"Keep in mind, of course, that the state that owns Cubatabaco is a communist nation"
I fail to see how the political party running their government is in any way relevant - we don't seem to have a problem doing business with odious regimes at the other end of the spectrum. Cohiba always has and always will mean Cuban cigars. Everyone knows that the Cohibas you can legally purchase in the United States are a cheap counterfeit, and illegally imported real Cohibas have always been at a premium, but this is a case where an idiot in a hurry could be genuinely misled. The trademark should revert to Cuba.
"Freedom of Information Act. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and feel like shaking my head 'til it drops off. You idiot. You naive, foolish, irresponsible nincompoop. There is really no description of stupidity, no matter how vivid, that is adequate. I quake at the imbecility of it."
Those are former PM Tony Blair's words, speaking of himself in his memoir, and bitterly regretting that he allowed the FoIA to pass under his administration. When this is the attitude of people at the top, it's hardly surprising if the henchmen pick it up and run with it.
That's a very good question. This affair is really the business of the State of Nevada, not the Federal Government. One supposes they were concerned about losing a nickel's tax. However, the FBI does seem to have a hard-on for Nevada. I recall that almost the first application of the Patriot Act was the FBI using it to investigate whether a local Las Vegas politician was receiving favors from a strip club.
Y'know, as a consultant, almost every one of my clients makes me sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement)promising Draconian penalties if I disclose their valuable secrets to a third party. Yet when I offer them my public key and ask for theirs, they look at me in blank surprise. They have no concern about sending their valuable secret drawings and business plans in plain text on unencrypted email.
So I guess innocence isn't about having nothing to hide. It's about being completely fucking clueless.
I disagree. Two to four years would be enough time to get anything through, if it weren't for the the old farts in their 15th or 20th terms gaming the system to defend their own pork. And if that's not long enough, maybe we don't need it anyway. It's not like we haven't got enough laws already.
I'm an engineer, getting on a bit now, and this sort of collusion has been a fact of life my entire career. Whenever there's a group of similar tech companies in the same area, you have to go outside the area even to get a job interview. Once you get out of the area for a while, though, any of those companies will hire you back.
It can't be stopped, at least not so long as nobody goes to jail for doing it.
An interesting thought, but just coincidence, and anyway, they don't line up very well. That graph shows top incomes rising towards 1929; the New Editions graph is falling. Also, the New Editions graph shows a recent rise for the sole reason that new books stay in print a few years. By 2025, the copyright bathtub will be longer and the early 2000s will be as flat as the 1980s.
When I first got on the (wired) internet, I had a plan that allowed me 40 free megabytes a month. Of course files were much smaller then, as were hard drives, and there was no streaming music or video, but I still used 40MB in two days and had a monthly bill bigger than my mortgage. I cancelled the plan. The ISP called me, terribly mystified and hurt, and I told him why. I must not have been the only one, because a year later, every ISP was offering unlimited plans.
At the present time, we suffer from a terrible lack of competition in cellular services. But it will not always be so. Let AT&T piss everyone off; it will just hasten the day when data caps and annual contracts are a distant memory like 40MB/mo wired plans.
I removed Ubuntu from my machines a couple of years ago, not over this, but because it tried too hard to distance itself from the familiar. I didn't have the time nor the inclination to learn a whole new way of doing things. If Shuttleworth were to design a car, he'd probably differentiate it from General Motors by putting the accelerator on the left. And he'd weld the hood shut.
Interesting viewpoint, AC. I wonder where you're sitting as you view it.
From where I sit it's true there doesn't appear to be a lot of debate going on, but it's a rare day when it doesn't come up several times in conversation at the office. In fact, it seems to be creating future political activists out of thin air. If you were to spend a little time researching the left-wing and libertarian blogs you would see the debate is far from over - though of course, it's suppressed on the "establishment" conservative blogs as a dissenting opinion, so you wouldn't see much there.
Anyway, I don't think TD is going to drop the subject, and as an insider, I thank you sincerely for your contribution to the debate.