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EU Court of Justice Paves Way For "Right To Be Forgotten" Online

CowTipperGore Re:pure political bullshit (199 comments)

Right so I'm not actually wrong then am I? You're agreeing with me that the case clearly allows public record to remain, but commercial use beyond that not to. Again, this is exactly as it's always been.

You now have directly contradicted yourself in your responses to me. I even quoted it above to make it easy for you.

I know exactly how indexing works on a technical level, but "data processing" is a specific term recognised in law and what Google is doing is classed as data processing...It's pretty clear that Google is taking the data and processing it to produce search results based on it. That is like it or not, a form of processing as recognised in law.

As I said in my last response, Google's actions likely are considered processing of personal data by a law that written for computer systems prior to the open Internet and free Internet search engines. But, comparing what they do to a credit processing agency indicates you don't understand how one or both works.

Well no, because libraries are not:

a) Processing the data
b) Using the data for profit
c) Are recognised as an institution for storage of public record

No combination of these is breached by libraries, whereas they are by Google, and that's the problem.

In my example, they would be processing the data more so than an Internet search engine, storing as well as indexing the source data. I'm not aware of the specific exemptions that you claimed in points b and c. Perhaps you could point me to where those are clarified in law?

You only think this is illogical precisely because you don't understand European data protection law (or perhaps data protection law in general) and the businesses I describe. Personal data is a well defined thing in law, and so is data processing, unfortunately whatever you may or may not think of the law the fact is that the data was clearly defined as personal data, and Google clearly was processing it as defined in law, and Google clearly did not fall under any of the exemptions (e.g. law enforcement).

Again, I clearly addressed this in my previous post.

I actually do not think you understand how credit reference agencies work, because this is almost exactly the same thing. What they do is gather personal data in public record such as the data mentioned in this case - data on bankruptcies and so forth, and make that searchable, so that 3rd party organisations can perform a search on individuals and acquire this data to perform credit scoring and so forth. I'm sure now I've explained the way in which they work you can see the similarities no?

Credit agencies exist solely to sell access to personal financial records. Much of the data they collect and provide for a fee is not otherwise accessible and would not be considered public data. They do not simply index data held by others; they actually aggregate and store the data. The agencies have quasi-official standing as agents of record for citizen's financial history and credit worthiness. None of this is like what Google or Bing does, at all. Continuing to insist that they are similar in any real fashion is ridicules.

Google is a generic search engine that can find this and other data, credit reference bureaus are specific search engines that find just this type of data.

You again demonstrate a total lack of understanding between storing and holding the actual data and indexing someone else's data.

Early 80s is 15 - 20 years too early. The UK's data protection act was drafted in 1998 and became law in 2000, other European ones around a similar period. I have no idea why you cherry picked 1980 when no such data protection act even existed then and when it's so long before the laws were made - they were made well after the internet came to be. It seems to be quite an assumption you've jumped to there that they were developed before these problems were understood.

The EU's directive was adopted in 1995. It essentially codified the Council of Europe's 1981 convention on automatic processing of personal data. And even at 1995, the Internet was in its infancy.

There is a major update to the legislation going through the EU currently and that's the path by which Google should argue for it's exemption if it feels it's justified.

I agree that at this stage an explicit exemption for search engines that store only metadata is appropriate, but you seem to be suggesting that that Google was off-base to argue their position in court.. Surely that isn't your position?

You've got to separate technological idealism from both the reality of writing law, and with the reality of democracy whereby a majority of others may treat privacy with much great priority than you do.

How do you know what priority I put on privacy? And, it is humorous that you think that EU directives actually have any relationship to what a majority of citizens want or represent a democratic statement.

about 5 months ago
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EU Court of Justice Paves Way For "Right To Be Forgotten" Online

CowTipperGore Re:pure political bullshit (199 comments)

Facts that are considered public record. Facts that they have no standing to actually remove.

Well yes they do have standing to remove them, because that's what happened. Even without this ruling and the proposed right to be forgotten laws non-internet based companies are already held to this standard.

No, you are wrong:

The notice itself was made public on the third-party website (twice via a newspaper called La Vanguardia) and Mr Gonzalez wanted the source material edited...because the proceedings concerning him had been fully resolved for a number of years, thus he felt as though the reference to them was now "entirely irrelevant". Mercifully the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) rejected the complaint against La Vanguardia, which correctly ruled that the information in question had been lawfully published by it.

The information is remaining in the public record. Google just can't help people find it.

A credit reference agency could no longer hold the data in question because it's already past the period in which such companies can process this data.

Another terrible analogy. Google is not holding or processing financial data. Do you really not understand how an index works? Do you believe that it would be illegal for a library to have a catalog of newspapers with an index that references the La Vanguardia article about this guy? And that it makes sense that they would have to destroy their index so that no visitors could find the article?

Yes, exactly as it works for non-internet companies. No company can for example take this information and build a database about people who have failed to pay taxes if the indiscretion was beyond a certain time ago. That's already against the law under European data protection laws. Internet companies just believe they're a special case whom the law doesn't apply to because "it's on the internet". People like you seem oblivious to the way data protection law already works in Europe and many other places across the globe.

I openly admit I am not an expert in EU data protection law. I am not arguing that the European model of privacy and data protection is wrong or flawed. In fact, I appreciate the attempt to give citizens some control over their data, unlike the American corporate model. I posted primarily because your attempts at logic and use of analogies are horribly flawed. Your "Internet companies don't want to be follow the law" strawman is off-base. Trying to treat an Internet search engine like a credit agency for purposes of data collection concern is illogical.

You're arguing against laws that have been around for almost two decades for non-internet companies. What makes internet companies special in terms of not having to play by the same rules everyone else has to?

These directives reflect the realities of that specific period of time in which they were drafted. The law does not work in a pre-computer world - it is designed to let people have some control over the electronic representations of themselves collected by others. The EU recognizes that it also was not built with considerations for the Internet and are currently attempting to update it. Perhaps, by the letter of the pre-Internet law, search engines are processing personal data. There has been little judicial guidance on how the early-80's guidelines fit in today's world. It is not as cut and dried as you want to pretend. It is not obvious that that the 1980 EU would have considered an electronic index of external data the same as a credit agency. Pretending otherwise is to ignore the complex reality of this scenario.

about 5 months ago
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EU Court of Justice Paves Way For "Right To Be Forgotten" Online

CowTipperGore Re:Mario Costeja González (199 comments)

Most things are "allowed to be forgotten" in most circumstances. So, for example, most employers aren't allowed to ask "have you ever been made bankrupt?" although I think they can ask "are you an undischarged bankrupt". Google is allowing employers to sidestep the protective regulations that were built into bankruptcy law before the internet existed. The EU is now merely trying to reinstate them.

You seem to have a problem understanding that there is a difference between "forgotten" and "harder to remember". Data that still exists in the public records and still exists in the newspaper's web site is not forgotten. Come talk to us when Google is caching the data after it was removed from the source site.

about 5 months ago
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EU Court of Justice Paves Way For "Right To Be Forgotten" Online

CowTipperGore Re:pure political bullshit (199 comments)

Honestly, if companies can make a profit off of harvesting and displaying personal details, often against the will of the person in question, then it's really not too much to ask that when the subject asks for it to be removed that they do so. If someone breaks into your house and steals your personal photos, financial records, and whatever else and posts it all online and Google harvests it up with it's automated systems and makes a bit of money from ad impressions for people that stumble across it I don't think it's really a lot to ask that you also have the right to tell them to delete it the fuck off their servers when you find it too.

Your analogy is way off the mark. This case (and other examples that have made the news) are about citizens who wish for factual but embarrassing parts of their history to be harder to find. Facts that are considered public record. Facts that they have no standing to actually remove, but this ruling says they can shutdown someone who helps make this public information accessible. Instead, you offer a hypothetical example of a crime and detailed financial records illegally posted online. In your ill considered example, we would go to the place hosting the very-not-public information and get it removed. A search engine would not be part of the process because the source data would go away.

There's only a spurious argument that they had any legal basis to harvest this data in the first place given that doing so is a breach of most nation's data protection laws, so it's even less to ask that they implement procedures to make themselves compliant with long established existing data protection law.

Actually, you are exactly backwards - there is only a spurious argument that they have no legal basis to index this data. If the argument was instead that Google had cached the original page and had no right to do so, I'd give you some leeway. But if the argument is about harvesting the existence of public information, your argument is illogical. Seriously, you are arguing that this guy's failure to pay taxes and house repossession should remain as public data, that some businesses (newspapers) should be able to publish and index the information, but that others should have no right to index the fact that the data exists elsewhere.

about 5 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

Your contributions to this discussion have been an overall negative. You don't bother understanding the context of the conversation nor my position. Two of your three posts have started out with unfounded personal attacks on me. Your preference for insults and personal abuse indicate a lack of logical and rational thought.

I'm arguing only for keeping options on the table that haven't been conclusively ruled out. You apparently made up your mind without the need for anything but dislike of people holding alternate beliefs. You haven't presented any scientific backing for there being no supernatural creator. You haven't provided any scientifically supported explanation for what happened before and led up to the Big Bang (or any other alternate theories for the creation and history of the universe).

I haven't argued for any particular creator. In fact, I've said that I give no quarter to any religion that I've encountered, including yours. By the dictionary definition of atheism and the one you used earlier, I am an atheist. However, the lack of rational thought, common courtesy, and respect for others that you have displayed in this thread is unfortunately too common among self-professed atheists, which makes me hesitant to give myself that title. I have no desire to be associated with anyone like what you've displayed in this thread.

Barring a sudden and dramatic shift in your posts, I will not be wasting any further effort responding to your ill-considered personal attacks.

about 9 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

Again, technically, I have "doubt" about whether or not the invisible pink unicorns exist, but practically, I know that the idea is just absurd and is obviously (to me) made up. Whereas you might have to go around saying "there's no evidence that they don't exist, so maybe they do", I proceed directly to the "they don't exist".

And that's certainly your prerogative. Just understand that you are taking a position based upon belief, faith, or whatever you care to call it.

I'm interested in how you process the existence of various gods in various religions as there have been many different gods created at various times by people. Do you consider them all equally valid or do you choose to believe that only one exists? If so, how did you narrow the field down to the correct god? (Atheists just believe in one less god than Christians/Jews/Muslims).

Personally, I doubt any of the gods created by mankind are correct or legitimate. But just because we haven't gotten it right so far does not necessarily mean there must be none.

How the universe came about is a topic that isn't decided, but I'm far more likely to think that an explanation that is testable is of far more interest than metaphoric hand waving (e.g. the FSM created it).

And I don't disagree, but what is your testable explanation? If we accept the premise of the Big Bang, how can we speak to time before time existed? I've read papers from theoretical physicists who claim no theory that speaks to anything prior to this time can be testable or known.

about 9 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

Rather than one of semantics, yours is one of assholeness.

Wow. It took you two whole messages to run out of constructive thoughts. Impressive

You are ignoring all meaning behind using the passive voice, because your personal view is that it's cowardly, and has no semantical meaning. It is a "softer" way of wording the same thing. Whether because of the belief is "weaker" or the confrontation is to be avoided may depend on the person speaking, but you ignore the words used to assert the meaning, or interrogate the speaker until the meaning is determined to your narrow demands.

No, not even close. Could you at least read the thread and think about what I've written before firing off a response?

Sometimes the answer is simply, "I don't believe there is a god." I don't believe there is a pink unicorn downstairs, but I have no proof to that effect.

You are exactly right. You are positively asserting a position that likely never will be proven. If you understand and accept that, then you have no point to make here. My issue is with those who want their belief in no god to be rational and scientific while simultaneously thinking those who believe in a god are irrational lunatics.

about 9 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

Proof of this is analysis of language. When someone says "I don't believe you filled up my [cup/fueltank/bathwater] sufficiently" they mean "I believe that you did not fill up my [whatever] sufficiently" but is worded in a passive manner.

In your example, if I ask directly "Was your cup filled", you can easily answer "No, I know my cup was not filled", which is what you meant to say. This an easily discernible situation. Words have multiple meanings and I'm not arguing the appropriateness of specific words, but what you actually mean you say them.

If I ask "Does a supernatural god exist?" and you say "No, I know such an entity does not exist", you have no means to determine the truth of your statement. You do not know this in the same way you know your cup was underfilled. Yet, you are willing to stake out the same position. I don't care what words you use, but that you apparently believe these two examples are similar. That you have the same quality knowledge/belief/whatever about these two situations. Yet that is not true.

a-theism means without-God. Anyone who doesn't affirmatively believe that there is a god is an atheist. Believe that knowing the answer is impossible? Doesn't matter. You either believe, or you don't. Most agnostics are atheists. As my father put it, he's "agnostic" because it's more polite. He actively disbelieved in God (or believed in the No-God, if you prefer), ,but self-identified as agnostic so that people wouldn't take his beliefs as contrary.

I don't care either way about your definition of atheism. Again, the words you choose to use don't matter a lot and don't change my argument one bit. If you take the position that there is no god or supernatural being of any sort, you have staked out the same territory as the religious who believe there are.

about 9 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

The "do not believe in ..." leads naturally to the "believe there are no ..." as we generally require some proof/evidence of the existence of something before believing that it exists.

I'm okay with you requiring proof before believing something exists. My issue is your assumption that actively not believing in it is the natural alternative. This is logically incorrect. There is a middle area where you are unsure if it exists or not.

It's the standard position that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof and without that kind of proof, then I have no good reason to believe in something simply because it cannot be disproved.

Again, see my response above. I'm not arguing this point. It is the next step of assuming this means you can positively disclaim the possibility that I argue.

You could say that I am unsure if pink unicorns exist and technically, I am unsure...However, I personally take a shortcut...When presented with fanciful stories (especially ones that seem to have an ulterior motive) I take the default position of not believing in it.

And this shortcut is the problem. When pressed, you are finally willing to admit you are unsure. But that isn't your default answer nor one you want to give. There remain areas on this earth hardly touched by modern science. We discover new species on a daily basis. If I were betting on it, I'd definitely put money on there being no pink unicorns but I cannot say I know they don't exist. I agree that it is very doubtful that such a creature exists, but neither you nor I know that they don't. Claiming they don't exist is a statement based on faith, not scientific knowledge.

Like I said, it's largely just a semantic difference between the two statements as they are so closely related.

Then I suppose you are willing to grant the same minor semantic difference to someone who knows there is a supernatural god? Of course they can't really know it, but they've decided that the odds are against the entire universe being created from nothing based upon the currently defined laws of physics. Science still has no good answer for how the universe got here and what happened before that. Your lack of extraordinary evidence is sufficient for them to comfortably believe in a Creator, right?

about 9 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

Your post doesn't actually say anything. What am I projecting? What equivocations?

about 9 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

Not believing in gods is not an act of faith.

Ahh, I see either you fall into the same camp or you're being intentionally dishonest. I clearly said that claiming there is no god is an act of faith, which is not the same as not believing in a god.

The distinction between "I believe there are no invisible pink unicorns" and "I do not believe in invisible pink unicorns" is not particularly relevant to most atheists and usually just an exercise in semantics

You are correct in your first statement, the difference is not important to many atheists. You are wrong in that is it just an exercise in semantics. There is a huge difference. In your first quoted sentence, you are taking the affirmative position that pink unicorns do not exist. In the second, you are unsure if pink unicorns exist.

about 9 months ago
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Map of Publicly-Funded Creationism Teaching

CowTipperGore Re:Texas Barely Registers (544 comments)

Too many atheists are merely disillusioned Christians who cannot grasp the notion of being okay with uncertainty. To claim there is no god or supreme power in the universe requires just as much faith as claiming there is one God who gave you a book of rules. If you want to go insane, try to explain to the average atheist that these two statements are not logically equal: "I believe there is no god" and "I do not believe in a god". As long as you espouse the former, you remain firmly in the faith-based realm of religion and myth.

about 9 months ago
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Creationism In Texas Public Schools

CowTipperGore Re:Teach all alternate theories (770 comments)

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/story/2012-02-14/home-schools-secular/53095020/1

We homeschool and do not do it for religious reasons. We live in the heart of conservative Christianland and there are secular groups even here. We are a minority but a growing one. The stereotype to which I objected is out of date and only serves to discourage others.

about 9 months ago
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Thousands of Gas Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Washington DC

CowTipperGore Re:Exploding manholes (292 comments)

Natural gas is slightly lighter than air. It will rise and it disperses fairly quickly when given an opportunity.

about 9 months ago
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Thousands of Gas Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Washington DC

CowTipperGore Re:Private enterprise to the rescue (292 comments)

Except they are private, they just operate in a highly regulated market. Government did not create this monopoly, it exists naturally. Are you suggesting that a completely unregulated approach would be more successful?

about 9 months ago
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Thousands of Gas Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Washington DC

CowTipperGore Re:Private enterprise to the rescue (292 comments)

Government didn't make a monopoly. Government is regulating a natural monopoly in an attempt to protect the citizenry.

about 9 months ago
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Thousands of Gas Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Washington DC

CowTipperGore Re:Private enterprise to the rescue (292 comments)

I work for the largest gas distribution company in our state and I agree completely. Like any utility (electric, water, sewer, cable, telephone) there is almost never a business case for a second company to invest in duplicate infrastructure. Our state semi-deregulated gas distribution by requiring local distribution companies to provide transportation services to any customer who requests it. This means that you can go find your own source of natural gas and pay us for the use of our pipes. This isn't a consumer-friendly process, but for industrial and larger commercial customers, they can save money and not be stuck with whatever the regulator says our rate is.

about 9 months ago
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Thousands of Gas Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Washington DC

CowTipperGore Re:Private enterprise to the rescue (292 comments)

Generally gas distribution companies are allowed a baseline "lost and accounted for" amount of gas that is built into their rates. Anything above that either requires serious documentation/explanation or is taken out of the company profit. There is incentive to get to that baseline number but extremely diminishing returns after that. As you say, that could change if other costs were factored into the equation.

about 9 months ago
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Thousands of Gas Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Washington DC

CowTipperGore Re:Private enterprise to the rescue (292 comments)

Their rates are set to guarantee a defined return on investment.

Actually, the rates are set to ensure a utility does not exceed an allowable return. The utility tries to get as much investment included in that calculation, so that these costs are included in the rate base. However, the PUC/PSC does not guarantee any minimum rate of return. My employer approached their allowed 9.9% return last year, for the first time in at least 8 years.

If the Commission denies the request (to keep rates down) the liability is a business expense and the Corporation gets to charge the customers and add ROI to that, too.

While there are exceptions, this generally is not true. The general rule for regulatory accounting in this space is that capitalized costs can be recovered but O&M (expenses) cannot be. There are some allowances for liabilities like bad debt.

In our state, the cost of the gas is a pass through - no mark up and (eventually) no loss, although it isn't uncommon to be over or under by millions from year to year. The return is built into the flat customer charge.

about 9 months ago
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Creationism In Texas Public Schools

CowTipperGore Re:Teach all alternate theories (770 comments)

Then you should get out some. They certainly are a loud percentage but secular homeschoolers are a rapidly increasing group.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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Viewing child porn legal in New York

CowTipperGore CowTipperGore writes  |  more than 2 years ago

CowTipperGore (1081903) writes "Viewing child pornography online isn't a crime, the New York Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in the case of a college professor whose work computer was found to have stored more than a hundred illegal images in its Web cache. While most of the counts were upheld against Kent, two counts were dismissed on the grounds that viewing child porn is not illegal under federal law. "Merely viewing Web images of child pornography does not, absent other proof, constitute either possession or procurement within the meaning of our Penal Law," Senior Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick wrote for a majority of four of the six judges. The court further noted that, "A defendant cannot knowingly acquire or possess that which he or she does not know exists" because the prosecution failed to prove that Kent even knew his Web browser had a cache. All of the judges agreed that child pornography is an abomination, but the majority said it was up to the Legislature to declare merely viewing to be a crime. Two previous federal cases had left open the possibility for such a defense if the existence and function of web caching was unknown to the defendant."
Link to Original Source
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Nintendo hit with $21 million patent infringement

CowTipperGore CowTipperGore writes  |  more than 6 years ago

CowTipperGore (1081903) writes "The AP reports (via Yahoo!) that Nintendo of America Inc. has been ordered to pay a small East Texas gaming company $21 million for infringing on a patent while designing controllers for its popular Wii and GameCube systems. No stranger to lawsuits over controller designs, a Nintendo spokesman said the company will seek an appeal. The suit was originally filed in 2006 and included Microsoft. Microsoft's aggressive legal push back apparently helped as they reached a (confidential) settlement agreement before the case went to trial."
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CowTipperGore CowTipperGore writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CowTipperGore (1081903) writes "The Detroit News is reporting that Michigan Democrats have canceled their recently exposed plan to supply an iPod for every student in the state. The three politicians at the center of the controversy have pledged to repay Apple for the "fact-finding trip" where lawmakers are suspected of hatching the supposed initiative."
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CowTipperGore CowTipperGore writes  |  more than 7 years ago

CowTipperGore (1081903) writes "Founded by William Shockley in the mid-50s, Shockley Semiconductor Lab is generally credited with starting the Silicon Valley boom. When he was unable to lure his former Bell Labs coworkers to join him, he filled his ranks with the best and brightest engineering school grads, including Gordon Moore and others who later went on to form Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel. The building at 391 San Antonio Road, Mountain View, California, is the original site of the company but, unlike the HP Garage, this building has received little protection or preservation. It recently housed a fruit stand, where visitors could find a small display about Shockley above baskets of fruit. The fruit stand is now closed, leaving the future of the building in the air."

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