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Comments

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Scotland Votes No To Independence

maroberts Re:Non-Binding, right? -- Incorrect (443 comments)

The referendum was a binding vote because it was approved by the Queen and Parliament in the confusingly titled "The Scotland Act 1998 (Modification of Schedule 5) Order 2013"

2 days ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

maroberts Re:Funny (443 comments)

David Cameron's father is Scottish, so he doesn't need to steal a heart on this matter.

2 days ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

maroberts Re:The over-65's swung it for No (443 comments)

I'm English, but I was pleasantly surprised to find most of the 16-17 year olds giving well reasoned opinions on why they were voting Yes or No.

2 days ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

maroberts Re:A glorious victory for all (443 comments)

Actually the UK stole countries with the East India Tea Company and some well chosen wars.

2 days ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

maroberts Re:Everyone loses (443 comments)

That was to a certain extent true in England too.

If Scotland went independent, every English voter I spoke to made it clear their view would be "Good Riddance" and that they expected England to negotiate the best possible deal i.e. no sharing the pound unless it could be proven to be economically advantageous for England, making it advantageous for Scottish firms to relocate South of the Border etc.

In staying, I think the Scots made the right long term decision.

2 days ago
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

maroberts Re:Free Willy! (443 comments)

The UK is a very fascist country, not free at all. It is ruled by evil Lords and a corrupt politican caste and voters have a choice between evil and evil.

FTFY:
The USA is a very fascist country, not free at all. It is ruled by wealthy business and a corrupt politican caste and voters have a choice between evil and evil.

2 days ago
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Link Between Salt and High Blood Pressure 'Overstated'

maroberts Cool (291 comments)

After reading this, I must go and have a bacon and egg sandwich with ketchup...and extra salt

about two weeks ago
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Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

maroberts Re:RT.com? (536 comments)

Its a bit hard to tell as few of them have actually had a trial on the issues for which they are confined.

about two weeks ago
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Laid Off From Job, Man Builds Tweeting Toilet

maroberts Re:obligatory (114 comments)

Does it tweet photos?

Yes, it saves sitting on the photocopier to take bottom scans.

about two weeks ago
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Laid Off From Job, Man Builds Tweeting Toilet

maroberts When asked for comment (114 comments)

Thomas Ruecker said he was flushed with the success of his project.

about two weeks ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

maroberts Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

Speaking from a UK perspective, I am not "making shit up".

I have at various times had UK SC and DV checks carried out for my employment.
DV requires personal interviews and referee interviews.
There are aspects of my past life which are not pristine, but open disclosure ensured that these were not an issue.

about two weeks ago
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Researcher Fired At NSF After Government Questions Her Role As 1980s Activist

maroberts Re:Wrong Title (499 comments)

I doubt she had any idea that the third group even existed. Not sure what to think, except her response must not have been to their liking.

Sucks to be her.

At the time she filled in the form, she was obviously aware the third group existed as she had written to and visited one of its members in prison.

It is fairly obvious that her relationship with the "terrorist" organisation was very tenuous, but one point of a background check is a test of your willingness to be full and open about your past. In fact if she had given a full open answer, I suspect there would not have been a problem.

Despite conspiracy theories to the contrary, government agencies do not know everything about you. A background check will not necessarily find out everything about your past, but if it detects evasive answers then it is grounds for not employing someone in case there is more the potential employee is not telling or deliberately hiding.

about two weeks ago
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Restoring Salmon To Their Original Habitat -- With a Cannon

maroberts Re:just a little bigger... (147 comments)

The UK would be much better if was sleeping with the fishes.

about two weeks ago
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New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

maroberts Re:Mitochondrial DNA? (135 comments)

The whoosh is strong with this one.

Strong the whoosh with this one is, FTFY

about two weeks ago
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Ask David Saltzberg About Being The Big Bang Theory's Science Advisor

maroberts Re:Do Penny's boobs defy gravity? (226 comments)

You're a perv.

One of the things I find makes the show slightly less believable is that Sheldon seems to be completely asexual. In reality, as far as I can tell, most people as smart as Sheldon are obsessed with sex. (Feynman and Hawking, for example.)

Most people are obsessed with sex whether they are as smart as Sheldon or not. However, Sheldon is represented on the show as an outlier in many respects, so what is the difficulty in believing that he would be different in this respect too?

about two weeks ago
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Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media

maroberts Re:Moot.it C&D (220 comments)

I would have thought that claiming a trademark rights on "moot" would fail. A moot is a generic word for a meeting/council of Anglo-Saxon origin.

about three weeks ago
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Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

maroberts Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (375 comments)

I am delighted to confirm that we have made plans to resite our Nuclear Deterrent. After much consultation and with the agreement of the Legislative Assembly, I am pleased to announce that in the event of a Referendum "yes" vote, the UK will be breaking ground on a new facility in the Falkland Islands.

This is an immensely popular decision that has the full support of all our inhabitants, stated the Chief Executive of the Legislative Assembly.

On hearing this announcement Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina, wept before exploding into flames.

about a month ago
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The First Particle Physics Evidence of Physics Beyond the Standard Model?

maroberts Better title needed (97 comments)

Physics: Boldly going where no muon has gone before.

Physics: a momentous time for muons.

Physics: do muons follow Standards?

etc

about a month ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

maroberts Re:LOL (521 comments)

You forgot to mention that some nations don't have so much land. Palestine, Israel, Taiwan, etc. You'd be insane to promote solar if you lived in any of those countries.

Not much land is needed - everyone has a rooftop and most of the countries you've mentioned are bright and sunny

about a month ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Was Sandy good for New York and the people?

maroberts maroberts writes  |  about 2 years ago

maroberts (15852) writes "Whilst sadly more than 40 people have died as a result of Storm Sandy, my colleagues and I are debating whether the storm is actually beneficial in terms of employment and mortality rate. For instance, we argue that deaths from murders and traffic incidents will be way down, as will injuries from the same.

Similarly all the renovation work will be a source of jobs for less skilled manual workers, and we will genuinely witness income flowing from rich to poor. Insurance companies will pay out, reducing their dividends.

So overall, should the US be wishing for more or less bad weather?"
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Do you want to play a wee game?

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 2 years ago

maroberts writes "No, the spelling isn't a mistake; you can now play games when you're in the toilet/ john/ bathroom (delete as applicable). The only question is whether a large "joystick" or a small one makes a better game controller....."
Link to Original Source
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Violent Games reduce levels of Crime

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 3 years ago

maroberts (15852) writes "According to this paper produced from a collaboration between the University of Texas and the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), violent video games may induce aggressive behavior, but the incapacitation effect outweighs this and produces a genuine reduction in violent crime. This paper was referenced in aBBC news story giving reasons why the US crime rates are falling (at least outside the prisons!)"

Journals

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Why Donte has his name

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Someone asked why my son had an unusual name and even suggested that Donte is due to the parents not being able to spell. Anyway its not a spelling mistake, although some muppet who registered the birth did put Donate instead!

There's no typo; my (ex) g/f chose it, and since his ancestry is black English on mummys side, I see little wrong in him having a name associated with African ancestry.

Dante may be the possible Italian/Latin original of the name. As I have a degree plus college level English I don't think spelling is a problem for me (with a few exceptions).

Donte has a sensible middle name (which I chose) which he can use if he wants, and there's little wrong with shortening Donte to Don if he wants later. But having said that, having an unusual name also makes you memorable which can be an advantage.

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Freedom of Speech v Privacy

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 3 years ago

The argument about whether the press can publish about relationships and gossip is not an argument about public interest; it is clear that the public don't really have a need or right to know who is shagging who, at least not directly.

However, it can be argued that the injunction conflicts with Freedom of Expression. Essentially the injunction brings into play where the balance between a right to Privacy and Freedom of Expression lie.

The European Convention on Human Rights gives states a wide "margin of appreciation" on where they may place the dividing line. For example, should the US ever become a signatory, it could legitimately claim compliance with the convention even though Freedom of Speech is regarded as a more important right than Privacy. In France, on the other hand, more importance is given to privacy. As long as both rights are protected to some extent, both nations would be regarded as compliant in terms of their implementation.

Censoring the Web is fraught with difficulty and could be challenged under those same rights.

When the UK implemented its Human Rights Act, which effectively ratified the ECHR in the UK, it was openly stated by Parliament that a high threshold would be required for matters of Privacy to overcome matters of Free Speech, i.e. Parliament wanted a Human Rights implementation closer to the US than France. Unfortunately, legal rulings have been quietly lowering the bar in clear contravention of this intention.

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A14: The Road To Hell

maroberts maroberts writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I would just like everyone who is thinking of living near Cambridge to forget the idea unless your idea of fun is sitting in stationary traffic.

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