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+ - Washington Redskins stripped of trademarks 4

Submitted by BillCable
BillCable (1464383) writes "

In a major blow to the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday canceled six federal trademarks of the “Washington Redskins” team name because it was found to be “disparaging” to Native Americans.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote. The panel voted 2-1 in favor of the decision.

Perhaps this move will speed up the inevitable name change which was expected within the next few years."

+ - Google removes "Search Nearby" function from updated Google Maps

Submitted by BillCable
BillCable (1464383) writes "One of the most useful and intuitive features of Google's Map tool was the "Search nearby" link. After searching for a location, users could click on a marker on the map to pop open a window with the address and other details. This window also contained a link to "Search nearby" — extremely useful if you want to find a list of restaurants near a hotel, the closest pharmacy, or any other business you might want to patronize. Google recently updated their map tool, and "Search nearby" is no longer present. The 300 posts to the Google Product Forums complaining about this omission indicates this is a feature Maps users sorely miss. Goggle's work-around (detailed by Google staff in said thread) are a poor substitute and unreliable. There is no indication Google will add the feature to their new tool. For now users are able to revert to the original Google Maps with the "Search nearby" feature intact. But there's concern that when Google discontinues support that the feature will be lost. So why would Google remove one of its best features?"

Comment: Re:Seems like a resource, not a threat (Score 1) 416

by BillCable (#44522709) Attached to: How Much Should You Worry About an Arctic Methane Bomb?
There are many groups trying to figure out how to harvest methane hydrate. So far it's been an impossible problem to solve - mostly due to the resource being ridiculously deep in the ocean. The cost to extract exceeds the value of the fuel.

But then that used to be the case with all the natural gas we're now recovering through fracking. All we need is a disruptive innovation and that methane will be viable. There's billions to be made... and lots of hard-working scientists working on making it reality.

Comment: And yet the individual mandate still stands! (Score 4, Insightful) 600

So at this point companies DON'T have to provide you insurance, but you MUST carry insurance. So all those people who would have been covered if the business deadline wasn't pushed back will be forced to buy their own insurance on the individual market. Either that or pay the "tax." This is a recipe for real disaster.

Comment: Re:in your dreams (Score 1) 400

by BillCable (#43926519) Attached to: Pondering the Future of a Re-Org'd Microsoft
There are ardent brand loyalists who will buy one no matter what, but based on everything I've read the reaction to Xbox One's feature set has been nearly catastrophic. I don't think it's outside the realm of possibilities for the console to be an abject failure. I think fewer than a million sold is unlikely, but it could do worse than GameCube numbers.

Comment: Re:Only if you make money out of polluting. (Score 1) 482

by BillCable (#43732999) Attached to: Global Warming Shifts the Earth's Poles
I'm not sure which fantasy land you live in, but it must be nice.

Yes - there is a price people are willing to pay for things, and yes an increase in costs can be absorbed by a decrease in profits - to a point. Margins on A LOT of things right now are razor thin. You can't decrease the profit to negative. So prices go up, and people pay more. And companies find ways to fool you into doing it.

Why is ice cream sold in 1.5 quart containers now than 1/2 gallons? Because the price of ice cream has gone up considerably. Ice cream manufacturers know you won't pay $8 for a half gallon of ice cream. But if they change the shape so it looks about the same size but only holds 1.5 quarts they know they can still get away with charging $5.99. This same thing has happened with countless food products.

Or take fast food. Used to be, there were no combo meals. You bought everything a la carte. And any price change was immediately noticeable. So they introduce combos - you can SAVE $.20 by buying a meal instead of the component parts. In doing so you create a more confusing price structure. And it's way easier to inch up prices across the board. These days when I take my family to McDonald's we spend ~$30. Five years ago it was $18.

So retailers are jacking up prices. If not for the shale energy boom, things would be far more noticeably bad. Cheap energy has been a savior of this economy. But if you institute new pollution controls, you add yet one more cost to everything to negate those benefits we've been enjoying. And it's the poor who will suffer the most.

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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