Sorry, I may have spoken too soon there. Certain features of hangouts look like they still require plus, if you are not on an Apps (business) account. But they seem to have almost completely phased this out. In general they seem to have halted the major push for plus. I'd like to think they fired* the head of plus partly because of the failure of the push and the backlash of the real name, and youtube stuff...but I don't know why he "left" ( http://recode.net/2014/04/24/e... ). Anyways, here's what i could find on how to use hangouts:
Here's how to use it without plus:
No, it can be used with or without plus.
Obviously this isnt suffrage or civil rights, but it's an important piece of information when building a socioeconomic model of how American capitalism functions. These are the real "rational" actors in the market and we need all this information. Letting lawsuits like this settle behind closed doors for relatively small amounts of money and heavily redacted documents only serves to further obscure the truth. It doesn't take millions marching on Washington to for the truth to have value. Rather, without the truth, who will ever protest?
I understand where you are coming from but I think your line of thought here does the discussion a disservice. It's never futile to work for informing the public even just a little bit more. But it's time to stop "expecting" these lawsuits to produce crappy results -- it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
As I mentioned in my OP: one of the class advocates for the plaintiff did not accept the settlement that the lawyers on both sides had worked out. And instead of giving in to fatalism that "this is just the way these lawsuits go", he instead wrote a letter to Lucy Koh, the judge, asking her to throw out the settlement. And now she has done just that!
This quote is cheesy but good:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
(Incidentally I can't imagine you actually think Snowden had no lasting effect on the world).
I don't think apathy needs an advocate. There really is no sense in loudly proclaiming defeatism. Sure, some people don't care, but the defendants would not have worked so hard to keep documents sealed if *nobody* cared. This case is being widely covered by the media:
So I don't know about what you said right there. I don't believe that "no one cares".
You dont need to wonder, you need to read:
Some estimates put it as high as $9 billion.
This wasn't just about cold calling. The chilling effects were far more reaching. It's just that the documented evidence only referred specifically to cold calling, so that is what can be proved. In reality this was much more of a "gentleman's agreement" and it had the effect of driving down wages at dozens of large companies possibly affecting ~1 million workers. If you think it stopped with just poaching and had no other effect, you are being naive. Google actually had to raise some salaries due to Facebook not participating.
Here are just some of the companies involved:
IBM Corporation (Junior hires okay—also applies to subsidiaries)
Clear Channel Communications, Inc.
Virgin Media, Inc. (Formerly NTL, Inc.)
Yeah, Tea Party is too specific to an existing dogma. But, there are quite a few liberals who skew closer to Noam Chomsky's brand. I think a number of liberals take anti-establishment seriously and believe that libertarianism has some insightful observations on how things work ( e.g. regulatory capture). But a number of liberals have different solutions. Very different from Chomsky's "Anarchist Social Libertarianism" (or whatever he calls it). And especially different from the pro big business of "libertarian" politicians.
There is room to agree on populism.
There is room to agree on that things are broken.
There is room to agree things need to change.
But what we need is to stop fighting on abstract idealistic polarized solutions.
It's time to start thinking beyond these extreme dogmatic and impractical abstract ideas of how to run things. We dont want oppressive big brother government, and we dont want out-of-control, laissez-faire, libertarian capitalism.
The thing we really need here is public justice. If the world does not know how these ultra rich are conspiring against them, then there is no justice. They need to unseal all of the evidence, no exceptions.
Also I think it's important to note one of the plaintiffs (Michael Devine) who pushed the judge into ruling against this, the lawyers wanted to walk away with their check.
Plaintiff fights Apple, Google settlement in wage-fixing suit
A programmer who is part of the class action lawsuit against several tech giants says $324 million isn't enough.
"As an analogy," Devine wrote to Koh, according to the Times, "if a shoplifter is caught on video stealing a $400 iPad from the Apple Store, would a fair and just resolution be for the shoplifter to pay Apple $40, keep the iPad, and walk away with no record or admission of wrongdoing? Of course not."
Had the case gone to trial as planned at the end of May, court filings indicate, the tech employees would have sought $3 billion. Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Intuit agreed to settle last year for a combined $20 million, covering 8 percent of the employees named in the suit.
Apparently Google agrees with you as well as it seems they changed the priority to Critical in the past few hours.