Thursday, February 02, 2006

Seeing Red Book

I tried doing a post yesterday, but didn't get much written, and then I lost what little there was when I tried to get a picture included the way I wanted it, so gave it up. So I'm trying again today.

I'm still enjoying the easy life. I'll start looking for a job on Saturday when the careers section is in the newspaper. I'll also try a few places that actively look for jobs for you. When you're on government assistance you're forced to go to meetings with companies who say they do that for you, but in the few months I've had to be associated with those companies, I haven't had one contact with a potential employer I didn't find myself, so I don't think that much of the ones that get paid by the government. But I have had one recommended to me where they work by taking a cut of your pay for the first few months, so they will obviously be motivated to get you out there and working quickly.

Now for a bit of a rant. For various reasons, I've been looking to find out the value of a motorbike. The one seemingly useful place I've found is Red Book. They have a nice big collection of vehicles by make, model, age, etc and give a trade in value and a private sale value. But their conditions of use are a bit harsh. There are two main things that annoy me. The first term is

Red Book has provided the material contained on this website in good faith. Red Book does not represent or warrant that the material is reliable, accurate or complete, or that the service will be uninterrupted or error-free.

So from the start. The information is provided in good faith. Nothing bad, pretty much all information is provided in good faith. The next bit is interesting. Red Book does not represent or warrant that the material is reliable, accurate or complete. The complete bit isn't a problem. No one can have info on every possible variation of cars. But their not even willing to claim that the information is reliable or accurate. I would point out at this stage, the company providing this information to the public for no charge actually sells it to businesses. If you're going to provide this sort of information, at least have the courage to stand up for what you say. Sure there will be people who try and get more for their car than it's worth, and people might sell for less, and sometimes it may be a while between updates, but make it clear that what you're showing is an average price range, and when it was last updated. Don't just say that we've put these numbers up, they may or may not be related to what an actual person will expect for their vehicle.

The second part that is frustrating is their conditions on who can put a link to their site, which is as follows:
Any linked site must not contain any information that is:
  • unlawful;
  • an infringement of any third party's rights;
  • disparaging of Red Book's goods or services; or
  • offensive, obscene or pornographic.
I'll start out by saying that while sites falling under 1 and 2 should not exist under most current legal environments, all of these are essentially restrictions on where and how you can talk about their website. If anyone asks, I'm not disparaging their goods or services, just their legal section. No entity has the right to stop how others can talk about them on services or at locations they don't own. If someone went to their office and started telling anyone who went in bad things, sure they can have the person taken from their property, but they can't make that person not talk about them in that person's home. They might not like how others talk about them, but if I want to do so from a porn site, that's my call, not theirs.

And finally, below is the latest iteration of my stargate I'm making with a 3d modeling program (Blender for the curious)

End post
writing time: 23 mintues
time since last post: 4 days

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