Nothing new. In the telegraph days, operators referred to knowing their peers' "hand"... the subtle indications of timing and abbreviations in that individual's messages. Of course, "hand" called back even farther to the idea of penmanship or handwriting.
I wouldn't want to diagnose anyone online, but there's nothing fundamentally incompatible with ADHD and "can build and experiment with X for hours." In fact, quite the reverse: many on the autism-spectrum or ADHD are characteristically unable to shield themselves from distractions when bored and unable to admit outside interruptions when working on something tied to their own interests.
It's not just online movies. I've noticed that more and more of the DVDs that Netflix rents are special "rental editions" that have additional ads and anti-viewer junk mixed in.
Makers of DVD-to-TV players all signed on to a ridiculous agreement that requires certain features or playback disabled based on the DVD, such as region coding, and forced chapters you can't skip. Many popular PC-based DVD viewer apps automatically skip all of this junk and jump straight to the first "menu" chapter on the disc. What do you know, you insert a DVD to watch the movie, so programs that facilitate that goal instead of impeding it are quite popular.
Newer DVDs (especially Disney) fake this strategy out by making a dummy "menu" chapter, ostensibly to choose audio tracks, then insert as many as twelve little chapters with previews, ads, FBI warnings and dumb opinion disclaimers before it comes to the real PLAY menu chapter. They reorder all of the chapters.
I've considered a CDDB/Gracenote extension that would let people mark the real PLAY menus for each title, but it's just a cat and mouse game that shows that the content guys just don't understand how to deliver content.
I used to work in the games industry, on one of the earliest "massively multiplayer" online worlds. Gold farming was just hobby grade. Nowadays, the currency speculation and escrow management for such transactions is pretty sophisticated. Cory Doctorow took it one all-too-believable step further, in his fictional account of gold farming as a global organized labor movement in his story, "For The Win." Also of interest to Techdirt: all his e-books are basically copyleft-- read it for free and then decide if/how you want to support his craft.
Copyright law draws from the Constitution: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Mike's point is that it aims to promote the progress, or in other words, foster a creative culture. Whether it is effective at this is under debate, but that's not Mike's point.
Copyright grants a monopoly on the actual work. Copyright does not grant any powers outside the work (such as limiting the rights of others to make references or links to the work).
Just as gedankenexperiment, I've always wondered what would happen if a group of "activists" stole a few varieties of patented seed, then scattered them aerially over a few thousand farms during planting season. The courts and media would explode. I think it would take that scale of incident to finally get anyone outside of agribusiness to even notice just what kind of stranglehold companies have over ever facet of our lives.
"I get that it's necessary sometimes, such as job interviews, ..."
Occasionally some company recruiting for some new project will ping me by email, and if it looks like there might be something interesting, I reply with a basic request to read their casual summary on what their project is. Usually the recruiter jumps that tiny shred of a response and wants to set up a phone call... and I immediately lose interest.
If the recruiter can't introduce the concept with text that's not already on the company website's front page, that I can read at my leisure, they either are (1) too big and old to handle any other way, or (2) too young and small to have anything organized to a project plan that's more than an elevator pitch.
The Constitution doesn't say what rights you have, it says what powers the Government has (and clarifies some of the powers it explicitly doesn't have).
I wish we could get a set of public service announcements put on the air, sort of a "Schoolhouse Rock for Citizenry." For instance, this point is covered explicitly by the Ninth and Tenth Amendment. Thirty seconds per Amendment, cycling through all the Amendments on a regular basis, over the course of a few months.
Also, it's useful to remember that the only Amendment that explicitly removed a right from the people was also the only Amendment to be outright repealed by another Amendment.
"In the meantime, I'm hoping this leads to a new game in China, where people try to figure out the right words and phrases to get the government to cut off your phone call midsentence. It could even be a drinking game."
Right. In the US, a crowd-source test of a security scheme gets you a stern lecture from authorities and an article in Wired (ref: TSA strippers, GeoHot). In China, people are disappeared into black prisons just for saying the government wronged their family/neighbor/friend (ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8356095.stm ).
The legal definition of "effective" does not match the security researcher's definition, or even the street definition. It has nothing to do with "efficacious," but simply that the mechanism was "effected," or created for the purpose.
Yes, the 1; 2; 5; 10; 20; 50 system for coins makes logical sense, but it's far from the only way to do things. In fact, the 50 cent piece is so rare I've seen US cashiers get confused at the sight of them. But like the metric system, the US has such a resistance to change (so to speak). We've had so many flirtations with dollar coins that end up falling short of the hype. The yellow Sacagawea dollars and the later collectible versions was a good idea, but few people really took to carrying them around. My wife leaves them as distinctive table tips.
In Japan, the smallest bill is 1000 yen, roughly ten dollars (more like 12 today, with swings in exchange rate). They throw around 10,000 yen bills so often, while we can't trust our clerks with anything bigger than a twenty. They have a heavily cash-oriented society, and 100 yen / dollar coins would fill your pockets quickly if it weren't for the THOUSANDS of vending machines in every coin-throwing direction. They have a Sacagawea-colored 500 yen coin with a sort of holographic feature, not a laser process, but just a delicate result of the way they're stamped. The 1 yen coin is a frail little aluminum-like thing, much like taking the copper off our copper-plated zinc pennies.