It’s Not About Cookies: Privacy Debate Happening At Wrong Level

Some form of digital privacy regulation in the US is about 90 percent certain in the coming year. In Europe, where privacy rules are much more stringent, the details of new consumer protections are currently being worked out on a practical level.

Source: It’s Not About Cookies: Privacy Debate Happening At Wrong Level

 

I think the outlook for digital privacy laws in the U.S. is much more dismal than the hope portrayed, but the title and idea are correct and important. I think relatively few people are bothered by businesses installing security cameras and taping events on their premises. Everyone should be upset if the security camera companies collated their tapes, used facial recognition technology to track everyone, and then ran data mining algorithms on the results.

Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating | Rolling Stone

Ordinary people have to borrow their money at market rates. Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon get billions of dollars for free, from the Federal Reserve. They borrow at zero and lend the same money back to the government at two or three percent, a valuable public service otherwise known as “standing in the middle and taking a gigantic cut when the government decides to lend money to itself.”

In a larger sense, the TBTF banks all have the implicit guarantee of the federal government, so investors know it’s relatively safe to lend to them — which means it’s now cheaper for them to borrow money than it is for, say, a responsible regional bank that didn’t jack its debt-to-equity levels above 35-1 before the crash and didn’t dabble in toxic mortgages. In other words, the TBTF banks got better credit for being less responsible. Click on freecreditscore.com to see if you got the same deal.

Wall Street has long grown accustomed to getting bailed out for its mistakes. … When was the last time the government stepped in to help you “avoid losses you might otherwise suffer?”

Bankers on Wall Street pay lower tax rates than most car mechanics.

The point being: we have a massive police force in America that outside of lower Manhattan prosecutes crime and imprisons citizens with record-setting, factory-level efficiency, eclipsing the incarceration rates of most of history’s more notorious police states and communist countries.

But the bankers on Wall Street don’t live in that heavily-policed country. There are maybe 1000 SEC agents policing that sector of the economy, plus a handful of FBI agents. There are nearly that many police officers stationed around the polite crowd at Zuccotti park.

These inequities are what drive the OWS protests. People don’t want handouts. It’s not a class uprising and they don’t want civil war – they want just the opposite. They want everyone to live in the same country, and live by the same rules. It’s amazing that some people think that that’s asking a lot.

Source: Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating | Rolling Stone

Is your online game gold real? | Virtual Navigator

It’s all about the future of virtual items and property rights.

Source: Is your online game gold real? | Virtual Navigator

and: Is your online game gold real? Lawyer tackles the issue – Twin Cities

RE: Kwong, Justin A. (2011) “Getting the Goods on Virtual Items: A Fresh Look at Transactions in Multi-User Online Environments,” William Mitchell Law Review: Vol. 37: Iss. 4, Article 2. Available at: http://open.wmitchell.edu/wmlr/vol37/iss4/2

PDF: http://open.mitchellhamline.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1419&context=wmlr

Does The FairSearch White Paper On Google Being Anticompetitive Hold Up?

FairSearch, a group of search companies including Microsoft which lobbies that Google is too dominant, has sent a white paper outlining its anti-trust concerns about Google to the 50 state attorneys general in the US.

all this attention seems to be revolving around a tiny number of companies that feel Google is somehow being anti-competitive toward them, rather than around the literally millions of companies that rely on search engines of all shapes and sizes that deserve protection from the search engine industry as a whole

Source: Does The FairSearch White Paper On Google Being Anticompetitive Hold Up?

Venture Capitalist Warns Of Job Creation Myths : NPR

Bill Frezza, a venture capitalist and a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute says the idea that creating jobs leads to growth and prosperity is a fallacy. He tells Lynn Neary that the jobs myth is at the heart of the nation’s unemployment problems.

Source: Venture Capitalist Warns Of Job Creation Myths : NPR

You know, each business is run for the benefit of its owners, its shareholders, its customers, and its employees. It’s not run for the benefit of the country. That’s not why people run businesses.

— Bill Frezza, a venture capitalist and a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute

The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality – Salon.com

Without a shred of due process, far from any battlefield, President Obama succeeds in killing Anwar al-Awlaki

Source: The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality – Salon.com

 

The thing that bothers me about it is that, well, how do I know he was bad? The media? We know that governments have historically been able to bend/manipulate media reporting. I feel that is why we have a judicial system; my fellow citizens are only bad if they have charges brought against them and those charges are upheld in court, which frees me to assume that the average American I encounter on the street is a good person that I can trust more than distrust (e.g. for directions to a parking structure or major thoroughfare). That is, of course, idyllic and we live in an imperfect world where this is not always the case, but that doesn’t mean we should discard or overrule the system even when we think it is good to do so, because eventually it won’t always be the case that we were right to demonize and extra-judicially hunt down a fellow citizen. I’m not even sure that we as a nation can afford much more distrust of each other given that there are good statistics correlating honesty, trustworthiness, and trust with productivity, happiness, and safety, and I for one believe that there is almost certainly a directional causality from the former to the latter.