John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 25th, 2016 @ 2:31pm

    Which religious belief is more important: person or country

    Here's my issue with all this: whose religious beliefs are more important: the person's or the country's? Should people dress according to their belief or dress according to the country's culture?

    And as a more specific example:
    When Muslim women go to other countries, their religious belief tells them to wear full-body swimsuits on the beach, even if the country's culture is to wear swimsuits with far less coverage.
    Yet if I go to a Muslim country, my religion says I can wear a bikini on the beach, yet the country's culture won't allow it.

    I know this will get a lot of downvotes, but I think Muslim women need to be more careful. Yes, in theory, they should have the right to wear whatever they like, but there's a HUGE amount of Islamophobia (just look at some of the comments to this post, especially about how a guy could dress in a burqa to hide a bomb).
    Why would women wear something that clearly marks them as "different"? Sure, they're following their religious beliefs, but again, it's a different country with a different culture.

  • Aug 19th, 2016 @ 2:53pm

    Just don't put anything in the comments

    I know PayPal takes it's instructions from OFAC, but come on. Do they really honestly think the following scenario will happen:
    Note for payment: Thanks for your review of Castro's Cuba.
    PayPal: Your comment includes flagged words. Although you have no history of sending money to Cuba in the past 10 years of doing business with PayPal, please write an essay about why this transaction should be allowed.
    Sender: You got me. I'm actually a Cuban sympathizer looking to overthrow the Castro regime and return Cuba to a democracy. And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for that meddling comment!

    So, like other posters are saying: let this be a lesson to everyone to NEVER including a comment when sending a payment- simply send the recipient a separate e-mail saying the payment was sent. Or if you must include a comment, make it generic like "Payment for services".

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 8:58am


    Sure, the general public might be ignorant and go along with Trump, but where are the people from intelligence agencies to say they use social media to infiltrate and learn about enemy groups? How do they feel about Trump talking about taking away one of their best tools to track terrorists? What if Trump does become president and he figures out a way to do what he says? Sure, it's a long shot, but last year, it was long shot that he'd become the Republican candidate.

    I'm not sure what's worse: that Trump is saying these kinds of things or the fact that there's not much blow-back about it.

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 8:47am

    Keep doing what you're doing

    I've been posting here for about 6 years and I agree you should keep doing what you're doing. ;)

    I don't think it's a good idea for people to game their site to fit anyone else's social-site, for the simple reason that you're always chasing someone else. How many sites "optimized" for MySpace or Webcrawler, but those have died off? How many people optimized their site for LinkedIn, only to see it not quite take off like Facebook. And now Facebook keeps changing their algorithm, which means more website changes.

    And how many sites have resorted to click-back headlines just to set themselves apart from the other news sites, only to see everyone else using similar click-bait headlines.

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 8:31am

    What if their target audience isn't on Facebook?

    Here's another question: What's the average age of NPR's target audience? What's the average "Internet intelligence" of their audience?
    Have they considered that many of their visitors may be older and not have, or more importantly don't want, to use Facebook or Twitter? This is basically NPR's way of saying they don't care about people who don't have these accounts.

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 8:29am


    Those are nice statistics, but can you show use how many people read the comments? And how many of those people find the comments as entertaining/ interesting as the article?
    I would wager that many of the regular contributors add more value to the story since they add their own thoughts and opinions.

  • Aug 18th, 2016 @ 8:23am

    So give up your privacy or pay for groceries

    Mr. Thomas M. Lenard is actually trying to claim that adding a privacy surcharge to what's already some of the most expensive broadband in the developed world will somehow help the poor buy groceries.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you have it backwards.
    I think what he's saying is that poor people won't have to pay the privacy surcharge, which gives them more money to spend on groceries. Of course, he fails to follow-up and say that this means AT&T will continue to collect and mine their data in exchange for *not* paying the surcharge.
    So this is yet another way the poor get screwed by big business.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 6:53am

    Re: In a Perfect World

    Yes, but who pays for all these filings? The companies aren't going to use their own profits: they'll raise the fees they charge customers or they'll make up new fees. I can easily see a new line item on the AT&T bill: "Mandatory legal recovery fee for defending 'thank you': $10 per customer".

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 11:23am


    That's a great idea. I have some shows on videotape that I recorded back in the 1990's and it's fun to watch all the obsolete technology like 10-10 numbers for calling long distance or the old AT&T "Reach out and touch someone" commercials. Kids of today have no concept of what "calling long distance" even is.

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 11:01am

    Just stop making music

    At what point will musicians stop making music because there's too much of a risk of getting sued by someone who made a similar song 40 years ago, which they've never even heard of?

    I'm not sure whether to mark this post as sarcasm or not.

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 10:49am

    What's the file format

    I wonder what file format the documents on the computers are using? What happens if they're in VisiCalc '82 format that's unreadable simply because no one's needed a VisiCalc emulator for 25 years? Or are there plenty of smart people who can write an emulator? :)
    And is there any chance that the files could be in an unknown format that can't be emulated or read?

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 10:41am

    Crowdsource the value of posts

    Keep in mind that most Internet trolls make stupid comments to get attention, so the solution is to take away that attention. Here's an idea from an online commenting system, possibly Disqus: crowdsource the postings.

    What this means is that people vote up or down on the posts. When an post gets enough negative comments, it's hidden *but* it's still shown to the person who posted it. This way, the poster won't claim his post has been deleted or he's being "censored". Then if he posts enough comments that get down-voted, all of his posts are hidden like this. He can continue to post anything he likes, but he no longer has an audience and he no longer gets any attention. He'll wonder why people are ignoring him and move onto another site.

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 10:28am

    What are police doing

    The main question to ask is whether police are scanning plates as they're doing other things (as one poster said) or if their primary mission is to drive around scanning plates? If this is their primary mission, is it really a good use of resources?

    But this brings up an obscene incentive program: at the end of the month, which officer looks better? The one who spent 3 weeks investigating a crime and was able to determine that a victim was killed by accident (which is good police work)? Or the officer who roamed the streets and brought in $50,000 in unpaid fines to the department? After a few months of this, why wouldn't every officer want the cushy job of driving around, scanning plates, bringing in income, and then getting "officer of the month" awards for it?

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 10:11am


    There was an interesting article I read recently, possibly on The Atlantic, where the author argued that drugs were made illegal to make it easier to arrest certain types of people.
    Communities in the south thought they had a problem with Mexican immigrants, but obviously, they couldn't arrest people for being Mexican. Instead, they found that many Mexicans smoked marijuana (which was completely legal), so their solution was to criminalize marijuana and start arresting the Mexicans.
    California thought they had a problem with Chinese immigrants. Again, they can't arrest people for being Chinese, but they found that many of these people used opium. They made opium illegal and they arrested the Chinese people.

    In the 1980's, crack cocaine was used as a way to disproportionately arrest black people: white people with powder cocaine would get far less sentences than black people with the same amount as crack cocaine.

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 9:56am

    Why is anyone really surprised by this decision?

    Apple has a long history of changing their specs and making hardware obsolete. We're using floppy drives as an example, but a better one would be the change in the power connector from the iPhone 4 to iPhone 5. Suddenly, the port was smaller, which meant ALL of the existing peripherals no longer worked. But, surprise, all the hardware makers were on top of it and ready to sell everyone new products with the smaller connector.
    And what was the reason for this change? The size of the phone didn't get smaller- in fact, the iPhone 5, 6, and 6s are *bigger* than the 4.

  • Aug 4th, 2016 @ 10:07am

    What about people on the murderer's registry?

    Once again, why are we singling out sex offenders? Hear me out...

    Suppose you murder a child, get arrested, and get sentenced to 30 years in jail. When you get out, you don't have to go a on "murderer's registry" and notify your neighbors about your past. Yet if you urinate in public and get caught, you could be put on the sex offender registry... even though didn't harm anyone. And now you can't play Pokemon Go because you had to pee and couldn't find a bathroom? How is this considered fair?

  • Aug 3rd, 2016 @ 10:11am


    What are we coming to? Can anyone say "Minority Report":

    You're under arrest because the software says you're a 21 year-old black man from a low-income neighborhood.
    But I haven't done anything.
    Not yet, but the software says you will, so we're locking you up before you get the chance to commit a crime.

  • Aug 2nd, 2016 @ 5:53am

    What about everything else?

    I don't know if this has been brought up yet, but what about everything else on the Getty website? After all, if they can do this to her, is it standard practice there and how many other people have they do it to? Should customers be wary about buying anything since there's no real way of knowing if the image is in the public domain or if Getty is even the correct license-holder.
    I think this case needs to create a new class-action lawsuit over any other images that may also be in the public domain which Getty is improperly licensing.

  • Aug 1st, 2016 @ 8:44am

    (untitled comment)

    Just think about the loss of culture that will occur if animals aren't given copyrights to their work. Why should they keep creating new works without copyright protection? This could lead to total anarchy... or an animal giving all their photographs to the Library of Congress and having Getty claim they own the copyright and sue them.

  • Jul 29th, 2016 @ 8:04am

    It's a civic duty

    I agree with your idea, though not your wording. ;)

    The United States asks so little of its citizens. For example, we don't have mandatory military or civic service. Yet people complain about the "inconvenience" of taking a few hours out of their schedule every 2 or 4 years to vote.
    And yes, jury duty may be boring and you may sit around all day, but again, this is part of your civic duty as an American citizen.

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