madasahatter’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jul 11th, 2020 @ 7:12am


    A major difference between using a security camera and reverse warrants. Security cameras only record a limited amount based on their location. Also they are useful for actually showing the crime, verifying/breaking alibis, etc. Reviewing the footage can be time consuming. They are not as likely to capture large numbers of innocent people in the shot and often it is pretty obvious they are innocent to someone with a couple of functioning grey cells. Depending on the camera and angles, the quality of the images may be rather grainy. But there is often enough detail to give a decent description of the perp that eliminates a large number of people. Reverse warrants in this case lump a number of phones which happened to be in the area together without any means of obviously rejecting them. The movements of each must be traced. Depending on the accuracy of the location data it will be difficult to accurately sort out quickly which phones to ignore.

    An example, I live very close to several bank branches (walking distance). If there was a robbery at one of them the interior video footage would either confirm whether I was in even in the branch at the time. And the footage would confirm if I even matched the perp's description. The cell location data from tower pings might not show my location with enough accuracy for me to be eliminated if I was at home during the robbery. The risk is a false positive will lead the police to focus on an innocent person with the possibility of charging an innocent person.

  • Feb 8th, 2020 @ 7:13am

    Idiocy Reigns

    Streaming services are useless without content. So if there are no games to stream or play online then the size of the server farm is irrelevant. Thus Sony and Nintendo as well as any other game producer are more direct competitors to Xbox than Google or AWS. Also, if a game is popular the content producer gets the profits, again the backend is not critical.

    Now as cloud service providers hosting content, Google, AWS, and others are direct competitors. But this ignores that what the content is what is important not whose hardware it resides on.

  • Jan 31st, 2020 @ 8:15am

    Allen and Two Temps

    The viewing landscape is changing with the rise of streaming services and sites like YouTube. These options have content that is not available on any cable service and are more convenient for a viewer once the content is posted. Cable cutting will continue for the near future as many review their options and viewing habits and decide cable/satellite is not worth the money.

  • Jan 27th, 2020 @ 6:58am

    New Sales

    5G will not cause the spike in sales OEMs and carriers are hoping for. The basic reason is 5G will not offer noticeable performance improvement for the common uses of the a phone. Once the performance is good enough for most they are not going to buy the latest model phone unless their old one is near death.

    Phones and computers are mature products and like other mature products the majority of sales is to replace older devices. The sales will flatten out. Any growth will be from population and economic growth and not penetration into completely virgin markets.

    The race for 5G is a marketing hype to make the carriers look like they are doing something.

  • Jul 3rd, 2019 @ 3:44pm


    If you have a quality brand that people know and want then harassing competitors is only free advertising for the competitors. You wonder if any has heard of the Streisand Effect. Musical instruments have a very limited range of materials, shapes, etc. because they have to be able to produce the expected sounds.

  • Jun 22nd, 2019 @ 9:02am

    Subscription vs Membership

    Many YouTube channels use a membership model with members getting special access or other benefits. The main content is free to the user. This is sustainable model for many channels and I would suspect many news sites. You still get traffic to see stories and you are getting dues (for lack of a better term) every month.

    One of the failures of a hard paywall is many are only interested in one or two stories that are being linked to and have no interest in the other content. Subscribing to a local fish wrap when you are not a local generally makes no sense. So either you allow the views which might generate some ad revenue or miss the view altogether and get 100% of 0.

    Another irritation is too many news sites demand one turns off ad-blockers or subscribe, I am not going to either. But if your content is sufficiently important to me, I might join as a member for a few bucks a month.

  • Jun 7th, 2019 @ 1:24pm

    (untitled comment)

    Has Comrade Stamos ever heard of a little thing called the Bill of Rights or the US Constitution?

  • Jun 4th, 2019 @ 1:55pm

    Traffic and Comments

    Personally it is rare that I go directly to a news site that does not allow comments. If there is an interesting story many times I will peruse the comments. Otherwise, on many stories, glancing at the headlines with some careful interpretation of the local Pravda will give me what I need to know. Also, in reality, most news sites just regurgitate the wire service feed so if you have seen the story anywhere you probably will not learn anything new.

  • May 17th, 2019 @ 3:33pm

    Re: I stand with and believe Techdirt's reporting ..

    He wrote a program I believe called 'Email'. The concept predated him by many years. In fact, the protocols for email predated his program by many years. So it was invented by others but not called 'Email'.

  • May 14th, 2019 @ 1:49pm

    More Kindling

    The photography community is not very happy with Adobe over the doubling of the subscription prices for the photographers' package. There are many applications that do a good job for most that are not as abusive as Adobe.

  • May 10th, 2019 @ 2:40pm


    These trolls are relying on the general ignorance of copyright law of both the copyright owner and the general public to shake down the innocent. Having followed many of these stories and having a working knowledge of copyright law there are a couple obvious points. First 'fair use' often covers the situation and it valid defense in US law. Second, linking to copyright material is not the same as infringing. Linking will deliver the user to the original page which is what the owner wants, traffic to their page.

  • May 10th, 2019 @ 2:30pm

    End of the beginning...

    Finally judges are beginning to try to understand how technology works. IP addresses, if they are accurate, point to specific router which has a physical location. They do not tell anyone who is using the router at that moment in time as they cannot tell who is logged into the attached devices.

  • May 1st, 2019 @ 4:26pm

    Never Underestimate the Venality of Shysters

    I am dubious the Shyster in Chief will get it right, too much money in legal fees riding on the 'correct' interpretation.

  • Apr 25th, 2019 @ 2:08pm

    Re: Online

    Someone has to produce the content. So movie production companies will be around. Whether they stay like they are, probably not. One of the major threats to the studios as they are now is the fact that it is relatively easy to produce quality videos with small group and relatively minimal money. This will means that some very low budget videos will be quite high quality and many become incredibly popular. Plus, the relatively low costs means the total gross does not have to be very high to turn a real profit. Also, streaming services will hurt both cable and theaters as many will not tolerate the stupidities the cable companies or the theaters owners.

  • Apr 6th, 2019 @ 6:08am

    Re: Silos are like weeds

    The narrow streaming silos as you note are unstable. The model narrow model presumes one does not have any interest in watching something outside of the silo. If you will consider as silos the various TV and cable networks, each has narrow content and most are interested in content from many different silos. So the cable and satellite services have combined the silos into a package that you can chose which silo to watch. (Never thought anyone would say anything good about the cable companies.) So with cable you pay one fee and get many silos but with streaming services you have to pay a fee to each silo. As the number of silos subscribed to the total fees might approach the cable fee.

    Now as you speculate someone could offer a front end service that allows a user to select content from multiple services for one fee they might make fortune. The problem is the content creation industry is notorious Ludditic when comes to technology and will see something like this as a threat instead of something to be embraced.

  • Apr 3rd, 2019 @ 1:47pm

    Other Sources

    A problem for cable and TV is the existence of the Internet. There sites like Netflix or Hulu that stream conventional shows and movies. But there are sites like YouTube that provide massive amounts of videos. Some of the documentary channels on YouTube are excellent and are often very small operations with very low per episode costs (entire annual budget might be low 6 figures including salaries). The issue is if one is watching Hulu or a YouTube channel, one is not watching a cable or TV channel.

  • Apr 3rd, 2019 @ 1:39pm

    One Word: Idiot

    Live streaming is not the fundamental problem while most of the live streams are innocuous and at worst banal. Since most (like vast majority) are at worst boring Facebook, et. al. are going to rely on the public flagging the stream before they take action. No matter what kind of system you have there is too much streamed at given moment for the service to actively monitor every stream. This is an inherent problem and my suggestion to the idiot is to grow up and deal with the problem in an adult manner; there is no fair or easy solution that will work other than relying on users flagging the content.

    Also, a good deal of the blame should be placed on the media (not TD) who breathlessly reported that video existed and implied people needed to watch it. If they kept their mouths shut far fewer would have know about it If the idiot wanted to do some good ask CNN, Fox, etc. why they had to mention it had been streamed; it really wasn't relevant to the story.

  • Apr 2nd, 2019 @ 3:25pm

    Definition of 'For Hire'

    To own the copyright, one either has to hire the creator as an employee or contractor which means there is a legal contract between the parties or buys the rights from the creator. The term 'For Hire' means the either the venue, promoter, or Arianna has a formal contract paying the photographer real money. Otherwise, no contract and no money means the photographer retains all rights to the photos.

  • Mar 29th, 2019 @ 1:25pm

    Forgetting something

    Targeted advertising ignores one key reason to advertise - brand awareness. In a mass market, customers need to know you exist and generally what you sell. If they are unaware of your product, they will not look for it or buy it. Now if you have a product that tends to appeal to a specific demographic it does make sense to advertise where that demographic will congregate. But I am talking about relatively broad demographics, such as males between 20 - 35.

    The consistent problem with highly targeted advertising is context, what is the person's motivation for the product choices and purchases they made. The narrower the focus the more critical extremely precise information becomes; information that is not that easy to get. Broad demographics, such as the example above, will not require the precision and detail to be effective.

  • Mar 1st, 2019 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re:

    These road-shows are big budget productions staged in a large local venue. The ticket prices are considerably higher than those of a community theater. Plust the road-show is likely be much more heavily advertised than the local community theater. So John from Podunk would, if he has a couple of functioning brain cells, realize there is big difference between the two productions.

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