Rick Gutleber 's Techdirt Comments

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  • Wizards Of The Coast Learning That Pissing Off Geeks Isn't Such A Good Idea…

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 07 Apr, 2009 @ 02:06pm

    Re: Someone help me out, please!

    Seems like yet another case of dead tree (or dead polymer) media hamstringing themselves and sticking to their best and most loyal customers.

    Nothing new here, except you would think WotC, of all people, should get it. It seems however, the **AAs don't have the monopoly on lack of common sense, or a monopoly on trying to pretend the revolution that happened over a decade ago still doesn't exist.

    And you're absolutely right. You don't want to tick off the geeks, they have the wherewithal and the obsessive personality types to exact payback from WotC. Those are practically a prerequisite to be a user of their products in the first place.

    Somehow, we've gone from "The Customer is always right." to "The Customer is our enemy." and it will be a long time, if ever, until things get back to something sane that actually serves customer and vendor alike.

  • Why Is The AP Invoking The DMCA Over The Obama Poster?

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 25 Mar, 2009 @ 04:21pm


    You seem to be mistaken here. The DMCA perfectly serves the constituents of Congress, the media companies. You think individual citizens matter to Congress? They'd just as soon turn us all into dog food or fertilizer except that could possibly affect their re-election prospects.

    Face it, individuals are non-existent in the eyes of those 535 whores who buy and sell us on a daily basis.

  • Hollywood Takes Another Crack At Getting Permission To Break Your DVR

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 06 Feb, 2009 @ 03:20pm

    Re: Re:

    However, you are overestimating the government's ability to enforce laws that couldn't possibly be enforced. Of course, it's still dangerous. We're not far from a point where anyone deemed an enemy of any politician can easily be found to have committed some violation of our byzantine and draconian Federal laws.

    How different is a maze of unknowable, unenforceable laws from complete tyranny and utter anarchy at the same time?

  • BYU Says Video Games Are Very, Very, Very Bad For You

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 26 Jan, 2009 @ 07:58am

    Unbiased study?

    I'll believe the results of this study are unbiased the same day I believe the results of BYU's archaeology department are unbiased, i.e., never.

  • Ocean Tomo Patents Being Used To Shake Down Companies That Have Online Recommendations

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 13 Jan, 2009 @ 05:21am

    Patent Reform

    And how long are those do-nothings in Congress going to sit around letting these scum sabotage the American business world before they bother to take a break from voting for each others' earmarks and actually do something useful to reform the system?

  • IBM's I'm-Sorry-Dave-I'm-Afraid-I-Can't-Do-That Patent

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 06 Jan, 2009 @ 07:36pm

    A Patent?!


    I've been doing this for many years (in one form or another since the 80's). I call prior art.

    Just more proof that you can patent anything.

  • Mass Failure Of 30GB Zunes Shows That At Least A Few People Actually Own Zunes

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 05 Jan, 2009 @ 09:56am

    Re: Re: Still the Best PMP

    Agreed. I have a Sansa 8G and it's decent, but with RockBox, it's awesome. I can't imagine using anything without RockBox (except my ancient Nueros II, but it supported OGG out of the box).

  • Old Electronics Kit Manuals Forced Offline Thanks To Copyright

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 29 Dec, 2008 @ 01:27pm

    Re: Electronics Kit Manuals

    I hate to break the news to you, but it is capitalism. Unfortunately, capitalism in the U.S. now includes whatever unfair "rights" and "laws" you can buy from Congress.

    Congress was never known for its integrity, but these days, they don't even pretend to be anything but whores.

  • Man Who Re-Uploaded Viral Baby Swinging Video Charged With Child Abuse?

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 12 Dec, 2008 @ 11:00am


    Why is the TV even there... it's just a distraction to the illusion.

    OTOH, I think a lot of people, especially ones with no experience with babies (and you'd be surprised how many there are) will believe this. I recall an adult, around age 30 (successful professional, smart guy) being introduced to my oldest child who was around 2 months old, and commenting, "So he's what, about 2 years old?" I can't imagine being so ignorant of the basics of human development, but face it, if you're a single child raised in a neighborhood with very few children, this is quite possible.

    That's the society we are creating where so many people are so out of touch with reality, that they could, even would be likely to, see this as real. The level of gullibility of average people (even smart ones) constantly amazes me.

  • Man Who Re-Uploaded Viral Baby Swinging Video Charged With Child Abuse?

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 12 Dec, 2008 @ 10:55am

    Here's the problem...

    The problem here, all issues of free speech or the fact that this is clearly fake aside, is that there are a lot of people (one would be too many) who will think this is real, try it, and dislocate a child's arms or worse as a result.

    It's a result of living in a society where we are being dumbed down to level of slow children, and everything is being done to protect people from the consequences of their actions. Regardless of anything, it's possible, even likely, that this video will result in someone being harmed, possibly seriously, even life-threateningly.

    The real question is: How do you maintain a society of literal idiots?

    I'm not proposing some kind of objectivist Darwinism of letting the stupid suffer from their consequences no matter what, but how far do you go to protect people who are, by all objective standards, simply retarded?

  • Whaddaya Know? DRM For Nokia's 'Comes With Music' Is Cracked

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 12 Dec, 2008 @ 06:59am

    Re: Mike the Genius

    That would be fine if the DRM not only didn't prevent legitimate fair use, but in many cases prevents any use.

    DRM is a concerted effort to get things to not work. This doesn't serve anyone and is a completely broken concept. The software industry has a hard enough time making things work correctly at all, but when you are trying to create something that only works in a very specific, contrived situation you are bound to utterly fail, and in doing so, cause harm to your legitimate customers while doing little or nothing to prevent piracy.

    It's ironic that we went through this whole DRM fiasco in the 1980's with "copy-protected" floppy disks. It was an utter disaster then, because all forms of copy-protection were broken, piracy wasn't stopped and legitimate customers suffered. Eventually it was rejected by the marketplace. But it seems in the computer world, every stupid failed idea needs to be tried and tried again in some vain hope that somehow, the thing that crashed and burned spectacularly every time it was used in the past will suddenly, and miraculously, work this time around.

  • Do We Really Want An Internet Run By Lynch Mobs?

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 09 Dec, 2008 @ 04:52pm

    Re: Re: The fundamental question...

    Works for me. Communism and socialism will always sap human motivation, destroy productivity and stifle progress. They are a road to societal ruin that ultimately reduce humans to level of dumb animals.

  • Stopping People From Spreading Your Ideas Doesn't Seem Very Smart

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 08 Dec, 2008 @ 01:51pm

    Has anyone introduced this guy to Al Gore?

    They seem like they would have a lot in common.

  • Microsoft Jumping On The T-Shirt Bandwagon

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 08 Dec, 2008 @ 11:33am


    But what they do best is illegal.

  • Spore's DRM So Effective It Was The Most Downloaded Game Of The Year

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 07 Dec, 2008 @ 02:20pm

    Re: Re:

    This is typical of a market where one or a few companies has too much power. EA treats their customers with contempt because they can. Good customer service is for companies that have real competition. Look at Microsoft. Microsoft would have to go up to be hated, and they treat their customers with nothing but seething hatred. They couldn't get away with what they do if most of their market had a real choice. While I don't use Microsoft products, the alternatives are not viable for a lot of people, if only because of Microsoft's FUD campaigns.

    Monopolies are bad.

  • NBC Universal Likes To Keep Its Head In The Sand About People Watching TV Online

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 06 Dec, 2008 @ 05:38pm

    Re: Complete nonsense

    You couldn't possibly have self-esteem issues, could you?

    I cancelled satellite about 4 years ago. I actually think it's a good value, but we simply weren't using it enough to justify the expense. Now that there's Netflix and Hulu in addition to the DVDs we buy, I wouldn't bother with satellite or cable even if they cut the price by 75%.

    Hooray for the future.

  • A Market For Used MP3s… Or A Parody To Prove A Point?

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 05 Dec, 2008 @ 02:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Can I sell my unwanted tracks from a CD?

    That would probably be the FDA or whatever agency governs how food products must be labeled. The only thing stopping them from selling the little candy bars individually is that they are not labeled according to food packaging rules. If they were (and it's unlikely you could get everything you needed printed on such a small wrapper) then they could be sold. It has nothing to do with the manufacturer, AFAIK.

  • Sick Babies Denied Treatment Thanks To Patents

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 03 Dec, 2008 @ 05:56pm

    Re: Now we have some Pathos...

    Believe me, baby killing is small potatoes in the scheme of things people will justify to keep making money.

  • New Report Says Mass Media Is Really, Really Evil For Kids

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 02 Dec, 2008 @ 05:12pm

    Re: Yeah, yeah, yeah

    I would hardly be willing to bet the freshman class at the Ivy League schools are paragons of intelligence and hard work.

    Graduates are a little more likely, but a college education ain't what it used to be a couple generations ago. I'm sure there are plenty of people being churned out by even Yale and Harvard who aren't particularly competent at anything.

  • New Report Says Mass Media Is Really, Really Evil For Kids

    Rick Gutleber ( profile ), 02 Dec, 2008 @ 05:07pm

    Re: Wrong application

    The media are only providing the audience what it can sell most easily. The only way to fight back is not play the game. Cancel your cable/satellite, cancel the newspaper and magazine subscriptions. There are plenty of ways to stay informed and find good entertainment without them, and they often cost less. The mass media can do anything it wants and still be relevant if it has an audience.

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