I avoid watching the Olympics, as well as not buying from "sponsor" companies while the Olympics is going on... if there is an IOC logo on it... no sale. I'm a little less militant about it when the Olympics aren't in session.
It's worth pointing out that VAC isn't really DRM so much as a cheat detector. Steam does have DRM, and it has cheat detection. What this is for is to detect people using hacks and cheats on multi-player servers to keep people on a level field so to speak.
I remember the original Team Fortress mod for Quake 1, and when people would use cheat systems to be able to respawn by the enemy flag, or take extra damage. It made the game not fun at all. I'm glad there are systems like this in place, even though I don't play games so much any more.
If I had a time machine, I'd make an effort to convince the founding fathers that any and all votes by congress and signing into law by the president any federal law, said voter/signer would need to be present for an oral reading of a given bill before being permitted to vote on it.
I have to completely agree here... I was with AT&T back in the early 00's, and had such a horrible experience with them, you couldn't pay me to use them again. At one point, they actually called me and offered to upgrade in the middle of a billing cycle on a family plan that was going to go over the allotted minutes. ($10 more a month is a lot less than overage charges)
I'm currently using Simple Mobile (an MVNO that uses T-Mobile)... the only thing I miss is the conditional call forwarding, but T-Mobile pre-pay doesn't offer it either, only their subsidized accounts.
I've also been buying my cell phones outright for a few years now... T-Mobile is much more transparent than most of the other carriers on pricing, and really doesn't gouge like the others.
I'm currently using a Nexus 4, and after 2 years of use, the end of this year, and using an mvno, I'll have saved $720 on the cost of service, more than paying for the phone, and that's just comparing to T-Mobile's subsidized pricing, not to mention AT&T or Verizon. I will say when I travel a couple times a year, I wouldn't mind having Verizon's coverage, but prefer a GSM carrier.
I used to work at a company that wanted to be able to track ads in 30 second intervals, where a "sponsor" company would be the only advert a user saw for the whole visit. The max charge/billing was 5 (or 15) minutes iirc... It was actually a creative way to do the ads, and all the ads being for the same company was consistent. None of the existing ad networks supported this model, so we rolled our own. It wasn't very difficult and our billing was pretty transparent. The plus side is coming from the same set of servers they were less likely to be blocked, and not injection of scripts.
The ad frames themselves reported back, in addition to the parent. This gave us muck better insight than we got from ad networks. Too bad more sites don't revert to this, especially big guys... Ad curating your own site is important, and as much as they can generate the likes of ad networks isn't well curated.
The service industry would become more expensive, and trades like plumbing etc would still continue. Even if you tax everyone at 50% and everyone gets the base wage + 50% of what they earn, anyone who wants more will work. I make a pretty good salary at my day job, and still do side work. People like toys, and new shiny things. I like my 65" TV, and computer, and nice car etc.
People will still work, it's just the people doing the jobs are likely to be those that *want* the extra income.. not those that *need* any income. Meaning the quality of service you receive will likely be better.
If it's so easy to tell, electronically that these images are the same, even if their graphic signatures are different, and they are from different urls.. perhaps you could write a program that can crawl the internet for them, and alert you when new ones arrive, and have a one click request to remove... I'm sure there will be no chance of other images being detected in error at all.
Like the blackout... just put a notice up saying, "The government is using our data to spy on you." With a details page stating that they can't tell you how much, because they aren't allowed, then link to articles regarding the Snowden links.
I think that working around CAs and allow self-signing via DNSSec is probably the first step... the biggest points keeping out broader SSH are shared hosting (multiple IPs, one IP), and the CAs, which if compromised, may as well be public.
One thing I thought was funny, in an episode of Vegas, the Sheriff had the FBI agents' vehicle towed for illegally parking. It would seem to me, that booting, and towing said vehicles would be a natural step.
Today congressman Alan Grayson has disappeared... when the DoJ was asked if they were responsible, they stated that they cannot comment on the existence or non-existence of an investigation surrounding the congressman that may, or may not be related to the PATRIOT Act.
I'm just curious if this means that the U.S. will go on the next special 301 report... I mean, the U.S. government is actively acting against it's trade interests. Bad U.S. Government... I think it's important that we (the U.S.) enact trade sanctions against this anti-trade regime immediately.
Though I agree with many of your sentiments.. not having government employees regulate industries they worked in would be difficult... You don't ever want a doctor as head of the FDA? Though, there is a lot of cronyism, I think what you propose would have a lot of unintended consequences.
Regarding banking, there are a lot of efforts to restore post great depression banking legislation that worked pretty well for over 40 years, until deregulation started in the late 70's and early 80's.
I'd like to see huge swaths of the central government cut myself. As to any amendments to the constitution, it would be nearly impossible these days... Far easier to pass dismissive legislation and have the courts uphold it.