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Congress Takes Up Online Sales Tax 297

head_dunce writes "A bill introduced Thursday by a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers seeks to make it easier for states to collect sales taxes stemming from online purchases. Amazon is among the e-retailers supporting the proposal, while a lobbying group representing eBay and stands opposed. From the article: '"Small businesses and states alike are suffering from the inability to collect due -- not new -- taxes from purchases made online," said Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark., adding the legislation is a "bipartisan, bicameral, common-sense solution that promotes states' rights and levels the playing field for our Main Street businesses."'"

Federal Officials Take Down 132 Websites In "Cyber Monday" Crackdown 153

coondoggie writes "A team of world-wide law enforcement agencies took out 132 domain names today that were illegally selling counterfeit merchandise online. The group, made up of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and law enforcement agencies from Belgium, Denmark, France, Romania, United Kingdom and the European Police Office, targeted alleged counterfeiters selling everything from professional sports jerseys, DVD sets, and a variety of clothing to jewelry and luxury goods."

The Digital Differences In Americans 214

antdude writes "When the Pew Internet Project first studied the role of the internet in American life, there were big differences between those who were using the internet and those who weren't. Today, differences in internet access still exist, especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband at home. From the article: 'Virtually every U.S. household with an annual income over $75,000 is online, but that’s only true for 63% of adults who live in a household with an annual income under $30,000. The numbers look quite similar for different education levels: 94% of adults with post-graduate degrees are online, but 57% of those without high school diplomas remain offline. Beside the obvious economic barriers to entry, though, the Pew poll also found that half of those who don’t go online do so because they just don’t think “the Internet is relevant to them.” One in five of those who are not online today think that they just don’t know enough about technology to use the Internet on their own.'"

UK Bill Again Demands Web Pornography Ban 230

nk497 writes "A new bill presented to the House of Lords demands both ISPs and device makers filter adult content. The Online Safety Bill, raised in the Lords by Baroness Howe of Ildicote, asks for ISPs and mobile operators to 'provide a service that excludes pornographic images' and for device makers to include ways to filter content at the point of purchase. The Bill follows efforts by one MP to make users "opt in" to access pornography, and comes despite ISPs already agreeing to offer all customers parental control software. However, as a Private Members Bill, it doesn't have the backing of the Government, so is less likely to actually be passed."

Ask Slashdot: How Is Online Engineering Coursework Viewed By Employers? 201

New submitter KA.7210 writes "I am an employed mechanical engineer, having worked with the same company since graduation from college 5 years ago. I am looking to increase my credentials by taking more engineering courses, potentially towards a certificate or a full master's degree. Going to school full time is not an option, and there is only one engineering school near me that offers a program that resembles what I wish to study, and also has the courses at night. Therefore, I have begun to look at online options, and it appears there are many legitimate, recognizable schools offering advanced courses in my area of interest. My question to Slashdot readers out there is: how do employers view degrees/advanced credentials obtained online, when compared to the more typical in-person education? Does anyone have specific experience with this situation? The eventual degree itself will have no indication that it was obtained online, but simple inference will show that it was not likely I maintained my employment on the east coast while attending school in-person on the west coast. I wish to invest my time wisely, and hope that some readers out there have experience with this issue!"

Teachers Resist High-tech Push In Idaho Schools 311

First time accepted submitter Jack W writes "This morning's NY Times highlights the issue of learning in our public schools and the proper role of technology. The Idaho governor and his state school superintendent are advocating a legislative bill for a massive infusion of computers and on-line technology in schools and is meeting resistance from state teachers, particularly the part of the bill that requires high school students to take online courses for two of their 47 graduation credits. Superintendent Luna is quoted as saying, the computer 'becomes the textbook for every class, the research device, the advanced math calculator, the word processor and the portal to a world of information.' The article notes that the governor had received campaign contributions from technology companies and that Apple and Intel had played a part in drafting the bill."

Amazon Releases Cloud-Based Music Service 222

c0lo writes "Right after rumors that Google was preparing to take on iTunes service with a digital music store of its own, Amazon has announced that it's entering the fight with a cloud-based music service of its own. From the article: 'Amazon Cloud Drive is a "personal disk drive in the cloud," while Amazon Cloud Player is, well, a Web-based music player. That's right--Amazon Cloud Drive will be something like Google's rumored digital music locker, a cloud-based storage system for all of your tunes.'"

Online Ads, Privacy Remain In FTC Crosshairs 95

AC95 writes "The FTC wants to give users a browser-based tool for opting out of online behavioral tracking, a proposal that has privacy advocates cheering and online advertisers up in arms. A key issue, says FTC attorney Loretta Garrison, is that while most consumers know they're tracked online, they don't fully appreciate how much information is collected. Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, worries about knee-jerk legislation criminalizing mistakes that are an inherent part of applying any new technology."

UK Consumers To Pay For Online Piracy 300

Wowsers writes "An article in The Times states that UK consumers will be hit with an estimated £500m ($800m US) bill to tackle online piracy. The record and film industries have managed to convince the government to get consumers to pay for their perceived losses. Meanwhile they have refused to move with the times, and change their business models. Other businesses have adapted and been successful, but the film and record industries refuse to do so. Surely they should not add another stealth tax to all consumers."

Space is to place as eternity is to time. -- Joseph Joubert