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Comment Re:Not so much that they are weak (Score 2) 185

Currently china's holdings of usa treasury debt ($1.16 trillion --->

USA cash deficits (issuance of new debt) [approximate to 1/10 $trillion)

fy 2008 $0.5 trillion
fy 2009 $1.4 trillion
fy 2010 $1.2 trillion
fy 2011 $1.6 trillion (projected)

While china does hold a lot of USA treasury debt, they are hardly the only buyer. As of late the USA treasury has been issuing more new debt in one year than china's entire holdings of said debt.

I don't believe the claim "china could bankrupt the US" is strictly factual. As we continue to issue more debt, the impact of any hypothetical liquidation of USA treasury debt by china, would become more and more muted.

Comment paywall devalues free traffic (Score 2, Interesting) 193

A little while ago I was reading on wikipedia about new york city's financial problems circa 1975. The wikipedia article claimed "there was a compromise between the city and the public unions", a link to an old new york times article was provided as a citation. I followed the link and encountered some kind of registration/log-in page, I suppose if I were to register, next I would encounter some sort of paywall. I simply did a google search for "new york city 1975 union compromise" and the first result was time magazine online, which provided me the full text of an article on that subject, dating back to that era. Contained on the page I viewed were links to more content from the same media conglomerate, perhaps customized to be more topical and relevant with the aid of an analytics company like google.

If new york times cannot generate a profit on free traffic, they need to look into partnering with someone who can. Putting a paywall in front of non-exclusive content devalues that content.

Comment disable irrevocable destruction of privacy (Score 1) 236

grant people copyright over their personal information (life of author + x(current copyright extension amount))

require entities that hold personal information on US citizens to register that information in a database

devise a method for individuals to access this database and revoke/allow rights to specific information and entities

prosecute violations using "draconian copyright law"

Laws must be just and applied in a fair and non discriminatory manner. Maintaining this type of character for the law should be of the highest priority.

Comment Re:What's that I hear? (Score 1) 141

Well how many users of proprietary software have a chance to participate in the development of the software they use?

Not every user of open source software will have the opportunity/desire/ability to participate in the development of the software they use.

However, for those who do get that chance it is a pretty "big benefit".

In terms of "practical value", for some people it is very high, for others almost nothing.

In terms of the average benefit, its probably pretty hard to quantify... I suppose you could argue many ways. Personally I would think that the average benefit would be mostly a second order effect of the benefit to developers.

Comment DRM vs GPL (Score 1) 75

As I see it, a comparison of DRM and the GPL that basically equates the two, is pretty flawed.

The purpose of DRM is more or less, to restrict and control what users of software can do with that software.

Users of GPL software, on the other hand, are guaranteed certain rights by the GPL, such as the right to have access to the source code of the software they receive.

The tool mentioned in the article will help users to ensure that their rights under the GPL are being protected.

If a company distributes GPLed software, the users are entitled to the source code. This tool makes it easier for users to enforce their rights.

Really, it seems to me that the GPL is basically incompatible with DRM.

Comment Re:It's a lose lose (Score 1) 352

In the usa being above the law costs much more than in india

from what I have observed anecdotally in india... law goes to the highest bidder with very low barrier to entry for bidding

in usa perhaps the same is true, although the barrier to bidding is much higher, lowering the amount of leverage provided by small economic disparity.

of course capital is much more scarce in india, so perhaps in a normalized view the difference between the two would look much more like one of degree than kind

but in america we tend to feel protected by law from our peers, for the most part. We are more apt to think of our legal system as "just"

just my 2 cents

The two most common things in the Universe are hydrogen and stupidity. -- Harlan Ellison