Mike-2 Alpha’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 1st, 2017 @ 1:46am

    (untitled comment)

    On the one hand, I'm glad they came to their senses. On the other, I can see why they considered legal action. The two logos are just so similar. Why, the Overwatch League clearly used a Tracer to make theirs!

  • Jun 5th, 2017 @ 8:37am


    It's an appeal to the logic of panic. Bad things have happened. We must do something. THIS is something. Thus we must do it, or bad things will keep happening.

    It's an appealing line of thinking when you're hurt and afraid. It's also one of the easiest ones to hijack if you want to trick someone into doing something you already wanted them to do. Instant public mandate: just add tragedy.

  • May 7th, 2017 @ 12:05am

    With the Possible Exception of Richard Nixon

    The difference is that people don't keep safety deposit boxes full of transcripts or recordings of conversations they've had dating as far back as they've had the box.

  • May 5th, 2017 @ 9:15pm

    Re: It's a survival mechanism

    In short, it's what happens when we fail our SAN check.

  • Apr 17th, 2017 @ 2:18am

    Re: Publisher? Really?

    Money, dear boy.

    A lot of, maybe even most, crowd-funded video games go over-budget. This isn't an indictment of the whole crowd-funded games model; the same is true of traditionally funded games.

    The thing is, it's trickier, in some ways, for crowd-funded games to go back to the well and get more money. But if the game is going to come out, then the developers have to get more money somehow.

    Thus publishers.

    For a cut of the profits, they pitch in to cover the cost overruns. And if a prerequisite for them giving you the money you need to finish the project and not disappoint your fans who paid to get you this far is to jam some useless and intrusive DRM into your game... well, you have to decide what's worse for your reputation.

    You can roll the dice and see if someone else'll fund you without requiring the DRM to "protect" their investment. Maybe you find someone, maybe you don't, but if you don't, that game is never coming out. Not just that, but your employees might lose their jobs. Or you can bite your tongue, jam it in there, and hope that it doesn't murder your fans' faith in and respect for you in the process.

  • Apr 11th, 2017 @ 12:00am

    Re: Once a Verizon lawyer

    Hey, you've got to give the man his credit. He is the textbook definition of an honest politician, even if he was never elected: once bought, he stays bought.

  • Apr 7th, 2017 @ 9:49pm

    Han Solo Lives

    Han did not shoot first. Han SHOT. "First" implies at least a second. Han is a better shot that that.

  • Apr 4th, 2017 @ 11:48pm


    "Yes, your honour. We did deploy our drone without applying for a warrant, but it was for the purpose of surveilling our Confidential Informant.

    Through the use of the drone, we followed the CI to the meeting. At that point, the drone's cameras allowed the officers to observe the suspect reaching for what they believed to be a weapon.

    Believing their informant's life to be in immediate danger, the officers activated the drone's weapon and engaged. The suspect was struck four times in the chest and head with small arms fire and died at the scene."

    And that's only the first way to skin the "permission to use" cat that I thought of off the top of my head.

  • Mar 31st, 2017 @ 12:04am

    Re: what GOOD WILL THIS DO?

    This is the good that it will do:

    If the bill passes, then one of two things happens.

    The first possibility is that services like Backpage shut down in order to avoid the attendant penalties that would come with not being able to play Whac-A-Mole while blindfolded. If that happens, the legislators and prosecutors get to point to their great victory in shutting down such wretched hives of scum and villainy. Never mind that they just moved somewhere else.

    The second is that services like Backpage stay open, but scramble like mad in their attempts to police their ads. The responsibility for tracking down predators and human traffickers gets pushed off onto these private entities instead of resting on the shoulders of the prosecutors.

    As a result, the prosecutors aren't responsible if it doesn't work - clearly, the proprietors of Backpage and the like aren't working hard enough. And any time they need an easy win - say, around reelection time - they can charge one of these personal ad sites with not having done enough to do law enforcement's job for them.

    If it doesn't go through, on the other hand, then anyone who backed it gets to campaign for reelection on the premise that they tried to protect the children. If only their dastardly, decadent opposition hadn't stopped them. See, dear citizen? You need more people like them in office in order to protect your family.

    And responsibility for hunting down predators and human traffickers still comes off the shoulders of law enforcement. After all, they wanted to, but the government keeps tying their hands.

    How does this help abused children? Simple: it doesn't. This is about the legislators and prosecutors. The well-being of the children doesn't actually enter into it.

  • Mar 30th, 2017 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Re: First

    "...stealing everything that wasn't nailed down or on fire..."

    Please. Let's give our valiant defenders in the Drug War the credit and respect they deserve. The DEA has its flaws, like any other agency, but I'm sure they at least know how to use a fire extinguisher and a crowbar.

  • Mar 28th, 2017 @ 10:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    Does this mean I can blame him for things that he has nothing to do with, too? I mean, there's plenty we can already blame him for. Still, imagine the fun we can have if we get to start blaming The Donald for bad weather, sports team losing streaks, and receding hair lines.

  • Mar 28th, 2017 @ 12:02am


    Then let the market deal with it. If the Hungarian people - not the occasional lawmaker, but the actual people of Hungary - are that angered by red star imagery, let them handle it.

    Carlsberg beer used to use a swastika as part of their logo. Then Hitler happened, and they dropped it for the duration of the war and never brought it back. And they weren't alone. Suddenly, because of its association with a murderous madman, using the swastika in marketing was massively unprofitable.

    If the Hungarians are really that bothered and offended by the red star in the Heineken logo, they'll stop buying it. As a result, either they'll change the logo or withdraw from the market. Simple as that.

    Either way, trying to censor the star on the bottle is either a solution in search of a problem or, more likely, a politician in search of a payday.

  • Mar 22nd, 2017 @ 4:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Whups. Didn't mean to sign out, there. That was me. :/

  • Mar 22nd, 2017 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I get your meaning, but as the linked article points out, flashing lights in that context are a "signal... intended to convey a variety of messages". The flashing lights I referred to convey no message other than "I dislike you" in the same manner that a punch to the jaw would.

  • Mar 22nd, 2017 @ 3:58am

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, I understood your point. I just reject it as I find it to be entirely specious.

    First off, while some may be harmed by an individual's speech, free speech is, itself, a benefit to them, as it means that they may express their views just as openly and without fear of restraint. And I use "harm" in the loosest of senses, as protecting people from emotional distress is not the kind of pressing national interest that a society that considers freedom important should be concerning itself with.

    Second, as I pointed out, the issue was not the message sent by the tweet. The issue was the flashing lights, which were not any form of speech, as they conveyed no message or information at all. At best, they conveyed the message "I wish you harm" in the same manner that a gunshot would have.

    Saying "You Deserve A Seizure For Your Posts" is speech, and I will vehemently defend a person's right to do so. Attempting to cause a seizure, even over the internet, is assault, and thus a crime. And, as the article shows, already recognized as such, thus no free speech questions are raised by this case.

  • Mar 22nd, 2017 @ 1:46am


    A sequence of flashing lights, devoid of informational content is not speech. The message "You Deserve A Seizure For Your Posts" did not harm him. It was simply overlayed atop the repeated flashes. It is no different than if it was inscribed on a blade, and using a knife that has words on it doesn't make a stabbing speech.

    Sure, Twitter is a vehicle for speech. And the image was transmitted to the target via Twitter. That doesn't mean that all aspects of the image count as speech. A car is also a vehicle for food delivery. That doesn't mean that everything transported in a car is a pizza.

    Also, you're wrong. Free speech doesn't HAVE important benefits; free speech IS the benefit. The ability to exchange ideas, even repugnant ones, without fear of government restraint is essential to a free society. Period dot.

  • Mar 21st, 2017 @ 11:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, not really. Especially since there is a clear difference between the example of bullying someone into suicide and this case.

    In the former case, we are discussing speech intended to cause a person to make a choice. Specifically, to end their life. Words hurt, to be sure, but it is an emotional hurt, which is qualitatively different from physical hurt.

    In the latter, we are discussing exposing someone to an external stimulus intended to provoke a physiological response that would cause real and tangible harm to their body. That, according to the victim, did precisely that.

    The fact that the offending image included the phrase "You Deserve A Seizure For Your Posts" doesn't make it a free speech question. There is no equivalency between the two examples. A more apt comparison would be that of a Neo Nazi stabbing someone advocating for racial equality with a knife that had "Meine Ehre hei├čt Treue" inscribed on the blade.

  • Mar 21st, 2017 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You would think that, but this is the internet, homeland of the "it's okay if it happens to people I don't like" mindset.

  • Feb 5th, 2017 @ 11:19pm

    Hero With A Thousand Lawsuits

    If non-literal copying becomes a thing in copyright law and ends up extended to fiction, then whoever's in charge of Joseph Campbell's estate is going to end up rich.

  • Feb 11th, 2016 @ 8:28pm

    (untitled comment)

    As a direct result of this incident, the TSA will issue a directive instructing their screeners to inspect all laptops for signs of explosives. However, being the TSA, they will be unable to find any laptops. Frustrated by this inability, the screeners will instead search your lap for signs of explosives.

    Of course, they were planning to do that anyway.

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