Actually, that's an excellent point; you can travel all over the US undetected, as long as you want to go downriver. Nobody looks twice at someone canoeing. I've gone canoeing in the rivers around my state many times, and usually you feel like you're in the wilderness the whole time, even when you're passing through a city. It's easy to carry luggage in a canoe without drawing attention (especially if you carry it in a cooler so it's waterproof & floats), and you won't need to stop for fuel anywhere.
This is a hoax. It was a parody made by Alun Hill. The video is from DPRK, but the voiceover is purely comedy. See this snopes article: http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/northkorea.asp
And as someone who is learning Korean, I can tell you that the few words I caught definitely had nothing to do with what he was 'translating'.
I live in Wyoming (a backwoods place by most standards), yet even here that's the norm. I publish an annual calendar filled with historical photos from our area (it's a freebie I give to our customers), but in order to acquire the photos, I have to sign a contract with the Wyoming State Archives in Cheyenne, where they license my use of the pictures. The pictures are always from 1940 or earlier, but as soon as they get a hold of them, they bury them under a contract. If you don't sign the contract, you can't use the pictures. The contract states that you can only use the pictures once, and you have to get your use approved by them before they will allow it. They also charge $8 per use per picture. It sucks, but it's just how it is, and I don't think it's news; they've been doing this for years.
Furthermore, if you want a copy of our state laws, or even our city laws, you have to purchase a copy from the 1 approved publisher. You can find most of them online, but several laws are redacted (even in our city of 8,000 people), so that you have to buy the book to find out what they are. It's wrong, but it's how they do it. Isn't it how all the government entities do it?
I just don't understand how America's opinion has that much sway. Who cares what we think? The USA gives money to a lot of countries, sure, but (as seen in the countries always at Israel's throat) we continue giving money, even if they're attacking our allies. I really doubt being on a piracy watchlist could threaten the gravy train. And aside from free money, I can't see any other reason they might worry -- it's not like we're going to go to war over it.
The thing I thought was the funniest is that it said "American Innovation is lost", and showed an Incandescent light bulb going out. Smugglers & counterfeiters didn't do that, nor did patent infringers. The US Congress did that.
Oh, and now that they've closed down every single US-based incandescent light bulb factory, now they've changed their minds and made them legal again.
Sorry, off-topic, I know, but it still bugged me =-P
The thing I don't get is that Two Billion isn't enough. It's a company that employs 300 people. It's not Wal-Mart. It can't possibly have very much 'inventory overhead'. How can it *possibly* be worth $2,000,000,000.00 without any contracts going forward?
hmm you're forgetting the 4th group... the ones waiting for an open platform for social networking that isn't vendor-specific (think IRC). I don't use any social networks, and won't until that time comes.
Myspace was a great idea. However, like so many things, the media decided it would make great fodder for a sensationalized scare-campaign (think swine flu, bird flu, West Nile Virus, teen killed because she 'met a guy from the internet', etc). Every time something bad happened and could be linked back to My__, the news ran with it. Before too long, schools were recommending strongly that parents keep their kids off of it, and some even expelled kids who held My__ accounts. The website didn't have long left after that. Facebook was the same thing (except with less customizability, and way more creepy-stalker-features, and it simply rose up to fill the gap as the 'safe alternative', since it didn't facilitate meeting people you don't already know in real life.
Personally I hate Faceblah with a passion, but it has become the de facto social networking interface. My wish is that some day social networking would be done across a platform that any company could tap into -- My__ profiles could 'friend' Facebook profiles, which could share pictures with people on Friendster, etc. Kinda like IRC. Then this whole issue would go away. If you wanted to draw people to your service, you'd have to offer better service, and if your friends wanted something lamer, that's fine, you could still use the service of your choice.
But I digress.
I know I'm just adding to the noise at this point, but my humble opinion (as a fundamentalist Christian who hates Internet whitelists), is that if there were a .kids TLD, it would be about 5% beneficial (as in, I seriously do not see much benefit at all, as censoring is always errant and flawed, and restricting a child's use to only .kids sites would be too restrictive to be worthwhile), but I find .xxx to be a terrific idea. Of course it wouldn't be practical to claim that all the porn in the world is locked behind that TLD -- but if just 5% was, you could quickly and easily block a computer from that 5% without any risk of loosing anything that's actually worth keeping. And without a single whitelist.
~just my $.02
It really gets me, the way people insist that everything under the sun has to have a specific, profitable dollar value. If you want to talk about business models, just look at HP inkjet printers. Huge business, worldwide market domination, yet they sell most of their printers for less than cost. I kid you not. Furthermore, the retailer turns around and resells it for even less than HP sold it to them for.*
In effect, both the producer and the retailer are giving away the merchandise. Why? Because they have found a way to make an alternate business plan work. Would anyone question Office Depot's printer & accessory sales? How about the largest computer & printer manufacturer? Are they 'throwing money out the window'? Fact is, they've found a way to make it work -- and I earnestly believe that any business can.
Take another example: Techdirt. Granted, I'm not personally familiar with Masnick's take home pay -- but this web site surely is not a nonprofit hobby. I personally read this blog on a daily basis. I don't pay a dime to do so. Yet, somehow, there's always enough for me to read, and the quality hasn't dropped. According to the doomsayers, either the blog will soon shut down, the quality of the posts will drop, or I'll start being forced to pay each time I read it. Let's see if they're right. (the last 11 years would tend to make me think they're not...)
*I used to be a manager for Office Depot. I saw many printers sell for less than the wholesale price -- especially inkjet fax machines. They were typically $20-30 less than wholesale.
These are just two examples of this; I could go on. (Gas Stations, Sony Playstation,....)
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