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Comment Re:Price caps cause market distortions. (Score 1, Interesting) 251

However, your example does not apply to the issue because it is too broad with lots of competitors. Most areas in the U.S. only have ONE broad band provider in each area. Then the provider would do whatever it can to get itself to be the ONLY one in the area; thus, there is NO competition. Allowing no price cap in this case actually opens a can of worm. The no-limit cap could work if and only if there is a competition.

It seems to me that the imposition of price caps acts as a barrier to new competitors. It's just another form of rent control. With the pricing cap gone, prices would almost certainly rise in the short term, and this would lure new providers into the marketplace. This is exactly what happened to American oil producers when world oil prices rose sharply a couple years ago.

Comment Will Twitter be accountable for all tweets? (Score 1) 341

Have I missed a change in law? My understanding is that phone companies, ISPs, etc., are not responsible for what is carried on their network because they are considered "common carriers". However, it seems to me that the more a company "curates" the content it carries, the greater the responsibility it has for that content. I'm wondering whether Twitter has stepped into a huge legal minefield by effectively censoring content that is not clearly illegal.

Comment Re:It's almost like a fetish (Score 1) 288

I'm sure this is an ongoing issue, but given that FOSS database alternatives are available, can you tell us where it is that DB/2 (and presumably Oracle, etc.) vastly outclasses these alternatives to the extent that your company is willing to pay serious coin to use? Is Postgres, for example, simply unable to keep up with high throughput demands?

Comment Programmers not needed (Score 2) 165

Programmers are taught to code for a specific, well-defined objective, whereas untrained ordinary folk think more along the lines of "do what I mean". Recently, however, through the ACA state funding case, decided that what is *said* is immaterial, and that the law should reflect what Congress obviously *meant*. In other words, "do what I mean". Given this, language is no longer important, and it is up to the high priests of the US Supreme Court to view the auguries to determine true meaning. In other words, thanks to the Supreme Court it is not programmers that are needed, but magicians.

Comment Re:Not the same, but I guess the best we can do (Score 1) 73

I'm afraid that willfull, destructive ignorance and barbarism isn't a problem that technology can solve. A digital copy, however perfect, remains a copy, and by nature, can't be used as proof that there ever *was* an original, which is the entire purpose of ISIS's destruction of these relics.

Even having a physical object is not proof that it is the original. Moreover, I submit that even backups of purported original texts of the Library of Alexandria, for example, would be extremely informative, especially when the only other options is nothing.

Comment Interesting Idea (Score 4, Interesting) 73

It seems to me that if museums, as a matter of course, scan and extensively photograph all new inventory as well as old inventory -- and put the data on the interwebs -- that will provide some protection from the pigshit known as ISIL as well as other semi-human garbage. It would generate a lot of data, but these days that seems pretty cheap.

Part of the problem is that, although it is possible for museums from stable nations to storehouse collections from museums in unstable regions, the practical end result could be that those regions would be unable to show artefacts for decades or centuries. Further, if an official from semi-civilized country Y says, "give us back our junk", who is authorized to say yes or no, even if the purpose of getting stuff back is to destroy it? As I understand it, even now, items in museums in stable democracies are being returned to the country from which they were were taken, because those countries are asking for them back. Scanning such items before returning them at least provides the possibility to make a backup in case the original is damaged or destroyed.

Comment 70 years doesn't sound over-the-top (Score 1) 121

If this is 70 years, period, and not lifetime plus 70 years, then it may be tolerable, I think. If 50 years was the previous term of copyright, it would conceivably be possible for an artist to create a work when very young and outlive its copyright. This is even true for 70 years, but that seems like a better balance between public and private good.

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