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  • 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...? :)

  • Jul 30th, 2017 @ 4:45pm

    (untitled comment)

    Heh. I'm quite relieved to find that I'm not the only one who gets Ktetch's name wrong. :D

  • Jul 28th, 2017 @ 7:58am

    (untitled comment)

    "Welcome to arbys. We'll be out with your crap in a second. Meanwhile, go sit over there with all the other drones waiting to die Eat arbys"

    Heh. I'm in the UK and I've never seen an Arby's - apparently they used to exist here, but closed years ago. If they ever come back, I'm going to go buy something from them, just because of this. :)

  • Jul 23rd, 2017 @ 2:42pm

    (untitled comment)

    Good lord! I really must remember to forget to sign in more often. :D

  • May 9th, 2017 @ 6:05pm

    Re: Uhhh...?

    I posted too soon - ninja'ed by over twenty more-articulate comments. :P

  • May 9th, 2017 @ 6:03pm


    That's Donald Trump's signature? Well, holy shit! It looks like the tracks left by a freshly-murdered tricycle tire. That seems very appropriate for him, somehow.

    ... and isn't it interesting that - thus far - all the reactions here are one-liners, or near equivalents?

    I'm not sure what to make of this. I'm not sure anyone does. Possibly not even Donald Trump. Perhaps things will make a bit more sense tomorrow. :P

  • Mar 13th, 2017 @ 6:04pm

    (untitled comment)

    Hello, Mr Masnick. :)

    I can see that this one may be difficult to appreciate, particularly for non-Britons and even for British readers younger than a certain age.

    I can't be arsed to read the full judgment - it's about Katie Hopkins and someone I've never heard of, so fuck it - but I shall say how this comes across to me, from this article.

    "[...] it is, to my mind, an inescapable conclusion that the ordinary reasonable reader of the First Tweet would understand it to mean that Ms Monroe “condoned and approved of scrawling on war memorials, vandalising monuments commemorating those who fought for her freedom.” That is a meaning that emerges clearly enough, making full allowance for everything that seems to me relevant by way of context [...]"

    To my mind, this is the single most important sentence in the article. The offending tweet does give me that impression and it's what basically hangs Katie Hopkins in the eyes of the judge. Since many of Ms Hopkins followers could see the allegation (however inexplicitly given), but not the replies, it was extremely bad for Ms Monroe's reputation.

    To understand just why it's such a bad thing, I shall have to digress somewhat...

    Forgive me for saying so, but on the whole, Americans do not seem to understand war. You - like we Brits - are very good at exporting it to other countries, but you don't seem to really have a grasp of what real war - in your own country, with your own houses and neighbours and families being randomly gassed, incinerated or blasted into flying chunky pieces - is actually like.

    I'm a Londoner. I wasn't around during World War II, but I grew up in it's shadow. My childhood home was part of a terrace - a row of attached houses - and my back garden should have overlooked a mirror image of similar houses. Instead, it enjoyed a wall of corrugated iron, behind which was a street-length pile of utterly demolished rubble known as a bombsite. Behind that was another row of buildings, still standing, but wrecked beyond any hope of repair or habitation. The destroyed streets were eventually bulldozed and rebuilt into a rather nasty modern housing estate, some time in the 1980s.

    It's my understanding that, during the war, the German Luftwaffe bombed over forty thousand of my people out of existence and wounded around a hundred and forty thousand more. Impossible numbers of people were reduced to homeless refugees. To this day, there are odd corners and bits of London, here and there, that have still not been rebuilt, three-quarters of a century later.

    I don't know - and don't want to know - how many families were wiped out fifty feet from my childhood home. Unless they were originally war refugees from somewhere else, I doubt too many Americans have ever had to think such a thought.

    Leaving aside the relatively-new and very special horrors that today's political corruption and vile oil wars have brought to the world, when we send soldiers out to kill and die in our name, we do it very seriously, to keep that kind of shit from ever coming to our door again.

    And when we build a memorial to the ones that died, we take it very, very seriously indeed.

    Vandalising a war memorial is a Very, Very Bad Thing in the eyes of some of us. Anyone genuinely advocating such behaviour could very easily find themselves with no career, no home and quite possibly no head attached to their shoulders.

    I've no idea how Laurie Penny - the columnist who apparently did actually say Very Stupid Things - still has a job anywhere. If she ends up unemployed and homeless, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

    There are more than a few pubs where - if she goes there and says the same things - she just will not make it out alive.

    Ms Hopkins' tweet was undoubtedly harmful to Ms Monroe. In all likelihood, Ms Monroe felt she had no real option but to go to court. Once there, the damage to her reputation would have become far more severe if she'd lost.

    Britain's libel laws are appalling, no question there at all. One day, we might actually get around to fixing them. But under that bad law, the court has rendered the only verdict that could possibly be considered just.

    The business about hurt feelings is a little weirder, even for me, but I suspect the judge just wanted some excuse - any excuse - to crank up the damages, so Ms Monroe can be clearly be seen to have won and Ms Hopkins can be clearly seen to have lost badly - and to try and make sure she thinks twice before tweeting anything quite so pointlessly stupid and damaging again.

  • Mar 12th, 2017 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re:

    Hello, Leigh Beadon. :)

    I've ordered a Restaurants t-shirt and am looking forward to the return of Nerd Harder, now I've got a proper excuse to buy the thing. It would be nice to get it in a slightly more sci-fi-loon-friendly font than last time, but if not, no big deal. I'm buying it either way, seeing as it's now very much in a good cause.

    I wish TechDirt the best of fortunes in its battle against the litigation-abusing assholes who plan to do it harm.

  • Mar 11th, 2017 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: And in response to the obvious question...

    Oh my sweet, gargling Jesus, I'll buy a bloody t-shirt, just give us the edit button. Please, Techdirt, please! :D

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