Roger Strong’s Techdirt Profile


About Roger Strong

Programmer in Winnipeg, Canada.

Roger Strong’s Comments comment rss

  • Feb 6th, 2016 @ 4:15pm


    Far more TAX dollars go towards stadiums and other costs related to millionaire-owned organized sports teams. Not what your kids are playing, but what they're watching on TV.

    America's human space flight programs cost around $7 billion a year. By comparison, Americans spent more than $154 billion on alcohol. The costs of dealing with the latter almost certainly cost the taxpayers more than the former.

    In the ’70s the USAF calculated that using satellites to conduct weather reconnaissance saved $100,000 a day over the cost of flying airplanes to get the job done. In today's dollars that would probably be $1,000,000 per day. The space program has given also us communications, remote sensing (for resource and crop monitoring) and GPS satellites and much, much more. Who knows what we'll get once the launch rate goes up bringing launch costs down.

    As a programmer, I believe in making backups. The same concept applies to humanity: Establishing a self-sustaining colony on another planet is a Very Good Idea.

    Over the four-and-a-half-billion-year history of Earth, few events have truly mattered: There was the advent of single-celled life, multi-celled life, the development of plants, then animals.

    The next step - the first big step in 540 million years - is the extension of life to another planet. It could happen in our lifetime. Thinks about that.

    Or, if that's not your priority, keep spending it on stadiums for millionaires, and alcohol.

  • Feb 6th, 2016 @ 3:59pm


    That's a long-debunked myth.

    Feynman personally checked out the rumor and never found any substantiation. If Challenger's flight had gone according to plan, the crew would have been asleep at the time of Reagan's speech, and no communications links had been set up.

  • Jan 30th, 2016 @ 7:31am

    Re: Absolutely horrible ruling

    From Wikipedia: "The Monkees have sold more than 75 million records worldwide and had international hits, including "Last Train to Clarksville", "Pleasant Valley Sunday", "Daydream Believer" and "I'm A Believer". At their peak in 1967, the band outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.

    No wonder they haven't produced any new hits lately.

  • Jan 27th, 2016 @ 11:02am

    Re: I hate it when...

    And... what does that have to do with THIS case?

    Coppola had the option to "own it." Sure, she might be offended at the criticism in response, but it would rather hypocritical to then object to being offended.

    She neither "owned it" nor apologized. She topped it by being even more offensive.

  • Jan 21st, 2016 @ 7:09am

    (untitled comment)

    > The details of the case were pretty horrifying, involving claims of Medicare fraud, along with multiple claims that Austin hit his patients when they would complain loudly (apparently after the anesthesia did not work properly).

    In Comcast call center lingo, this is called escalation.

  • Jan 19th, 2016 @ 6:34pm

    Fear and Loathing in Malheur

    Bull. No doubt they're preparing the next Honey Boo Boo: A reality TV show following the Y'all Qaeda / Occupy Gift Shop crowd up in Oregon.

    A fake militia with a fake Marine and a fake judge in a fake siege for a fake cause is the very definition of "Reality" TV.

    And no doubt The Weather Channel or Learning Channel is filming a competing series. We'll have our choice of inbRed Dawn *or* Deliverance: The Next Generation.

  • Jan 19th, 2016 @ 10:08am

    Re: 'Drug enforcement' for fun and profit, mostly profit

    Foreign travellers are warned about being robbed at badgepoint when visiting America.

    > One prosecutor used seized cash to defend herself against a lawsuit brought by people whose cash she seized.

  • Jan 19th, 2016 @ 9:14am


    I'm in Canada. It does NOT redirect me to an equivalent Canadian site.

    For each show there are "Rent from $_.__" and "Own from $__.__" links. "Own" meaning "Rent until they change DRM standards after a couple years, as happens every time. Play on supported devices only. And even then the show you paid to 'own' may disappear regardless depending on our licencing deals."

  • Jan 16th, 2016 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Re: Everything Online Must Be Labelled As “True” Or Not ...

    Even Techdirt has trouble with paradoxes.

    My belt holds up my pants. But my pants have loops that hold up my belt. "This Week In Techdirt History" never mentions the field day it had mocking this radical new technology with it appeared 4000 years ago.

  • Jan 16th, 2016 @ 1:28pm

    This Would Make a Great Comedy

    Case in point: one novelists request that everything online be officially labelled as "true" or not.

    That article has a new URL. And it just keeps getting funnier over time.

    > Government regulation is admittedly imperfect and often infuriating; but it must at least try to work toward the public good, or its authors will lose their power. Corporate regulation, on the other hand, knows only one purpose: profit
    I do not see the government playing a moral role so much as a verification and attribution assurance role
    We must have new verification and attribution statutes that are vigorously enforced by empowered agencies, with real punishments for violators.

    Forget the fundamental problems here: Grey areas, half-truths, inability to verify claims and the inability for even experts to agree on many claims. And the breaking news problem: Reporters, bloggers and others want their stories online within minutes, let alone days. The government's verification and attribution assurance organization would have to be VERY responsive.

    Where this gets REALLY funny is when you imagine the system working perfectly.

    Imagine reporting or commenting on recent party debates in the American Presidential election. Every statement - in video or text - stamped with TRUE or FALSE. With real punishments for those who get it wrong.

    Imagine requesting government verification and attribution assurance on all the Wikileaks or Snowden documents, again, in a system that works perfectly.

    Imagine a web site that tracks changes - all the things the government verified as false, now verified as true after a leak.

    Imagine statements by government officials on domestic spying, back-doored encryption, the TPP and asset forfeiture, quickly vetted as true or false, the results backed by a government agency.

  • Jan 14th, 2016 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    OK, so he was pushing the South into the 20th century with his willy. (As opposed to the dicks now trying to push it into the 20th century from the 21st.)

  • Jan 14th, 2016 @ 7:42pm


    Aw c'mon. For those of us outside the US there's a simpler explanation:

    We're told that the space program was Lyndon Johnson's way of dragging the American south into the 20th century. Rockets were designed in Huntsville. Manufactured in New Orleans. Add solid rocket booster manufacturing in Utah, the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico, mission control in Houston, a rocket testing facility in Mississippi, launches in Florida, and other space labs, centers, and manufacturing facilities all over the south.

    We're told that many contractors and sub-contractors like Lockheed and Grumman were involved, almost all in the south.

    And then there's millions more people across the southern US who saw the launches, and the rocket stages being moved cross-country from New Orleans to Florida. How do you convince that many people to take part in a hoax, and not talk decades later?

    It's simple in hind-sight: **It's the southern US that's the hoax.** The engineers and civilian witnesses haven't talked because they never existed. The space centers never existed. The contractors never existed. The South never existed.

    I mean, **just look** at how the lie is starting to break down, the stories used to cover it up getting more and more crazy! Do you believe ANY news that comes out of Texas or Florida? Do believe ANYTHING claimed by politicians, police or church leaders from the "South?"

    When you meet someone from the "South", they have this strange accent. No, it's not a "southern" accent. They're foreigners, brought in as actors.

    Now they're importing them in large numbers to maintain the fiction. Often uneducated people from poor countries so that they're not even in on the hoax. This is why we keep hearing about waves of illegal immigrants crossing the border in the "South", but you never hear about the same thing from the northern border.

    I've never seen the Southern US with my own eyes, so you can't convince me that it's real. What we hear from the Southern US is just not believable.

  • Jan 13th, 2016 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Re: Cute trick, something similar tried before

    I think the movie got it from the internet meme. It was already floating around the internet by March 1998, and the movie was released in August 1998.

  • Jan 13th, 2016 @ 10:38am

    Re: Ad hominum attack

    I disagree. I tried to avoid this by leaving out their Koch brother ties, their reputation as a "base for many neo-conservatives", etc.

    What remains is still valid point relevant to their pro-usage-cap position: "Think tank" is weasel-wording for "PR Firm." That a "think tank" takes Comcast's position is not a happy coincidence when it's really a Comcast-funded PR firm with a long history of promoting positions of others who fund them.

    Whether or not I like their positions is irrelevant. Even if I like their position on global warming, tobacco or usage caps, it only tells me what they're funded to promote, not what a think tank believes.

  • Jan 13th, 2016 @ 9:11am

    (untitled comment)

    This is also a film where the script was leaked to the internet in January 2014. It was made anyway.

  • Jan 13th, 2016 @ 8:34am

    (untitled comment)

    SourceWatch: American Enterprise Institute

    Some of their other conclusions:

    - Minimum Wage Hikes "Simply Reckless"

    - Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform "Disastrously Wrong Response"

    - Doubts on Global Warming (having nothing to do with the $millions received from Exxon Mobil, a former head of ExxonMobil as the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees, and using that money to offer scientists and economists $10,000 each "to undermine a major climate change report.")

    - Support for "Regime Change" in Iraq

    - Defending Big Tobacco (Nothing to do with major funding from Philip Morris.)

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 11:33am

    (untitled comment)

    I wonder how much this victory cost "My Other Bag."

    If you can use the courts to bankrupt someone even if they win... "The medium is the message."

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 10:04am


    I've had people tell me that they couldn't tell the difference... until I *showed* them the difference.

    In one case it was someone who was watching the HD service they were paying for, on an SD TV. In a couple cases it was people using an "upscaling" DVD player and, gullibly believing that they were now seeing HD, not seeing a difference.

  • Jan 8th, 2016 @ 8:13pm

    Those Who Would Repeat The Past Must Control The Teaching Of History

    The NSA's roots stretch back to the State Department's "Black Chamber." Officially dissolved by Secretary of State Henry Stimson in 1929 with the immortal words "Gentlemen do not read each other's mail."

    "Stimson's ethical reservations about cryptanalysis focused on the targeting of diplomats from America's close allies, not on spying in general."

    The NSA has surpassed that practice.

  • Jan 8th, 2016 @ 12:12pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's because it's more than a patent dispute. In this case it's counterfeit consumer goods that have crossed an international border.

    Now the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) kicks in. It's no longer a civil issue, but a criminal one.

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