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178 comments

If that position meant anything, maybe (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085829)

You're getting the heebie jeebies from an undersecretary? The position means very little, be glad he wasn't given a real job like a spot on the Supreme Court.

Re:If that position meant anything, maybe (2, Funny)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085876)

Really. A paper-pusher from the public policy department of what is in essence a law firm, getting hired to a government job? Now I've seen everything.

Re:What if it were all the undersecretaries? (3, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085965)

You're getting the heebie jeebies from an undersecretary?

That is fine and dandy, but one has to wonder if this goes on all the time.

Sure one undersecretary isn't that bad, but what if all positions like this were dealt in the same way.

Boil a frog, anyone?

Re:What if it were all the undersecretaries? (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086421)

That is fine and dandy, but one has to wonder if this goes on all the time.

You have to wonder if cronyism and giving government positions to connected corporate interests occurs all the time?

Let me help you out: Yes, it goes on all the time.

In this sense, the OP was right that a mere undersecretary position isn't anything special.

Re:What if it were all the undersecretaries? (2, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086793)

Boil a frog, anyone?

Um, no thanks. At least, not without a good dash of cajun spices, or perhaps some good curry or chinese chilis. Otherwise, the boiled frog won't sit in your stomach and digest very well.

Re:What if it were all the undersecretaries? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086978)

. . .what if all positions like this were dealt in the same way.

We'd have things as they are. You haven't been paying attention.

KFG

Bush's Record (1, Funny)

roni29 (966899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086678)

With Bush's record of 'qualified employees', we can hope that he at least attended 1 year of community college.

Re:If that position meant anything, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086881)

I head you can get the heebie jeebies from publib toilets...ewwwwww!

"Does this give anyone else the Heebie Jeebies??" (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085837)

if you say so shure.. else it is just the government in action again

Nothing to see here please move along..... oh and PAY US..

Re:"Does this give anyone else the Heebie Jeebies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086182)

Shouldn't that be government inaction?

GETTIN MO ASS TEHN A TOILET SEAT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15085841)


Re:GETTIN MO ASS TEHN A TOILET SEAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15085916)

And with the same spelling age.

I'M GETTING ERECT RIGHT THIS MINUTE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086045)

Standing up from my chair to get some coffee, that is.

Re:GETTIN MO ASS TEHN A TOILET SEAT (0, Offtopic)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086092)

So you let people shit through you as well?

Everyone except (4, Insightful)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085843)

Does this give anyone else the Heebie Jeebies??
Everyone except the Senators. They're getting new cars.

Re:Everyone except (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086532)

If the Bush Administration doesn't give you Heebie-Jeebies on a daily basis, you need to reduce your valium dosage.

Re:Everyone except (0, Offtopic)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086585)

Offtopic, but I just wanted to say that your sig is awesome--I've sent it around to a number of people already.

Creepy...

Re:Everyone except (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086879)

I like this one better.

The difference between the US [google.com] and China [google.com] .

Re:Everyone except (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086997)

You might want to check out the documentary "Waco: The Rules of Engagement." It's really chilling.

In addition, I think you PROVED the point--the US government can do terrible things, but the truth is out there, and readily available. No fear of government erasure of non-official events (or erasure of people).

Re:Everyone except (1)

fishdan (569872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15087076)

Ok, you LIKE this one better, but do you understand the point of the OP was about google and censorship and the countries? I think you actually could be agreeing with the OP -- Waco was indeed a complete FU and violation of the rights of the indivuduals -- but it was publicized and things have changed (although not enough for me). Certainly the US government is not telling Google not to display search results for david koresh waco.

So if your point was that it's cool to live in a place where the gov't fuck-up make front page news, I completely agree with you -- but then why compare it to the US version of the Tienamen search?

Oh no (5, Funny)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085846)

Now the government might start using bad data to justify ridiculous copyright laws and restriction of users' rights! But wait, surely no-one would let them get away with that?

It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085881)

The BSA was pretty impotent. They achieved only a tiny bit of what they could have, had they had half a clue. Personally I hope they hire more people from the BSA.

Re:It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling (2, Informative)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086278)

They may have underachieved, but they've had a significant influence. They've had offices raided by armed marshals and who knows how many disgruntled employees report their employers. They've put millions of dollars into advertising campaigns. The BSA [msversus.org] has an office in Washington, D.C. I'm sure it's not just to be near the famous attractions. There's definitely a lot going on. You just don't hear much about it.

Re:It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling (2, Informative)

DSP_Geek (532090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086551)

You can goddamn betcha the BSA has had an influence. My startup will be a Microsoft-free zone - I can't afford to have my business disrupted by a bunch of extortionate asshats because someone might have slipped up with an Office CDROM, and why go through the hassle of switching when I can do it properly right from the git-go?

http://news.com.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html [com.com]

So long, Redmond. You coulda had a bunch of seats, but I'm too busy to watch my back for the BSA, and frankly the security holes aren't helping much either. Seeya.

Re:It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling (1)

gitargr8 (966020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086300)

Personally I hope they hire more people from the BSA.


Don't you think we have enough underachievers in the governmnet already?

I'm shocked! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15085885)

I would have thought they would have went with some script kiddie or long-haired open source zealot, but instead they went with an industry man. Still scratching my head over this one.

Re:I'm shocked! (0, Flamebait)

ROU Nuisance Value (253171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086370)

Oh, a bought-and-paid for industry lobbyist in a Bush White House cabinet position! Of course! What was I thinking?

Long live BSA (2, Funny)

jamesl (106902) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085890)

Here's a guy who ran a market-leading motorcycle company into the ground in the days of carburettors, coil ignition and chain drive. Now he's in charge of technology for the good old US of A.

I loved those BSA motorcycles.

Re:Long live BSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086144)

Word. The english knew how to build fine motorcycles. None of that nonsense HD puts out.

Re:Long live BSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086254)

The Brits still make damn good motorcycles: Triumph makes some really nice motorcycles, the Daytona 675 and Speed Triple in particluar.

Re:Long live BSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086483)

Now now, no need to disparage HD. You might not like their bikes but plenty of people do. I'd agree with the fact that they lag in the technology arena but they're comfortable, reliable and fun to ride. I'm no HD zealot just because I own one. If I was going on a long (Time and space) trip I'd rather do it on a beemer. But for what I do HD fits the bill nicely.

Re:Long live BSA (1)

pedalman (958492) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086615)

"I loved those BSA motorcycles."
You obviously forgot this bit of trivia about Beezers.

Everybody thinks BSA is for "Birmingham Small Arms", but it really means "Bastard Stopped Again".

All hail to Joe Lucas, Prince of Darkness.

It's consistent (5, Informative)

ktappe (747125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085903)

This administration is all about foxes guarding the henhouse. Considering that ex-oil executives are energy czars and ex-forestry industry personnel are in charge of monitoring the environment, this latest move really shouldn't come as a surprise.

-Kurt

Better Analogy (2, Insightful)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086075)

This administration is about propagandists writing the dictionary. I just watched the Commerce committee's hearing on Grokster [senate.gov] , and it's depressing how often they throw around the term "intellectual property"

Them I forgive; they're senators, not technologists. But note this well:

As Cresanti pushes to expand the scope and scale of software patents, he knows full well that the term "intellectual property" is problematic at best and outright deceitful at worst. As rms said, when people use this term they are either confused or attempting-to-confuse-you.

The senators are confused. Cresanti is a propagandist

Re:Better Analogy (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086352)

The senators are confused.

And what should that tell you about the people that elect them?

Re:Better Analogy (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086545)

It tells me they either 1)Don't know their senators are confused; or 2) Don't mind.

1) is often true because until very recently there has been almost no legitimate fourth estate in this country.

2) is often true because people can be shortsighted. e.g. they'll re-elect an incumbent who has brough federal dollars into the district, forgetting that district concerns are not the business of the federal government/tax base

Re:Better Analogy (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15087001)

Maybe I didn't make myself clear. Politicians want money, power, and all the associated perks. For the most part the winners of an election are successful. So my question is, where's the confusion? We believe their lies and then wonder why nothing changes for the better. It seems that the confusion is on our part. Your number 2 reason tells part of the story. And to tell the truth, I don't believe that the voters are as confused as they are as corrupt as the people they elect. Most use their vote as a method to achieve some higher status than their neighbors. This reasoning goes a long way to explain the type of people we have in high office.

Re:It's consistent (2, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086107)

Yup, I don't think that they have missed a single opportunity to suckle at the cock of big buisness.

Lets not forget to add to that list no bid sweetheart deal contracts for hailburton. Installing a big oil consultant as head of afghanistan, tax cuts, defeating net neutrality... doesn't seem to matter the issue, as long as it doesn't mean a bare breast on TV big buisness can just have its way.

-Steve

Re:It's consistent (0, Troll)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086400)

Lets not forget to add to that list no bid sweetheart deal contracts for hailburton

Please post your list of other firms with the personnel, experience, clearances, and other requirements ready to go, right then when needed. Then explain why they would have been cheaper and done a better job, and how the time spent bidding a mixed bag of hard-to-define-in-advance service requirements around through the CBD would have been quicker or ultimately in any way more effective.

Installing a big oil consultant as head of afghanistan

You'd rather that country's leadership was from more of a rural, poppy-growing industry? Or perhaps a retired warlord? There isn't much industry of any kind IN that country, so someone with the connections to actually get things working (with a legitimate business sector) in the local economy is critical. And perhaps you're forgetting the multiple rounds of actual, man-on-the-street votes that dictate the staffing of that country's government?

tax cuts

Which demonstrably, and directly contribute, year after year, to higher overall tax revenue and the economic activity that continues to produce more jobs. Please post your theory on how raising taxes contributes to employment, other than in government programs.

defeating net neutrality

BS. Stopping legislation that would require it has nothing to do with whether or not a provider can be as neutral as they choose. If you don't like the notion of the owner of a network running it as they see fit, start your own network and get customers by telling them that's part of your deal. Bandwidth provided by SBC (or Earthlink, or AT&T or Acme Smalltown Cableco) is not some natural resource: it's a product/service. The person providing the service can do as they please, and you can deal with them, or not. Would you rather the government also told landscaping companies that they have to charge the same rate for a mowed square foot of grass whether their customer is a townhouse owner or the owner of a 500 acre golf course? Let the market decide.

You'll make more rhetorical points if you don't try to string together a bunch of causality-confused, empty non-sequitors to paint some picture of The Man.

buisness can just have its way

So, buy your antibiotics, high-speed graphics cards, textiles, soybeans, airplane engines, high capacity batteries, and rolls of CAT5 from your local mom-and-pop manufacturers. Those tiny companies are always able to get you lower prices, innovative products, and nation-wide availability on demand. Have fun!

You brainless moron moderators.... (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086588)

That's not a troll. Go back to your dictionary, the Declaration of Idependence, your basic civics class, perhaps some study of ancient Greek or Roman discourse and consider the terms "thesis", "antithesis", "argument" and "discourse".

Oh wait, you haven't got to Civics 101. That's right, you're still in the basement of your parent's house.

Can slashdot at least check for the AGE of the moderators before giving out points. I thought you had to be older than 13 to be here.

Re:It's consistent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086701)

I don't agree with all your points, but you make a good argument, so I modded you +1 Insightful. Just wanted to let you know that not everyone mods based on their personal beliefs.

(posting anonymously so my mod points aren't removed)

Re:It's consistent (1)

coshx (687751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086723)

crap..that didn't work...posting anonymously still removed my mods (i guess i should have logged out first)

sorry.

Re:It's consistent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086782)


So, buy your antibiotics, ... from your local mom-and-pop manufacturers.


Nope, all I want is to buy them from Canada. Oh...

Re:It's consistent (1, Insightful)

Boronx (228853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086220)

We, the American people are to blame.

We elected a drunken frat boy to bring honor and dignity back to the whitehouse.

We elected a man who cavorts with gay prositutes to satisfy our "pro-marriage" bigotry.

We elected a man who is beholden to Saudi oil money and Neocon insanity to run a humbler foreign policy.

We elected a man who openly prefers dictatorship (just so long as he's the dictator) to defend the consititution.

Yeah, there're foxes in the hen house, and we put them there, cheering the whole way. Twice.

Re:It's consistent (1)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086891)

We elected a man who cavorts with gay prositutes to satisfy our "pro-marriage" bigotry.

Are you referring to Bush?? Where did you get this from?

Re:It's consistent (3, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086262)

This administration is all about foxes guarding the henhouse.

It could also be argued that the administration is picking people who know something about what they're regulating and understand the issues. Mind you, I don't say you're wrong, just that there's more than one interpretation of this.

Re:It's consistent (3, Informative)

DSP_Geek (532090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086619)

After Rumsfeld fucking up Iraq, Chertoff screwing up FEMA, the entire Administration blowing up the budget, FCC administrators selling us down the river to Jeezemoids and junk faxers, and various PR mouthpieces stifling scientists, picking someone who knows the matter at hand would be a freaking first for this bunch.

Re:It's consistent (2, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086857)

It could also be argued that the administration is picking people who know something about what they're regulating and understand the issues. Mind you, I don't say you're wrong, just that there's more than one interpretation of this.

So it's a coincidence that they are all from the pro-business side of the resource managed? I do see how they could select people in the know, but to only select people from within the industry that had direct conflicts with the exact same government agency they are now working for, and often with personal interest remaining in the industry they left doesn't seem to be filling the positions with people that will fulfull the duties to the best of their abilities. Even if they happened to be the most qualified person on the planet, there would still be some internal conflicts.

Once or twice isn't an issue, but picking everyone from the same cookie-cutter is indicating that it isn't knowledge they seek, but a point of view.

Re:It's consistent (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15087019)

I don't think you understand the statement "foxes guarding the henhouse."

No one comprehends the issues of henhouses better than the foxes who regularly attempt to defeat them. Both the farmer and fox understand the issues quite well. They are both experts in the field. The question is motive, not competence.

Business as Usual (5, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085937)

> Former BSA VP Confirmed as Tech Undersecretary

Sounds like par for the course to me.

About the same as a Doubleclick hack [wired.com] (Nuala O'Connor Kelly, Chief "Privacy" Officer of Doubleclick) advising HomeSec on privacy.

Or the Gator/Claria hack [slashdot.org] (D. Reed Freeman, former Gator/Claria Chief "Privacy" Officer) sitting on HomeSec's Data "Privacy" and "Integrity" Advisory Committee.

Maybe we should be thankful. Based on precedent, the BSA guy should be put in charge of the Copyright office, or perhaps hired by NSA to... adjust its priorities when it comes to what sort of traffic is worthy of further investigation.

Anyone taking bets on when Jeff Bezos gets picked to head USPTO?

Re:Business as Usual (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086011)

I thought they were planning on tapping James Wallace (lead council for NTP) to head up the USPTO.

Re:Business as Usual (3, Informative)

Puhase (911920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086056)

Had to look twice at that second reference. Gator!? The guys who practically invented mainstream data-mining? I've seen some of the inside of Homeland Security and I was depressed at its prospects. But between this and the fact that they regularly hire sexual predators to defend us,

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000294.php [tpmmuckraker.com]

this is getting to ALMOST be so scary its funny.

Re:Business as Usual (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086625)

this is getting to ALMOST be so scary its funny.

when was it ever funny ?

Re:Business as Usual (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086895)

"But between this and the fact that they regularly hire sexual predators to defend us,"

Would you be so quick to damn any organization as a whole if one of their execs turned out to be a pedophile?

The sad thing is it probably happens more often than we think. That fact, however, shouldn't reflect upon the companies/organizations for whom they happen to work.

Re:Business as Usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086250)

You clearly don't know how these panels work, do you?

You have people from industry and people from various NGOs. That way you get a full spectrum of opinion, knowledge and exerptise.

Re:Business as Usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086428)

> You have people from industry and people from various NGOs. That way you get a full spectrum of opinion, knowledge and exerptise.

And yet it always seems to be the foxes being asked for their opinions on chicken raising.

Duties of the Office and Suing Public Schools. (3, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086443)

From TFA:

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Technical Information Service and the Office of Technology Policy all fall under the oversight of the Technology Administration

So there's one big no vote on making any free file formats or programs standard issue for government offices. That's a big deal.

People from the BSA have no place in government service in any case. The BSA is an organization that sued public schools systems for copying a text editor [salon.com] . People who do things like that should be shunned.

Ugh, he even looks like a bit character from the Sopranos [hillnews.com] .

Re:Duties of the Office and Suing Public Schools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086639)

The BSA is an organization that sued public schools systems for copying a text editor...

Let me clarify and finish your sentence: ... public school districts that were found to be engaging in widespread, systematic and institutional piracy of commercial software.

Now, the concept of copyright infringement (especially in regards to software) might not be a popular one around here, but nonetheless, the fact remains that under current law what they were doing was illegal. Spinning it as "the poor teachers copied a text editor and they got sued by the evil BSA" hardly helps your cause. Instead of these rather misguided "evangelization" efforts, let's all work towards changing existing IP law.

We wouldn't want anyone to think that you were engaged in some sort of reverse FUD effort, now would we.

Ugh, he even looks like a bit character from the Sopranos.

Yes, that's hilarious.

Hit it like the nail it is. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086825)

A fairly obnoxious AC writes:

"the poor teachers copied a text editor and they got sued by the evil BSA" hardly helps your cause.

You are entitled to your belief, but most people would dissagree.

This is the heart and soul of how non free software is evil and how out of whack "IP" laws are. Most people think of schools as worthy of public support and money. The BSA thinks of them as a source of money and thinks that money is more important than the school's mission. These suits were carried out in the most disruptive way possible. People understand that's wrong. They should also know the intimidation effect of those suits and the massive amounts of public money wasted keeping track of licenses and all that, to avoid more of the same. The case also nicely illustrates why it's wrong to use a non free file format as a communications standard, which is something the public also understands very well now.

If the BSA wanted to look good, they would leave schools of all types alone. Unlike "piracy", this would not have cost them a thing but a few lost sales. I'm glad they were so stupid because it shows them for what they are and encourages the use of free software. No one likes being threatened. Threatening public education is about the dumbest thing a private company can do.

It's the suit mentality. (1)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086583)

Republicans are suits. It's what's in their soul. They're suspicious of anyone who's not a player "in business" in one way or another, and they really feel least threatened around PHB types, whom they see as "normal" and "regular" people (i.e. fellow white bread borgeouis suits).

It's no wonder, therefore, given the current American political climate and composition at the federal level, that the suits are taking over. When the powers that be select a head for anything, they don't begin with a long line of people that have expertise in that area. They begin with "let's gather up all our fellow suits in the private sector" and then, from those mindless, leeching suits, they select whomever has operated, in his/her suit capacity, in the nearest field, at the highest level on the corporate ladder.

It's a dream market for PHBs, they can all move into the public sector, pad their resumes, gain undreamed of policy power, and enjoy cushy federal retirements.

The rest of us, of course, get fucked, but then I'm sure the suits would say that if we're the types of people who "get fucked" just becuase the suits are in charge, then we're probably not suits, therefore not "normal" and "American," and therefore deserve to get fucked anyway. They'll be sympathetic to us once we get a job as a middleman in the "service economy," buy an Eddie Bauer hummer, and start holding "power barbecues" at the office as we manage our outsourced Indian underlings. Until then, we're just lazy, or worse, terrorists.

Heebie-Jeebies? Hardly (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15085952)

If this administration was to make an appointment that didn't favor business interests over the needs of the populace, THEN I'd be worried. I'd be expecting a time-space continuum breach or the earth spinning off its axis or something.

Re:Heebie-Jeebies? Hardly (1)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086419)

What the parent said. With this administration, you come to expect stupid, business-whoring, citizen-stomping moves in everything they do.

Copyright Lobbyists now part of the US Govt? (5, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085960)

From a ZDNet Aug.1, 2005 Declan McCullagh article titled , Copyright lobbyists strike again [zdnet.com]
The Central American nations participating in CAFTA must also:
- Permit software patents
- Extend copyright protection to "70 years after the author's death"
- Ban the "manufacture" or "export" of any hardware or software that could decode encrypted satellite TV signals
- Offer "online public access to a reliable and accurate" WhoIs database of domain name registration details

It's true that these may be ideas beloved by the Bush administration and business lobbyists, but they have far more to do with special-interest lobbying than traditional notions of free trade.

In reality, they're simply the latest in a string of victories that copyright lobbyists have managed to accumulate in the last decade--under both Democratic and Republican presidents--through adept work at influencing the arcane process of treaty drafting.

Negotiating below the radar "We push for that in trade agreements and treaties and bilateral" agreements, Robert Cresanti, vice president for public policy at the Business Software Alliance, told me last week. Members of his group include Adobe Systems, Cisco Systems, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel and Microsoft.

Re:Copyright Lobbyists now part of the US Govt? (1)

DSP_Geek (532090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086681)

To quote from "Ed Wood", McCullagh is not fit to suck my shit. The bastard essentially faked the Al Gore story, then the stupid sonovabitch boasted about it. Nice attempt at slithering back to respectability, Declan, hope you enjoyed the taste of Rove's cock after the entire country got butt-fucked.

http://www.sethf.com/gore/

Re:Copyright Lobbyists now part of the US Govt? (1)

schweini (607711) | more than 8 years ago | (#15087022)

yea, i'm living in costa rica right now, and that part of the CAFTA (called 'TLC' here) is really scary, amongst many, many other things.

but the impressive part that Richard Stallman was here on a conference about 3 years ago, and predicted EXACTLY that, and spelled out all the dangers that this implies for the kind of new, yet supposedly booming software-industry here. this is gonna suck.

I'll tell you this much... (1)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085967)

...it sure makes me want to switch every computer I can to Linux in a hurry.

Jeez, don't scare me like that! (3, Funny)

Creosote (33182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085975)

I first interpreted "BSA" in your title as Boy Scouts of America... ... and given the nature of Bush Administration appointments, it would have been about as likely.

Re:Jeez, don't scare me like that! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086060)

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
I don't see how you can make that connection.

Re:Jeez, don't scare me like that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086281)

Exactly. As an eagle scout, i can say that the boy scouts stand pretty much against the bush&co idea of "get more for the rich, let the poor help themselves" or "kill anyone for profit"

Re:Jeez, don't scare me like that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086339)

Funny, my friend works for the Boy Scouts. They all very much support this president.

Re:Jeez, don't scare me like that! (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086288)

On my honor I will do my best,

To help the Girl Scouts get undressed.

Re:Jeez, don't scare me like that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086330)

Given the Boy Scouts of America blatant homophobia and hatred of non-Christian religions, along with the obvious gender discrimination inherent in the name, having a Boy Scout as any part of the government would easily give me the heebie jeebies.

A member of the Business Software Alliance, not so much. At the very least he should have some clue about how the technology industry works. Maybe be a little overzealous on the DRM side, but I really can't imagine the Business Software Alliance being any worse than the MPAA-sponsored representatives already in Congress.

Re:Jeez, don't scare me like that! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086983)

A Scout is
  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean, and
  • Reverent,

Re:Jeez, don't scare me like that! (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086095)

Boy Scouts of America is the only context I've ever heard the acronym BSA used before. I was thinking the same thing.

He a freakin lawyer? (2, Informative)

joschm0 (858723) | more than 8 years ago | (#15085989)

In addition to his role at the BSA, Cresanti is a former senior vice president and general counsel for the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA), as well as a former staff director of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, FCW reports.

Parallel World (2, Interesting)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086031)

A key role of Free and Open Source Software is to maintain a parallel world where we don't have to be the captive audience of greedy and inefficient industrialists. If the FOSS notion could be extended to a wide variety of physical devices, appliances, vehicles, and other everyday items, we could protect ourselves and our future even better.

Generic "robotic" hardware, computer-controlled devices that do useful work for their owners, seems to be a required next step to convert centralized mass production into distributed mass production. Still the stuff of sci fi, though.

Re:Parallel World (1)

justinchudgar (922219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086331)

I'm hoping that Sun's decision to open source the T1(niagara) design will be a leading step in this direction. If the greedy suits are willing to partner with community experts in a truly open way, the suits with the capacity for mass production and the community can both benefit. While it would be nice to download the latest development design of the K12 processor and cut a wafer in my garage, I'll be happy if the best current ideas find their way to me via major corporations.

A Free World (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086665)

A key role of Free and Open Source Software is to maintain a parallel world where we don't have to be the captive audience of greedy and inefficient industrialists.

The goal of free software is global liberation. The point of free software is to give the user control of their hardware. They must own their software to have that. The list of people who would strip that control includes government as well as private agencies. Everyone should understand exactly what they are giving up when they push the "I agree" button and everyone should know that free alternatives exist. If they don't, your and my options can vanish as bad laws make it impossible for people to share information required to make hardware work. You should not take encroachment lying down. The BSA is morally wrong and should not be allowed to influence the law.

You can't force people to be free but can spread the word and you don't have to help enslave others. You can avoid the use of non free programs and formats. You can tell people why those things are wrong. You can also complain when forced by others to make a choice between your software freedom and co-operating with them. Yes, you can do all of the above without looking of feeling like an ass. When it's your government that does the forcing, as FEMA did in the wake of Katrina and Rita, they are doing it with your money and this is much worse.

You can't get around the government. A store that does not support my free browser won't get my money, someone else will. My wife will write them a letter telling them how she would like to give them her money, but can't. They do listen and respond. If your government decides to make a non free program their "standard" for doing business, you are stuck. That kind of lock in is the last hope for non free software makers. Everyone else, including state governments, are turning away.

Sheesh, what a day (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086032)

AT&T/NSA domestic spying, junk faxers unleashed, BSA entrenching in gov't, lawsuits galore, fibonacci poetry...

I need half a bottle of Valium just to read /. anymore.

Re:Sheesh, what a day (4, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086088)

I need half a bottle of Valium just to read /. anymore.

Sorry, your Scientologist pharmacist won't be providing that to you any more because he has found it is against his religion. You'll just have to fly to Canada to read /.

Re:Sheesh, what a day (1)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086218)

Sorry, your Scientologist pharmacist won't be providing that to you any more because he has found it is against his religion. You'll just have to fly to Canada to read /.

I've offshored my pharmacist. I don't think they have Xian fundies or Scientologists in Pakistan.

Public Policy (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086054)

The best public policy is found and served by understanding the public. The public is a group of individuals who make individual decisions that best serve their lives now rather than later. This is true as we see that people would rather spend today rather than save for tomorrow, and they know they can live tomorrow by passing on the costs of retirement to the next generation rather than their offspring.

To put a crony into this chief position is not news, it is status quo. The public is never served by the politicians, especially those who are not voted into office directly (which can have even worse consequences). The public is served by letting people make billions of decisions separately, and letting businesses and individuals find ways to serve those decisions, instantaneously adapting the market to what the public wants at that moment.

By the time government is ready to react, it is usually too late and unnecessary. Even worse, many of government's reactions are to previous reactions that were too late, making the situation even worse for the millions of individuals making billions of decisions, sometimes unable to get what they truly want because that decision has been judged criminal by previous generations of politicians who never appreciated that the individual's need is best served by the individual's decisions.

Read F.A. Hayek's many books for more details.

You were expecting? (3, Funny)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086070)

What? You were expecting Cowboy Neal to be appointed?

Re:You were expecting? (1)

pedalman (958492) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086658)

You mean he was an option? Damn.

No heebie jeebies (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086093)

Does this give anyone else the Heebie Jeebies?

No, I'm used to this sorta news by now.

So what? (2, Funny)

mgessner (46612) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086314)

So what? Who cares? Why is the BSA such a bad thing, unless you're into stealing software?

In case you're serious (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086489)

If you really think "software pirates" are the only ones who need to look out for the BSA:

Ernie Ball [com.com] has something to tell you. Not sure that's the best account of that story. Then there are the school districts [salon.com] that have been attacked. They tend to pick targets and make examples of them. Sure, lots of places have "casual" violations, but the BSA comes in and asks you for affirmative proof of license for every piece of software on every computer you have - or else.

Apparently (IANAL) most people screw up by letting these folks in the door - they aren't the law after all. Some say the only thing you should show them is your middle finger.

Re:In case you're serious (1)

mgessner (46612) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086744)

I am serious. School districts who are stealing software are stealing.

As for Ernie Ball, ignorance got him. I didn't notice if the article mentioned who turned him in, but that's not important for this discussion.

I'm glad there's someone to make them legal.

As for showing them the finger, if they have probable cause, they'll come with the law. Showing them the finger may get them away long enough that you can get them away, but they'll be back with a warrant quicker than you can buy & install legal copies.

I don't see why any of this is a big deal.

"So what? Who cares?"

Re:In case you're serious (1)

fuzznutz (789413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086969)

I am serious. School districts who are stealing software are stealing.
Allow me to be the first to remind you that stealing software requires the perpetrator to actually take the software media and remove it from its former owner. I think you mean infringe on copyright.

Frantically waving your arms and yelling stealing does not make it theft. Now go back to your cube at the RIAA and troll somewhere else.

Re:In case you're serious (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15087056)

"I'm glad there's someone to make them legal."

I'd almost agree with you on that. The BSA just does enough to scare a portion of their customers into compliance. They need to be more effective. If people could not readily rip-off whatever software they felt like using and had to pay for it, more would switch to alternatives that are actually supposed to be free. BSA needs to be more like RIAA and MPAA to get the word out.

"I don't see why any of this is a big deal."

It's not. BSA is pro-business (the B) and the government likes to recruit people like that. No supprise. BSA has a reputation that people don't like, so people get upset about this. You're reading a site that has a heavy anti-microsoft attitude (among many readers), and BSA is practically an arm of Microsoft. A BSA guy in government is like MS getting a little more power so it's not going to go over well on slashdot. I agree, it wasn't really news.

The BSA...I remember them... (4, Insightful)

Expert Determination (950523) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086325)

When I tried to sell a bunch of (legal) copies of some Adobe software on Ebay the BSA told Ebay to pull my auction because I was breaking the law. I sent Ebay a pretty snotty email about how ridiculous it was that they'd listen to a third party making random accusations that were completely and utterly unfounded. Clearly they had gone scouting through Ebay looking for all sales of software by their members accusing them all of piracy. My ad had even made a special point of having photos to show the original packaging and I had spelled out the fact that I was ready to carry out a proper transfer of license through Adobe. They didn't even read that far.

Fortunately Ebay did in fact reinstate my auctions but I was pretty unhappy about the disgusting way I had been treated. I can only hope that the shoot first, ask questions later attitude will be moderated now that this guy has a government job.

Re:The BSA...I remember them... (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086525)

I can only hope that the shoot first, ask questions later attitude will be moderated now that this guy has a government job.

Ha! Moderated? More likely you'll be dragged off to a federal prison after you post your item on eBay, and when you prove it was really legal, in court, 2 years later, they'll let you go.

The answer is... (1)

C-Diddy (755183) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086544)

No.

Did not RTFA (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086570)

But what is with government officials running technology that know nothing about it? Can a policy paper pusher possibly understand the direction that technology is going?

I work in the government and this is a serious problem for me. It is just too hard to get things done when your project manager is using words like doohicky and thingamagig. When they do try to BS their way through a presentation with fellow policymakers and managers, it is all you can do to keep from crying at the blatant misunderstanding of technology.

no (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086632)

Does this give anyone else the Heebie Jeebies??

No. I've had jobs I wasn't thrilled about either, but they paid well and gave me valuable experience. I refuse to judge this man, his impact on public policy, or any other aspect of this based on Slashdot groupthink about the BSA.

Re:no (1)

shrubya (570356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086988)

Bullshit. Yeah, your personal views are rightly irrelevant if you're a faceless IT guy at EvilCo. They're EXTREMELY important if you're Vice President at a LOBBYING organization. You don't get or keep a job like that if you don't believe what you're saying.

But I suppose your post is right on par for someone who DOESN'T say what he actually believes. Come on, just spit it out already: "I personally support both the BSA and the Bush administration, so I think this guy is a great choice."

Watch out kids... (1)

Kalie Ma (34184) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086652)

Don't copy that floppy!

Google Video Linky [google.com]

He'll fit right in... (1, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15086777)

A BSA guy will fit right in with the rest of the sleazy bunch in the white house and their enron-like supporters. Is there even ONE senior guy in the Bush administration who puts the good of the country ahead of private agendas and interests?

Anti-Semitic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15086869)

Heebie Jeebies is an anti-semitic phrase. Please discontinue using it or you're just contributing to spreading hate.
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