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Former US Test Site Sues Nuclear Nations For Disarmament Failure

fondacio Re:Pointless (165 comments)

You're confusing courts here. The Hague Invasion Act is directed against the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was only established in the late 1990s to try individuals charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and/or war crimes. The ICJ has been in existence since 1946 (and has a predecessor, the PCIJ or Permanent Court of International Justice set up under the League of Nations) and only tries inter-state cases, like the one you mentioned by Nicaragua in the 1980s.

about 5 months ago
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Van Gogh Prints In 3D: Almost the Real Thing For $34,000

fondacio In the Netherlands, the currency is the euro (104 comments)

The article is in The Guardian, so it makes sense for the price of the paintings to be mentioned in pounds, but they could have changed it to euros for the summary. After all, that is the currency in the Netherlands. A bit of googling yielded more details and a price of € 25,000 (about US$ 33,500) for each replica.

about a year ago
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Utility Box Exposed As Spy Cabinet In the Netherlands

fondacio Re:Lazy Intelligence? (179 comments)

But pretty much irrelevant to this story. The neighbourhood in which they found the cabinet is far removed from where the international institutions are and from where the internationals live. As mentioned by previous posts, the Schilderswijk is a low income area with a large immigrant population. The purpose of the cabinet is most likely to help a police investigation into anything between organised crime or jihad recruitment, and on Dutch websites some have already pointed out that exposing this method effectively renders it useless in the future, but police have been doing it for at least ten years. This kind of surveillance was most likely done with the permission of a public prosecutor, unless it was the intelligence services in which case another law applies.

about a year and a half ago
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Researcher Evan Booth: How To Weaponize Tax-Free Airport Goods

fondacio My Q&D human translation of the Dutch article (288 comments)

Researcher builds bomb out of articles from airport shops

To demonstrate the futility of current airport security, next week a security expert will demonstrate a remotely controllable bomb. All the materials were bought at the airport once past security.

The detonation mechanism will be presented at security conference Hack in the Box in Amsterdam. It is the result of two years of research by security expert Evan Booth.

“There are all kinds of things we cannot take with us and security checks for those. But it turns out that this doesn’t make much sense,” says Booth.

The detonation mechanism is the result of more than two years of research into deficient security at airports and available materials which are sold the in stores which are located ait airports behind customs.

Drone

To build the mechanism, Booth has used a Zippo lighter, disposable lighters, adhesive tape, dental floss and a remote controlled drone. “Which can be opreated with a mobile phone through a wireless network”, claims Booth.

He used the engine from the drone to operate the zippo lighter. With disposable lighters, it is possible subsequently to create a blowtorch. By doing this, it would be possible to cause a fire, but at the conference Booth will present a more developed concept which even enables the detonation of a bomb.

Simple

“The trick is to prove that you can have dangerous weapons on board without carrying any forbidden items with you”, Booth has stated to NU.nl.

Apart from a bomb, Booth also managed without much effort to create a bow and arrow out of items he had bought in a shop at an airport. For this, he used an umbrella, a hairdryer, socks, a leather belt and condoms. He did not want to further develop things were too obvious, such as using a lighter and deodorant as an alternative gas burner.

Also remarkable is a club he created out of a souvenir, some magazines, dental floss, a leather belt and adhesive tape. During a test, this club turned out to be so solid that a single strike sufficed to break a coconut into several pieces.

Profiling

“Airport security has not been done well for a while now. What annoys me, is that we spend a lot of money on it and, for example, violate people’s privacy with body scanners. In the meantime, it turns out it doesn’t work well”, explains Booth.

“It is a difficult problem, but I don’t know if this security makes any sense at all. I believe more in good intelligence and preventing the wrong people from coming to the airport.”

To pre-empt problems with authorities, Booth has contacted the responsible government agencies in the United States in February. “I have offered to demonstrate my research and provide explanations, but I haven’t received any response. In the meantime, I have continued my research.”

about a year and a half ago
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Assange Makes Statement Calling For an End To the "Witch Hunt"

fondacio Re:is this for real? (915 comments)

Thanks. That clarifies things a bit and you also raise an important point regarding the difference between diplomatic asylum and other cases of people seeking refuge in an embassy.

Before we all get too worked up about the US not recognising the concept of diplomatic asylum (too late I guess), there's less here than meets the eye. Diplomatic asylum is a concept that has long been accepted in Latin America, and it developed there in part because of some periods in which there were many coups and people trying to escape from new regimes found refuge in foreign embassies. Diplomatic asylum is however not the same as Chinese dissidents seeking refuge in the US embassy in Beijing or the Cold War cases, as parent points out, and this reflects that outside of Latin America, the concept of diplomatic asylum is not accepted under international law. That's why it's sometimes described as regional international law. Chinese and other dissidents are rather making use of the diplomatic immunity that these places enjoy, which prevents the authorities of the host state from exercising their jurisdiction on the premises but doesn't mean they can leave.

So while Ecuador sees the Assange case as a one of diplomatic asylum, the UK only accepts the immunity of the embassy (and if the story about threats is to be believed, not even that - but that would be a violation of international law). Had the UK accepted the notion of diplomatic asylum under international law, it could also grant safe passage to Assange to leave for Ecuador upon recognition of the diplomatic asylum granted by Ecuador. In any case, both UK practice and the US position reflect longstanding positions of international law, regardless of what we think about all the other aspects of the case.

I'd like to say at this point IANAL, but I can't, since I'm actually an international lawyer.

more than 2 years ago
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Baskerville Is the Greatest Font, Statistically, Says Filmmaker Errol Morris

fondacio Re:I read the article... (158 comments)

Funny - I noticed the same mistake (and posted it before I noticed that you did). And then I thought of the same joke, but didn't bother to make it.

more than 2 years ago
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Baskerville Is the Greatest Font, Statistically, Says Filmmaker Errol Morris

fondacio Mistake in the summary (158 comments)

The summary misstates the person responsible for using Comic Sans in the Higgs boson announcement. The full quote:

Lisa Randall, a Harvard physicist, kindly e-mailed Fabiola Gianotti on my behalf. Gianotti, the coordinator of the CERN program to find the Higgs boson, provided a compelling rationale for why she had used Comic Sans. When asked, she said, “Because I like it.”

I was already wondering why a Harvard physicist would be making the announcement of a discovery by CERN.

more than 2 years ago
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MIT Tetris Hack: Source Code Released

fondacio Re:Not the first (40 comments)

I doesn't seem that anyone was claiming that MIT were the first, but as long as we're looking at prior art: the first Tetris-on-a-builiding was done by electrical engineering students in Delft, the Netherlands, all the way back in 1995, as you can see on this archived webpage. Futhermore, students at Brown University did it in 2000 (BBC article here). Both prior projects, but not Blinkenlights, are mentioned in an article about the MIT project here. It seems to me that each of these projects has something the others didn't, so no need to be competive about it - it's all in good fun.

about 2 years ago
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China Praises UK Internet Censorship Plan

fondacio Groupthink (355 comments)

Did anyone notice the unintended irony of the word "groupthink" in the Global Times article?

The economic and social turmoil in the US, Britain and France might trigger a worldwide groupthink and introspection on the boundaries of democracy and freedom of speech.

more than 3 years ago
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Kojima Predicts the End of the Console

fondacio Re:Heavy Metal Solid Gear? (195 comments)

For such a short summary, it sure contains a lot of errors. Kojima is not even a founder of Konami - the company was established in 1969, and Kojima was born in 1963. He only joined Konami's MSX division in 1986, when the company had already been making video games for a while. He did go on to become a VP for a while. And this error isn't even in the original article.

more than 4 years ago
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New York Times Wipes Journalist's Online Corpus

fondacio Re:The issue has been resolved. (94 comments)

Apologies for the reply to self, but I tried a few more links which did not resolve, but the current IHT landing page says it all: "The most recent IHT articles can now be found by searching NYTimes.com. We are in the process of moving IHT articles dating back to 1991 over to NYTimes.com. Thanks for your patience as we complete this transition."

more than 5 years ago
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New York Times Wipes Journalist's Online Corpus

fondacio The issue has been resolved. (94 comments)

Interesting. I got quite upset with the IHT-NYT change a while ago for exactly this reason: many bookmarks and links to news articles that I had made throughout the years evaporated overnight, making me regret not printing or saving the text of those articles when I had the chance. But apparently the NYT has fixed it now. Crampton links to two articles of a scoop he had a few years ago, and they resolve to a new page. And a bookmark that I have on the computer I'm working on now has the same thing, suggesting that they must have transferred their news archive to the new site.

The original bookmark: http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/24/opinion/edcardenas.php now resolves to http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/opinion/24iht-edcardenas.1.20395821.html

I'll try it later with my other bookmarks, but it seems like they have responded to the criticism well.

more than 5 years ago
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Which Distro For an Eee PC?

fondacio Re:wifi drivers, atheros and ralink (466 comments)

Thank you for this and obviously for the work you put into the EEE PC kernel, which I am using on my 901 in the unfortunately named Easy Peasy. I'd just like to add for information that even though my wireless card works fine on WPA and other networks, I have not been able to get LEAP or PEAP working, and therefore assume that something is still not working properly even with 1.7.1.1. People who need this kind of authentication may be better off getting a netbook with a different chipset.

more than 5 years ago
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Next G8 President Wants To "Regulate the Internet"

fondacio Not the president (279 comments)

Berlusconi is not the president of Italy. He's the prime minister. The president is Giorgio Napolitano.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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EU calls for use of open standards

fondacio fondacio writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fondacio (835785) writes "In a speech that has been reported as taking a swipe at Microsoft, European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has called for businesses and governments to use software based on open standards. While not mentioning Microsoft by name, Ms Kroes referred to the fact that "[t]he [European] Commission has never before had to issue two periodic penalty payments in a competition case" until this happened to Microsoft, and also referred to other pending cases. Most of the things she told a conference in Brussels will not come as a surprise to Slashdot readers, but it may be considered encouraging to hear the following quotes from someone in her position:

"Where interoperability information is protected as a trade secret, there may be a lot of truth in the saying that the information is valuable because it is secret, rather than being secret because it is valuable. [...] we should only standardise when there are demonstrable benefits, and we should not rush to standardise on a particular technology too early. [...] I fail to see the interest of customers in including proprietary technology in standards when there are no clear and demonstrable benefits over non-proprietary alternatives. [...] standardisation agreements should be based on the merits of the technologies involved. Allowing companies to sit around a table and agree technical developments for their industry is not something that the competition rules would usually allow. So when it is allowed we have to look carefully at how it is done."
Ms Kroes also mentions the criticism of software patents, and the company she does mention by name is Apple. Her speech can be found here in the open PDF and HTML formats and the proprietary Word format."

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