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Comment Re:Gov't Waste is a myth (Score 1) 311

Well, if the U.S. were to impose high tariffs to all trade coming in, ensuring that anyone who wanted to sell here intended to manufacture here, and used the military to ensure low or non-existent tariffs on the other end, we'd see a huge boost to the economy, creation of new, better paying jobs, and an overall decrease in the need for government entitlements.

That's about the only way I can see to reduce entitlement spending. The laws aren't going away - any political body that even attempted to do so would receive such tremendous blowback from the general population that they could be sure of being replaced by people who would just reinstate said entitlements.

Comment Re:I'm all for catching the bad guys.... (Score 3, Informative) 276

I seriously doubt that you've done nothing wrong. The USC has over a million pages of laws: it's gotten to the point where our law-makers and law-enforcers themselves are no longer aware of all of the possible ways to break the law. And it's because of this volume that it has become impossible to live a day-to-day existence in the US without breaking some law or another.

Here's a great example:

16 USC 3370 (summary)
It is unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, possess, or purchase any fish, wildlife, or plant taken, possessed, transported, or sold in violation of any Federal, State, foreign, or Indian tribal law, treaty, or regulation

That's a quick summary of the Lacey Act, for those who aren't already familiar with this very broad federal regulation.

There are many such overbroad laws like these in the USC, this just happens to be one of the most famous. With laws like these on the books, it's hard to avoid breaking the law. According the Lacey Act, it's at least a $10,000 fine to possess a lobster under 10.5 inches anywhere in the US; coupled with the Conspiracy Act, it's a federal felony to plan possession of a lobster under 10.5 inches with at least one other person. I don't know if you've ever had a small lobster, but there's a good chance you've managed to break the law somewhere in the world with regards to animals or plants, and that's all it takes.

My point here is that the intention of the authorities isn't to "catch the bad guys", it's to manufacture them. Everyone is guilty of something, the feds just need broader, more invasive access to discover what that something is.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling prophesy (Score 1) 321 is significantly faster for me than any of the sites you just mentioned. Plus, they list current shows right up front without me having to already have the linke from somewhere. Finding crap on rapidshare without already having the link is not especially easy.

Furthermore, copyrighted material on the web is subject to a DCMA takedown notice. What could be there one day will be gone the next. Bittorent is definitely the way to go for tv, movies, and music.

Comment Re:Choosing the most popular seeds... (Score 1) 321

I bet the overall percentage of pornographic torrents is much higher than 9%.

Yes and no. Pornography is actually very scarce on public trackers, and generally tends to be short, low-quality clips (you can get better on any of the tube sites, usually). On the other hand, there are large private trackers like tna and empornium that specialize in full-length, high quality rips. These sites get a lot of traffic, but since they aren't major public trackers, wouldn't have been included in the study. Honestly, since they were using public trackers, I'm surprised the percentage was that high. Their stats must be skewed.

Comment Re:Funny how low it is. (Score 1) 321

With inaccurate numbers such as these, lobby groups can convince government to regulate, hinder or even ban torrent usage harming legitimate usage.

I'm not at all surprised by these numbers for one important reason: if a file can be downloaded legally, most people (including myself) will simply skip the whole torrenting business and simply download direct through http/ftp. I use Linux: you'd better believe I'd rather download direct than use a torrent; it's faster and easier that way.

As much as people (especially on this forum) would like to pretend otherwise, the main reason the bittorrent protocol still exists and is used today is copyright infringement. This will never change.

If media lobbying groups do manage to illegalize the bittorent protocol, another P2P protocol will simply rise to take its place. You can't illegalize two computers connecting to each other. As long as that remains true, there will always be a P2P protocol in use, and it will always be used primarily for copyright infringement.

Personally, I think this is awesome. The IP laws, especially in the US, have become very very flawed, and this helps regulate that. Now we just need 3d printing technology to advance to the point where P2P patent infringement becomes viable.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 709

Maybe they don't want to seem insensitive to immigrants. (Don't know why, since immigrants don't vote.) Maybe they want us to forget that we're citizens and actually have the rights & obligations (both from and to this country) that citizenship entails. Maybe they forgot. I think the second case is most likely.

But yeah, it really, bothers me, too. Especially since I'm a minimalist (I haven't purchased anything but food, housing, and utility access in the last 5 years), and it makes me feel left out.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 709

Net Neutrality is the status quo. It's what we've had so far. Currently, many ISPs are considering changing that, and in a preemptive maneuver, the FCC is attempting to codify the way things already are so we don't end up with an internet that's more like cable television.

The bullshit and misinformation that's being slung around this issue should amaze me, but instead I just find it frustrating.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 709

Jeez people, this isn't about the FCC regulating the internet, it's about the FCC regulating telecom companies (which it does have the power to regulate), to prevent them from regulating the internet.

In other words, it's public regulation to prevent private regulation, is all. No one is going to censor the internet on you. And if they tried, well, there are ways around it. Just not very convenient ones.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 709

Or, maybe, this recent financial regulation bill: I have no idea if it's good legislation or not,

It's not as bad as it could have been, but it's not wonderful, either. Instead of simply re-enacting the repealed regulations that would have prevented this last meltdown, it just creates more government oversight (Yay! More government! /sarcasm). It does force financial institutions to behave more responsibly and remain more solvent. But it in no way is ironclad protection against further meltdowns.

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