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Politicians, Napster, And The Invention Of The Net 196

sdo1 pointed us to the major candidates take on napster. Here's Bush and here's Gore. A phenomenal number of submissions have arrived regarding Gore's invention of the Internet (mostly surrounding the fact that Vint Cerf credits Gore as being the most influential politician in its creation). And lastly is a series of more techie oriented interviews with Nader and Gore (well, Gore's advisor anyway) that is running on Wired.
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Politicians, Napster, and the Creation of the Net

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  • Bush decided not to take a stand as usual. Gore applied the question to Tennessee and brought up the history of radio and copyright infringement and his involvement. I'm glad Gore at least didn't take credit for inventing Napster or Snickers for that matter.
  • IANAL Well, I'll give it a go.

    Own j00! - if you "own" something you own have legal rights to it. Whereas "property" has it's roots in tangible things and posessions.

    The roots of both words are different. "own" being legal or moral, "property" being your estate. Meaning the original poster meant "Intellectual Property" was a misnomer.

    Though after you consider that language is rather liquid, and the terms have mixed somewhat, and that I'm just a dumbass trying to read into a few words, well... it's only a guess.

  • Just because it's been around a while doesn't make it "all right." Character assassination is the dirtiest of dirty tricks and about as morally responsible as getting your daughter's Girl Scout Troop hooked on crack. Yes, I hate both of the men in question, but I would never resort to distortion of the truth to make either of them look worse than I can make them look by simply dissemination the real truth about them (like, for example, that Al Gore is a huge proponent of that nasty Clipper Chip thing and would almost certainly start pushing it if he got elected; he cares about how we feel about censorship about as much as Metallica cares how we feel about peer-to-peer file sharing).

    Gore has benefitted from it before; now he is the victim of it. I'm sure Bush is the victim of a bit too (though that Agre article is lamentably pro-Gore). The point is that you pretty much can't believe anything the press says these days, and that the people of America are mostly sheep who can't do any original thinking or research for themselves and thus are at the mercy of whatever CNN spews at them as Truth. They see it on TV; they believe it; they pass it on to the people who somehow didn't see it on TV and are believed when they do so as if they were the original source of the information to begin with. "Oh, well, I saw it on (CNN|MSNBC|ABC News|CBS News|NBC News|20/20|Nightline|The Rupert Murdoch Propaganda Network) so it must be true!"

    That's what I'm trying to prevent. People need to learn that the media has opinions just as biased as the rest of humanity (being humans themselves) and are under the control of a very very few, very very powerful moguls who are more inclined to protect their peers and the very few people who might possibly have some power over them (the other moguls and almost all politicians), and thus themselves, by spreading propaganda instead of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Objective journalism just doesn't exist anymore in mainstream society. Yes, there are a few websites here and there with Truth on them, but they're so swamped by the ones that spew garbage that you'd never notice them unless someone pointed them out to you.

    So here I am. Pointing things out to you. Things you would probably never be exposed to if left to your own devices and media outlets. I do this in the hope that you will learn something, even if that something is only that you mustn't believe something just because it was said by a "trusted, respected" news source like CNN.

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • Rush, and the Tragically Hip (as well as Barenaked Ladies, Great Big Sea and Alanis Morissette) are from Canada, not mainland Europe.
  • the people support Al Gore's policies, but the polls are shifting toward George W. Bush because the media is filled with false attacks on Al Gore's character.

    This seems to be the whole point of the article, and this is completly untrue! I submit to you the results of these recent Reuters/Zogby polls:

    Bush's Star Wars Anti-ballistic Shield Favored:
    http:/ o/starwars_1.html

    Majority Opposed to Selling High-Tech Weapons to China: a_2.html

    More Autonomy for States to Set School Standards olstandards_1.html

    Accountability Narrowly Beat Out Smaller Class Size: s_1.html

    State Rights Favored Over Federal Regulations on Health Care: thcare_1.html

    Teaching Certification Based on Teacher's Ability Favored: hers_1.html

    More Than Fifty Percent Favor Bush-Cheney's Homeless Plan: less_1.html

    Bush-Cheney Position Preferred on Global Warming Treaty: ing_4.html

    It's rather obvious that the majority agree with Bush's policies. The statement above about the public favoring Gore's policies only displays sloppy reporting, the same kind that allowed the "invented the internet" story to get way out of proportion.

    However, most believe that Gore is intelligent while Bush is dumb. A quick look at the facts show that while Bush was no straight A student, he did considerably better than Gore in undergrad school. Gores third semester at Harvard yielded straight C's with one D, worse than ANY semester Bush had at Harvard. Gore also flunked out of grad school with 5 F's out of 8 classes, and dropped out of Law school while failing. Obviously, the man is not smart, he is just better spoken than Bush. Bush certainly held his own in the debates, even coming across MORE intelligent than Gore at times.

    We also all know Bush is a cocaine user right? Well, no, that was an invented story as well. We DO know he used to have a drinking problem, and didn't like to talk about it. Once, when a reporter was asking him about his, she also asked him if he did drugs. He refused to answer, so it seems everyone assumed he was a cocaine user. This is the kind of assumption that the democrats were so opposed to when it applied to Clinton (well, until the assumptions were proven true).

    My point here is, Bush is just (if not more) as subject to rumor and lies as Gore, only the majority of the public SUPPORT his policies. THIS is why he is in the lead.

  • The future of technological issues is a huge issue, but it's not the only one. Surely you have opinions on abortion, affirmative action, corporate control of politics, gun control, social security, taxation, foreign affairs policy, trade regulation, or education?

    If you insist on voting only on the technology issues, then look at the candidates' overall profile and don't forget there are more than just two candidates.
    Like the way things are heading? Vote Gore.
    Want more corporate influence? Vote Bush.
    Like filtering software? Vote Buchanan?
    Want AOL, Microsoft, and the other big bullies to get their paws off the internet? Vote Nader.

    Sitting out of the elections and and not voting is the lazy person's version of an ineffective protest. Brilliant strategy:
    "You politicians had better shape up, 'cause if you don't, i'll do nothing and say nothing about it!"

    If you don't vote, don't bitch when you get screwed by a President you didn't vote for because you didn't vote against him either!
  • Well, there must be *something* causing the media to keep repeating provably false assertions. If it isn't bias or coercion, what could it be?

    The problem with the media as a whole is that it's far far too powerful for several reasons; (1) everyone instantly believes everything they hear from any published news source; (2) the owners of these news sources have their own agendas and opinions and biases and thus just cannot have their own news programs going against these biases and agendas; (3) the owners of these news sources are very rich and very powerful and have friends who are very rich and very powerful, which means they're *always* going to be willing to subvert, warp, mangle, spindle, and mutilate the truth so that it favors the viewpoints of anyone who happens to be in power over them (first), themselves (second), and their friends (third). This mixture cannot help but lead to gross misrepresentation of facts (and lies AS fact) on the news programs that they as a group control (which is, at last count, all of them except for a few Access Television programs in various cities).

    And yes, I applaud you for not quibbling about semicolons. Too many others do, though... as if it's their only means of attacking a post they don't like. Poor Jon Katz...

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • This is one of those pieces of doggerel that got repeated with such regularity that it became truth without ever being based in fact. It was an exaggeration made by Anti-Gore advocate Declan McCullagh, which he shamelessly promoted at every opportunity.

    The "smoking gun" quotation was, in fact, that Al Gore, during his tenure in the Congress, "took the initiative in creating the Internet." This was, in fact, the truth. Gore spearheaded efforts to fund NSFNet, and he (and other tech-savvy folk like Newt Gingrich) took a leadership role in getting funding for and support for net-related projects.

    Much quibbling has occurred in the use of the words "took the initiative." There can be no mistake of the meaning Gore intended: in the same paragraph, he discussed many other legislative initiatives in the same context. My Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines initiative, particularly as used in this context, to refer to a form of legislative action.

    The deconstruction of a brief phrase taken out of context, and the shameless repetition and exploitation of it by Declan, Armey and other partisans led to the present situation, where it is no longer even questioned whether Gore claimed to invent the internet.

    The cost of blinding yourself to truth is that others can define it for you. Don't let this bullshit continue. Question everything. Even this response, until you are satisfied you know who was telling the truth, and who was lying.

    While anti-Gore partisans are fond of talking about Gore's alleged prevarications, one must consider carefully the irony of the falsehoods the partisans themselves have propagated.
  • The idea of being able to get rich and famous... making it as a rebel and becoming a millionaire...

    How can you consider said rock musican a rebel when he/she has sold out to the record labels to make those millions? You can either be a rebel or a sellout, but not both...
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • President of United States of America or any other country's leader is NOT a geek. He does not have to understand what OSS really means and what p2p is. There are much much more important issues than napster to be considered first,
    such as education, before american kids become the dumbest on the planet(well, some already are, and they troll on slashdot), environment protection, health care, tax cut, etc. heh, I could use a couple of extra thousands every year to go to vacation while the rest of the trolls moaning over their loss of access to mp3s on slashdot.
    Since education is a state function, I view anything that national politicians say about education as either fluff or a bid for over-reaching their authority.
  • The New Science of Character Assassination
    Phil Agre []
    15 October 2000

    You are welcome to forward this article electronically to anyone for any noncommercial purpose.

    The past ten days will go down as a turning point in American history. This is what it's like when the far right is taking over your country: the people support Al Gore's policies, but the polls are shifting toward George W. Bush because the media is filled with false attacks on Al Gore's character. A story in today's (10/15/00) New York Times states openly what has been clear all along, that this campaign of character assassination has been planned and executed over a long period by the Republicans.
    --Story Link-- []

    Character assassination is, of course, nothing new for Republicans, who mastered the art in the days of Richard Nixon. What's new is that the press constantly repeats the lies. Not just once or twice, not just the occasional slip, but over and over and over.

    Let us consider the New York Times story in detail. Written by Alison Mitchell, it describes Al Gore's abject apology for two trivial and much-exaggerated errors in the first debate as "the culmination of a skillful and sustained 18-month campaign by Republicans to portray the vice president as flawed and untrustworthy".

    The New York Times discerns four landmarks in this campaign, and they are as follows:

    • Landmark number one:
    • ... in December 1997 ... the [Republican National] committee announced it had started a contest to come up with a slogan for Mr. Gore after he told reporters that the hero and heroine in the novel "Love Story" were modeled after him and his wife, Tipper. (Erich Segal, the author, soon said that his protagonist, Oliver Barrett IV, was only partly based on Mr. Gore, while Jenny Cavilleri had nothing to do with Tipper Gore.)

      In this case, the RNC's claim was false. Gore had not told anyone that Love Story was based on him and his wife. Rather, he had mentioned a newspaper article that had inaccurately said that, and was carefully to say that he only had the article's word to go on. Observe that Mitchell repeats the RNC's false account, and then (following the longstanding convention) makes it sound as though Segal was contradicting Gore, when in fact he was defending him. The false "Love Story" store continues to be repeated to the present day.
      --Story Link-- []

    • Landmark number two:
    • So when Mr. Gore said in an interview with CNN in March 1999 that "during my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet", Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, the majority leader, issued this mocking statement: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the paper clip".

      The problem, of course, was that Gore's claim was correct. As the Internet's scientific leaders attest, often heatedly, Gore recognized the significance of the Internet very early, and took the initiative in doing the political work and articulating the public vision that made the Internet possible. His sentence, which is often not quoted in its entirety, makes perfectly clear that he was talking about the work he did in the context of his Congressional service, and that he is not claiming, ridiculously, to have done the technical work as well. Mitchell shades the story by omitting the Republicans' (and media's) most common distortion of the matter, that Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. This falsehood has been repeated on literally hundreds of occasions, and George W. Bush routinely uses it in his speeches.
      --Story Link-- []
      --Story Link-- []
      --Story Link-- []

    • Landmark number three:
    • On the day Mr. Gore announced his candidacy in Carthage, Tenn., his family's hometown, Jim Nicholson, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, had a more elaborate stunt. He rode in a wagon pulled by mules to the hotel on Embassy Row in Washington where Mr. Gore lived for much of his youth.

      "He has tried to pass himself off as this hardscrabble, homespun central Tennessee farm boy and that is not what he is", said Mr. Nicholson, playing off the fact that Mr. Gore had told The Des Moines Register that he had learned to slop hogs and clear land on the family farm. Friends later told reporters that Mr. Gore's father had kept him on a backbreaking work schedule during summers on the family farm.

      The problem, again, is that Gore's claim was true. He did work on his family farm as a child. This time, Mitchell admits that the Republicans were making it up. But she still shades the story by making it sound as though the truth hadn't come out until later, and as though the contrary view rests solely on the word of Gore's friends. In fact the childhood farm chores had been extensively reported for a decade. The false claim that Gore had lied about the chores was repeated on many occasions in the press.
      --Story Link-- []
      --Story Link-- []

    • Landmark number four:
    • The Republicans got help as well from an unexpected source. When the Democratic primary fight became bitter, former Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey insisted that Mr. Gore had deliberately distorted his policy positions in what he called a "pattern of misrepresentation". At one point, Mr. Bradley spat out, "Why should we believe that you will tell the truth as president if you don't tell the truth as a candidate?"

      The problem is that Bradley is endlessly quoted to this effect without any attempt to determine whether he is right. In fact Bradley often wrongly accused Gore of distorting his positions.

    And that's it. That, according to the New York Times, is the story of the Republicans' campaign to paint Al Gore as an embellisher. The New York Times cites four accusations, all of them false, and in every case the New York Times either repeats the false accusations as truth or else provides misleading accounts of them.

    The New York Times' article is not an aberration. The list of false attacks on Al Gore's character that have been circulated in the media for the last two years is extraordinary. In some cases, as in the ones (mis)cited by the New York Times, Gore is accused of lying when he was actually telling the truth:

    • Several publications have called Gore a liar in very harsh terms because he claimed that his father was a pioneer in the civil rights movement. It is true that his father lost his nerve on the Civil Rights Act, but that does not change the overwhelming and (until recently) universally accepted evidence of his leadership on civil rights. Gore's assertion is perfectly accurate.

    • --Story Link-- []
    • In probably the single most vicious attack of the entire campaign, several publications have suggested that Gore lied when claiming to have been present at his sister's death. The only evidence they offer is that he also made a political speech the same day, and Gore's driver has explained his schedule for that day in detail.

    • --Story Link-- []

    In other cases, Gore's words are twisted, misquoted, or simply made up to make him sound as though he were making a claim that he was not making. For example, some publications have even claimed, falsely, that Gore literally uttered the words "inventing the Internet".
    --Story Link-- []

    There are many others:

    • In the closing moments of Gore's second debate with George W. Bush, Jim Lehrer falsely accused Gore of having called Bush a "bumbler" in one of his campaign commercials.

    • --Story Link-- []

      Was this simply a mistake on Lehrer's part? Okay, but Lehrer made his "mistake" in the context of rebuking Gore for his own miniscule mistakes in the first debate.

    • Gore told a a union audience that his mother had sung the "union label" song to him as a child. Gore's comment was obviously a joke and the audience took it as a joke. Yet, incredibly, numerous supposed journalists have asserted that he meant it seriously, or else tried (on no evidence) to cast doubt on Gore's obviously-true claim that it was a joke.

    • --Story Link-- []
    • When Gore spoke of his proposal to put Social Security and Medicare in a "lockbox", some "journalists" accused him of dissembling on the astonishing grounds that he was not actually proposing to put the money into a physical box.

    • --Story Link-- []
    • When the Washington Post finally gave up on the "Love Story" story, pretending that it had only recently been disproven, they moved to another falsehood. Gore had claimed that his sister was the first volunteer for the Peace Corps. This claim was accurate, inasmuch as his sister had in fact worked for the Corps without pay from its earliest days, only later joining its paid staff. But the Post called Gore's claim a "lie", on the grounds that she had not worked as a volunteer *overseas*, which Gore had never claimed; they did not mention that she worked without pay.

    • --Story Link-- []
    • Gore told some students in New Hampshire the story of a Tennessee community activist who brought his attention to a toxic dump, whereupon he looked for other examples, found Love Canal, and held the first hearings on the issue. "Journalists" first misquoted him as having claimed to to have started the issue, when in fact he was giving credit to the activists. Even when the misquotation was grudgingly corrected, they continued to distort his words, as if he were claiming to have discovered the toxic pollution at Love Canal.

    In yet other cases, Gore made a trivial error that has been exaggerated by his critics, and the exaggeration has been falsely attributed to him. Such is the case with the school in Florida that Gore cited in the first of his debates with George W. Bush.
    --Story Link-- []

    These are just a few examples among many. People make mistakes all the time. Al Gore is one of them, and it's surprising that an army of opposition researchers hasn't come up with more substantive errors after fact-checking a whole life of public statements. So is George W. Bush, whose errors during the two debates so far have been dramatically worse than those of Gore. To start with, Bush falsely implied that the Europeans have no troops in Kosovo, when in fact they have tens of thousands, and that the United States has significant numbers of troops in Haiti, when it does not. And he made numerous false statements:

    • that Gore was outspending him, when the opposite was true;
    • that the rate of uninsured people was falling in Texas and rising nationally, when the opposite was true;
    • that the men who killed James Byrd would be put to death, when only two had been sentenced to death and their appeals had not been exhausted;
    • that middle-income seniors would get drug coverage immediately under his Medicare plan;
    • that Gore had lied about this;
    • that the new spending in his budget plan is equal to the tax cuts;
    • that "most of the tax reductions [in his plan] go to the people at the bottom end of the economic ladder";
    • that the president is unable to influence the actions of the Food and Drug Administration;
    • that Hillary Clinton's 1993 national health insurance initiative would have entailed nationalizing health care; and
    • that Gore had claimed to be the author of the Earned Income Tax Credit law.

    That is just a partial list of Bush's "mistakes" in two ninety-minute debates, and it doesn't include the dubious numbers he quoted from Republicans in the Senate or the mess he made of education, taxes, Social Security, and the Middle East. Nor does it include the "mistakes" that littered his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, or the especially egregious "mistakes" of his brutal campaign against John McCain in South Carolina, and so on.
    --Story Link-- []

    With only a few exceptions (like the one just cited), the press has gone to great lengths to cover up or minimize Bush's false statements. Press coverage of the first debate focused overwhelmingly on Gore's two comparatively trivial errors and on endless suggestions that Gore was rude for having sighed several times.
    --Story Link-- []

    Of course, the sighs were often exaggerated by turning the volume up. (Falsely calling someone a liar, as Bush did several times, is not rude?) Pundits bizarrely praised Bush for his command of the issues after the first debate despite his lengthy catalog of errors:
    --Catalog Link-- []

    And the 10/5/00 Washington Post buried the Democrats' list of Bush errors at the end of a long story about Bush's accusations against Gore.

    The problem is systemic. A reporter for a British newspaper, the Observer, was struck at the completely different approaches of the reporters covering Gore and Bush, and reported a disturbing incident in which a Washington Post reporter well-known for her open hostility to Gore held a toy gun to his head.
    --Story Link-- []

    Indeed, press coverage of Gore has been spun in a strongly negative fashion for a long time.
    --Story Link-- []
    --Story Link-- []
    --Story Link-- []

    The press, following the lead of Republican "investigators", has repeatedly falsified and spun the famous Buddhist temple event, among others.
    --Story Link-- []

    They have also falsified and exaggerated Gore's performance in earlier debates, thereby creating a caricuture of him as a vicious attacker.
    --Story Link-- []

    Yes, the press has suggested that Bush is not mentally competent to run the country. But it has not fabricated huge amounts of evidence to support this charge, and it has not routinely used vocabulary that is remotely as harsh as that used against Gore. You have rarely seen the media call Bush a "moron" or "idiot", but Gore has routinely been called much worse. Here is a very partial list:

    (I am citing the Daily Howler for most of these examples so that you can read some analysis of them. But the Howler provides precise citations for the originals, which should be easy to look up.)

    Indeed, Bush's alleged mental incompetence is often tacitly used to excuse his falsehoods -- he doesn't know what he's talking about, so he can't be lying. Or Gore is accused of a "pattern" of false and exaggerated statements, but then Bush escapes the same accusation for the simple reason that nobody bothers to gather Bush's false and exaggerated statements in one place.

    This is just the press. We're not even talking about the conservatives on the Internet that have been circulating long lists of Gore's supposed lies and exaggerations -- most of which are, of course, themselves lies or exaggerations, including garbled and embellished versions of the already false versions in the press. Some of these lists are credited to the RNC, but of course it is hard to know for sure.

    The new science of character assassination, then, has several components:

    • It starts with a strategy: a conscious choice by a political party that it is going to position its opponent in a certain way. The 10/15/00 Washington Post quotes a Republican consultant as saying that "PR 101 is define your opponent before he tries to define himself", and the whole campaign is clearly organized by the principles of PR.
    • It requires a clearinghouse to distribute "facts" that fit the strategy. In this case the burden has been carried by the Republican National Committee and by the office of House majority leader Dick Armey, which got its start by circulating the original fraudulent charges from Wired News about Gore's Internet statement.
    • It requires rank-and-file supporters who are willing to pass along any junk that fits the party line.
    • But above all, it requires a press corps that has decided to go along with it. Part of the problem is that the press operates in packs -- an echo chamber of lazy pundits in which every "fact" that fits a prevailing stereotype gets endlessly repeated.

    But it's not just that. It is not surprising that Rupert Murdoch's media properties, such as Fox and the New York Post, publish smears against people who disagree with Murdoch's far-right views. But it can hardly be an accident that the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press have all assigned reporters to the Gore campaign who write, day in and day out, the same sorts of exaggerated smears. To be sure, the press is not unanimous in spreading Republican lies as truth; the contrast between the NYT/Post/AP axis and the calm reporting of the Los Angeles Times could hardly be greater. But the Post, Times, and AP, all well-connected and widely syndicated, set the tone for the press as a whole. The fix is clearly in, and these establishment media operations are clearly down with it. They see which way the wind is blowing, and they don't want to get left behind.

    A kind of coup is in effect, continuing the pattern of the Whitewater hoax and impeachment. If the far right succeeds in its campaign, then the incoming government will be staffed by people who are trained in the new science of character assassination. It's all they know. And having destroyed Al Gore, they will come after the rest of us.

    Copyright (c) 2000 by Philip E. Agre.
    All rights reserved.

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • Phil Agre, a professor at UCLA sent out a message on the Red Rock Eater mailing list [] debunking the "Gore invented the Internet" myth. He doesn't seem to have it up on his web site yet, so I've put up a temporary copy []
  • Try to imagine what the country would be like today if we had a republican president as well as a republican house and senate for the past 6 years.

    A very scary thought indeed.

    Steve Magruder

  • It's all about setting a reasonable threshold. I know that for my own stuff, I prefer it to be downloaded, so I won't encode it at 320kbps nor would release the wav file because its simply too big. Actually the threshold should be set per tune, but anyway, that's what vbr's for.
  • The things you say are only true if you believe that Napster-like products are hurting sales.

    Personally, I believe that napster-like products will increase the revenue stream that actually makes it to the artist. It reduces the power of the record companies.
  • I say so. Take this for example
    Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a hacker, and his name was Eddie. Now, Eddie wrote a computer program which upset a large corporation. They sued him. He died.
    Now then, apparently I own that story. I therefore own both halves of that story. I also own both halves of both those halves. Curiously, the first chunk that I own "Once,upon a time, not so long ago, there was a". Strange really since that is actually owned by someone else. So perhaps I don't. Obviously there is a boundary around that which I own, or I can hold that which I own. I therefore will give my story to anyone who can pick it up in their hands or put a fence around it. You can't. Its just a piece of legalese. Not property at all.
  • The whole concept of "throwing a vote away" is pretty much akin to FUD in my mind. Why do you ask the question? Are you implying that if he doesn't vote for the same candidate you are that he is wasting a vote? Are you implying that if he doesn't vote for a front-runner he is wasting a vote?

    A vote is a person's choice. Making a decision should never be considered wasteful.

  • I dunno. I suspect the candidates didn't write the answers -- I'm sure they "spoke" the answers. They sound more like spoken answers than written answers.

    But I must say that Bush's answer is vintage Shrub: lotsa words but completely devoid of content. Kinda like the dazed-and-confused look he had at last night's debate: eager for the attack but, um, we're not really sure about the specifics yet, Jim, so, er, we're just gonna explain why, ah, why ... heh ... well, we're gonna explain what makes a good leader, heh heh, because, er, as you know ... a good -- the best leaders lead, yeah, they lead, and you know leading is important when, uh ... heh ... when you're a leader... heh heh.

    In all fairness, Gore's answer to the Napster controversy isn't much better but at least he indicates how the issue will (I'm 100% sure) be solved: licensing. Maybe the licensing is something Napster, Inc. will pay. Maybe it's something that will be passed onto the consumers.

    But I'm sure -- I'm positive, in fact -- that licensing (ala ASCAP) is how Napster will ultimately be resolved.
  • So they both came out half-heartedly for Napster. Sort-of. That shouldn't be enough to get any of your votes. As internet-savvy people, and those who respect the power and influence and IMPORTANCE of the Internet, you cannot allow either of these two men into power.

    Bush still believes [] that the dark forces of the Internet somehow cause children to manufacture their own guns and shoot down their neighbors puppies. All this while viewing FAR too much pornography.

    Gore still believes [] that the entertainment industry needs to be policed and regulated so that we are able to live our entire lives without seeing one good movie or one entertaining website.

    Don't let either of these two men fool you, neither supports the Internet (even if they did invent it []).
  • by Anonymous Coward
    we don't care about "you, as a musician". we've already heard from 244000 other "musician tekkies" who don't care if they ever make a dime from their music (which is ironic siince almost none of them would have anyway). We've heard from so many of these miserable fucks that plinking down a statement regarding your personal altruism is no longer honorable. Instead it is *karma whoring*.

    What we care about, at least in this particular discussion, is what Bubba g and Algore think about it all. Since we are about to empower one of them as the supreme executive dude and all.

    the whole world will hear what they have to say... on a daily basis.
  • "The idea of being able to get rich and famous while partying, smoking, drinking and guitar playing, making it as a rebel and becoming a millionaire while giving the finger to the capitalistic society is what drives most rock musicians to be great, you need that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for motivation. "

    --how ironic that the potential for getting rich would drive someone to work hard and produce something of quality. that pretty much defines capitalism.
  • > It's kind of like when you go to a party, and everyone snorts off the same mirror."

    Damn me, that's the definition of a server, not peer-to-peer sharing. I'll get back to you as soon as I get home and consult my copy of High Tech Made Easy: Real-Life Explanations for Politicians and Other Dummies.
  • While not DIRECTLY on topic, this post has to do with music online.

    A few weeks ago, I downloaded the Papa Roach CD from Napster, because I heard it was good. It was, very good in fact. Based solely upon what I obtained illegally, I bought the CD, because it was worth my money. The same thing happed with Limp Bizkit's new CD, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. It rocks, so I wanted to show my support to the artist. (Heh.)

    Before I came across Napster, however, I was forced to make music-purchasing decisions based solely upon what I heard on the radio. Sure, ONE of the groups songs might be good.. but what happens if the rest of the CD is crap? (Such as 'The Offspring - Americana') I never listen to Americana, because it sucks. (IXNAY was excellent however.) This is where the problem lies.

    I don't know how it works in the states, but here in Canada, you can't simply return a CD because it is bad. The only way you can return it if it is either 1) un-opened, or 2) defective. Either way leaves me royally pissed off. I want my $20 back for Americana.. I don't listen to the dam thing.

  • don't be silly! slashdot gets international trolls! silly ameri-centric you...

    I'm not ashamed. It's the computer age, nerds are in.
    They're still in, aren't they?
  • Gore applied the question to Tennessee

    I can't remember where I heard this, but it was a few years back... Heck, I'm not even sure it's true, but it's funny. :)

    When one group of settlers was looking for a place to build their town, they asked a local Indian tribe about what they thought was a fairly good area across a nearby river.

    The Indians told them that they did not want to live there; that land was cursed.

    The settlers, of course, ignored this advice, and built there anyway.

    That was Nashville, the home of country music, which is obviously the curse the Indians spoke of... :)
  • The President has no power to legislate (modulo the unconstitutional "executive order," which really ought to be abolished) and he has no power to control how much of your money Congress wants to spend.

    The President can (in theory) veto spending bills until one that suits him is put before him, but due to the fact that most spending is done in omnibus-type of bills this doesn't happen very often.

    The "executive order" only applies to the executive branch, which the legislative branch has very little control over (mainly funding). Harry Truman integrated the Armed Forces with an executive order, which was his constitutional right as he was the chief executive. Congress could try to change the effect of an executive order through legislation but oops, here comes that pesky veto again!

    I suggest you take Political Science 101...

    The fact is that men and women have ALWAYS had the "right" to decide whether to reproduce: they could simply abstain from sex.

    ROTFL!!! Or to put it in your words: The world doesn't work that way.
    You think being a MIB is all voodoo mind control? You should see the paperwork!
  • Bwaaah ah ah. No matter how outrageous your sarcasms are, there's always a chump to take it seriously.

    So you want names, smartie? What about Air, Laurent Garnier? Just off the top of my head.

    As for good stuff you'll never hear about besides here: Tricatel [], worldwide specialists in lounge music, featuring Valérie Lemercier and Michel Houellebecq. 'course you won't get those on MTV. Eh eh eh. Oh oh oh. Oh well it's funny but you won't get it. Too bad.


  • >Some of us can't tell the difference between
    >160kbps and a CD track, though. Maybe I've just
    >got bad ears.

    More likely you have shitty audio gear.

    When I Napster a track, and like it enough to keep, I make a point of tracking down the CD (given the RIAA/metallica's attack on the internet tho, I only buy USED CDs now); because if you have a *REAL* stereo with GOOD speakers, you *CAN* tell the difference.

    Truth be told, though, on the Altec Lansing speakers hooked to my computer, or on the $5 cheapo headphones I toss in my laptop bag, *I* can't tell the difference either. But I use my Mac at home for SAMPLING music to decide if it's worth purchasing; and my laptop for music at work, where I can't really bring in any gear.

    But on a *REAL* sound system, the difference is painful. And the computers of >99% of the populace don't count.

    Sorry, but that Soundblaster (or compatible) card != a McIntosh tube amp.

    Nor are those POS Labtec speakers in the same league as a proper set of Bose speakers.

    Your $5 Koss headphones from K-Mart? Thanks, but I'll keep my Sennheisers, thank you very much.

    Oh, and do you even want to CONSIDER all the extraneous electronic noise inside your average computer case, fscking up your audio?

    One would think that at least metallica themselves, if not their masters at the RIAA headquarters, would know all this.


    Resistance is NOT futile!!!

    I am not a drone.
    Remove the collective if

  • How's come Gore didn't even post in our patent contest? I bet he had a good one...


  • You are practising in the cut quoting that media has practised in many of it's misrepresentation of Gore's statements. The full quote is

    During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet

    The full phrasing is important because the statement clearly is talking about what he did as a congressperson. He took the initiative over other Congresspeople to create the internet. (I never stated that he the quote meant a legistlative "initiative". Just that he took the Congressional initiative in creating the internet). There may have been many other people who had taken initiative to create the internet, but Gore took the inititive as a congress person.

    According to the Internet Timeline [], in 1986 the NSFNET was just created with a backbone of 56Kbps, but Vint Cerf acknowledged [] that "As far back as 1986, [Gore] was holding hearings on this subject (supercomputing, fiber networks...) and asking about their promise and what could be done to realize them. Bob Kahn, with whom I worked to develop the Internet design in 1973, participated in several hearings held by then-Senator Gore". In 1986, the internet was far from done. It was still being created. It can be said that it is still being created, but it can eaily be said that Al Gore played an important part in creating the internet. Not the first internet, but the internet, the one you are using right now.

    I'll probably be moderated down again for stating this opinion, but I really don't care. I am rather sick of the media falsifying and cut quoting statements by Gore. For a longer disection of many Gore "lies," there is another good article [] on snopes.

  • I don't think a country where they had to introduce legislation to force radio stations to play music from local artists can be said to have any kind of "talent" at all.

    Whereas a country which has to put "Parental Advisory" stickers on records and where radio stations have to censor "offensive" (= one occurence of 'fuck') songs to keep their license has a LOT to tell the world about freedom of speech and talent.


  • Intellectual property is a misonomer. You can't own it. Its not property!
  • The subject of character assasination by the Republicans has been the subject of many Red Rock Eater Digest articles of late by Phil Agre:

    Al Gore and the Internet []

    The New Science of Character Assassination []

    campaign lunacy []

    BTW, a vote for Bush means a dismantling of all kinds of environmental controls: smog/pollution controls, the superfund project, decimating natural treasures for corporate greed, overturning the recent designations of national treasures all over the country that would protect those areas from development, etc., etc.

    -c o r e

  • Yes, the internet *existed* for many years before Al got anywhere near political power. But it wasn't *popular* with anyone but techie-types until the mid-1990's, and it was then that Al, recognizing its potential, started a campaign of promoting and supporting it.

    This statement is patently false. Vint Cerf stated in an email to MSNBC: As far back as 1986, he was holding hearings on this subject (supercomputing, fiber networks...) and asking about their promise and what could be done to realize them. Bob Kahn... participated in several hearings held by then-Senator Gore Which shows that he was holding hearing on the internet in 1986 and the Internet Timeline [] shows that in 1991, the US High Performance Computing Act (Gore 1) establishes the National Research and Education Network (NREN) was passed. All of this is well before the mid-1990's.

  • WebWhiteBlue is totally borked. Did Slashdot already eat the bandwidth?

    I don't know why political news is even a big issue in the media at all. These canadates mirror each other's view, probably the least interesting of all political tactics.

    I want my NBC, PBS, and CNN back!

  • If the poor are poor because they're oppressed, what they need is freedom from oppression, not a stupid handout from the government, which by means of its handout is arguably the worst oppressor: because by it they sap from the poor man the incentive to go out and make something of himself.

    If the poor stay poor even if they ARE getting resources from the government, then obviously this is not contributing to the overall "health" of the society and the strategy needs to be changed.

    Whether that involves using propaganda & incentives to excite motivation, or merely making opportunities in the form of education available, is a matter of experimentation & implementation. The goal is still the same: improving the health of the society as a whole.

    Like everyone else, the poor are typically more than happy to blame their problems on everyone else. Until they stop this blameshifting and take responsibility for themselves, they will never get out of poverty.

    What a bunch of bullshit. The TRULY poor don't have the resources to do anything but try and survive. Without help or a lucky break, they don't have a chance in hell of changing their circumstances by themselves, whether or not they "take responsibility" for themselves.

    What I find really hypocritical are those people who like to think that the poor cause and can always take care of their own problems, and that the rest of the society has no obligation to help them out. Oh wait, that's somebody just like YOU - huh, imagine that.

    A utilitarian ethic is a shallow, depraved thing.

    A utilitarian ethic based on the health of the overall society is a shallow, depraved thing? Is this kind of like the shallow, depraved attitude of abandoning the poor because you believe they're all selfish greedy bastards who should be allowed to starve to death so that you don't have to pay any taxes to help them out?

  • Why are presidents always given the credit/blame for the work of others?

    Because its their leadership or lack thereof that oftentimes sets the stage for whatever happens. Clinton's 1993 tax increase proposal (roundly well-hated by most) did a lot of the work toward eliminating the deficits. But we also have to consider a booming economy (generating additional tax revenues) that resulted from lower interest rates and freed up capital from paying down the debt and the Internet (helping to drive new efficiencies and industries), that Gore actually did champion more than any other politician in existence! And the Congress did their thing with keeping expenses from rising as fast as they did before. Clinton didn't have to lead... he didn't have to propose policies that reduced the deficits... he didn't have to hire Robert Rubin... he didn't have to reappoint Alan Greenspan... he didn't have to work the way he did with a Republican Congress.

    The point is: Clinton led us back to recovery. He didn't do all the work. But he (along with Gore) set the stage.

    Steve Magruder

  • by wmschris+ ( 244417 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:24AM (#697183)
    I have been a musician for several years now, and I was very pleased (as a techie) to see that I could listen to low-quality songs on my desktop computer. Heres what I have to say as far as paying for music is concerned:

    art is free, as it should be.

    music is something they've found a way to capitalize on, and they have.

    If people turn down their money-guided mindsets and think about the music, they'll be more creative, and free. Which is why (as a musician) I dont mind if The whole world hears what I have to say.
  • The concept of ownership is imposed by the rules of the society. How can I really own land, a pet or anything at all?

    The important thing is whether intellectual property is useful for the functioning of the society. I don't think there is much doubt about it. In fact the patent law greatly accelerated the development of technology as inventors do not have to keep their inventions and technologies secret (as often was the case earlier).

    The situation is slightly different, when applied to music or books, but not all that much. Music used to be subsidized by kings and wealthy individuals, which is not the case anymore. Books used to be written by people of means or monks or inmates (Don Quixote, for example), i.e. people with pelnty of time on their hands. Being educated in those days pretty much implied being wealthy or a cleric. And arguably only educated people would have an inclination to write. Again there is much weaker correlation between education and free time nowdays.

    Thus new concepts were necessary and were found by way of intellectual property to make creation of new music, literature and art possible.

  • by iElucidate ( 67873 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:28AM (#697185) Homepage
    It is extremely unlikely that the candidates, or at least Bush, really wrote those statements. I find it highly unlikely that the Governer knows what peer-to-peer file sharing means. Furthermore, both major US candidates propose that the artists should be compensated, but neither states how. Bush makes a blanket statement -- it is unfair to artists, and we need to compensate all of them. Meanwhile, Gore states that new solutions will develop naturally, as they did in radio. Both of them conveniently ignore the RIAA, MPAA, and other huge lobbying organizations. All in all, a very uninformitive answer to a pertinant question for geeks.
  • Yes, Bush trusts the public to make their own decisions with money and guns, but not with abortions or the internet. Yay freedom.
    Gore trusts the public with abortions, but not with guns, money, movies, or the internet. Much better.

    The real problem is that neither trusts the public.
    They both trust the corporations to keep lining their pockets.

    There's a lot of morons in the world who i wouldn't trust with a nerf ball, so i can't blame them on some issues.

    I know i don't trust corporations, so i'm voting for Nader. At least he's not on their payroll.
  • It's obvious by reading that that both candidates have only a minor grasp of the fundamentals involved in the Napster and related cases. The first candidate to appoint a *qualified* Technology Advisor will win my vote, until then I'm not voting. Even if it means sitting out the next 5 presidential elections.

  • I'm not sure Bush and Gore really want musicians paid (but I found both of their answers to the Napster question pretty evasive). I'm not sure what they want to do, besides use government power to please large political contributors -- a set of people more likely to include RIAA members than musicians, IMO.

    What I want to see is a "pot of gold" that helps musicians via a tipjar []. There's plenty of talk of "cutting out the middleman" between consumers & musicians, but precious little gets done about it. e-gold [] isn't perfect, but it works. Now. I encourage /. readers to try it out, email me and I'll provide a bit to start. Thanks.

  • by Ded Bob ( 67043 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:56AM (#697189) Homepage
    Cerf himself, one of those often credited, describes it thus: ''I consider Bob Kahn and myself to be the principal fathers of the specific design, but we were very dependent on the work of others.'' In short, Cerf says, ''I don't think it makes sense to give any one person such a title.''

    Gore can be given credit for sponsoring some bills. This is infinitesimal (sp?) with all that was poured into the Internet--I was actually taught NII (National Information Infrastructure) and GII (Global Information Infrastructure) at Purdue.

    Items I consider:
    • How much money did the Baby Bells contribute?
    • How many people developed it or for it?
    IMHO, the Internet would have come along even if Gore had been against it from the beginning. I consider it a group effort and nothing more.
  • by killbill ( 10058 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:56AM (#697190) Homepage
    On what are you basing your claim that Bush has no idea what peer to peer file sharing is? I watched the debates... both people sounded like politicians, neither sounded stupid.

    Gore touts technology as some miracle savior... I loved the part about the fact that the oil crises is not a crises because technology will "magically" create cars that get 140 MPG.

    Classic pointy haired boss stuff... You and Bill may not be held accountable to the laws of the state, but the laws of physics take more then a good spin machine to work around.

    Can we create cars that get 140 mpg? Probably, but not soon enough that we can continue to ignore petroleum issues. When we make them they will be pretty darn expensive, and they are not going to have any of the features YOU want in a car right now (unless you like your Ford Festiva).

    The Honda Insight hybrid is the perfect example. Cool? Yes. Innovative? Yup. Practical? Errr... I don't think so...

    The insight is really just a updated CRX, which back in 89 was already pushing 50 MPG (the insight gets 70 MPG). The difference is that you could get the CRX for close to $10,000, and it would run with little maintenance for 200,000 miles easy. The insight costs $20,000, and will likely need an expensive battery replacement every 3 years or so.

    Continue to push for new technology, but if you look at it as your sole savior you are going to be cold and hungry sitting there in the dark.

    (IMHO :)

    (note to the secret service... the killbill nick has nothing to do with anybody in politics, it is a combination of my first and last name and was given to me in 1984)

  • You have obviously never developed anything significant in your entire life. Not anything that you cared about, anyway.

    I have never seen such cynisicm in my life

  • by Tarlyn ( 136811 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:00AM (#697192)

    Jim Lehrer: Welcome to the second presidential debate between Vice President Al Gore and Gov. George W. Bush. The candidates have agreed on these rules: I will ask a question. The candidate will ignore the question and deliver rehearsed remarks designed to appeal to undecided women voters. The opponent will then have one minute to respond by trying to frighten senior citizens into voting for him. When a speaker's time has expired, I will whimper softly while he continues to spew incomprehensible statistics for three more minutes. Let's start with the vice president. Mr. Gore, can you give us the name of a downtrodden citizen and then tell us his or her story in a way that strains the bounds of common sense?

    Gore: As I was saying to Tipper last night after we tenderly made love the way we have so often during the 30 years of our rock-solid marriage, the downtrodden have a clear choice in this election. My opponent wants to cut taxes for the richest 1 percent of Americans. I, on the other hand, want to put the richest 1 percent in an iron clad lockbox so they can't hurt old people like Roberta Frampinhamper, who is here tonight. Mrs. Frampinhamper has been selling her internal organs, one by one, to pay for gas so that she can travel to these debates and personify problems for me. Also, her poodle has arthritis.

    Lehrer: Gov. Bush, your rebuttal.

    Bush: Governors are on the front lines every day, hugging people, crying with them, relieving suffering anywhere a photo opportunity exists. I want to empower those crying people to make their own decisions, unlike my opponent, whose mother is not Barbara Bush.

    Lehrer: Let's turn to foreign affairs. Gov. Bush, if Slobodan Milosevic were to launch a bid to return to power in Yugoslavia, would you be able to pronounce his name?

    Bush: The current administration had eight years to deal with that guy and didn't get it done. If I'm elected, the first thing I would do about that guy is have Dick Cheney confer with our allies. And then Dick would present me several options for dealing with that guy. And then Dick would tell me which one to choose. You know, as governor of Texas, I have to make tough foreign policy decisions every day about how we're going to deal with New Mexico.

    Lehrer: Mr. Gore, your rebuttal.

    Gore: Foreign policy is something I've always been keenly interested in. I served my country in Vietnam. I had an uncle who was a victim of poison gas in World War I. I myself lost a leg in the Franco-Prussian War. And when that war was over, I came home and tenderly made love to Tipper in a way that any undecided woman voter would find romantic. If I'm entrusted with the office of president, I pledge to deal knowledgeably with any threat, foreign or domestic, by putting it in an iron clad lockbox. Because the American people deserve a president who can comfort them with simple metaphors.

    Lehrer: Vice President Gore, how would you reform the Social Security system?

    Gore: It's a vital issue, Jim. That's why Joe Lieberman and I have proposed changing the laws of mathematics to allow us to give $50,000 to every senior citizen without having it cost the federal treasury a single penny until the year 2250. In addition, my budget commits $60 trillion over the next 10 years to guarantee that all senior citizens can have drugs delivered free to their homes every Monday by a federal employee who will also help them with the child-proof cap.

    Lehrer: Gov. Bush?

    Bush: That's fuzzy math. I know, because as governor of Texas, I have to do math every day. I have to add up the numbers and decide whether I'm going to fill potholes out on Rt. 36 east of Abilene or commit funds to reroof the sheep barn at the Texas state fairgrounds.

    Lehrer: It's time for closing statements.

    Gore: I'm my own man. I may not be the most exciting politician, but I will fight for the working families of America, in addition to turning the White House into a lusty pit of marital love for Tipper and me.

    Bush: It's time to put aside the partisanship of the past by electing no one but Republicans.

    Lehrer: Good night.
  • new solutions will develop naturally. some enterprising individual will look at the situation and create a system that is fair to the parties involved. that's how capitalism and technology work well together.

    it's like driving through the desert and realizing that you haven't hit a gas station in over an hour. an enterprising individual will put a truck stop there.

    do you want the government proposing a solution in this case? do you think any of the candidates are really qualified to create a fair system? I don't think they should be involved except to limit unfair monopolization and make sure that the artists aren't being completely screwed without an alternative.
  • --how ironic that the potential for getting rich would drive someone to work hard and produce something of quality. that pretty much defines capitalism.

    That was kind of my point.

    One of the reasons that capitalism is such a successful meme is that the only real rule is that you become rich. If your path to riches is to sleep to noon, play guitar, smoke dope and sleep with groupies, and it works, hey, more power to you. You might even get mentioned in Forbes, like the Grateful Dead did all the time.
  • The first candidate to appoint a *qualified* Technology Advisor will win my vote, until then I'm not voting.

    You should still vote... you don't have to vote for anyone, but you should still go into the poll booth and register your abstention by not turning any of the knobs or flicking any switches or pulling any levers (anyone else think those voting booths are kind of funny looking?). By not even showing up, you're registering your apathy, not your disapproval with the candidates.

  • After reading these articles, I've come to a number of conclusions about candidates, internet, and government. I believe that Al Gore, did indeed have alot to do with the creation of the internet (even if he's a techno weenie, he still supported it, which is almost as important as creating it). I believe that Ralph Nader is against mega corporations becoming more and more powerful (which I can't necisarily disagree with). He believes that if bush is elected that he will make a small government (which I don't mind, and I don't believe Nader is opposed to... in theory) but, bush's reasoning for doing this is so that these megacorporations can take over. Nader most definately does not like that.
  • There was a "field hearing" in Utah about two weeks ago on Napster [], held by Senator Hatch. Shawn Fanning (wrote the beast) was there, and a few others. A friend of mine wrote the piece above, and submitted it to slashdot, but to no avail. Give it a read; it's interesting. Among other things, it indicates Hatch supports Napster, but wants seems to want to see ASCAP like royalty schemes (which really isn't too unreasonable -- my only concern is once you get the big boys involved, it'll turn into a payola oriented media...)
  • Seems like the perfect system. There must be a catch?

    Yes, it takes energy to extract the hydrogen, and the hydrogen engine won't be 100% efficient, either. But using nuclear power to make the hydrogen, or wind power or whatever, would be perfectly capable of producing enough hydrogen to fuel everything that can't be plugged in...

    I'm an investigator. I followed a trail there.
    Q.Tell me what the trail was.
  • Then slashdot needs to get more mainstream readers somehow; otherwise, efforts like mine to educate people just might end up only preaching to the choir...

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • Bush is beholden to big oil

    And Gore has been funded by Occidental Oil: no less "beholden" than Bush.

    Under Reagan and Bush the deficit soared. Under Clinton and Gore it is going down.

    Don't be naïve. Clinton/Gore had no more to do with the present budget surpluses than Reagan did with the deficits. In case you haven't read anything about the Constitution in the U.S., it is Congress that establishes the budget. It is Congress that establishes tax rates. The President has no power to legislate (modulo the unconstitutional "executive order," which really ought to be abolished) and he has no power to control how much of your money Congress wants to spend. The most that could be said is that Reagan signed a Democrat Congress's budget laws (which was stupid) and Clinton signs a GOP Congress's budget laws (which, while not smart, is less stupid).

    instead of giving Bill Gates and H. Ross Perot a big tax cut they don't need,...

    This isn't about "needs"; it's about justice. And it is unjust for the wealthiest to be taxed at higher rates than those who have less. The rates should be the same for everyone without exception. THAT is what is just.

    he'll use the money to give more kids a chance at college and possibly a techie career. That's a big win in my book.

    Why should I be forced at gunpoint to pay to educate your children? THAT is a big loss in my book.

    Women and men should have to right to decide if they want to reproduce.

    Nice rhetoric, but that's not what you mean. What you mean is that anyone (including teens) should be free to have sex whenever, wherever, however, and with whomever (or whatever) they wish, without consequences. This is simple libertinism, and it's disgusting. The fact is that men and women have ALWAYS had the "right" to decide whether to reproduce: they could simply abstain from sex. The fact that you consider this (as I'm sure you do) to be "unrealistic" or whatever betrays that what you are really after is sex without consequences (hence the Left's similar commitment to finding cures to diseases that are only prevalent among the sexually profligate). The world doesn't work that way.

  • p>Both candidates stress the importance of making sure artists receive payment for the music they write and perform. While this idea is currently popular, it is counter to the Constitutional conception of the purpose of intellectual property laws.

    "The Congress shall have the power...TO PROMOTE THE USEFUL ARTS, by securing for limited Times to Authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." Art 1, Sec. 8 []

    Note that the purpose of the intellectual property laws is the promotion of the useful arts--not the promotion of income for the creators of those useful arts. The focus is on the benefit the useful arts will bestow on the public, NOT the benefit that should be bestowed upon the artist.

    I think most true artists (as opposed to "created" artists, i.e. boy-bands) would agree that their motivation in creating music is not money. Motivation flows naturally from the desire/need to express and create.

    I am not advocating that artists should not be compensated for their work, but that there needs to be a shift in considering music as a commodity to a service and a subsequent modification in how artists are paid for their expressive creations. We have lost sight of the purpose of the copyright laws, over the past several years particularly, and new technology such as PtoP file sharing is providing an opportunity to reassess the benefits that laws are intended to promote. Are laws to promote the greatest benefit to the individual, or promote the greatest benefit to everyone?

  • I didn't wonder that there was no rebuttals to either Gore or Bush's comments. After all, they didn't say anything.

    Although I think it is funny that they kept on talking about 'artists rights' Goddess, can they really believe that shit? Can they believe that anyone else can believe that shit? Artists aren't losing money on Napster, record companies are. That might sound like such an obvious fact, but obviously these presidential candidates feel like they can live in an alternative reality by using different words.

  • It's been brought up that neither candidate has really mentioned any of the real issues. In all honesty, the responses they made can be slightly altered to fit nearly ANY debate. "While [insert radical idea here] has some good points, [insert traditional idea here] should still do or get what it's been doing or getting. It's just a way to make nearly everyone happy, which is all politicians want when campaigning-- to get everyone on their side. All of the Napster proponents are saying "Hey, they both think the technology is good and will stick around, that's good" while all of the opponents are all "Yeah, they want artists to get their money." This is why nothing gets done in government-- the politicians are too afraid to step on anyone's toes, and we get the Henry Clay syndrome (sorry for the obscure historical reference) with everything being a compromise but nothing getting resolved.

    Compromise is great, but once in a while things have to just be changed, one way or the other.

  • the ones that come from socialist countries (like Eric Clapton and John Lennon) emigrate to a capitalistic country without confiscatory tax policies as soon as they can.

    OK, I'll bite. Both Clapton and Lennon had their heydays in times when Britain was ruled by a Conservative government. Britain has never really been a socialist country, although the Labour governments of the mid-60s and mid-70s definitely had socialist taxation policies...

  • Yes, I would also like to know! I'd assume that more "IT professionals" (whatever that really means) are considered wealthy by the government, so the last thing they would want would be Gore in office!

    I just don't get it. If you're a techie, why don't you realize how much of a whore he is? He's just saying what the "working middle class" wants to hear.

    If you make more than $40k a year, I suggest you vote for Bush if no other reason that to protect your own money! If Gore gets in, we'll be a socialist government in 4 years, and your hard-earned money will be going to support those in society who just choose not to work.

    Why do you want the government taking MORE of your money?

  • by darthaya ( 66687 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:08AM (#697214)
    President of United States of America or any other country's leader is NOT a geek. He does not have to understand what OSS really means and what p2p is. There are much much more important issues than napster to be considered first, such as education, before american kids become the dumbest on the planet(well, some already are, and they troll on slashdot), environment protection, health care, tax cut, etc. heh, I could use a couple of extra thousands every year to go to vacation while the rest of the trolls moaning over their loss of access to mp3s on slashdot.

    It is funny how many slashdotters look no further from the gigantic computer monitor right in front of them.
  • I'm somewhat surprised at the mild approach of both candidates. 'Somewhat' because they can't afford to 'hurt' a large amount of people and loose votes. Yet despite this fact both make it quite clear that they are against 'the violation of copyright'. I don't see any negative comments on Napster here, just illegal activities.

    Being unfamiliar with the American elections I can't go into much details (just that I don't give these comments much credit since the candidates mostly tell you what you would like to hear) but it does remind me of an earlier /. article concerning shortage of people within the IT sector. Isn't it true that mp3's are wildely spread within this sector? If you want to be able to access them you'll need to know something about it or be influenced by it. Which makes me wonder; did these candidates just tell us that there is indeed a sense of truth in the stories about the shortage? Maybe I'm seeing things that aren't there, allways a good option, but just think of it; would a country of which its highest political 'leader' speaks heavily against the small things which make life & work more comfterble (I know, should grab the dictionary :/) (I like listening to internet radio at work) appeal to you? Dunno about you guys but if I'd hear that (and take the possible acitons into consideration) I'd think it over before going there armed with my mp3 player filled with some nice JPop / Anime tunes.

  • Your high school or college transcript doesn't exactly show how "smart" you are, it only shows how well you managed a combination of things: intelligence, not getting on the teachers' bad sides, happiness level, social standing, how many friends you had, etc. I myself graduated high school after five years and failing English 4 twice with a final GPA of 78%... but my IQ is 183. Clearly, how well you do in school has more to do with other factors than with how "smart" you are. Why did I do so miserably? Simple: I was a geek, everyone hated me for it, and I was utterly miserable. It's amazing how much being universally despised for doing nothing more wrong than just being who you are will depress you. A depressed student is a student who gets failing grades, no matter how smart he is. You just lose the will to achieve anything important; "What does it matter whether I get an A or an F in american history?" is a question you'd hear depressed students thinking all the time if you could hear them think. I've learned infinitely more since high school about things like history than I ever learned in it. I can't even remember 90% of my high school days now, they're so traumatic. My mind just blocks them out automatically, I'm sure. But I digress.

    Yes, Bush is very much just as subject to the whims of the media as Gore is. But put not thine trust in polls. God only knows who really ran the polls, who responded to them, how honest the pollsters and respondents were, etc. See my other post somewhere around here about how media outlets all act in their own best interest; it's precisely like Microsoft's hideous little Mindcraft benchmarking fiasco, if you remember that. Besides, we're talking about a poll of roughly a thousand people from all across America; that's, what, about .00037% of the population?? How accurate could that possibly be? I personally think Bush & Gore are both utter retards, and that opinion has nothing to do with college transcripts -- nor am I the only one with that opinion. I listen to what comes out of their mouths during debates (which nobody else is ever invited to speak at for some reason) and almost all of it is a childish attack on the other. "HE wants to spend all your tax money on welfare recipients!" "Oh yeah, well HE wants to increase spending and raise the national debt!" "Well, HE smells funny!" "I know you are, but what am I???"

    It's almost like they WANT to look like idiots.

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."

  • The fact that electing Bush will probably mean that rich people get to keep more of their money doesn't really motivate me to vote for him (I can see it motivating people with money but why people who earn less than 70K a year would vote for Bush by reason of this "tax cut" really astounds me).

    I am also not really concerned that I won't see any benefit from either candidate's tax plan since I'm a single, unmarried woman without children. Paying down the debt and "fixing" social security so that MY generation (Gen X's) aren't hit with a 30-50% increase in social security tax rates when the baby boomers start retiring is of far greater concern to me (for more depressing numbers see rts/charttalk%2040-87.pdf). Don't even get me started on how much it's going to hurt if we don't deal with the looming disaster that is Medicare/Medicaid.

    But in the end it comes down to what I care about most - control over my own body and my own actions. Bush, who will appoint anti-choice Supreme Court Justices, is a far greater threat to my rights than Gore is. Money is really insignificant in the long run.

  • Okay, so he started working on it before the general public got into it... the time frame of my statement might be off, but the overall sentiment is intact and even agreed-with by you... this amounts to just more nitpicking. The simple fact is that Al Gore did a lot of Senate-type things to help the internet come into being. Perhaps if he hadn't done it, someone else would have, but he did... and here we are with OC-192's all over the place and all-optical switches and neat stuff like that because, at least in part, of him. The POINT, which everyone seems to want to avoid thinking about at all costs around here, is that the "I invented the internet" statement (which 90% of Americans think Al Gore actually said) is ridiculous fiction, but they believe it because the media have been repeating it so much that it's indistinguishable from fact now by all the sheeple who believe everything they see on CNN. This means that either the media are purposely being biased themselves, or are also sheeple who just repeat everything that some other sheep bleated at them. Either way, they're spreading lies, and are not to be believed.

    Fool me once, shame on you...

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • France? they're idea of Rock and Roll is a joke.

    Bah. What do you know about it? What does it prove besides that the USA has a stronghold on music distribution?

    But phear not, we have the local likes of Britney Spears. Just without the boob job.


  • You mean the sheep barn at state fair needs re-roofing, and Bush hasn't spent the money on it yet? Oh, the poor children! Imagine trying to groom your sheep amid falling rain, hail, snow, leaves, or whatever else falls from the sky in Texas in the summer. Bush obviously doesn't care a bit about the children. Okay, that's enough! I'm voting for Harry Browne this fall. He'd make the fairgoers pay for the repairs out of the gate receipts, and thereby remove the decision from the realm of politics.
  • I agree with much of what you said. I was only trying to correct some of the strange assumptions of the previous poster (Gore's policies have more public support, democrats are the only ones getting attacked for things they didn't do/say).
    I personally don't trust the media (the same media that 90 some percent of voted for the current moron in office) to be objective of anything. Looks at Slashdot, nobody claims they are independant, but they have fallen over each other to prop up Gore and trash Bush. The regular media has it's own biases and they show (FOX seems to like Bush, most of the other stations seem to like Gore).

    Sure it's popular to hate both candidates and assume we are all better than them, but you had better listed to what they say because they might just act on it after being elected.

  • What you say here is part of a standard conservative critique of the welfare state: it hasn't worked, it doesn't work, it won't work, it can't work, and therefore we need to abandon the welfare state.

    Actually, this is the attitude that I understood YOU to be saying in your previous messages, that the welfare state isn't working and should be abolished. *My* point was that if the system aint working, you need to fix it. And from a government's viewpoint, the goal to keep in mind while fixing such a system is the longterm health of the society as a whole.

    My point was this: why is a poor man poor, and why does he stay that way? He may be poor because he makes bad decisions. If that is the case, why should anyone give him ANY form of help other than to assist him in making better choices? If you give him money, he'll just blow it making more bad choices.

    Common sense, and fits with what I've been saying about choosing a different strategy if the current one isn't working. It doesn't address the fact that you're going to have to use up SOME sort of resource to "educate" such people as to the society-friendly way to do things, and it's going to be the people who HAVE those resources who are going to have to pay for it. And it might be better for the longterm benefit of the society if government takes it from them, even if they don't want to give it. They probably won't be happy about it, but from a governmental viewpoint, their "happiness" does not trump the goal of the longterm health of the society.

    Finally, there are those who are poor through no one's fault: they have simply had bad breaks. It is these people who should be helped by private charity, and they are a tiny, tiny fraction of those who are actually poor

    You seem to be fixated on the idea that private is always better than public service. Get over it - it limits your solutions. The goal of any government is SUPPOSED to be the health of the society as a whole, which is not necessarily (and not likely) the goal of private institutions, whether or not they have labeled themselves as "charities".

    As far as the number of people of who truly poor through no fault of their own - I'm sure it is to your benefit to think that there are only a very tiny number of these people, and that they should should be properly grateful that you deigned to give them some of your hardearned income. Of course, if they don't happen to do the proper bootlicking or don't quite agree with your way of looking at things - then why the hell should you help them out? Huh - maybe that's what a properly functioning government is for, to take care of health of the society as a whole, even if it inconveniences or annoys some of the individuals.

    When the feds put a gun to my head and say "Help the poor!" that ceases to be charity and becomes tyranny.

    You still keep thinking that your "rights" trump those of the society as a whole. I'll keep on saying it, the government's responsibility is maintaining the longterm health of the society as a whole, not catering to the whims of individuals. What YOU want isn't necessarily what's best for the society as a whole, so the government doesn't have any obligation - and in fact would be abrogating its responsbility - to support your needs & desires over that of the rest of the society.

    Yes, it is. It is shallow and depraved because the people who exercise this ethic believe that they know better than the common man how the common man ought to live. It is shallow and depraved because its advocates believe that they have the right -- even the duty -- to impose their will upon others. It is shallow and depraved because there is no standard beneath it: it amounts to nothing more than what seems to have utility now, which betrays the fact that it has nothing to do with what is right or wrong.

    Oooooo - nice emotional rhetoric. Too bad it doesn't have any useful substance. Not to mention that you still don't have a clue what that "utilitarian ethic" really means (or maybe you do but just don't like the way it contradicts what YOU believe).

    The people who "exercise" this kind of ethic are pragmatists. Their goal and _standard_ is the LONGTERM health of the society. They know that what's beneficial for the society as a whole, isn't necessarily going to be beneficial for some of the individuals. On the other hand, they'll understand that stomping all over too many individual liberties isn't going to help the health of the society either (given that the "health" of the society is some function of the health of the individuals).

    This standard is a helluva lot deeper & rooted in reality than your so-called "standard" of right and wrong (which is probably defined by people who think like YOU, right?). Shallow-and-depraved pretty much describes people who define "right" and "wrong" to be for their own benefit, then use those definitions as a tool for excusing the harm that they inflict on society.

  • Uh huh. And when Dan Quayle, admittedly not the most articulate politician ever but a competent and reasonably thoughtful Senator, was universally described in the media as a drooling moron, was that a right-wing plot also? When fabricated story after story, like "I enjoyed visiting Latin America. I wish I spoke Latin." was presented as fact, where was Philip Agre?

    The problem here is the Jay Leno / David Letterman mentality of repeating anything as long as it continues to get a laugh. It's unfunny when they do it and shameful when journalists do it.

    No, J. Edgar Hoover was not gay or a transvestite. A single filmmaker quoted a single source who claims to have once seen a picture of Hoover in a dress. Where's Pihilip Agre on that one?


  • They both sounded like typical script-fed corporate clone dolts.

    I'd be intensely interested in getting into a private conversation with any of these public figures, in an environment where they can be assured that they can speak freely without worrying about it being reported to anyone else. It seems like the effort necessary to predigest EVERYTHING they have to say for popular consumption makes them seem like they have no thoughts (or brains) of their own.

    My personal hope, although I have no evidence to support this, is that most of these people are a lot more intelligent than they portray themselves on camera, and that a private conversation with them would be very stimulating.

    On the other hand, it may turn out that they are actually much less interesting in person than they are in public, and they only appear to have some answers in public because they are parrotting their handler's answers. That would be very depressing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:18AM (#697256)
    Isn't peer-to-peer more like when you shout out "Has anyone got some papers?", and three of your friens hear you but they haven't so they shout out too and eventually either everyone answers "No!" or someone has so they give a chunk of them to the person who asked and they give them to the person who asked them etc etc until eventually you get some and you can make a doobie?
  • Actually, as Proudhon [] pointed out, all property is theft. One may then conclude that intellectual property is intellectual theft, or plagiarism. Your ideas, writings, and inventions are no more your property than your computer, your car, or your house.

    You do not need to be an anarchist to realize that property is not a natural state of affairs. Property is a "social construction" just like government. Once property did not exist. Later people decided that it would be a "good thing," as Martha Stewart might say, for people to be able to control other people and tangiable things so the idea of family was created wherein a man could be given government sanction of ownership over his tangiable possessions such as land, tools, slaves, wife, and children.

    Later, people decided that owning other people might not be such a desirable thing so the definition of property was edited to exclude other people.

    Much later than that, as printing became popular and lucrative, intellectual property was added to the list because people felt that it was desirable for authors and inventors to have some kind of property rights to their ideas and creative expressions.

    Let's accept that although we may disagree with the definitions of property currently in vogue, there is no natural existence of property, so arguments based on nature won't pass muster. Further, arguments based on the historical concept of property will have to contend with the fact that for the first several thousand years of property, people could be considered property, which kind of dampens my desire to emulate those ideas.

    The bright side, for those who would like to be able to take the work of others without being constrained by intellectual property laws (I too have chafed under the unfair laws that prohibit me from taking GPL code and wrapping it in my own closed source projects) is that property laws are no more nor less than arbitrary acts of legislation, which can be changed by amending our Constitution and persuading Congress to pass a few new laws. You can, however, find better fora in which to push for such action than bellyaching on /.

  • by Hard_Code ( 49548 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:48AM (#697261)
    I watched the debates... both people sounded like politicians, neither sounded stupid.

    Of what I could bear to what of the debates, both sound like politicians and BOTH sounded stupid. Bush with his childish chuckling and snorting. Goddamnit, shaddup...this is a debate...grown up stuff, you know? And Gore with his ponderous heavy monotonous droning. Damn, he should sell his speeches to the people that make those new-age forest sounds sleep-aids. Certainly would put everybody to sleep fast.

    They both sounded like typical script-fed corporate clone dolts. And no, sorry, I can't believe that anyone who could say that the internet "turns hearts dark" has any technological clue in his ever loving brain.

    What irks me the most is that any American would actually think this is stimulating "debate". It was more like each of them reading off pre-scripted responses to pre-filtered questions, and generally agreeing with each other.
  • The OpenNap [] project and the Napigator server list [] demonstrate that the Napster servers are anything but a single centralized point of failure. To shut down Napster, the RIAA has to shut down the Napster, OpenNap, MyNapster, PowerNap, etc. networks.
  • Bush: Copied right off the cereal box. Probably info provided by a tech advisor.

    Gore: Familiar with the concept without dwelling on particular technology.

    Bush, perhaps incidentally touches on (creator) the idea there are more who would suffer losses (i.e. record companies.) Then again, the reference is broad and therefore vague. In terms of answering it, neither suggests a meaningful solution.

    Bottom line: Which is preferable in this type of matter? Government interference or leaving the parties to work it out? (Keep in mind, they RIAA has a lot of influence in the Govt.)

    Chief Frog Inspector
  • Well, I'm not voting for him (Go Green!) but I did watch the debate last night, and judging from body language, and the fact that he didn't dodge as many questions as Shrub, I'd say Gore is the better of the two. There was one point where he jumped off his stool and walked right up to Dubya as if he were going to punch him - I got very excited, and thought "man, if Al punches George, I may have to change my vote!" Some folks say Gore has no personality; well, that may be true, but he's been a politician for 24 years. That would suck the joy out of anybody. :-)
    If you're not considering a third party, go for Gore. At least he can compose and deliver a complete sentence.

    The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk
  • by ckd ( 72611 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:29AM (#697272) Homepage _invented_internet.html [] is the real link; hopefully SlashCode won't the "insert random spaces" game with this post.

  • yeah, that's why napster isn't true "peer-to-peer"

  • Perhaps Philip Agre doesn't care about J. Edgar Hoover (it was more than likely before his time anyway). I haven't even looked at the entire list of his essays; there may even be one in there about Quayle (or even Hoover). Perhaps you could do some research about them.

    This is another example of the typical Slashdot reaction: you see an article that you don't like, so you proceed to pick it to pieces in any way possible; all that matters is that you point out every misspelling, every uncapitalized word at the beginning of a sentence, every missing comma, every place a semicolon was used instead of a colon, etc. The fact that Philip didn't mention Quayle or Hoover in THIS ONE PARTICULAR ARTICLE has absolutely, utterly, precisely NO bearing on THIS ARTICLE'S accuracy, poignancy, or relevance. He also didn't mention that Josef Stalin murdered millions of Russians; does that mean this article can't be taken seriously? Give me a break.

    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • Because most of the great music I listen to was made with the idea that the musicians would reap rewards from creating it.

    Think about it, most rock stars come from capitalistic countries, and the ones that come from socialist countries (like Eric Clapton and John Lennon) emigrate to a capitalistic country without confiscatory tax policies as soon as they can.

    Can you name any famous rock stars from a socialist country that make good music? Let's see Sweden, hmm, Abba and Ace of Base, nope, not good. France? they're idea of Rock and Roll is a joke. Russia? Nope.

    The idea of being able to get rich and famous while partying, smoking, drinking and guitar playing, making it as a rebel and becoming a millionaire while giving the finger to the capitalistic society is what drives most rock musicians to be great, you need that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for motivation.

    Yeah, Napster has the potential to cause America to lose it's lead in the Rock music biz by making artists lose their motivation, and if you didn't know, that brings a lot of cash into the country, I think it's right after aerospace, software and Hollywood.
  • Local climate change.

    Water is a very potent greenhouse gas. While it may not contribute to global warming, the places we live will get lots warmer and wetter.
  • This isn't about "needs"; it's about justice. And it is unjust for the wealthiest to be taxed at higher rates than those who have less. The rates should be the same for everyone without exception. THAT is what is just.

    That's a very comforting rationale - for everyone who's making a comfortable living. I'm sure that many poor young black men, in their vicious cycle of poverty & discrimination, are completely satisfied with your definition of "justice".

    Government SHOULD exist to maximize the health of the society AS A WHOLE - and if the so-called "rights" of the extremely-minority privileged get a little bent, well that's too bad (as long as it's in a way that doesn't come back to bite the society as a whole in the long run).

    Why should I be forced at gunpoint to pay to educate your children? THAT is a big loss in my book.

    'cause if the cost-benefit analysis says that the net gain of the society is more than your loss, then it's the right thing to do - for the society.

    Of course, if the mechanisms of government have been hijacked for the benefit of a minority of society, rather than the whole, then you can start talking about "injustice" and actually mean something rational.

  • Save for a few exceptions. Boris Vian. Edith Piaf. A few things by Brassens.

    Face it. The same way horrendous cooking is the complement to good music in English culture, horrendous music is the complement to good cooking for the French.

    French Canadian rock, well, that's a whole different story. Hmmm. Gotta go listen to my Plume [], Les Colocs, and Les Cowboys Fringants [] records.

  • He didn't "help create the internet." He never claimed to have done so. To quote from the article (which you obviously didn't read at all):

    "As the Internet's scientific leaders attest, often heatedly, Gore recognized the significance of the Internet very early, and took the initiative in doing the political work and articulating the public vision that made the Internet possible. His sentence, which is often not quoted in its entirety, makes perfectly clear that he was talking about the work he did in the context of his Congressional service, and that he is not claiming, ridiculously, to have done the technical work as well. Mitchell shades the story by omitting the Republicans' (and media's) most common distortion of the matter, that Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. This falsehood has been repeated on literally hundreds of occasions, and George W. Bush routinely uses it in his speeches."

    Yes, the internet *existed* for many years before Al got anywhere near political power. But it wasn't *popular* with anyone but techie-types until the mid-1990's, and it was then that Al, recognizing its potential, started a campaign of promoting and supporting it.

    By the way, no -- I'd never vote for either Bush or Gore. They're two different facets of the same kind of evil, far as I'm concerned.


    "The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."
  • At the risk of coming off as AOLish: Me too. I use Napster for previewing new music and for getting MP3s of CDs that I already own but am too lazy to rip. I would venture a guess that Napster hasn't hurt CD sales because a lot of people use it that way. Unfortunately, thats just a guess. The RIAA will be able to bend the numbers to suit its argument once the appeal opens up. I'd also say that if I were in college (read: broke) Napster would be my sole source of music.

    CD sales aside, at some point during this debate we will all realize, even the politicians, that this is about a lot more than whether some kid can write some software that allows people to trade MP3s. I would have been much happier if the question had been 'How do you think the Napster decision will affect the way the United States defines property and fair use?' or even 'Do you understand that it will?'.

    Every time Slashdot puts up a Napster or DeCSS the majority of the replies are of the 'You can't stop us' ilk. We've covered that already. No half assed attempt at crypto will be safe. If a person wants they will always be able to share peer to peer. The question is whether or not it will remain legal. The answer to that will affect a lot more than MP3s, it will help define the degree of control that corporations have over what you do. If you think Digital Convergance is insane for trying to cliam that they still own their Cue:Cats you could wrong, they might just be a little ahead of their time.

  • here in Canada, you can't simply return a CD because it is bad

    That's not true. Both HMV and Future Shop have an "any reason" return policy. I have returned a few CDs to HMV that I did not like when I brought them home. I haven't done this at Future Shop, though I have asked them about their retrn policy.

  • You do realize that the president appoints Supreme Court and Federal Curcuit Court judges, don't you? That's probably the most major issue you could even think of. The supreme court is pretty much split half-and-half, and whoever gets elected will probably appoint two new judges, to tip the scales one way or the other. Read the September 9th issue of The Nation ( - the articles section) for just *how much* that matters.

    The president does matter in that respect, and also his veto power. Try to imagine what the country would be like today if we had a republican president as well as a republican house and senate for the past 6 years.

  • They both dodged that question like true professionals! I don't know who to vote for -- they are both good!
  • There's not much French rock. But rock != good music. And besides what you mention isn't rock. And is really old.


  • OK, Bush (or Bush's staff) seems to be toeing the RIAA - we have to make sure artists and corporations get their due in new media - think SDMI, etc.

    Gore (or Gore's staff) suggests that new media demand new solutions - his comments about compromise suggest (maybe) that he would favor something like the settlement Napster proposed - nominal fee, payed to evil ASCP.

    Neither one is charming, but Gore is less disturbing....
  • by iElucidate ( 67873 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:35AM (#697308) Homepage
    The first candidate to appoint a *qualified* Technology Advisor will win my vote, until then I'm not voting.
    How about Reed Hundt? I've heard that he is quite competent with technology, and he certainly holds his own in the debates with Nader. Now, I haven't done enough investigation to really be able to tell if this guy is well informed, but from the horse's mouth [] (ie - his web site): Depending on the leadership of his high school classmate Al Gore and finding unexpected allies in the ranks of free market ideologues, Hundt led the FCC to make the decisions that helped start a wave of entrepreneurship, which in turn has given the United States the world's leading Internet economy. As the memoir shows, every decision involved prodigious political battles--between existing industries and start-ups, between Newt Gingrich and the Clinton-Gore White House, between inside-the-Beltway lobbyists and the new grassroots advocacy of e-mails, between the politics of money and the politics of ideas. In the same period, the often ignored and historically maligned FCC was the place where government decided whether to undertake the largest national initiative to reform K-12 education in the country's history: the program to connect every classroom to the Internet by the year 2001.
  • "I agree with you that mp3s just don't sound the same, regardless of bitrate ..."

    If you can read German, read this article [] from c't magazine which claims that 256 cbr is approximate to CD quality on a professional speaker system.

    I got it from this page [], which goes into depth on how to properly encode MP3s for near-CD quality. The entire site [] contains lots of information about encoding, ripping and MP3 quality in general. I'm not claiming it's all true; much of it is quite subjective. But I would cite the c't test as a definitive response to the oft-held belief that MP3s suck for quality no matter what. Granted, you won't find many LAME VBR encoded MP3s on Napster, but that's not to say that Napster or MP3s are worthless. If Napster users really wanted that quality, they could have it; this only shows how little that quality matters to most people.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will someone please explain the fascination with Al Gore among some of the techies? I'd like to know if this is a knee-jerk "he's a Democrat, let's support him", instead of a reasoned commitment. If it is a reasoned committment, please provide some solid facts, and URLs, showing why I should support him as currently, I see him as the third in command (Hillary is second) of the Clinton administration, dedicated to removing my constitutional rights, and personal privacy.
  • by Bon Homme Richard ( 245114 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:37AM (#697313)
    Where internet property, privacy, and access issues are concerned, whomever occupies the Oval Office is far less significant than the makeup of Congress. Those of us with a professional or social interest in these issues should focus on the activity (or lack thereof) of Congess, the FCC, and the federal judiciary. I would feel more comfortable if the new President does nothing at all, given that a little knowlege is a dangerous thing.
  • There is also the case of Rep. Rick Boucher of VA, (the guy who is sponsoring a LOT of bills that are /. supported, IMHO)

    He helped push the legislation that modified the NSF charter to become a little bit commercial, and to allow commercial entities on to the internet. So Boucher also helped "Create the internet as we know it".
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @06:22AM (#697335) Homepage Journal
    developed Mosaic under a federal grant authorized by one of Gore's bills.

    I have to wonder. Were the good folks in Tennesee clamoring for Universities to be connected by a high speed WAN, or for the development of a graphical hypertext browser?

    I personally don't like Gore very much; the "new democrat" thing is a bit too close to toadying to the big corporations, but he's no dummy. He definitely had vision on the issue back in the 80s when all this stuff was just a pipe dream. People are forgetting how exotic this stuff was back then.

    Politics can turn anything positive into a negative. It kind of reminds me of how Jerry Brown got the sobriquet "Governor Moonbeam". He noted that California was a big state, and spent a lot of money for officials to travel from one part of the state to another. He proposed looking into launching a geosynchronous satellite to do video conferencing, which would save on travel costs and increase speed. This idea doesn't seem so far-fetched today, does it?
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:43AM (#697336)
    > I find it highly unlikely that the Governer knows what peer-to-peer file sharing means.

    His staff explained it to him. "It's kind of like when you go to a party, and everyone snorts off the same mirror."
  • by flatpack ( 212454 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:43AM (#697337)

    I'm coming to realise that what Napster claims to be, the best thing in obtaining legal music, is nothing more than a front for what it really is - a tool for organisations like the RIAA to get Congress to impose the most draconian laws possible to ensure that they get to keep their beloved monopoly position.

    Sure, it may sound paranoid, but who would really release a piece of software which anyone could have told you was going to be hammered into the ground by litigation and legislation? Maybe Shawn Fanning would have, but their are some savvy people working for Napster, and it's hard to see them as being naive visionaries fighting the corporate foe.

    And besides, just look at the software itself. It's hardly a labour of love is it? It looks like someone spent about an hour using VB1 to put a front end on a fairly simple network protocol. And indeed, the very protocol itself is designed to make the service easy to shut down in the event that Napster "loses" in court.

    No, I think that the entire company has been funded by the RIAA for the sole purpose of vindicating their "you're all thieves and pirates" stance. Maybe Shawn Fanning was for real once, but I'm sure the endless $$$ of the RIAA would have been enough to buy his complicity. And the RIAA has gotten a hell of a lot of leverage off of the back of cases like Metallica and Dr Dre.

    It's been said before that Napster is one of the worst things that could have happened in the struggle to promote new business models and remove the RIAA monopoly. I think it's kind of obvious why.

  • by __aaefwa8304 ( 223597 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:45AM (#697339)
    Mr. Hundt is indeed proficient in a "techie" kind of way, but in the Wired interview (especially the last two installments) he glazed over far too many issues to allow my to buy off on his view just yet. I think we all realize by now that Gore didn't actually claim to invent the Internet; Hundt touches on this. What he doesn't seem to realize (and Gore either, for that matter) is that the Internet would have developed without him -- it certainly didn't need his help. As for what Gore's actually done for the 'net community at large... wiring classrooms? Great. Wonderful. But not exactly a "fully completely" tech policy.
    As for Bush, well, he stated once and for all last night that he favors filters for Fed-$-receiving institutions, so it goes without saying that his tech policy is likely to be, shall we say, less than savory.
    If only either candidate had the balls to clearly elucidate their position on just one issue, this would all be so much easier.

For large values of one, one equals two, for small values of two.