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Comment some of the exceptions (Score 1) 3

First, it is not a federal law that prohibits non-rich people from investing, it is state laws, generally known as "Blue Sky laws", and they differ by state. It is not the individual who is prohibited from investing, it is the startup which is prohibited from allowing the individual to invest, and particularly from making a "public offering", e.g. putting an ad in a public place soliciting investment.

Many of the state laws recognize the following exceptions to the general principal that non-rich people can't invest in startups: People who know the founders well are permitted to invest; professional investors are permitted to invest; employees of the startup are permitted to invest. I think there are some other exceptions. IANAL.


Submission + - US founders: show how many jobs you could create if the crowdfunding law passed ( 3

bshanks writes: "Currently, U.S. law prohibits people who are not rich from investing in startups (this is an oversimplification, there are various exceptions to this rule), on the theory that startups are too risky for ordinary people to invest in and that ordinary people are not qualified to protect themselves against individuals fraudulently taking money claiming it will go to a non-existent/fake startup. There is currently "crowdfunding" legislation pending in the U.S. Congress that would alter the law to allow anyone to invest a small amount of money in startups. The proposed legislation passed overwhelmingly in the House and is now in committee in the Senate. If it doesn't make it to the Senate floor soon it may die. Apparently, the Senate wants to see more public interest in this before they move on it.

US founders: register at this site to show how many jobs you could create if the crowdfunding law passed!"

Comment tribune (Score 1) 667

Here's my solution. Create a position new directly elected (like the president) official whose only job is to fight corruption and oversecrecy in government, and whose only powers are:

* Access to information. Like the president, the tribune automatically has the highest possible security clearance, and is empowered to demand any information from any government agency or offical.
* Declassify information. Like the president, the tribune has the power to unilaterally declassify information.
* Prosecute. The tribune has the standing to take the government to court over any issue relating to infringement of rights, corruption, or a violation of procedure.

More details at:


Submission + - AT&T Censors 4chan server 13

An anonymous reader writes: Details how (home of the notorious /b/ — "Random" image board) is being actively blocked by AT&T. According to the scant details available on 4chan and Reddit there are reports that has become inaccessible from California to Texas and some reports claim as far east as Connecticut. Supposedly this is to stop a ring of pedophiles, but as one Reddit poster said it best "First the came for the pedophiles and I was not a pedophile..."
Disturbing news indeed.
The Internet

Harvard Study Says Weak Copyright Benefits Society 326

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist summarizes an important new study on file sharing from economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf. The Harvard Business School working paper finds that given the increase in artistic production along with the greater public access conclude that 'weaker copyright protection, it seems, has benefited society.' The authors point out that file sharing may not result in reduced incentives to create if the willingness to pay for 'complements' such as concerts or author speaking tours increases."

6000-Year-Old Tomb Complex Discovered 83

duh P3rf3ss3r writes "National Geographic reports that a 6000-year-old tomb complex on 200 hectares (500 acres) has been discovered on the Salisbury Plain just 24 km (15 miles) from Stonehenge. The site has come as a surprise to the archaeologists who had thought that the area had been studied in such depth that few discoveries of such magnitude remained. The site, fully 1000 years older than Stonehenge, has been called 'Britain's oldest architecture.'"

EU Fusion Experiment's Financial Woes Get More Concrete 173

fiannaFailMan writes "An international plan to build a nuclear fusion reactor is being threatened by rising costs, delays and technical challenges. 'Emails leaked to the BBC indicate that construction costs for the experimental fusion project called Iter have more than doubled. Some scientists also believe that the technical hurdles to fusion have become more difficult to overcome and that the development of fusion as a commercial power source is still at least 100 years away. At a meeting in Japan on Wednesday, members of the governing Iter council will review the plans and may agree to scale back the project.' Iter will be a Tokamak device, a successor to the Joint European Torus (JET) in England. Meanwhile, an experiment in fusion by laser doesn't seem to be running into the same high profile funding problems just yet."
The Internet

Weather Balloons To Provide Broadband In Africa 179

An anonymous reader writes "Two African entrepreneurs have secured exclusive access to market near-space technology — developed by Space Data, an American telecommunications company — throughout Africa. The technology raises hydrogen-filled weather balloons to 80,000 — 100,000 feet, which individuals contact via modems. The balloons, in turn, serve as satellite substitutes which can connect Africans to broadband Internet. 'Network operation centers are located close to a fiber optic cable — say, in Lagos or Accra — and a signal is sent back and forth to the [balloon] in near space,' says one of the entrepreneurs, Timothy Anyasi. The technology will also allow mobile phone operators to offer wireless modems to customers."

British Court Rules Against Blogger Anonymity 238

An anonymous reader writes "In a dangerous judgment for British bloggers and whistleblowers, a British court has ruled (absurdly) that because blogging itself is a public activity, bloggers have 'no reasonable expectation of privacy' regarding their identities, and newspapers are allowed to publish their identities if they can find them by fair or foul means. A British police detective who recently won the Orwell Prize for his excellent political writing used his blog to write highly critical accounts of police activities and unethical behavior, making very powerful enemies in the process. A well-funded newspaper with powerful connections quickly heard of his blog and decided it was absolutely vital to expose his identity using an investigative journalist. Like any good newspaper, the blogger anonymized the people and the locations in all the cases he discussed on his blog, but the newspaper alleges these were not sufficiently anonymized and complains that they could work out the identities, though British newspapers don't complain that they are allowed to publish the identities of men who are falsely accused of rape and cleared in court. The newspaper also helpfully contacted the blogger's employer, and his job is now threatened."

NSA Email Surveillance Pervasive and Ongoing 243

dkleinsc writes "The NY Times has a piece about work being done by Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) and others to curb NSA efforts to read email and Internet traffic. Here's an excerpt: 'Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency's ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former NSA analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans' e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation.'"

Can Commercial Space Tech Get Off the Ground? 133

coondoggie writes "While NASA's commercial partners such as SpaceX and Orbital have made steady progress in developing space cargo transportation technology, they have recently fallen behind their development schedules. Combine that with the fact that the most critical steps lie ahead, including successfully launching new vehicles and completing integration with the space station, and you have a hole that will be tough to climb out of. Those were the two main conclusions of a Government Accountability Office report (PDF) on the status of the commercial space world this week. The GAO went on to say that after the planned retirement of the space shuttle in 2010, NASA will face a cargo resupply shortfall for the International Space Station of approximately 40 metric tons between 2010 and 2015." Speaking of SpaceX, reader Matt_dk sends along an update on the company's Falcon 9 flight efforts. "Six of the nine first stage flight engines have completed acceptance testing and all nine flight engines are on schedule to complete acceptance testing by mid-July."

Senators To Examine Exclusive Handset Deals 234

narramissic writes "Based on a request that a group of rural operators sent asking the FCC to examine the practice of handset exclusivity, four members of the Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet sent a letter to the FCC expressing their concern. Small operators, like U.S. Cellular argue (PDF) that 'exclusive handset contracts divide wireless customers into haves and have nots.' But nationwide operators, including Verizon, maintain (PDF) that 'in the absence of exclusivity agreements, wireless carriers would have less incentive to develop and promote innovative handsets.' The Commerce Committee expects to hold a hearing on the issue tomorrow."

Statistical Suspicions In Iran's Election 512

hoytak writes "An expert in electoral fraud, professor Walter Melbane, has released a detailed analysis (PDF) of available data in Iran's controversial election (summary here). While he did not find significant indications of fraud, he does note that all the deviations from the predicted model are in Ahmadinejad's favor: 'In general, combining the 2005 and 2009 data conveys the impression that a substantial core of the 2009 results reflected natural political process... [These] stand in contrast to the unusual pattern in which all of the notable discrepancies between the support Ahmadinejad actually received and the support the model predicts are always negative. This pattern needs to be explained before one can have confidence that natural election processes were not supplemented with artificial manipulations.'" In related news, EsonLinji notes reports in the Seattle PI and other sources that the US State Department has asked Twitter to delay system maintenance to prevent cutting off Iranians who have been relying on the service during the post-election crisis. And if you would like to help ease the communication crunch, reader RCulpepper tips a blog post detailing how to set up a proxy server for users with Iranian IP addresses.

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