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  • Aug 14th, 2018 @ 4:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    Hmmm... yas.

    Hello, Mr Masnick. :)

    I don't agree with everything you say - spin is always spin, after all - but I can only very rarely fault TD when it comes to factual accuracy.

    I find TD to be a trustworthy source of information. Your approach works well, AFAICT. I tip my hat to you and your colleagues, sir. :)

  • Jul 19th, 2018 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Hmmm...

    Hello, I.T. Guy. :)

    No disrespect intended, but your mum isn't really evidence of anything except your mum. From the EC press release linked at the top of the article:

    • on Android devices (with Google Search and Chrome pre-installed) more than 95% of all search queries were made via Google Search; and

    • on Windows Mobile devices (Google Search and Chrome are not pre-installed) less than 25% of all search queries were made via Google Search. More than 75% of search queries happened on Microsoft's Bing search engine, which is pre-installed on Windows Mobile devices.

    That's the kind of evidence the verdict is based on. Most people do not behave like your mum.

    Oh, you use an iPhone... got it. ;)

    Ha ha ha! No. Apple's walled garden can suck my juicy plums. I've had three Android smartphones in my life. The first one died of a wall at high speed. The second died of hammers. The third died of a large barbecue.

    I don't get on well with smartphones. Part of the reason is the mild but ever-present pain in the arse involved in finding genuine versions of things on that fucking stupid Play Store. :P

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 6:17pm


    Hello, Mr Masnick. :)

    While most of what you have to say makes sense, I'm going to have to disagree with you on two points.

    First, Google - as well as any other overwhelmingly dominant players in the tech field - now have a clear disincentive from engaging in such anti-competitive practises, either at present or in the future.


    Here on TechDirt, when it comes to video-on-demand services, one point that's been raised time and again is that it isn't enough for a service to merely exist somewhere, in some form: it must be fairly accessible to constitute true competition.

    In another TD article today, Mr Geigner wrote:

    [...] so-called pirates are perfectly willing to pay for content if its offered to them in a convenient and reasonable way with few mental transactions needed. You know, how all of commerce works.

    DLing and installing alternative browsers and search engines is par for the course for you, me and most TD commenters, but not so much for Joe and Jane Ordinary. As evidenced by basically everything, most people just stick with whatever's already there, absent a compelling reason to change things.

    Researching for whichever browser might be an improvement for our needs, hunting through the Play Store for it and identifying and installing the genuine version (rather than a dubious personal-data-hoovering piratey clone) is trivial enough for us, but how're the Ordinarys supposed to navigate in what - for them - is largely terra incognita?

    Surely, the competition isn't real if most people can't easily and reliably find and make use of the genuine article. :P

  • Jul 5th, 2018 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Identifying the Author

    Oops! The exact Google phrase I used to find prior references contained the word "platforms", rather than "platform". Sorry for any confusion!

    Searching for the phrase in singular yields no useful results on Google, but does produce a single result on DuckDuckGo: a mostly-paywalled, IFPI-sponsored 2016 paper, evidently laying the groundwork for Article 13.

  • Jul 5th, 2018 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Identifying the Author

    President Donald Trump

    Jesus Christ. Just seeing that phrase makes me want to fuck my own eyes to death with an exploding frozen kitten.

    What in God's name is wrong with you, America?

  • Jul 5th, 2018 @ 11:03pm

    Identifying the Author

    Hmm. I'm sure Mr McCartney supports the letter and Article 13: the legacy system has made him a billionaire and given him a life of unremitting luxury, after all, so he'd be rather hypocritical not to.

    Still, there's no question in my mind that the letter was written by someone other than McCartney: the language used is brutally efficient, packing a huge amount of implicit information into a very few, very easily-understood sentences.

    While McCartney may be a very clever man in other ways, his use of written English - seen in various published letters over the years - is much more expansive and lyrical, nowhere near as incredibly precise. It's also much more English, as opposed to this very American piece. The letter is just not his style at all, not even a little bit.

    At the time of writing, a Google search for the unusual phrase

    "User Upload Content platform" -McCartney

    suggests the only parties using it are the US recording industry: it only seems to have appeared previously in a letter they collectively sent to President Donald Trump, shortly after he took office.

    I doubt it matters too much - again, I'm sure Mr McCartney fully supports this insanity - but it is interesting. :)

  • Jun 29th, 2018 @ 5:30pm

    (untitled comment)

    I tip my hat to Brian Brackeen and Kairos.

    Even in the event of a compartmentalised corporate structure that allows abusive trade to be laundered out (as per AC's comment above), the mere acknowledgement of the issues is something that would inevitably come back to bite them later on. Few such secrets ever seem likely to last forever.

    Today, this man and his company show every sign of having conducted themselves with honour. A measure of respect is something they've earned. :)

  • Jun 22nd, 2018 @ 5:34pm


    Londoner here. FYI: no-one much cares about refugees in London, apart from the extreme right (shower of bitches) and my mum (more full of bitch than Battersea Dogs Home).

  • Jun 16th, 2018 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Somehow, I don't think a FOSS project is quite the same thing as a Ubisoft project.

    Having now looked over this project a bit more, it really doesn't appear to be a bad thing, here at the outset: HitRECord don't come across as asshats and the push for this initiative is apparently creator-led - with no small amount of enthusiasm - rather than accountancy-led, which seem to be very good signs.

    There's every chance that it could deliver an excellently diverse and rich game-world - and, hopefully, all the contributors will be fairly rewarded.

    I can see why Mr Geigner's excited about it. It does all depend on Ubisoft management behaving themselves, however. They're not known for showing their paying customers much more than complete disdain. I can only hope that they've somehow learned a shred of respect.

    Moreover, even if Ubisoft do support their new community properly, if this becomes the success I hope for, it really remains to be seen how many other companies will jump on the same bandwagon, but with no better intentions than to rip off their developers and external contributors.

    Time will tell.

  • Jun 16th, 2018 @ 12:46am

    (untitled comment)

    I remember BG&E. It was alright, I s'pose, even if it felt slightly annoying and disconcertingly French, at times. I never got round to finishing it. It's good to see it's getting a sequel. Hopefully, it'll be more fun to play.

    I think the whole crowdsourcing thing is something that can only really be properly judged in terms of how it all shakes out in practise.

    It may go well, giving the game a unique flavour and making fans and contributors very happy, as well as saving money - I'd be happy enough with that, as an uninvolved onlooker. If everyone else seems happy enough with the results, I might even be tempted to actually buy the thing, something I'm otherwise unlikely to do, given Ubisoft's reputation for being a big, fat bag of corporate dicks.

    Then again, it may go very badly, given the clear potential for inadequate work, the possible plagiarism issues as mentioned in the article and everyone involved conceivably ending the day feeling ripped off in all directions.

    In the worse case, it might lead to a slew of comparable efforts across the industry, potentially resulting in the mass-defunding of dev-teams everywhere, in favour of cheap, lower-quality, crowdsourced labour.

    I think I'll just have to wait and see.

  • Jun 10th, 2018 @ 3:08pm

    (untitled comment)

    RIP, Roger Strong.

    So long and thanks for all the comments, Mr Strong.
    We're much obliged to your memory.

  • May 22nd, 2018 @ 4:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    Backed. I'm looking forward to it. :)

  • May 4th, 2018 @ 12:30pm

    (untitled comment)

    China's history will be nothing more than propaganda. The rest of the world should call it what it is: self-serving bullshit, backed by men with guns doing the bidding of government with no moral compass.

    So, exactly the same as everywhere else, then.

  • Feb 7th, 2018 @ 3:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    So, here we are, a few days later and the only kind comment about Pinterest on this page still consists exactly of the words:

    "Good on them for curating content for people with eating disorders or who are suicidal or whatever. That's a plus I guess."

    ... and that was by an AC who also says he or she blocks Pinterest from image search results.

    Pinterest people, please know and understand: outside of your own established community, no-one cares about your moderation efforts. Almost everyone who has encountered your links hates you passionately.

    How you've even managed to build a community is something of a mystery, given the utter contempt you routinely show for everyone else in your marketing methods. I can only assume your users are all either permanently stoned off their tits or masochists who enjoy being abused.

    I was sure my earlier and absurdly-hostile comment would get hidden, especially with another poster encouraging it - but at the time of writing, it seems the Techdirt community dislikes Liars far more than they dislike abusive language. While my comment is undoubtedly offensive, it has the virtue of being entirely honest in its shameless, naked hatred for all things Pinterest.

    It's a hatred that's well deserved. You are a parasitic troll of a company, damaging users efforts to find what we want on the internet, damaging other companies' efforts to provide useful image search services - and now damaging the truth in this debate, with your ridiculous attempt to pretend you care about anyone other than yourselves.

    The best moderation effort anyone, anywhere could possibly make would be to excise you vile, corporate spongers from all of our search results, once and for all.

  • Feb 5th, 2018 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re:


    My utter hatred for Pinterest knows few limits. I find it astonishing that they actually have the gall to try and pretend they care about self-harming behaviours, when they're easily one of the worst companies for driving any number of internet users into a state of psychotic rage.

    For the benefit of any and all Pinterest employees or shareholders reading this message: please die. Seriously, please, just die. If you could arrange to do so while shitting out your bloody, cancer-ridden entrails in front of your terrified, screaming children, as an object lesson to others: that would be helpful, but it's not essential, by any means.

    Removing yourself, along with as much of your hateful, malevolent, endlessly-spamming corporate nightmare from the world as you can take with you: that will be more than sufficient.

  • Jan 25th, 2018 @ 12:41am

    Now there's a thing...

    Hello, Mr Masnick. :)

    Good article. It's a sound point of view, IMO. It was also sound when I said much the same thing here in comments, three or four years ago - and in the comments section at TorrentFreak, years before that.

    Oddly, I don't seem to recall many people agreeing with me at the time. If memory serves, the overwhelming majority of cogent responses offered were all along the lines of "the only proper answer to bad speech is more speech".

    I suppose controversial opinions sell rather better when they come from young, attractive, female professors, rather than from random assholes in comment sections. Still, people are finally discussing the issue, rather than ignoring it completely, so that's good.

    - - - - - -

    As far as practical answers go, I agree it's a tricky one. I've little enough in the way of advice, but...

    Can we start by ridding ourselves of the word "troll"? I've no idea why anyone ever thought it was appropriate. Perhaps it made more sense when new, but now...?

    We have lobbying firms, religious groups and government agencies swarming over parts of the internet to sell pure bullshit, we have the alt-right and other noxious performers doing their best to harass, intimidate and in some cases literally terrorise individuals into suicide, because of their skin-colour, gender, or whatever...

    ... and we're going to call them by a name of a mythical monster best known from _The Three Billy-Goats Gruff_ and _The Hobbit_? For fuck's sake, who came up with this shit? What absolute fucking idiot thought it would be socially-beneficial to name these evil pigfuckers after something from a children's fairy-tale? Whichever stupid, dopey, leprechaun-molesting human horsecunt inflicted this upon the internet should be bitchslapped until their liquefied brains leak out of their twee and delicately-pointed fucking ears.

    - - - - - -

    Let's call trolls by what they actually all are: Liars. The poster who talks nonsense on a webpage isn't there to "entertain", or "play devil's advocate", or whatever excuse is used today. He or she is there to try and tell and sell Lies, whether it's by directly lying, by twisting the truth into a lie, by refusing to acknowledge a contradicting truth, or by giving credence to other Liars by responding with apparent sincerity, helping to drown out the truth with unending bullshit.

    If we can lose the word, then perhaps instead of talking about "trolls" and people "feeding the trolls", we can have "Liars" and "Assistant Liars". The distinction might seem trivial, but I think it would make a big difference, once people get used to seeing and thinking about them with harsh honesty, rather than through the soft-focus lens of dishonest euphemisms.

    - - - - - -

    One of the benefits is with how we think about contributors who feed the trolls - or Assistant Liars, as they should be known. We've all fed the trolls at one time or another. It's easy enough to do just by accident, since we can't really judge who we're talking to until after enough information's already been exchanged...

    ... but once that point's been reached, that's it. We're Assisting Liars in their goal of obstructing the truth. We become our own problem, Liars by proxy, silencing our own debate.

    I don't care how funny or insightful our replies are, we're still effectively doing their job for them. We're still Lying, along with the "troll". If we were all that insightful, we'd ignore them, flag them and focus on whatever we actually feel is true and important about a given topic.

    Free speech should encourage and enable us to collectively search for the truth. It should not be so poorly conceived that we feel obliged to ignore the truth and waste all our time debunking lies.

    Let the Liars be hidden. Let the replies of Assistant Liars be hidden, even if it damns us all on a good day. If anyone has something useful or amusing to say, let them do it separately, without serving to undermine free speech in it's own perverted name.

    - - - - - -

    Last thought for the day...

    Speech is a tool. Free speech is a more desirable tool than many other kinds, but it's still just a tool. What we do with that tool is what matters most.

    I use it striving to find some truth in the world, with varying degrees of success - it's one of my favourite tools for that.

    What do you want to do with yours, Mr Masnick?
    What is your free speech actually for?

  • Sep 21st, 2017 @ 8:05pm


    Well, isn't that interesting!

    I'm in the UK. The last time I was unemployed for any length of time, a fair while ago now, I was sent to a place called Reed Employment in Partnership, a company contracted by the government to help the unemployed get back into work.

    Due to past security issues, customers weren't allowed to attach their own storage devices to Reed's computers. Instead, we were all required to use the draft folders in webmail accounts for storing our CVs (or résumés, in American), etc, in similar fashion to the counter-surveillance method described in the article.

    It's a certainty that at least some extremists were making use of Reed's services. Presumably, everyone using the same branch who subsequently accessed their email from another location would also be flagged up as a potential terrorist - particularly the ones who mainly spoke Arabic and weren't fluent in written English.

    Did Reed unintentionally push hundreds of thousands of customers onto anti-terrorism watch-lists? I wonder how many other government service providers did the same thing...?

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 3:49pm

    (untitled comment)

    That's immensely pleasing news!
    Very well done to Prince Lobel Tye LLP - and my congratulations to everyone at Techdirt.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 8:56pm

    (untitled comment)

    Now, that's a what-in-the-actual-fuck moment, right there. :P

    I'm glad I don't use Twitter. I was considering signing up, since a few people I know use only this, rather than FB, but after reading this article, I think perhaps I'm better off staying away.

    What a bunch of unbelievable spanners. :/

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Europe and privacy

    "Note that Europe has a ridiculous notion of privacy thereby you can be sued or even jailed for violating the privacy of others merely for republishing facts about someone's criminal past.

    In a lot of European nations, mentioning that John Doe was convicted of rape 20 years ago is a criminal offense."

    Hello, AC. :)

    Are you sure about this? I know the EU has a right to be forgotten, but that's a civil law, whereby you can sue for the right to be delisted from search engines, not a criminal law.

    I looked up privacy law on Wikipedia, but it seems a little weak on the topic. Perhaps if you could provide a citation or two...? :)

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