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Comment: Re:WikiLeaks are fuckers (Score 1) 141

by tverbeek (#49492845) Attached to: Wikileaks Publishes Hacked Sony Emails, Documents

Wikileaks performs an important public service ... and does it badly.

The U.S. Constitution recognizes that it is necessary to violate privacy to expose wrong-doing, but places limits on the government's authority to do so "unreasonably", because the very act of doing so can be harmful to those who are not guilty. We shouldn't applaud when a private entity violates others' privacy even more irresponsibly than the government.

Comment: Try doing it right next time (Score 4, Insightful) 698

by tverbeek (#49478141) Attached to: 'We the People' Petition To Revoke Scientology's Tax Exempt Status

It would be nice to see a petition that instead makes a cogent, fact-based, reasoned argument against the COS's legal eligibility for tax-exempt status, rather than a rant consisting of a bunch of unproven allegations, unspecified accusations of government corruption that sound like they come from conspiracy nuts, some borderline libel, with a couple facts thrown in. It wouldn't be that difficult to do, and it might actually make it awkward for the White House to dismiss, rather than making it easy by inviting them to defend their tax status as an example of how the U.S. defends "oppressed" religions.

Businesses

Amazon Sues To Block Fake Reviews 126

Posted by samzenpus
from the 4-out-of-5-stars-would-review-again dept.
An anonymous reader writes Amazon has filed suit against operators of sites that offer Amazon sellers the ability to purchase fake 4 and 5 star customer reviews. The suit is the first of its kind and was filed in King County Superior Court against a California man, Jay Gentile, identified in Amazon's filings as the operator of buyazonreviews.com. The site also targets unidentified "John Does" who operate similar sites: buyreviewsnow.com, bayreviews.net, and buyamazonreviews.com. From the article: "The site buyazonreviews.com, which the suit claims is run by Gentile, didn't respond to a request for comment. But Mark Collins, the owner of buyamazonreviews.com, denied Amazon's claims. In an email interview, Collins said the site simply offers to help Amazon's third-party sellers get reviews. 'We are not selling fake reviews. however we do provide Unbiased and Honest reviews on all the products,' Collins wrote. 'And this is not illegal at all.'"
Google

FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the shareholder-value dept.
mi writes: We've always suspected that Google might tweak its search algorithms to gain an advantage over its rivals — and, according to an FTC investigation inadvertently shared with the Wall Street Journal, it did. Quoting: "In a lengthy investigation, staffers in the FTC's bureau of competition found evidence that Google boosted its own services for shopping, travel and local businesses by altering its ranking criteria and "scraping" content from other sites. It also deliberately demoted rivals. For example, the FTC staff noted that Google presented results from its flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options. Google's shopping results were ranked above rival comparison-shopping engines, even though users didn't click on them at the same rate, the staff found. Many of the ways Google boosted its own results have not been previously disclosed.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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