheelhouse and a) they generally do a good analysis and b) the stories are interesting to TechDirt readers.

    Or are you imposing some other criteria for which stories are "appropriate". BTW, I also notice this story doesn't have any intersection with 'dirt'.

  • Dec 8th, 2017 @ 9:39am


    Are you properly licensed to number? Well, expect a disciplinary action from the Math Certification Board, buddy.

  • Dec 4th, 2017 @ 9:15am

    (untitled comment)

    lol. Comment deleted.

  • Nov 30th, 2017 @ 3:20pm


    And as to the question "Why the hell are you getting into the arts if you don't want as many people to enjoy them as possible?"

    The answer is that most media product is not created by "an artist" as you apparently envision, but by a corporation. Or a team of artists collectively owned by a corporation. Or artists who have sold their IP to a corporation.

    When you find art created by individuals (jewelry, small venue musical performances, visual arts, etc), you seldom find exclusivity, DRM or paywalls, and their attitude frequently is "I'd LOVE for people to see my art!".

    The trick, and it may be difficult for some, is to decline to participate in the parts of the culture the corporations own. Give them nothing. You may find some water cooler talk uninteresting but this action makes economic sense, can be intellectually stimulating and is morally sound.

  • Nov 30th, 2017 @ 2:38pm


    "...get it from the people who genuinely enjoy your work and who have money"

    Po' folks gonna pirate, or do without. Using DRM to ensure they have to "do without" drive an equal or greater number of people to seek out and pirate 'cracked' product without the DRM. SEEMS pretty simple, but a lot of highly-paid people don't seem to understand it.

  • Nov 30th, 2017 @ 2:28pm

    (untitled comment)

    Agree w/ the above. Bless Netflix for pricing their streaming realistically. They "competed with free", and in many, but not cases, won.

    BUT. I am hoarding a lifetimes' worth of reading material against the day they manage to get 50 separate streaming services asking $10/mo each. Ain't. Happenin'.

    And I'm hoarding because I expect they'll go after the free lending libraries next. And also because our local librarians have decided that the lovely main library downtown serves THEIR need to be virtuous better as a homeless shelter than as a library. B'bye.

  • Nov 30th, 2017 @ 3:41am

    Re: Yeah - that.

    Stay out of Baltimore. Allegedly.

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re:

    But look out! This time he's got out the greatest tool of perceptive, thoughtful analysts everywhere: sarcasm.

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 5:07am


    If Google and Facebook and Comcast and Verizon and AT&T being huge and powerful is a problem, why isn't it a problem for the huge and powerful "permanent government" that's currently in place?

    What's that? Our government is made up of well-meaning, decent folk who want what's best for the country and its citziens?

    Senatores boni viri, senatus autem mala bestia

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 4:48am

    Re: waste of time?

    Not entirely a waste of time, as it points out basic contradictions that will almost certainly be duplicated in speeches and positions of other Congresscretins. As such, it could be a time-saver.

    And he, Al Franken, having been on the side of the angels for so long, and his infraction so clearly on the minor side of the scale of such things (brutal rape being on one end, ogling and hugging on the other, even though there seems to be some insistence that they are all the same), will be forgiven and allowed to continue with his good works...though none of them seem to involve the internet.

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 4:37am

    Re: Al Franken, hater of big.

    "Da Congress of Fools"

    OR Confederacy of Dunces, or Parliament of Whores, the latter from PJ O'Rourkes' surprisingly even-handed 'explanation' of how our government works. Actually depressingly accurate, if shorter on flame and vitriol that I would have liked.

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 4:34am

    "Why Are People Celebrating..."

    Nice job fisking the speech, though with such glaring contradictions, it was kind of low-hanging fruit. Franken has to be smarter than this, doesn't he? I mean, elementary logic and basic rhetoric preclude seriously presenting this mish-mash as serious thought.

    But to answer the article title question: Because they see this speech as a sign that someone in the fedgov finally "gets it". They DO want control over what FB and Google allow to be presented to the public, they DO want only "good" content (by their deliberately opaque, and constantly shifting definition) promoted and they DO want "bad" content (again, by their shifting, self-serving definition) blocked.

    We've already seen how "hate" gets expanded to include even the most fact-based and nuanced examinations of Islam, and how, in the matter of anti-scientific GMO alarmism, people who accept the science are somehow lumped in with "climate deniers" (to the point where sweet ol' Bill Nye advocated jailing them for their opinions. nice).

    It isn't the size of the tool, it's the use to which it's put that concerns me, and should concern everyone. The existence of such powerful tools, with governments' twitchy hand hovering above them, should cause people to examine the results of EVERY PREVIOUS EXAMPLE where the government controlled what people read and heard and saw. It has never been "for their own good", and always for "tightening our hold on power".

    I suspect that to him, Al Franken, and his cheerleaders, this case is obviously different, because their own virtuousness is so vigorously and constantly signalled back-and-forth. I am less sanguine.

  • Nov 14th, 2017 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Question: What happens if you just say no to having your stuff taken?

    Probably would depend on how you presented your argument. I can see some ways getting you arrested, not for anything to do with the money they were gonna steal, but for 'resisting'.

    You MIGHT be able to calmly and clearly register your position without provoking them to do any more that just...going ahead and stealing ur stuff anyway.

  • Nov 14th, 2017 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re:

    Sadly, I can see this as being one actual example of police discriminating by race, ethnicity, etc. If I were a police, looking to get free shit, I'd ignore the white people in nice cars...sure, they got money, but it's not right with them in the car. Cop can't walk away with their money.

    Ah, but look at the percentages of people (by race) who are, as they say "unbanked", who deal in cash that is NOT produced by the drug trade...THEY might be worth a "license plate light's out" traffic stop.

    Unlike some other complaints about police profiling and stuff, THIS is an actual abuse actually visited disproportionately on "marginalized groups".

  • Nov 14th, 2017 @ 6:38am


    lol. Well, it IS a way to get the boys in blue to contribute more to their generous, often-inflated, pensions. A nasty, cynical way that is abusive of the very people they are supposed to serve, but I can see the attraction for politicians looking at the unfunded portion of their pension obligations.

    And really, people in New York elect the politicians who give this kind of thing to them. Good and hard.

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