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Comment Re:Why should net neutrality be unique? (Score 1) 56

I'm not sure where you get the idea that I'm a half step away from suggesting any law. And I'm quite amazed that you can infer my "sympathies" from a pretty balanced look at funding transparency.

And again, nothing I wrote takes away anyone's speech. Simply reporting that some groups are getting anonymous, or in most cases, poorly publicized contributions doesn't take away anonymous speech. No one's speech is getting restricted by shining a little light on the process.

Comment Re:Who are you? (Score 1) 56

As for the term "astroturfing" being overused, that's my analysis as a reporter who has covered D.C. tech policy for 12-plus years.

The term gets thrown around a lot and pinned on groups that disclose who funds them. Most of the 14 groups we included in our ratings of funding transparency would not fit a strict definition of astroturfers because they either disclose who funds them or they don't present themselves as grassroots organizations. If you disclose your funding, that almost disqualifies you from being an astroturf group, although you could probably still do some astroturfy things.

So a pro-net neutrality group that doesn't have a lot of funding transparency but appears to get significant support from individuals would not be an astroturf group, under a strict definition. Neither would an anti-regulation think tank or advocacy group that doesn't disclose its donors but also doesn't claim to be a grassroots group.

You can lack funding transparency and still not be an astroturf group. I've seen the term thrown around a lot by people who don't seem to understand its meaning.


Comment Re:Why should net neutrality be unique? (Score 1) 56

You may some good points, and we address a right to free speech in the main article.

I believe there is a right to anonymous speech, but when you're paying someone else to speak for you, and you're trying to influence the political process, that may be different.

An anonymous poster on Slashdot generally isn't trying to be something he's not. Anonymous speech online (or elsewhere) generally doesn't carry with it an air of credibility that advocacy groups and think tanks try to project.

I should also note that our reporting looked at groups both in favor and opposed to strong net neutrality rules. Generally, groups in favor of net neutrality got better transpaIrency grades, but we looked at both. We weren't targeting one side, and a handful of pro-net neutrality groups received mid-level or lower grades.

[Here's our sidebar rating the groups.

Finally, our reporting, while taking a lot of work, didn't really unmask or shame anyone. We used information that was generally publicly available from the groups, if in many cases, hard to find. I'm not sure how that amounts to shaming.

Grant Gross

Comment We rate the groups here (Score 3, Informative) 56

Still, some big-name advocates of strong net neutrality rules also have limited transparency mechanisms in place.

And who exactly are they and where is your proof of their limited transparency mechanism? Do you have actual specifics or simply vague FUD?

We rate the groups based on objective measures in this story.

Grant Gross
IDG News Service Washington correspondent

Comment Re:Violet Blue story about sites suckered by that (Score 1) 149

The story linked by Slashdot is not a rewritten press release. There's a bit of journalism in the story, including an interview with Lawley. Sometimes, press releases actually point reporters to some actual news, believe it or not.

There were a number of websites/blogs that rewrote the story, took the good quotes and slapped a new headline on it. This journalism thing is tough work, apparently.

Submission + - .xxx to launch porn search engine (

grantus writes: ICM Registry, the company behind the .xxx top-level domain, plans to launch a search engine in an effort to drive more traffic to .xxx websites and give pornography fans a more satisfying search experience. The search engine will also protect users' privacy, the company says. "Porn is very personal," said Stuart Lawley, ICM's CEO. "You may have been looking for Brazilian midget transsexuals, and you're sitting there at home with your kid or your wife saying, 'Let's go on a holiday to Brazil,' and the next thing, it's suggesting Brazilian midget transsexuals from your previous Google search history."

Comment Re:Rule #1 (Score 2) 480

I have a wife and a 5-year-old son. My wife works, so my son goes to day care (and now school). My wife does not expect me to get house work and chores done during the day. She sometimes asks if I can run an errand during lunch or something, but it all depends on my schedule and willingness.

I frankly don't understand how a spouse could expect someone working from home to watch the kids. I don't understand how they think they could barge in at any time. It sounds like a respect issue, among other things.

If you or your spouse cannot respect your work situation, then, yes, working from home is going to be a problem.

Comment Re:Have a morning routine (Score 1) 480

Taking a shower and getting dressed helps. I don't dress up when I'm working from home, but I at least change out of pajamas.

I don't think you need a door, as some others have suggested, but it helps to have your office away from the main portion of the house. Mine is in the basement.

Working from home is not difficult if you have a regular work product to deliver. If you have something to give to your boss every day or something to prove you've been working, it's not that difficult to stay away from the distractions.

I also find that it helps to get out of the house for a little bit of time most days. A walk, lunch at a diner, something where you're interacting with other people face to face is good for my mental health.

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