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Comment one or two nukes in Washington (Score 4, Insightful) 120

If there's one or two nukes in DC, we're not in a "US defending itself against a serious attack" scenario, we're in an "end of human civilization as we know it" scenario. There's plenty of folks elsewhere in the country who will be around to push the button.

Comment Re:long-form reporting...deep investigative report (Score 1) 96

Eh. The opinionated troll ratings are no less prevalent than the "you say what I agree with, and therefore it's insightful," moderation.

I still prefer the troll rating to the overrated rating - that's just someone who want's to downmod and doesn't have the balls to call the post troll or flamebait.

Comment Re:long-form reporting...deep investigative report (Score 0, Troll) 96

Say what you will about vinyl, but there is a huge difference in the experience of reading on a computer screen that sits a foot in front of you and a paper you can hold in your lap while kicking back on the couch.

I hold my computer on my lap as a kick back on the couch - they call them laptops.

Comment Re:Yes, they do (Score 1) 129

Another interesting example (and one I hadn't thought of). Of course, like you mention, it's the FCC. Also, radio and TV broadcasting is a government licensed monopoly on access to a resource held in common ownership by the state (broadcast spectrum), though I imagine it pertains to cable as well.

Still don't know if it's parallel to the blogging situation; probably the closest thing I can think of is false advertising controls.

Comment Re:license is not the most important thing (Score 1) 325

But the MP4 codec is produced by a company that 1) holds a significant number of patents itself (which both reduces the issues with infringement, and the likelihood of lawsuits, since in that limited domain, a lawsuit war can be dangerous for everyone), and 2) would indemnify the licensing parties against infringement suits.

Comment license is not the most important thing (Score 2, Insightful) 325

The license matters a whole lot less than the potential patent encumbrance for the codec.

The developers of Theora state that the codec is not encumbered by patents, but to my knowledge, there's been no legal tests of that and no intensive review of the possible areas of infringement by a patent attorney. That's a serious issue for the uptake of the codec by vendors, since they're potentially on the hook if it later turns out that the codec infringes on people patents and the holders want to be dicks about it.

Comment Re:stop crying (Score 2, Insightful) 129

This is not obvious. It's the case (as another poster notes) for financial commentary because it has implications in the securities markets.

I don't know if it's the case or not for other topics/genres of media that they're subject to the kinds of regulation that are supposedly being proposed here.

Comment Re:Yes, they do (Score 2, Insightful) 129

Yes, though that's rather specific to the financial industry. The securities market is more (though not nearly enough, apparently) heavily regulated than commerce at large.

Since this is the FTC and not the FEC, it doesn't seem to be as narrowly limited to a particular arena of business. Also, I don't know that similar penalties to the ones that are supposedly to be imposed on bloggers are in place for newspapers, broadcasters, etc.

Comment wrong (Score 1) 394

American workers are taxed on the dollar value of their earnings - this is typically payment in cash, but if you receive non-monetary compensation as part of your employment, you're still responsible for paying taxes on the dollar value of that compensation. The value of the gold coinage was far higher than the currency face value - which was the whole point of giving it instead of normal greenbacks or a check.

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.