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Comment Re:Apple buys Volkswagen's assets.... (Score 1) 535

Apple buys VW/Audi and rebrands (since the brands will be taking a big hit very soon), and consumers forget about dieselgate. Apple gets the infrastructure to build cars, as well as an eager dealership network. They throw money at some new designers to oversee the existing engineers and make the vehicles they want to make.

Book it, done deal.

Plus, Apple does software much better than VW. Nobody will ever find out if the A&W Golf TDI cheats on emissions tests.

Comment Is this really that serious? (Score 1) 471

An $18 billion dollar fine for ... misleading customers with respect to the true performance of their cars? Really? How many people lost their jobs over this? How many people were actually materially affected by it?

The fine BP faced for the Macondo (Deepwater Horizon) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was $18.7 billion -- pretty much identical. The environmental impacts of that incident and its ramifications in terms of real human suffering were far, far greater than this. Shouldn't that be part of the calculus in determining a penalty?

Either VW's fine is too large or BP's was too small, but the scale and significance of the offences involved are just not comparable.

Comment only a starting point (Score 1) 125

I dislike Elsevier's extortionate rates for information access as much as the next researcher and try to pay them as little as I can get away with. However, Wikipedia has only ever been a starting point for investigation into any topic. At best it may give you a fair understanding of the subject and/or the issues at play, but generally it serves as an aggregator and should not be construed as anything more definitive. As such, allowing citations of closed sources such as those from Elsevier is pretty much the same as what Google already does and has always done. There's no real controversy here.

Disclaimer: I have contributed mods to Wikipedia in the past. I do not work for Elsevier or any other publisher.

Comment In a nutshell ... (Score 1) 109

Michael Geist reports that records show the extension is the result of backroom lobbying with monthly meetings between senior government officials and music industry lobbyists paving the way for copyright term extension without public consultation or debate.

Because that pretty much sums up the way the Harper government operates -- and has, ever since they were elected.

Comment Re:But what about ... (Score 1) 222

You know what? I appear to be uninformed or behind the times on both scores.

(1) apparently there's a way to export MyPlaces maps in KML format from old Maps and then import them into new Maps. I haven't tested it yet, but the Google Maps Help Forum group reports that it does exist.

(2) new Google Maps has both a line drawing tool (for custom route display) and a distance tool (for measuring distances over a single distance or a custom route).

I'll make the switch.

Comment But what about ... (Score 1) 222

(1) my old personal maps (MyPlaces)? I've generated a few over the years that I still refer back to once in a while. I didn't see any migration path to the new version for those.

(2) the custom tools in the old version? One of the most useful for me personally was the distance measuring tool which gave a straight line distance between 2 points (or a series of points) that you marked on a map. Don't think that's there in the new version either.

Loss of these functionality alone means that being forced onto the new version is going to suck.

Comment Re:OSM for practical navigation (Score 1) 39

Google appears so overwhelmingly better at handling all of those complex mapping scenarios to the point where OSM can't be seriously considered for people trying to use it to navigate that city.

Interestingly, for one of my favourite mapping application -- establishing coastal sea-kayaking routes -- Google Maps is worse than useless. Google fuzzes out the offshore regions, leaving large blank areas where I know that islands/archipelagos exist. OSM does not do this, making it a much better tool for the job.

The program isn't debugged until the last user is dead.