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Slashback

Slashback: Spolsky, Mandrake, Geography 203

Tonight's Slashback features another string of updates, corrections, etc. to previous stories. In this case, that means more on the discoveries of America, the Mandrake-StarOffice connection, Joel Spolsky and more, all below.

Update: not everyone agrees on everything. ipoverscsi writes: "SoftwareMarketSolution has a followup interview with Joel Spolsky comprised mainly of rebuttals from the comments section of an older article on Slashdot. A quote I found interesting regarding re-writing software: 'Don't even talk to me about spending money replacing something that works. The only question that is relevant is -- what does it cost to fix it if it doesn't work?'"

'First' seems to be relative. MattJ writes: "A week or two ago, Gavni Menzies' theory about Chinese explorations preceding Columbus were mentioned on Slashdot. He has now made his presentation to the Royal Geographical Society. According to MSNBC, the response from historians who saw it was somewhat muted. They say they need to wait for his book to come out to treat the theory fairly, but right now it looks like a tower of suppositions."

"Or, to vote for 'irresponsible disclosure,' please press No ...". juliao writes: "The IETF has dropped the draft proposal for responsible disclosure of bugs."

Fax early and often. jd142 writes: "A follow up to Friday's CBDTPA story. Electronic petitions and e-mail are unlikely to sway a Senator. Dead trees do. Luckily you can easily have a message faxed to your Senators. Letters are good too, so send both. This is a case where the more paper we can swamp them with, the better chance we have of killing this. And take the time to personalize your faxes and letters."

A matter of phrasing? I mentioned that StarOffice 6.0 was due for retail release in April; Jacques Le Marois from Mandrakesoft (among many others) wrote to point out that "MandrakeClub is the first and only place in the world where you can get StarOffice 6.0 currently!" They've worked out an OEM deal with Sun to let those who've paid for a "Silver" membership to MandrakeClub ($120 annually) download the software.

Exactly which MandrakeClub members were eligible for the payware StarOffice was the cause of some contention. "We also answer to your previous post about the ZDNet controversy. It's an interesting case of mis-information spread."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Spolsky, Mandrake, Geography

Comments Filter:
  • by Yoda2 ( 522522 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:03PM (#3225279)
    I've got a better idea. I'll e-mail my senator a picture of me in my backyard wacking trees with my chainsaw!
    • by HanzoSan ( 251665 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:21PM (#3225667) Homepage Journal
      When will people get it through their thick skulls that petitions dont work.

      Lets look at DMCA, did petitions stop it? Hell no.

      Lets look at Napster, did petitions save Napster? Hell no.

      Why isnt marijuana legal? People have been petitioning for it by the millions for 20 years or more now.

      Face it, Petitions have never solved a thing.

      Tabacco was made Legal because people didnt obey the laws, civil disobedience by the millions, and there arent enough jails to enforce it, alcohol? Alcohol was illegal once, it took the mafia and illegal activities, corruption and control of the government through the mafia, essentially terrorism tactics to make alcohol legal.

      SSSCA, you arent going to stop this unless you fight, you dont have to be violent to fight, you can fight with your intelligence, programmers should write unstopable programs like freenet, rich people should support lobby groups on our side, people who are good writers should write books, articles, editorials, and give as much media attention as possible to this, public speakers should host rallies along with musicians at local colleges where other intelligent people are. Contact churches, libaries, civil rights groups, and convince them how important it is to protect our rights. Contact patriotic groups, anti government groups, and anarchist groups and explain to them how the government is trying to control them not just offline but online as well.

      Contact the elderly, contact teachers, and highschool students, explain to all of these groups whats going on, hang posters in front of highschools, near libraries, near sam goody and HMV, Blockbuster and other stores which tell people about the SSSCA, use clever images, such as comparing the SSSCA to Nazism, Explain how unfair it is, use images of jail and rich CEOs, show images of locks on their computer.

      If all of the people reading this did this in their towns seperately, meaning true activism on a LARGE scale, Well its simple to break it down into parts.

      INFORM --- Tell the public what the SSSCA is!

      Explain ---- Tell the public whats wrong with the SSSCA

      Results ---- Tell them what will happen if the SSSCA passes, and what kinda society it will lead to if the trend continues

      Solution ---- Tell them how to stop the SSSCA, tell them a msg similar to what I'm telling you, explain to them not to just stop the SSSCA, but to promote absolute freedom of speech online, meaning no one can control what you do with your computer, if the RIAA and MPAA does not want us to pirate stuff, they should make it impossible to pirate or undesirable to do so, if this means lowering the price so its not worth buying a CD or DVD burner, or if this means locking the DVD up, they have options, what they shouldnt do is take away our freedoms, its like saying you cant use your hands to draw a copy of a picture you like.

      And PLEASE post this on slashback to replace that other lame msg.
      • Tabacco was made Legal because people didnt obey the laws
        When was tobacco illegal?
        use clever images, such as comparing the SSSCA to Nazism
        Please tell me this is a troll. Please tell me this line is unserious. I wonder if Senator Hollings will cite Godwin's on you.
        The post made sense, even if it was a theme that has been done over and over to little avail (speaking if things which don't work, by the way), but you almost lost me with your rabidness. If I didn't already agree with the principal, you would have lost me.
      • I'm still advocating hostage taking, just like the last time I got moderated down. If you REALLY desperately think it's bloody worth it, then go get yourself a gun or a bomb and 40 or so hostages. Viola. Instant media attention.

        Kintanon
        • ... and instantly killed credibility.

          A guy who takes a hostage is always a nutjob, regardless of his "reasons".



        • You dont fight evil WITH evil. You fight evil with superior instelligence.

          How did the jews fight the Nazis? By changing the system so something like Nazism can never happen again.

          You have to change the system from within the system, thats what minorities in the US did, thats what women did, if they all took up guns you wouldnt have a US.

          • How did the Jews fight the Nazis? Well, they didn't really. Actually, most Jews had little choice but to run away, because they weren't numerous enough to fight the Nazis. Then, the U.K., the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. all ganged up on the Nazis and defeated them with their superior resources and manpower. Of course, most people in these countries had no great fondness for the Jews, they had their own reasons for fighting Fascism.

            Not that this is relevant to the rest of your post, I just thought I'd straighten that out.
          • you are under the false pretence that evil must be stupid.
      • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2002 @04:09AM (#3227003) Homepage
        The bill is not the SSSCA. That was the name when they were working on it, but they tweaked it an renamed it CBDTPA - Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act.

        Please use the new name when contacting your legislators. The authors of the bill have been paying attention to our critism. It is no longer a "secruity standards act". No one (except RIAA and MPAA) wants these security standards. It is now a "broadband promotion act" (cough cough). That's a good thing, isn't it? The bill says it will require exemptions for fair use, libraries, schools and researchers, etc. (coughbullshitcough)

        If you reffer to it as SSSCA you risk being totally ignored. The SSSCA does not exist. They will point to the *new and improved* CBDTPA and it's lip-service to all of the issues and say CBDTPA is a good thing because it already addresses all of your concerns. Since all of the problems are fixed (coughbullshitcough) you must be in favor of CBDTPA!

        -


        • No, CBDPA still removes your freedom, your freedom to do what you want with your hardware, this should be a right.
          • No, CBDPA still removes your freedom, your freedom to do what you want with your hardware, this should be a right.

            Re-read my post more carefully. I was saying that we can fight it more effectively if we don't use the wrong name.

            You still got the name wrong which goes to show how the name change is sabotaging our efforts to fight it.

            The fact that you you thought my post was in favor of CBDTPA shows my point exactly. I was stating how the RIAA/MPAA/Senator Hollings will sabotage you if you use the wrong name. I pointed out the flaws in the arguments and specificly called them bullshit. You still read it as supporting CBDTPA. Imagine how effective those arguments will be when the enemy uses them against us!

            Oppose the new SSSCA effectively! Use the right name - CBDTPA Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act.

            -
  • StarOffice 6.0 and OpenOffice is basicly the same product, much like Netscape 6 and Mozilla, where the product is just rebadged. How can MandrakeClub be the "first and only place in the world where you can get StarOffice 6.0" if OpenOffice has always been available for download [openoffice.org] at its homepage. I would also expect OpenOffice to feature the latest updates and improvements so why would anyone even bother with StarOffice. For those MandrakeClub members complaining that you're not getting StarOffice, just go download OpenOffice.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Because StarOffice includes some closedsource apps, such as a database app.
    • We all know that Openoffice users just about all of Star Office's code... But if they were the exact same, well... There wouldn't be 2 products. If I hear another person say "just download openoffice" I'm going to throw up. We all know that Openoffice is based on Staroffice code already. Jeez.
    • from http://www.openoffice.org/FAQs/mostfaqs.html#7 :
      The source code available at OpenOffice.org does not consist of all of the StarOffice code. Usually, the reason for this is that Sun pays to license third party code to include in StarOffice that which it does not have permission to make available in OpenOffice.org. Those things which are or will be present in StarOffice but are not available on OpenOffice.org include:
      - Certain fonts (including, especially, Asian language fonts)
      - The database component (Adabas D)
      - Some templates
      - Extensive Clip Art Gallery
      - Some sorting functionality (Asian versions)
      - Certain file filters

      OTOH, I agree with you if you wanted to imply that OO will probably, for most home users, do a good job and have quite the same functionality, I know it does for me.

  • The only question that is relevant is -- what does it cost to fix it if it doesn't work?'"

    Or in MS case, how much does it cost to make sure it doesn't work so that all users have to get the new upgrade? :-)
  • Customizing? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sterno ( 16320 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:19PM (#3225362) Homepage
    I was wondering about this the other day. Does it really make a difference to the politicians when you customize some comments for them. I've participated in innumerable fax spamming operations when some controversial bill has been introduced. I'll usually spend some time putting some thoughtful commentary into it, but I wonder whether it's of any value.

    I've never received any sort of direct response to any of my customized messages. I've only on rare occasions received a "this is how I stand" form letter form a politician. Do they seriously consider any of the messages? Is it really worth the time I put into it? Anybody out there who had worked for a politician that cares to comment on how such faxes were handled?
    • Does it really make a difference to the politicians when you customize some comments for them

      Unfortunately, the only customization that really works is symbolized by $.
    • Re:Customizing? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:30PM (#3225418) Journal
      What I've heard from ex-interns:
      You want to make it look like you put effort into it. Anything is better than nothing. Customization is better than sending the zillionth copy of a form. Envelopes are better than email. Handwriting is better than a printout.

      Think of it from the point of view of the legislator. If you received a thousand messages a day, which would you think came from voters with a serious concern about the issue?

      I also write a lot of letters and rarely receive even a form letter back. It's still worthwhile, probably. There's a lot of people out there (at least in the US) and it's important to vote and write and be a statistic, because it's those statistics that determine representation and policy.
    • I actually wrote a letter to my senator (Lugar, R-IN)...about Kevin Mitnick. Alright, so I was all of 13. But I got a personalized response. Lugar is actually a good guy (I met him -- wearing a 2600 IDEA shirt) so I can't account for your negative experience. Maybe they know you too well?

      Mike.
      • I don't see what could possibly make them not want to write back. It's not like I run a website where I'm constantly talking about what idiots we have in congress... oh.... nevermind... :)
    • The key things to include are YOUR name and address.

      Send something to YOUR representatives. A blast-faxed generic letter to someone you cannot vote for is NOT taken seriously AT ALL.

      If you can't remember who represents you, you can double-check using the geographical search tool on House of Representatives [house.gov] web site.

      It will have MORE weight if you also customize it by articulating why YOU think XYZ, the impact it will have on YOU and your family/friends/neighbors, and if you are both polite and not patronizing.

      BTW, for great examples of the negative impact of some Digital Rights Management technologies on ordinary non-techie people, check out Joe Kraus's very funny testimony [senate.gov] about his parents' use of technology. This was presented before the Senate Judiciary committee a couple of weeks ago.

      Liza
  • Analog is illegal? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kilocomp ( 234607 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:20PM (#3225366)
    After reviewing CBDTPA http://cryptome.org/broadbandits.htm I found that the bill makes the following statements:
    "13) Consumers receive content such as video or programming in analog form."
    First off we all not this is not entirely true for everybody. Maybe this statement means sum content.

    "(14) When protected digital content is converted to analog for consumers, it is no longer protected and is subject to conversion into unprotected digital form that can in turn be copied or redistribute illegally."
    So now analog should be illegal? I believe audio gurus will still tell you that analog can be better in quality compared to digital. I am not saying digital is bad, as I prefer it, but I know many people who would not want to give up analog audio.

    These are just some of the weird things in this bill. And on top of that there are several early statements which contradict this:
    "(10) Today, cable and satellite have a competitive advantage over digital television because the closed nature of cable and satellite systems permit encryption, which provides some protection for digital content. " So wait analog is safe?

    Of course the entire nature of this bill is wrong, but there are many small things that are wrong with this bill including a lot of contradictions and facts that are not true.

    My 2 cents
    • "First off we all not this is not entirely true for everybody. Maybe this statement means sum content."

      Could you please rephase this in grammatical english?

      "So wait analog is safe?"

      Could you please rephase this in grammatical english?
      • Could you please rephase this in grammatical english?

        Could you please learn to spell rephrase before complaining about some elses language skills. Besides, for this person, english could be a second language. Imagine how you would feel if you were a beginner at German or French, and someone made fun of you. The internet is an international medium, you should keep that in mind.
        • No, no, he did mean rephase. As in "Ensign! Adjust the English modulation! Rephase the Grammar Drive!"

          • *sigh* that's the solution to EVERYTHING in Star Trek, it's either rephasing or reversing the particle stream.
        • Besides, for this person, english could be a second language. Imagine how you would feel if you were a beginner at German or French, and someone made fun of you. The internet is an international medium, you should keep that in mind

          So, wait, Cmdr Taco is French? That would explain a lot....

    • The point of #14 is that a content owner who releases content in a *protected* digital form has a way to technically enforce content usage rules (think DRM or conditional access). If this protected content is grabbed in the analog domain and redigitized, all of the protection and usage rules are stripped out. The content can then be distributed without constraint.

      So it's not that analog is illegal, it's that protected digital -> analog -> unprotected digital is a security hole that they are trying to plug.

      That's why the entertainment industries (both movie and music) have investigated the use of watermarks. Watermarks can be used to indicate that a piece of content was originally protected, and unprotected content found with this watermark has therefore had its protection stripped via security breach or D to A to D. If every recorder checked for this kind of watermark (and assuming they were not trivial to strip) illegally copied content would be a lot harder to use.
    • No, this just means that everyone will have to buy a new TV as making HDTV->Analog converters will be illegal.
      All those 2 million HDTV sets sold will have to be replaced, as they won't support the new DRM system.

      It's the Consumers Buying DRM Televisions Popularizing Act.
    • So now analog should be illegal? I believe audio gurus will still tell you that analog can be better in quality compared to digital. I am not saying digital is bad, as I prefer it, but I know many people who would not want to give up analog audio.

      No, analog output will be made illegal, because anyone who wants to actually use the things they buy must be an evil hacker pirate. If it is made available in analog form at any point before it enters your brain, it can be copied, so the obvious solution is not to allow any analog output, thus closing Hollings's "Analog hole." This of course will cause a demand for neural interface devices, which will come with a nifty feature that observes your entertainment habits, suggests content to purchase, and "encourages" you to buy it. Unfortunately, Microsoft will produce the code, and the 2037 "Heart Attack-ack-ack-ack" virus will wipe out about one third of the population of the developed world.

  • I like Joel's site but it unfailingly crashes Internet Explorer on MacOS 9. (Not the OS X version, though.) So I reserve reading it until I'm in Konqueror.

    Here, a carefully checked that the link was to a different site, clicked on it in IE -- and, POOF! The guy must send out some kind of anti-IE death ray. I'd figured it was something about his face but there's not even a picture of him at the interview.

    By the way:

    The good news is that a lot of stuff I write about UI is starting to have an impact on the Gnome and KDE people.

    Like I said, I'm a fan, but yeesh! Yeah, Joel -- Gnome and KDE are getting better primarily because they've started listening to you. Bill Gates' claim to have enabled open source is probably more valid.

    • I think he didn't exactly mean it THAT way. More like, "A lot of the stuff I write about UI is common sense, and a number of people in several development communities are either starting to realize it, or hearing about this ideas I promote, and it's having an impact."

      He has said in a few places (somewhere on the Fog Creek discussions) words to that effect.
  • Damn.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by laserweasel ( 568666 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:24PM (#3225386)
    Damn, I had thought the native Americans discovered America.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That will be new to the buffalo.

    • It's an easy mistake to make. If over a prehistoric land bridge, ( I actually own the now undersea land bridge that the original people migrated to North America over and am willing to sell it to anyone who thinks the claims of Native North Americans will ever get a fair hearing ), or, a few hit and miss attempts at far reaching exploration by one culture or another are of little significance to the fact that Europeans Laid Claim to the Land by the Divine Right of Their Monarchs and with God on their side. They came to claim and to conquer. And they did.

    • Re:Damn.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zulux ( 112259 )
      Damn, I had thought the native Americans discovered America.

      It's increasingly looking like the current crop of native americans bumped off a preceding group of peoples. Here for more info [si.edu]

    • According to This [bbc.co.uk] {googled} [google.com] article and it's related documentary program, the first sapien inhabitants where aborigines from the same ancesterage as from Australia. They where then subsequently exterminated during the Asian migration. Garth
  • by Alien54 ( 180860 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:26PM (#3225397) Journal
    'Don't even talk to me about spending money replacing something that works. The only question that is relevant is -- what does it cost to fix it if it doesn't work?'"

    I remember a story somebody told me once. There use to be this neighborhood with a thousand little shops in a city in England. You could get almost anything you wanted there. Enter the bureaucrats. TheY see squalor and poverty. Enter the bulldozers, the high rise complexes, etc, Now the place really is poor, whereas before most were gainfully employed somehow, etc.

    The old situation was aworking living community. The new situation was a death trap.

    So the maxim applies to coding, to social policy, and a number of other places.

    Sometime the new solutions are far worse than the old problems, despite what marketing says.

    Reminds me of a Ferengi proverb somehow.

    • I remember a story somebody told me once. There use to be this neighborhood with a thousand little shops in a city in England. You could get almost anything you wanted there. Enter the bureaucrats. They see squalor and poverty. Enter the bulldozers, the high rise complexes, etc, Now the place really is poor, whereas before most were gainfully employed somehow, etc.

      This is a great example of a content-free post masquerading as information. You should no more believe that than you should believe:

      "Somone once told me that bureaucrats fixed all of the problems of a town. It was somewhere you've heard of but hopefully don't know anything about. I have no evidence, I don't know any corroborating details and I can't even point to an article on the web that might give the slightest credence to my claims."

      What you say might be true, although obviously the details are all wrong: in the UK people don't say neighborhoods, that's an American term; the "thousand little shops" is patronizing and almost certainly untrue; the "before most were gainfully employed somehow" is vague and unlikely given the UK's social history. If you want your post to be actually useful and informative you'll need to provide at least some evidence.

      Sorry for the rant, and its not like Slashdot isn't filled with these sorts of posts, but this is a particularly egregious example and its a sham it got modded up.
      • This is a great example of a content-free post masquerading as information. You should no more believe that than you should believe

        well, as an american, I heard it from a brit. So I am supposed to use his language only in decribing it? Besides, there is this 1998 UK gov document [cabinet-office.gov.uk] addressing the problem of "neighborhood renewal". Note especially item number ten in the list. And yes, They actually use the term neighborhood.

        heck I can go to the Roxbury Projects nerar Boston to see the same thing. any other number of big cities where high rises were built that destroyed a community.

        I am sure that there are not any lack of witnesses in any city around the counry, US, or UK, all available to provide the anectdotal evidence that pains you so much. this of course dates back to the 1960's before they came up with interesting theories [homestead.com] of Social Impact via Architecture [globalideasbank.org], which actually validates the points I made in an off the cuff fashion.

        The design of 1930's flats were achieved via Natural selection over many many years, and had the lowest levels of crime. Other designs did not have the benefit of this, and failed miserably, even though based on the most modernb of social theories, had the best architects, etc.

    • Of course: if it's not broken, don't fix it. But most software is completely broken, and, if you avoid the second system effect, can actually get significantly better if you rewrite using your better understanding of the problem, as well as more modern tools.

      Of course, if you rewrite using the same old style and tools and add 2x features while you are at it, rewriting doesn't make sense.

  • /, Effect (Score:3, Funny)

    by dfenstrate ( 202098 ) <[dfenstrate] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:29PM (#3225414)
    Their fax machine is screwed now. There's sure to be a decade long queue on Digital Consumer's side, and I wouldn't want to see the paper mess on the senators side.

    Slashdot causes a fire hazard! Interns drown in a flood of faxes! News at 11.
  • *cringe* (Score:5, Insightful)

    Boy that letter really sucks. See my other post about this [slashdot.org]. Let me take it point by point:

    The Hollings bill will restrict my personal use rights. Congress and the courts have traditionally upheld my right to freely use content that I have legally acquired. But the Hollings bill takes away most of those rights and leaves me with virtually none. Until my fair use rights are ensured, any further encroachment on them must not occur.

    Flat out wrong, at least as far as the Senators will see it. The bill in question specifically addresses fair use rights.

    The Hollings bill will inevitably prevent innovation because it is the most sweeping regulation of the information technology sector in its history. The bill will give content companies the ability to veto devices like the VCR and the digital Walkman.

    This really doesn't say anything, and sounds reactionary.

    The Hollings bill is the wrong approach to solving the problem of piracy. A government-mandated standard will never be able to adapt to the rapidly changing digital world. The new "anti-piracy" measures will only harm law-abiding consumers. Every copy protection measure will be defeated by dedicated foreign pirates who sell the stolen goods illicitly. Copy protection will only defeat fair use.

    Once again, this sounds reactionary and ill-informed. It might be true in some ways, but it doesn't really address any real issues. The industry knows that they don't have to defeat "foreign pirates", they only have to stop the average consumer.

    The content companies said that the DMCA would allow them to deliver great broadband content. Yet four years later, the only outcome of the DMCA has been lawsuits against innovative companies and threats against consumers. We have no reason to believe that the Hollings bill will be any different.

    Unfortunately, this is completely irrelevent. The point of this bill is not to provide broadband content, it's to stop piracy.

    Once again I have to say: Laws are generally written to solve problems, not just to irritate you. Understand why this law is being written, and attack it based on the fact that the cure will create more problems that it solves. Places to attack: making devices more expensive for law-abiding citizens, privacy (will registration be required for music?), etc.

    I particularly liked one of the follow-ups to my original post, where he complained that the music industry is attempting to shift the enforcement of copyright from their own lawyers (where it belongs) to the tech sector. If the music industry wants to attack copyright infringement, then let them go out and start identifying piraters. It's their problem, not the tech industry's problem. I think this would be an excellent point to make in a letter.

    But that whiny letter is worse than useless. I recommend against using it.

    • Re:*cringe* (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sconeu ( 64226 )
      One of the things to point out is that there is really no non-anecdotal evidence for so-called "piracy losses". If there were really losses on the order that the media companies claim, wouldn't they report it on SEC filings?
    • Flat out wrong, at least as far as the Senators will see it. The bill in question specifically addresses fair use rights.

      No it doesn't. It provides a maximum penalty of $2,500 per work for prohibiting fair use. As I wrote in my letter, that's pocket change to Hollywood, and a more appropriate solution would be to put any work whose encoding prohibits fair use into the public domain.

      The industry knows that they don't have to defeat "foreign pirates", they only have to stop the average consumer.

      I fixed that, noting that the industry likes to brand fair users as "casual pirates."

      The point of this bill is not to provide broadband content, it's to stop piracy.

      I think I ought to post my version of the letter. Just wait 2 minutes.

    • Re:*cringe* (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Phanatic1a ( 413374 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:25PM (#3225700)
      The point of this bill is not to provide broadband content, it's to stop piracy.


      Where did you get this? Certainly not from the *title* of the bill, which after all is "The Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Act of 2002." In Hollings's own statement, he refers to it as "legislation that will promote broadband and the digital television transition by securing content on the Internet and over the nation's airwaves.
      "

      Read that again.

      The means: Preventing piracy.
      The end: promotion of broadband and the digital television transmission.

      If the law in fact fails to promote broadband, then it is fundamentally flawed, even if it magically prevents all piracy.
      • Re:*cringe* (Score:3, Interesting)

        Well, then it is fundamentally flawed (but we all knew that, right?), because it won't promote broadband. I'm the target demo for broadband, damnit, and I'll probably never buy an HDTV. Why? Because the broadcasters and the cable companies and the hardware makers and the content providers can't or won't agree on a format. It's not just piracy. The broadcasters want to charge the cable companies for a digital feed, so my cable company has no plans to offer it, so why should I buy hardware for it? The FCC wants the cable companies to continue to provide the analog feed for legacy subscribers while they tell the broadcasters they can drop the analog feed once they move to digital -- how is that supposed to work? HDTV means about a half-dozen things depending on who you talk to, so if you buy a brand X TV it probably won't work with your brand Y VCR and at least one of the broadcasters in your area, and Lord help you if you move into another market. And to top it all off, the FCC gave all the broadcasters a FRIGGIN FREE HDTV license then told them it's OK if they use it to broadcast multiple low-res programs instead of broadcasting HDTV.

        As a consumer, why the hell should I buy into this mess just because Holling's eased Disney's fears that I'll make a copy of Fantasia 2005 for myself rather than pay them $5 each time I want to view it? What makes Disney think I'll pay-per-view forever when I used to (circa 2002) be able to buy it once and view it as often as I please? What makes Sony et.al. think I'll pay thousands of dollars to buy hardware that enables this piracy? The MPAA and RIAA are the real pirates in this story, not me.

        Solving the "piracy" problem -- even if they could -- will not promote broadband under the current conditions, and that's what my letters to my Senators say.

    • They say that the purpose is to combat piracy. I don't see any evidence that this is true, however.

      The bill does not appear to be designed to combat piracy, it seems to be designed to control what is available to choose from. And we are likely to be caught in the side spill. It appears really quite vile, and essentially ignores the constitutional justifications (i.e., enabling provisions) for copyright. I really doubt that the lawyers who support it are unaware of this. I think that they just don't care. It's more a matter of "we can force you to live with this" than "this is just".

    • Re:*cringe* (Score:2, Interesting)

      The point of this bill is not to provide broadband content, it's to stop piracy.

      Tell that to Eisner and his lackeys, tell it to the PR people from all the major studios. These people have all been saying that they are unable to release high resolution (not necessarily high quality) digital content unless their markets are assured through digital copy prevention measures. They constantly harp about there being no way they will release content in HDTV forum unless they have complete control over it.

      This bill is all about content - that is the stick the megalocorps are using to beat it through congress (and the carrot is the trivially small sums of money they use to bribe our elected representativs). Without the explicit threat of withholding digital content, this bill would never have made it out of Fritz's office.

      Now to go a bit further, that threat is a complete and utter fallacy and here's why - as long as the megalocorps are not producing hi-def content, the market is open for new competitors to move in and fill the market need. Once you get a couple of little guys making a profit by servicing the pent-up demand for hi-def content, sooner or later one of the big studios will break ranks and jump in with their own product. It will not be long after that before all of the megalocorps have caved and are producing hi-def content without any sort of hyper-intrusive legislation or technology.

      It is merely a case of who blinks first and the longer we wait, the harder it is for them to keep from blinking.



    • Do you understand what rights are?

      This is just fucking censorship, I dont care what you say, no government, or group of people no matter who they are, has the right to control how you use what you own.

      This is just wrong, what next? Microsoft going to the government claiming "Outlaw open source, its preventing us from making money on our closed source products, all programmers should have licenses so we can properly CONTROL them and we can maintain our monopoly"

      You stupid fuck, cant you see? The MPAA and RIAA wants to maintain their monopoly, this is NOT and I mean NOT going to promote broadband, in fact the only reason broadband is being used at the moment is file sharing, what they are trying to do is convince the government to do a War on Sharing lik e the War on drugs.

      The War on drugs, i dont agree with it, but it makes sense, you have to prevent the population from becoming a bunch of druggies, but the government isnt arresting people for using drugs, they arrest you for selling it.

      I think people who copy and sell programs should go to jail, but people who share programs should have that right. If you dont profit from it, then its not stealing, if you sell something to someone that indicates they would have purchased it from the MPAA or RIAA and that is stealing.

      "This really doesn't say anything, and sounds reactionary."

      Look, when the leaders of the old system, purposely kill the new system by outlawing it, (Microsoft does it, the RIAA does it, the MPAA does it) It prevents innovation.

      Technology is leading us in one direction, the MPAA is trying to fight the technology, Napster, peer to peer, file sharing, its innovation, it could have easily been profitable, the only diffrence is the profits wouldnt be for the RIAA and MPAA, people would still go to the movies to see movies when they first come out, people would STILL go to concerts, people would have to buy CDs to hear them they day they come out, not to mention they could have just released higher quality sound.

      Face it, they dont want the consumer, the musician, and the programmer to be empowered, they want control, its all about control, its not about $$, its about control.

      Oil companies want control, we could have cars running on air, water, electricity, which can run perfectly fast.

      Speaking of cars, lets talk about cars, should cars be restricted to moving at 50mph by forcing all car makers to make slower cars? You'll say hell no. Should guns be made illegal because people can kill with them? No you say?

      Should we order people to vote by forcing them too? Think about where this is going,

      When we keep passing these laws which "CONTROL" us and remove our rights, we become exactly what we have faught against, remember the war against communism the fight for freedom, fight against nazism, etc, guess what, we are about to turn into that society.

      No more libraries, say goodbye to radio, vcr, everything, all electronics will be modified, and eventually all products, books will become electronic, so no more libraries, college students wont be able to share books anymore, so rich students will have a huge advantage.The government will tell you what programs you can and cannot right, you'll need a license to write programs, no more freedom on your computer.

      You'll be told what you can and cant read.
      You'll be told what you can and cant listen to.

      Forget about having parties with loud music, soon all speakers will be outlawed to prevent sharing of sound, so prepare for headphones.

      "I particularly liked one of the follow-ups to my original post, where he complained that the music industry is attempting to shift the enforcement of copyright from their own lawyers (where it belongs) to the tech sector. If the music industry wants to attack copyright infringement, then let them go out and start identifying piraters. It's their problem, not the tech industry's problem. I think this would be an excellent point to make in a letter."

      Copyright infringement should be stopped only when
      it actually causes harm. People sharing music is not causing anyone to lose money, people copying CDs and selling them IS stealing.

      Stealing money which could be going to the RIAA.

      While i dont agree with selling something you dont own the rights to sell, I think its our right as humans to be able to share anything we have the ability to copy, its the RIAAs job to make it impossible for us to copy if they dont want us sharing it.

      Thats like saying you cant share knowledge, yeah you know, you read a book on C programming and then you write a tutorial, should the creators of C sue you for copyright infringement because you are illegally sharing information?

      I mean damn, its getting to the point where I can believe that could happen, which means its gone too far.

      • The War on drugs, i dont agree with it, but it makes sense, you have to prevent the population from becoming a bunch of druggies, but the government isnt arresting people for using drugs, they arrest you for selling it.

        That is absolutely untrue. Look at this [druglibrary.org] and this [lindesmith.org]. The majority of drug related arrests are for possession, not trafficking..

    • This is what I wrote, based on the template provided.

      I urge you to reject the Hollings copy protection bill, also known as the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA). Although I do not on principle oppose regulation in general, this particular proposal mocks the foundation of American capitalism and distorts the intent of the Copyright Clause and First Amendment of the US Constitution. I vehemently oppose the bill for many practical reasons, as well. Among them:

      This bill appears to be an attempt by the film and television entertainment industry to prevent competitors from entering the marketplace by limiting the ability of others to use digital devices to create new works -- even wholely original works. Additionally, it would add an insurmountable hurdle to small businesses entering the digital hardware marketplace. As a citizen, writer, programmer, and performer, this attempt offends me.

      This bill will restrict my Consitutionally-implicit, Congressionally-granted, and court-upheld rights to fairly use content that I have legally acquired. The Hollings bill would take away most of those rights and in return give me no benefits. Until my fair use rights are ensured, any further encroachment on them must not occur.

      The CBDTPA will inevitably stifle competition and innovation. Again, it appears that the film and television entertainment industry has failed to see the benefit of technology except in the narrowest of terms. I am reminded of the protests against consumer VCRs when they were introduced and how the entertainment industry believed it would be decimated. Videotape sales and rentals now make up the bulk of revenue for the industry. Hardly decimation.

      Piracy is a problem. However, content piracy has long been the domain of large-scale, offshore criminals who then sell their goods illicitly. The Hollings bill, however, is the wrong approach. A government-mandated "copy-protection" standard will never be able to adapt to the rapidly changing digital world. The new "anti-piracy" measures will only inconvenience -- nay, harm -- law-abiding consumers. Content protection will prevent fair use. Every content protection measure will be defeated by foreign pirates who sell the stolen goods illicitly. Instead, the film and television entertainment industry should follow the example of the video game industry in combatting piracy: using only a mix of licensing, software, legal action, and moral authority rather than government intervention in the marketplace, the video game industry has grown from zero to be larger than the film and television entertainment industry in just thirty years -- while using entirely digital media the whole time.

      Finally, The content companies said that the DMCA would allow them to deliver great broadband content. Yet four years later, the only outcome of the DMCA has been lawsuits against innovative companies and threats against consumers and scholars. We have no reason to believe that implementation of the Hollings bill will be any different.

      If you have any questions about my position or reasoning, please contact me by email (<snip>) or phone (<snip>).

      Again, I urge you to protect my fair use rights by opposing the Hollings bill.

  • by os2fan ( 254461 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:38PM (#3225448) Homepage
    Update: not everyone agrees on everything. ipoverscsi writes: "SoftwareMarketSolution has a followup interview with Joel Spolsky comprised mainly of rebuttals from the comments section of an older article on Slashdot. A quote I found interesting regarding re-writing software: 'Don't even talk to me about spending money replacing something that works. The only question that is relevant is -- what does it cost to fix it if it doesn't work?'"

    There are other issues about rewritting software, such as considering what is up and down stream from it. A sort program may work perfectly well, but may be wholy unusable as a filter.

    Another reason that software may need to be looked at is that they no longer conform with the way people do things. Consider the multitude of program exits that existed before the CUA became widespread.

    This is not dissimilar to redesigning peices of machinery to work with other elsewise incompatible machines.

  • Joel on bloatware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 25, 2002 @08:39PM (#3225450)
    > SMS: Another interesting point was raised in reference to bloatware... Do you
    > think a product like Microsoft Word would benefit by having every feature that is
    > used by 1% or less of the installed base removed from the product?
    >
    > Joel: ...The WWW is bloatware. Finding things is impossible because there's so
    > much stuff out there. Think how much hard drive space is wasted on all kinds of web
    > pages that only .00000000001% of the world ever reads. Since the vast majority of
    > people only go to Yahoo, Ebay, and MSN, wouldn't the WWW be better if it only had
    > Yahoo, Ebay, and MSN? It would be much more "optimized."

    With Joel from Microsoft at the helm the entire contents of the Internet would reside on a single loooooong web page.

    The oposite of MS-Bloatware (TM) is not lack of features. The opposite is UN*X's lean tool approach. Use tools for one function or a small set of tightly related functions. Create a screwdriver to screw screws, a hammer to nail nails. You do not create a Rube Goldberg machine with a flight simulator.

    ---

    Anonymity is freedom!
  • I get trojan warnings when trying to go the spolsky site...
    And the site just doesn't seem to work properly once the offending JS is bypassed.
  • I heard a theory recently that, if I remember correctly, vikings were the first to america. They travelled from greenland and landed in what is now Canada.

    They have formations/houses/whatever you want to call them built out of rock that they have found. They have also found burial sites which consist of the explorers skeletons, eskimo skeletons, and a mix of breed skeleton.

    pretty interesting stuff.
    • It is an accepted historical fact that the Vikings settled Greenland, and then parts of eastern Canada as an outlying region from that. It all fell apart when the resupply fleet couldn't get out of Iceland one year.

      There are numerous claimants to "discovering America," including the Spanish, Australians, Norwegians, even an Irish monk. Obviously there were Asians long established here via the land bridge. But the bottom line is that:

      a) The main issue is who was the first European here, since it's mostly Europeans who care

      b) There's a hell of a difference between just bumping into something and actually making use of it. Columbus and the Spanish get the credit they do because, regardless of whether the Chinese or Martians or whoever had already been round, no one established a permanent colony that's lasted through the ages until the Spanish did.
      • b) There's a hell of a difference between just bumping into something and actually making use of it. Columbus and the Spanish get the credit they do because, regardless of whether the Chinese or Martians or whoever had already been round, no one established a permanent colony that's lasted through the ages until the Spanish did.

        I'm sure you meant to say "no one but people with dark skin and hair established a permanent colony that's lasted through the ages..."

      • > It is an accepted historical fact that the Vikings settled Greenland, and then parts of eastern Canada as an outlying region from that.

        Perhaps most interesting from the POV of the current discussion, is that although it is an accepted historical fact, it hasn't been so for more than a few decades. The story was common, but at least among school teachers and the like it had Roswell-grade credibility.

        OK, to my "few decades" I suppose I must add whatever lag before knowledge of the archaelogical support trickles down to the schoolteacher level. But the point remains, that this kind of "knowledge" is still improving, so we may be in for some more surprises.

  • ...they said I wouldn't get bored here.
  • Deja vu? [slashdot.org]
  • by Andy Tai ( 1884 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:38PM (#3225770) Homepage
    The official Chinese history, taught in schools, show that the Ming Dynasty's fleets did reach Southeast and South Asia, Arabia and East Africa, but that was as far as they went. There is no doubt that the Ming had the technology to go to West Africa or even "discovered" Western Europe for China, but going across an ocean like the Pacific or the Atlantic may be questionable. (Note the Ming routes were mainly along coasts known to the Chinese people)

    See http://www.chinapage.com/zhenghe.html [chinapage.com] (near the middle of the page) for a map of the Ming voyage based on China's historical records.

    It would be great that China discovered America, but the Chinese people do not claim something that cannot be supported. And remember, it is a Englishman, not a Chinese, who makes this claim.
  • by The G ( 7787 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:49PM (#3225821)
    I am writing to urge you to reject the Hollings copy protection bill, also known as
    the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (CBDTPA). I
    strongly oppose the bill for the following reason:

    Every technical measure that "protects" a piece of data from some uses (such as
    illegal copying) but not from others (such as legal viewing) must do so by making
    the data accessible only to some programs and not to others. But as there is no
    technical way to determine the intentions of a computer program, the decision
    must be made by some controlling human authority (the DVD-CCA being an
    example of such an authority). Moreover, since that authority cannot be present
    at every computer in the world, it must somehow "sign" or "authorize" the devices
    which it has chosen to grant access. Furthermore, that signature or authorization
    must be somehow rendered secret so that malicious or simply curious people are
    not able to duplicate the authorization on unauthorized devices.

    The simple implication, then, is that every electronic device, or at least some piece
    of software on every electronic device, must be secret from its user. In effect,
    knowing how a computer works must be made impossible or illegal or both in order
    to implement the provisions of this bill.

    The would effectively destroy the general-purpose computer by making all of its
    means of input, storage, and output subject to such protected secrecy. If
    implemented at the hardware level, it would render illegal the development of
    electronic devices by amateurs and hobbyists; if implemented at the software level
    it would render illegal all amateur or collaborative software development.

    Additionally, since the majority of copyright "piracy" takes place outside of the
    United States and thus beyond the reach of this or any other law, the measure
    would be of little actual help to the media companies which have lobbied for this
    measure.

    It would be an understatement to say that this would harm the technology industry.
    It would destroy the technology industry in the United States, while drastically
    expanding the industry in technology-friendly nations like India and China. It would
    compromise the mainstay of the US economy and at the same time doing
    irreparable damage to our global leadership and national security. Already,
    prominent software developers are declining to visit the United States for fear that
    the software they have written might run afoul of the existing Digital Millennium
    Copyright Act (DMCA); the CBDTPA will exacerbate this problem exponentially.
    As a software engineer, I have seen co-workers making preparations to emigrate
    or seek expatriate assignments if this bill is enacted. "I will need to consult a lawyer
    every time I write a line of code," quipped one of my co-workers; the remark is not
    far from the truth.

    If you really wish to protect American media companies from revenues lost to
    copyright violations, I urge you to support stronger enforcement of the well-tested,
    well-understood, and legally and constitutionally sound laws already on the books.
    Contrary to the language of many supporters of digital content control, copyright
    infringement is already illegal, and needs no additional laws to make it more so.
    The proposed measure, like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) before it,
    takes a "shotgun" approach to a small and well-defined crime, and will cause
    tremendous injury to American technological leadership and one of the fastest-
    growing segments of our economy for very little compensating benefit.

    I am severely disappointed in your support of the Hollings bill, and respectfully
    request that you remove yourself as a co-sponsor.
    • at least have the good sense to do something other than just copy and paste the exact same letter that's offered on Digital Consumer [digitalconsumer.org]. I mean really, at least try to be original or creative. Personally, I deleted the entire body and wrote in my own letter (Senators and Reps know when thy're getting spam faxes, and while it may have some sway on their impression of public opinion, nothing packs the punch of an original letter).

      Then again, the moderators bought your blatent copy and paste job as +4 Insightful, so what do I know, huh?
  • by TheFrood ( 163934 ) on Monday March 25, 2002 @09:53PM (#3225842) Homepage Journal
    The following is the letter I sent to my two Senators today. If you'd like to copy any part of it for your own letter to your Senators, please feel free. (I recommend not copying the signature unless your name is also "Adam Smith".)

    Helpful links:
    • Find your Senators' addresses here [senate.gov].
    • The EFF's Action Alert for the CBDTPA is here [eff.org].
    • Tips from the EFF on contacting your elected officials can be found here [eff.org].


    March 25, 2002

    Office of Senator Edward Kennedy
    315 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    (202)224-2742

    Dear Senator Kennedy,

    As one of your constituents in the state of Massachusetts, I am writing to express my grave concern over the recently-introduced Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act (S.2048, sposored by Sen. Ernest Hollings.) I believe this bill will harm both consumers and technology industries, especially within Massachusetts.

    The intent of the bill seems to be to require manufacturers of electronic equipment and computer software to include "Digital Rights Management" technology in all products. By doing so, the bill would assuredly cause the prices of consumer electronics, including computers, to increase. At the same time, the DRM technology would reduce the usefulness of these devices for those who want to make copies of legally acquired content for their own personal use. Thus, under the CBDTPA, consumers would be paying more money for less powerful equipment.

    Furthermore, requiring DRM in all electronics and computer software will make business more costly for high-tech firms. The effects of this cost increase will fall disproportionately on smaller firms, especially start-ups. It's these small companies that most often drive innovation in technology. By harming small companies and start-ups, the bill in question would retard innovation in high-tech industries, weakening America's strong position in the global technology race. This is a special concern for Massachusetts, which is home to a large concentration of high-tech companies.

    I understand that the entertainment industry thinks it needs DRM on every electronic device in order to protect its profits. However, I don't belive Congress should take action to protect an industry that has shown no interest in adapting itself to a new technological reality. I certainly think it would be foolish to risk the health of a strong technology sector in order to prop up the fat cats in Hollywood.

    I have yet to see a public statement from you or your office regarding this bill. For the reasons I've outline above, I strongly urge you to oppose it. I would appreciate hearing your position on this issue.

    Sincerely,

    Adam Smith

    (An identical letter was sent to Sen. John Kerry.)

    • Kerry's a lost cause. He's bought and paid for by Hollywood because, as a Democrat, he needs their money for his White House run in 2004.

      If I were a campaign strategist for someone running against Kerry this year, I'd nail him to a cross if he expresses any support for this bill.

      Envision the commercial:

      Massachusetts is one of the leading high-tech states. Thousands of jobs are in the technology industry. But to John Kerry, that's not good enough. Thanks to legislation which he advocates, the tech industry will be forced to spend billions doing Hollywood's job for them. Why would John Kerry sell out the lifeblood of the Massachusetts economy? Maybe he'll need the money for a future home search. {cue picture of the White House}.

      I can dream, can't I?

    • Dear Senator Kennedy...
      (An identical letter was sent to Sen. John Kerry.)


      I think perhaps you should have put "Dear Senator Kerry" on the second letter. Oh well, too late now.

      -
  • It's OK to have a 'complete encyclopedia' at home, even if you use less than 1% of it...

    However, it makes no sense to need to open the whole set of encyclopedia books in order to read just one article...

    -----
  • Has anyone else noticed that when it comes to gun control, the mantra is "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". But when it come to piracy, the computers are getting the blame, not the people who operate them. Computers don't copy content, people copy content!
    • Except it is the same politicians who don't trust you to own a gun that also don't want you to own an unrestricted computer. Once you notice that it all makes perfect sense.

      Any politician who doesn't believe you have the right to defend your own life against a criminal is the sort of mental defective who will slide down the slippery slope until he thinks you ARE the criminal.

      And we are now there. You are ASSUMED to be a pirate, so they plan to give you a 'safe computer' to prevent you from acting on your base instincts to 'steal' Disney's precious mouse.

      You got two choices: 1)be a sheep. Say Baaah. 2)Live Free or Die.

      Our forefathers pledged their Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor to the cause of establishing our former Republic. Most of the people who signed the Declaration of Independence died or were financially ruined during the War. What price are you willing to pay to reclaim it?

      Letters to Congress are a good start, but we had better be thinking of how far we are willing to go to defend the 1st Amendment. Hopefully farther than the NRA went defending #2. So how far are YOU willing to go to defend your 'inalienable rights' against an out of control government who sees itself your Master?

      Will you paint up a sign and show up at a local protest?

      Will you carry that sign all the way to Washington DC and raise hell for the CNN cameras? Knowing what that sort of record will probably do to your future? (especially if you lose in the end?)

      Will you donate till it hurts to organizations like the EFF?

      Will you organize and work to unelect politicians who vote for this atrocity? Really work against them, even if they are of the same party as you? Can you really make the cause of liberty your 'single issue' in an election?

      Will you commit acts of civil disobedience? Remember how much it sucked to be in the Civil Rights movement all those years before they won? Are you ready to follow in their footsteps for years of getting kicked around by the Powers that Be?

      And failing all other attempts to petition our corrupt rulers for redress of our just grievances, will you actually have the stones to lay it all on the line, grab the 'sporting goods' and head to DC to get ugly? This is the big one. If it is obvious that enough folks ARE mad enough to defend their Rights then we will probably win a lot sooner and with a lot less bother. The Brits would never have oppressed the colonies to the degree they did had they entertained for a moment we would actually start shooting and keep it up through the long dark years when it appeared they had no chance of winning. Miscalculating the odds is the cause of most wars.
  • Spolsky the elitist (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    First, what has Spolsky done? He worked at MS.. sure there are great programmers at MS, but by itself it doesn't mean much. On the other hand, what has he done with his company? Make Yet Another Bugtracking System? Impressive, not.

    Spolsky considers programmers good only if they go to an Ivy League school and get a near-4.0 GPA. If you didn't do this, forget it, you don't exist to Joel Spolsky.

    On his interview tips page, he says all good coders write the end brace at the moment they open a brace. I sometimes don't take the time to do that. Obviously I suck at coding, at least compared to Joel Spolsky.

    All Joel does is rehash things he reads in books by Actual Good Coders. Go pick up The Pragmatic Programmer, Code Complete, Rapid Development, and read the Tao of Programming. Take notes, then put up a web site. You too can be as famous as Joel Spolsky! Just remember to state people's opinions in our fledgling industry known as Software Engineering as fact, as if SE were as refined and polished as a Real Engineering Field, like Civil or Electrical Engineering.
  • by Linuxthess ( 529239 ) on Tuesday March 26, 2002 @12:32AM (#3226504) Journal
    I wrote this into the fax:

    5. Congress historically paved the frontier and cutting edge with funding for exploration of the Wild West, with grants to colleges and for medical studies. By enacting such a proposed law, Congress stifles innovation in the technology industry rather then promoting it. Consumers will naturally shy away from products which will be "crippled" and rather buy high-quality non-domestic imports, even if they have to purchase it through grey-market means.

    6. The media and entertainment industry does not deserve the favoritism bestowed upon it. Laws and bills of the such nature tend to make the industry greedier, and more dependent on the US taxpayer to support their lavish lifestyle. By granting them rights to collect tarriffs on recording media, it also hurts the independent artists which didn't whore themselves out to the industry as they pay "royalties" to an "artist coalition" which does not include them in the profit-sharing.

    7. Prohibition tried, and failed miserably. Infringing a citizens rights, and more so to give a stronger monopoly to an industry which certainly needs no monetary aid, is an outrage and a deplorable low for Congress.

    8. Evolution follows the path of the most simple method of operation. Mutations are the byproduct of erroneous "data" and highly-complex mechanisms. In other words, the more physical locks, and complex protection schemes involved in an electronic device, the more likely for the device to not cooperate. Furthermore, for the technology companies to comply with such a bill, they would have to pass the cost onto the comsumer, which is unfair to make us pay more, for a more convoluted and crippled appliance.


    ----------------

  • Sure sure... "privacy", but I don't want my letter to Congress to be private. :-)

    http://www.usps.gov/common/category/online_servi ce s.htm

    -l

Successful and fortunate crime is called virtue. - Seneca

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