Yes, it's "whack-a-mole", but is there any way to address the issue that does not involve constant vigilance?
As to Linux, BSD and the like, yes, I run those too. You are kidding yourself however if you think you aren't being watched when you use a browser on a Linux machine. Using Linux only decreases the extent to which you are being spied upon. It does not eliminate it.
As this week's news shows, it's becoming increasingly clear that the government has been using data acquired through corporate activity to spy on citizens.
If you don't like the idea of the government spying on your computer, then you need to get control of the commercial spying that almost all of us have been allowing to occur.
For those who would like to put a stop to this, but perhaps don't know where to start, step 1 is knowing who is doing the spying. There are many ways to do this, but I suggest some free Nirsoft tools. Network TrafficView will give you are real-time picture of the IP addresses which are communicating with your computer. You can then use DNSDataView to identify the companies that are behind the IP addresses.
Armed with that information, you can start blocking. You can block by domain name, IP address and in some cases by port number.
The internet is changing many things. Among the most profound is the inability of the internet to forget.
I think that society will eventually have to come to grips with this and decide what it really means to forgive. Much of what passed for forgiveness from society in the pre-internet age was simply forgetting due to the lack of access to old information. Now that the events of 20+ years ago are no more than a few key clicks away, we need to decide whether we are really going to forgive someone who has "paid their debt to society". We also need to decide what that debt really is.
Re: Re: WELL, the US gave up its control of the internet, and it got worse.
If history is any predictor, eventually ootb will get tired of losing arguments, and we'll gradually see less of him. Then at some point he fades away... like angry dude and darryl. Even Average Joe has become much less frequent here than 2-3 years ago.
"This is typically the kind of situation that happens when lawyers are allowed to become too influential"
You are exactly right.
There is also another related [poor] business strategy: Sign on with a consulting firm that will provide "full service" protection of your brands and IP. In that situation, the business may not even be directly involved in the decision to do send this type of letter.
Hint for the MBA set: Any time your decision making process consists of "leaving it up to" someone who is in a different business than you, watch out. They may be making decisions that are not necessarily in your best interest.
What the US sorely needs to accomplish legal reform can be said in 2 words: Loser Pays.
So called consumer advocates (who are really representatives for plaintiff's attorneys) hate the idea for the very reason it is a good idea. Increasing the risk associated with bringing a questionable lawsuit means there will be fewer lawsuits. Fewer lawsuits mean fewer lawyers getting paid, and less expenditure of resources in nonproductive ways by all concerned.
A true consumer advocate should accept this idea because if a corporation has wronged a consumer or group of consumers, the offender would be quicker to settle if it knew there was a good chance of losing not only the judgment, but also the opponent's legal fees. There is less chance that a true offender can just stall until the claimant runs out of money and gives up.
Loser Pays means fewer frivolous lawsuits, fewer attempts at legal bullying and less expensive justice. Period.
Adobe wants guaranteed access to your private data
Adobe's subsidiary and suspected NSA contractor Omniture is the #1 merchant of private data taken from your computer without your permission or knowledge. (Yes, I know Google Analytics is right up there doing the same thing). Adobe/Omniture wants to ensure there is a legal framework for them to continue doing this without your approval, and certainly without any ability for you to block or otherwise interfere.
No, Amazon should not be compelled to sell something they do not want to sell, and no, they have not done something terrible by exercising their right to choose what is sold on their site. I just happen to disagree with their choice. It also is most certainly censorship - not in a universal sense, and not in the sense that they are seeking to deny anyone the right to find and access material that others may judge to be objectionable. Such a limited meaning of "censor" isn't the only way to use the word. Consider, for example, that you can choose to censor your own expression.
I do believe this policy is related to liability risk. Amazon doesn't want to get criticized and perhaps even sued by some angry parents alleging that Amazon should be liable for allowing their innocent child to be exposed to objectionable material on a site that Amazon made available to the public.
I seriously doubt Prince himself is trolling around the internet looking for supposed infringement. Almost certainly he signed a contract with a company that has promised to look out for his copyright interests so he doesn't have to personally worry with the details. The IP enforcement firm has incentive to find every miniscule scrap of music that can be attributed to their client. They must continue to keep proving their value in order to perpetuate their future paychecks.