India’s Zero Rupee Note

March 19, 2013

I don’t remember exactly where I first heard about this, but it came up from a number of different sources, which was itself interesting. India ‘issues’ zero rupee banknotes. Wikipedia’s article. Another article.

He gave one example where a tax official refused to process documents unless he paid her 500 rupees.

"I handed over the zero-rupee note which I always keep in my pocket," said Sundar.

"She was afraid and didn’t want to take it. She completed the job immediately and said she was sorry and asked me not to take it forward."

We sure could have used something like this in Cameroon..

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Obama supports $675K file sharing verdict

September 4, 2011

Politics never go out of date, right? This came up at least a year and a half ago. Via Suzanne, who writes, "Not happy about this." Wired writes about Sony BMG v. Tanenbaum.

The Justice Department, where President Barack Obama has tapped five former RIAA lawyers to serve, said copyright infringement "creates a public harm that Congress determined must be deterred."

Joel fights back, the website supporting the defendant. Wikipedia coverage. The fines were later reduced to $67.5K (one-tenth of what was originally asked), but both parties filed notice to appeal.

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Obama and FOIA requests

March 31, 2010

Seen on Slashdot: an article claiming that the Obama administration withholds more FOIA requests than the previous administration.

Agencies under the Obama administration cite security provisions to withhold information more often than they did under the Bush administration. For example, the ‘deliberative process’ exemption of the Freedom of Information Act was used 70,779 times in 2009, up from the 47,395 of 2008.

But I’m extremely grateful to an anonymous commentator, who writes:

Misleading framing of numbers. Go get more informative numbers from here [sunshineingovernment.org]. In 2008 56% of requests were granted. In 2009 61% of requests were granted. 2009 also worked to clear up the request backlog. It is a move in the right direction and as others have pointed out Bush was still in charge for part of FY 2009, so he might have skewed the numbers for the year.

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