In the battle over control of the Internet, it’s not that the U.S. government manages the Internet better than other countries would, it’s that it barely manages the Internet at all, and it’s important that it stay that way.
A review of the new book, Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution, by Ron Bailey.
Banning technologies through legislation is not the answer to piracy. Copying is here to stay, so companies must change their business models if they hope to cope.
Copy protection in iTunes and iPods treats honest customers like criminals while locking them into Apple products. So why does the recording industry insist on it?
Does copyright infringement involve creating an unauthorized copy, or accessing that copy once created? If mere copying is copyright infringement, then Google Print is illegal–and so is the Internet for that matter.
Paypal shut down a good Samaritan’s Katrina fundraising drive because the federal government and the states–including Louisiana–has forced the company to treat its customers like criminals.
Does banning cell phones in cars really improve road safety? How about banning chihuahuas?
Does Microsoft hold the patent on the iPod’s click wheel even though Apple invented it?
Google Print will let you search the full text of every book ever printed–unless the law gets in the way, that is.
Boxers now know that they’ll be banned from the sport should virtually any sort of brain injury come to light. As a result, they’re going to be much less likely to seek diagnosis and treatment.
They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, which is why getting modern information technology to dissidents abroad can help shine a bright light on oppressive regimes everywhere.
Embryonic stem cells do show more promise than their opponents would have us believe.
Mandatory “net neutrality” rules are unnecessary because good old-fashioned competition is sufficient to ensure an open future for the Internet.
Now that the FCC’s “broadcast flag” has been struck down, broadcasters would do well to stop obsessing over exaggerated piracy threats and focus on competing with cable and satellite.
The FCC might soon be regulating speech on cable and satellite TV, but the fact that over 85 percent of homes in the U.S. subscribe to those less-regulated services shows that consumers are willing to pay for programming that is racier than traditional broadcast TV.
Last year the Ninth Circuit accepted Grokster’s argument that because it has no knowledge of what files are traded and no ability to filter them, it cannot be held liable as Napster was for infringement. The Supreme Court should not be so gullible.
Digital rights management technologies may yet prove an effective piracy deterrent, and companies should be free to deploy them. But requiring customers to comply with them on pain of criminal penalties is a step too far.
Federally mandated electronic medical records may sound wonderful, but before rushing to put a system in place, we need to consider the downsides.
European consumers, like their American counterparts, have every opportunity to choose the media platform that best serves their needs. EU bureaucrats should get out of the way and let them do so.
As more and more people turn to the Internet for their news and information, it is vital that online journalists not become second-class citizens.
The mass theft of music and movies through online file-sharing may remain illegal, but the law will sadly be unenforceable.
The 2000 Florida voting fiasco required a solution. And clearly, the solution would have to (A) come from Congress, (B) increase the federal government’s role, and (C) involve computers.
Although privacy activists have been up in arms about RFID technology in consumer products, the real threat lies in government snooping.
The answer to the Internet’s spam infestation isn’t a government ‘do not spam’ list, but making sure you PC doesn’t become zombified.
The hit movie Mean Girls showcases the problem of bullying, but it will take more than talk to combat teen terror online.
Is a paperless, digital government bureaucracy something to aspire to, or an expensive pipe dream that should be avoided?
A techno-literary reaction of horror and shock to the Abu Ghraib scandal, which has been inescapable and immediate in this networked age.
The federal government regulates e-mail spam because legislators want Americans to know that they care about what Americans care about.
Lawrence Lessig is giving away his new book for free on the Web, and he might just show us how “free” could also mean “profitable.”
Governments are switching to open source software to save cash, but the key assumption that it’s cheaper might be flawed.
A preview from the Winter 2004 issue of Doublethink: Intellectual property and the open source movement.
Downloading copyrighted material for free is no big deal… until you find someone has stolen your own work.
Celebrities love alternative energy sources… just as long as it’s not in their back yards.
If we ignore the warnings, new electronic voting will be doomed to repeat disasters, like the 2000 presidential election, that old punch machines gave us.
Claims that environmental protection has been under siege in America since the Bush Administration took over are exagerated at best.
The federal “Do Not Call” list is unlikely to put an end to the irritating marketing tactics of Optima Dog Food, Allstate Insurance, or Disney Cruise Lines. These telemarketing pests are now moving to “phase two” of their operations, and will continue to hassle the disinterested general public despite, or perhaps delighted by, the pariah-like [...]
As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote today on relaxing cross-ownership rules for media conglomerates, critics have been ominously warning that the action would allow an oligopoly to influence how Americans think by controlling everything from what we watch, to what we read, and what we hear. This is not only disingenuous, it is [...]
Developing search engines almost cost four college students $97,800,000,000. That’s 97.8 billion dollars–the amount the Recording Industry Association of America requested for damages in a recent lawsuit against the four (more than the sales of the entire recording industry in one year). The students’ crime? Facilitating music piracy and copyright violations by operating search engines [...]
The latest asbestos boondoggle involves the Saddle Brook, New Jersey inventor of Bubble Wrap and an activist judge whose specialty is fortune-telling. Were this a Tom Wolfe novel, a promising young Congressman might champion decent reform and win, but alas, in real life we are stuck in Senate limbo. < p> Sealed Air Corp., of [...]
This week, the Supreme Court will listen to oral arguments in Eldred v Ashcroft. I don’t blame you if you haven’t heard about it; the case has not been publicized much outside the tech press. Nonetheless it’s a landmark case that will decide the future of intellectual property. Most notably it will decide whether Mickey [...]
Please allow me to preface this commentary by stating that I am not a smoker. Personally, I find cigarette smoke to be rather nauseating. However, if I turn on my television and see one more pretentious environmental studies student at Self Righteous State University opining about how I should live my life, I may just [...]
< p>The media are often accused of playing chicken little, shouting that the sky is falling, but a new study purports to show that chicken little was right. USA Today broke the story on February 28, with the front-page headline: “Fallout likely caused 15,000 deaths.” That night, it was covered by CNN, PBS’ Newshour, and [...]
< p>Science may be unraveling the most perplexing conundrum of 30 years of sexual revolt and rewrite: to wit, why do many women, upon entering into relationships they intend to be short on seriousness and strings and long on sex and freedom, immediately begin acting childish and demanding? < p>Everywhere men gather, they share tales [...]
< p>Super Bowl Sunday is about more than football. It’s about legends — not just Joe Namath, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw, but “Bloody Sunday” and “The Great Toilet Flush” as well. < p>Super Bowl Sunday was dubbed “Bloody” because wife-beating is said to reach an annual high the day of the game. “The Great [...]
< p>All this talk of human cloning, genetic enhancements, and the like is threatening the uneasy partnership between the two major elements of conservatism. The libertarian strain, generally in support of the “new eugenics”, and the social strain, generally opposed to it, have engaged in virulent debates that unfortunately have generated more heat than light, [...]
< p>Americans were recently warned of a new fallout from the U.S.-China spy plane dispute. Chinese hackers apparently promised cyber-attacks on American web sites throughout the first week of May in retaliation for a wave of American hacks of Chinese sites. CNN told viewers (Apr. 27) to “beware … That nice picture of your corporate [...]
< p>Actress Suzanne Somers recently disclosed that she is battling breast cancer. As she told the Associated Press, “I really feel I’m licking this.” Not with conventional treatments, mind you, but with homeopathy. So is homeopathy a medical miracle? Unfortunately, Somers is taking a great risk with an alternative treatment derided by medical experts as [...]
< p>A few weeks ago, eBay, the largest auction web site on the Internet, quietly halted the sale of items associated with hate groups. While ebay has long disallowed merchandise promoting hate, it has now broadened that prohibition to include t-shirts bearing the likeness of notorious murderers, crime scene photos, and even historical items such [...]
The mapping of the human genome came upon us amidst pronouncements of its incalculable impact on, and potential benefit to, human life. Comparisons to the manned missions to the moon, even the quest for the Holy Grail, were quickly trotted out in an attempt to illustrate the import of the occasion. Thus, Dr. Michael Dexter, [...]
The Right has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex about artificial human cloning. Mild-mannered social conservatives fall over one another in disgust at the prospect while Libertarians seemingly stand behind a lab bench, cackling with glee at every new advance in cloning technology. In a National Review Online column published earlier this year, author [...]
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Elisha Maldonado
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond