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'Awful' Internet Rules Released

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the do-your-wuerst dept.

The Internet 106

maximus1 writes "NetChoice, a trade group that identifies and fights threats aimed at online communities and e-commerce, released iAWFUL, a list of America's 10 worst legislative and regulatory proposals targeted at the Internet. At the top of the list is a Maine law that would require e-commerce sites to get parental approval before collecting minors' personal information. According to the NetChoice site, 'lawmakers approved the measure despite the fact that Web sites have no means to confirm such consent, and would be effectively forced to stop providing valuable services like college information, test prep services, and class rings.' Coming in second on the iAWFUL list is a city ordinance that would hit Internet users with an extra tax on hotel rooms. Scheduled to take effect in September, the new tax is aimed at consumers who use the Internet to bargain hunt for expensive NYC hotel rooms."

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You know what's awful? (5, Funny)

bmo (77928) | about 5 years ago | (#29123945)

That goddamn site design.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over?

--
BMO

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | about 5 years ago | (#29123983)

It's designed and programmed in Web 2.0

Re:You know what's awful? (2, Funny)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | about 5 years ago | (#29124087)

If Web 2.0 means popup balloon hyperlinks then Web 2.0 can get F'd in the A.

Re:You know what's awful? (2, Insightful)

el_gordo101 (643167) | about 5 years ago | (#29124485)

Add intellitxt.com to your hosts file and point it to 127.0.0.1, those annoying-ass pop-up link things will go away forever.

Re:You know what's awful? (2, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 5 years ago | (#29128849)

If you use Opera, you can also add it to your "Block Content" list - works perfectly as well.

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 5 years ago | (#29124983)

It's designed and programmed in Web 2.0

Spoken like a true corporate suit.

Re:You know what's awful? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29128167)

Slashdot srsly needs to consider having a -1 Whoosh mod.

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | about 5 years ago | (#29131153)

True enough.

As an aside, a more useful addition would be a "-1 Factually Incorrect" mod. Many's the time I've seen something get to +4 Informative, only to discover the information was incorrect. The only way to offset it without being a dick and crying Troll is to mod it Overrated, which somehow doesn't cut the mustard. You end up with "Score:0, Insightful" comments.

The counter-argument is that it would invite a whole new level of Mod-trolling, where people express their disagreement to an opinion or interesting argument by modding it down as being "Incorrect". It's a tricky problem.

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 5 years ago | (#29125773)

Do you really think that's an excuse?

Re:You know what's awful? (3, Informative)

bishiraver (707931) | about 5 years ago | (#29125923)

Readability bookmarklet is your friend: http://lab.arc90.com/experiments/readability/ [arc90.com]

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

Pechkin000 (1304249) | about 5 years ago | (#29126237)

Thanks for the link. I've never heard of this site, but checked it out now and I think its a great Idea. Thanks!

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

lightinthedark (1557699) | about 5 years ago | (#29129951)

That's amazing. With this and adblock I may never be irritated at sites on the internet again. 1000 thanks

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 5 years ago | (#29129909)

Good idea, but clearly not fully baked yet: The actual list isn't displayed in the "readability'd" version of the site.

Re:You know what's awful? (1)

skeeto (1138903) | about 5 years ago | (#29136837)

Wow, thanks! That's great! I use Vimperator (Firefox Addon) and added a quickmark to it as goR. I just type that and any page becomes readable. Previously, for really awful sites, I would fire up Lynx and read it there.

Awful? (2, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 5 years ago | (#29123957)

At the top of the list is a Maine law that would require e-commerce sites to get parental approval before collecting minors' personal information.

Considering the fact that they are (1) a minor and (2) probably have much of the same "personal information" as the parents do, I fail to see how this is bad, actually. Theoretically, the parents are still somewhat responsible for their kids when they are minors. I don't see how enforcing that on the internet as well as in other things (such as getting your ears pierced) is a bad thing. Maybe you want to argue about the parental control in the first place, but it doesn't help to just have inconsistent laws...

Re:Awful? (4, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 5 years ago | (#29124093)

The problem is that there's basically no way to prove that you have parental approval, so it's essentially barring the websites from doing anything to collect information from minors (in excess of COPPA regulations, and in excess of what it's legal to collect offline, I believe).

Re:Awful? (0, Redundant)

supernova_hq (1014429) | about 5 years ago | (#29125791)

There's also no way for the website to prove that the user IS underage...

Re:Awful? (0)

Blackhalo (572408) | about 5 years ago | (#29129849)

"The problem is that there's basically no way to prove that you have parental approval, so it's essentially barring the websites from doing anything to collect information from minors"

Sooo, I'm not seeing a downside here. Everyone starts claiming to be minor to avoid marketing schemes? Nope, still not seeing a downside.

Re:Awful? (1)

Blackhalo (572408) | about 5 years ago | (#29130781)

Moderation -1 100% Overrated Well, that is not very nice. How can it be overrated when it was unmodded? I do not see a problem with prohibiting marketing to anyone who identifies themselves as a minor and a Mod has a problem with that?

Re:Awful? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124099)

WHY DON'T YOU LINK to the ACTUAL LIST? Instead of an ARTICLE about an ARTICLE about the List?

http://www.netchoice.org/press/misguided-marketing-restriction-and-online-travel-tax-top-list-of-worst-internet-legislation.html

Re:Awful? (5, Informative)

jbezorg (1263978) | about 5 years ago | (#29124609)

And WHY DIDN'T YOU LINK to the ACTUAL LIST? Instead of a PRESS RELEASE of an ARTICLE about an ARTICLE about the List after ragging on someone about NOT LINKING to the ACTUAL LIST and to an ARTICLE about an ARTICLE about the List?

http://netchoice.org/iawful/ [netchoice.org]

Re:Awful? (5, Funny)

Tolkien (664315) | about 5 years ago | (#29127611)

Hey, I saw this cool article [slashdot.org] on Slashdot today.

Re:Awful? (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | about 5 years ago | (#29129199)

Hey, cool, Tolkien just created the Slashdot Ouroboros. What will happen if enough people click on it? Will it implode to form a internet singularity? Warp space and time so our normal Slashdot is replaced with an evil Slashdot ( complete with goatee ) from another universe?

Re:Awful? (1)

navygeek (1044768) | about 5 years ago | (#29131787)

We'll end up slashdotting /.

Re:Awful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29125003)

Agreed. Pointless indirection.

Re:Awful? (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 5 years ago | (#29125245)

He did link to it. Clink on the "iAWFUL" hyperlink.

Re:Awful? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124169)

There's no way to verify that a person is over 18/21 except via credit card transactions... which most people are hesitant to provided for non-purchases.

If you require minors to get "parent consent" before submitting a form... it will either be invalidatable (new words are fun) or simply denied by a large portion of the site's traffic. Sure, you need your parents with you to get into an R-rated movie, but said parents are there physically to allow this transaction. This law basically forces everyone to hit a "I consent that my child may use your services" or for the parents to pony up their credit card info for their children joining MySpace.com

Re:Awful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124833)

My son has a "refillable" credit card that he uses for things like X-Box live points, etc. But he is not 18. I guess vendors have some way to tell the difference? I know he and my wife just refilled it the other day so he could make some online purchase or other on a web site. He had permission, but the site sure still had no way to know this. They just billed the card number he provided.

Re:Awful? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | about 5 years ago | (#29125659)

I had a debit card at the age of 16, and it is processable as credit. It is not a validation method of proving age.

Re:Awful? (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | about 5 years ago | (#29125795)

Last I checked you can't use a debit card over the internet...

Re:Awful? (1)

FCAdcock (531678) | about 5 years ago | (#29125905)

Last I checked I ordered pizza over the internet with one today at lunch.

Re:Awful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29126009)

processable as credit
did you see that?
processable as credit
I hope you can read.
processable as credit
I know I can.
processable as credit
I bet you can read, since you wrote a comment.
processable as credit
But you know what?
processable as credit
I'm having trouble believing that you can comprehend -
processable as credit
Comprehend anything and everything that you read.
processable as credit

Re:Awful? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | about 5 years ago | (#29126163)

Not as a debit card, no. Ones like mine with the Visa or Mastercard logo, however, can be processed as credit cards, however. It has a CVV and everything.

Re:Awful? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 5 years ago | (#29131439)

I use my Debit card on the internet all the time, as an actual debit card, not as credit.

Re:Awful? (1)

Pervaricator General (1364535) | about 5 years ago | (#29132885)

You most certainly do not, unless you have a way of securely entering your PIN.

Re:Awful? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 5 years ago | (#29134743)

Well, the money is debited from my account immediately, with no interest payments or further action required from me, exactly as it is when I use my PIN at a terminal in a store.

Unless the specifics of the technology are what is at issue here, but in terms of actual user experience, the terms "credit" and "debit" refer to the way you pay for your purchases.

Re:Awful? (1)

Zombywuf (1064778) | about 5 years ago | (#29137909)

I do love the PR campaign that has successfully convinced so many people that you can only buy things by paying interest on them.

Re:Awful? (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | about 5 years ago | (#29126573)

SRSLY, WTF ???

Amazon take debit cards, no problem. I have a corporate AmEx for business expenses and no personal credit cards. If a site won't accept Maestro, they've lost this particular customer.

Re:Awful? (1)

Entropic Alchemist (1613649) | about 5 years ago | (#29127427)

Last I checked you can't use a debit card over the internet...

You can't use an EFTPOS card over the internet (eg Maestro) but you can definitely use a debit Mastercard on the internet. Also, in Australia at least, you can't get a debit card until you are 18 (with most of the major banks).

Re:Awful? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 5 years ago | (#29131427)

Last time I check, about 5 minutes ago, when I ordered something on the internet with my debit card, you can, and this is actually being processed as debit, not as credit.

Re:Awful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29133575)

OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT YOU'RE WRONG!!!!! Okay, now that that's out of my system... To all those above me: seriously??!! Was he SO wrong you had to point it out *repeatedly* over the course of 14 hours (one of you felt the need to point it out twice). The first two posts saying he was incorrect weren't enough for you? (yes, I posted it twice, I fail too, I'm over it)

Re:Awful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29132065)

OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT YOU'RE WRONG!!!!!

Okay, now that that's out of my system... To all those above me: seriously??!! Was he SO wrong you had to point it out *repeatedly* over the course of 14 hours (one of you felt the need to point it out twice). The first two posts saying he was incorrect weren't enough for you?

Re:Awful? (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | about 5 years ago | (#29134989)

To all those that said I was wrong (I could be, I don't use my card all that often), does this apply to ALL debit cards, or only debit-mastercards?

Mine only says debit (along with the name of my bank) and as far as I knew the card was absolutely useless without the pin number (which only a real moron would put on the internet).

Re:Awful? (1)

Zombywuf (1064778) | about 5 years ago | (#29137959)

Buy something with it, see what happens.

Chip and pin is a joke BTW, you can still charge someones card with only the numbers on the front.

Re:Awful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124369)

The reason it is bad is because the law allows for private lawsuits which is effectively opening the door for lawsuits from parents whose children have been "victims" of this crime.

Now can you see why it is the worst of them?

Re:Awful? (5, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | about 5 years ago | (#29124375)

Disclosure: I live in Maine.

There are a few minor problems with a law like this:

1: Identifying minors. I remember dealing with COPA on the discussion boards I run, and basically I had a checkbox that says "you cannot access this site if you are a minor, check here to certify that you are, in fact, over 18 or the legal age of independence for your country." I routinely had 13 and 14 year olds on the site, who admitted they were underage, who had checked that box. Guess what? People lie. And if a 13 year old had used the site to hook up with an adult for sex, I probably would have shared some liability even though I had no way of knowing the actual age of my users. The Internet happens over great distances, and you don't get to check ID for or personally interview every user.

2: Logistics. How, precisely, do you go about collecting consent from a parent (assuming the kid tells the truth)? Do you have to physically call every parent when the kid signs up for an account? Is getting verbal consent enough, or do you have to get a signed letter? How do you know it's not forged? What if the kid is located in somewhere other than Maine? Maybe, God Forbid, in another country? This may come as a surprise in Augusta, but kids exist everywhere.

3: Jurisdiction. If I run a web site in Maine, am I required to collect information on minors living in Maine only, or worldwide? Alabama and Japan are not requiring this parental consent, so I'm now running at a disadvantage compared to a web site running from (say) New Hampshire. How about if I run a website in, say, Dusseldorf or Paris and want to sell to someone in Maine. Do I, as a foreign entity, have to adjust my e-commerce systems to suit Maine law?

4: Sense. If Little Jimmy gets ahold of his dad's credit card and buys something, well, that sounds like a discipline issue between Jimbo and Dad, doesn't it? Dad either (a) gave consent by handing over the credit card or (b) will be surprised to find out that Jimbo LIED on the form and claimed to be Dad when he bought his stuff.

#4 is particularly true if somehow the vendor is supposed to know that Jimbo is lying and it's not really his dad making the purchase.

Other than the fact that it's an unenforceable law governing something that Maine has no jurisdiction over in a way that makes it very hard to do business in or from Maine, and that it's trying to fix a problem that can't be fixed this way, heck, it's a great law.

Re:Awful? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#29128117)

The upshot is that if my website even offers a way to enter a name and address, I'd be best off blocking everyone in Maine just in case. Nobody wants to find themselves on the wrong side of a "think of the children" law, however innocently. Who knows what some eager beaver prosecutor will decide constitutes "serving teens".

Since a minor could also conceivably email me his name and address or otherwise post it without invitation, we'd better just de-peer the whole state just to be sure. Sorry about that natehoy!

Re:Awful? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 5 years ago | (#29128141)

It's OK, I understand and forgive you. Can I still do business with you if I can accurately describe the mating call of the 300-baud modem? That's GOTTA be solid proof. :)

Re:Awful? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 5 years ago | (#29128347)

Yes, but I reserve the right to also request that you describe your preferred method to TRY to stop an 8-track from slipping or to fix the horizontal hold on an analog TV :-)

Re:Awful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29129651)

Yes, but I reserve the right to also request that you describe your preferred method [snip] to fix the horizontal hold on an analog TV :-)

that's easy, you just bang the side of the TV.

Re:Awful? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about 5 years ago | (#29124835)

I fail to see how this is bad, actually. Theoretically, the parents are still somewhat responsible for their kids when they are minors.

That's exactly why this is bad. The parents should be responsible for what their kids do on the internet but this law passes that responsibility onto the websites.

Re:Awful? (1)

Karganeth (1017580) | about 5 years ago | (#29125281)

Idiots like you are the reason so many stupid laws exist.

Re:Awful? (0)

canajin56 (660655) | about 5 years ago | (#29125901)

It's not just information, it only applies to HEALTH INFORMATION. And it's not before collecting it, it's before collecting it for marketing aggregation purposes. The guys who wrote this list are the scum of the internet. Pretty much the entire list is "wahh, fucking privacy laws, it should be a crime NOT to collect the medical history of minors and sell it to drug companies."

Re:Awful? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29126161)

FTFA : "the law now says it's illegal for anyone to 'knowingly collect or receive health-related information or personal information' for marketing purposes from a minor without getting parental consent. The law includes a minor's name and address as personal information that cannot be collected without parental consent"

This covers a fairly broad range of information, and as it is entirely unenforceable by the web-sites, it sets up e-commerce sites for almost inevitable failure to uphold the law.

Regulating the Internet is silly. (4, Insightful)

shredluc (805905) | about 5 years ago | (#29123963)

The internet has been a wonderful thing for billions of people since it's inception. Why on earth are legislators trying to make it a quagmire like anything else they touch? Really it's a great example of market based forces and what they can accomplish. Please, for all our sakes, leave it alone.

Re:Regulating the Internet is silly. (2, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | about 5 years ago | (#29124139)

The internet has been a wonderful thing for billions of people since it's inception. Why on earth are legislators trying to make it a quagmire like anything else they touch? Really it's a great example of market based forces and what they can accomplish. Please, for all our sakes, leave it alone.

They have their thumbs in every pie but one. You think that letting it sit there, unregulated and unmolested, is even an option in their little iRule brains?

Re:Regulating the Internet is silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124199)

Water has been a wonderful thing billions of people since it's inception. Why on earth are legislators trying to make it a quagmire like anything else they touch? Really it's a great example of market based forces and what they can accomplish. Please, for all our sakes, leave it alone.

Re:Regulating the Internet is silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124939)

No ones paying you for that position, are they?

*This message brought to you by Citizens for a Floundering Electorate.*

Re:Regulating the Internet is silly. (1)

migla (1099771) | about 5 years ago | (#29125743)

[I]t's a great example of market based forces and what they can accomplish.

Fuck force. Especially fuck market based force.

Re:Regulating the Internet is silly. (1)

Eil (82413) | about 5 years ago | (#29126681)

Why on earth are legislators trying to make it a quagmire like anything else they touch?

Politicians seek to control the Internet because they believe that doing so will grant them more power.

Businesses seek to control the Internet because they believe that doing so will grant them more money.

Both are ultimately wrong, because the more you restrict what individuals can do on the Internet, the less useful it becomes to society as a whole.

Can we agree (3, Insightful)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | about 5 years ago | (#29123967)

to stop linking to itworld.com?

Justification:
  • They use the stupid popup-balloon-when-you-mouse-over-hyperlinks
  • They simply regurgitate press releases with virtually no added content of its own

Just a thought..

Re:Can we agree (1)

dmmiller2k (414630) | about 5 years ago | (#29124119)

Probably not.

We pretty well have to link to whoever has the original story, don't we?

I don't know what browser YOU'RE using, but for me, Firefox 3.52 + Adblock PLus 1.1.1 doesn't pop up anything by mousing over anywhere on the original article page.

Re:Can we agree (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | about 5 years ago | (#29124171)

The second link was the original article. That one was great, I have no problem whatsoever. I simply take issue with the first link - that one is pure evil.

Re:Can we agree (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | about 5 years ago | (#29124213)

And by "article" I mean "press release". The itworld.com article was in my opinion simply a recitation of the press release, and furthermore has terrible ECMAScript.

Re:Can we agree (1)

qortra (591818) | about 5 years ago | (#29124439)

Seconded. Also, did anybody else get "Server is Too Busy" in the balloon ads? Amateur hour.

iIt's iStupid iTo iPut i iInfront iOf iEverything (4, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | about 5 years ago | (#29123985)

iWow, iThat's iHard iTo iDo.

But, yeah, nice work.

Re:iIt's iStupid iTo iPut i iInfront iOf iEverythi (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 5 years ago | (#29124197)

In all fairless, just plain awful.com was probably already registered.

No, I'm not going there to check. It's probably a generic domain name squatter, but I don't want to risk it if I end up being wrong.

iShortcut iTo iStupidity (0)

clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) | about 5 years ago | (#29125077)

Step 1. Type desired text in word processing app.

Step 2. Change case to Title Case.

Step 3. Replace {space} with {space}i.

There, I streamlined a process that shouldn't exist.

Re:iIt's iStupid iTo iPut i iInfront iOf iEverythi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29125505)

Thats! Just! Like! Yahoo! Does!

Re:iIt's iStupid iTo iPut i iInfront iOf iEverythi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29127217)

iWow, iThat's iHard iTo iDo.

But, yeah, nice work.

But we've barely met!

Re:iIt's iStupid iTo iPut i iInfront iOf iEverythi (1)

mindcorrosive (1524455) | about 5 years ago | (#29130057)

There's an app for that..

Trade groups suck (5, Informative)

Publikwerks (885730) | about 5 years ago | (#29124007)

The law states its illegal to: "knowingly collect or receive health-related information or personal information for marketing purposes from a minor without first obtaining verifiable parental consent" MARKETING PURPOSES being the operative term here. This looks like a good law to me

Re:Trade groups suck (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124399)

The law states its illegal to: "knowingly collect or receive health-related information or personal information for marketing purposes from a minor without first obtaining verifiable parental consent" MARKETING PURPOSES being the operative term here. This looks like a good law to me

No kidding. The article struck me as corporate whining.

"Waaaah...they won't let us market to the kids. WAAAAAAH."

Can't sign up for customer newsletter (1)

originalhack (142366) | about 5 years ago | (#29130889)

Bad Law. [and I have successfully sued telemarketers under the TCPA]

This means that, if I run an e-commerce site and let my customers sign up for a newsletter or "special offers" by email when they make a purchase, I can be sued when a kid uses dad's credit card to make a purchase and asks to sign up for special offers, even if he lies about his age.

If this exempted sites using the data from their OWN site to follow up BY EMAIL, it would be different.
If this only covered health information, it would be different.
If this provided a reasonable standard for verification, it would be different.
If this only applied to PREDATORY marketing, it would be different.

Unfortunately, it means that CellphoneShop can't send me the monthly discount code because, even though I opted-in as I made a purchase, they can't be sure I'm not really a kid in Maine and my email address is personal information.

Petty and vaguely sordid. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 years ago | (#29124211)

Somehow it doesn't surprise me that this list is from a trade group.

The Top 10 "worst internet laws in America" manages to include nothing related to wiretapping, DMCA, or the like; but does manage to include a bunch of whining about advertisers not being able to aggregate user search information?

This looks like shiny astroturf for some of the scum of the internet. If you actually care about good laws and freedom, give the EFF a look.

Re:Petty and vaguely sordid. (5, Funny)

BabyDuckHat (1503839) | about 5 years ago | (#29124821)

This isn't from a trade group. It's from a group of ordinary consumers just like you. These informed consumers know that no personally identifiable data is being stored and in the event that it is stored it is only shared with trusted 3rd parties and affiliates. These consumers also appreciate the opportunity to accept valuable offers from reputable online companies. These consumers understand that the personalized marketing communications they receive can make their online experience richer and more engaging. This comment is subject to change at any time without notice.

Re:Petty and vaguely sordid. (1)

steelfood (895457) | about 5 years ago | (#29126305)

You had me until:

This comment is subject to change at any time without notice.

Re:Petty and vaguely sordid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29124995)

Second that. Somebody on the east coast and out of the office, please publish a list of their corporate owners and sponsors--maybe we can shame these astroturfing scum out of existence.

CAPTCHA: "merciful"

Laugh--people claiming to protect rights and privacy so that they can engage in more direct, targeted marketing deserve none for such deceit.

Re:Petty and vaguely sordid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29125043)

You underestimate the importance of selling class rings! Why do you hate America?

Re:Petty and vaguely sordid. (1)

kabloom (755503) | about 5 years ago | (#29125523)

What's so wrong about the hotel room tax anyway? It's enforceable, it doesn't put undue burden on companies outside its jurisdiction. They have to get their room rates from the hotels in NYC anyway and have to confirm reservations with the hotels in NYC anyway, so the burden is really on the hotels to give the appropriate pricing information and make sure the tax gets to the right place. And the hotels know where their reservations are coming from.

Re:Petty and vaguely sordid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29125665)

NYC is the Mecca for a lot of different industries... It's already insanely expensive to do anything there. If it keeps nickel and dime-ing every possible tax it can it may tax itself out of being the Western Mecca.

Re:Petty and vaguely sordid. (1)

Miseph (979059) | about 5 years ago | (#29129661)

Probably not. I suppose that if they really levied some absurdly, comically high taxes that might happen, but if nobody told you that your hotel room went from $150/night to $155/per night because of a new tax, you most likely wouldn't notice, let alone care.

The part I think is stupid is that they specifically levied it against internet buyers, but I suspect that this is more to prevent people from not paying the taxes they are already supposed to pay by purchasing online than some bizarre attempt to penalize people for using the internet.

you young whippersnappers... (2, Insightful)

ExE122 (954104) | about 5 years ago | (#29124401)

Perhaps the real problem is a lack of understanding. It seems that many lawmakers who try to deal with internet law have next to no technological knowledge about how the internet works, especially when it comes to e-commerce. (this looks like a good place for the obligatory 'tubes' link [wikipedia.org] ).

It seems like a lot of these laws are made with "good intentions" in that they are trying to prevent something they see as wrong: It sounds like the Maine law was trying to control the personal information dispersal of minors, and the law in New York was trying to keep it's residents from evading state taxes. They don't realize that the Maine law destroys a huge teenage market base in an already struggling economy, and that the New York law stifles e-commerce and causes a hastle for everyone outside of the state.

Unfortunately it looks like a lot of these laws are being proposed by individuals (I had originally written 'old farts' here but deleted it because it's unfair to old people... and to farts) have too narrow of a view to fully grasp the repercussions.

It's the same old complaint, I know (-1 Redundant) but I guess as long as there's slashdot, there will always be a place to bitch about it.

Re:you young whippersnappers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29125129)

For the "FAIR" Hotel tax coalition, it seems this group is doing the states bidding. I don't think it is the state directly, but is a front. That is, "FAIR" means it is a group of motels and hotels (the coalition) that don't want to discount their rates or have anything to do with the internet or travel agencies. Thus, they are losing business and can't fill their rooms since the consumer/traveler would have to pay the full room rate and the full tax rate if they stay with them. Thus they are hiding behind the front that it is the "state" doing all of this and let them take the heat for it. But the smart consumer (whippersnapper) will get the bargain deal, which this coalition doesn't like. Thus, they bargain with the state to support them to give legal muscle (even if there is no law) to get everyone to voluntarily collect or they will sue to collect!

I agree ... (1)

MacTO (1161105) | about 5 years ago | (#29124479)

I agree that it is a bad law in the sense that it is difficult for a site to know if a customer is a minor. So this law will only play out in one of two ways in the courts: the majority of lawsuits will be successful, even though it is currently impossible to judge the age of the customer (they can't ask for ID if they look too young, and minors will lie if asked their age); or there will be a glut of lawsuits that will fail because the courts acknowledge that the vendor cannot judge the age of the customer.

On the otherhand, I don't think that it's a bad law from the perspective of maintaining marketing information. An adult can legally consent to giving away that information, and some will acknowledge that they are more than happy to give away that information. (I personally think that it is stupid to give away personal information, but that is just me.) Minors do not automatically have the privilege to give away that information, for a variety of good reasons. One reason is to protect them from a system that they do not necessarily understand. Another reason is to protect their guardians from minors who give away personal association assocated to those adults. Yet another reason is that the guardian is (in many respects) legally responsible for the actions of the minor.

So the question, in my mind, isn't so much, "is the law good?" The question is, "how can we implement this law effectively?"

Re:I agree ... (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about 5 years ago | (#29124905)

I agree that it is a bad law in the sense that it is difficult for a site to know if a customer is a minor.

Not merely difficult, but impossible to positively identify who is sitting at the keyboard.

So the question, in my mind, isn't so much, "is the law good?" The question is, "how can we implement this law effectively?"

You have one too many words in your question. "Can we implement this law effectively?"
And the ansewr is "No".

Re:I agree ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29128007)

One reason is to protect them from a system that they do not necessarily understand.

That sounds great... now if only we could do the same by protecting the internet from the lawyers and politicians.

NYC Hotel taxes (2, Informative)

guyfawkes-11-5 (1583613) | about 5 years ago | (#29124673)

As if taxes on NYC Hotel weren't enough: As of June 2009, the taxes and other fees added to the daily hotel rate are: * New York State Sales Tax = 4% * New York City Sales Tax = 8.375% * Hotel Room Occupancy Tax = $2 + 5.875% * Additional Fee = $1.50

Full List URL (1)

smclean (521851) | about 5 years ago | (#29125175)

Re:Full List URL (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | about 5 years ago | (#29125319)

I click a link in my rss reader to get to slashdot to see the summary, click though to TFA, and then I have to click through again to the damn list itself. I didn't even make it to the last part. F itworld.

Class rings? (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29125295)

stop providing valuable services like [...] class rings.

Class rings are neither valuable nor a service. Just so's ya know...

Re:Class rings? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 years ago | (#29125581)

Not true: If you're seeing a girl who won't quite give it up in your senior year, sometimes giving her your class ring will put her over the edge.

Thanks again, jostens!

Re:Class rings? (2, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29125877)

Maybe the girls YOU dated in high school. If one of the girls I dated in high school discovered I had bothered to even get a class ring, she probably would have kicked me in the balls just before breaking up with me and finished it up with kicking me in the balls again.

Re:Class rings? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 years ago | (#29126475)

The girls that went to your high school sound unusually not superficial and not follow-the-herd. I think most of the girls at my high school were convinced guys had to get the class ring to graduate.

Re:Class rings? (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29126595)

The girls that went to your high school sound unusually not superficial and not follow-the-herd.

Only the ones I dated.

Re:Class rings? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 years ago | (#29126793)

huh, I got laid just by implying I might give her my class ring. I didn't ahve a girl friend, but I got laid a lot.

Maybe this is just me but... (1)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | about 5 years ago | (#29126591)

Maybe this is just me but I think we should stop forcing websites to conform to each and every states individual laws. We should have a standard that each category of site in the US would have to conform to, but not each state. Certain things obviously would be exempt (like you can't ship alcohol to utah, so sites just plain wouldn't list utah in their shipping info). But I find it absolutely ridiculous that if I were able to pass a law here that says all websites must be in klingon, they have to conform to it. WTF?

poster of story is awful (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 5 years ago | (#29126871)

here's what i find awful.

Is link to stories that aren't actually links to the story. It's a link to some other lame ass website that post the link to the story.

Here, I will say it slowly for you SFB's (Shit for Brains) that post these things.

If the link doesn't go to the original story, then you are posting the wrong link.

That means, if I click on the "Source" link and it goes to some webpage that actually has the "source" link on it, you fail. You suck, and you better get your 4 year old kid to show you how to post stories because you suck.

The most awful rule ever on the internet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29129613)

Rule 34. I'd say more, but there's the small matter of Rules 1 and 2.

One job had me reading the Federal Register (1)

smchris (464899) | about 5 years ago | (#29131263)

and our state's record of proceedings. I highly recommend the exercise. People who have never had the experience have no idea what horrors don't make it out of committee to catch the eye of the news.

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