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Comment Re:Don't evolve your business model (Score 1) 221

I'm inclined to agree that that *should* be the case but this is, still, private property with the various rights associated with it ...

I don't see this as a property-rights issue. You're sending them a message with a request for one or more URLs; they're sending messages back with the content. At no point do you have possession of or control over any of their property. Their property is doing exactly what they deliberately programmed it to do: send their content to any arbitrary unauthenticated user on the Internet who requests it. If they did require authentication and you claimed to be someone else in order to gain access then a case could be made for fraud. However, so long as they send out the content to anyone who asks for it, I don't see any problem with making the request.

Comment Re:Target audience (Score 1) 221

The comment was addressed not to Axel Springer, but to the advertisers, who now have more ad "impressions", but probably no more sales than before. They're advertising to people who were willing to pay money to avoid seeing their ads. Those users were doing the advertisers a favor by removing themselves from the viewer pool. Rather than simply not being seen, those ad impressions will now create negative associations for their brands.

Unfortunately there's a delay in the feedback, allowing sites to profit from this for a while at the advertisers' expense. Eventually, though, this effect will cause the payment per ad impression to drop, leading sites to show even more ads to compensate, which in turn drives the price per ad down even further while simultaneously alienating what users they had left.

Comment Re:Don't evolve your business model (Score 1) 221

I'm of the mind that they're free to say that I can't access their site unless I disable my adblocking software. It's their property and they should be able to set the terms and conditions for accessing that property. I am, of course, free to abide by those choices or simply press the back button.

That is, of course, one option. However, I'm of the mind that by setting up a server on the public Internet which responds to arbitrary unauthenticated HTTP requests, they've effectively given permission to access their site to everyone on the Internet, regardless of any claims to the contrary in their terms of service.

If they want to enforce terms and conditions, they are welcome to require users to register and log in before presenting any content.

Comment Re:Nothing to hide (Score 1) 75

I would have found out about it when the collection agencies banged on my door for payment and they wouldn't be likely to take "But I didn't open that account or spend that money" as an excuse for not paying "my" debts.

But they really should.

The creditors are responsible for this situation through their lax authentication measures, even more so than the ones directly committing the fraud. The single most effective thing that could be done to prevent this type of identity fraud would be to void any attempt to collect on a debt (and consider it libel to include the debt in your credit history) unless the creditor can show that the target of the collection was the one that took out the loan—and obviously knowledge of public information like SSN, date of birth, etc. is not sufficient to prove that it was actually you.

Comment Re:Reinvestment ? (Score 1) 365

I'm all for a reasonable tax on corporations, but not by offloading their tax burden onto the rest of us.

You're already paying that tax burden, plus the extra burden of the departments full of accountants needed to keep track of it all. Businesses operate at a relatively fixed level of economic profit. Below that point they go out of business; above that point competition increases and profit margins shrink. To a business, taxes are just another cost, and one way or another that cost gets passed on to you, the customer, either in the form of increased prices (due to decreased supply) or goods and services which are simply unavailable because the taxes would make them uneconomical.

Perhaps as an incentive, allow business to claim a tax deduction for money they put back into the business ?

That's how it already works. Corporate taxes only apply to the profits, after expenses. Money which is reinvested into the business is not taxed. Unfortunately, the resources which you must spend to earn your paycheck are not treated the same way; a fair accounting would let you deduct essential personal expenses such as food, clothing, shelter, travel, and education, without which you would be unable to perform your job.

Comment Re:Patent reform can fix this problem (Score 1) 365

After 3 years, patents issued to foreign based or owned companies can't be enforced against US owned companies making products in the US that utilize them. Patents issued to American owned companies using the patent to make a product in the US can enforce them for the normal time against anyone.

This would just result in another kind of loophole. (1) US-owned company applies for a patent. (2) US company licenses the patent to foreign-owned company, essentially for free, while maintaining responsibility for enforcement. (3) Foreign company sublicenses the patent back to US-owned manufacturer(s). (4) Foreign company collects the profits.

Just give up on corporate taxes already. Flexible jurisdiction is only one of their many problems.

Comment Re:I Should Be A Judge (Score 1) 814

Yes, it was designed to look like typical bomb from a movie.

That's a rather low bar, since a "typical bomb from a movie" is nothing but a bunch of random electronics thrown together—plus, typically, a block of modeling clay meant to represent "explosives". (Perhaps they should be investigating the art department instead.) As a result, you can't ban "things that look like fake movie bombs", sans anything resembling an explosive, without banning electronics projects generally. Granted, this device did include the stereotypical digital clock, but it was counting up, not down. And both count-up and count-down clocks are standard training circuits for beginners in electronics.

The gent who wakes up and finds himself a success hasn't been asleep.