Technically, those are the 'rack rate' for licensing.
I used to negotiate OS licensing for mobile companies. Motorola, Palm, Nokia, Microsoft, etc., all negotiate bulk license that are a fraction (maybe 20%-25%) of the amounts shown. Same thing for components... if you commit to five or ten million units there is a huge discount.
Otherwise companies like Motorola could never have gotten the price of a feature phone under $100 to the carrier.
The bad news is that these licenses are a barrier to entry for newer and smaller companies, but even then, if you are a friend of a big guy, you can tag on to their order. e.g. you are ex-employees spinning out, they throw you some help.
Old examples: (I don't want to get in trouble here) MicroSoft had Win CE license for $12, Palm OS $8, et cetera.) HP and Dell never paid a penny of royalty for the devices they shipped. Sony and Handspring negotiated much better deals than the smaller players. It was strategic to get those partners on board. Licensors also have to supply support and updates....
I'd rather the IRS didn't try to 'help.' A better solution is for the IRS to pay a small fee (e.g. $10) to each person who files for free using an approved service (Intuit, HR Block, Money, etc.) And make sure it works on Android and iOS (unlike the rest of the IRS site)
I doubt the 'best' product managers would be attracted to government jobs anyway.
Any denial of service should be prosecuted and punished. If the attacker doesn't like a politician today he may not like a bank or your hospital or city mayor tomorrow.
DoA at a bank could prevent people from getting access to their money when they need to eat or pay a mortgage and avoid late fees/foreclosure. And certainly we can think of medical systems that supply life critical information OK for him to DoA? Is it OK if he attacks your town's traffic systems causing hours of delays, pollution and emergency access?
Punishment should be sever so that attackers won't say "It was just a harmless joke or a lark." Peoples lives, livelihoods, and safety are sometimes the unanticipated consequences of those DoA masking as pranks.
DoA is an intentional crime. The manslaughter mentioned above is sad, but mainly punishment for negligence (We don't know all the circumstances obviously - and there is unfairness in sentencing out there.)
If a DoA attack on a city or hospital causes people to die is that when you want to increase the penalty?
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by Flack.