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Feed Techdirt: Guy Who Won Original Right To Be Forgotten Case Loses His Attempt To Have New Story About His Past Forgotten (

The whole right to be forgotten thing over in Europe continues to get more and more bizarre. Not too long ago, we wrote about one Thomas Goolnik, who had succeeded in getting an old NY Times story about him "delinked" from his name in Europe. The NY Times then wrote about that delinking, and we wrote about the NY Times article. Mr. Goolnik then succeeded in having our article about his successful right to be forgotten attempt also forgotten by Google. So we wrote about that too. And, once again, Goolnik succeeded in having that story forgotten. As of yet, it appears our final story on Goolnik has remained accessible on European searches for Goolnik's name, but we have no idea if it's because Google has realized that it should remain up or if Goolnik just hasn't made a request.

Meanwhile, it appears that the guy who first convinced the European Court of Justice to enforce this right to be forgotten, Mario Costeja Gonzalez, may have run into a similar situation. As you probably remember, Costeja brought the original case that argued that Google should no longer show results on searches for his name that linked to some stories in the late 90s about his being forced to sell some land to cover debts. The Court eventually decided that since this information was no longer "relevant," that under the data protection directive, it should be "delinked" in Google's database as a "privacy" measure.

Of course, as many people pointed out, in bringing that very case, the details of Costeja's financial transactions suddenly became relevant again. And, apparently that resulted in more people commenting on Costeja, including an article entitled "The unforgettable story of the seizure to the defaulter Mario Costeja Gonzalez that happened in 1998." And, as you might imagine, he wasn't too happy about some of the comments, and with this newfound power that he helped create in hand, he demanded that Google also take down links to such comments (most likely including that article linked in this paragraph).

And here's where it gets fun: Google refused. And so Costeja went to the Spanish Data Protection Authority to complain... and the Spanish DPA rejected his claim, noting that this information is now relevant in part because Costeja himself made it relevant again.

Now the DPA finds that there is indeed a preponderant interest of the public in the comments about the famous case that gave rise to the CJEU judgment of May 13, 2014 – and expressly reminds that the claimant itself went public about the details.
So, yes, the right to be forgotten has now made the story that was "successfully" forgotten originally so newsworthy that it may no longer be forgotten, and in fact is much more widely known. I think we've heard of some term for that before...

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Comment Re:Class-Action time? (Custom system) (Score 1) 268

If we could replace this pathetic printer with something else, we'd be glad to. Unfortunately, it connects to a special piece of equipment that can only "talk to" a specific, limited set of USB printers. I am thinking about writing to the device manufacturer, asking them to add more printer support to the unit. I hope they respond in the affirmative!

As for the color ink drying out... we wouldn't care, as we *NEVER* use it in this printer. The irksome thing is that the printer simply stops working, altogether, when the unused/useless color ink runs out... it does NOT function as "Black Only" even when that option is set in the Printer Preferences.

BTW, the unit in question is used in a broadcast radio station, for the "Emergency Alert System", so it's not exactly something we can replace at will.

Comment Class-Action time? (Score 2) 268

This kind of thing looks like it would be good for a law firm to put together a case, and file a Class-Action suit. I am angered by printers where we *NEVER* print in color (printing logs at work) but after so many months, the printer WILL NOT WORK until you feed it a NEW color ink cartridge (or ALL THREE)!

Yes, even with the defaults set to "Black Only", changing the black ink is not enough. The printer simply WILL NOT WORK until all 4 cartridges are replaced. The old color ones feel much heavier than the old black one, so it is quite obvious what's going on, here.


Submission + - Windows 10 - More Big Brother (

Announcer writes: Big Brother is getting bigger, with Windows 10.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
"While it's incredibly clear what Microsoft means by “counterfeit games”, the wording “unauthorised hardware peripheral devices” is a little hazy. Does this mean Microsoft can now block uncertified PC or illegally-modified Xbox One and Xbox 360 controllers? Furthermore, Microsoft's EULA doesn't state if it will also disable other counterfeit software, such as cracked versions of Office or Adobe Photoshop, or if it only cares about pirated games."

What about useful or specialized "abandonware"? (Software that is no longer supported because the original company is no longer in existence, but is still useful.) This could also affect specialized hardware, or even custom hardware/software. A false "positive" could be devastating, especially in a manufacturing setting.

Comment Who owns it? (Score 4, Interesting) 46

I have a page where I put up a bunch of info about my experiments and memories of my Commodore systems. In the years that page has existed, the ownership of the C= logo/name/etc changed hands FIVE TIMES! Just now, I Googled it, and got this page:

It hasn't been updated since 2013.

My attempt at a disclaimer is at the bottom of this page:

(Google cached, to prevent Slashdotting my Host's server.)

Comment Re:Disable Java* == many broken sites (Score 1) 122

OK, so I got the Java* terminology mixed up... with so many variants, it's an easy mistake, so cut me some slack. Why do so many people have to be so bloody vicious? Good grief.

If Java* is left disabled, my bank's WEBsite doesn't work. Facebook doesn't work. Youtube doesn't work. Some online retail sites don't work. The streaming audio from my workplace doesn't work. (We lease a server, it's not our code.) My Web-based e-mail doesn't work... a significant number of sites that I use often, don't work.

So I will still stand by what I originally said, but with some rather brutal public corrections applied.

Comment Disable Java == Broken Websites (Score -1) 122

The PROBLEM with disabling Java, is that a significant majority of sites use it heavily... so if you disable it, you cannot even see the content on many of them. THAT is a trend that should be changed! If a user visits a site, and they have their Java turned off, the LEAST they could do is provide a basic HTML version of the site, but no... you get that accursed "Please activate Java to view this site" message.

Comment Change stations on someone else's radio (Score 2) 210

This goes back to the early 1980's. I used to hang out until the wee hours with some folks at a local 24 hour donut shop. The owner had rigged-up a stereo inside a locked box, in the back room. It was set to a local "Elevator Music" station, and everyone (even the employees) hated it... but there was nothing anyone could do... until I came along. :)

I used an "FM Converter" (remember those? You could listen to FM thru an AM-only car radio) which I modified for direct audio output from the detector. This fed into a basic amplifier system, and into a home made FM transmitter. I would be sitting in a booth with my friends, and could not only change the station to almost anything we wanted, but also adjust the volume, bass, and treble. They were suitably impressed.

So, each time I'd come in with my device, they'd say, "Here comes OVERRIDE!" (their new nickname for me). I would then proceed to knock out the elevator music, and tune in to the local rock station. Everyone loved it.

I also made a smaller version that I could connect to a Walkman cassette player, and play my music over any other FM radio in range. All it took was a few milliwatts of power. Fun times.

Now I am a Broadcast Engineer... and I get to play with real transmitters and control systems, etc.

Comment Changing someone else's radio station (Score 1) 145

This goes back to my late teens, in the EARLY 1980's. I created a gizmo using various parts and pieces, where I could use it to play any radio station I wanted through someone else's radio. It was most often used at a local 24 hour donut shop, where I hung around with a group of guys until the wee hours. The owner of that store had a radio in a locked box in the back, that piped a local "elevator music" station through the store's speakers. Since it was locked, nobody could change it... until I came along. :)

The idea was simple... I took apart an old "FM converter" (remember those? To listen to FM on an AM-only car radio) and fed the audio output into a homebrew FM transmitter. It was powered by a 7AH 12V gel cell, so it had plenty of power for all-nighters. The guys would really get a big kick out of the fact that I could adjust everything... volume, bass, treble, and what station we heard, from a booth in the lobby. Naturally, the local rock station was the music of choice.

In later years, I adapted that transmitter to work with a "walkman" cassette player, and if a restaurant was playing a radio, I could put my tape onto their speakers for the duration I was there. :)

Now, I'm a Broadcast Engineer, and also a ham radio operator. Hacks are a part of everyday life... but not like this, anymore. I could get away with it when I was a teen, not as a 50-something.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.