AP: 'Experts: Ban won't stop online gambling'
In the priority list of today's Congress, somewhere below making English the official language of America and somewhere above seriously worrying about voting reform lies keeping people from playing poker on the Internet. The general consensus in the online poker community is that this doesn't do too much on a practical basis--serious players will just keep on using Neteller and similar sites like they always have--but it'll scare off a lot of the more amateur players who were essentially treated as 'dead money'. Still, a few sites have stopped accepting any sort of cash from American players at all, which is starting to worry and annoy more than a few people.
Actually, the sentence that bothered me more than any other in the article was this:
Industry experts say there are an estimated 2,000 Internet sites that take bets for sports and poker.
The government's justification for banning online poker seems to rely on its being a game of chance, which is a preposterous claim. You don't see professional roulette players, or watch The World Series Of Coin-Flipping on television. The structure of the above sentence, though, implies that poker's 'bets' are not tactics used to either entice or dissuade other poker players to stay in the hand--which they are. Instead, it implies that they're independent actions that may or may not get 'paid off' depending on something you can't control--which, of course, is what betting on sports is. It's this exact same sort of semantic muddling and intentional confusion that poker players need to combat to gain serious credible traction in the political realm.
Seriously, how long is it going to be before we start letting people use whatever the heck suffix they want in their web address? This definitely isn't a Indian site, in the same way that del.icio.us isn't an America-centric site, and blo.gs sure as heck isn't a website for the South Sandwich Islands. Making country-specific domain levels was probably a good idea ten years ago, but the Internet's a big boy now. It doesn't need the training wheels anymore. Keep .com, .org, and .edu, and let people take any four-letter suffix they want. (Come on, you know you want to see www.goog.le.)
Anyway, this is a fun site. Look up local issues covered in neighborhood blogs. Works best if you're in a big city, but it has news enough for, say, Chapel Hill.
That's about it for now. I'll make a post-Halloween update sometime after my three exams on Tuesday.