Okay, but as you said, not every company has to follow the customs process. So either the Post Office can make the rules Amazon follows apply to everyone else or at least streamline the customs process so companies won't be reluctant to send overseas.
If the USPS wants to make money, and maintain relevance, make it easier for companies to send packages to military overseas.
I can't tell you the number of times I have tried to order something online and receive a response that, because my address is FPO (Navy overseas), I am unable to receive the package via the Postal Service. I can spend the extra money for UPS or FedEx, if that option is available.
I don't know how the FPO/APO rules are set up, but apparently they must be strict (and stupid) because it is no different sending mail to military overseas than sending it to someone in the States, yet a lot of companies refuse to use it.
I noticed this a while back, when I wanted to incorporate the "Send to" feature of Google Reader with Google+. In the settings, there are many different social media sites available, except Google+. Sure, you can attempt to configure it manually, but it's a Google product. I shouldn't have to.
If Google can't even get it's own products communicating with each other, its relevance in the world will decline. Sure, Gmail is awesome and I use Google Reader every day, but other companies will pass them by.
Google can make great products, but the company seems to forget that we live in an interconnected age now. Like Sun used to advertise, "The network is the computer." If Google's products can't communicate with each other, and they don't provide the tools for others to do the work for them, then Google fails. Now is the time to start looking for the next Google.
I have an FB account but I rarely use it. I mostly have it just to find old high school friends and for networking purposes. Of course, with LinkedIn, Google+, et al., there is little need to have an FB account for networking.
I guess the big question is: what is FB doing with all this data? Selling it, using it for data mining, improving the user experience? I can't help but think that there is a sinister, ulterior motive for keeping deleted items.
Best practice is to simply anticipate that FB and other sites are a "permanent record", except that most of the information is what you provide. Thus, think twice about what you post and question if there's a possibility for it to come back and haunt you.
Unfortunately, the government has created a buearacracy (sp?) out of classified material. There are whole organizations whose sole purpose is to create classification policies.
When they have that much invested, people are not willing to face reality. Obviously, if the information is leaked elsewhere, there is no justification for it to remain classified. But the paperwork required to get a security clearance for the government explicitly states that any classified information the individual has access to remains classified until official declassified.
A Navy message was sent out telling everyone that we could not access Wikileaks using government computers on the unclassified network because it would be considered a "spill" (unauthorized release of classified material). Everyone laughed, but it isn't worth losing your security clearance and facing prosecution to violate a government NDA.
Honestly, I didn't see anything wrong with the pat-down, per se. It looked like a standard pat-down that is done all the time on adults.
My only complaint is that, based on the pat-down procedures I learned as part of private investigation training, the back of the hand should be used. This is to prevent accusations of inappropriate contact and to protect the inspector's hands in case something dangerous, e.g. fishhooks in a seam, are found.
That all being said, I do think it is inappropriate to pat-down children. Well, I think the pat-downs are stupid period but doing it to children could conceivably be traumatizing, especially if they equate it to being under arrest or some similar situation.
Although, it does give children a good argument when "playing doctor": I was only giving a pat-down, Mom, honest! (Do kids play doctor anymore?)
This is the exact reason why I want a Kindle. I have many books that my wife has been telling me to go through every time we move. I have tossed many books that I would have liked to keep but simply couldn't justify keeping. (I'm in the military so we move often).
Now that Kindle prices have dropped to under $200, I plan on buying one and scanning the books I currently own but don't want the physical book to carry around.
There are some books that simply work better in the dead-tree format but other books would work just as well in electronic form.
That way, I can have all my books but only move the ones I want to.
Copyright is supposed to be about the holder's right to produce and distribute copies, right? So how is taking pictures or movies while on vacation making copies of Disney IP?
No one is going to "bootleg" your videos and consider them authentic Disney movies. Disney is losing no money by having these in public. AAMOF, they are getting a lot of free advertising from people showing the fun they are having.
If Disney truly has the ability to file lawsuits upholding copyright, that should be the last straw proving that copyright laws need to be fixed.
This is exactly what I do. Techdirt is a prime example. Because I can read the whole article in RSS (via Google Reader), I am more likely to click the "Like" button, share it with others, or star it for later reference. I'm also more likely to read more articles via the RSS. When I find one I'm interested in, I often click through to read the comments and comment on it myself.
Sites like Geek.com, with truncated feeds, don't get nearly as much of my time. If the teaser isn't interesting enough, I'm not going to bother clicking through to the actual web site.
Simply put, sites that don't offer full RSS text get less of my traffic. Sites that do offer full text will get more of my time on the actual site, and I am more likely to like and share an article with others.
Prior to the revised copyright law in the 1970s, copyright was an opt-in option for creators. They could decide whether to take the time to copyright their works or simply release them as-is.
Personally, I think copyright, and possibly other IP laws, should be changed back to that format. Fair use would be the intended, default action; only by spending the time and money to get the legal protection would someone be able "deny" fair-use.
Disney probably feels that they own the copyright and Ebert used it without their permission, even though the average person would feel he doesn't have to. At a minimum, I would think fair use is totally appropriate in this case, seeing as how Ebert was the one who helped make the show popular.
I'm still trying to figure this one out. I have asked many women why purses and handbags are so expensive for the name-brands, like D&B or Coach. They can't really give me a good answer, other than "it's the quality." Umm, it's a bag? Sure, the quality of a counterfeit Coach bag may not be very good, but there are plenty of other, legitimate brands on the market that have the same amount of quality as Coach for much, much less.
I will concede that other name brand items are worth the price, e.g. shoes. An expensive pair of shoes should last you many years. And you can often get them repaired rather than buying new ones all the time.
But counterfeit brands are essentially free advertising for companies. Even if they don't have the same quality, people only see the name.
I used to work at a large computer manufacturer back in the mid 90s. I saw a post on the alt.computers newsgroup regarding my company and how the poster wasn't able to get a replacement computer from the company to fix the problem he was having.
I posted on there (anonymously of course), explaining how the company determined determined who would get a new computer and what the circumstances were.
Unfortunately, the company noticed my post and traced it back to me. I admitted that I posted it, thinking the worst that would happen is I would be forbidden from posting to that newsgroup in the future.
However, supposedly I caused irreparable harm to the company. It was claimed that I cost the company millions of dollars because now "everyone knew the secret to getting free computers". Except that I didn't post anything that someone who had gone through the process didn't already know, and the fact that there still had to be a lot of justification for a replacement computer. It's not like the customer hadn't already paid for it.
Long story short, I was fired based on a bogus claim. I know this because months later I found out from a person in the company that my post was on the servers for less than 14 hours and no one had accessed it during that time. Plus, my manager framed me to cover his own criminal activities within the company and he was sleeping w/ the HR representative who was supposed to be helping me.
I am not surprised that AA fired this guy for stating the truth. Companies don't want their "secrets" getting out, regardless of whether or not they are truly secret. Companies continue to present the faceless empire facade to the public, refusing to have any indications that human beings are responsible for their activities.
That's why these companies are in financial crisis. Customers are willing to deal w/ their crap anymore.
Well, I can only say that I considered both CC and GFDL licensing for my programming book when I wrote it. I ended up using the FDL because there were a lot of choices under CC and some of the nuances were difficult to figure out.
CC has streamlined things somewhat but I still think the FDL has its place; it ensures that any changes made are given back to the community, much like the GPL.
Too many licenses can be overwhelming and therefore a bad thing. But the fact that there are so many choices means people are more likely to pick one that doesn't limit other people from using an item to their benefit.
The GPL published by the Free Software Foundation was designed to handle this. In the belief that information should be free, the GPL gives several rights to the creator and user of software:
the freedom to use the software for any purpose,
the freedom to change the software to suit your needs,
the freedom to share the software with your friends and neighbors, and
the freedom to share the changes you make.
There is also the GFDL (GNU Free Document License) for books, manuals, and other writings. The FSF has a list of free and non-free licenses for those interested in deciding how to license their work, including such "weird" things as font licensing, editorials, and opinions.
Much like Creative Commons, the GPL and GFDL encourage the free sharing of information and knowledge while preventing someone from co-opting the info for himself. However, the FSF recommends not using CC for some works because of ambiguity due to the many different CC licenses.
That being said, there is obviously a big difference between morality and legality. What is moral may not be legal and vice versa. For the most part, people have to follow their own compass. Are you going to do the right thing or the legal thing? Ideally, laws and morality would mesh but that won't always happen, especially when money and power come into play.