andrew johnson’s Techdirt Profile


About andrew johnson

andrew johnson’s Comments comment rss

  • May 3rd, 2010 @ 5:21pm

    Fiscal Responsibility

    Obviously they are just trying to save tax payer money.. since the request for a warrant is apparently just a formality. Maybe they think that they are just doing the responsible thing to save taxpayer money by removing the "safeguard" entirely.
  • Mar 4th, 2010 @ 11:21am

    and how is this news?

    One of my first introductions to the process of government came in the form of Boys State. Although I never did quite understand the goal of this program, it did, in my opinion, provide a very realistic portrayal of government at large. Basically the whole program consisted of granting a large group of adolescents free democratic reign over anything they could think of. Inevitably the week started off with countless proclamations of ownership over the atmosphere, the universe, and everything and everything else.. before promptly settling at a point just above absolute chaos.
  • Feb 10th, 2010 @ 8:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    "To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." is their mission statement, whereas "Don't be evil." is just a slogan. On the range between malice and stupidity I would attribute this one mostly to stupidity.
  • Jan 26th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    real scarcity

    It struck me while reading this that what Mike calls "real scarcity" might better be termed "natural scarcity" to contrast with "artificial scarcity". Reason for the change being that "artificial scarcity" is also very real, albeit arbitrary; just look at black-market prices and say that scarcity there is not real, though clearly artificial.

    As for the 10 Reasons to Buy, I like how they mainly focus on psychological needs of consumers, which is something that tends to be greatly overlooked in most economic discussions. In a market such as music, where the primary goods(the music) has lost its scarcity and has been reduced to just bits on a hard-drive, the next most profitable market may be in catering to the desire of consumers to feel some sort of connection with that artist. And if all else fails there will always be live events...
  • Jan 15th, 2010 @ 6:03pm

    Recipe for success

    • One, hard to use cellphone
    • Too many, easy to misclick and access apps/internet/etc.
    • No, enforcement of contract obligations
    • No, crackdown on negative billing options
    Mix thoroughly and profit.
  • Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:17pm

    What Colour are your bits?

    Oddly enough, I think I might actually actually agree with this ruling. This seems to be a perfectly logical extension of the basic concept of a derivative work. However, this does set a somewhat odd precedent by placing the legal status of answering textbook questions in limbo: can I still do my homework? Normally using a product for its intended purpose would clearly be fair-use, but with fair-use pretty well dead, it would certainly make for an interesting case.
  • Oct 21st, 2009 @ 7:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    Money is not the only form of capital. I think this may be a good decision by the telcos that would ultimately lead to a better experience for the customer. I recently encountered a similar situation when trying to figure out pricing for one of my own ventures and came to the same conclusion.

    The reason being that:
    metered billing options are complex but fair
    tiered models are a good compromise between complexity and fairness
    single-rate is as simple as it gets, but lumps everyone together

    The important factor in choosing from among these models would be to look at and compare the cost of complexity to real dollar cost for the customer. In this case, per byte pricing is probably way too much information for the consumer. Most infrequent users probably would care more about the complexity in setting up this new-fangled computer works than have to call billing ten times in order to save $15 per month. Average users would be paying the same dollar amount anyways and would be saving the cost of complexity. Heavy users care the most about the service and would be the most likely to complain or switch providers when an option becomes available; consequently they are getting a 'steal' in terms of dollar cost, and remain happy.

    All parties involved are better off overall. This is indeed a money-grab by the telcos, but if it is for the mutual benefit of consumers I don't see a problem with that.
  • Oct 20th, 2009 @ 6:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    Of course the success of this would rest on whether or not people take only their fair share. If your populus takes the general attitude that legal=OK, then you might end up with traffic patterns like in Spain where quadruple parking is just a part of life.
  • Oct 10th, 2009 @ 12:35am


    On a technical level I would have to agree that most sites do a poor job of correctly assessing expertise. However, this is a temporary issue. Current technology will be replaced by new systems that do a better job of providing valuable information to the user by addressing these problems. The same can hardly be said about traditional media which hasn't really changed during those "almost seven decades".
  • Sep 1st, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Call me a pirate

    In defense of the name, although it is certainly gimmicky, it does accomplish its objective in capturing the attention of the only audience willing to listen. The entire young generation has been reviled as outlaw 'pirates' by society for the entirety of our adult lives; it is only natural that the party that claims to represent the interests of this digital generation should also carry the name.

    On the other hand there is not much to lose by foregoing any attempt to cater to the current lot who consider any attempt at reasonable discussion 'disgusting'. The only way that the interests of this party will gain any influence on public policy is through votes, and they are getting them, so something must be working for them.
  • Aug 25th, 2009 @ 11:26am


    It seems like discussions about copyright are often framed as a conflict between the interests of producers and those of consumers. Myself, coming from a background in open-source software, have always wondered where copyleft licenses would fit into an ideal system for copyright. When Mr. Patry describes copyright as an "economic" right I couldn't help but assume that he was not thinking about the consequences that type of thinking would have on a subculture of copyright law where the intent is to create a work that is 'free as in freedom, not free as in beer'.

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