I agree with your statement, but there is false dichotomy that I feel is being created with Mike's and your statements.
It is very true that other industries shouldn't be forced to help prop up other industries... But that doesn't mean that that "if government needs to step [in] to help your business model you shouldn't be in business". There are some very evident business industries that the gov't _should_ be assisting. (and potentially levying taxes on other industries or activities to pay for such assistance.)
1) renewable energies: Solar (thermal/PV/whatever else)
Because "profit" to a nation or a state can be measured in more ways than just purely instant $. A government ranging from township to federal helping a company in any of the above industries which aren't yet profitable, but will be in the future(and even if they aren't we as a society will need those technologies for self-sufficiently) , and therefore is an investment for the future.
This is kinda a rant, but it feels like it needed saying.
I would say "yes silly you", but perhaps I wasn't clear, the banned items are of any thing that can be used by their military that has a dual use(so in this case, the ipad/iphone for its encryption capabilities, or perhaps its 3d modeling/rendering capabilities ( I don't know or care really)
But to explain why this is important:
Two words: Manhattan Project
Think about what would have happened if that information had been given to Germany in 1944.
The idea of giving either science/technology/goods to nations that are hostile towards you is not a good idea. The level of threat an ipad has is much lower than the secrets of the a-bomb... but still, you don't purposely allow your enemy nations to get your goods/knowledge.
There are exceptions for NGO humanitarian organizations to give them basic medical services, such as the Red Cross (Red Crescent in Islamic nations)... But the only people who know/care about that are the NGOs and medical manfs.
The entire law itself needs work. Even congress has said so.
One of the research directors at a national lab. was in violation of ITAR, and was working to correct it. So... it is VERY hard to be in full compliance.
However, that doesn't mean Apple doesn't have to follow that law as it is now. Perhaps to be more fair about it, they should require every person to fill out an e-form stating that they will not export this item to the . This might work for CYA legally, but I don't know on how effective it would be overall. But... it's a start. Also, another idea would be to train every employee to ask where the phone is headed to every customer, same basic idea.
"The iPad was to be a gift for her cousin who lives in Iran."-From the article
The Apple employee did the right thing here legally. Perhaps the clerk was overzealous, and possibly outside the words of the law (and I don't think they were...) but... they were definitely doing the right thing in the spirit of the law. Preventing Iran from obtaining American Technology that has a "dual use"(this is a key word) as a military object.
Basically Apple is being over zealous of ITAR regulations, and not taking the time to identify proper persons of who can/can not purchase "dual use" technology(What an Ipad would count as).
Iran is one of the nations that are on the _strictest_ export level ... basically you can't export ANYTHING to Iran.
US Permanent Residents (no matter their national heritage) don't fall into this category because they count as a "U.S. Person"[list below]. And if they do take it to IRAN, it is that person's own fault, not Apple's. (dual citizenship/etc is another thing... but w/e)
A "U.S. person" can be
a U.S. citizen;
a permanent resident who does not work for a foreign company, a foreign government, or a foreign governmental agency/organization;
a political asylee;
a part of the U.S. government, or
a corporation, business, organization, or group that is incorporated in the United States under U.S. law.
Hope this adds some clarity to the discussion. This is not an "Anti-Muslim" policy. It is the law to stop our national enemies from benefiting from our science/technology. N.Korea, Cuba, Iran, Syria (and a few others that I can't think of off the top of my head are on that list, some are coincidentally Islamic, some aren't, that isn't a deciding factor at all, their relationship with the US is what puts you on the ITAR banned list.)
My understanding is that the NSA is exempt from most US laws anyways. (I'm not kidding)
I know for a fact that they can legally hack into other departments of the gov't because they run the military's college cyber defense contest, since they are the only ones legally able to hack into (any branch of) the military's networks.
And every HTC phone I've used has been built solid and worked well. That is what they need to focus on. and to the above commenter... HTC had to make the drivers, the hardware, and balance all the power needs, etc... of the G1 (let alone every phone after that). Look at the list of HTC vs other Devices supported by Cyanogenmod... That requires in and of itself well made products (to get people to donate their time and effort to work on custom ROMS, and quality hardware/software/drivers that can be used in other ROMS effectively)
Personally I just hope the DoD/Fed. Gov't steps in (like they did with airplane technology/patents after WW1) and basically makes patents in the mobile sphere unenforceable (for national defense purposes)... Heck... There was an article out a while ago saying that some custom hardened(security) Android device was able to launch nuclear weapons... I would wager that it was based off some commercially available device & all of its patents.
My G1 still works today (even has a 15 min max battery, lol)... despite the plastic case looking like it went through WW2.
I installed Cyanogenmod after my 2yr warranty was up, and That allowed me to use my phone for a total of 3~4 years easily. (keeping up to date software wise)(not hardware wise...obviously)
I can honestly say that the G1 had MUCH better drivers than my current Samsung Intercept (yes I know.. POS phone, but I work on top of the line Android devices all day..... So I just have this for phone calls and nothing else) And in the long run it matters which device manufacture has the best drivers (because that has an effect on performance, stability, battery usage, etc) just as much as any other aspect of a hand held.
THAT project would get at least 20 million, easily.
Especially if they put things like
1k: first 2~3 new seasons of the show signed by every member of the cast and crew
20k: spoken role on the show.
40k: spoken role on the show where you die an honorable death.
50k: spoken role on the show where you die an non-brown-coat death.
100k: A special thank you message directed towards you personally in the credits that lasts 5 seconds.
Or whatever price points they decides for those & others.
I remember when it was NFL 2k, 2k1... when they were competitive with Madden 2k, 2k1... But that was before Madden bought out the exclusive right to the NFL branding... and basically killed any competition... Because people only wanted to play _real_ sports teams.
From this article... It sounds like they got real players now at least.. but ehh...
perhaps it is the time to look into allowing the USPS to either be a FULL part of the fed. government ...meaning that it is ran as a location for people to do fed. business such as get a federal ID, take out a loan (which other countries do), or even my personal favorite:
Provide a P.O. Box address that is a legal mailing address such as "US Fed P.O. Address 90483409230423423" which will be shipped to my house. This provides an additional degree of anonymity to the recipient and could be an easy way for the PO to raise funds. I'd pay 100$/year for this service. Heck I'd pay another 100$/year to not allow mass mailings to be delivered there (other than magazines, or IEEE/ACM/etc journals I happen to want). Heck.. I'm sure some people would pay 25$/year to get notifications sent to their email when mail arrives, Perhaps a photo of the shipping from and to address.
I mean... the idea just gives itself legs. The USPS already has the computational capabilities to forward mail, So this seems like an easy way to both monetize, but more importantly to improve the USPS.
Also I don't think Reid was that far off about the mail... It is sad how some of our seniors don't get out into the community(partially b/c the same people who want to cut the USPS want to cut community funding... but that is another rant...) So they go to the mall or other places like that and just talk to store employees for hours at a time, trying to stay connected to the rest of the world. This argument does sound silly, but I've personally had elderly people do that, so it IS real. Perhaps he should have phrased it better and said that they like to see what is going on in the world and to browse through ads now that they have time... or something... but still..
They would just send over 10,000s of Specially Marked DVDs without extras or anything else, just the movie to the soldiers and then politely ask this guy to stop what he is doing, and tell him that we'll do it for you, you can even help us organize how they are sent, distributed, etc... Keep the old guy in the loop and show some humanity all at the same time.
Even my mom knew the prosecution's "computer forensics expert" was making BS up when she was watching the trial. I was coincidentally taking a class on the topic at the time and laughed so hard at how bad they were trying to rail road her.
Trying to rail road someone so badly, is why I believe she was found not-guilty, and will hopefully lead to MU being found not-guilty, and the MPAA/DoJ having to pay restitution.
The DMCA notice and takedown exists for a reason, if MU had it... then it is MPAA/RIAA's fault for having MU take away the search feature.