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Rainer Sigwald
Works at Microsoft
Attended University of Texas at Austin
Lived in Plainview, TX
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Rainer Sigwald

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Rainer Sigwald

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I really, really hate agreeing with Jeff Atwood. But he's spot-on here, though he takes a bit of a roundabout path to get to his conclusions.
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Why? I typically agree with Jeff. I did particularly agree with this piece (and sent it to Sabrina).
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Rainer Sigwald

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This list is insane. An Austin where-to-eat without a "Tex-Mex" category?
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It's all about the pork belly now (now, pork belly tacos... that's where it's at.)
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Fascinating. I wonder how this would play out in some of the cultures where women aren't considered worse at math.
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Preach it, Brother Tim!
Tim O'Reilly originally shared:
 
I was pleased to see the measured tone of the White House response to the citizen petition about #SOPA and #PIPA

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#/!/response/combating-online-piracy-while-protecting-open-and-innovative-internet

and yet I found myself profoundly disturbed by something that seems to me to go to the root of the problem in Washington: the failure to correctly diagnose the problem we are trying to solve, but instead to accept, seemingly uncritically, the claims of various interest groups. The offending paragraph is as follows:

"Let us be clear—online piracy is a real problem that harms the American economy, and threatens jobs for significant numbers of middle class workers and hurts some of our nation's most creative and innovative companies and entrepreneurs. It harms everyone from struggling artists to production crews, and from startup social media companies to large movie studios. While we are strongly committed to the vigorous enforcement of intellectual property rights, existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders."

In the entire discussion, I've seen no discussion of credible evidence of this economic harm. There's no question in my mind that piracy exists, that people around the world are enjoying creative content without paying for it, and even that some criminals are profiting by redistributing it. But is there actual economic harm?

In my experience at O'Reilly, the losses due to piracy are far outweighed by the benefits of the free flow of information, which makes the world richer, and develops new markets for legitimate content. Most of the people who are downloading unauthorized copies of O'Reilly books would never have paid us for them anyway; meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of others are buying content from us, many of them in countries that we were never able to do business with when our products were not available in digital form.

History shows us, again and again, that frontiers are lawless places, but that as they get richer and more settled, they join in the rule of law. American publishing, now the largest publishing industry in the world, began with piracy. (I have a post coming on that subject on Monday.)

Congress (and the White House) need to spend time thinking hard about how best to grow our economy - and that means being careful not to close off the frontier, or to harm those trying to settle it, in order to protect those who want to remain safe at home. British publishers could have come to America in the 19th century; they chose not to, and as a result, we grew our own indigenous publishing industry, which relied at first, in no small part, on pirating British and European works.

If the goal is really to support jobs and the American economy, internet "protectionism" is not the way to do it.

It is said (though I've not found the source) that Einstein once remarked that if given 60 minutes to save the world, he would spend 55 of them defining the problem. And defining the problem means collecting and studying real evidence, not the overblown claims of an industry that has fought the introduction of every new technology that has turned out, in the end, to grow their business rather than threaten it.

P.S. If Congress and the White House really want to fight pirates who are hurting the economy, they should be working to rein in patent trolls. There, the evidence of economic harm is clear, in multi-billion dollar transfers of wealth from companies building real products to those who have learned how to work the patent system while producing no value for consumers.

P. P.S. See also my previous piece on the subject of doing an independent investigation of the facts rather than just listening to the appeals of lobbyists, https://plus.google.com/107033731246200681024/posts/5Xd3VjFR8gx
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Rainer Sigwald

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Wow. I remember the TAAS test being a sad waste of time, but at least it wasn't INSANE.
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This should be titled "how to hire a currently-out-of-work programmer who never worked at a major closed-source software company". I bet it works out well for him, but it's not a process that would work for most places.
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Well, it is in my mind, anyway.
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Crap. Now I'm hungry. And it's 9:30 in the morning.
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I for one am a whole-hearted believer in the anti-piracy-measures-are-unnecessary-for-economic-reasons argument, presented very well here.

“As a rough analogy, since antipiracy crusaders are fond of equating filesharing with shoplifting: suppose the CEO of Wal-Mart came to Congress demanding a $50 million program to deploy FBI agents to frisk suspicious-looking teens in towns near Wal-Marts. A lawmaker might, without for one instant doubting that shoplifiting is a bad thing, question whether this is really the optimal use of federal law enforcement resources. The CEO indignantly points out that shoplifting kills one million adorable towheaded orphans each year. The proof is right here in this study by the Wal-Mart Institute for Anti-Shoplifting Studies. The study sources this dramatic claim to a newspaper article, which quotes the CEO of Wal-Mart asserting (on the basis of private data you can't see) that shoplifting kills hundreds of orphans annually. And as a footnote explains, it seemed prudent to round up to a million. I wish this were just a joke, but as readers of my previous post will recognize, that's literally about the level of evidence we're dealing with here.”
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Oh man, this is pretty great.
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In his circles
80 people
Have him in circles
54 people
Joy Phillips's profile photo
Jeff Toole's profile photo
Trevor Yopp's profile photo
Federico Gomez Suarez's profile photo
Huy J Truong's profile photo
Shawn Davis's profile photo
Education
  • University of Texas at Austin
    Mechanical Engineering, 2001 - 2008
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  • Microsoft
    Software Development Engineer in Test, 2008 - present
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Plainview, TX - Austin, TX - Redmond, WA - Seattle, WA
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