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Comments

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Comcast Confessions

mi Such practices REDUCE profit and kill companies (179 comments)

painted a picture of a corporation overrun by the neverending quest for greater profit.

A typical anti-Capitalism drivel. The listed practices reduce profit and cause the company to either collapse or be taken over — unless it has powerful friends in government.

From the article: 'These employees told us the same stories over and over again: customer service has been replaced by an obsession with sales, technicians are understaffed and tech support is poorly trained, and the massive company is hobbled by internal fragmentation.

Yep, that's what leads to losing money. Few can survive it without being a monopoly.

41 minutes ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

mi Re:this story is missing information (880 comments)

It may well be that she wanted him to delete the tweet, and it may well be that she threatened to call the police, but those may be close in time and not otherwise related.

The first — demanding, he deletes a tweet — is enough, even if the threat of calling police didn't happen or was due to something else. Because if the man is doing something criminal, then he should be prosecuted regardless of whether or not he deletes a tweet. And if he is not, then the threat is that of malicious prosecution.

Similarly, it seems unlikely that the airline was monitoring Twitter

Of course, they do — Marketing departments nation- (and world-!) wide are watching their brands on Twitter and Facebook carefully — many offering discounts in exchange for "likes" even...

mandating punitive responses

Of course, nobody told Kimberley to threaten the man with arrest unless he removes the tweet. But they, probably, called her (or her supervisor) and she decided to retaliate against the complainant. Maybe, they suggested, she apologizes and asks him to remove it — politely, rather than on pain of arrest. But she felt righteous and was enraged — and nobody in her position (being able to ruin somebody's long-distance travel) should be given to such an emotion.

The airline probably does not give its side of these situations, as a matter of policy

According to TFA, the airline offered "boiler plate" apologies and vouchers for future travel — clearly, they believe the agent screwed up. I still think, she should be criminally prosecuted and pay a fine — her power over us is too big to tolerate even a hint of abuse of it...

about an hour ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:"Proportional response" is nonsense (769 comments)

Oddly enough, when American citizens are killed by the thousands as a response to direct actions of their freely elected democratic government, its called "terrorism"

"Terrorism" is a method — targeting (rather than accidentally hitting) enemy civilians has been frowned upon since shortly after the WW2.

What you're saying is that anyone that suffered directly from decisions made by the US governments has the legitimate right of shooting down *any* american

I am saying nothing of the kind. My point was not, that Gazans all "deserved to die" because of their vote — I was simply responding to mrspooni's claim, that "Palestinian people as a whole are not Hamas". They are Hamas or Hamas-sympathizers and do deserve the burdens of war. Any other country in the region would've summarily killed (Syria, Iraq) or expelled (Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia) such people — Israel's restraint is, if anything, inhumane.

And now we can go back to those "direct actions" of our freely elected government, which, in your opinion, justify killing Americans. Which actions are those? Bin Laden's major grief with the US, for example, was — America's desecration of the holy soil of Saudi Arabia, which we defiled with our infidel boots. Is that a good reason for you?

Its not the hater's portrayal when you have western media covering it [...] Are you really convinced that Hamas has a super-duper propaganda machine that is bigger and more efficient than Israel's/US machine

Hamas has inherent propaganda-advantages:

  • they are the underdog, whom "low-information" spectators always prefer;
  • their non-military policies (inasmuch as they are known at all) are Socialist, bringing every "low-information" bum with a Che Guevara T-shirt on their side;
  • Western countries have a much bigger share of Arabs and Muslims now, than even 20 years ago — who all sympathize with their "brethren"

After starting — and loosing — several "real" wars in the 20th century, Arabs have given up on the "honest" battlefield success. They've switched all their efforts into terrorism on one hand and propaganda whining on the other. They are succeeding.

Shit happens when you bomb one of the most densely populated areas in the world, and they don't care.

Retaliation will hit any area in the world, from where thugs shoot at somebody. Israel's retaliation will try to hit the thugs only, but it is not, of course, guaranteed... That the area is "densely populated" should be the concern of the shooters, not of those, who defend themselves and their country.

1 hour ago
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

Not everyone in Israel agrees with this.

Not everyone in Israel... Two Jews will, infamously, have 3 opinions on most matters...

Arabs, on the other hand, are much more determined — 2/3 voted for Hamas in the free elections of 2006. 2/3rds wish to destroy Israel and drive the Jews into the sea. Any state living next to such enemies is absolutely justified in doing anything to defend itself.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

What you mean is that Israel doesn't consider what is 'currently' Gaza to be its own terriitory -- but that its own territory expands inch by inch at the crest of a bulldozer

Ariel Sharon demolished Israeli settlements in Gaza and forcibly pulled all of the "encroaching" settlers back. Hamas' charter did not change — they still aim for destroying Israel...

Lets at least keep reality on the table here.

And reality is, the Arabs should've accepted the UN partition plan of 1947 and built their own state. That they chose to instead wage war — and not just one, but many — is their own fault. And the fitting punishment for that aggression is loss of land. And as long as the morons keep shooting at Israel, they will (or should) continue losing land. Occupying the enemy's territory is perfectly proper conduct in war — and if the stupid enemy is not giving up for decades, then the loss may become permanent.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

Majority of people are arguing against Israel because they want the senseless killing to stop

Where was this "majority of people", when Hamas were firing dozens of rockets per day at Israel? Watching soccer? Why don't you go back to that — and leave the arguing to people with attention spans longer than 30 minutes...

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Expanding "marriage" (Re:Radicalization) (769 comments)

Yes and not long ago all US citizens had the right to be married to one person of the opposite gender of the same race.

What the rest of the society considers worthy of recognition as "marriage" should, indeed, be up to that society... This is not about sex-life, which should be up to the willing participants, but about other people's opinions: "We are a married couple!" "No, you are not — you are two men..." "Yes, we are — this new laws says so!"

To force others to consider a particular union as "marriage" may be illiberal...

No doubt eventually we will knock the gender caveat off of marriage too

Sure. And move straight on to fighting the species caveat next, will you not? Or, perhaps, the one person caveat will be next — why can't I be married to two consenting adult human females and an adult male cat — at once, after all? How is that prohibition not discrimination?

While we are at it, lets just get the state out of marriage and just allow exclusive legal partnerships between any two consenting adults.

Full agreement here — there should be no special provisions for "spouses" in any laws — we are all equal subjects and citizens. Until then, however, "marriage" and "spouse" are legal terms and their precise definitions are up to the legislatures...

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

Well then, Iranian homosexuals have the same rights as everyone else there: they can avoid gay sex or die.

No such dilemma exists for American homosexuals — their sex-lives are entirely up to them.

What they seem to be fighting for is for the rest of us to treat their unions as "marriage". And for that the term needs to be redefined...

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Homosexuals and marriage: ability vs. right (769 comments)

The guy in the wheelchair may be deprived of his ability to practice karate, but its not because his fellow citizens are campaigning and voting to keep him from doing it.

Nobody is campaigning to keep the homosexuals unable to marry — they are unable to do so already. Not because they have no right — only because they have no ability.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi "Proportional response" is nonsense (769 comments)

It is more to do with proportional response.

This is utter bullshit. If an enemy is trying to kill you, you try to kill them — using the best weapons you've got, hitting them as hard as possible. Because they are doing their best.

You also have to consider that the Palestinian people as a whole are not Hamas

That lie was exposed as such, when the Gazans voted — in free and internationally-observed electionsfor Hamas.

For every innocent non-terrorist killed, that will recruit many terrorists.

Contrary to the haters' portrayal, IDF are not indiscriminate killers they don't need this sort of calculations to try their hardest to avoid killing innocent civilians. Shit still happens, unfortunately.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

Saddam never gassed his own citizens, you probably mean Kurdish insurgents.

Assad never gassed his own citizens, you probably mean rebels.

Both strongmen considered their victims to be their citizens and subjects. In the state of rebellion, but citizens nonetheless. Bullshit propaganda much?

How are they NOT "citizens"?

How are they citizens?

Those people have lived within the territorial boundaries their whole lives.

So? The "boundaries" have Israel on one of the sides — why aren't you claiming them to be citizens of Jordan and Egypt? At least, those two neighbors actually once occupied the entire West Bank and Gaza respectively — for twenty years...

The Israeli government is being run by far-right reactionaries

Israeli government has changed many times since the country's establishment — swinging from Left to Right and anything in between. Never once have PLO or Hamas changed their official goal of destroying Israel.

but that won't make it any less true.

Nothing your wrote is true — except for the obvious fact, that downmodding will not make it any less so.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

hows that gay marriage thing coming in the US?

All US citizens have the exact same right, when it comes to marriage: they can be married to one person of the opposite gender, who are not too closely related to them by blood.

That about 3% of the population are unable to exercise that right is unfortunate, but it does not mean, they are deprived of the right.

Not any more so, than a quadriplegic is deprived of the right to practice karate.

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

Oh, so it's a separate nation that Israel recognizes?

No, they are not a nation — not in Israel's opinion, not in their own, not in that of the rest of the world. When the UN split the former British mandate into two parts, Jews proceeded to establishing their own state. The Arabs, instead of likewise establishing theirs, declared war... That was because — in their own opinions — they weren't separate nations (Jordanians, Iraqis, Syrians), but simply Arabs. They lost that war — and the subsequent ones. By the end of the 20th century, Arabs have given up attacking Israel openly and switched to terrorism on one hand and propaganda whining on the other.

That tactics seems to be succeeding...

Not a territory they claim?

No, Israel has no territorial claim to Gaza strip. Are you not embarrassed over being wrong so often?

yesterday
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Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

mi Re:Radicalization (769 comments)

Israel is sure doing a good job in that area creating more enemies

With the share of Gazans being enemies of Israel before the war being around the "five nines", I doubt strongly, Israel has increased the animosity substantially in recent weeks.

Certainly not enough to prefer to go back to living under the constant barrage of rockets — however ineffective they may be.

yesterday
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MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

mi Re:Here we go... (454 comments)

Did that make them valid military targets?

It would have, if that — destroying the soldier's transportation — were the goal. But it is not. The goal of blowing up a bus is to make the population — civilians — afraid. That, by definition, is terrorism.

To put it differently, if the IDF started providing a separate transport for these soldiers going home for the weekend — prohibiting them from using the regular buses, Hamas would still try to blow up the regular transit. On contrast, if Hamas were to stop using schools and hospitals to store weapon caches or, indeed, fire from, Israel would not be shooting at those installations.

Got any more false analogies for me?

3 days ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

mi Re:More power to 'em, I say. (198 comments)

This shit keeps up and I'll just skip the goddamn Internet completely and go back to reading more books instead.

Please, do. Instead of adding anything to the discussion, you simply repeated your previous comment — only with more swear words. Please, disconnect. Remember to logout.

3 days ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

mi Re:this story is missing information (880 comments)

Whenever I see a provocative account of something from one person's viewpoint, I suspect it of not being entirely honest.

We don't know, what exactly was said, and how "provocative" both sides were. What we do know is:

  1. He griped on Twitter about the agent's rudeness.
  2. She called him and his boys back from the plane and threatened to call police, unless he deletes the tweet.

That threat to "call police" over nothing but an Internet-posting is enough to have her fired from the job and prosecuted for attempted malicious prosecution. Worse — because she, likely, was not busy checking the Twitter herself, but was informed by Marketing, who do monitor their @-handles all the time — there should be an investigation into a possible conspiracy to commit malicious prosecution.

These people — almost like police themselves — are granted enormous powers to do their jobs. Any time they abuse it even in the slightest, a slap on the wrist is not enough — the hand should be chopped off (yeah, I know), so that none of them do that again.

3 days ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

mi Re:More power to 'em, I say. (198 comments)

Do we really want an Internet that, with regard to the U.S. consumer, is essentially owned and operated by Comcast/Xfinity?

Whatever Comcast's failings, I wager, you'll find the Internet owned and operated by the government far worse. I predict mandatory "child-protection" filters, for example. Also, any time you violate the service terms (which will be copied from those of commercial providers), you will be committing a crime (however small), rather than merely breaking contract. Oh, and the tech-support will not only be incompetent, but also rude — because, being government employees, they will be impossible to fire.

the more competition that can be arranged the better

A government entering a market — any market — is the end of competition in it.

5 days ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

mi Government is GREAT at providing services! (198 comments)

Roads (and rail-roads), health-care, electricity and telephone — government and government-sanctioned monopolies provide such outstanding services, only a fool or a sell-out would try to prevent their scope from expanding. Tokyo may have competing privately-owned subway lines, but we here in America know better than that!

Take Municipal WiFi — which the young and progressive generation was hailing on this very site only 10 years ago — was not that a roaring success, that swept over the nation?

5 days ago

Submissions

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Certified "green" buildings consume more energy than regular structures

mi mi writes  |  about 5 months ago

mi (197448) writes "The "greenness" of a building is measured as EUIs — the higher the number, the more energy the structure is consuming relative to its size. Environmentally-aware construction is supposed to have the LEED-certification by U.S. Green Building Council (a private environment-protection group).

Washington, DC was the first city to mandate LEED-certifications for all new construction in 2010. Today the city-wide average EUI for LEED-certified buildings is 205, whereas the non-certified buildings average 199..."

Link to Original Source
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Lenders look at social media to check on loan-applicants

mi mi writes  |  about 7 months ago

mi (197448) writes "We know about Human Resources departments checking job-applicants online. Well, the lenders are catching up too. Writes Wall Street Journal:

Lending companies are looking at potential problems such as whether applicants put the same job information on their loan application as they posted on LinkedIn, or if they shared on Facebook that they had been let go by an employer. A small business that draws negative reviews on eBay also could undermine its chances of getting more credit, lending companies say.

Myself having neither Facebook, nor Twitter, nor LinkedIn accounts, I am wondering, if I am at a disadvantage — these are the people, who already consider imperfect credit history to be better, than no credit history at all..."
Link to Original Source

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Britney Spears' music used to deter pirates

mi mi writes  |  about 9 months ago

mi (197448) writes "Blasting Western music seems quite effective against the people, who hate Western culture in general, according to the article in Mirror Online, and Britney Spears' tunes proved to be a great deterrent indeed. Second Officer Rachel from Aberfoyle in Scotland said: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

The music is currently used as a second line of defence and is broadcast when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. “They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns," — says Rachel.

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to quell rioters.

Security industry is well aware of the power of music — and is cautious not to exceed humane limits. Justin Bieber, for example, is not used, because officials are wary of violating Geneva Conventions."

Link to Original Source
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NASDAQ shut down earlier today and is struggling to get up

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "The NASDAQ exchange has abruptly halted all trading in early afternoon today, August 22, 2013. At the time of this writing (15:32) they remain down despite the earlier promises to reopen at 14:45, 15:10, 15:25...

The nature of the problem remains a mystery and may turn out to be anything — from a varmint chewing through some critical wire to the decision to switch to Microsoft back in 2005."
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Companies in China learn to bypass government's firewall

mi mi writes  |  about a year ago

mi (197448) writes "According to the article in South China Morning Post, it is common for corporations in the country to reach out to the "real" Internet by using their own lines out to Hong-Kong. Recently, some luxury hotels started offering the access to guests. Of course, some sort of "communications with the local government" have taken place before this apparent violation of the country's federal law was attempted.

I, for one, can't wait for these folks to start getting a bigger say on how the Internet operates."

Link to Original Source
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Computer keeps sending cops to the same house

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "

Embarrassed cops on Thursday cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys. Apparently, the address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used to test a department-wide computer system in 2002

Police have tried to remove the address from their databases for years, but it keeps popping up... This is the scariest part of the government collecting personal data — they can't expunge it, even if they sincerely try to... And if they are even a bit insincere, they can always explain keeping it by a "computer glitch"."
Link to Original Source

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Leak of Congress' ethics-investigators documents

mi mi writes  |  more than 3 years ago

mi writes "A document describing investigations of the House Ethics committee was accidentally leaked through peer-to-peer software running on a PC of a "junior employee" working from home. Although the employee was quickly fired, the embarrassing details are now well known.
At the time of this typing, no mention of the documents on WikiLeaks. Not yet..."

Link to Original Source
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Nigeria shuts down scam websites

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Nigeria's anti-corruption police said Friday they had shut down some 800 scam websites and busted 18 syndicates of email fraudsters in a drive to curb cyber-crime the country is notorious for. 18 arrests were made. Maybe, the amount of "From the Desk of Dr. Foo Bar" e-mails will drop for a while."
Link to Original Source
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Plagiarism-detection software find Shakespeare

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Software intended to help essay-graders to detect plagiarism was used to attribute — with high probability — a hitherto unattributed play (The Reign of Edward III) to Shakespeare. It seems, the work was co-authored by Shakespeare and another playwright of the time, Thomas Kyd."
Link to Original Source
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White House admits harvesting e-mail addresses

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "After people appeared on Fox News complaining, White House admitted to not be using the Confirmed Opt-In (a.k.a. Double Opt-In) for adding new addresses to their list of subscribers.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered the classic spammer-defenses: "we hope they were not too inconvenienced," — and: "we suggest that they unsubscribe from the list by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail."

I still remember — in the 1990ies — spammers covering themselves up with something like: "Under Bill S.1618 Title III passed by the 105th U.S. Congress, this letter can not be considered spam..." Now, the most technologically-advanced Administration is sanctioning the spammer's other excuse: "What's the big deal? Just press 'Delete'!""
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Palin's e-mail account broken into

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "A private e-mail account of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin was broken into and detailed screen-shots published. The publishing site defends the stunningly unethical action with: "It's newsworthy and we will not be taking it down!""
Link to Original Source
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Craigslist forced to reveal a seller's identity

mi mi writes  |  about 6 years ago

mi writes "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts has won a judgment compelling CraigsList to reveal the identity of "Daniel", who tried to sell two tickets to the Oscar-ceremony recently. The plaintiff's argument against such sales is scary and can be taken very far very quickly: "If you don't know who's inside the theater, it's very difficult to provide security".

The CraigList's handling of the case may be even scarier, however — instead of fighting tooth-and-nail for the user's privacy, as we expect Google, Yahoo, and AOL, and even credit-card issuers to do, CraigsList simply did not show up in court and lost by default."

Link to Original Source
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Fugitive sues C.C.-issuer for aiding his capture

mi mi writes  |  about 6 years ago

mi writes "A short article describes attempts by a disbarred lawyer, who pleaded guilty of statutory rape, to sue American Express for violating its pledge "to withhold customer information from third parties". It seems, the man was captured when police obtained information about where his credit card was used.

His crime is repulsive to most, so there will be little sympathy, but the legal implications are interesting. Was AmEx compelled to disclose the information by the authorities, or did it volunteer the information? In the latter case, what will the company do, if the next suspect-on-the-run is accused of, say, copyright violations, or threats against President, or terrorism — will it consider the magnitude of the accusations and the available evidence, or always cooperate with the police?"

Link to Original Source
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France to outlaw "inciting thinness"

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! and others report, that "encouraging severe weight loss" may soon become a crime in France. The National Assembly has already approved the bill. The law would punish "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree with prison time and/or fines, even though the doctors still say, the link between anorexia and media images "remains hazy"."
Link to Original Source
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French gendarmes switching to Linux

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "French paramilitary police will be switching their 70000 desktop computers to Ubuntu "every time they have to replace a desktop". The move is expected to affect 5000-8000 machines in the first year alone. The cost of the OS is cited as only the third of factors:

The first is to diversify suppliers and reduce the force's reliance on one company, the second is to give the gendarmerie mastery of the operating system and the third is cost.
They started migrating away from Microsoft by switching to alternative office and web-browsing software first."

Link to Original Source
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Chinese dissident taken from house- to real arrest

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! is carrying an AP article on the recent arrest of Hu Jia on the charge of "inciting subversion of state power".

Gross violations of Human Rights by Chinese government are nothing new. What's special about this case, is that the victim has spent 223 days under house arrest by the time he was taken away from his home (and newborn daughter). Despite the house arrest, he was able to continue his work, including participating remotely in a European Parliament hearing..."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon fights off a federal customer-list subpoena

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "While prosecuting a tax-evasion case against a used-book seller, federal prosecutors contacted Amazon requesting identities of his customers, so that some of them can become witnesses. The company refused to divulge the customers' identities and the judge agreed:

"The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission. It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else."


The Feds eventually withdrew the subpoena."

Link to Original Source
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Hurricane-research UAV to be tested on Noel

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "USA Today is reporting on an unmanned aircraft developed to research hurricanes being sent into Noel. It should reach the eye of the storm at around 10pm tonight, November 2nd. The whole flight is expected to take about 20 hours:

"Unmanned flights at very low altitude are important since they give us unique insights and continuous observations in a region of the storm where the ocean's energy is directly transferred to the atmosphere just above. Attempting this type of research flight with our hurricane hunter aircraft would risk the lives of our crew and scientists," said Joe Cione, hurricane researcher at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, and project manager for the Aerosonde field study.
"

Link to Original Source
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"Home-made" helicopter in Nigeria

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! carries an article describing a helicopter, that a Nigerian physics undergraduate has put together from various parts: Honda Civic's 133hp engine, seats from an old Toyota, and parts of a Boeing 747, which crashed nearby some years ago. The thing has already been flown several times.

If a 24 year old student can do it — while also repairing electronics to supplement his income — where is my flying car?"

Link to Original Source

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