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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner is Daydream with a comment digging into the details of a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that prevented an attempt to seize someone’s house over an $8.41 debt:

I just looked it up; according to the Pacific Legal Foundation, Rafaeli accidentally underpaid his taxes in 2011, and after discovering the error in 2013, paid for the deficit. The $8.41 was interest left over on that deficit that he didn’t notice.

That’s it. It’s not even a case of ‘he was being stubborn about the last few dollars and the law technically lets us do this’, it’s plainly obvious Rafaeli was making a good faith effort to pay all of his taxes.

This is nothing more than a shameless act of betrayal, by a state government that thinks it’s above consequences.

I wonder, did the Supreme Court rule against Michigan because they recognise this kind of theft is morally wrong three times over, or because they suspected there’d be riots if they didn’t?

In second place, we’ve got another comment on that post, this time from That One Guy predicting the next thing to happen now that the ruling has made this kind of thing harder to do quietly:

‘It’s not even fun anymore…’

“But, from now on, the government will have to share its takings with the people it’s taking property from.”

A result that I guarantee will result in a massive drop in such actions, because much like robbery-at-badgepoint if you can’t profit obscenely from robbing the public then what’s the point?

The fact that it took a state supreme court to point out that no, you cannot turn a ten dollar fine into what is effectively a tens of thousands of dollars fine shows just how corrupt and/or insane the law and courts are, because that really should not have been something that needed to be said.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with an anonymous comment speculating about why we suddenly had so much trouble with Google AdSense content moderation:

I think it’s healthy to remind yourself that this isn’t necessarily about your site specifically. As we approach the US election season, it’s very likely that massive influence campaigns (foreign and domestic) are ramping up. A lot of phishing attempts try to disguise themselves as popular newsletters, and a lot of nefarious websites scrape content from legitimate ones; they also frequently link to legit websites that have at least some superficial ideological resemblance as part of trying to boost search ranks. (Like, for example, you do frequently defend Russian and Chinese interests, which makes you a natural choice for this sort of thing.)

Google’s algorithms (as ever) appear to be getting swamped by the deluge of nefarious actors. Things will probably be better after the election.

Next, it’s an anonymous commenter making a reference about the USPS patenting blockchain-based mail-in voting:

Simple flowchart referenced by Vint Cerf

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous commenter responding to our post describing our issues with AdSense, and the ensuing conversation:

Surprised you had time to reply Mike, I thought you would spending all your time counting your Ferrari’s s/

In second place, it’s Michael responding to a weak defense of the high school that suspended a student for taking a viral photo of the busy hallways, based on the notion that it could harm the other kids in the photo:

Yeah, if there’s one thing all teens hate it’s having pictures of themselves online. /s

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous commenter who got sarcastic about Genius’s attempt to sue Google over licensed lyrics on the basis that they “created a derivative work of the original lyrics in applying its own labor and resources to transcribe the lyrics, and thus, retains some ownership”:

Oh. They were suing on behalf of all the users who generated the content on their site?

And finally, since we had the flowchart reference in response to the USPS above, we’ll round that out with Boba Fat providing an XKCD reference:

Randall Munroe explained voting machines with blockchain very succinctly here:

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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