Sunday, March 30, 2014


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Monday, March 17, 2014

Planned Obtuseness

People who often decry 'planned obsolescence' as some sort of objection to markets are not the brightest bulbs in the firehouse. So I have to clarify everything upfront or I will get the shit storm of people "disagreeing" with me when we actually agree.

When I use the term "planned obsolescence" I'm talking about one type specifically. That is that manufacturers deliberately limit the lifespan of a good for the explicit purpose of getting more repeat business. I'm not talking about the other forms.

So what sorts of 'planned obsolescence' are real? Let's say you're a technology manufacturer, and you find that your customers like to upgrade on average every 2 years to the latest product. So you design your product with parts that can wear out in about 5. You do this for legitimate reasons. Why waste time, energy, and money on resources that will give a phone a 100 year lifespan have to be recycled into something else or thrown out in 2-5 years? A lot can change technology-wise in 100 years, even in 10 years. Imagine how much of a fool you would have been to buy a pager in 1997 that costs 300 dollars more because it will last a lifetime when no one uses them 10 years later. Who knows what the future will be in cell phones in 10 years from now or 10 years after that. How would you feel if you bought an iPhone 1, G1, or a Blackberry at 4 times the cost so it would last 90 years. You would have already had it recycled. (BTW, if you're not recycling your phone, you're an asshole and you're also breaking the law. Your cellphone provider will tell you so.) This is perceived obsolescence. The technology will be phased out even if the hardware is up to the task so manufacturers cut costs for you so you're not overpaying for something you won't even use. I see this as beneficial for all parties involved. This is not what we will be debating.

The argument I will be debating is that companies, with malicious intent, rig devices and goods to die out so you'll come back. First of all it fails on purely logical grounds. Let's say you're Company X and you make a widget designed to fail in 2 years and there's no real reason to do so besides increasing sales. This would mean that if Company Y made a widget without this time-bomb, they would gain market share because they could advertise that their product lasts longer at the same price. Take a light bulb. You have a choice between 2 light bulbs with identical light outputs but one lasts 1 year because of an intentional design flaw, and the other lasts 2 or more years. Word gets around that Company X's light bulb doesn't last as long as Company Y's and X will lose market share.

On the other side of the coin you will have consumer advocacy groups like Consumer Reports that will announce the faulty products and recommend Y over X and market share is lost. The other problem is those fucking geeks. The lifehackers, the reverse engineers, and the other geeks who like to see how things work will identify faults and publicly expose them. If they find something that seems deliberate, lawyers will find these consumers who were defrauded and file a class action against Company X. Company X now will use the extra money it gained fighting a legal battle and paying restitution. Not a smart move.

Ah ha, Jim! Didn't you see the Pyramids of Waste/Light Bulb Conspiracy?! There was a cartel who limited the span of light bulbs! Haven't you heard of the Centennial Light Bulb?! It's been on for over 100 years! Debunk that!
Oh, I will. First let's talk about the Centennial Light Bulb because it's not related to the cartel or planned obsolescence. I made a video about that and I suggest you watch it and then we'll talk about Phoebus.

The Phoebus Cartel was an interesting topic, but it's often over simplified for ideological reasons. The cartel didn't have a hold of every light bulb market. There were Nordic companies who did make longer lasting lamps but they did not sell over the shorter lifespan bulbs. Why was this? Because the longer lifespan bulbs used more electricity and put off more heat than light than the shorter lifespan bulbs. People found it more advantageous to buy bulbs more often, pay less for electricity, and get more light. It's also why we transitioned to tungsten bulbs not long after with an even lower life span than the Phoebus cartel's regulations. Tungsten lamps burned cooler and brighter.

I made the point in the above video and I think I should stress this point here. If you think that companies intentionally retard products for repeat business, how do you explain light bulb manufacturers introduction of CFL lamps which have almost 10x the life span? All the while they were developing and refining the LED lamps to last even longer. Why didn't the light bulb companies lobby the government to ban CFLs on environmental grounds to protect their planned obsolescence model of incandescents? "Those CFLs will get mercury into our water and farms!"

Now this is not to say it's possible or even that this can exist. There are cases where you have a walled garden system where you'd need to buy their refills for their products but they are typically on the fringe or for hobbies. Tamagotchi Pets come to mind, but even those had to cave to reusable models after backlash.

Anyways, love to hear what you guys think. For now I have to go to the store and replace these apples that are overripe because of Mother Nature's planned obsolescence. Curses! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014


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(Don't really give me money, this is sarcasm)

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Events in Ukraine

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The majority of my readers are from the US and Ukrainian readers come in a close second. I would like people chime in on their thoughts on what's going on in (the) Ukraine in the comments below, but especially Ukrainians.

Be safe, guys. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Posting Policy

1 comment:
Anyone who is active in "Fans of V-Radio" will be blocked and their comments will be deleted from any medium I have control of. It's not hypocrisy in the slightest, on the contrary. I'm holding them up to their own standards of free speech. As long as you support a guy who false DMCA's and false flags down videos that disagree with him or expose his nonsense, you will be subject to the same treatment. I will not stoop to their level and try to censor their content on other mediums I don't control (i.e. YouTube, Blogger...etc) because I'm not a total shitbag. 

I've had this ban just on VTV for quite some time, but I'm only extending it out on people who support his shenanigans. Sorry, if you support censorship you get censored here. That's the beauty of censorship; you don't get to chose what gets censored.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

VTV Files a Bogus DMCA against my YouTube Poop of Him [SENT COUNTER CLAIM] [VTV RESPONDS]

1 comment:
People like James Kush, the Anon2AllOfUs people, MarioBrotha..etc. have a problem revealing their identity and never pursued Neil on his bogus DMCA stunts. It seems like he sees himself as bullet proof when it comes to this and decided to go after me. Like I did with Peter Joseph, I have no problem volunteering my information to these jokers and their frivolous legal shenaniganry.

This this afternoon I recieved this when I opened up my YouTube page on my phone.
Neil Kiernan sent a false DMCA on my YouTubePoop of him. For those who don't know what YouTube poops are, take this example. This is a YouTubePoop I made of a YouTube user CardinalVirtues (who's new channel is UnseenPerfidy. Good stuff, go sub.) His videos are heavily researched, often political videos. He's an atheist, skeptic, fiscal conservative democrat and he liked the video I made. 

Let's say good ol' Rob took offence instead. He does own the copyright to most of the content I used in the video. Could he, if he wanted to, file a DMCA over it and take it down? The answer is no.

DMCA and the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976 accounts for "fair use" pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976.

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

There's 4 factors determining Fair Use:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
Courts typically focus on whether the use is “transformative.” That is, whether it adds new expression or meaning to the original, or whether it merely copies from the original.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work
Using material from primarily factual works is more likely to be fair than using purely fictional works.
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
Borrowing small bits of material from an original work is more likely to be considered fair use than borrowing large portions. However, even a small taking may weigh against fair use in some situations if it constitutes the “heart” of the work.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work
Uses that harm the copyright owner’s ability to profit from his or her original work are less likely to be fair uses. Courts have sometimes made an exception under this factor in cases involving parodies.
So under Rob's theoretical DMCA claim, he would be not able to file a takedown legally.

When filing a DMCA, you are signing a legally binding document, under penalty of perjury, that you understand DMCA and U.S. Copyright Law and it clearly is an infringement of your copyright. Title 17 U.S.C. Sec. 512(f)

(f) Misrepresentations. - Any person who knowingly materially misrepresents under this section —
(1) that material or activity is infringing, or
(2) that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification,
shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys' fees, incurred by the alleged infringer, by any copyright owner or copyright owner's authorized licensee, or by a service provider, who is injured by such misrepresentation, as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation in removing or disabling access to the material or activity claimed to be infringing, or in replacing the removed material or ceasing to disable access to it.

And knowingly is important, but it can't be used as a defense in YouTube's policy. When filing a DMCA Takedown on YouTube there's three checkboxes you must tick to file it:
By checking the following boxes, I state that:
∗   I have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
∗   This notification is accurate; and
∗   UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
∗   I acknowledge that under Section 512(f) of the DMCA any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity is infringing may be subject to liability for damages.
∗   I understand that abuse of this tool will result in termination of my YouTube account. 
(Emphasis mine.
So legally, such a defense will not hold up in court.

So what happens next? I notified VTV he had 24 hours to repeal his takedown or I will file a counterclaim. This clock ends December 20, 2013 at 14:00 PST. Within 10 days of the filing 4 things will happen:

My information will be provided to Neil.
My video will be reinstated
The strike against my channel will be lifted
VTV's YouTube account(s) may suffer termination.

In order for the video to be removed thereafter, he would have to file a lawsuit against me and risk reimbursing my legal fees or lost monetary damages I might suffer (days lost from work, traveling...etc.) I'll also file an injuction preventing him from filing further DMCAs against myself.

Now I'm no fan of censorship. Having his channel terminated I don't like, but it's my only option to fight this blatant form of censorship against me. VTV did not like the YouTubePoop I made, which is in full compliance of U.S. copyright law and abused the legal framework to remove it. I can't stand idle while people abuse this system and so I will be following through. So I have my hands tied. Sorry VTV. You can still stop this. Stop being a bitch, and be a man. Repeal the takedown.

Here's a link to the video that was taken down. Once this has been resolved it will be viewable again.

UPDATE: Because I was a little drowsy from donating blood (because I'm a greedy capitalist who only cares about money and not ever helping anyone) I couldn't stay up until 2:00 PM, so I filed my counter claim at around 6:00PM when I woke up.

UPDATE: VTV responds.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Here's What You Have to do to Promote Communism in 21st Century America

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1. Avoid calling it communism or Marxism.

2. If anyone still calls it communism, ascribe positions to communism communists don't hold and say you don't subscribe to those positions.

3. Barrow legitimacy from science and technology. People can disagree with your ideology but not science. So just pretend that you wanting to use science in your prescription is the same as it being scientific.

4. Everything else isn't a TRUE Scotsman like yours is. If there's place that has tried your idea already and failed, just say it didn't have the technology to do it yet. Because the whole world was banging rocks until you figured out your ideology so it didn't count. Nevermind that they had a successful space program or the ability to mass produce things, it can't be good enough unless it went smoothly.

5. Nevermind the details, you got pretty pictures. Why bother with explaining how it will work right this time, we'll figure it out later with science magic. Now, shut up and look at these pretty city designs.

6. Only politicians and for-profit firms are subject to corruption. Once you wear a lab coat instead of a suit and tie, you're unable to corrupt anything. Science is magical, it can do no wrong.

7. Convert idiots with cheap gimmicks and internet videos. Why try and get real scientists to support you when you can solicit the help of idiots on YouTube? Also do some Mr. Wizard tricks like showing how memory wire works and say it can do things it can't like make a self repairing car out of it.

8. If someone is attempting to debunk your ideology, just remember to define your rigid ideology in the most vaguest way possible. Sure he can show why it won't work to just remove money, so don't bother. Just say you're just a "sustainability advocacy group" and there only thing you want is to address "social concerns."