I successfully called the office of my Congressman, who opposes the bills, and asked the staffer that answered the phone to encourage the Congressman to continue on that track.
I then tried to call the offices of my two Senators, both of whom are co-sponsors. The first one's phone line was busy for most of the day. The second one's phone line flipped immediately to voice mail. That system was full and no longer accepting messages. I never did get through to the senators by voice.
During my 28 years in the military, I saw this first hand, and it wasn't because the military side of DOD isn't tech-savvy. It's the procurement process and crony capitalism.
I've seen UNIX-based client/server systems deployed that were obsolete before they were turned on, "tactical" computers that were small, already obsolete, x86 systems in hardened cases the size of foot lockers running a proprietary command line OS, and many others.
The tactical systems only ran on 110/120v so if the users weren't around a generator or in a building in North America, they were useless.
The UNIX client/server systems came from EDS and we could tell from the accompanying documentation that the procurement and "development" process had taken years.
It's only be recently that off-the-shelf systems have been authorized for procurement and as the post says, even those are out of date when they arrive on the desktops.
"the principle & which is quite true in itself is that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily,"
Dr. Joseph Goebbels
This thought is often simplified down to "The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed."
Will worldoftanks.com have to become worldoftanks.by?
This probably doesn't apply to us non-gamers, but students in one of my college courses have informed me that "World of Tanks" is currently one of the most popular on-line games in the world and holds some sort of Guinness record for most people on-line at the same time.
Anyway, it's development center is in Belarus. I thought this a bit odd given that country's attitude towards the internet. Maybe they know a lot about tanks.
I would tend to believe GoDaddy a bit more if they started to ACTIVELY oppose SOPA and PIPA and spent some of their lobby money to those ends. None of this "we were against it before we were for it and then we were against it again" baloney.
We libertarians are quite often considered to be right-wingers, but we've been against this sort of thing long before it was cool for the lefties (and "real" conservatives) to oppose it.
This is just one of the many crony capitalism projects that needs to die a quick death, a death that is hopefully as painful as possible for it's supporters so that they don't try it again for a long time.
Quite a few years ago, while visiting the hometown of my spouse in an eastern US location, I stopped to take some photos of a little, one room, small town US Post Office. While I was snapping the shutter, a fellow came charging out of the Post Office and told me that I had no right to photograph his building.
When I mentioned that as a US Post Office, it was a public building, he told me that they Post Office only rents from him and that no one has the right to take photos without his permission.
My spouse then mentioned that people in the area have been known to carry firearms and weren't keen on outsiders, especially Northerners, I figured that it was time to cease work and get the heck out of the neighborhood. It probably didn't help any that I also had "Yankee" license plates on my car.
Many people dismiss "Atlas Shrugged" as libertarian drivel but, among other things, it does criticize this exact situation.
If you haven't read it, give it a try. (Skip over the mushy quasi-romantic parts and it won't be such a long slog)
You'll see that it condemns the exact situation that we find ourselves in today in the US - a good old boy's club where the people in large corporations, government agencies, academia, and the executive branch itself just rotate between positions every few years.
Wall Street/Mega banks -> Treasury Department -> Federal Reserve -> University -> Wall Street/Mega banks...
This pattern can also be found in the many other "regulatory" environments like transportation, commerce, justice, defense, etc...
What a way to run a railroad... Oh, wait - those guys are in on it as well.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They are suing themselves out of business
So you are saying that if I am sitting in my house talking with some of my students, the police will come, take me to a book store, make me buy a book, take me back home, and at gun point force me to read from it when interacting with my students?
If you were able to turn that plot line into a novel, you might make some cash!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They are suing themselves out of business
If the world ever does come to this rather distressing level of oppression, then we'll just have to revert to the style of instruction used by the Greeks, Romans, and other ancient teachers. It's called "verbal communication."
Should your prediction come true and if I am still in the teaching profession, I will simply talk to my students and describe what they need to do. Now in today's world of graphically-oriented, touch screen user interfaces that may be a bit challenging, but I'd be willing to give it a try.
Now if my lectures would have to first pass some board of review straight out of 1984, by that time the world will be so bad off that government approval of a lecture on the practical application of doubly-linked lists would be the least of my worries.
Re: Re: Re: Re: They are suing themselves out of business
But I'm not talking about writing software. I'm talking about using my notes, my sketches, my outlines, stuff that I write, to teach students certain skills.
The main post that started this chain was about publishers wanting to restrict the use of materials that colleges previously reproduced for use by their students. If those restrictions become unacceptable, one simply has to stop using the materials.
While I do agree with you that laws and rules implementing these sort of restrictions need to be resisted, in a profit-driven world the ultimate resistance is to simply not buy their stuff.
Some may not consider it a solution. I consider it more of a workaround.
When the government and/or cartels want you to do something, just do it. In this case they don't want people copying their products. OK - don't copy them. In fact, don't even buy them. That will solve the entire problem.
Either write the material yourself or purchase it from someone who doesn't place restrictions on how the material is used.
I remember back a million or so years ago when I was an undergrad and the professors were slapping the same publisher-provided transparencies on the overhead projector for years on end. These matched the publisher-provided lab manuals and study guides and it made "teaching" the course much easier for the profs. When I got into the Ed Biz, I decided that was one thing that I would not do.
It's a free market place. Instructors and students are free to not use material bearing suffocating and unworkable restriction.
As an instructor of college IT courses, I gave up on publishers years ago. The lab manuals, course packs, work books, and sometimes even text books, at least in the applied subject areas, are getting higher in glitz and graphics and at the same time lower in quality.
It took a while but I basically wrote all the stuff myself that I need to accompany whichever text book I selected for a course. I've been fortunate that when I've had to change text books (due to a new edition being released or a book no longer being available) the editing I had to do to my material was minimal.
Once it's written, it's converted to PDF and posted to our school's instructional management system for viewing and download by the students. No muss. No fuss.
It was a pain in the beginning but it's paid off ever since.
The publishers are driving themselves out of business with over the top pricing and if they win this court case, they'll just increase the speed of the train wreck.
Instructors will stop using their material out of fear of litigation. Schools will implement draconian anti-copyright-violation rules and regulations. Students will find ways to pirate (Oh No!) the information. It might be time that the hard-copy text book publishers go the way of buggy whip manufacturers.
1. Many people vote absentee when they are going to be out of town during election day, even those who are not in the military. My kids vote absentee because they are in university away from their home town.
2. AFAIK, everyone in the US only gets to vote once in each election (except maybe Chicago) and they are supposed to vote in the place where they have their permanent residence. Musicians, especially the rich ones, may have more than one residence, but they are only supposed to vote at one of them. Elections don't pop up out of the blue. They are announced well ahead of time so that everyone who wants to vote via the absentee system should be able to do so.
3. I'm not blaming anyone for anything. I'm attempting to explain to you that I don't believe the reasons you gave for not being able to vote are valid.
4. Systems of government that involve citizen participation, call it a democracy, republic, or commune, rely on the citizens making informed decisions. Citizens have an obligation to inform themselves. Otherwise it would be less expensive and a lot less painful to just pull a name out of a hat. We wouldn't be subjected to daily political propaganda and the lobbyists wouldn't know who to pay off.