Marvell said they'd release the Sheevaplug for $99, and they did. Occasionally one even comes on sale for $59.99/$69.99. With the capacity they can pump out, I suspect they'll reach their goal.
PGP signing could work, but I don't know if it's exactly business-friendly. I don't think PGP encryption would work in this case. There's no way to encrypt to a 'group', you need to encrypt to individual users. That means re-encrypting a bunch of documents every time you have a new hire or someone changes responsibilities.
Care to enlighten us as to the difference between real and virtual entertainment? It sounds like a distinction solely for the sake of looking down on entertainment forms you don't share in personally.
So perhaps your view is a bit too local...
Because the rest of the world sees your medical system when we watch movies like John Q or hear Cutner tell Taub "when you have millions of people thousands of dollars in debt because of medical expenses, it's only a matter of time before one of them does something inexcusable" and books like "The Rainmaker".
The reality is - that in large parts of the US - that's exactly how it works. The doctors want to do a procedure - they call your insurance company to find out if it's pre-approved. If it's not pre-approved, they have to submit a claim and motivation - and if the insurance company turns it down (which they routinely do for all claims over a certain amount, some have been claimed at as low as 5000 dollars) then the procedure doesn't HAPPEN.
Now up there I just cited the fiction that gives us this view of the US as a system where doctors hands are tied and they have to watch their patients die because of greedy insurance companies.
I always take Michael Moore with a (small but not non-existent) piece of salt, but Sicko tells the same story...
In fact, up until this discussion with you - I have never heard a different story, from anybody, ever.
You say you live in a Rural part of the US. Rural communities tend to be small and very caring of one another, that's not a US thing, it's a global thing - the same is found in rural South Africa.
But the vast majority of American's (and people all over the world) don't live in rural areas, they live in big urban cities. I've lived in my appartment (which I own) for three years now - I know the name of one of my 50-something neighbours and I've had two conversations with her - ever.
That's the (sad) reality of citylife. Most people don't HAVE the kind of communities you describe to rely on. If doctors acted like you suggest - even in a city like Cape Town, the doctor would be bankrupt because people wouldn't be able to pay and nobody but their relatives would help and they aren't likely to be able to help that much either.
Either way - I have never favored fully socialized healthcare, I even agree with you that everything does have a price and Doctors put in massive time and money to become doctors and deserve to be rewarded for it.
What I do favor is universal health care. That means - anybody, and everybody can get any life-saving treatment - always.
It's a big enough burden on hospitals just to keep the E.R. doors open so they can treat accident victims and people with heart attacks. There is no way they can do something that takes months of preparation and costs more than 200 thousand US dollars (like say bone-marrow transplants) unless they can be sure of getting paid - the hospital that donates that to one patient is doing a massive disservice to all the others.
I would prefer to see a system here where the richest of the rich and go to the same hospitals as the poorest of the poor - by seeing our state hospitals improve so nobody needs private ones anymore, and the doctors are BETTER paid than the private doctors now. I want to see my nation grow to where we have near zero unemployment, and we all pay taxes - if we can do this with the taxes of only one fifth of the people... imagine what we could do if we had 80% of us paying into that fund ?
But honestly - I couldn't care less HOW the healthcare system works, I don't care what ideology drives it. I care about results.
I want to live in a country where every aids-orphan is guaranteed his anti-retrovirals. I want to live in a country where every sick old lady is guaranteed her pain meds - even in this day where many of them haven't seen their children in decades and live on a pittance of a pension. Where a leukemia patient can worry ONLY about finding a donor, not about finding money to pay for care.
I would really love to live in a world where cities are as caring and community orientated as rural towns are... but that is probably never going to happen. So we have to find other ways to care for the weakest in our society. The sick, the disenfranchised and the suffering.
I don't think the healthcare reform bill is meant to help the good folk of New England, but how about the poor folk of Harlem and South Central ? Do you really think the system works for them like it does for you ? Surely you're not that naive... I've been in South Central, walked in it's streets with my white skin and all without fear
The difference is, the healthcare system in Zimbabwe has an excuse - a corrupt tyrant who destroyed the economy. The healthcare system in LA has no excuse for being bad enough to let those things happen.
I actually suggest you watch Sicko. Sure it's got a dose of propaganda, if you prefer ignore all the bits about other countries - but look at how your system is treating the majority of your own fellow countrymen.
Oh - and for the record, everything you said about American cultural history can be just as easily said of Afrikaans cultural history. My people, the great freedom seekers ended, who fought against despotic British rule just like your ancestor, ended up inventing appartheid and rationalizing it as the only way to protect that freedom.
Our history is a tool to learn from, it's not an excuse for our mistakes. My culture and yours are incredibly alike (after Middle America, the Afrikaans community in South Africa is probably the last places on earth where educated people are still creationists). Like you we started out as Dutch colonists who were usurped by British rule. Like you we fought back our freedom, over and over and over we had to fight. We only really became self-ruling in 1961... and then we became despots ourselves... just like you.
But we realized where we were going, and we gave up the power voluntarily. We handed it over to a democratic vote and stepped back when we saw what our plan was leading to. America it seems, has yet to learn that lesson. Fighting for a noble cause like your ancestors did, is a complete waste of time if you end up becoming exactly what you fought against - and you have. America has toppled countless democratic governments in the last century - to replace them with dictators because those democratic governments held policies that served their own interests rather than America's (Nicaragua, Brazil, Panama, Iraq in the 80's... the list goes on). The rest of the world doesn't just dislike Americans... we fear America. We fear the imperialistic empire you are turning into.
As long as I, in my little city on the Southern tip of Africa HAS to care who you elect as president, because his choices could destroy my life... don't expect me not to like it.
It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome