Mike-2 Alpha’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 12th, 2018 @ 12:49am

    Re: yet another "feelings" law in Canada

    Because we keep electing the Liberal Party. Despite the name, they are the party of the status quo. They have unironically referred to themselves as the "natural ruling party". That's a worldview that requires a certain amount of stasis, lest you upset the apple cart and cause a set of circumstances that push you out of power.

    Only, if you just sit on your hands and keep things going as they are, the voters start to wonder what you're doing for them. Thus you end up with one of two things: laws enacted to protect your feelings from being hurt, or laws intended to protect you from yourself. Always targeting behaviours outside the mainstream, mind, so that the bulk of the voting public won't get upset.

    Seriously: if you lean left in Canada, vote NDP or even Green. If you lean right, at the Federal level, the Conservatives are the only game in town. The Liberals only stand for Feelings Laws and taking care of you because you can't take care of yourself. That and their own continuity of rule.
  • Apr 3rd, 2018 @ 9:58pm

    (untitled comment)

    So this is probably just my paranoid brain working overtime, but stay with me here. Pai, who is in Verizon's pocket from day one, gets installed as the head of the FCC by a sympathetic government. He does the job he's paid to do by gutting things like net neutrality and doing a few other favours along the way. Then, with his list of targets exhausted, he goes after a program that might be seen as a bridge too far. That same government that installed him then turns around and villifies him before firing him before he can do anything to that program. He rides off to his cushy job at Verizon or some industry-supported lobby group.

    He gets his payoff. They get their scapegoat. Verizon gets the regulatory changes it wanted. And the senators who arranged his ouster get to look like heroes without having to actually reverse the damage he's done.

    Eh. I'm probably just jumping at shadows.
  • Mar 7th, 2018 @ 11:54pm

    (untitled comment)

    This crap again...

    All freedom of speech means is that I can't call the cops to stop you from screaming your idiocy in the streets. If you come into my house or my place of business and start spouting that same nonsense, I'm well within my rights to tell you to take a hike. How hard is this to understand?
  • Feb 22nd, 2018 @ 12:04am

    Re: VT Gov's net neutrality order has a waiver

    I could see a valid purpose for that kind of waiver. Like, say, permitting an ISP to zero-rate government websites providing emergency response information in the case of natural disasters or the like.

    I mean, it's not what it would be used for, but still.
  • Feb 16th, 2018 @ 12:46am

    Re: Re: And now...

    Hey, Ajit Pai is ABSOLUTELY honest. Once bought, he stays bought.
  • Feb 16th, 2018 @ 12:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know about that. Blindness WOULD explain why Justice keeps missing her targets.
  • Feb 8th, 2018 @ 12:19am

    Re: FIRED..

    That's the problem. He IS doing the job he was hired to do. It just isn't the same job that's supposed to go with the position he holds.
  • Jan 28th, 2018 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Simple answer

    Brilliant idea! Someone tell Bielefeld they're off the hook. We've got another city to unexist.
  • Jan 20th, 2018 @ 12:50am

    Cut them some slack!

    I'm glad the UK came up with Nancy and the Meerkats. I mean, how else are the kids going to learn that they've always been at war with Eastasia?
  • 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.

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