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Comment Re:I am planning to move to NC (Score 1) 1167

The "Tragedy of the Commons" occurs because of a lack of private property rights. Quite the opposite: If there were no public land, and every parcel was owned by someone (roads included) you would find that the owners would keep up after their property. I encourage you to at least read a few pages from this abstract on the Privatization of Roads and Highways, by Walter Block.

Comment Re:I am planning to move to NC (Score 1) 1167

"The driving force behind a private service's price is what they believe the maximum amount you will be willing to pay for their service."

Well, no. Not exactly. The driving force is supply and demand. That's why you see gas prices skyrocket during natural disasters -- it's the market's way of compensating for the fact that there's less of it available. If you want gas, you can get it, but only if you're willing to pay higher prices. In that way, you keep people from hoarding precious goods when they don't need to.

That's also why when you see government enact price controls to 'protect' the consumers, the words 'shortage' inevitably appears shortly thereafter. The price controls keep the prices artificially low, so more people buy. So much more that the 'supply' of that good or service isn't enough to handle the increased demand, and there's a shortage. That shortage otherwise wouldn't be there (or would be very, very minimal) if the market were allowed to set prices according to the situation. That's also the inherent problem with government: They're a monopoly, and they can't respond to changing situations like the private sector can. That's why you have problems of rationing during droughts. The government says to ration because that's the only way to handle the fact that there's a decreased supply of water but the same demand. If the price were to go up, people would naturally curb their desire to water their lawns as often as they otherwise would, all without the threat of imprisonment or force. The other problem with your statement is, "How do they know how much it costs?" There's no inherent 'right price' for a gallon of water. It all depends on a collection of factors -- factors that no one person can possibly know (see also: Why central economic planning fails); and that collection of factors is what you take into account when you have multiple producers competing to provide a product or service.

Comment Re:Encrypted? Hashed? (Score 1, Insightful) 207

This has all happened before, and it will all happen again.

Hashed passwords provide a degree of protection, so long as you salt the hash, and store a different salt for each password (for maximum protection).

Any programmer that doesn't understand salts, hashing, and encrypting should not bother making software that handles logins, period.

Submission + - TSA investigages former air marshal for e-mail (

bfwebster writes: "Jeffrey Denning used to work as a Federal Air Marshal (FAM) for the US Transportation Security Agency (TSA). He quit the TSA last year, then was called up in the US Army Reserve and went over to serve in Iraq. This past March, while still in Iraq, he received (on his private e-mail account) an e-mail addressed to current and former FAMs which suggested they contact CNN, which was preparing a report on problems with the TSA; Denning thinks he may have forwarded that e-mail on to a few more FAMs. When he got home from Iraq earlier this month, he discovered that the TSA had launched an investigation to find out who sent that original e-mail to him. Needless to say, he is not amused."

Submission + - Flaws in NASA Software (

SecureThroughObscure writes: "The Core Security Team announced that it had discovered a stack overflow flaw in libs created by NASA. They submitted details to the Full-Disclosure mailing list, but the highlights of this have been posted by Nate McFeters on the ZDNet Zero-Day security blog. From the CORE advisory: *Vulnerability Description* CDF [1] is a common data format developed by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. It is a conceptual data abstraction for storing, manipulating, and accessing multidimensional data sets. The CDF software package is used by hundreds of government agencies, universities, and private and commercial organizations as well as independent researchers on both national and international levels. The CDF Library is vulnerable to a buffer overflow in the stack, which can be exploited by malicious remote attackers to compromise a user's system. The vulnerability is caused due to the CDF ('src/lib/cdfread64.c') library not properly sanitizing the length tags on a CDF file before using it to copy data on a stack buffer. This can be exploited to get arbitrary code execution by opening a specially crafted file."
The Internet

Jonathan Zittrain On the Future of the Internet 216

uctpjac writes "Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford and renowned cyberlaw scholar, gave a lecture explaining that the Internet has to be taken out of the hands of the anarchists, the libertarians, and the State, and handed back to self-policing communities of experts. If we don't do this, he believes the Internet will suffer 'self-closure' — the open system will seal itself off when the inability to put its own house in order leads to a take-over by government and business. The article summarizes Zittrain's points and notes, "Forces of organized interests that do not play by the rules, like malware peddlers, identity thieves and spammers are allowing another army of interests — corporate protectionists, often — to demand centralized, authoritarian solutions. This is the future of the Net unless we stop it.'"

Bill of Rights for the Digital Age 164

diewlasing writes "Since we are living in a world where the need is growing for privacy measures and rights to use emerging technology, it seems to me that state governments should adopt a bill of rights regarding internet privacy, use of technology and speech on the internet. For example: make it illegal to allow ISPs to release personal information to anyone who wants it. Now, obviously, that's not the only issue. If you were asked by your state government to come up with a bill of rights for internet privacy, technology use, and free speech regarding the internet and emerging technologies, what would you include? Many things are covered (here in the US) under the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, but it seems to me that, these days, people with enough money can disregard this. Perhaps the states might find it a good idea to enshrine rights into law."

Submission + - WGA Strike NOT over!

Supergibbs writes: "The announcement that the Writers' Guild strike is over is false. From my source in the media industry, I heard it's because they are trying to put on pressure so the Grammys don't get canceled. If the networks say the strike is over and then the WGA says it's not, the WGA will look bad. That is the idea at least..."

Submission + - US Tax Rebate...or not? (

mgrussin writes: "Interesting line from this article on CNN regarding the tax rebates, I had asked my wife sarcastically if the government would be taxing the tax rebates and I guess this is the answer... "The checks are an advance on next year's refunds, and most, if not all of the money, will be deducted from taxpayers' refunds in 12 months' time." Now, last time I checked rebate, meant that you get money back that you already paid, but in this case we get money back, but have to pay it back next tax year..."
The Courts

RIAA's Attack On NewYorkCountryLawyer Fails 222

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes " reports that the RIAA has egg on its face. When the Electronic Frontier Foundation requested permission to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Boston University students challenging the RIAA's ex parte discovery order, the RIAA lawyers attacked the blog 'Recording Industry vs. The People' for its criticism of the RIAA as seeking to 'abuse the American judicial system, distort copyright law, and frighten ordinary working people and their children' and then falsely claimed that the blog's author is an EFF attorney — this despite the fact that they know that the blog's author (known on Slashdot as NewYorkCountryLawyer) is a partner in a New York law firm and not an EFF attorney. Judge Gertner apparently wasn't impressed, and granted the EFF's motion, rejecting the RIAA's objections, since she felt amici curiae might 'shed light' on the 'copyright law' and 'computer technology' issues before her."

Best Presidential Candidate, Republicans 1481

A few days ago we posted a story for you to discuss the best presidential candidates for Super Tuesday, but I figured it would be an interesting idea to try that again, but split the discussion into 2 halves. This is the Republican half — please only discuss the Republican candidates in this story. Huckabee, McCain, and Romney only.
User Journal

Journal Journal: AT&T Blocks Firefox?

If you visit this site in Firefox 3 (Beta 2), you are given a 'Website Maintenance' message. However, if you open up Internet Explorer, and open the same site, you get the actual site.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll