I don't know how this was marked "insightful". It's a rant pure and simple. Has nothing to do at all with the article and is mostly off topic. I don't believe anyone is espousing deferring to the law enforcement or military. Although, the characterization that it's somehow "un-American" is disingenuous at best. The military has been played an important part in the U.S. from the very start. I'm guessing the author of this "insightful" rant has never been in the military or even personally knows anyone who is a member of a police force. I do agree that the military and police forces need to have civilian oversight. However, instead of blaming the military for "invading some shithole halfway around the world", place the blame where it really belongs - on the President. The military doesn't decide to go to war by itself. They can only do that on orders of Congress or the President. Military actions are the manifestation of foreign policy - right or wrong. So, if you're going to sling your hate at someone, place it on the right people and not the members of the military. I highly doubt, also, that the reason that most people don't become cops or soldiers has anything to do with some sort of misguided sense of civil duty. It more likely has to do with circumstance and upbringing. The truth is that only a small percentage of American citizens end up in the military or as a member of law enforcement. In any case, it can probably be stated that there's a good reason why most people don't want to become . Goes without saying. But, aside from political partisan rants, the only way to change what our military and police force do is through political channels. I completely agree that police have no expectation of privacy because they are public servants paid through public funds. Citizens should exercise their rights, and duty, to maintain vigilance over those who are suppose to be protecting us and not threatening us. We should never feel threatened by those who are suppose to be upholding the law when we do choose to exercise our right to maintain vigilance over those who are sworn in to protect and defend.
I don't believe that most Americans truly understand the technology and even less about what it would mean to hand the President that power. Personally, I don't believe it is a good idea to have a "kill switch". There's no reason to have a "kill switch" that takes down the internet. If the government and military wants to have a way to immediately disconnect from the internet, then by all means, go for it. But to disconnect everyone is asnine. Each critical business and organization should have compenetent enough IT staff along with sufficient defenses to take care of themselves. That includes the main communications companies. If a massive attack is detected, they certainly should take steps to block or disconnect traffic from the source. I just can't see how bringing down the entire internet would ever be a good idea, especially since it's become so vital to every day life.
Your idea has merit. It's much better than the more invasive ads that take up space and cause the reader to shift away from reading to looking at the ad because it just flashed or changed. I personally detest ads. The constant bombardment of ads for every imaginable product is annoying to say the least. Google has done a pretty decent job with the text ads that take up little space and are non-flashing. However, I much rather pay for a book than to have to suffer through advertising. Even watching Hulu annoys me with the ads that are placed in the shows. Although, that's better than regular TV, which not only has more advertising, but ads that blare at a volume much louder than the show that I'm watching. It drives me nuts and stirs feelings of wishing physical harm on those that perpetrate such underhanded, devious, and annoying tatics just to get their products noticed (or ignored because the volume is immediately turned down or muted). I guess it really has become a pet peave of mine. I personally feel that there needs to be more restrictions on what is and is not allowed with advertising. I'm positive that if any such measure were attempted that they would immediately scream about freedom of speech rights. I have seen the legislature efforts requiring the volume of television ads to be the same as the programming it accompanies, which I highly applaud - a nice step in the right direction. I guess I'm saying (albeit, in a round about way) that I would be willing to give something like you suggest a try. The less invasive it is, the better. It comes down to weighing pros and cons of being annoyed by ads but getting something without monetary cost vs paying for the product to be free from the pain of ads. If it's a toss up, then sure, I'd go for it. If the ads are too annoying, then no, I'd rather buy the book straight up.
No one can tell me that others have not, at the very least, though about pushing the envelope for free falling from the edge of space and beating Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger's previous record. Unless the promoter has filed for a patent on the idea of falling from that high, which I highly doubt (even if it is something that could be patented), I don't see what kind of legal claim the promoter would have. Truly, this sounds like an attempt at a greedy money grab. The Austrian skydiver, Felix Baumgartnen, is pretty crazy even considering a stunt like this, though. Breaking the speed of sound, which is apparently highly likely, without being inside an actual machine, is nothing to sneeze at. Plus, in the event of equipment failure, all kinds of fun physical maladies could appear, like the blood boiling and bleeding from the eyes due to low atmospheric preassure or freezing from -140F tempratures. You would think the promoter would be more concerned about the person actually taking the risk rather than his own bank account. But, I guess that would be too much to ask from the greedy corporate world.
Please don't misunderstand the "Linux cause" statement. It was only intended to mean the market penetration that it has achieved. Moreover, I personally feel that Linux has come to represent the idea of free and open source software as a whole. It is certainly the most visible and well known, and hence, a de facto leader for the open source genre regardless of the license style.