mephistophocles’s Techdirt Profile


About mephistophocles

mephistophocles’s Comments comment rss

  • Dec 9th, 2019 @ 4:46pm

    I'm cool with this

    Given the level of "service" most cops provide, they don't want to do their jobs anymore? AWESOME. Good riddance. I'd rather have the mob, triads, or <insert your big organized gang here> who will move in when the cops move out. Why? Because at least I know if I pay Vinnie the protection money, he will watch my back, and he won't let his goons mess with me either. The mob can't afford to take the money and then not follow through; doing that shit means nobody will pay you anymore.

    And they shoot straight (when they feel the need to shoot anyone, which is hell of a lot less frequent than the average inner-city cop), and won't randomly whack my mentally handicapped kid in the front yard because he "had a gun" and they "felt threatened," or randomly frisk me for cash and valuables in the street, or stop me in a car for a random shakedown claiming I was speeding or some other goddamn bullshit reason, or digitally rape my spouse's anus because they "smelled weed." Or blow the hell out of my house with grenades and armored vehicles because there was an unarmed burglar in it, they think, maybe. I could go on. And yes, those are all real-life examples I'm too lazy to look up the references for right now.

    Point is, I'm not seeing the problem here.

  • Nov 25th, 2019 @ 3:30pm


    What a horrible logical fallacy. "Some have" therefore "all will?"

    I would think you'd know better. :)

  • Nov 23rd, 2019 @ 4:27am

    Re: Re: SPLC - why?

    I don't think that's true. None of us are in danger of becoming a neo-nazi because of things neo-nazis say. Are you? Can you honestly say that if SPLC wasn't around to show you who the big bad nazis are, you'd somehow be indoctrinated by them and end up agreeing with all the horrible garbage they say?

    I'm not necessarily creating a hill to die on here, I just think the SPLC mindset can be a little bit dangerous. We say that speech is free, and it's perfectly ok to 1) have a strong opinion about something and 2) talk about it publicly. But God forbid you say anything unsettling to the rest of us, because damn it, then we're going to put your name on every billboard and make sure your life is utterly ruined.

    If that's the case, I think maybe the problem is the rest us, not the scumbags preaching filth. Sure, they're scumbags, but any society will always have those types in them. And a healthy society simply ignores them, and punishes them appropriately if they do commit an actual crime. The best way to marginalize those types is not to make a big deal out of them, as SPLC does. In fact that may have the opposite effect.

  • Nov 22nd, 2019 @ 6:44am

    SPLC - why?

    No contention with any point in the suit. Good decision and SPLC is absolutely protected under the 1st amendment. But is what they do necessary or beneficial? Just for the sake of discussion - what purpose, exactly, does it serve to witch-hunt for people who say things that trigger SPLC's feelings about "hate speech" (whatever that means to them)?

    Or maybe to say that another way - neo-nazis are scumbags. But everyone knows that already. If this guy had ties to them, does it really matter if he's not breaking any laws? Publishing a Naughty List of Very Bad People (who haven't actually committed any crimes) seems like a waste of time at best.

  • Nov 22nd, 2019 @ 5:22am

    Settlement money source is the problem

    Easy fix. From now on, take all settlement money out of officer salaries. Forget pension funds - that's all out in the future. Make the consequences real, right now. Every time a suit is settled or lost, nobody gets paid until the settlement is paid in full.

    I'll bet that'd only have to happen once. After that Officer Shithead will be a hell of a lot more careful about skirting the law to get that big drug bust.

  • Nov 14th, 2019 @ 2:57pm


    Mike, your argument is incoherent. If one has a right to remain anonymous, one doesn't forfeit that right be exercising their right to free speech. Sure, nazis are horrible. Nobody (except nazis, maybe) disagree. But they're not forfeiting rights unless they're doing something illegal, and saying rotten things isn't illegal - as you & this blog have admirably pointed out for many year.

    Perhaps one doesn't have a right to be anonymous. If that's the case, though, NO ONE has that right - not just those who aren't saying legal things we don't like.

  • Nov 12th, 2019 @ 11:15am

    I realize it's trite

    But having been on the receiving end of BS by attorneys like him more than once, this is one of the best things I've read in a very long time. Enjoy the shower room, Leibowitz.

  • Nov 6th, 2019 @ 2:52pm

    Maybe an easy solution

    This might be naive, but what if these companies complied with the cops' request and provided the data - but in a format practically impossible to search?

    I imagine the average cop IT dept probably ain't exactly Deepmind, so this could possibly even be done without being too malicious. 1 million user database? Sure, we have it, in freetext with no headers and random spacing / delims / etc. In exactly 37 million text files and another 52 million PDFs. With random cutoffs and every file has uses a unique carriage return.

    I'm sure you can figure that out Mr Cop. Have fun searching.

  • Jul 16th, 2019 @ 5:36pm

    IF it works...

    I'm assuming this "service" you have to pay $4 for will work about as well as AT&T's rural cell coverage. Meaning, it won't. At all. So this is a $4 fee for a "product" that puts it in compliance with a non-mandatory "directive" from Pai, but doesn't actually, you know, work.

    No thanks. I'll stick with 3rd-party apps that do work. And, not use AT&T for anything when I can help it.

  • May 9th, 2019 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Super Friends

    ...and Zuckerberg isn't powerful. I know you millenials all clutch your smartphones in horror whenever anyone whispers it, but there's a real easy solution here. Ready? Don't use Facebook.

    It and every other "social media" platform is only relevant as long as it has users. Leave, and manage to scrape by without it like every single other human being did quite happily until a few years ago (and a few of us still do), and the whole debacle becomes pretty damned silly.

    The WORST solution here is a government breakup. We don't need one. Just delete your account. Don't give govt the power to destroy things you're too weak to give up on your own.

  • May 4th, 2019 @ 11:47am

    Re: Sounds like evidence of institutionalized racism.

    It is bigotry, but not racism persay (because it's not against a particular skin color or ethnicity). It's against the poor. Latinos and blacks unfortunately tend to be disproportionally at the bottom end of the financial spectrum (mostly for reasons that aren't their fault, which I won't go into here), and that's why this kind of thing is often being perceived as rascism against a particular ethnic minority.

    Ironically, I think most cops do assume that a member of a racial minority who isn't obviously rich must be a criminal - although that's starting to change, since the growing wealth disparity means being white doesn't automatically mean you're financially comfortable. Regardless, the point remains - if you're poor, (bad) cops will generally treat you as sub-human, and vice versa - and so does the government in general.

    In Amerika, money = power = freedom. Without money, you'll have neither power nor freedom.

  • May 4th, 2019 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re:

    True, but I think DRM is just a lazy "solution" to the problem, and like most american "solutions" it's way more concerned with increasing profit than actually solving the problem. I think the YOTD devs did a great job with the tools they had at the time, but piracy isn't nearly as hard to combat now, thanks to most people's access to broadband, with no impact to a legit user. It's not unreasonable to require buyers to have an internet connection, especially when the method you're using to prevent piracy consumes minimal bandwidth. That's very doable and zero impact for 99.9% of gamers.

    I do think, though, that the only really effective "cure" for piracy theft is to turn the gaming community against the crackers. Big publishers have mostly shot themselves in the ass by instead implementing really bad solutions (like DRM, mass lawsuits, etc) that turn the gamer communities' ire on them (the publishers) instead of the crackers. Partner with gamers instead, reward them for not supporting pirates, and show them the impact thieves make on everyone's enjoyment, and gamers might start seeing pirates as the enemy instead.

  • Apr 20th, 2019 @ 3:48pm

    (untitled comment)

    Nobody else is saying it so I will - what if these "mistakes" aren't mistakes at all? This is one of the largest tech companies in the world, with some of the best devs on the planet working for them, and they screw up in this basic a way? Twice?? <br>

    Seems unlikely. Another explanation might be that this was more a "do it and ask forgiveness later" situation. Maybe the whole point was data collection, privacy be damned, because they knew they'd never be held seriously accountable anyway.

  • Apr 17th, 2019 @ 9:30am

    Obvious answers...

    Sometimes the most obvious and simple answer is the right one. Comprehensive, foolproof content moderation, on an open platform the size of youtube, is impossible.

    Therefore: This whole discussion is moot. We can either have open platforms like Youtube and accept that people might see offensive shit sometimes, and be ok with that, or we can destroy open platforms like Youtube (in any number of ways) and therefore a lot of beautiful things (like freedom) in the process, and be ok with the collateral. There's no middle ground.

    I'll just submit for consideration - it really isn't any easier for kids to view porn and gore now than it ever was, if their parents care about their well being at all. It's just as hard for a kid to sneak a look at a PC in a closet as it was to sneak a look at Penthouse in a closet 30 years ago. This problem isn't new. All that changed is the medium - it's being used as an excuse to remove a freedom that was always there before, and society was no worse off for having.

  • Mar 26th, 2019 @ 11:09am


    The solution to this kind of thing is not to stop voting for the people who championed it, guys. Assuming those votes are counted, it doesn't matter - if voting could change anything, it wouldn't be allowed.

    The internet is dead - long live the internet! Find another way to communicate - a new free way that allows free speech. Yes it can be done. The internet didn't exist 30 years ago. People still communicated just fine. Anyone who had told me, 30 years ago, that the internet as it exists today would be in place in 2019, I probably wouldn't have believed them. What will exist in 30 years that doesn't today, and that you would think is crazy if someone told you?

    I'm not excusing those who made this directive, but this is the natural way of things, or has been for at least 100 years. Innovation occurs, it has a "free" period of use, regulation begins to grow and eventually takes over, then then there's a period of high regulation before the thing dies (and is reinvented as something unregulated).

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it