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OpenMarket: May 2007

  • Editing Isn't Censorship, Even for Digg

    May 2, 2007
    Digg.com, the popular crowd-edited news aggregating site, has been the subject of online controversy as of late. Recently, a Digg user posted a story with a link to a site that contained a series of numbers. After receiving a record of more than 15,000 diggs, it was taken down. Why? Because the numbers were the proprietary key for HD-DVD encryption. With the key a knowledgeable nerd could do what so many knowledgeable nerds have already done with DVDs: copy it. But what Digg did in taking down the story wasn't censorship; it was an editorial decision by a private website. While Digg bases its success on crowd-sourcing the function of news editing, it does have the right to step in and take down other content. Digg's managers can't force anything off of another website, but their can surely take things down from their own. Yet Digg has plenty of reasons not to censor...
  • Myron Debates Carbon Offsets and 'Green' Power on CNBC

    May 1, 2007

    Binary Data
  • NY Gov. Spitzer joins ranks of corn ethanol doubters

    May 1, 2007
    CEI is not the habit of praising Elliott Spitzer. Indeed, Spitzer won the number three spot in CEI's report on the Top Ten Worst State Attorneys General. Nonetheless, I propose a toast to Gov. Spitzer for his sober doubts about the wisdom of government diverting massive quantities of grain stocks from food to auto fuel. According to SmartBrief, a biotech industry newsletter, “New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer's aides say his administration does not plan to push corn-based ethanol with the same enthusiasm as his predecessor. His aides say the administration questions the use of vast resources for corn-based ethanol, saying it drives up food prices, may not be as energy efficient as other sources and poses air-quality concerns." An...
  • Buy out the sugar growers, says the LA Times

    May 1, 2007

    “Stop sugar subsidies” read the editorial in the Los Angeles Times yesterday. Right on. What's encouraging is that the editorial writer dug a little deeper, not only into the U.S. sugar program's perversities, but also in what could be done to change things, even though he says the chances for reform are slim. But the editorial notes that “buyouts” of farmers have worked before -- why not try that with the sugar producers:

    But even if Congress can't find the courage to beat sugar growers, it might be able to buy them out. Not long ago, peanuts and tobacco enjoyed similar protections — the government artificially inflated their prices by restricting imports and setting quotas on how much domestic producers could grow. But in 2002, the government bought...

  • Anyone Want to Buy Some Venezuelan Oil Futures Contracts?

    May 1, 2007
    Hugo Chavez, celebrating Communist New Year in style, has stripped the world's major oil companies of operational control of drilling projects in the Orinoco Belt. According to Reuters, the companies "are still discussing continued shareholding and compensation in sometimes contentious negotiations before a deadline next month." Interested shareholders, however, should note that "Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez has said there may not be compensation in some cases."
    Hugo and Fidel...

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