Print 52 comment(s) - last by Screwballl.. on Oct 29 at 2:53 PM

Congress and the House decided once more to not tax the Internet!

The U.S. Congress and Senate once again agreed to a bipartisan resolution that extends the Internet tax moratorium.

The highly debated issue saw strong support for keeping the Internet tax free from both those in the industry and from grass roots movements.  ISPs strongly opposed any sort of taxation as it would hurt their revenues by driving away customers.  Users, who joined movements such as the "Don't Tax Our Web Coalition," did not want to be taxed either, as taxation would likely mean higher service charges.

A tax moratorium was originally instituted in 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act.  It was extended twice already, in 2001 and 2004, but has not been permanently passed into law.

The house and senate disagreed on the exact length to ban taxation.  The House passed a resolution calling for a four year ban.  The Senate wanted a seven year ban.  Both legislative bodies saw strong bipartisan support for some kind of ban, though.

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) was enthusiastic about the tax moratorium.  He elaborated:

"The Internet has provided a powerful economic boost to our nation,and has become an important everyday tool for millions of Americans.  By keeping Internet access tax-free and affordable,Congress can encourage Internet use for distance learning,telemedicine, commerce and other important services."

Sadly, the internet is not entirely tax free.  The IRS is pushing a proposal as part of this year's budget proposal to track user income made on sites such as eBay.  They plan to use this information to adjust people's income accordingly.

The proposal for extension of the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act will now go to a panel composed of House and Senate members which will iron out the differences between the House and Senate's passed proposals and submit a single proposal to the President.

Should the Internet be tax free?  The answer according to the public seems to be overwhelming yes. However, your income from private Internet sales soon will be taxable.

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RE: Awesome
By darkpaw on 10/26/2007 5:36:37 PM , Rating: 3
Yah, I do like the lack of edit and how the ratings system works on this site.

I wouldn't mind a 60 second or so grace period for edits though to fix obvious typos. I've seen this system work well on other boards. Prevents people from covering their ass if they really mess up, but does give a little time to fix stuff.

Even with the forced preview, I still tend to miss a lot of typos until about 5 seconds after I hit post comment.

RE: Awesome
By Scrogneugneu on 10/27/2007 12:22:34 AM , Rating: 5
The answer is so easy...

Allow editing of any post as long as there are NO VOTES and NO REPLIES on it yet. As soon as somebody votes on or replies to a post, it's set in stone.

I still wonder what would be wrong with that system.

RE: Awesome
By Polynikes on 10/29/2007 8:28:19 AM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with it? It would require more work to implement! ;)

RE: Awesome
By mindless1 on 10/29/2007 11:16:39 AM , Rating: 2
You write a post, it's posted and the page isn't refreshing again to show new replies or ratings. You then proceed to edit the post only to find that by the time you have, you have wasted your time because there was a reply or rating in the interim. That could become a frustrating problem that encourages people to misuse the system by making many short posts.

(Usually?) the timing wouldn't be so short but during peak usage hours or with lengthly posts, it would tend to bias the posting system in favor of those writing short one-liners and penalizing those who put forth the effort to write longer posts with significant content and these are the very posts often needing rewording for clarity or to provide sources. That could easily take longer than it takes for someone to hit a reply link and proceed to comment on the original post.

IMO, a fixed time limit regardless of votes or replies would be better, or at least an editing system that locks out replies to a post for that same fixed time limit if the poster making the edit has clicked the edit link.

For example, poster #1 makes a post and has 5 minutes to edit. Let people rate it without that locking out editing as the rating doesn't really matter. Suppose poster #1 waits 2 minutes then decides to edit. If someone had already replied before the edit link was clicked, the page refreshes to show the new content and the post can't be edited. If the edit link was clicked before someone else clicked a reply link, replies are locked out for the remainder of the (5 minutes in this example so 3 minutes remaining) editing period. The key being to lock out the reply for the fixed editing period so long as the edit link is clicked before someone else clicks the reply link.

I feel we should completely do away with the preview window and just do that instead. Then again, does it really matter? If someone spells lose as "loose" we can figure out what was meant, it is more distracting to have someone try to correct or have some spelling Nazi come along and complain than to just keep the conversation moving.

When you talk to someone in real life and they slightly mispronounce something, do you try to force the conversation to come to a stop so you can insist they (re)pronounce a word exactly the way you want them to? No, that would be ridiculous unless you're their grammar school teacher, it would be considered quite rude to do it in real life and here it is the same. If perfection in a posting system is that important, it's a matter of ego, not a matter of unpaid leisure time comments about a news article. I now proceed to post this, having not reread it in the preview. It brings to mind another improvement, that the text box needs to be larger and not a fixed font size. It's annoying to need to move closer to my nice big monitor because of limitations in the primary posting interface. There is over 70% empty white and grey space on the page and the very content being written is tiny? Severe flaw in the UI.

RE: Awesome
By neocommunist on 10/27/2007 9:56:44 AM , Rating: 1
OR we could force people to post anonymously so the content of the post is what's being valued and not the person who posted it.

That way people also won't feel a need to "cover their ass" as there is no reputation to build up or maintain: each post's merit stands on its own.

RE: Awesome
By darkpaw on 10/27/2007 10:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
Anon posting boards are the worst, half the posts are pointless trash. I think the reputation system makes people think about what they post.

RE: Awesome
By mindless1 on 10/29/2007 11:36:59 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't go that far to say "the worst", I can't count the number of times I had something useful to add but didn't feel like going out of my way to register, wait for email confirmation, click link, etc, just to add content that was useful to THEM, not me. For example in a technical forum I knew what the problem was, knew the solution and was willing to take the time necessary to type that, but when they're choosing to make contributing netizens jump through a hoop just to make a post I say screw 'em, because they could have just provided a "report this post" link to moderate out anything bad enough to need it.

The reputation system does make people think a bit more I suspect, but it also has potential for abuse when net-buddies gang up on someone, when people misuse the system to register multiple accounts, and when people carry grudges against others so they're prone to downrate a post or contextually read something into a post that wouldn't have been assumed otherwise. There is one other important aspect to non-anon posting, in that it allows continuity in a conversation, but I mean non-anon in the sense that a posters isn't called "anonymous", that they are at least allowed to enter a handle-name to allow for conversational continuity.

Ultimately the rating system is all about ego. The younger you are, the more important it will seem to you that your supposed-peers think highly of you. Once you become a cranky old fart and/or gain some confidence in you views, you start caring less about what others think.

I say, take the bad with the good. A combination of words won't burn your eyes out, a troll/etc can be ignored but the main point of having the most convenient posting system for 'net wanderers is that you get the most people who chose to contribute with helpfulness in mind. If a conversation is limited to only those registered at a forum it tends to close that system, it is seldom someone will feel strongly enough about something to register just to post. Instead they tend to gravitate around their favorite forums. Given the number of forums on the net and how many people have hundreds to thousands of posts in only a few handfulls of forums, the situation is better reflected upon. Registration does discourage contribution from a wider audience, creates a more closed community.

Trolls are easy enough to take care of, don't let them get a rise out of you, ignore them and they'll get bored because they're usually just looking for attention.

RE: Awesome
By Ringold on 10/27/2007 2:53:36 PM , Rating: 3
You would say that with an average -.5 rating :P

RE: Awesome
By afkrotch on 10/29/2007 1:29:44 AM , Rating: 2
Ppl can just better analyze their post before making it. Me...small typos I really don't care about. If your posts has 1 or 2 typos, but the point is made, then I'm fine. If your post is pointless gibberish, then I'd downrate you and no post, just to keep it in there.

RE: Awesome
By GlassHouse69 on 10/29/2007 2:42:41 AM , Rating: 1
U SUXORZ FAWKEAD!@#$@#!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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