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Comment Re:When free speech of US citizens is directly aff (Score 0) 151

It would be better if you actually read the proposals. There are three categories for the proposed "right to be forgotten" edict. The first category is as you mention, but it is only the first category. Roughly speaking, category 2 is copies of the data you uploaded (i.e. friends copy your photos or posts) and category 3 is any data about you.

And the "right to be forgotten" is supposed to cover all three. Read "Nineteen Eighty Four" for an idea of how that will work. Winston Smith works in the Ministry of Information going through all the old newspaper archives "updating" them with the "new history". Any company on the Internet will have to do that: "updating history" to remove valid, true facts that someone has requested be removed about themselves.

Imagine a financial company hiring people with long histories of embezzlement, fraud, blackmail, etc. simply because that information has been removed.

Imagine a woman marrying a man with a long, long history of wife beating, adultery, etc. because those FACTS have been "forgotten".

Where is the rest of the world's right to know simple facts about others they need to trust?

Comment Guilty until your rivals are "convinced" otherwise (Score 3, Insightful) 329

A response from the commissioner is understood to be imminent, after Almunia's office told Google in mid-December that it must convince its rivals that it competes fairly in the web search market or else it could - within months - face sanctions for alleged "abuse of dominance".

I found this statement very strange. Especially in light of the principle of "innocent until proven guilty". Apparently, the EU doesn't have to prove Google broke the law. Even stranger, the EU is not asking Google to prove that they didn't break the law.

No, it seems to be much worse. Google must "convince its rivals that it competes fairly" or face sanctions that its rivals desperately want.

It just boggles the mind.

Comment Consulting is not for everyone (Score 4, Informative) 207

I was an IT consultant for many, many years and was quite successful. That being said, there are very few people who should, or even could, do it.

First, for most consulting gigs, you are constantly one day away from being unemployed. That's stress. Assuming you are very good at what you do, gigs can last for years. But some don't last long at all and some end quite abruptly for reasons outside of your control.

You have to have a great network for your next consulting gig. If you have to start looking from scratch after your current assignment ends, you will have long stretches between assignments.

You don't get paid for sick days, vacations, holidays. You don't have benefits. Your taxes are usually higher and there is no withholding so you must plan ahead. It takes a lot of work and a lot of discipline to be a successful consultant. The idea that "anyone can be a successful consultant" is complete bullshit.

I don't do that any more. The many years I spent as an independent consultant were fine -- but enough.

Comment Re:Googles given up standing for good. (Score 1) 96

In general, I do not disagree with your points.

What makes Google valuable is that it does a pretty good job of presenting what it thinks best fulfills your request. That has been and continues to be what makes Google better than what came before. I remember the days of almost completely unfiltered results from searches and the returned data was almost completely useless.

But, that being said, that is also Google's potentially biggest danger. When their "guesses" do not align with what people actually want, or when their "guesses" end up being de facto censorship, then it becomes a liability. It is a very, very fuzzy line. Some people get super upset if porn shows up. Some people get super upset when it doesn't. I get upset when I can't state my personal preference.

But that's what's so good about the Internet. Where a need exists that isn't met, someone will come up with a solution. If Google fails, someone else will succeed.

Comment Re:Googles given up standing for good. (Score 1) 96

I see no problem with wanting businesses to work to help mankind in any way they they are able. The operative word is "able". There are limits to what a single company, no matter how large, can do.

Companies cannot break the law. This isn't like an individual who might break the law in protest. Companies cannot operate like that for quite a number of reasons -- consult a corporate lawyer for details.

Google had to completely leave China because, while they disagreed with China's censorship requirements, they could not refuse to comply while still being a Chinese company.

Until you know what are the limitations and restraints for a company in a specific situation, it seems a bit presumptuous to criticize a company for "not doing enough."

Comment Re:Googles given up standing for good. (Score 2) 96

There is no reason to assume that Google isn't "providing unfiltered results". I see no evidence they have ever filtered results for China. In fact, as I recall, that's why they moved their servers out of China.

Why are you claiming they are censoring results? What TFA is about is Google decided to stop warning Chinese users that specific key words would trigger Chinese government censoring (and possibly worse). Shall we assume that Google found the warning was useless?

But I see no evidence that Google is doing any censoring or filtering.

Comment Re:Googles given up standing for good. (Score 1) 96

Wow, you seem to have confused Google with a comic book superhero. It's a business. To do anything at all in the world, it first has to stay in business. Second, to continue to do anything, it has to make a profit. It isn't a charitable organization, it isn't the U.N. with power over governments of the world. It isn't a superhero.

It's just a business. You seem to believe it's a superhero with vast powers to fight whole governments for Truth, Justice and the American Way.

I can't believe people who assign vast, unreal powers and responsibilities on Google -- and then viciously attack Google when it doesn't live up to THEIR fantasies.

It's just a business. Expect it to have only the powers and responsibilities of a business. Superheroes exist only in the comics.

Comment Re:Linux kernel is GNU (Score 1) 535

Whoa! I am not attacking you as a troll. I'm merely pointing out that you have some bad information about this. Take it easy.

If running Linux under an emulator violates the GPL then Microsoft, VMware and a host of other companies are in deep trouble -- a lot of companies do that and it's OK.

What you run under an emulator is not an intrinsic part of an emulator itself. They are completely separate. This is perfectly legal under the GPL.

Even if someone happens to make GPL'd programs available with their emulator, they are still completely separate entities. From what I understand, there is no actual GPL code inside the SDK's code and that's what counts.

Comment Re:burden of proof goes the other way (Score 1) 449

Thats all well and good, but our Governemnt doesnt work on that principle. Liberty ALWAYS comes first. The FAA needs to provide proof of their claim or shut the fuck up. Anything less is tyranny.

"Liberty always comes first."
Are you being ironic, or are you speaking of some other government?

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