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Supreme Court asked to nullify the Google trademark

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Is the term "google" too generic and therefore unworthy of its trademark protection? That's the question before the US Supreme Court.

Words like teleprompter, thermos, hoover, aspirin, and videotape were once trademarked. They lost the status after their names became too generic and fell victim to what is known as "genericide."

What's before the Supreme Court is a trademark lawsuit that Google already defeated in a lower court. The lawsuit claims that Google should no longer be trademarked because the word "google" is synonymous to the public with the term "search the Internet."

"There is no single word other than google that conveys the action of searching the Internet using any search engine," according to the petition to the Supreme Court.

It's perhaps one of the most consequential trademark case before the justices since they ruled in June that offensive trademarks must be allowed.

The Google trademark dispute dates to 2012 when a man named Chris Gillespie registered 763 domain names that combined "google" with other words and phrase, including "googledonaldtrump.com." Google filed a cybersquatting complaint under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy and claimed trademark infringement. Google won, and an arbitration panel ordered the forfeiture of the domains.

Gillespie then sued in a bid to invalidate the trademark. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the search giant gets to keep its trademark even if the term "google" has become known for searching the Internet. One reason is because Google isn't just a search engine.

"Even if we assume that the public uses the verb 'google' in a generic and indiscriminate sense, this tells us nothing about how the public primarily understands the word itself, irrespective of its grammatical function, with regard to Internet search engines," the San Francisco-based appeals court ruled.

The appeals panel said trademark loss to genericide occurs when the name has become an "exclusive descriptor" that makes it difficult for competitors to compete unless they use that name.

Why does any of this matter? The American Bar Association says a trademark "grants the right to use the registered trademark symbol: ®," allows a rights holder to sue for trademark infringement, and "acts as a bar to the registration of another confusingly similar mark."

Gillespie has now appealed his appellate court loss to the US high court. The petition for the Supreme Court to review the lower court's ruling was filed days ago. It may take months before the justices decide whether to take up the dispute.

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satadru
1 hour ago
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Just ridiculous. When I say "Google it" I don't mean look it up on Bing.
New York, NY
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New York Police Officers Rally in Support of Colin Kaepernick

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Dozens of current and retired officers from the New York Police Department rallied on Saturday morning in support of Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers player lionized and reviled for refusing to stand during the national anthem.

The gathering in Brooklyn Bridge Park was organized by Sgt. Edwin Raymond and attended by about 80 officers who wore black T-shirts emblazoned with “#IMWITHKAP.” Frank Serpico, a former officer who exposed corruption in the New York Police Department in the 1970s, attended.

Speakers, including City Councilman Jumaane D. Williams, Democrat of Brooklyn, linked the backlash against Kaepernick’s gesture — no team has signed the quarterback for this season — to the violence last weekend during a white nationalist march in Charlottesville, Va., and more generally to issues of police accountability.

Kaepernick, 29, stopped standing for the anthem last season, saying he was protesting violence against minorities, particularly by the police.

“As members of law enforcement, we can confirm that the issues he is saying exist in policing, and throughout the criminal justice system, indeed exist,” Sergeant Raymond said of Kaepernick. In 2015, he joined 11 other officers in filing a class-action lawsuit against the Police Department for policing practices they said discriminated against minority communities.

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satadru
1 hour ago
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New York, NY
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The Daily Stormer was back online for a quick second

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 Neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer is running out of options to stay online. There has been a public outcry against tech companies helping websites, such as The Daily Stormer. On August 18th, the team behind The Daily Stormer found a way to put the website back online. But now that NameCheap has taken down the website’s new domain name, it is back offline for most people. If you want to host… Read More




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fxer
2 hours ago
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Bend, Oregon
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A friend of mine sent me a request from an acquaintance who was looking for a web designer. I...

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A friend of mine sent me a request from an acquaintance who was looking for a web designer. I emailed him to ask what he was looking for.

Client: I’m looking for a Website Developer who is great with e-commerce portals and setting up a Front End page Login/Registration. Pay is $40 for 2 hours because if you need more time you’re not very good! Must be excellent with back-end sites based in WordPress formats.

Me: That seems low, but if it’s a small project maybe I could turn it around quickly. What exactly do you need?

Client: I need a custom registration page to gather customer information and with multiple options of plans to choose from, some single-priced and some subscription-based. Then I need to be able to have them pay with PayPal and/or take credit cards both for the single payments and on a recurring basis. Based on their registration choice I need them to have access to different parts of the main website. It's just a quick fix. If you know what you are doing it won’t take you more than two hours.

Me: What you’re asking for is actually quite complicated, would take longer than two hours, and would cost significantly more than $40.

Client: I don’t have a ton of money with this project that has taken 3 years and lots of time, energy, and money already. Plus let’s live in reality, $20-$25 an hour for any gig is great in today’s workplace!

Needless to say I ran away from this job as fast as I could.

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gabrielgeraldo
2 hours ago
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São Paulo
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Right-wing commentator says he has been admitted to Auburn, will transfer in the spring

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A Boston University student who attended last week's white nationalist "Unite The Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, said he has been accepted to Auburn and will be transferring in the spring after receiving what he said were death threats in Boston.

Nicholas Fuentes — a 19-year-old freshman at Boston University who hosted a right-wing show "America First" on the Auburn-based Right Side Broadcasting Network — told The Plainsman he received numerous death threats on social media after attending the rally, which was dominated by white nationalists, and Neo-Nazi sympathizers.

The Plainsman hasn't been able to independently verify that Fuentes has been accepted to the University. A University spokesperson said thus far he hasn't enrolled.

In the interview, Fuentes said he would be taking the fall semester off but in January will be transferring to Auburn, where he plans to press forward with his far right-wing views.

"I want to rally the troops in terms of this new right-wing movement," Fuentes said.

The Charlottesville rally — which was originally billed as a protest against the removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville — morphed into a white power rally that ended in violence and the death of a 32-year-old , Heather Heyer.

Heyer died and 19 more anti-white-nationalist protesters were injured after being hit by a car allegedly driven by a Neo-Nazi sympathizer, James Alex Fields, in an attack Attorney General Jeff Sessions labeled as a domestic terror incident.

In an interview with The Boston Globe, Fuentes called Heyer's death a "tragedy." But in an obstinate Facebook post just hours after the attacks, he called the white nationalist gathering an "incredible rally."


Read the full transcript of The Plainsman's interview with Nicholas Fuentes: Click here.


"You can call us racists, white supremacists, Nazis, & bigots," he wrote. "You can disavow us on social media from your cushy Campus Reform job. But you will not replace us. The rootless transnational elite knows that a tidal wave of white identity is coming. And they know that once the word gets out, they will not be able to stop us. The fire rises!"

Two Virginia State Police pilots also died in a helicopter crash after providing aerial assistance to other officers on the ground. Fuentes said he wasn't happy with the violence and tragedies that last weekend, but stood by his characterization that the rally was "incredible."

He said it was incredible "in the same way that someone would say that World War II was a great victory or winning the Cold War was a victory."

"I think it was a victory in a sense that we brought light to an issue that would have gone unnoticed, would have continued silently," Fuentes said of the push to remove Confederate monuments from places of prominence across the country.

Fuentes, who grew up in Illinois, has said he thought the event was a demonstration against "immigration, , and " and that it was a "about not replacing white people."

"I see this, and I think a lot of people in the South see this as a cultural genocide," Fuentes said. "I think if it was any other people and any other country in the world, the United Nations, the United States, the liberal press would call this cultural genocide. But because it's a certain group of people, the removal of our monuments and our history has gone unnoticed without media attention."

The right-wing media provocateur, who denies being a white supremacist or Neo-Nazi, became a well-known figure on Boston University's campus after being featured in a video from a university news source in which he spoke about why he would be voting for then-candidate Donald Trump. He endorsed plans for what he called Trump's "cultural transformation."

After facing  on social media, Fuentes doubled down and wrote in a profane Twitter post that "multiculturalism is cancer" and that men who supported Hillary Clinton should "cut off your b---- immediately because you've lost your right to them."

"Multiculturalism destroys nations," Fuentes told The Plainsman. "Every country where it has ever been tried, it has been a failure. It has caused violence. It has caused conflict along all different lines."

Fuentes has repeatedly espoused racist, violent and Islamaphobic views on his Right Side Broadcast Network show. In one segment, he said the First Amendment wasn't written for "barbaric" Muslims. Later, in the same show, he said it was "time to kill the globalists" who he believes run the media.

"I don't want CNN to be more honest," he said in his on-air tirade. "I want people that run CNN to be arrested and deported or hanged because this is deliberate."

"Globalists" is a term that has often been used with anti-Semitic overtones. Jewish groups consider it offensive and say it alludes to an attack that is commonly labeled against Jewish people — that they somehow secretly control the world.

When we asked about those comments directed at CNN, Fuentes said he "regrets nothing."

"That means people in the press who are supposedly supposed to be protecting the country face some consequences for their actions. While that didn't constitute a direct threat to CNN, perhaps that was rhetoric, I will say the sentiment remains."

Fuentes, for the last year, has been one of the main hosts on RSBN, which is run by a man who lives in Auburn, Joe Seales. The network gained a large YouTube and internet following after being one of the first outlets to every Trump event.

Their YouTube channel now has more than 257,000 subscribers, which rivals MSNBC's 573,000 and CBS News' 409,000. Even with the large following, Fuentes' show — like the others on the channel — typically got less than 2,000 views.

Fuentes announced on his Twitter feed Saturday that he would be leaving RSBN to launch his own platform. In the interview, he said RSBN being based in Auburn didn't play a role in his decision to transfer here.

"[I]t was one of my original choices to go to school when I graduated high school," Fuentes said. "Auburn University is a more wholesome campus. It has better weather and better people. And ultimately I think it will be friendlier territory."

Fuentes is just one of many who have been labeled as leaders of a rising tide of somewhat stratified alt-right and far-right extremist groups in the U.S. that have been using college campuses as breeding grounds for new recruits.

In April, white nationalist leader Richard Spencer came to Auburn and delivered a hate-filled speech on white supremacy. His visit followed a rise in white nationalism on Auburn's campus. An anonymous group launched a "White Student Union" and put out dozens of fliers promoting anti-Semitic and racist views. The same group later claimed responsibility for vandalizing a sign in front of Foy Hall, altering it to read "Goy Hall" — an offensive term adopted by white supremacist groups to refer to non-Jewish people.

By altering the sign, the group was echoing wider attempts to "reclaim" lost white superiority.

Fuentes said he disavows Spencer's "optics" including his use of Nazi imagery — including a torch-lit rally Spencer led in Charlottesville that beckoned back to the golden age of the Klu Klux Klan — but said he doesn't necessarily disagree with his message.

"What we're trying to say is pretty common sense in terms of being a traditionalist," Fuentes said. "The new right and some parts of the alt-right, what we're trying to bring to the table is a common sense, pretty palatable message."

Fuentes identifies as a "paleoconservative" and said he is not a white supremacist or Neo-Nazi "by any stretch of the imagination." He said he likely wouldn't be welcomed in those groups because of his Mexican ancestry and his membership in the Catholic church.

The KKK not only propagated attacks against black people but also attempted to block immigrants and alienate Catholics.

Either way, Fuentes advocates for a level of white "identitarianism" — a movement that espouses "white pride" and aims to preserve white culture and tradition — that most would agree verges on, if not crosses, the line into white supremacy.

Identitarianism, a term that originates in France, rejects multiculturalism and pluralism. They often claim to be traditionalists who say they want to preserve Christian values and principles, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Many also claim there to be a "white genocide" and seek to transform the immigration system in a way to prevent white people from losing their majority status, a sentiment Fuentes also espouses. "Paleoconservatism" has always been associated with neo-Confederate, white nationalist and anti-Semitic ideologies, according to Rutgers professor David Greenberg.

Most often, that view is at least implicitly from a white supremacist viewpoint, if not explicity.

"I think the racial aspect of it is completely semantic," he said. "If you were to take out 'white' and insert any other name of any other people and apply it to their country, it would be a universal movement that we're talking about."

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satadru
2 hours ago
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White-supremacist self-avowed "paleoconservative" attendee of the Charlottesville Alt-Right rally who knows he is a Catholic of Mexican descent and I just can't any more...
New York, NY
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Avoiding Conflicts with System Gestures at Screen Edges

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If you rely on hiding the status bar to avoid conflicting with system gestures at the screen edges you will need to make some changes when updating for iOS 11. Apple no longer assumes your app wants to override system gestures at the edges when you hide the status bar. Instead you need to tell the system directly which edges you want first shot at handling gestures for.

The Problem with Gestures at the Screen Edges

A quick recap on the way this worked pre-iOS 11. Here is my App which shows a count in the center of the screen. You swipe up anywhere in the yellow play area to count up and down to count down.

iPhone 6S

I will skip the details (see the code) but the count works with two swipe gesture recognizers I added to the yellow view. The gestures are only recognized when they happen inside the yellow view which I constrain to half screen width and height.

I also allow a full screen mode which expands the yellow view to fill the screen. Swipes up or down then work anywhere on the screen. The problem is that it is easy for the user to accidentally trigger the control or notification centers when a swipe starts near the edge of the screen. Here is what happens when running on iOS 9 with a swipe up from the bottom edge.

control center

The system sees the swipe up gesture before our app and shows the control center.

Hiding the Status Bar

Before iOS 11 the way you tell the system not to grab gestures at the edge of the screen is to hide the status bar. Apple engineers made the assumption that if you are hiding the status bar you probably want to see gestures at the screen edges before the system.

Suppose we have a property in our view controller that stores the screen mode:

private var fullScreenMode: Bool = false

We set the property when the user changes the switch:

@IBAction func fullScreen(_ sender: UISwitch) {
  fullScreenMode = sender.isOn
}

To hide the status bar programmatically in our view controller I override prefersStatusBarHidden and return the full screen mode:

override var prefersStatusBarHidden: Bool {
  return fullScreenMode || super.prefersStatusBarHidden
}

Note that we also give the superclass (UIViewController) the chance to hide the status bar. This keeps the system default behaviour which hides the status bar for a compact height (iPhone in landscape).

There is one more step we need to do. When the user changes the screen mode we need to update our appearance and let the system know to handle the status bar. We can do that with a setter for our fullScreenMode property:

private var fullScreenMode: Bool = false {
  didSet {
    updateAppearance()
  }
}

The updateAppearance method takes care of updating the constraints to resize the yellow view (see the code for details). The key for the status bar handling is to call setNeedsStatusBarAppearanceUpdate to let the system know we have changed the value of prefersStatusBarHidden.

private func updateAppearance() {
    view.layoutIfNeeded()
    updateConstraints()
    UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.25) {
        self.setNeedsStatusBarAppearanceUpdate()
        self.view.layoutIfNeeded()
    }
}

Here is what it looks like when in full screen mode with the status bar hidden:

iPhone 6S full screen

The system now gives us the chance to handle up and down swipes at the system edges. Our app gets the first swipe up from the bottom edge. The system shows a small indicator to let the user know that they can still reach the control center with a second swipe up from the edge.

swipe up

Deferring System Gestures (iOS 11)

Apple has changed the way they handle gestures at the screen edges in iOS 11. Hiding the status bar in iOS 11 no longer causes the system to guess that you want to defer the system gestures. To keep the same behaviour we need to override preferredScreenEdgesDeferringSystemGestures in our view controller.

Since we are no longer forced to hide the status bar we can go back to the default handling for iOS 11:

override var prefersStatusBarHidden: Bool {
    if #available(iOS 11.0, *) {
        return super.prefersStatusBarHidden
    } else {
        return fullScreenMode || super.prefersStatusBarHidden
    }
}

Instead of hiding the status bar we override preferredScreenEdgesDeferringSystemGestures and return the edges where we want our gestures to fire first:

override func preferredScreenEdgesDeferringSystemGestures() -> UIRectEdge {
  return fullScreenMode ? [.bottom,.top] : UIRectEdge()
}

The return value is an option set of UIRectEdge constants. Possible values are .top, .left, .bottom, .right and .all. If we are in full screen mode we return .top and .bottom else we return the empty option set.

As with the status bar handling any time you change the value of preferredScreenEdgesDeferringSystemGestures you should let the system know. So for iOS 11 we call setNeedsUpdateOfScreenEdgesDeferringSystemGestures.

Let’s refactor that into a separate method that does the right thing for iOS 11 and falls back to updating the status bar for earlier versions:

private func updateDeferringSystemGestures() {
  if #available(iOS 11.0, *) {
    setNeedsUpdateOfScreenEdgesDeferringSystemGestures()
  } else {
    setNeedsStatusBarAppearanceUpdate()
  }
}

Our updateAppearance method then becomes:

private func updateAppearance() {
  view.layoutIfNeeded()
  updateConstraints()
  UIView.animate(withDuration: 0.25) {
    self.updateDeferringSystemGestures()
    self.view.layoutIfNeeded()
  }
}

We should now have an iOS 11 full screen mode with the status bar visible in regular size classes that defers system gestures on the top and bottom edges.

full screen with iOS 11

Note: This is a small but significant change in iOS 11. If you rely on hiding the status bar to use gestures at the screen edges you should update your app and override setNeedsUpdateOfScreenEdgesDeferringSystemGestures for iOS 11.

Example Code

If you want the full example Xcode project I used for this post you can find it in my GitHub repository:

More Details


Avoiding Conflicts with System Gestures at Screen Edges was originally posted 31 Jul 2017 on useyourloaf.com.

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sirshannon
3 hours ago
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newsblur search functionality just saved me an hour of googling.
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The truth has got its boots on: an evidence-based response to James Damore's Google memo

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The truth has got its boots on: an evidence-based response to James Damore's Google memo [via mefi projects]
Mefi's own sciatrix drops science on Damore's unlistening head. Long, dense, and (from where I'm sitting) pretty darn definitive.
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wmorrell
3 hours ago
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