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Comment Re:Nearly all laws are (Score 5, Insightful) 213

That's what happens when Congress is in the pocket of big business. Any good business person will tell you that you need recurring revenue. Congress does it through sunset provisions: "Oh, that law you really like is expiring soon? Well, maybe I can get an extension passed, but it'll cost lots of money to advance that ahead of extensions that other people want." It's really a racket.

Comment Re:Multiple interpretations? (Score 1) 392

>>I have to wonder if Google would agree with this.

Why wouldn't they?

Because as soon as one of the labels takes down some innocent user's video without warning, Google will find themselves on the other side of a lawsuit. Companies don't like to expose themselves to liability based on the actions of someone they don't control.

If they're rational, they'll takedown every video as soon as they get a complaint from a major rightsholder, regardless of the merits. From a purely business and legal perspective.

Google are already doing this; the current issue is that the labels aren't even bothering to complain any more, they are removing videos unilaterally.

Comment Re:That bank would be bankrupt fastly (Score 1) 344

The whole thing is designed so that people must have debt in order to beg the banks for more debt.

Playing devil's advocate here, suppose your livelihood was based on lending people money. Someone with no history of borrowing comes into your office asking for a loan. How do you determine that you can trust them to pay it back? (Note: this is not a hypothetical or rhetorical question, banks have to answer it every day.)

Please post your answers in this thread.

Comment Terrible idea (Score 4, Insightful) 276

This violates so many rules of the Unix philosophy that I don't even know where to begin...


Grep has issues with data blocks as well. "With regular expressions, you don't really have the ability to extract things that are nested arbitrarily deep," Weaver said.

If your data structures are so complex that diff/grep won't cut it, they should probably be massaged into XML, in which case you can use XSLT off the shelf. It's already customizable to whatever data format you're working with.


With [operational data in block-like data structures], a tool such as diff "can be too low-level," Weaver said. "Diff doesn't really pay attention to the structure of the language you are trying to tell differences between." He has seen cases where dif reports that 10 changes have been made to a file, when in fact only two changes have been made, and the remaining data has simply been shifted around.

No, 10 changes have been made. The fact that only two substantive changes have been made based on 10 edits is a subjective determination. That is, unless you want to detect that moving a block of code or data from one place to another in a file has no actual effect, in which case good luck because that's a domain-specific hard problem.

Comment Re:Should X be paid for by taxes? (Score 2, Insightful) 861

If you want X to be provided as a tax-supported service, as rubbish removal is for residents in much of the USA, then it is completely appropriate for the government to regulate the use of X.

Correct. However, I suspect many people here, myself included, don't want X to be provided as a tax-supported service, for almost all values of X.

Most services (not all) can be paid for by user fees, not government taxes. User fees allocate cost to those who benefit from a service, while general taxes (like income taxes) are designed to be uniformly unfair in this regard. Some services, such as ensuring preservation of civil liberties and civil rights, and ensuring that all vendors are provided a free market, may require taxation to implement. But these are very specialized and noble services, not mundane services such as trash collection.

Comment Re:Entrenched Interests (Score 1) 199

Of course content owners have a right to try to make money from their property (your point) -- this is one of the fundamental tenets of capitalism. They do not, however, have a right to succeed (my point). If you read my post carefully, you will see that you are attacking a point different than the one I was making.

Comment Re:Entrenched Interests (Score 1) 199

Content owners do not have a right to make money from their content, and neither do artists. If I, a mediocre musician, toil away for months putting together a crap song that no one will buy, who do I sue for infringing my "rights"?

The same argument also applies to health care, education, and all sorts of other things (generally called entitlements, lord knows why) that, while useful in a productive society, do not give rise to actual rights. For example, if I had a right to be healthy, I could sue you for infringing that right when you give me a cold. And what about genetic diseases, do I get to sue my parents for predisposing me to a heart attack? These are obviously ridiculous conclusions, and people have more of a "right" to be healthy than content owners have to profit from rent-seeking behavior.

Comment Re:Libertarians (Score 1) 343

Sorry for the self-reply. I wanted to say that as a member of the LNC, I have pretty good access to any of the elected or candidate Libertarians across the country, including Presidential candidates.

Also, I'd recommend Ron Rivest as a non-candidate expert on voting. (Yes, the "R" in "RSA".) He's a really down-to-earth guy who I think would be really approachable, and he has done work that addresses electoral fraud (including inventing a new voting system).

Comment Libertarians (Score 1) 343

If anyone is interested, I can get someone on the Libertarian National Committee (LNC) or the Libertarian National Campaign Committee (LNCC) to answer questions. The Libertarian Party is the largest third and fastest growing party in the US (as confirmed by Wikipedia!) and I know that many ./ers tend to lean small-L libertarian.

Disclaimer: I am the Region 2 alternate member of the LNC, and Chair of the Massachusetts Libertarian Party.

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