I wonder how long before CA coffers start complaining that Amazon pulling the affiliate program is "stealing tax money" from the state. A similar argument (over a completely different thing, cigs) was happening here in Florida when our cigarette tax was boosted. When they started noticing lower tax income from the raise of prices coffers started calling people who quit smoking "tax cheats" because it was robbing the state of projected income. Yet, a month earlier, they were saying how good this tax was because it would get people healthier when they quit smoking.
Isn't it the citizens responsibility to pay taxes legally owned to their state? Here in FL we can buy anything we want online tax free but its our *legal responsibility* to report our purchases of untaxed goods past a certain ($500?) limit. Just because you're too lazy to do this doesn't mean that everyone else has to suffer.
I mean hell, its cheaper than the happy ending at some of the local massage parlors.
Joking aside, I kinda fear both equally. Al Qaeda not for their terrorist attacks but that every time they sneeze the TSA has to come out with some new way to make our lives hell. Gotta give props to AQ though, not many outside organizations can make our lives hell like AQ can and they aren't as powerful as they used to be. There are terrorist organizations that are far more deadly (ahem - Mexican drug cartels that are being ignored?) here in the US than AQ.
For cryin out loud, how many kidnappings you see in the US from AQ? Yet its happening in what feels like a monthly basis here in Florida and up in Georgia thanks to drug cartels.
I'm not sure the extent of it and you are right the terminology is wrong as I don't know the intent or outcomes of officers pull over people. I do know I've seen border patrol in Central Florida (they frequent the turnpike quite often). My understanding is they were allowed to operate up to 100mi from actual borders which I figured why I saw them so far inland in central Florida. I've seen them pull over a lot of people when I drive the turnpike daily from Ocala to Orlando to go to work but I don't know the capacity of border patrol doing the work. It could be that 5% is actual border related activities and the rest is just general police work that they are helping out with.
Lately theres been an uptick in ICE/Board Patrol in Orlando in the past 6mo or so but I've seen a huge surge in the turnpike on my own over the past couple of years. Back in '09 it was a border patrol car every month and before I moved back to Orlando from Ocala it was 3-4 times a week in multiple locations.
I can see border patrol around Orlando International Airport but beyond that it doesn't make much sense to me.
I can actually see people getting "obstruction of justice" charges for faking ICE seizures. Government doesn't like being wrongly accused for something anymore than the average person. Enough people try fake seizures trying to water down the discussion (trying to make people think most seizures are fake, invalid, whatever) and someone will notice and start keeping track. I'm trying to find case-law of a similar thing I read related to wrongful seizure claims. I remember seeing something about a (dope) dealer in town getting busted for claiming to an undercover that he's been busted when in fact he hadn't. If I remember correctly it got pretty far before it got dropped in lieu of a few more serious charges but it sparked some debate here in Florida year or so ago.
I beg to differ. In my area (Orlando, FL) asking about "ICE websites seizures" get more "what's a website" than "who's ICE" responses. I don't know about where you live but ICE is extremely well known for doing impromptu pull-overs in my area asking for "papers."
Actually, a lot of people probably wouldn't be surprised. You hear about ICE at least every other day on the news here.
Just adding a little perspective to the "what the hell ICE is" comment. Outside of the domain seizures.
I think the point he was trying to make (though not very clearly) was the following.
Airplane + thin aircraft aluminum + maximum flight altitude + metal bullet = explosive decompression & high-likely hood of crash.
Now I'd be for guns on planes by passengers if each was required to carry 'non-penetrating' ammo (i.e. rubber bullets, etc..) when coming onto a plane but I agree that having penetrating bullets on something that is pressurized is generally a bad idea. Granted a 9mm bullet might not penetrate the fuselage (though can cause a lot of damage through ricochet) but I wouldn't doubt a larger caliber couldn't. Keep in mind, these aren't military craft we are talking about, they aren't armored.
As easy as it may sound to just show prior art, it can be quite complicated and years before the suit even gets to that point. "Prior art" isn't an immediate end to a patent lawsuit and the suit can drag for years, stifling innovation and freezing research during that time due to costs and any injunctions in place.
The case looks to be opened in May '07 and decided in Dec '09.
My point is, even if a case is open and shut its rarely a quick or cheap process. In many cases (If I had more time I'd start outlining more citations) the cost of managing such cases can quickly deplete funds that were originally intended for research, innovation, etc.
In my opinion this is clear abuse of the patent system, once you get past the moral outrage of "ZOMG! WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!?"
No matter where you are on the patent debate, if the claim is legit then its legit until the law is changed. Many people would rather express outrage than actually try to get the laws changed, but that's a whole 'nother issue.
I love the 'block app' and 'ignore app' buttons. I probably have 80-100 apps blocked on my facebook profile because I really don't want to do quizes, get pillows thrown at me or whatever the latest 'annoy everybody' craze is.
I've noticed this myself. Its interesting how popular Orkut got in places like Brazil but MySpace and FaceBook exploded in the US and Europe. I believe that other services (can't remember their names) also had the same type country-specific growth. It'd be nice to see an analysis on this.
I wonder why, maybe the way Orkut works seems more natural to Brazil than Facebook or Myspace.
One more thing, I know you didn't say exact. You said 'one of the.' I don't want to seem like I'm putting words in your mouth nor am I here to argue your point of view on the matter. I just thought now would be a good time to post my views and experiences. I could be totally way off in what I've seen.
By the way, one of the reasons that prescriptions drugs are so expensive is because we get insurance involved. If people had to pay the true cost, the supply/demand would adjust to market pressures. Do you somehow think that Government is just going to pay whatever it takes to get you whatever drugs you want? That sort of utopia doesn't exist. Money is money, markets are markets, and politics are politics. Except now instead of the drug makers responding naturally to market pressures, they withhold product, make backroom deals, and black markets will develop in place of the free market. Quality will decline and market/consumer based incentives will disappear.
Sort of. There is a lot more going on in Drug pricing than you think. I've worked in Biotech and Pharmacy for around 10 year or so (disclaimer, only in IT) and I've heard, seen and spoken with various people in the know over the years to get an overall idea that insurance isn't the exact reason for high RX prices.
From my (limited) experience, what I believe (and witnessed) has caused the price to go up is as follows;
.Research plays a huge part in drug costs for the first year or so. The majority of specialty (the sector I'm in) meds like Cancer, HIV and various chronic disease treatments are insanely expensive to produce. In the majority of cases for specialty, drug companies loose money in the first year and start gaining (depending on how good the drug is and how the side effects are) profit in the 2nd to 3rd year.
.corporate espionage, I've only seen this in one case where a large pharma company poured millions into research for a cancer treatment and a general generics company stole the formula and patented it prior to the original company patenting the drug. The company that stole the formula managed to get away scott free and original company ended up loosing millions poured into research.
.fda denied drugs and abandoned research, these are drugs the companies spent millions on and either came up with a drug that did not pass fda approval or eventually gave up due to bad side effects, high death rate, etc.
Now that's not to say back-handed deals, forumulary deals, lock-outs and what-not do not effect drug prices. I'm just saying that there are other factors that effect price and the 'naughty stuff' isn't the sole reason (or in some cases, the only reason) drug prices are expensive.
I've seen enough dirty deals to make me sick. I'm also one to believe that a PBM owning a Specialty pharmacy (or any pharmacy for that matter) is a HUGE conflict of interest. I've had personal experience in this and its amazing how badly the patient can get screwed.
One of the more positive things I've seen in our for-profit health-care system is Patient Assistance Funds. Where either community or drug companies fund non-profit companies that help pay the patients co-pay if they cannot afford the medication. Of course it has its own issues but for the most part seems to be in favor of the patient.
I've found stories about Canada hit and miss. It seems to be more about personal experience.
For example, an old boss of mine moved down here because his wife had a long wait time for cancer treatments up in Toronto. It wasn't the only reason but was part of the drive to come to the US. He said that mostly healthcare is easy to obtain unless its something expensive or something that has limited specialists in that area.
Compare that to another friend who has been a Canadian resident for the past 8 years (was US-born) and has prostate cancer. He's had no issues getting timely appointments and great medical care.
In my opinion, no healthcare system is perfect. Even the best healthcare system still has people who run it. Get a bad case-worker? You might be in for a rough ride. Get a good case-worker and it might be smooth sailing.
A good healthcare plan can do a lot to improve both the economy and general well being of citizens if done right. What does done right mean? I have no clue. :)
Right off I disabled twitter updates (except for trophies) for foursquare. People don't seem to mind the occasional location tweet (it happens about once a month or so with me) but when I follow people that seem to spam where they are every 10min, I'll unfollow.
It'd be nice if it had an option for limited tweets/fb updates right from the get-go and if you wanted more you could select that option.
I'll admit though, I like foursquare. I've found a few neat places thanks to friends.
Of course there is a huge difference but just because its a free opt-in service doesn't excuse Google here, especially with their commitment to privacy. The same also wouldn't be said for people who use Google checkout (free, btw) and Google suddenly and accidentally exposed their credit cards. I mean its a free service so those with exposed credit cards should be at fault, right?
Problem I see with the whole 'if you don't like it, don't use it' crowd is that they don't think privacy has any value. While I don't agree that a class-action lawsuit is appropriate in this case, I don't think that people should just dismiss the possible implications, at the very least this should cause people to question Google. I do think the way they approached the issue publicly and quickly worked on fixes was better than many other companies.
This is a greater issue than people may think, HIPAA could have been violated to a degree. Don't think so? Google could have exposed patients who have emailed doctors who specialize in HIV, Cancer and other treatments. While I deal with HIPAA on an ongoing basis in IT, I'm not sure of the ramifications of this.
Also, what if this happened for those users who do pay for Google services like Google Apps? While Buzz isn't active for business (maybe for this very reason) what if you realized your competing vendors suddenly noticed via buzz that you are also emailing their rivals?
Yes, this treads in WHAT-IF territory and is very unlikely. Yes, if you don't like the possibility of your private information getting out, you shouldn't use a free service. That being said, what gives you any idea that paid services are more secure with your info just because you gave them money?
I don't actually have any recommendations or insightful/helpful stuff to say other than my thoughts. Privacy issues like this is so far beyond my expertise but even as a generally happy Google user I don't think they should get a free pass on issues like this just because I like their service.
Question companies just like you should question the government.