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Comment: Re:My two cents... (Score 1) 210

Google shouldn't have to make intelligent decisions as to what needs to be removed. It should all be automatic. Either everything is removed, or nothing is removed. Only by court orders otherwise.

So I should be able to request that searches for "microsoft" should not go to "microsoft.com"? And Google should be forced to honour that?

Those people, who want to be forgotten, should go after those hosting the material, not the search engine pointing.

The reason that going via the search engine works, is that it is possible. Many content platforms don't have easy mechanisms for identifying and removing content, and many are hosted abroad (whereas Google is active in the EU and can therefore be instructed by EU authorities). Slashdot, for instance, has only ever removed comment content once to my knowledge and they made a huge deal over it. Search engines, however, have enough layers of indirection between the search box and the results that adding a rule to exclude certain results from certain keywords isn't all that difficult.

I don't think that the "right to be forgotten" is a good idea. But saying "Instead of doing it via a route that is possible, they should do it via a route that is impossible" isn't a helpful contribution. Just say it's a bad idea, rather than suggesting an impossible course of action.

Comment: Re:California also legalized using polished turds (Score 3, Insightful) 162

by PhilHibbs (#47348495) Attached to: California Legalizes Bitcoin

Bitcon is NEVER mentioned.

It IS mentioned.

The assembly member that proposed it, in the press release announcing the passing of the bill, talks about BitCoin, Amazon Coins, Starbucks Stars, and Diablo II Stones of Jordan*. Of course the legislation itself doesn't mention BitCoin, since the section that it repeals pre-dates BitCoin, and when you're repealing a section, you just say "Section X is repealed", not "Section X is repealed because BitCoin".

*One of these is a lie.

Comment: Re:Please explain (Score 3, Insightful) 74

by PhilHibbs (#47331567) Attached to: Trio of Big Black Holes Spotted In Galaxy Smashup

If we are looking at the system from "above", like looking down on a plate on which peas are rolling around, then the apparent distance between them is the same as the actual distance between them. If we're looking at them edge-on, then we don't really know how far apart they are. The apparent distance sets the lower bound for the actual distance, but the upper bound is unknown. And yes, there's always a degree of conjecture in astronnomy. All we can really say is that there are three black holes near the centre of that galaxy, and they are almost certainly in orbit around each other.

What people don't seem to understand is, science relies on publishing of un-proven theories. You observe, model, predict, publish, and eventually you will be either proven right or wrong. Without the "publish" step, especially in long-term sciences like astronomy where it could take centuries for a theory to tested (such as, "will that comet return in a hundred years"), you could make a thousand contradictory predictions and then publish the one that happened - by co-incidence - to be correct. If you limit yourself to a single prediction, which turns out to be correct, then you are worth paying attention to. My mum is always saying "Scientists keep getting things wrong, therefore all science is rubbish". Getting things wrong is crucual to scientific progress.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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