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Comment Trademark infringement mostly (Score 1) 168

If they're basing this on owning the copyright to the Olympics, this isn't going to work - owning a copyright on the name of a thing doesn't mean that you can prevent anyone from talking about your thing, just that nobody else can sell it.

It's not only a copyright but a trademark too. They Olympics and symbols relating to it are all trademarks so the primary argument would be trademark infringement though in many cases their argument would be a weak one. Often they don't have a solid legal leg to stand on but they have demonstrated in the past that they will no hesitate to sick their flesh eating lawyers on anyone who crosses them.

Basically they are trying to protect the (substantial) money they get from their "official sponsors".

Comment Not an idle threat (Score 3, Informative) 168

You can bluster and threaten as much as you want, but reporting on the facts is perfectly legal.

That's true but the IOC and USOC don't care. They will sue you even if you did nothing illegal and I don't think this is an idle threat. They (mistakenly) think they are protecting their corporate sponsors by doing this. They sued Wizards of the Coast for using a symbol that could not possibly have been mistaken for the Olympic rings.

Comment Corrupt bastards (Score 1) 168

Commercial entities may not post about the Trials or Games on their corporate social media accounts

Good luck with that.

Apparently the letter says that any company whose primary mission isn't media is forbidden from using any pictures taken at the Olympics, sharing, and even reposting anything from the official Olympics account.

Reminds me of the time when the IOC decided the card game Legend of the Five Rings somehow infringed on their trademarks.

This from the same crowd that refuses to ban Russia in the face of clear evidence of a state sponsored doping program.

Comment Re:Rhetorical... (Score 1) 168

They'd save on gold and silver.

But seriously, the amount I care about the Olympics: 1.01-1.011%

Olympic games are all about politics, nothing is about sport (and I don't care watching people perform sports, but I realize many do).

If games have to happen they should be happening in Greece, there should be permanent stadiums there, they could be maintained by everybody who cares about the games.

But this way how could the governments steal billions from the populations and redistribute that money to their close friends? That's the real problem, apparently governments still need some pretext for stealing for some reason.

Comment Accountability (Score 1) 162

The bean counters would still do it without the CEO's direction, since it directly affects the company's ability to pay the employees (including said bean counters) salaries.

Company wide tax mitigation does not happen without C-suite executives being involved. Period. Virtually everything accountants do affects the financial statements and those are reviewed closely by the CEO and his direct reports if they care to keep their jobs. As such it does not happen without oversight with the head of the company leading that oversight.

And they would be under less pressure to do illegal tax dodges, since they would bear direct responsibility for those decisions instead of "just following orders.

Accountants DO bear direct responsibility for their actions and can (and occasionally do) go to jail for "illegal tax dodges". They are the first ones thrown under the bus if something shady is going on. Most tax dodges are 100% legal and there is a cottage industry in finding clever ways to legally reduce tax. The only ones who do it illegally are the ones who are too dumb to know better.

Hang the CEOs, watch the company do better as the people who actually know their jobs do them without outside interference.

If you want to see what a company looks like when you let the accounting and finance people do their jobs "without outside interference" I direct your attention to Enron. What you are proposing is a one way ticket to Fraudtown. A CEO who isn't keeping a close eye on the where the money goes in the company is not doing his/her job and should be fired.

Comment Wishful thinking (Score 1) 524

But airplanes have been flying with Autopilot for decades, and the legal situation is quite clear - the pilot is responsible for flying the plane, and the Autopilot is just an assist that automates some of the boring stuff.

And that is exactly how it should be in automobiles as well. The driver is the responsible party. When we get to fully automated vehicles things might get a little more complicated but for now it's pretty simple who is liable. The only real question is if Tesla has some sort of contributory negligence style liability as well.

Exactly the same as Tesla's Autopilot - probably why they named it Autopilot was to remind people of that.

Problem there is that to fly a plane you need to demonstrate a high level of competency and substantial amounts of training with tests to fly even the simplest of aircraft which lack autopilot. They don't let you use autopilot until they are damn sure you know what you are doing. The only tests we give to drive are some ridiculously easy tests that most teenagers can pass and we never evaluate their driving competency ever again even though many are seriously lacking in driving competence. Trusting that drivers will understand the connection to the use of the term in aviation is wishful thinking.

Comment Why autopilot (Score 1) 524

Why do people want to use autopilot in the first place?

Numerous reasons.
1) Physical comfort to start. I use cruise control in my car to relieve my leg from having to be fixed in a position for an extended period of time. It can get quite uncomfortable. Discomfort can lead to distraction and distraction can lead to accidents. (insert yoda joke here)
2) Autopilot also can be useful as a safety measure precisely because people's attention routinely waivers. Computers don't get distracted as easily as we do. I challenge you to find a driver who has never accidentally veered out of their lane while distracted or had to perform an emergency stop because of some condition they failed to notice ahead. Autopilot can help ensure these situation occur less often.
3) We lack the technology to fully automate driving but we have technology to prevent some types of accidents. We put ABS and traction control and air bags, and seat belts and other technology on cars to improve safety. Technology that keeps you marginally safer is a good thing. If autopilot can prevent more accidents than would happen without it then it is a good thing to have. We're looking for a net benefit.

Comment Emotion and judges (Score 1) 524

Judges don't deal in emotions like a jury does.

HA! If you really believe that you need to educate yourself about judges. They're just as human and subject to emotion as anyone else. The entire reason we have juries in the first place is precisely because judges are prone to emotion and irrationality and error and bias.
   

Comment Regulations are written in blood (Score 1) 524

Yes, this is an extremely common use case. Tesla will likely fix it. But it does suggest that they have not put the appropriate thought into the thousands of less common use cases that will creep up when this product gets into the hands of more people.

I've said it before but I'll say it again. This is a case of "Regulations are written in blood" in the sense that there will be a human cost involved in figuring out what works and what doesn't and fixing it so it doesn't happen again. Automated driving technologies are going to cost some number of lives and injuries to develop. I don't know how many, I just know the number will be greater than zero. There will be innumerable corner cases to work out before the technology meets its full potential and we will only learn about some of these by someone getting injured.

People bitch about regulations but they tend to forget the human cost that led to the regulation in the first place. New technologies rarely come without a human cost involved. Even something as seemingly innocuous as text messaging has resulted in fatalities because we didn't fully anticipate the degree of distraction it caused to drivers.

Comment Regulations (Score 3, Informative) 154

Tap water regulations are usually very strict.

Unless you live in Flint Michigan...

But once you bottle the water it becomes food, and food can contain pretty much anything.

Not even remotely true but thanks for trying. While there is (unfortunately) a lot of wiggle room, food production, marketing, and sales is actually pretty heavily regulated by the FDA and USDA among others.

Comment Whose job is it? (Score 1) 162

Well-paid CEO isn't responsible for reducing tax liability - that's the bean counters job.

Speaking as a certified bean-counter, it absolutely is a (small) part of the CEOs job. Everything that goes on in the company is the CEO's responsibility and I assure you that if the CEO isn't overseeing measures to minimize tax liability that the board of directors will (or should) notice because it directly affects profits. Since profits are the CEO's job, so are taxes. The bean counters are there to carry out the task (along with lawyers and auditors) but the responsibility definitely is a portion of the CEO's job. It's also the responsibility of other people as well since business is a team sport.

You could remove most CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, etc., and as long as nobody noticed, the company would be better off.

If you believe this then you have no idea what those jobs entail. Believe me there is plenty to criticize about how CEOs do their job and how their are compensated without idiotic sound bites.

Comment Profit maximization (Score 2) 159

And how much should internet service cost? I was paying $80 per month for 40 Mbps down but only ever getting 20 and often getting about 2. As it turned out, they were willing to lower my bill to about $35 per month and no doubt they're still making a profit. So where was that extra $45 going?

That my friend is about the closest thing to pure profit in the known universe. It costs them essentially the same amount to provide you 1Mbps access as it does 100Mbps access once the equipment is installed. Like text messaging for phone companies they are charging for something that otherwise would be an underutilized asset. Worse, in a lot of places there is just one option for customers so they have little incentive to compete on price or improve service. Where I live my options are Comcast or MUCH slower service from Frontier Communications or to cut the cord and go LTE though my cell phone. Kind of a Hobson's choice really.

It's kind of like seats on an airplane. People have different willingness to pay for what in reality are very minor differences and so they charge different amounts to maximize profit.

Comment Value for money (Score 1) 159

Most Netflix content has been off the air for years. It's cheaper content.

That's actually why I dropped my subscription (twice). I like the concept but I had two problems with Netflix. One was that it was a pain in the rear to find something interesting to watch that I hadn't already seen or had no interest in seeing. I would spend 30-60 minutes searching through their (crappy) interface to try to find something to watch and eventually give up. The other problem was that their catalog was decidedly lacking in more recent content. Oh they had some but it was very hit or miss for their streaming. I haven't seen any original content from them that piqued my interest enough to bother subscribing again and I doubt I will. Most movies I actually care enough to watch more than once I already own on DVD or BluRay. Also much of what I would watch on Netflix I can watch for free on Youtube or elsewhere, including cable.

This isn't saying Netflix is a bad service and I love the concept but for me personally I didn't find it to be good value for money. I do pay $35/month for a cable subscription but surprisingly I find that to be better value for money than Netflix was. I just didn't use Netflix enough to justify the (admittedly reasonable) subscription. Ideally I'd like to get some form of ala-carte programming but neither the streaming nor the cable options have nailed the magic formula for me at least.

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