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Comment Kind of Google's MO (Score 1) 59 59

Google has an amazing (and free, up to a pretty generous rate limit) geocoder (turns text strings into GPS coordinates). Only problem: you're not allowed to use it to do geocoding. The ONLY thing you're allowed to use it for is to build a Google Map. (For those looking for a free and high-quality alternative, I recommend OpenCage)

Comment This is how veganism will become mainstream (Score 1) 174 174

1. As droughts become more common and severe, the price of meat (which takes a lot more water per calorie than veg) will rise. Alternatively, the animal rights folks will make strides that make factory farming illegal and thus forces all meat to be produced at small, organic/free range farms. Supply goes down, price goes up.

2. Meat substitutes will get tastier and tastier, and as demand increases, production will scale and prices will go down.

I'm a carnivore (and bacon-lover, especially), but I see this as a good thing.

Comment Isn't this more about full-time employment? (Score 2) 432 432

Isn't this more in line with Jeb Bush saying what we need is more stable, 40-hour-a-week jobs, as opposed to part-time work and unreliable "gigs?" I don't see this as calling for regulation of Uber et. al but rather trying to boost economic sectors that provide stable employment. But maybe I'm wrong!

Comment Why don't apps learn? (Score 4, Interesting) 363 363

There are certain roads I prefer to take and others I prefer to avoid, certain maneuvers I prefer to make and others I dislike. Example: especially if I'm navigating someplace unfamiliar, I'd much rather take the "least complicated" route that involves the fewest turns, especially if the time saving is less than 15 minutes.

Google Maps tracks this, both if I'm putting together the route on the computer (for printing out and taking with me) or if I'm actually navigating. And yet its suggested directions never change. It seems like there'd be MORE than enough data accumulated in a relatively small number of drives for GMaps (or Waze, is after all owned by Google, or whatever) to notice "Ah, this person hates taking non-protected left turns," or, "this person will not take the beltway for any more than a half-hour's time savings," and to adjust the directions it gives accordingly. They personalize search results. Why not directions?

Comment Re:He didn't own the thing in the first place (Score 1) 272 272

Youtube isn't hosting videos out of the kindness of their hearts--they get huge chunks of ad revenue, little of which they share with content creators. So, while no one is paying for hosting, Youtube isn't exactly being philanthropic.

Comment Re:He didn't own the thing in the first place (Score 1) 272 272

I just think about all the folks I've seen who've had their accounts unceremoniously deleted by Youtube due to unspecified "copyright violations." Years' worth of content, gone in an instant (make backups, folks!). Big reason to get "partnered," because then your affiliate network usually has the ability to make Youtube give two fucks. But yeah, building a business on top of Youtube is a bad idea.

Comment Re:This is my problem with Snowden (Score 1) 176 176

Ed, is that you?

Actually, in a poll conducted just this last week, 65% of Americans say that NSA surveillance has helped thwart terrorist attacks, and a plurality--49%--say that they believe the benefits outweigh the negatives. So yeah, maybe Americans aren't super thrilled about the fact that the NSA has our dick pics, the same way we're not thrilled that Facebook has licensing rights to all our photos or that Uber tracks our location and uses it to make inferences about our sex lives, but yet, at the end of the day, we're not changing our behavior--neither in the apps that we use nor in the ways that we vote.

Man, I feel dirty linking to the Washington Times, but it was the most recent poll that a two-minute Google search turned up.

Comment This is my problem with Snowden (Score 4, Insightful) 176 176

He really seems to live in his own bubble of self-delusion. The majority of Americans: (1) do not know about NSA surveillance, (2) do not care and (3) have no fucking idea who Edward Snowden is. Just this week, the USA Freedom Act reauthorized these programs, and the only politician who seems to care? Rand Paul, the most hated man in the Senate. I'm sorry, but the consequences of Snowden's leaks have been minimal, and, if the world is saying anything about surveillance, it's not no, it's "Yeah, okay. Whatever."

Comment Legal analysis (Score 2) 144 144

Okay, so this one had me scratching my head, but I think after reading this analysis, I might have a handle on it:

-This is not a First Amendment issue, but an issue of interpreting a federal statute making threats illegal.

-The issue is not whether a reasonable person would have interpreted what he said as a serious threat.

-The issue is the author's intent, and it matters what the author's intent is, but it's not clear based on the SCOTUS ruling what sort of intent is required to prosecute (actual intent to threaten vs. recklessness--not caring if it was taken as threatening) .

Basically, the long-and-short of it appears to be that SCOTUS just made this shit a hell of a lot more confusing.

Also notable: in 1969 the Supreme Court ruled in Watts v. United States that the following was protected speech:

They always holler at us to get an education. And now I have already received my draft classification as 1-A and I have got to report for my physical this Monday coming. I am not going. If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L. B. J.

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