MrTroy’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Nov 17th, 2015 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re:

    And there's the rub. Those people paid to be left alone, and unnamed. Finding out who they are to give them their money back may be the opposite of what they want, even if it may be to the greater good...

  • Oct 26th, 2015 @ 8:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You mean you missed the bit in the middle where an angel dealt karmic vengeance on an EHS-denier by driving him crazy until he shot his own father? Pure gold, I tell you.

    The bit where Wikipedia (and the entire internet) is a government agency was also quite informative. My mind reels at the conspiracy theories that come to light, looking back at the SOPA protests in that light.

    I'm a little disappointed that the poster didn't offer any help to locate any of the thousands of studies that positively demonstrate EHS, but that the article is ignoring.

    Maybe the simplest tl;dr takeaway from the whole comment is "EHS is like sensitive teeth". I really do recommend reading the angel bit, though. If it doesn't convince you that EHS exists, then you have no soul!

    -MrTroy, new true believer

  • Oct 21st, 2015 @ 6:02pm

    Re: Descriptive

    Generally, use of another’s trademark is permissible

    Note that HBO was opposing's registration of their own trademark, not opposing's use of "It's not tv".

    Seems to me like they could have avoided this whole brou-ha-ha by not trying to register the trademark themselves. I mean, now they potentially become the trademark trolls, needing to police (or license) anyone else using the phrase in Australia. Win for the little guy perhaps, but this doesn't seem like a win for the public. Not a loss, perhaps, but that's a low bar.

  • Oct 20th, 2015 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Formatting and editing comments

    +1 for easier quoting, without losing styles from the text quoted!

    WYSIWYG formatting or in-place preview (so you don't lose the context of the comment being replied to) would certainly be nice.

    Just avoid that WYSIHYD thing.

  • Oct 18th, 2015 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Response to: Rekrul on Oct 17th, 2015 @ 3:13pm

    I'd actually go the other way. This connected to a lamp would make for a fun exploratory toy for our toddler.

    Then again, a bowl full of nice stones, an empty milo tin, and a plastic bottle with some dried pasta in it also make for fun toys for our toddler...

  • Oct 15th, 2015 @ 9:59pm

    Re: Re:

    OS/2? Unix?

    No wait, unix required you to just know what program to use to open a particular file.

  • Oct 15th, 2015 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re:

    My (non-careful) reading of it was that the DRM was to prevent the metadata from being stripped:

    However in doing so they also strip off information about authorship and licensing. Indeed, this is one of the factors that has created pressure for a DRM system that could to prevent image metadata from being removed.

    I'm not sure how much I can make myself care about a form of DRM that means I can't interpret the metadata of images that I download from the internet... but that can't be what they mean, otherwise stripping the metadata involves taking the unencrypted image data, and saving it into a new image with neither DRM nor metadata.

  • Oct 15th, 2015 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Hi rez or low rez?

    What's wrong with that? If the low res version is good enough for you then you don't have to buy it. Same for people complaining that they didn't release the films that you wanted them to - you're complaining that your free cookie is peanut butter when you wanted chocolate chip.

  • Oct 14th, 2015 @ 1:10am


    I 99% agree with you, but which in country should the author be required to register their copyright? How do you deal with people copying the work in other countries in which the copyright wasn't registered? Or countries that don't recognise the shorter copyright term for unregistered works (yet?).

    Even this simple fix (which I think is better than the incumbent situation) would likely require an update to the Berne Convention (or WIPO, or whatever).

  • Oct 13th, 2015 @ 8:16pm


    First and foremost, the issue of anonymous posters. Most sites that accept submissions / contributions / posts generally have some sort of "you grant us shared copyright / you grant us unrestricted license including resale" or similar for every post made. That means that there are corporate co-copyright holders out there for almost every piece of work made, and they are directly in the position to continue to disseminate, distribution, publish, and or re-license almost every work they get.

    That could be a possible way out, though I believe it's more often an unrestricted license than assignment of copyright (is shared copyright even a thing?). It doesn't help if it's just as hard to locate who currently holds the copyright (license) bucket for all of the archived twitter posts, 20 years after twitter no longer exists.

    As various stories on TechDirt have pointed out, it's hard enough to track down copyright holders today - see, for one.

    ... most of this "culture" isn't really important, nor would it's loss be significant in cultural terms.

    The truth is much of the "culture" being shared online today won't be worth a pinch of dust even 10 years from now, let alone 70.

    The problem is that you can't tell the difference TODAY what won't be worth a pinch of dust, and what will be important and/or priceless. More to the point, the cultural value in a work may have no relation to its economic value, and the cultural value in a single work may have little relation to the cultural value of that same work in a body of work of its time. For example, a single #Occupy tweet is of nearly no worth, but an #Occupy movement is a cultural phenomenon likely to be worth future study.

    Third, with all of the backup systems, scraper bots, wayback machines, and so on, much of the transient "culture" of the internet has already been saved.

    So the content may be saved, but how much does that matter if copyright renders it inaccessible for fear of being dragged to court? For a starting film-maker documenting (for example) the #Occupy movement, including the content of hundreds of tweets could result in liability for hundreds of lawsuits! Free use barely matters at that point, since each use would have to be defended separately unless the laws change drastically.

  • Oct 13th, 2015 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re:

    It might be easy to dismiss these concerns, to say that there's little social value in much of the content being created by amateurs. But I suspect researchers and historians of the future will beg to differ.

    Congratulations on making yourself feel superior while simultaneously completely missing the point of the article.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 6:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    Sounds like Kotaku should should have stuck with Dynasty Warriors in their article. Choosing a niche game with (apparently?) player-generated content available for sale from the developer severely muddies the water.

    It's like saying Second Life took third-party content too far, because buying every add-on and mod available would be too expensive. Technically true, but proving... what exactly?

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 6:03pm

    Re: What missing innovation?

    Forgot to add. Read the comments here for a discussion of a bunch of authors wishing Amazon had some competition. Nobody likes a market without competition.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 5:49pm

    What missing innovation?

    I can't really get over this piece, and what it's trying to say. What stagnation has occurred in the ebook space, that is, what features are missing from ebooks that we otherwise should have seen without such stagnation?

    That you can no longer scan your bookshelf at arm's length? (Ignoring the fact that you can search much more easily)

    That layouts aren't as finely tuned as paper? (Ignoring the fact that layout engines ARE improving, and user's have long had the option of choosing their own font and size for most books... perhaps such customisable layout engines are harder than the author suspects?)

    That digital publishing stacks are closed? But the argument makes no sense at all! As a reader, we don't care whether the publisher used InDesign or Illustrator for layout, or which printer in China they contracted as long as the quality meets our expectations. Saying that we can't read a book bought on Amazon except through kindle software, or a book bought on iBooks except through Apple hardware... well, that's the music/DRM debate all over again. We somehow managed to get DRM-free music, I'm quietly optimistic that books will follow.

    That if Amazon stops supporting Kindle, or Apple stops supporting iBooks, that nobody can step in and offer new, more beautiful containers for our legacy libraries? I'd suggest that fixing the DMCA is a better and broader approach here, and that cicumventing DRM after support has been removed (and possibly before) isn't illegal, even (specifically!) for commercial purposes.

    That reference books don't hyperlink well? Well if these guys can do it, then I don't know why anyone else can't.

    That we don't have mystical new mixed-media masterpieces? Well, various people have tried, and the results in book form invariably suck. Written word, spoken word and video are all consumed at a different pace, so mixing them well is insanely hard to do... not to mention increasing the cost of production, hence of purchase, further reducing the market. But there is a market for this kind of work, and it's been healthy for decades.

    In all, I feel like complaining about stagnation or lack of innovation in ebooks is kind of like complaining about stagnation and lack of innovation in cars. Forget about air bags, adaptive cruise control, electronic bucket seats with multiple driver profiles, catalytic converters, electronically assisted braking and stability controls... why don't we have a flying car yet, is everybody just sitting on their hands here? Also, modern cars are still basically a box around a combustion engine - forget about all of the electric cars commercially available that aren't.

    Have fun with your nostalgic puffery, Craig Mod. Take your time, I'll be here enjoying the future-present until you're ready to join us.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What competition exactly are Amazon locking out with DRM? Any publisher can sell books through Amazon without DRM (although they no longer list the DRM status of books on their website, hmm. See eg though, which lists the DRM status in the book description), and Amazon doesn't prevent the books from being distributed anywhere else simultaneously unless publishing through KDP and opting for Kindle Select/Kindle Unlimited.

    I must admit, I couldn't find any information as to whether you can still publish without DRM if opting for select, but you seem to have made your mind up anyway.

    Do you feel like Google is locking out the competition from the Google Play store, since I can't play run of those apps on an iPhone? Why should Amazon be required to support competitors' devices? (Which in fact they do, if you count the ios and android kindle apps, let alone the web-based reader)

    And for the record, advice is accepted better when it's not prefaced with "No, the proper response is ..."

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Re: One-sided 'innovation'

    I can't find any such examples now (for hardbacks, at least), but there were certainly some price funniness going on recently.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Amazon already knows that I prefer the vast swathes of enjoyable ebooks for $5 or less (some of them traditionally published) to the new blockbuster that isn't actually much good, or the literary masterpiece that 80% of people can't even finish.

    For the DRM... I mean, I'm not particularly fond of the idea, but in my experience Amazon's DRM lies alongside Steam - it's unobtrusive and has never prevented me from reading whatever I want. It's also optional, and publishers are free to publish titles without DRM... opt-out, but again I find it hard to get riled up about that. Why would Amazon push to make it easier for competitors?

    I'm not certain that they're not making it unreasonably hard for competitors to effectively compete via their patents, but that's not what anyone seems to be claiming.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 9:15pm

    Re: Re: Open, Shmopen

    I disagree that the open platform is likely to lead to greater innovations. I think that competition is likely to lead to greater innovations.

    I concede that open platforms can make it easier for new competitors to enter the market, without having to start from scratch and play catch-up. Maybe that's the link you see with open leading to greater innovation, because of the increased competition from newcomers?

    In the ebook space specifically, I think lack of innovation is ... misinformed? There have been untold numbers of experiments in terms of custom apps and online offerings involving various types of interaction... that have largely flopped and faded into insignificance. The public just hasn't been interested in the "innovations" on offer.

    "Books under glass" in a light, easy to handle form factor, with customisable font/sizing and instant access to a mind-blowing quantity of books, the ability to look up the definition of a word without leaving the page... isn't enough? It sure seems to be enough for the many thousands* of books bought from the kindle store each day. It's enough for me, and I couldn't really see the appeal to e-books before getting a kindle - I still hate reading long documents on a computer screen.

    Articles like the one linked tend to pop up around the place fairly regularly, but universally they never seem to have anything behind them; they're emotive puff-pieces that people can get behind, either for or against, but just like gun control debates everybody simply airs their piece, nobody changes their minds about anything, then everybody forgets about it until the next puff piece to come along and invite more comment.

    Not that more innovation would be a bad thing, but forget talking about it. If someone has a good idea that the market is lacking, develop it!

    (* I wanted to say millions here, but in the end I couldn't find enough to back it up. is the best I could find, though out of date. It does suggest that the top 35 kindle books sold at least 60,000 copies daily between them; the top 200 adds another 40,000)

  • Oct 4th, 2015 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Anyone can have a change of heart

    I prefer to think he was "working deep", taking time to make himself the sweetheart of the patent trolls, biding his time... slowly losing sleep and sanity as he constantly wondered if he was doing the right thing... until he finally saw his chance to strike, and threw his spear deep into the breast of the worst of the trolls!

    Undercover superhero is way cooler than reformed scrooge.

  • Sep 23rd, 2015 @ 9:11pm

    Re: clock bomb irving


    So everyone on here would have just sat there beside that clock thing on a plane or in an office building with close quarters and never blinked an eye. Whatever.

    I'm not sure what you're suggesting here. We should be wary of anyone carrying a briefcase?

    Schools need to be safe period. That looked nothing like a clock. What a circus.

    Things don't need to look like clocks for schools to be safe. Kids don't need to be forced to sign confessions saying they brought a bomb to school because it doesn't look like a clock for schools to be safe. In fact, I would argue that staff should not overreact and persecute their students in order for that student to be safe at school.

    Why can't people get this upset over real issues like the mentally ill homeless people or the elderly who are living in poverty or the gun violence in our cities.

    Why do you think people (presumably posters on this forum) don't get upset of issues like mental health, support for the homeless, eldery povery or gun violence? Would you feel better if twitter blew up about these topics more often?

    The problems of a privileged kid who should have obeyed the rules is not a worthy cause at all. His family has money, he has a nice home and he will get a great education, that's not a person who should be put into saint hood he didn't obey the school policy that his parents legally signed off on at the beginning of the texas school year. Obey the rules and use common sense.

    He has money, therefore being forced to sign a confession for something he didn't do was okay? What rules are you talking about here, not bringing interesting electronics projects to school? Not succumbing to staff overreactions?

    My common sense says that this kid made something kinda cool that he should be proud of showing off, and further that the school administration vastly overreacted and overreached in their authority. What does yours say?

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