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Internet Tax Approved By Louisiana House

spiritraveller Bad policy yes, slippery slope... not really. (305 comments)

It's just another tax on something that shouldn't be taxed... We already get taxed on ramen noodles, water, gasoline, cheeseburgers, cable television, telephones, and almost everything else.

If you're worried about a slippery slope, please glance downward at the icy incline and the skates on your feet.

It is kinda stupid to justify as way to pay for fighting "online crime". Why don't they levy an additional tax on retail sales and call it the "shoplifter arrest and incarceration tax".

more than 5 years ago

Robo-Arm Signatures Are Legal, Gov't Buys One

spiritraveller The real question (154 comments)

is whether a handwriting expert can tell the difference.

more than 5 years ago

ESPN's Play To Make ISPs Pay

spiritraveller It's their content and their business. (355 comments)

If you don't want it, don't factor it into your decision of who to buy internet access from. Conversely, if you DO want it, then DO factor it into your decision. If it's not available from any of the ISPs in your area, that's a cross you may have to bear.

Some ISPs provide free usenet access that a lot of people don't use.

Some ISPs provide free antivirus software that a lot of people don't use.

Some ISPs provide 24 hour tech support for home networks that a lot of people don't use.

I don't need any of things, but I'm not bitching about the fact that my ISP provides them to the customers who do find these things useful.

more than 5 years ago

RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions

spiritraveller Re:Who is this guy, & why does he not want to (333 comments)

Undoubtedly, the things they want to ask Oppenheim about have nothing to do with his work as a lawyer, they have to do with his work as a "principal" of the record companies, which he has himself represented himself to be.

How is that likely to reveal any relevant information in a lawsuit that alleges a copyright violation?

I know it's a pretty loose standard for what is discoverable, but I don't see what they're getting at.

more than 5 years ago

RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions

spiritraveller Re:Who is this guy, & why does he not want to (333 comments)

'. . . has acted as attorney of record for the record companies in several proceedings in Washington, D.C.'

So, if he represents the interests of the artists, (ahem), why is he - or his legal team, taking such extraordinary steps to avoid testifying?

If he is their attorney, one might wonder what it is that they intend to ask which would not be covered by the attorney-client privilege.

more than 5 years ago

Dvorak Layout Claimed Not Superior To QWERTY

spiritraveller Best reason to switch to Dvorak... (663 comments)

Before I switched to Dvorak two years ago, my wrists and knuckles would hurt after extended writing sessions. Doesn't happen anymore.

I'm not concerned about the speed. Why would you care about that, unless you are doing data entry for a living?

more than 5 years ago

Another Attempt At Using the Courts To Suppress an Online Review

spiritraveller Typical knee-jerk Slashdot reaction. (180 comments)

You can't go online and lie about someone falsifying billing records any more than you can put a full-page ad in the newspaper about it. It's called libel, and that's what the guy is being sued for.

I'm not saying the guy is lying or that the suit is justified. I don't know. Neither does anyone else here. Answering that question is what trials are for. Whether he's a quack or not, the chiropractor has a right to clear his name of these accusations if they are not true.

Freedom of Speech doesn't allow you to run out into the street and scream that your pharmacist is a child molester, unless he is.

more than 5 years ago

RIAA Claim of Stopping Suits "Months" Ago Is False

spiritraveller Re:Better title for this story... (141 comments)

I do, however, take great pains to be accurate. Unlike the RIAA's lawyers, being truthful is important to me.

Note that "the RIAA's lawyers" is such a large group that it's not likely any of them could have a defamation claim against NYCL based on the above statement.

more than 5 years ago

Lori Drew Trial Results In 3 Misdemeanor Convictions

spiritraveller Re:Shit (568 comments)

"Lori Drew is guilty of causing the death of an impressionable child who was not quite old enough to understand life and responsibility and consequence. She abused her position as a parent and an adult, and maliciously manipulated a child into killing herself. Just because the prosecution could not convict her of this, does not mean she did not do this. You can't use the Jersey Defense here, that Everything is legal as long as you don't get caught."

Of course they couldn't convict her of that. It's not a crime to do what she did, but for the fact that she used a pseudonym. If you want to make it a crime, pass a law and prosecute people who break it after the law takes effect.

Your Al Capone and "Jersey defense" comparisons are misplaced, and they have nothing to do with this case or this discussion.

Get a hold of yourself.

more than 5 years ago

Lori Drew Trial Results In 3 Misdemeanor Convictions

spiritraveller Re:Shit (568 comments)

"Yes, it is, if you use that pseudonym to chat with teenage girls and you encourage them to kill themselves and they follow through. Be very afraid."

That's not relevant to the crime she was charged with. If none of that had happened, she could still have been convicted.

This is an example of government using a bad law to reach a popular result. In this case, we tend to like the result, because it was used against a person who well and truly sucks.

If you trust that the government will never use these charges against people who don't well and truly suck, then you have more faith in the government than I do.

more than 5 years ago

Net Neutrality Vets Join Obama FCC Transition Team

spiritraveller Re:First thing the Bush admin did (179 comments)

"Clinton FCC" and "Bush FCC" are sort of misnomers. The FCC is an independent Federal agency that does not fall under the Executive branch.

Commissioners are appointed to five year terms by the President, with approval of the Senate. Once appointed, they are similar to Federal judges in that they may only be removed by impeachment (or the expiration of a term). The President has influence over who gets onto the Commission, but he cannot fire them or tell them what policy to make.

There is an additional check on the influence of the President in that no more than 3 of the 5 commissioners may be of the same political party. So the President can have some influence in who he appoints over time, but even if he gets two terms, he cannot completely alter the partisan make-up of the Commission.

more than 5 years ago



spiritraveller spiritraveller writes  |  more than 7 years ago

spiritraveller (641174) writes "The New York Times reports on a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case (PDF) holding that website can be held liable for some content that user's post on it. The court seems to rely on the fact that created checkbox choices which are alleged to violate the Fair Housing Act. The court also held the web site could not be liable for submissions in the "additional preferences" field because the website was not involved in creating that content.

Does this mean we'll be seeing fewer textareas and more checkboxes from now on?"

spiritraveller spiritraveller writes  |  more than 7 years ago

keeblerelf (641174) writes "Open source personal and small-business financial accounting software GnuCash ( used to be one of the most difficult programs to install on Linux. If it wasn't included in your distribution of choice, installation probably required compiling and installing around 20 different dependencies... not fun.

Until recently, a Windows version seemed unlikely...

But with beta version 2.1.0, GnuCash is now available in a Windows self-installing executable. I installed it on my wife's Windows laptop yesterday and it seems quite stable for a beta version.

The current stable version (2.0.5) can be installed on Mac OSX using the Fink installer ( or on Debian Linux with "aptitude install gnucash gnucash-docs" (as root of course). GnuCash can also be installed on Ubuntu fairly easily ( l-accounting-software-in-ubuntu.html).

GnuCash is a great free program with features that rival its ad-infested, monopoly-owned rivals. Why not try it out?

PS — It looks like now there is a complete suite of open source software that runs on both Windows and Linux. There is for an office suite (sans Outlook), Evolution (or Thunderbird with Lightning) for an Outlook replacement, Firefox for a web browser, the GIMP for photo editing, PidginIM for instant messaging (formerly called Gaim, but renamed to avoid a trademark dispute), and now GnuCash for accounting.

If you're thinking about switching to Linux, switching to these applications first could be a great way to prepare yourself and your data for the move."


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