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Comment: Re:Ehhhh... (Score 2) 133 133

That's all true and not even disputed in the paper (which is linked in the article). The paper doesn't argue that all universal search results are bad for consumers, and some definitely are better. What's at issue is "local" search, like looking for a doctor in your city. In this case, there isn't one correct "answer," there are a bunch of them. And what you probably want are doctors with lots of good reviews. Instead, you get doctors with fewer reviews who happen to also have google+ pages.

Comment: Re:Why is Uber better? Serious question. (Score 2) 227 227

> 2) Ease of Payment

2.a. Payment is handled via Uber, not the driver, and price is agreed ahead of time. No possibility for hidden charges, unapproved charges, sightseeing tours, etc.

2.b) Pricing Standardization. Ever been in a DC Taxi before they installed meters? They had a "zone" system and your rate was based on how many zones you crossed. Not familiar with the city? Good luck figuring it out. Every city has its own quirks and pricing games. With Uber, you know exactly what you're going to pay and how the transaction will be handled.

5) Convenience. No standing on the corner waiving your hands in the air. In a strange city where cabs aren't everywhere? How do you call one? How long will it take? Where are they? With Uber, you'll see where your cab is while it's on route and know exactly when they'll arrive.

Comment: Re:No, the film is *bad* satire. (Score 1) 331 331

The puppy housetraining in the book was a flashback to his Moral Philosophy teacher explaining why the old civilzation collapsed (namely, because parents stopped spanking their children). Apparently, the "scientfiically verifiable theory of morals" (exact phrase from the book) proves that the way to keep society from collapsing is through corporal punishment in schools and public flogging, just like there is NO way to housetrain a puppy without hitting it.

Comment: Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (Score 1) 173 173

I was a regular user on groklaw as well. She quit because she was a private person and email was no longer private. You may be able to protect the contents of your email by encrypting it (assuming that the encryption hasn't been intentionally compromised, which is NOT a safe assumption), but that doesn't encrypt the "From/To" fields. PJ quit the internet (not just groklaw) because she's a private person who didn't want to be watched.

You have your view, I have mine. Everyone else can read what she wrote and decide for themselves.

Comment: Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (Score 1) 173 173

You claim you can "just encrypt" your email, but it was the creator of lavabit, the "secure" email system that Snowden used, who stated essentially that email can NOT be made secure. It's not just a technology problem. When Secret Courts tell citizens they can't talk about Secret Orders, "encryption" isn't the solution. It's not just what you're saying, but with whom your talking to (e.g. metadata).

You may not agree with that, but you can't declare that no one else can believe it. You can read PJ's statement for yourself. You may not believe her, but you can't look into her heart and know that the reason she gave wasn't sincere:

My personal decision is to get off of the Internet to the degree it's possible. I'm just an ordinary person. But I really know, after all my research and some serious thinking things through, that I can't stay online personally without losing my humanness, now that I know that ensuring privacy online is impossible. I find myself unable to write. I've always been a private person. That's why I never wanted to be a celebrity and why I fought hard to maintain both my privacy and yours.

Comment: Re:If only PJ was still running groklaw! (Score 1) 173 173

She didn't quit because it was time consuming or because her collaborator wasn't precise enough. She quit because she can't communicate securely:

The owner of Lavabit tells us that he's stopped using email and if we knew what he knew, we'd stop too.

There is no way to do Groklaw without email. Therein lies the conundrum.

Comment: Re:From Jack Brennan's response (Score 4, Informative) 772 772

The Committee's Study outlined 20 specific cases that the CIA claimed either solely based on EIT (torture) or thwarted attacks. In ALL cases, there was either other corroborating intelligence (so they didn't need to torture anyone) or that the "attacks" were either fantasies or non-operational.

Brennan's statement doesn't actually refute this. Providing intelligence that "helped" is not the same as intelligence that was critical.

Comment: Re:fight it out in court (Score 1) 481 481

So some of his co-workers are psychotic murderers, but the rest of the cops are "great guys" who won't kill you themselves, but they will definitely help cover up your murder. I'm sorry, but if you know your co-worker is a murderer, you're not a "great guy" if you aren't trying to stop him.

Comment: Re:Wrong Title (Score 2) 499 499

From TFA: "Barr answered 'no' when asked if she had ever been a member of an organization 'dedicated to the use of violence' to overthrow the U.S. government or to prevent others from exercising their constitutional rights."

They didn't ask her if she "belonged to a group that may have been in some way affiliated with another group, some of whose members may have advocated the violent overthrow of the US." If you ask it that way, anyway that has ever joined the NRA might want to consider how they should answer.

It's also pretty weird that a country that includes a right to bear arms to forbid membership of groups that might advocate using that right. The right to bear arms isn't about hunting or even fighting off foreign invaders, it's about overthrowing tyrannical governments. If the founding fathers thought elections were all that were ever needed to defend against tyranny, then the 2nd amendment would make no sense.

Comment: Re:Agree 100% (Score 1) 253 253

It's a water heater, not a laundry machine. If the pilot won't stay lit, there's basically two parts that could have failed: the thermopile and the gas valve. Each can be carried in one hand.

Either way, I told them the diagnostic code when I called, so they already knew exactly which part had failed. They were servicing a warranty for a unit just over a year old. It's a current model and they knew the exact serial number of the unit before they dispatched anyone.

I've actually been shopping for other appliances recently and been asking more closely about their service standards. It seems to be common knowledge amongst their competitors that Sears generally doesn't carry parts on their while most others actually do.

Comment: Re:Agree 100% (Score 2) 253 253

The thermopile on my 16 month old hot water heater broke down on a Friday morning. The parts are still under warranty, but not labor.

I called Sears service (the warranter), told them the diagnostic code indicated the exact problem, and scheduled service (earliest available was Saturday). The tech arrived, looked at the same double-blink light pattern that I saw, and agreed that the thermopile needed to be replaced. He didn't, however, carry that part on his truck, so he had to "overnight" order it.

An "overnight" order on Saturday actually means it gets ordered on Monday and delivered on Tuesday. They ship it directly to the customer's home, which means they won't schedule the next appointment until after I call to confirm that the part has arrived. They won't come on the same day, so essentially "overnight" on Saturday means we'll see you in some 5-hour window on Wednesday.

I know I'll never order from Sears again (other service companies carry parts on their trucks), but I hadn't thought of just making it illegal to provide bad service...

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