february, 25, 2002 archives

senator joseph biden wrote a screed in the la times about how piracy costs american jobs. what a smokescreen. if the argument were simply about american jobs, the h1-b visa would be under some serious scrutiny right now. (and how about hollywood's virtual relocation to canada?)

it's funny to read about the dangers of piracy from the guy with a long history of plagarizing speeches and papers.

long-term, hollywood and the software industry doesn't care too much about the large pirates. what they are doing has clearly always been illegal—laws like the dmca haven't changed this. they want to eradicate things that benefit society but not their bottom line like fair use and the doctrine of first sale. they want to keep charging the same price for goods, even as their marginal cost goes to zero.

prop. 42 would amend the state constitution to require that all revenues from state sales and use taxes on the sale of motor vehicle fuel be used for transportation purposes (public transit and mass transportation; city and county street and road repairs and improvements; and state highway improvements).

under the 2000 transportation congestion relief program, the state has already commited itself to do this from 2003 until 2008. under prop. 42, the specific allocation would be 20% for public transportation, 40% for state transportation improvements, and 40% allocated to city and county governments for local street and road improvements.

i don't believe this sort of micromanagement belongs in the state constitution. this also doesn't appear to allow for any of the revenue to be used in funding research into alternative fuel systems. so i'll be voting no.

there's a yes on prop. 42 site (the best-designed such site i've seen yet), and once again, no site for the opponents. the los angeles times doesn't appear to have taken a stand on this yet.

yahoo2mbox looks like a cool little tool for archiving a yahoogroups mailing list. if you were going to build a mailing list hosting service, this would be a nice part of the toolset that made it easy for someone to move their list away from yahoogroups to your service.

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