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Comment Re:The moral of the story... (Score 4, Insightful) 59 59

While the general sentiment of your statement is correct - given the plurality of services they have discontinued in the past - do note that this autocomplete API wasn't particularly "offered to the public"; it was never official or particularly supported.

Relying on undocumented / unofficial APIs always carries such a risk.

Comment Re:Easy way out for Uber (Score 1) 193 193

How long would they last if every 2nd or every 3rd vehicle you called was a rusted heap with smoke billowing out the hood and the exhaust pipe?

You're taking a jab at the taxi industry in some locations, and that tickles me some.

But... isn't prevening that exactly the sort of thing - via user reviews and such - that is part of Uber's appeal?

Every rusted heap with smoke billowing out the hood would quickly garner negative reviews (for that particular car, for the company that sent it, maybe both), and people would no longer order that taxi / from that company through Uber.
Alternatively, people see the price as being super low and think that a little bit of smoke isn't so bad when they can save a few bucks, and people would order it regardless.

Either which way, Uber's system would be working.

Comment three cargo aircraft crashes [citation needed] (Score 1) 69 69

lithium battery fires have caused at least three cargo aircraft crashes

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

2? 3? Not sure - plenty of "implicated but not proven" or "something caught fire, landed safely, nobody hurt but extensive damage".

This is an interesting read, though - lengthy report of incidents, including minor (e.g. smoking bag before being loaded) between March 1991 and April 2015:

Comment Re:Arent botnets (Score 1) 56 56

No, he's probably right. Don't forget that things like a Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black and TiVos and smartphones and so forth and so on all run some flavor of Linux as well. It could very well easily be billions when you include all of the platforms from the simplest device (that could have done with a simpler microcontroller but using a more beefy chip meant cost savings on not having to use a separate display driver and running a lightweight Linux distro on there seemed like a perfect fit) to supercomputer clusters.

What GP should have said was 'desktop share'. Where people use the computers more directly. Where people are fallible. Where people will click "Yes" when they're asked if they really, really want to run a program after they downloaded it from a site that kind of looked like their bank's so it must have been legit, etc. There's little to no defense against botnet type behavior in any operating system when the attack vector is human ignorance, gullibility, or straight out stupidity

Comment Not just monetization of data (Score 1) 151 151

It's not just about monetization of data. It's also about trying to keep some things under relative wraps. Imagine if not just garages and enthusiasts could get the occasional read-out from e.g. the ODB-II, but that everybody with an in-dash Google/Apple unit or even just a smartphone communicating with a pre-installed dongle would have that information at any time. Worse, imagine if this information starts getting collected 'publicly' (under Google/Apple's control) and people (G/A) start noticing trends about certain models or brands. Marketing spin can only do so much in the face of widely collected data.

Comment Re:Compromised by not being wearable (Score 1) 97 97

The battery is just a battery. Those who are into wearables likely find no practical issue with grabbing an existing coin cell holder with leads and JST connector (or just solder one on themselves) and plugging that in - or with using a small lipo pouch (presuming the circuitry is tolerant to the voltage).

It is a shame that the slot (itself a holder) was removed mainly because of the fear that little children will eat absolutely anything, but I can understand the decision given that it is targeted to (slightly older) children in the first place and engineering e.g. a screw-fastened lid on top of it would be rather expensive.

Comment Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 210 210

I can't mod up, so just a reply then: thanks for the additional information.

I think it falls back to my second point, though; "inform the standards by which private conduct is judged" in no way suggests that you can't be sued, and "truth an absolute defense to defamation" is still a defense that would have to be brought before the court?

Comment Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 210 210

I will say it is not defamatory to make the factual statement you hired someone and got bad service, no batter what the business thinks.

If you are making a factual statement - and I interpret that to mean a statement of fact that is actually the truth - then by all means. In this case, the business believes that the statement is not the truth, and further believes it has damaged their business.

Whether or not that is actually the case (either way), let the courts decide.

In this particular case, the business owner believes

Bullshit. Do you have facts to support this? Or are you just asserting it?

Do I have facts to support that the business believes something? No. I can't read their minds, and neither can you.

So can I say with certainty that the business actually believes in what they write in the allegations - e.g.:

5. The entire review is false as it pertains to the plaintiff.
6. The review as published by defendant DOE 1 is libelous on its face

  - no, I can't say with certainty that they actually believe this, and aren't just using these and other allegations to try to silence critics. The suit is the evidence before me on which I base the description that they believe it. If you want to split hairs and suggest that I should have said that these are the allegations, fair enough.

If those people actually did hire this company, and if they are giving actual negative reviews, this lawsuit is nothing but intimidation tactics by assholes.

That's two ifs that would end up being at the core of either this or follow-up lawsuits, now wouldn't it?

If those people are actually just 1 person and if their reviews are anything but honest, then this lawsuit is well-founded, the reviewer is nothing but an asshole, and additionally in legal trouble?

How do we find out which of those scenarios apply?

Comment Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 1) 210 210

Court orders to reveal someone's identity are also a government thing

A completely different government thing. You can't just link them together and suggest that the government should intervene in a civil law case just because pudding is delicious.

anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion

And the real courts have fuck-all to do with that

You'd think I would have followed that up with a reference to something about courts. Oh wait, I did :)

I "believe" Google should pay me for beta-testing their various products that almost never leave beta.

By all means, file a suit.

When can I expect the courts to make them send me a check?

IANAL, and certainly not yours. Yes, I know you're just trying to make a point and/or trying to be funny - but ultimately it's up to a lawyer to plead your case and the courts to decide whether the point you're trying to make has merit.

Comment Re:Goodbye free speech (Score 5, Informative) 210 210

1. Freedom of speech is a government thing.

2. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from the consequences of such speech. Whether you're Anita Sarkeesian, the Dixie Chicks or Sir Tim Hunt - anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion - and potentially in the court of law if a target of your speech feels that your speech crossed the boundary into libel / slander / defamation.

In this particular case, the business owner believes that the reviews are malicious, fake, the act of a single person, etc. etc. (read the actual document). Now it's up to the court to decide whether or not Yelp will have to notify the author(s) of those reviews, or hand over personal information directly, etc.

Comment Re:We strike for right to treat customers like shi (Score 5, Insightful) 333 333

Technically, they should already have 'a monopoly'. They're putting up these blocks because the government is unwilling or unable to actually enforce previously existing laws OR the new law that was passed back in October 2014.

And since governments don't take too kindly to protests against its own institution (you may protest.. you know, somewhere out in a field where nobody's bothered by it, sees it, and you accomplish nothing - there's a good little citizen), they've taken to these measures.

Whether that will result in the law getting enforced, or ferrying people about is turned into a free for all (in which case the 'official' taxi drivers should not have to get a license and pay for that either), for the time being they have every right to be upset; not so much at Uber, but certainly at the French government.

Though if you think this is bad - keep an eye on Calais and the French government's unwillingness to deal with that clusterfuck.

"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"