This wouldn't be such a problem if IT was already looking to select the most secure, reliable, and inter-operable solutions possible.
Unless you lock things down to /insane/ levels there isn't any /real/ way you can prevent the workers from taking digital information they really want to out of a controlled setting. Physical things are harder, but are you really going to use trusted computing platforms, encrypted networks and storage, and deny removable media entirely?
End users already have physical access to the systems, and building them to be secure against /that/ threat entails so much big-brother expense and friction as to be likely not cost-effective.
With that in mind, it makes much more sense to give the end user a LITTLE trust, and a lot of GENERAL education on security practices.
Then you can let them access an IMAP account over a secured connection (SSL, well encrypted network, etc) while at work or using a VPN. Suddenly anything with a /real/ network connection and standard mail support can talk to a generic mail-server.
Investors in futures should have to have some obvious way of either storing or using what they buy the right for; I think this would limit speculation on oil and other commodities to those who are actually prepared to hoard or use them.
As for stocks and bonds, those are already imaginary constructs. I see them as bets on the performance of a company over time. Bonds being a direct loan (fixed repayment rate, but higher payoff priority?), and stocks being a more generic performance of the company tool.
I don't see a good way of compensating for stability while still allowing flexibility, so instead I propose a segmentation of purpose.
For long-term investment, time-locked transactions (hold for at least a week/longer, etc) should occur in one market. For shorter term, less than that period duration, either the companies directly, or owners of the other more fixed product could re-sell their contractual rights and obligations.
Insurance, in general, could also be sold as a sort of 'risky bond'. The end buyer must assuredly be disclosed of the full terms of the contract, and should never invest in anything they could not track down and evaluate independently. Investors would bet against the occurrence of 'failure' (payout to the insurer).
Few would argue that physical property rights are not a great first step to regulating scarce goods. However ideas are not something which are reduced when shared; in fact sharing ideas is how they are grown.
As pointed out many times before, the reason copyrights and patents exist are actually to -promote- 'science and useful arts' by encouraging the spread of ideas that would otherwise not be spread.
I argue that most ideas are solutions to problems, or obvious next steps to existing ideas, or the remaining combinations of existing ideas which have not yet been tried. That is should be obvious patents/copyright should not apply to those ideas; applying those tools does not lead to the stated result but demonstrably hinders the desired result.
The desired result is to encourage non-obvious, new, and -useful- ideas to be shared so that the commons does not forget the result of that labor through various events to individuals or corporate entities.
Over time I have seen wisdom in the application of two ideas that might be used to solve this issue.
My own idea of limiting the number of patents granted in a period of time so that those which are granted can be researched more properly still applies; it would increase the transaction cost for those seeking a patent and thus ensure that applications are of substantial merit and quality.
The other idea is a combination of 'cleanroom' development for compatible products (that is specifying an interface (facts) exactly and letting completely fresh developers determine how to produce it) to avoid copyright infringement with the fact that many times a solution's non-obviousness is -best- proven by multiple developers reaching it.
Register patent contents in escrow with the patent office(s), any who -read- the patent must license it if they use the process described within. Any duplication of the effort by an outside party would be proof that the patent was erroneously granted to an obvious device/method. That should automatically invalidate future patent rights; though those who already licensed the patent would still be covered for a grace period (likely something set such as a quarter of the remainder of the patent period).
In addition to the very valid and sadly accurate points made above I do have one point that is somewhat new.
There is no reason that the news can't be funny or entertaining; even if you aren't in a society requiring the guise of humor to hide the fact that you're telling the truth it can still make the news more relevant and memorable by enriching it with the spice of humor.
The humor can also offer a better way of tying in extra points, such as making the butt of the joke the responsible target.
The sad part is that thanks to our two-party first past the post system it's very difficult to do anything about it (like send congress a message by voting out -any- incumbent via voting against them in the primaries).
Nope, the USB connector need only be conductive. However it does have to be stiff enough to go in properly and form a pressure fit.
What I want to see most is a -washable- connector that can be easily buttoned in to clothing at the sleeve. If you did that, you could -literally- carry around a USB key that you could use for login, and general keysigning tasks. As a bonus you could also stuff all your normal card info on to it.
Old Boundries only relevant because they used to exist.
The old boundaries are only relevant in the modern world because they used to exist. What really needs to happen is one set of common core rules that apply to everyone. Rules like these:
1) Neutral effect on environmental stability, or paying a penalty sufficient to outsource the task (with some profit).
2) Healthcare coverage mandatory for whatever constitutes a 'full' work schedule and pro-rated otherwise; any person would always have any public options including a government one, plus the options from any of their employers.
3) Standard 'old' laws, the basic concept of owning scarce resources with a provision that any new life you bring in to the world is granted a proportionate share of your resources. No murder, slavery, etc.
4) A recognition that community works projects are good ideas and allowing involved communities to establish 'local government' level support for them. Parks, Roads, other utility districts (water, sewer, power, data) to compete with any other local districts and private companies.
In all of this, old collections are largely meaningless. Countries, states/provinces, even cities only serve to add needless complication and friction to the business of advancing as a species and only minimally service the needs of getting by.
Literally Limit Patents (To less than one per day)
The solution to weak patents is to limit patents to only the cream of the crop, those most innovative, non-obvious, and fully vetted as not being obvious engineering challenges.
I would like to see patents collected in secret and a list of 12 - 365 top candidates for patents to be created. A set of engineers would then describe the -task- those patents were to accomplish and colleges around the country would have a year to try and duplicate any patents that they find. Other corporations would also have time to file. ANY duplication of the patented process would thus invalidate the patent as obvious to other skilled practitioners.
I imagine this process would probably take 2-3 years to complete. A year for collection. A year for public competition to duplicate the effort. Then the time required to examine the efforts towards the patents to ensure that they aren't getting too close or duplicating it.
Limiting patents to 10-20 years. Limit copyright to 20 years. Also, any period of greater than a year when either is unavailable would automatically and irrecoverably revoke the rights on the basis of abandonment.
Trademarks, now those should exist until abandoned. (Thus the name Mickey Mouse attributed to that cultural icon would be a trademark. However just Mickey in a generic artistic setting, or attributed to say a moose would not infringe.)
Obvious names wouldn't be protected (EG: Fido the dog), nor would concepts and contexts that had become part of popular culture. The test for that would be to ask a representative sample of plaintiff and defendant selected target audiences about samples of the 'original' and 'copied' work to determine attribution of influences. A scholarly examination of the surveys would, if audiences are selected properly, determine any cultural source works and the degree of material which should actually be tested for unattributed inspiration, or mutual discovery.
What about the forum area; the issue of patents has been discussed at length however the forum issue isn't something I noticed when I'd looked at similar topics in the past.
Why isn't there some electronic courtroom system where you'd only have to visit a local court (with a built in conference room) and it would link up with the remote court. There would have to be some witness of the local jurisdiction there, and the only applicable laws would be shared between jurisdictions (hence it would inherently be either a federal or international level law case even though the courtroom may be local.); how could anyone say someone violated a law in Texas without being there anyway?
With a bridged courtroom like that, the next issue would be judge. I see coin-toss OR availability being the deciding factor there.
Of course why not skip that step and have a national pool of judges outside of any involved states, and thus less likely to be sympathetic to either party.