minus_273 writes: "The shopping online flourished under a "taxophobic" Republican congress which was ideologically resistant to tax it. With the new congress coming in in January, it looks like those days are over and there are going to be some changes. According to Forbes magazine, there is enough support in the Democratic congress to pass a new law (which the supreme court has already said is constitutional) that will impose a sales tax on internet shopping. While it might not totally remove the appeal of online shopping, combined with shipping costs, this would significantly increase the cost of shopping online. America voted for change and change it looks like it is going to get."
minus_273 writes: "Cnet is reporting that Russia has agreed to shut down allofmp3.com as it attempts to gain entry in the WTO. Now there is one customer database that the RIAA would be very interested in seeing. Rule of thumb, don't give your Credit card info to a shady eastern European website."
minus_273 writes: "Space Review has an interesting article on what may be in store for space tourism when the new Democrat controlled congress comes in in January. From the article "In 2004 Congress passed the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act (CSLAA) which provided a legal basis for the regulatory activities of the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation's operations in the manned suborbital rocket field. The CSLAA was based on the principle that the primary duty of the government is to ensure the safety of the uninvolved public and if individuals wanted to risk their necks flying in rocketplanes that was mostly their business. At the time Oberstar tried, but failed, to amend the act to include language ordering that the industry be regulated almost to the same safety standards of the airlines.
In spite of some weasel wording, the hard legal requirements of Oberstar's proposed regulation would effectively kill the whole entrepreneurial suborbital industry." Oberstar is now the new chair of the House Transportation Committee."
minus_273 writes: "Joystiq and many other blogs are reporting that EA's new releases, Battlefield 2142 and Need for speed carbon come pre-infected with spyware from a company called IGA Worldwide. EA's EULA addresses this issue by saying "When you use the Software while connected to the Internet, the Advertising Technology may record your Internet Protocol address and other anonymous information", " The servers used by the Advertising Technology may, from time to time, be located outside your country of residence." and "IF YOU DO NOT WANT IGA TO COLLECT, USE, STORE OR TRANSMIT THE DATA DESCRIBED IN THIS SECTION, DO NOT INSTALL OR PLAY THE SOFTWARE ON ANY PLATFORM THAT IS USED TO CONNECT TO THE INTERNET ". While spyware bundled in "free" programs like kazaa maybe one thing, is installing spyware on a game you have already paid $50 for appropriate? While this does not rise to the level of Sony's rootkit, it seems this abuse will only end when people refuse to buy products that install spyware on your computer."