Method and process patents are actually very important in certain contexts, such as the pharmaceutical industry. Some countries, such as India protect the process patents much stricter than the patents for the substances themselves. For instance, to take a historical example, the process to create aluminum was revolutionary and made aluminum a much cheaper product. Instead of trying to patent all of the various ways that someone can implement the process, which can be very difficult, it is appropriate to patent the process itself.
People complain that the courts are too powerful and that the laws are made without reference to what the people want, which is true to some extent, but websites like Groklaw make it possible for the people to know about what's going on and to meaningfully interact with the law, and to oppose legislation like SOPA. Hopefully, it will become harder for the people in government to try to pass legislation in the dark without the knowledge of the people.
You didn't read the article. By definition, the IRS couldn't have gone after their political rivals because political groups are not allowed to have non-profit status. That's the entire cause of this kerfuffle. The law forbids non-profits from having a political goal. The IRS saw "Tea Party" and "Patriot" in the names and just assumed those groups were political in nature. That's stupid and lazy, but not necessarily evil or criminal. BUT if you think that "Tea Party" and "Patriot" groups are inherently political, and therefore discriminated against by the IRS on that basis, then you're actually agreeing that the IRS did the right thing by targeting them as political groups!
Actually, it is a hyper-technical argument in favor of warrantless searches. The government cannot subpoena your hard drive so long as it is in your house; they have to get a warrant to recover it. But if your hard drive was in someone else's house, the government could conceivably just (according to them) subpoena the hard drive without a warrant because the other person doesn't have a right against seizure of your hard drive.
Thus, the government arguing that your data is physically in someone else's custody so they can simply subpoena it. However, can you subpoena evidence in a storage warehouse or a bank safety vault?
I find hilarious people who assume that the legal concept of the presumption of innocence is more important than "the truth". That is because the law is not always concerned with determining the truth. It has other purposes such as fair play, or legislative intent, or public policy. For instance, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that tomatoes are legally vegetables even though they are scientifically fruits. In another instance, we have Miranda rights that excludes evidence that was wrongfully obtained even though that makes it harder for the jury to find the truth. We feel that this is necessary to prevent the government from abusing civil rights.
Yes, the two guys are suspects from a legal standpoint. However, I will bet you at 100:1 odds that they were the guys responsible for planting the bomb at the Boston Marathon. Do you want to take that bet? If not, why is it hilarious to call them the bombers?
Specialty software is necessary for doctors, lawyers, and bankers because of all the applicable regulations. Doctors have to deal with HIPAA, which sets strict rules for the protection of privacy of patient information. Have you noticed that when you fill a prescription at Costco's pharmacy, the receipt doesn't say what it's for, and the pharmacist simply staples the bag shut? That's HIPAA compliance. Similarly, doctors can't just use Dropbox to store information because it might get hacked. Lawyers have to deal with ethical rules that require them to keep client confidences. Bankers have all sorts of regulations to make sure they don't delete information or communications, and they have auditing procedures of even their IMs.
Google is benefitting because it's able to avoid taxation on the salary that it would normally have to pay employees in the absence of the food perk. If the average worker eats $5,000.00 worth of food per year, another employer would have to pay $7,500 (assuming a 33% tax rate) to give the same cash benefit instead of the food. To an extreme, Google could just provide in-kind benefits for housing, clothing, as well as food and cut salaries in half to avoid taxation.
People aren't outraged by it because it's not true. The DHS did not purchase 1.2 billion hollow point bullets this year. Domestic police forces use hollow point ammunition because they are less prone to ricochet and over-penetration, which are important considerations for a police force. Also, the DHS did not buy 1,300 armored vehicles. You are talking about the MRAP. The DHS has sixteen MRAPs they use to serve high-risk warrants. These DHS MRAPs were given to them by the military. The 1,300 armored vehicle figure is a hoax. It refers to MRAP upgrades by the US military.
The facts are easily accessible due to the Internet, but conspiracy theorists are always unable to find that information out of willful blindness. You make good points on warrantless wiretaps and the erosion of our rights in light of the USA PATRIOT ACT. But when you start talking about tanks and billions of rounds of ammunition, which simply isn't true, you paint yourself as a conspiracy theorist, which dilutes your point.
Just cut the Internet lines. Then it's just a bunch of basement-dwelling virgins down there without Internet.
One cool Tuesday morning, Col. Marc Sasseville and Lt. Heather âoeLuckyâ Penney of the National Guard were ordered to launch a suicide attack against dozens of innocent American civilians in an airliner over Pennsylvania. They took their orders seriously and without question. Their fighter planes were unarmed. âoeIâ(TM)m going to go for the cockpit,â Sasseville said. Penney entertained thoughts of ejecting right before the collision, but thought that this might let her targets escape.
However, the passengers of United Flight 93, the intended target, resisted the terrorists who had hijacked them. The terrorists were forced to crash the plane.
So, yeah, in times of emergency, we kill hostile Americans. We also stand ready to kill innocent Americans. What's so hard to accept about that?
It's not transparency or dodging but rather a realization that many operations are now run by joint task forces drawn from many varied units across the military. Furthermore, the world has already recognized that we are operating armed drones in other countries, so running it as a dark operation under CIA auspices did not make sense anymore.
The failure of Operation Eagle Claw was found to be a result of military branches not training, working, or coordinating with each other adequately. As a result, each branch of the armed forces "detached" their tier one units (Delta Force, SEAL, Ranger, etc.) into a central commandâ"SOCOMâ"in 1987.
However, in theory, the military operatives of SOCOM were not deniable assets and had to report to civilian oversight. To take care of intelligence functions that require deniability or transparency, the CIA has its own operations group called the Special Activities Division and in particular, the Special Operation Groups within SAD. These guys were at the tip of the spear in the Afghan War, but there is always the case of Raymond Allen Davis, a "diplomat" who shot two guys in Pakistan through his windshield, then walked over to take pictures, and was then arrested.
CIA dominance of the armed drones program was a historical artifact. CIA ran the first armed Predator, call sign Wildfire, in Afghanistan because it couldn't get the Air Force or Army to strike fast enough when unarmed CIA drones provided actionable intelligence. The Air Force declined to co-fund the program, so CIA took the lead. It helped that CIA was also able to operate in denied areas to obtain targeting information for drones in countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. The fact that CIA drones were "off the books" provided a fig leaf for operations in Pakistan, which was a nominal American ally.
However, the world now knows that the US is running around blowing shit up all around the world. The difference between CIA paramilitaries and U.S. military men is not that important in the eyes of the world. Thus, keeping drones a dark program under CIA really stops making sense from an intelligence standpoint.
This culminated in the Bin Laden raid, which drew upon an alphabet soup of military and intelligence personnel. Originally, the shooters were going to be CIA SOG operators who could be denied if the operation went side ways. However, that was quickly revised to take a dream team of shooters from DEVGRU with instructions to shoot their way out of Pakistan if necessary. A second Chinook of shooters was added to the mission to provide the firepower necessary to smash Pakistani military and police forces who may have tried to stop the operators from leaving. In contrast, CIA operatives in the past were disavowed and left to rot. The best example I could think of were the three CIA operatives who were arrested in Cuba in the sixties. They spent three years in a Cuban jail without admitting their CIA affiliation under interrogation (duh, we're just tourists with sensitive spy equipment bugging a newly-built embassy, stop hitting me) until they were exchanged for Cuban spies arrested in New York.
The shooters on the Bin Laden raid were operators from the Navy SEAL Team 6, directed by targeters at the CIA, with an Air Force RQ-170 Sentinel overhead providing real-time video to leaders, Army CENTRA SPIKE/GRAY FOX operatives providing signals intelligence, NSA providing intel, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency providing detailed three-dimensional measurements of the Bin Laden compound and ground penetrating imaging to show that there were no escape tunnels under the compound. CIA also put eyes on the ground in advance of the raid, trying to get a glimpse of Bin Laden, and also sent a doctor to try to draw blood from the residents of the compound to try and match it with the DNA of Bin Laden's sister. Oh, yeah, and when the stealth choppers flew in that night, the power to the area immediately around the compound went down as a result of CIA operations.
I think shifting the drone program to the military is meant to change it to a "white" program that is under civilian review. Whether or not that changes how drones are used is anyone's guess. It's also a no brainer that CIA will keep some drones for its own use.
Google Apps For Business allows you to pay $5 per month for each account or pay $50 per user per year. I think that's a great price that lets you ramp up for down depending on your needs. If you're a nonprofit, you can get Google Apps For Nonprofits.
I don't want to be patronizing but it's five dollars a month. If you can't/don't want to pay that fee, you can just have all of your users use their personal Gmail accounts for free.
Nothing moves and stops on a dime. I read somewhere that there is an eighteen-month long logistics train that leads up to the release of a smartphone product. That is to say, a cellphone on the market today was designed, manufactured, assembled, inventoried, marketed, etc. starting from 18 months ago. So not only did Google have to sell the products that they already committed themselves to, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the LG Nexus 4, and the Asus Nexus 7, they also had to sell the current Motorola devices. The bottom line is that we are about to see the new Motorola/Google device in a few months, which is about consistent with that eighteen month lag period.
That's not even the interesting question, which has been answered already. Does the government have the right to kill innocent civilians in times of emergency? The answer is yes.
On 9/11, two National Guard jets were ordered to bring down United 93, which had been hijacked. Thirty three innocent American citizens were on board the airplane along with four hijackers. Due to a passenger revolt that brought the plane down, the National Guard did have to. But no official has ever challenged the validity of the order to bring down a plane full of innocent Americans.
So if we can kill innocent Americans in times of emergency, why does it matter if we kill those engaged in combat, with a drone or otherwise?
You make it sound very easy not to say anything to the police or the prosecutor. For most people, it's very stressful and just sitting there on the stand in a courtroom with every staring at you. It's extraordinarily coercive, and that's before they go and really fuck with you by threatening you with bullshit such as "obstructing justice".