tqk’s Techdirt Profile


About tqk

Sometimes, for rent: Used Programmer/Analyst & (Unix/Linux/BSD) System Administrator. I've umpteen years in IT, 15+ years as a self-employed contractor. I like perl. Since ca. 2009, I've been pretty much coasting disillusioned. I'm still optimistic (not dead yet), but no longer beset by illusions.

"I'd like to change the world, but I don't know what to do, so I'll leave it up to you." -- Ten Years After.


tqk’s Comments comment rss

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 11:17pm

    Re: Two revoke all laws and the restraint they present, merely utter two magic words:

    'Because terrorism'.

    On the bright side, it makes it really easy to figure out which horse's ass next needs to be assassinated the most. Whacka-a-mole writ large.

    This thing reminds me of Canada's War Measures Act, which was invoked to handle the FLQ Crisis back when I was a kid; just one of the things I never forgave the father of the current Prime Minister of Canada for doing.

    When, during the course of human events, did "wide-ranging and almost unchallengeable powers" ever make a lick of sense?

    Oh, Hungary.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 5:08pm

    Re: It's all about "effects"

    To presume abandonment of server email after 180 days is like presuming abandonment of the contents of your safety deposit box (or your savings account) after 180 days.

    Consider IMAP or GMail (cloud computing). The whole point is to leave it on a server, because you want it left there. This law abuses modern practices egregiously by being stupid about it. It's been wrong for decades, and tenaciously avoiding learning the truth of what's actually happening in reality.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 4:49pm


    I can tell Mike is serious when he uses an exclamation mark.

    Mike is very often a writer in a hurry. He's a busy guy watching lots of stuff that I can't be arsed to keep up with. I appreciate his energy and enthusiasm, especially when he gets enthused about stuff that I couldn't be bothered to track and which bore me to death.

    Specialists vs. generalists. We all contribute in our own ways.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: The SEC really liked the fact that it could snoop through emails

    Interested in a reference to confirm that statement. Odd that having the power, and apparently the desire to do so, there haven't been any notable arrests of late.

    It's anecdotal. I've read many articles here mentioning it. I'm sure if you searched through them, at least one would mention, or allude to, where it came from.

    As for arrests, it's just like lawsuits. Agree to pay the fine/judgment, and the lawsuit (or charges) will disappear, with no judgment entered into the books. No precedent to go from either. Handy that. All parties involved happily agree to bury the controversy quietly.

    Sucks to be the poor slob that runs into the same wall next time.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 4:03pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's not entirely clear why it's happening now, but at the very least, it sounds like the SEC's constant protests may no longer be an obstacle.

    What, the egregious overreach of the surveillance state is starting to make even institutional investors nervous? I'd take that as a definite win for all of us yammering about this on the net. We finally raised the temperature and got through to them, forcing them to accept there's something funny going on that they need to care about.

    Supertankers don't turn quickly, but they can still turn. That's a happy Friday news story.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 3:47pm

    Re: TTIP in general

    What Germany does now is crazy in my opinion. Allowing some officials to make notes on a piece of paper in the 21rst century is not acceptable.

    Don't forget, you can take notes, but no quotes from the document.

    Rassa frackin' jigga friggen, ... Kroshnit!?!

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 3:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Some people might understand English and French but we are talking laws! Did you ever read the whole law book? Or even the Grundgesetz? Most of that stuff doesn't mean what you think it means. Not because you aren't able to read it but because the interpretation is something completely different from what a "normal" person would understand.

    Absolutely. I'm a programmer fluent in many programming languages, but I've never managed to understand a tax forms enough to do my own taxes. It looks like English, but it's not. Something reads like, "Oh, that's good for me!" invariably turns out "No, good for them." I get others to do my taxes for me. It keeps them happy and is far safer for me.

    Lawyering/legalese is shot through with Latin, a dead language. Yet people complain about the jargon we geeks use to communicate. Doctors (Latin), lawyers (Latin), and mathematicians (Greek) are far worse. They all need a reboot tossing that crap, and it's only about two thousand years overdue!

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re:

    No offense intended and I don't doubt that it is in there somewhere but do you mind pointing out that part? Maybe in some leaked version or even official statement.

    The last I heard, we weren't supposed to even see what's in it until four years after it was ratified and in effect. That may have changed since. I believe this was in one of the WikiLeaks versions. It should be easy to find it there.

    Michael Geist (Canadian legal scholar watching this stuff) may have mentioned it as well.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Funny fact!

    And while you might think "but they should read/speak English" which is of course a valid point the text is law speak after all and for that you often need a translator even if it is in your native language.

    Even English translators often won't help when lawyers are speaking Latin.

    Don't bother to apologize for your handling of English, by the way. Your understanding of English far exceeds my German. You're coming through here loud and clear. Thanks!

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Please place your phone, tablet, any electronic device, and spine in the locker."

    And please deliver those launch commands for the drones we bought from you for billions ...

    It's a little known fact that those launch codes were all set to "00000000" because they didn't want fat fingering to get in the way when Armageddon happened.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:40pm


    large corporations create laws (lobby) that a normal person can't grasp , so why would he/she risk going into a situation without a complete clear understanding of the laws , a lawyer was the artists only choice.

    A lawyer was the last choice left to the artists once we gave a profession of liars who speak in a dead language (Latin) the right to handle this for us.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

    See, suing for cash is nice and all, but in the end, getting a national audience to know your name and your work may be a better long term move.

    Now you're defending copyright infringement?

    This is what the pirates say! Study after study proves that pirates/infringers buy (pay for) more copyrighted stuff than non-pirates. It's free promotion for rightsholders which creates more sales ("buzz") of their stuff.

    Glad you've finally come around to see the light.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Re:

    The quick jump to a lawsuit makes me think he is in it way more for a payday than to assert his rights.

    Wait a second! He contacted them, and they ignored him. It wasn't until he dragged in a lawyer to threaten them that they deigned to recognize his existence. That's hardly "The quick jump to a lawsuit"!

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 2:12pm


    But, almost without fail, we find examples of copyright maximalists being accused of infringement themselves.

    Of course you do, because they are actually out there producing tons of new content every day and sometimes mistakes happen or misunderstandings occur.

    So, it's just a sad coincidence that little people get ground into the dust by statutory damages?
    What is objectionable here isn't that someone clearly didn't understand what they were doing, but the lack of response by NBC on the subject.

    Yes, it is pretty sad that you have to drag a lawyer into it and threaten a lawsuit just to get them to acknowledge your existence.
    Now that said, I have to say I have a bit of the problem with the article as it's pretty much not a series of facts, but rather a series of assertions by the defendant.

    It's more a littany of past conflicting behavior. They've been all over the map on this, still can't get it right themselves, yet they defend statutory damages and push back with all their might any attempt to change.
    It seems to skip over the concept of fair use in Journalism (you know, the fair use you guys trot out all the time for everyone else, but apparently NBC doesn't get any!).

    That was in the summing up of the article. Maybe you should have read it before you leapt to tar TD based on a hot button issue of yours.
    I also notice that both your article and the Torrentfreak article (great unbiased sources!) fail to mention if the guy filed a DMCA notice with Twitter (and for that matter, to NBC itself).

    DMCA is for on-line. This is for broadcast TV. Once it's in viewer's eyeballs, it can't be taken down.
    The quick jump to a lawsuit makes me think he is in it way more for a payday than to assert his rights.

    Good for him. They walked right into it. They built the trap and he used it on them.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 1:52pm

    Re: I need a lawyer.

    I have suffered irreparable harm and have gained 15 pounds as I try to salvage my now destroyed life.

    You should be thankful! Starvation's not fun, you know? They helped you defeat your eating disorder. If you didn't actually suffer from an eating disorder, how were they to know? They meant well I'm sure. Case dismissed!

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Penalties

    Statutory damages should be tripled for willful infringement because NBC, being such a staunch copyright defender, should know better.

    Not to mention, this was commercial infringement, not a housewife making backups of legitimately purchased works. How much cash did they get from advertisers to blast it out to all those eyeballs? Then there's the malicious assault on children justifying copyright infringement. The horror!

    Left hand, right hand ...

    When I think of all those businesses out there whose employees sat through days of workshops learning about the sexy new features in the new version of MS Office, why isn't NBC holding workshops to educate their employees on correct handling of copyright issues? Because it's a morass of spaghetti that no one really understands?

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Putin doesn't want people learning that he does blow with James Woods.

    Who wouldn't if they got the chance?

    Seriously? I've watched a few of the things he's done as a movie or TV actor which I thought were well worth seeing. He can be entertaining that way. He's a competent, skilled actor. However, I doubt I'd enjoy ever being in the same room with him from what I've read of his off-screen persona.

    Add to that I've never understood what people saw in cocaine or its derivatives. If he's a cokehead, that doesn't speak very highly of him. About the only one of them I ever liked was Sherlock Holmes, and he only did it to fill downtimes, and he was fictional.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: How does this work?

    If a violent revolutionary group decides to get up and do this for us, at what point will they decide that the revolution is over and they can lay down their arms?

    There's your problem.

    Yet, it does happen. Myanmar/Burma, South Africa, Soviet Union/Russia, Rwanda, Pakistan, Chile, Argentina, even China's better now than when Mao was around, ...

    Yes, it is often very messy, but it's also legitimately part of the natural process of human civilization. Denying it is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Our civil institutions have been hijacked by self-entitled, rapacious thieves and jerks. Do you cower and slink away allowing it to go on, or do you demand justice understanding there will be a price to pay to get it?

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Superb Owls, don't forget!

    Super Bowels. Eww.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Time for an alternative

    Like it or not, Facebook is an institution.

    Not. Believing that is like being proud you're a bed wetter. Modern kids are embarrassed their parents use it.

    Add in the Zuckerberg back story, and you start to verge on Microsoftian level evil.

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