Decency's in the Eye of the Beholder -- An alternative to the Communications Decency Act of 1995 (see TidBITS-263) has been proposed by Senator Patrick Leahy. The Leahy bill, S.714 (called the "Child Protection, User Empowerment, and Free Expression in Interactive Media Study" bill) proposes a five month study of current law and technological capabilities surrounding access to controversial content via electronic media. At this time, this bill presents the only alternative to the Exon/Gorton Communications Decency Act, which is likely to pass without a strong show of support for Leahy's alternative. More information and, yes, an online petition can be found at the following URLs. It's worth noting that the original petition against the Communications Decency Act gathered more than 108,000 signatures. [GD]
Copy Before Submitting Web Forms
Filling in Web forms (like the one used to submit this tip) can be a bit of a gamble - you put in your pearls of wisdom, perhaps only to lose them all if the Web page flakes out or the browser crashes. Instead of losing all your text, "save" it by pressing Command-A to select all and then Command-C to copy the selected text to the clipboard. Do this periodically as you type and before you click Submit, and you may "save" yourself from a lot of frustration. It takes just a second to do, and the first time you need to rely on it to paste back in lost text, you'll feel smart.