This week, after James Comey unveiled his idea for an international encryption backdoor partnership (still impossible to do safely), DannyB racked up the votes to win most insightful comment of the week by reflecting the style of Comey’s demands of technologists:
Mr. Comey, why can’t you catch terrorists without breaking everyone’s encryption?
Don’t tell me it’s impossible.
I reject the ‘it’s impossible’ response. I think you just haven’t actually tried it.
Meanwhile, a debate broke out this week about whether a boycott was a proper (or even feasible) response to problems with internet service providers, with some suggesting that if people don’t like the privacy rules they should go without internet rather than expect to “have your cake and eat it too”. Roger Strong won second place for insightful with a good summation of why this line of thinking is flawed:
In most boycotts you still have cake. You simply refuse to buy it from one baker, even if it costs a bit more elsewhere.
That baker does not have a government-granted monopoly on an essential service or basic infrastructure.
For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with one further reply on that topic in which an anonymous commenter spotted another problem with ISP boycotts:
Who are you boycotting?
Boycotting your ISP also mean boycotting the sites that you rely on or desire. Such a boycott is likely to strengthen the corporate hold on the Internet, as they can withstand the storm better than all the small players that are also hurt by the lack of visitors.
Next, we head back to last week’s comments post, where the conversation about good ebook publishers continued with some recommendations from an anonymous reader:
I agree with my fellow anonymous coward about Baen. They were the publisher that got me back into reading after a five-year gap, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve bought every single monthly bundle they’ve ever put out. They’ve always been free of DRM infestation and respect their readers.
Baen, Bookstrand, Weightless Books, Wildside, Manning, O’Reilly, and other publishers who don’t charge eye-gouging prices and don’t permit DRM infestation are on my “WILL buy/WON’T pirate” list. Other publishers are evaluated on a case by case basis.
I’m also wondering when the publishers will wake up to the fact that DRM actually encourages piracy.
Has there ever been a reputation management firm that wasn’t in dire need of a reputation management firm?
Wow. Usually we get into the comments before someone Godwins it…
For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out on our post about the worrying findings from a review of the DEA’s “oversight” of cash seizure and forfeiture, where TechDescartes noticed some appropriate ambiguity:
So when you Google “define oversight,” you get two definitions:
- an unintentional failure to notice or do something. “he said his failure to pay for the tickets was an oversight” synonyms: mistake, error, omission, lapse, slip, blunder
- the action of overseeing something. “effective oversight of the financial reporting process”
Which one are they using in the title of this report? I can’t tell.
Finally, we head to the news that farmers are using pirated firmware to get around John Deere’s onerous restrictions on repair, where one anonymous commenter wondered if it’d make it into a certain meticulously detailed PC game:
I can’t wait for this to be in the DLC for Farming Simulator 2018.
That’s all for this week, folks!