John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 5:59pm

    You know there's a problem...

    ... when a website has to give the user detailed instructions on how to and disable the browser's security settings to watch a movie.
    Really, there's nothing wrong with our plug-in. Trust us, turn off your security settings.

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 5:43pm

    IMDB should comply

    What would happen if IMDB complied with the studio's fraudulent takedown notice and actually replaced the movie's page with a big notice saying "This page was taken down due to a notice from the studio"?
    Would all the people who worked on the movie complain... you know, the people whose jobs are at stake when movies are pirated, but who now don't credit for working on a movie because the site has been taken down by the movie's owner.

  • Jul 17th, 2015 @ 10:17am

    Minimum 2 year agreement

    It's interesting that no one seems to blink at minimum agreements lasting for years. I guess we're all so used to it and we don't care.

    But here's a question: if Comcast is a monopoly in any given area and they're the only ones offering high-speed service (okay, that's another monopoly), then there's no other place someone can go for service. So why the minimum 2 year agreement? If a company has the best product (or the only product) then it shouldn't be afraid if people cancel.

    So the only reason to have minimum agreements is because they know a certain percentage of people will get poor service or get tired of paying the monthly fees. For these people, the choice it to keep paying every month or pay the termination fee. Either way, the company keeps making money.

  • Jul 17th, 2015 @ 10:10am

    What is bullying?

    I think this is the question that needs to be answered first. Like the article says, one person's "bullying" could be someone else's aggressive debating.

    And what happens if the "bullied" person goes along with the aggressive debate, but the automated system flags the comments as bullying? In other words, it doesn't account for think-skinned people.
    Or what if you and I don't think a comment is bully comment, but the automated system does? So now the system is being too thin-skinned.

    So like one of the commenters says, the researchers should go back to their labs until the "close enough" system can take every situation into account.

  • Jul 17th, 2015 @ 9:46am

    This is why humans are still better than computers

    Here's a better example: suppose I was looking for a lawn edger/ trimmer. I go to Home Depot or Lowe's and the people there take me to the lawn edger section of the store.
    I ask for a "Black and Decker" brand and they show it to me.

    Now compare this to a search on any website: I type in "lawn edger" and was shown some edgers, some lawn mowers (um, I don't need a lawn mower), and string for lawn edgers (okay, fine, but I need an edger before I need string).
    So I type in "Black and Decker lawn edger" to narrow the results and I'm shown lawn edgers that are black.
    So I try "Black & Decker"... sorry "&" is a reserved keyword.
    Okay, "Black + Decker"... sorry, no results found for a lawn edger with a black deck.

  • Jul 16th, 2015 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: How about evidence from computers that are wide open

    The average TechDirt reader responds: That's a brilliant work around. Thanks for the code.

    The average Windows 10 home user: What's a dollar sign doing in front of the word echo? Do I type this into Word or Google? Honey, just call your 12 year-old nephew to see if he can make sense of this.

  • Jul 9th, 2015 @ 4:57pm

    Problems with moving comments to Facebook

    There a few problems with moving a site's comments to Facebook:

    1) By tying into Facebook, the site is blocking any comments from people who won't or can't get a Facebook account.

    2) Yes, there are a lot of people who won't comment on a site because the comment is tied to their Facebook account... for good and bad. It probably won't stop the worst comments since those kinds of people don't care what everyone else on Facebook things about them.
    Instead, this affects the people who try to keep a civilized account at Facebook and who may not want their friends to know that they're posting a critique of a "My Little Pony" comic book.

    3) And like some other posters are saying, what happens when people move to another site, such as how people moved from Friendster to MySpace to Facebook?
    Or should all the sites switch to yet another comment platform?

  • Jul 9th, 2015 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: About damn time...

    Yes, but you have to admit that there's a huge difference between robocalling parents from the school that their child goes to and randomly calling people about "fixing their credit" or trying to collect a debt from someone who's long gone.

  • Jun 30th, 2015 @ 5:17pm

    Irony at it's best

    It's ironic that they're playing this anti-piracy ad in front of the biggest box office movies.
    So if "Jurassic World" or "Avengers" are making billions of dollars, why are these ads even needed?

  • Jun 25th, 2015 @ 5:23pm

    Yet another distraction from the real issue

    You can call me a conspiracy theorist, but why is it that every time there's a mass shooting, someone or something changes the subject away from the one thing we should be talking about: gun control.

    Ever since the Sandy Hook (or maybe before), President Obama has said that mass shootings will not become the "new normal". Well, guess what, without any real discussions about gun control, this HAS become the "new normal".
    Slate did a piece a while back trying to track all the shootings that occurred after Sandy Hook, but gave up because there were too many.

    Now there's yet another shooting and we're banning a flag?! Where's the outrage over guns? How come Wal-Mart hasn't stepped up to say they're not going to sell guns any more because the killer used a gun? Oh, right, "2nd amendment rights".

    Why is it not possible to live in a country with 2nd amendment rights AND not have mass shooting all the time? Why aren't more legitimate gun owners stepping forward to help prevent mass shootings?

  • Jun 23rd, 2015 @ 11:58am

    Yet again, I wish the media would calm down

    Is Taylor Swift the most powerful woman in the tech industry? No, especially when there's always a reason why a company like Apple decides to negotiate. But it's a good story and most media outlets are falling over each other for the best click-baity headline.

    No, the real problem is that the media is playing up how this is a "win" for artists.
    One local news station said this problem is best exemplified by how Spotify played Pharrell's "Happy" around 43 million times in one month, yet his royalty payment was only $2,700.
    Um, isn't there a HUGE step missing? Like, how much did Spotify pay his label and why the label only sent him $2,700?

    Nope, it's an easier story to tell when it's a female, teenybopper singer versus a multi-billion, multi-national corporation.

  • Jun 22nd, 2015 @ 10:31am

    A stupid decision on Google's part

    I'm all for ending revenge porn, but I think Google de-listing any site is a stupid idea, and this includes the "right to be forgotten".

    It seems like most people, including Google, have forgotten one important thing: Google is the Internet version of a card-catalog (and this is very important): removing something from a card catalog does not remove the source. Okay, sure, removing something from Google makes it harder to find, but people will still find it if they look hard enough. And making something harder for everyone to find makes it harder for law enforcement to find and arrest the people breaking the law.

    So by all means, de-list the revenge porn sites and force them onto the dark web, where it's even harder to find the people who run the site.

  • Jun 22nd, 2015 @ 10:06am

    Why do business there?

    Seriously- at what point do these regulations become so unwieldy that companies stop doing business in these countries?

    If Germany tells Amazon to create a "only after 10pm local time" filter, why can't France or China? Should Amazon have to create rolling filters for each country and time zone?
    What about competing sites? Will a smaller bookstore now have a competitive advantage if they don't have these filters (though risking legal action)?

  • Jun 19th, 2015 @ 4:21pm

    Re: IMAX apologizes to Ars for its trademark retraction demand

    Of course it didn't take long to apologize. The real question is why companies keep repeating the same pattern of:
    1) Accuse someone of infringement.
    2) Watch the accusation hit the tech news sites and make the company look bad.
    3) Issue an apology for something they shouldn't have done in the first place in an attempt to save face.

  • Jun 19th, 2015 @ 4:08pm


    Why would CBS or Paramount want to help support this when they're pouring money in the rebooted version? Yes, everyone knows Nimoy played Spock in the old series, but I'm sure the studios would prefer to promote Zachary Quinto as Spock.

  • Jun 12th, 2015 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Libel Time

    The problem with trying to sue for libel is that the case won't get anywhere. The media reporters make sure to use weasel words like "accused felon" and "alleged criminal", both of which are factually true since the person has only accused at that point.
    And since people's criminal history is public record, that's factual also.

    The problem is that the media shouldn't lead with these kinds of statements... and they have no reason to stop since it gets views and it's all legal.

  • Jun 12th, 2015 @ 6:01pm

    A few points...

    1) Is Steam asking customers why they want a refund? It would be helpful to the developers if they knew there was a bug, or if the customer got bored, or if the game was too hard, or the customer just didn't like it.

    2) Yes, having a better refund system may increase sales, but how many of those sales will be refunded because people can now treat their purchase as a "demo": they buy, play for 2 hours, then ask for a refund.

    3) When the refund is complete, does Steam completely remove the game from the customer's hard drive? I have no idea how these mechanics work, but I wonder how many developers are worried that customers can ask for a refund, but then still play the game. After all, this isn't like a physical product where the store gets the item back in exchange for the refund.

  • Jun 2nd, 2015 @ 5:26pm

    I think we found the reason for TSA

    As has been said many times, and as Robert Graham points out, if people think bombs are a threat, then the logical solution is to make people feel safe. How do we do that? By making everyone walk through "security screening". Does this actually catch a terrorist or stop a bomb? It doesn't need to, when statistics say no one will bring a bomb on an airplane anyway. It just needs to make people "feel safe", even though there's a big difference between feeling safe and actually being safe.

  • Jun 1st, 2015 @ 4:53pm

    And they use the letters A and E

    When will the infringement end? First they dared to use an umbrella in their logo and now they have the gall to use the letters A and E!

  • May 20th, 2015 @ 1:06pm

    What did he not do all day?

    I have to agree with the other posters: what did this guy not do all day that drove him to watch porn?

    Years ago, I had a job that was basically a "head count" position: a few of us were only there to keep the department's head count up so the manager would retain enough of a budget for the department.
    Our job was to look at the system code to make sure it was running, which it did 99.98% of the time, and then do whatever we wanted. We all make sure to do constructive stuff so we could keep this kind of job.

    But how long has this guy been in a job where he couldn't do anything constructive? Okay, it's bad that he's watching porn all day, but shouldn't some of the blame go to the employer for not giving him enough to do? And if there's not enough work to support his position, why not let him go?
    Oh, right, like I just said- letting him go would cost the department in "head count".

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