Google vs. Microsoft On the Desktop
Very true. Local councils, especially, seem to only run IE6. There's a persistent 15-20% of our users who remain stubbornly on IE6 - this hasn't changed since this time last year, and all the inroads being made by IE8 are at the expense of IE7.
USAF Violates DMCA, Escapes Unscathed
The word "republic" has a few more shades of meaning; from the Latin "res publica", or "public affairs", it implies that the affairs of the nation are the collective interests of its public citizens, rather than the private domain of a despotic monarch.
The US system of government is basically the British parliamentary system from c. 1780, replacing the monarch with a president and with greater and more formalised democracy. Certainly you guys seem to treat your presidents with far more respect that we treat our cretinous prime ministers... :)