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

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Europe Cesspool

    Europeans are all socialist.

    I was teenaged in the sixties and I know what it's like to grow up hearing that word used as "in league with the devil", but the Cold War is over now, and we don't have to worry about the Red Threat anymore (Russia's no longer a communist threat, Cuba's even being welcomed back), so is "socialist" really devilish, or just Cold War propaganda?

    The phrase "We The People" is "socialist", you know?

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 12:41pm


    A program used to convict and possibly kill a man must be open to examination by the defense experts.

    In fact, that program if used, ought to be developed and controlled and owned by the gov't for use by the justice system. NIST, maybe? No defence lawyer should have to defend against, "'Cause we said so, so there." That's the opposite of blind justice. It's divine right of kings.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 12:33pm

    Re: In cases like this

    Where a company is refusing to allow inspection of source code when confidentiality is ensued, the safe assumption is that the source code is in embarrassingly bad shape.

    Or, just basically flawed from the get go. Intel was selling processors for years which couldn't do floating point arithmetic correctly. Microsoft's calculator app, ditto.

    This sounds a lot like the abysmally flawed voting machine debacle. However with your life potentially on the line, the response in this case is nonsensical. I wonder if in ten years we'll hear of a class action lawsuit by the wrongfully convicted (or their heirs) suing this company into oblivion.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, not all humans are seen as rational agents who value fact over superstition and reason over emotion.

    FTFY. Not to mention, we are far from that possible ideal. How did this question even become a gender issue? Most people I see are clueless, ignorant idiots who're satisfied to be that way. Alternatives actually scare them. Just look at the US' political system. They wouldn't have it any other way.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 4:05pm

    Ha, haa, ha, ha, haaa ...

    ... and the Matthew Keys verdict is just yet another reminder that Congress needs to do something.

    Sorry. I think it's pretty ludicrous to expect the US Congress to do anything useful nowadays; "useful" for "The People" at least. They consider their full time job grandstanding and raising campaign finance funding. "Governing" as their electors would hope them to do is the least of their considerations. They, along with most entities in power today (just as through most of the rest of our history), have no effective oversight.

    Our governments today are no better than the Roman Empire's, and every bit as compromisable by deep pocketed power hungry wannabe tyrants. We have what we have because they allow us to have it, as that's useful for them.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thus it's only natural people ceased to respect it regularly.

    Isn't it interesting that those enacting/buying legislation proscribing copyright infringement are driving more and more towards copyright infringement as their preferred mode of acquisition of content? It's almost like the lawyers and bought politicians are actively working against those bribing them.

    Curious. The lawyers and politicians must be giggling their heads off in private.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Yoga vs Music

    It seems to me that performing yoga is similar in principle to performing music. Yet, copyright applies to performing music but not yoga?

    One of Richard Feynman's famous quotes (about quantum mechanics) goes like, "Yes, I agree, it makes no sense, but this is how it appears to work."

    Hundreds of years ago, politicians invented this artificial thing that could be written into law and used to make money and constrain others' actions by lawyers who spend decades learning its machinations, yet it carries on today into the 21st Century. Why? So the lawyers' current employers could get out of the stagecoach robbing and snakeoil sales businesses maybe (just my theory)? It's bizarre that we allow this to go on, apparently only to enrich a small portion of the legal profession and their clients, to the detriment of everyone else involved in any way.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 2:34pm

    Just a nitpick: "... dangerous for the internet."

    Pretending that you can just focus on "privacy" without considering free expression or how the internet itself works is not only foolish and naive, but potentially dangerous for the internet.

    I don't much care about "dangerous for the internet." Yeah, it's a technological marvel and tres cool and all, but it's essentially a machine which leverages communications between humanity, and the latter I do care about.

    "Right to be forgotten" and "free speech" are not just internet related. Those concepts impact many more forms of intellectual commerce than those facilitated by computers and the net.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 2:04pm


    I have no understanding of why anyone would bother to pirate anything produced by the entertainment industry.

    I do find lots of things at the library that are entertaining, including books, CDs, and DVDs (though certainly lots of it is crap too, agreed). Pawnshops can be worth a look too. The labels have that annoying habit of trying to keep interesting stuff ("Zipadee doo daaa, ..."; Songs of the South) out of circulation until it's convenient for them, but we don't have to suffer their attempts to manipulate us.

    Spitting in their faces as they vent their apoplectic frustration is entertaining too, hence Techdirt. :-)

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 1:33pm


    You chose a pointless either/or when the real problem is that numbers of consumers aren't paying yet can enjoy the products.

    Yet time after time we read reports of record revenues and profits despite so many not paying. We also read reports of all that free consumption driving those consumers' purchases, as it acts as advertising or previews allowing consumers to choose what they wish to purchase.

    Those like you just can't stand it when we refuse to be manipulated by your bosses.

    PS. Not a pirate. I boycott.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 1:09pm

    chmod go-r $blah

    "... the video was ordered to be deleted instead of just blocking the piece of information in question."

    Yet this is a university. Did no-one even consider sequestering the information far locked away from public eyes while this tempest morphed into little more than a dewey, foggy morning mist? There's an IT/CS faculty at Purdue, isn't there, and no-one considered consulting them?

    It's bizarre watching this happening in the former home of the free, land of the brave.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 12:56pm


    And watch NSA employees/contractors get into major car accidents as they swerve to avoid their eyes from catching even a glimpse of that 'classified' information!

    I think a lot of things about advertising's ubiquity these days, but "terrorist attack" is seldom one of them. This is a great, "Go ahead, shoot the other foot now!" moment. Government functionaries appear to have been infected by the Suicide Squad propensities of "Life of Brian", or the Dodos in that cartoon about mastodons, lemurs, and sabretooth tigers. It'd be funny if they weren't armed to the teeth while doing it.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What does God need with a starship?

    (Rant Warning)

    I enjoy your rants.
    The trick is learning not to care about their wishes or demands."

    That's a little like trying to not care about the pack of wolves eyeballing you - while you're leaning up against a tree, weaponless and with a broken leg.

    I'm a fatalist. Everything that has ever lived, or will ever live, is going to die. It's just the other side of the coin that is life. I like to hope I take at least a couple of those wolves with me before I get eaten. Make 'em work for it. :-) Microbes will get us in the end anyway. Don't worry about the wolves. They're just doing what wolves do.

    Try "The Serene Invasion" by Eric Brown (from the library?). I've not finished reading it, but it seems an ideal SF solution to all our problems. Good read, but the editors could be better.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Cord cutting will stun the industry-- just you watch

    Well, you might see them question why they pay $200+ a month (in the Bay Area) to Comcast for crappy content constantly interrupted by ads.

    I just go to a library and check out music CDs, DVD movies, and books. No ads (that a fast forward won't get past). I don't understand why cable TV continues to sell, other than inertia. They're relying on their customers to remain ignorant. How long can that last?

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 5:59pm

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

    The few bad apples are sensationalized by the media and social justice warriors to be the majority when it's simply not the case.

    The "few bad apples" get away with their crimes with the willing silence of the 95% good apples and strident cheering from the sidelines of the PBA.

    When good cops let those fuckers exist within their midst, they tarnish themselves! We're not doing this to them. They're doing this to themselves!

    Wake the fuck up.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 5:48pm

    Re: Consitutional protection.

    The detractors see (and misrepresent, and blow all out of proportion) what can be done with a gun by an aggressor. They ignore what a gun can do in defense of the innocent. They're perverted. Oh, and "Lies, damned lies, and statistics."

    I like to imagine a little old lady walking home at night after babysitting her grandchildren all day. Damned right she should have the right to pack a gun.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 5:38pm

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

    Obviously I don't know you but spent the last 20 years dealing with people like you.

    I'm sorry you had to do that, assuming you did have to as opposed to choosing to do so. I hope you got some enjoyment from it.

    I've spent more than *sixty years* dealing with people like you: "There are none so blind as those who will not see." Coffee's brewing buddy. Wake up.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Actually...DHS has an *extremely* good reason - and justification - to do this...

    I'm thinking I just don't want to go to that country at all.

    It's all relative. Looking at your reply in email, I thought you were writing about the USA, not Mexico. I swore a decade ago in self-defense I'd never again set foot in the USA. No friggin' way! I loved Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon. Now they're toxic militarized police-state wastelands to me.

    I wouldn't go to Mexico because of the Zetas. I wouldn't go to the USA because of TSA, CBP and DHS. Why bother when there's Costa Rica and Argentina, or Peru, or even Equador, ...?

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Ugh.

    One might make an argument that eliminating guns reduces violence in general ...

    Not a very good one. It seems not a weekend goes by that I'm not reading of knife fights in bars over the weekend in downtown Toronto. Eliminate guns and they'll resort to knives, baseball bats, their fists, ... There might be something to the argument for proscribing automatic weapons (to minimize the potential innocent bystanders) but even that's a bandaid solution. A determined killer will not be slowed by details like that. Marc Lepin used a rifle after all. How fast can you reload a rifle? The Columbine Kids had bombs they didn't find time to use.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Re: Actually...DHS has an *extremely* good reason - and justification - to do this...

    All of the maids and staff in every hotel are full-fledged security experts ...

    This sounds extremely made up.

    You should read the recent write-up on Krebs on Security of his recent "vacation" in Mexico. You don't want to use ATMs in vacation hotspots in that country.

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