Michael Thomas 's Techdirt Comments

Latest Comments (19) comment rss

  • Supreme Court Knocks A Little More Off The 4th Amendment; Gives Cops Another Way To Salvage Illegal Searches

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 20 Jun, 2016 @ 01:39pm

    Re: Re: ID is now required?

    I am not a lawyer by the way. Just a concerned citizen.

  • Supreme Court Knocks A Little More Off The 4th Amendment; Gives Cops Another Way To Salvage Illegal Searches

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 20 Jun, 2016 @ 01:38pm

    Re: ID is now required?

    In Texas, you must produce a drivers license if you are operating a motor vehicle, and you are detained in your vehicle by a LEO.

    If you are walking on the street, there is no requirement to identify yourself unless you are being detained by a LEO.. It is sufficient to state your name if you are detained in this manner. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor, though I don't know what level.

    So it depends. It depends on the situation and it depends on what state you are in.

  • T-Mobile Exempts Video Streams From Wireless Data Caps, Sets A Horrible Precedent

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 10 Nov, 2015 @ 03:55pm

    There is no harm to any non-white listed service. In fact, non-white listed services receive a net benefit by exactly the amount a user would previously have had the white listed service usage applied to the their usage cap.

    For example, say I have a 10 gig a month plan and I consume Netflix, Pandora and two or three lesser media services. Without zero rating, they all count towards my bandwidth limit. If Pandora and Netflix are zero rated, then the bandwidth I would have consumed on those two services is now re-allocated to the lesser services. I can now consume more of the lesser services without breaking my usage cap.

    Peoples preferences for non-white listed services may increase if they know they now have more bandwidth to allocate to them. White listing some, but not all services, has the effect of increasing the size of the pie for everyone. It is not the ideal situation of no usage caps, but it is still preferred to a regime where every service falls under the cap.

  • T-Mobile Wades Into Net Neutrality Minefield With Plan To Zero Rate Netflix, HBO

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 30 Oct, 2015 @ 06:19pm

    Zero rating is a net subsidy to other services not zero rated. For example, say I have a 10 gig a month plan and I consume Netflix, Pandora and two or three lesser media services. Without zero rating, they all count towards my bandwidth limit. If Pandora and Netflix are zero rated, then the bandwidth I would have consumed on those two services is now re-allocated to the lesser services. I can now consume more of the lesser services without breaking my usage cap.

  • US Works Its Way Up To The Middle Of The Pack In Broadband Speed

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 04 Dec, 2013 @ 11:45am

    People get the speed they want.

    In most metros you can purchase any download speed you desire. Most people do. The fact that most people choose to buy lower speeds at the pricepoint they desire is a feature not a bug.

  • DailyDirt: Will Renewable Energy Be Enough To Curb Global Warming?

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 26 Nov, 2013 @ 08:57pm

    Keep churning out the CO2

    CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 emissions do not produce negative externalities in the way that ground level ozone, lead, mercury, dioxin, fecal coli-form bacteria, particulate matter and fertilizer runoff produce negative externalities. Rising CO2 levels could be a feature or a bug depending on other factors which effect climate and depending on how man chooses to adapt.

    The historical record is on the side of CO2 being a net positive. In last 100 million years, CO2 levels were once higher than 2000 ppm. In earlier periods, with much higher CO2, the earth was warmer,wetter, ecologically more diverse, less desertified and had much less ice. Declining CO2, over the last 100 million years, corresponds closely with a colder, drier, desertifying and frozen planet. Given a choice between the former climate and the latter, I choose the former.

    I quibble with the entire notion of ?renewable energy?. I believe the phrase is fallacious and sidetracks the whole debate. There is no renewable. There are different methods of power generation that utilize varying combinations of finite resources and finite land. Wind and solar are capital and labor intensive, toxic in their manufacture, and utter hogs of finite land. Other renewables like Hydro power are extremely limited in their application and destructive of the physical environment. Hydro power ruins freshwater fisheries and has been catastrophic for marine estuaries by impeding the normal ebb and flow of water.

  • The War On Fake Reviews Ramps Up: NY Fines Companies For Fake Yelp Reviews

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 27 Sep, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    A good fake is better than an original

    I don't really see the problem with fake reviews. Anybody who trusts a review from a stranger is an idiot anyway. The only reviews I trust are bad reviews.

  • Ron Paul Doesn't Win RonPaul.com And Is Guilty Of Reverse Domain Hijacking

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 24 May, 2013 @ 05:57am

    It's a for profit site

    You can poke fun if you want to but the domain was not "held by some of his biggest supporters". The site was established not to support Ron Paul but merely to profit from his movement. Nothing wrong with that either but keep the facts straight.

  • Ron Paul, UN Hater, Asks UN To Take RonPaul.com Forcefully From Ron Paul's Biggest Supporters

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 11 Feb, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re:

    The site only pastes up publicly available speeches, writings and videos, using Ron Paul as the by line. They produce no original content or commentary. Ron Paul is actually giving them a pass on two things, 1. his trademark and 2. the improper attribution on the posts. He did not make the posts. The attribution should read posted by "Insert name of poster". He could sue them for trademark infringement and likely would prevail.

  • Ron Paul, UN Hater, Asks UN To Take RonPaul.com Forcefully From Ron Paul's Biggest Supporters

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 11 Feb, 2013 @ 07:21am

    The other problem I have with this piece is the idea that it is somehow wrong to bring a case to suit in the venue where the complainent has standing. Does the author of this piece think that some other venue would have been more appropriate? Where does one go if the plaintiff is in the USA and the defendent is in Australia and the subject of the dispute is necessarily international in nature.

  • Ron Paul, UN Hater, Asks UN To Take RonPaul.com Forcefully From Ron Paul's Biggest Supporters

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 11 Feb, 2013 @ 07:05am

    The site is a for profit web page designed to sell Ron Paul paraphernalia, for the benefit and profit of the domain name owners. It's not and never has been a site devoted to anything but selling t-shirts and bumper stickers for profit. Nothing wrong with that, but I think the author of this piece has mis-characterized the nature of the site, and in so doing, the nature of the dispute.

    I think Ron Paul is interested in the domain name, only, and not the list of "supporters", who are, in fact, the t-shirt and bumper sticker purchasers. If Ron Paul was going into the T-shirt business, then the list of "supporters" would have some value.

  • Mesa County Police Have Been Using Drones For Years, Still Coming Up With Rules On Use

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 19 Dec, 2012 @ 06:40am

    There is not a lot of difference between a drone and a civilian airplane or helicopter with a peace officer on board, except that the drone is an order of magnitude cheaper to operate.

  • Buy Your Kindle At Waterstones? You're Now Locked Into One Screensaver… The Waterstones Logo

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 17 Dec, 2012 @ 06:19am

    At least they don't have to look at a picture of Emily Dickinson.

  • Feds Say They Can Search Bradley Manning's Friend's Laptop Because They Can

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 02 Aug, 2011 @ 06:58am

    Re: Re:

    Customs agents need not suspect anything. You have no rights until they admit you into the country. They can go through and detain all your stuff for absolutely no reason if they so desire.

  • How Long Until A Lawsuit Is Filed Against eBook Trading Service?

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 27 Jan, 2011 @ 05:52am

    Does the first sale doctrine apply to e-books? That is the legal principle that applies to libraries and physical books.

  • Associated Press Chairman Signs Up For Righthaven, Begins Suing Bloggers

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 08 Dec, 2010 @ 06:32am

    Dean Singleton is an interesting creature. The first part of his media career was spent buying big metro dailies and then mismanaging right out of business. Now he is chairing the AP, amongst other things.

    While, on the one hand, Singleton always managed to land on his feet after every business failure he is involved in; on the other hand, his presence is the kiss of death for every venture he is involved in. If Singleton is involved it is only a matter of time before things go badly for him and his associates.

  • A Look At The Technologies & Industries Senators Leahy & Hatch Would Have Banned In The Past

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 28 Sep, 2010 @ 07:05am

    Re:

    Criminal law outlaws behavior not persons, whether living or legal. To outlaw living or legal persons would be a Bill of Attainder. There is a prohibition against Bills of Attainder which is what this would be if, in fact, the bill "does attempt to identify certain sites that exist for no realistic purpose...". I don't know if the bill actually does that, as you claim. But, if it did, that would be one way of nullifying it.

  • Phone Calls Are For Old People? Just Not Efficient Enough

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 06 Aug, 2010 @ 02:03pm

    You would be better off not scheduling calls and simply taking them when they come, especially don't roll them to voicemail.

    I sell insurance and I answer every call, myself, by the third ring, 24/7, and I let my customers know that if they call me I will answer by the third ring 24/7. The result: I save a lot of time not chasing people down and I get fewer calls during the week and rarely any on the weekend.

    Many people call with minor BS that takes only a second handle and I would rather handle it right then than chase them around after a voicemail Sometimes people call with a major problem and I would rather handle that right then than chase them around after a voicemail. So I save a lot of time by handling stuff right away.

    But why do I get less calls? This seems counter intuitive. I believe there is a whole class of people out there who like to play cat and mouse by leaving messages.

    I got a call on a Sunday and I answered. The caller was surprised that I answered and asked me to hang up so that she could leave a message. I said no worries let's take care of it now. All she had was some question about a line on her bill she wasn't reading rightly. It really upset her that I took care of it then instead of calling her back on Monday. She's never called back except during business hours.

    I guess if people really believe you are going to answer the phone then they make sure not to call unless they are really prepared to talk.

  • Why World War I Recordings Won't Enter The Public Domain Until 2049

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    Michael Thomas ( profile ), 06 Aug, 2010 @ 01:36pm

    The meaning of copy has changed over the years. Today it means "to reproduce" or "duplicate". In the eighteenth century it referred to the finished product on a page which you read.