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Comment: Re:Lucky them (Score 1) 132

by squiggleslash (#47925323) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

The results I get seem to be mostly people trying to come up with clever blog titles, not actually cases where someone innocently said "Well, I googled what you asked for, and Bing gave me over a gajillion results."

Indeed, I suspect there are multiple levels here. If someone tells me to "Go google something", I may use Bing in my quest to research whatever it is I've been asked to look up. OTOH, if I say "Well, I googled it, and found...", it'll generally be the case that I'm saying I actually used Google.

Comment: Re:If there was only one viable choice ... (Score 1) 132

by squiggleslash (#47925305) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

Pro-tip, which I learned recently: Google has actually a hidden (well, obscure, it's there but there's no reason you'd think it does what it does) option that means "Just give me the results using the algorithms you used back when Google was useful." Search Tools -> (All Results) : Verbatim.

No, you can't make it a default. They track that you're probably male, probably interested in tech, and that you'd be a good person to present ads for spiked leather underpants to, but they don't track that you actually want useful search engine results. Sigh.

Comment: Re:Well, if you're going to push... (Score 1) 132

by squiggleslash (#47925247) Attached to: Court Rules the "Google" Trademark Isn't Generic

I'm in my forties, and I don't recall anyone ever using the term "Xerox". I've heard it used as an example of someone using a trademark generically, but not actually seen that occur in practice.

Same, BTW, goes for Kleenex. Everyone I know, since the dawn of time, has said "tissue".

Coke and Tylenol, yeah. But not Xerox or Kleenex.

Comment: Re:The UK Cobol Climate Is Very Different (Score 1) 113

by ShieldW0lf (#47924657) Attached to: College Students: Want To Earn More? Take a COBOL Class

Quite simply, it's less comfortable to wear. Considering how much you spend at work, even minor differences in comfort can be very important and well worth the salary difference.

If your suit isn't comfortable, buy a nicer suit. A good suit is extremely comfortable.

Comment: Re:pass the tinfoil (Score 1) 81

by mpe (#47911333) Attached to: Solar Powered Technology Enhances Oil Recovery
Greenwashing is done with signs and advertisements, not with millions of dollars and heavy equipment investments.

The likes of "biofuels" and "renewable" electricity generation can involve vast amounts of money and plant. Yet be useless, even counterproductive, assuming a goal of reducing fossil fuel usage. So the idea that "greenwashing" cannot involve these is false.

Comment: Re:Steam to extract oil that shouldn't be... (Score 1) 81

by mpe (#47911133) Attached to: Solar Powered Technology Enhances Oil Recovery
The credible way out of the problem of burning fossil fuels is to replace as many energy sources as possible with renewables (wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, etc.).

Wind and solar are not especially credible energy sources. Except for specific niche applications, possibly excluding this one. Geothermal and hydro require rather specific geography with hydro often being opposed by "greenies". With the most effective and most truely "renewable" option being even more strongly opposed by the "greenies".

Comment: Re:bullshit (Score 1) 324

by mpe (#47900519) Attached to: Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction
It's usually easy to tell whether a driver involved in an accident was texting and the penalties can be stiff (including manslaughter or vehicular homicide).

Should there actually be special laws along the lines of "vehicular homicide" especially given that they potentially allow someone to literally "get away with murder".

Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 2) 286

by squiggleslash (#47896311) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Bullshit. Those groups defend the laws, but they don't exist until the laws are passed. Licensed taxi drivers are a creation of regulation, not the creators of it.

The laws get created because enough people get ripped off, killed, and otherwise hurt by a completely unregulated marketplace that politicians feel the need to take action. The environment and circumstances in which the regulations were passed are so long ago that knee-jerk libertarians can claim, with a straight face, that they really believe that someone with a medallion lobbied for a law calling for the creation of the medallion system, knowing nobody will actually be able to recall the real reasons.

In the majority of cases, the laws make sense and are obvious to anyone looking in that they have little to do with protecting monopolies.

- To reduce the risks of accidents, most taxi regulations generally impose requirements on the skills and abilities of drivers, though frequently these aren't more than those required to get a driving license to begin with.
- To prevent a taxi driver's mistake causing untold harm to a client who ends up an accident victim, taxi drivers are generally required to carry more insurance than normal.
- To ensure the taxi provides a predictable level of service, and hence avoid clients being ripped off, taxi drivers generally are required to implement a standardized fare schedule, and usually have to pass certain tests about knowledge of local routes.

In rare cases, there may also be a quota system to prevent an overload of taxis. At a surface level, this might seem like an attempt to enforce a monopoly, but in fact it's usually the result of city commissioners trying to regulate traffic in general. The poster child for the this kind of regulation is New York City. You can pretend, if you want, that the problem with NYC is that there are too few taxis as a result of the medallion system, but, well, I've been there. Those photos you see of a typical Manhattan street clogged in all lanes by nothing but yellow cabs? Those aren't staged.

So no, licensed taxi drivers did not create the licensing system. Insured taxi drivers did not demand to be insured. Trained taxi drivers did not demand training requirements. And the Linux kernel never created Linus Torvalds.

Comment: Re:Can we please cann these companies what they ar (Score 1) 286

by mpe (#47896161) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal
if you want to save money and take a risk with a cab that doesn't have inspections, why should the government butt in? again, consenting adults not small children that need a nanny to watch over them.

On the other hand there dosn't appear to be much interst in regulating "school runs".

Comment: Re: US is... (Score 1) 530

by silentcoder (#47888891) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

It's a publicly available document - if you seriously want to know, go read it.
There is quite a lot of restrictions on accessing this - generally it's limited to people who genuinely could never do so for themselves, and I've yet to encounter any South African (even libertarians) who have an issue with the housing program (though the libertarians complain that the recipients should get full ownership with title).

The much more important aspect is not that, it's rules like making evictions require a court order - so that power imbalances between rich and poor can be somewhat mitigated by judicial oversight into processes like that.

Comment: Re:The End Result . . . (Score 1) 287

by squiggleslash (#47888331) Attached to: German Court: Google Must Stop Ignoring Customer E-mails

That would work if one of their internal lawyers had mentioned it in passing and that's how Google had found out about the problem. However, in this case it's government regulators who brought the subject, which means Google now knows its being watched and knows there's the risk of regulators demanding to see internal documents and auditing their systems.

So no, Google can't, now, go for the runaround option. They have to implement something that means someone at least views the comments that are received by that email address.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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