wsuschmitt’s Techdirt Profile


About wsuschmitt

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  • Apr 9th, 2015 @ 4:17pm

    There seems to be a pattern here:

    1. Claim that there are 'things' out there that will kill you. Make mountains out of molehills...

    2. Offer options to keep you from getting killed (that will cost you a lot). Make sure that you point out that other options won't work and why they won't work... and then repackage and sell it yourself!

    3. Profit!

    ... is this article about Federal Gov't Surveillance Programs, or Food Babe?

  • May 29th, 2012 @ 5:15pm

    Not really free...

    Everyone that uses Facebook isn't getting their "fix" for free. Their content is being made available to their friends for a fixed cost of data mining, finding relationships in databases full of keywords and ads that are supposed to be relevant and individualized to them. That's like saying Facebook is getting content for free.

    There is a value-balance that is being fulfilled between the user and FB. The user brings content and their friends to FB that takes their stories, puts it into a giant database (that can be mined in the background), and deliver's the users' content to the world (if you didn't set up your security settings correctly). I would argue there isn't any "free" going on between the user and FB. I would say that there is a tenuous symbiotic relationship between the user and FB. There is a balance of value between the two. If FB starts becoming parasitic and taking from the user (by devaluing privacy, having data breaches, making ads obnoxious and flashing all over the place (like MySpace)), then the user may not value the relationship as much and will move on to another service that allows communication between themselves and friends in a media-rich and convenient way on the internet.

  • Dec 20th, 2011 @ 8:45am

    And if these were Facebook posts...

    ... would the court order all of Facebook taken down because of this man's speech?

  • Mar 30th, 2011 @ 10:14am

    Boston College May Be Infringing

    Boston College's own website describes both an unsecured and a secured WiFi network that is on campus. What legal ramifications does this mean? From :

    "BostonCollege is an open, unsecure wireless network that is an alternative for older laptops that do not meet the requirements for bcsecure (BC username and password required). This network does not encrypt data. Therefore, information sent across the wireless network using BostonCollege is in the clear. Others might snoop or intercept data transmitted using the unsecured wireless service."

  • Feb 7th, 2011 @ 6:54pm

    Water Activity Is A Method Of Preservation

    Twinkies and those hamburgers have low water activities, and without free water in those systems, microorganisms can't grow. Jerky and fruit leather also have low water activities and won't rot either, but those are "traditional" foods that we don't think about...

  • Oct 1st, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Ticket Price for a Family of four?

    It'll be great for crowds, until they put into place "viewing rules" like the NFL has in which you can only play it on a screen up until a certain size, and then after that, it is considered a public showing and then you owe the movie company more....

  • Sep 8th, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Re: Can't believe how lazy people are.

    In Seattle, we have to wash and dry all of our recyclables and can't just throw them into a bin after use like you.

    A two bin solution for us doesn't happen. After washing and drying my garbage, THEN I'm allowed to recycle that waste stream... pain in the ass.

    My recycling was much easier when I could just throw all recyclables in one bin and take it to the curb weekly. My recycling habits when I was in WI was probably 90% of recyclable products (I'd throw away beverage containers into the trash when in public since there weren't any recycling areas in the public spaces). Now, I throw pretty much everything away since I'm not going to clutter up my kitchen with washed and then dried garbage that was meant for a recycling stream.

    It's not a matter of me being lazy, it is a matter of making it so obnoxious to recycle that I don't do it anymore out of spite...

    Go to one bin of recyclables in which I don't have to wash them, and I'll be back around 90% compliance...

  • Mar 31st, 2010 @ 10:27am

    Want Scarcity?

    The scarcity comes at the end of all that coursework... it's called a degree.

    The information may be free, but there's no degree associated with it. They need to do everything they can at the college to make sure that people value the degree at the end of the hard work.

    HR at firms will be hiring to fill positions that require degrees, not just the learning of information. Colleges have to realize this and make their delivery more valuable than just a book or an online presentation. If they can't add value...

  • Mar 4th, 2010 @ 7:18am

    USTR's ACTA page

    I went to look at the ACTA page set up by the USTR. The page really does its best to go into vague details (I know, oxymoron there) about the CTA and what the ACTA is supposed to do.

    Take a look at the Fact Sheet from August 4, 2008. There is a Q&A section with the question, "Why has the ACTA been kept from the public?". Apparently, they're been getting this question for a long time and they answer by saying, "This process has not been kept from the public", and then cite the acceptance of public comments on the negotiations.

    Receiving public comments on a subject is completely different from a transparency of the process to get the ACTA made...

  • Feb 5th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    Who should I contact? (as Mike)

    Mr. Masnick,

    I've been following this for a while... who should I contact in our government to try and get some answers?

  • Jul 8th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Cost Centers vs Profit Centers

    From my point of view, the use of YouTube in an overall strategy to run a business is akin to a company having an R&D department. YouTube and R&D departments are cost centers for an organization. No products or services are ever produced and sold directly to the consumer from YouTube or R&D, but a lot of information is generated for a good manager and leader to take advantage of and figure out ways to sell it to the consumers. The learnings are passed on to those parts of the organization that are profit centers, and, hopefully, the profit centers make more than what the cost centers spend. Basic business.

    Once one wraps their brains around the thought processes of utilizing a cost center for profit, and keep in mind that YouTube is a cost center, then one can see that this strategy makes a bit more sense.

  • Jan 30th, 2008 @ 12:45pm

    Litigation Industry (as Mike Schmitt)

    When will Americans get sick of the litigation industry that has sprung up in our Legal System? There are lawyers out there who have the money to advertise on national television about suing for mesothelioma and other tragedies and the lawyer makes money referring you to a local lawyer so that you can get in on a lawsuit that will net you a very small percentage of that settlement but will put millions of dollars in their wallet. Until this is seen as a mis-use of our legal system, we'll just have to put up with it, I guess...