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Comment: My surreal experience getting 501(c)(3) status (Score 1) 356

by jsm (#44103597) Attached to: The IRS vs. Open Source

I (like many) have had a nightmarish experience trying to get 501(c)(3) status for the open-source NGO I've started, a process that has taken over 2 years now. I could probably write a book about the experience. The IRS tax-exemption process is out-of-touch and ineffective at best, and political and corrupt at worst. There are many anecdotes I could share, but here are a couple:

We met with Lois Lerner and members of her team about our tax-exempt status, and the whole meeting was about the dysfunctional relationship between the IRS and another USG department, not a word about the merits of the case.

At one point in a recent meeting with the IRS, they said my anti-censorship software could be used to spread child porn. I asked, well, what if 20 years ago the Web itself was being created by an NGO seeking tax-exempt status? Would the IRS block it because the Web could be used to spread child porn? The IRS lawyers indicated a probable yes.

It looks like the recent IRS "scandal" has been a political fabrication (cherry-picked transcripts, false insinuations against Obama), but I hope it leads to a complete overhaul of the tax-exemption process. My experience makes me wonder how many great projects have died on the vine waiting for their tax-exempt status from the IRS.

FYI, for 501(c)(3) status, there is a list of "exempt purposes" that qualify, as interpreted by IRS lawyers with a mountain of very opaque precedent. Two of the exempt purposes that open-source software *should* qualify under are "scientific" (computer science) and "educational" (open-source software teaches programming). But to the out-of-touch IRS, open-source is a "new" concept, and so they are overly cautious.

Comment: Re:Not completely nonsensical... (Score 1) 186

by jsm (#34080498) Attached to: How Not To Design a Protocol

Thanks for this thoughtful response. But:

5. Indeed, at least AJAX enables somewhat sane masking of this, but the only-one-request-per-response character of the protocol means a lot of things cannot be done efficiently. If HTTP had allowed arbitrary server-side HTTP responses for the duration of a persistent http connection, that would have greatly alleviated the inefficiencies that AJAX methods strive to mask.

Well... what's wrong with using HTTP 1.1 persistent connections? They do allow multiple arbitrary HTTP responses over a single connection, efficiently.

I'm coming here late, but after reading the comments I still don't see the problems with HTTP. There does seem to be a lot of misunderstanding of the protocol and its history, though.


+ - Rice University sells college radio station-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this week, Rice University made public its plans to sell the broadcast FM license, tower and frequency of its longtime college radio station, KTRU 91.7. The station has been student-run for more than 40 years and plays a diverse, eclectic slate of programming. The university described KTRU as an "underutilized asset" and stands to gain $9.5M from the deal, which will give Houston yet another NPR station."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:question (Score 1) 265

by jsm (#33243584) Attached to: Google Responds To Net Neutrality Reviews

Land lines are laid with significant cost to our "commons", i.e. rights-of-way, etc. But similarly, the EM spectrum, and therefore wireless bandwidth, is a part of our commons too.

Don't know if you were getting at this, but wireless companies have certainly *not* made their whole business with no cost to the rest of us. It's perfectly reasonable to regulate them.

What is worth doing is worth the trouble of asking somebody to do.