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Comment: Bad policy yes, slippery slope... not really. (Score 4, Interesting) 305

by spiritraveller (#28220903) Attached to: Internet Tax Approved By Louisiana House

It's just another tax on something that shouldn't be taxed... We already get taxed on ramen noodles, water, gasoline, cheeseburgers, cable television, telephones, and almost everything else.

If you're worried about a slippery slope, please glance downward at the icy incline and the skates on your feet.

It is kinda stupid to justify as way to pay for fighting "online crime". Why don't they levy an additional tax on retail sales and call it the "shoplifter arrest and incarceration tax".

Comment: It's their content and their business. (Score 1) 355

by spiritraveller (#26758401) Attached to: ESPN's Play To Make ISPs Pay

If you don't want it, don't factor it into your decision of who to buy internet access from. Conversely, if you DO want it, then DO factor it into your decision. If it's not available from any of the ISPs in your area, that's a cross you may have to bear.

Some ISPs provide free usenet access that a lot of people don't use.

Some ISPs provide free antivirus software that a lot of people don't use.

Some ISPs provide 24 hour tech support for home networks that a lot of people don't use.

I don't need any of things, but I'm not bitching about the fact that my ISP provides them to the customers who do find these things useful.

Comment: Re:Who is this guy, & why does he not want to (Score 1) 333

by spiritraveller (#26588611) Attached to: RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions

Undoubtedly, the things they want to ask Oppenheim about have nothing to do with his work as a lawyer, they have to do with his work as a "principal" of the record companies, which he has himself represented himself to be.

How is that likely to reveal any relevant information in a lawsuit that alleges a copyright violation?

I know it's a pretty loose standard for what is discoverable, but I don't see what they're getting at.

Comment: Re:Who is this guy, & why does he not want to (Score 1) 333

by spiritraveller (#26585039) Attached to: RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions

'. . . has acted as attorney of record for the record companies in several proceedings in Washington, D.C.'

So, if he represents the interests of the artists, (ahem), why is he - or his legal team, taking such extraordinary steps to avoid testifying?

If he is their attorney, one might wonder what it is that they intend to ask which would not be covered by the attorney-client privilege.

Comment: Typical knee-jerk Slashdot reaction. (Score 1) 180

by spiritraveller (#26407199) Attached to: Another Attempt At Using the Courts To Suppress an Online Review

You can't go online and lie about someone falsifying billing records any more than you can put a full-page ad in the newspaper about it. It's called libel, and that's what the guy is being sued for.

I'm not saying the guy is lying or that the suit is justified. I don't know. Neither does anyone else here. Answering that question is what trials are for. Whether he's a quack or not, the chiropractor has a right to clear his name of these accusations if they are not true.

Freedom of Speech doesn't allow you to run out into the street and scream that your pharmacist is a child molester, unless he is.

Censorship

+ - Web sites liable for some user-generated content

Submitted by spiritraveller
spiritraveller (641174) writes "The New York Times reports on a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case (PDF) holding that website Roommates.com can be held liable for some content that user's post on it. The court seems to rely on the fact that Roommates.com created checkbox choices which are alleged to violate the Fair Housing Act. The court also held the web site could not be liable for submissions in the "additional preferences" field because the website was not involved in creating that content.

Does this mean we'll be seeing fewer textareas and more checkboxes from now on?"
Software

+ - GnuCash now available for Windows

Submitted by keeblerelf
keeblerelf (641174) writes "Open source personal and small-business financial accounting software GnuCash (http://www.gnucash.org/) used to be one of the most difficult programs to install on Linux. If it wasn't included in your distribution of choice, installation probably required compiling and installing around 20 different dependencies... not fun.

Until recently, a Windows version seemed unlikely...

But with beta version 2.1.0, GnuCash is now available in a Windows self-installing executable. I installed it on my wife's Windows laptop yesterday and it seems quite stable for a beta version.

The current stable version (2.0.5) can be installed on Mac OSX using the Fink installer (http://finkproject.org/) or on Debian Linux with "aptitude install gnucash gnucash-docs" (as root of course). GnuCash can also be installed on Ubuntu fairly easily ( http://www.ubuntugeek.com/install-gnucash-financia l-accounting-software-in-ubuntu.html).

GnuCash is a great free program with features that rival its ad-infested, monopoly-owned rivals. Why not try it out?

PS — It looks like now there is a complete suite of open source software that runs on both Windows and Linux. There is OpenOffice.org for an office suite (sans Outlook), Evolution (or Thunderbird with Lightning) for an Outlook replacement, Firefox for a web browser, the GIMP for photo editing, PidginIM for instant messaging (formerly called Gaim, but renamed to avoid a trademark dispute), and now GnuCash for accounting.

If you're thinking about switching to Linux, switching to these applications first could be a great way to prepare yourself and your data for the move."

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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