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Computers are evil in early education

mi When my kid gets to computer... (2 comments)

They wasted their time on games, social media, and entertainment

When my daughter gets to use computer, her only toys will be:

  • vi
  • cc
  • make

.

yesterday
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New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

mi Let's have a War on Corn! (Re:Obama oops...) (195 comments)

President Obama Announces Major Initiative to Spur Biofuels Industry and Enhance America's Energy Security

That's Big Government for you. Instead of various people acting as they see fit — some making mistakes and some not — we have a government, that's big enough to make a mistake for all of us at once...

Competing ideas? To each his own? Personal responsibility? No way, no how — citizen, the Science is Settled[TM] and you are blocking our progress towards the Common Good[TM].

Fat is bad for you — all of you! Until it is not. Except it still is...

Biofuels is about to become the latest example of this. As our benevolent and omniscient overlords in Washington jump from one trend to another, the whole country is supposed to rejig, retool, and reorient itself each time: from "low-fat" to "low-sugar", from growing biofuels to drilling oil. Because they "know" better — and they are 100% confident in that settled "knowledge" of theirs. Until it changes to the exact opposite like some kind of quantum particle — and only the confidence remains.

How about we — the subjects — make our own choices, huh? Leaving only the courts, police and military to you, our beloved government class? Yes, we — some of us — will be making the same mistakes. But, at least, they will be neither coercing nor outright forcing the others to repeat them.

yesterday
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Proposed Disk Array With 99.999% Availablity For 4 Years, Sans Maintenance

mi Why not a gradually-degrading array instead? (253 comments)

Our conclusion is that having N(N + 1)/2 spare disks is more than enough to achieve a 99.999 percent probability of not losing data over four years.

Instead of keeping the spares inside as just that — spares — can it not start using all of them (in a sufficiently redundant configuration) and gradually lose capacity as physical disks fail?

Yes, it would require coordination with the driver and filesystem, but there is nothing insurmountable in that...

2 days ago
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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

mi Re:Praise the non-violent (367 comments)

It *is* nonviolent.

Sure. It is also "quiet" and "stealthy" — and a bunch of other things. Which is the best term to use in this context? That depends on the subtle connotations of each one, does not it? I am willing to believe, TFA's use was an honest mistake — the article makes no (other) suggestions, bank-robbing (violent or otherwise) may be a just thing. But...

Are the Somali pirates just that — pirates — or are they hard-working folks laboring in a harsh environment, risking their lives directing foreign aid to their impoverished country and the people, who need it most?

See also "Hezbollization".

2 days ago
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Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

mi Praise the non-violent (367 comments)

stealing cards remains an effective, nonviolent way to get at the cash in an ATM.

Wow, that makes it sound like the card-thieves are nice folks — see, they are "nonviolent". Almost like the "unarmed" we read so much about recently.

What a way to turn a phrase and alter connotations — pick a nice-sounding synonym of many. Khmm, "quiet"? Neah... "Stealthy"? No... "Nonviolent" — yeah, that's it!!

2 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

mi Re:jessh (396 comments)

You know you have a fair well-reasoned argument though the little quip at the end just comes across as childish.

Your victory is not complete, until you've peed on the opponent's unmoving body...

2 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

mi Re:jessh (396 comments)

Yes, they're quite "free" to quite their jobs

Yes, indeed, they are free to quit their jobs — without having to give up on their house, country, and friends — if their assessment of the risk of coming to work is so drastically at odds with that of their employer.

you are "free" to move to Somalia if you're unhappy with having a functioning government.

Oh, no you don't. That cliche is too worn-out and too oft-refuted to still be usable. Libertarians have no problem with a functioning government. We just want to (drastically) cut its functions, thank you very much.

2 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

mi Re:jessh (396 comments)

The families and friends of those fatalities would likely invite you to shove your entire Ayn Rand library up your arse.

Had you actually read the link on how the Statistical Value of Life is calculated, you would not have had all that angry adrenalin in your blood. For it is computed based on our own willingness to pay for extra safety.

For example, if having some hypothetical contraption in your car is convincingly known to lower your risk of death by 5% and the implement costs $10K, then the people, who are unwilling to pay extra, value their lives at below $200K.

Or they consider themselves exceptionally less prone to accidents — which is why actuaries use multiple such datapoints to arrive at the number.

Is it not "heartless" to even attempt to attach a $-figure to a human life? Hardly... Because the lost monies could've helped save lives too. Ever heard of charitable donations? A wounded fighter having one package of Celox available, for example, increases his chances of survival by 60% — according to Ukrainian volunteers trying to procure as much of the wonderful stuff as they can get donations for. $20 is what one package costs...

2 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

mi Re:Radical Left allowed to run a country... (327 comments)

Sounds more like authoritarian dictatorships fail while a robust democratic government that responds to its citizens succeeds.

An authoritarian dictatorship is certainly worse, than a robust democratic government.

However, between authoritarian dictatorships, a "Radical Left" one — like that of Chavez or Castro — will bring certain misery and economic collapse, whereas a Right-wing one may set the country in the right direction.

3 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

mi Re:Radical Left allowed to run a country... (327 comments)

Today, 30% of Chile's income is because of the state owned Codelco.

Irrelevant — whether the company is publicly owned or not, the income it produces still counts towards the GDP.

partially supported by the surge in copper price in 2005

Their economy economy started going up in 1984 at the rate largely unchanged since — despite all of the fluctuations in the copper price.

Statistics aside

Yes, sure. We should put statistics aside and make decisions based on individual anecdotes...

In my personal experience, based on how I've worked with chileans in IT, they are below Argentina and Brazil

Ask your colleagues, if they'd rather work in Venezuelan IT...

3 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

mi Re:Celebrate government dependency (396 comments)

I'd suggest it all started going downhill when the courts reclassified News as Infotainment

When was that?

and stated that it didn't have to be true.

Would you rather have some sort of Department of Truth to determine, what can and what can not be said?

3 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

mi Re:jessh (396 comments)

What about lives if the storm was big

I did account for lives — you must've missed this part:

The "Christmas Blizzard of 2010" is imputed with 7 fatalities — or, in dollar terms, $63 million dollar, tops.

Money is easily recovered

No, it is not. An American's life is — objectively — worth somewhere between 8 and 9 million dollars, depending on which method you use to calculate it.

So people don't go to the grocery store today

Well, maybe your work is insignificant, Wally, and you may as well stop doing it. But that $4bln per day does come from somewhere — from people doing something, other people are willing to pay for...

Maybe we should cancel all holidays

Or, maybe, we should make every day a holiday instead? See, how far you can get with that kind of argument?

3 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

mi Re:Radical Left allowed to run a country... (327 comments)

I guess you must have missed the dissolution of the USSR.

I lived in the USSR at the time of its dissolution, you anonymous moron. It was an economic collapse, not a step-down by anyone disappointed in lack of popular mandate and support from immediate circle. Not one of the Communist rulers has stepped down on their own.

if the people want a radical left government then your vote against is not going to prevent that.

My point is, those "people" are making a mistake.

Uh-huh, yeah, persecution of the majority by a minority has a solid track record through history.

Not the majority voting, but the tiny minority asking for votes. All Collectivists — whether they have a red-star beret or a tiny mustache on their clothing — lead to disastrous policies. Either immediately (from inherent evil) or soon after their good intentions fail and they must find excuses.

BTW is thepeoplescube.com the persecuted, or the persecution?

The particular link does a hilarious job comparing the various Collectivists... Woosh much?

3 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

mi Re:Radical Left allowed to run a country... (327 comments)

Then why is this organge line [wikipedia.org] indicating the average of Latin America above the blue line indicating Chile between 1970 and 1991?

Because life sucked in the country, and the Marxist Allende (elected in 1970) proceeded to further destroy the economy until stopped by Pinochet in 1973. A series of reforms — commonly known today as "Miracle of Chile" — were necessary. The upswing in the blue line, that outperforms the orange line so convincingly today started in 1984 — with a minor hiccup in 1988, when Pinochet stepped down after losing a referendum.

Pinochet rules, Chavez drools.

There is also a different story to tell.

Yea, yea. In the face of Chile prospering doing, what they hate, while Cuba and Venezuela are faltering doing what they love, the Collectivists are anxious to find excuses...

Decades-long economic experiments — when similar (or identical) peoples lived under different economic regime: Estonia (within USSR) vs. Finland, East vs. West Germany, North vs. South Korea, Mainland China vs. Taiwan, Cuba (or Venezuela) vs. Chile — how many more examples does one need before admitting, allowing the Left to rule in earnest is an error (when it is not a crime)?

3 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

mi Re:Radical Left allowed to run a country... (327 comments)

'Facts'? When did people start believing them?

Thank you for admitting, you don't have any.

If they are where you say they are

They aren't there (as far as I know) — which ought to have told you something. Had there been anything, you would've seen it Guardian and NY Times 20 times already...

Citing precedence [theguardian.com] is more than sufficient

No, it is not sufficient.

you will simply spend your time poking holes

By announcing your own not believing in facts, you really left me nothing to poke holes in... How disappointing.

3 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

mi Re:Radical Left allowed to run a country... (327 comments)

Tell me why I shouldn't.

Go ahead. Be sure to cite facts, though. With Wikileaks and Snowden out there, you ought to have plenty to work with. Take your time.

If they're destabilizing the place like in the middle east and south Asia and Africa

Begs the question, does not it?..

3 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

mi Celebrate government dependency (396 comments)

when did we become a nation of wimps?

It was all downhill since we decided (contrary to the Founding Father's advice and implorations) to make it the government's responsibility to take care of "the most vulnerable". The list of "vulnerable" has been increasing since and the number of the benevolent and caring government officials needed to take care of them has been increasing along with it. As has been the "caring" class' voting power — while you were kept focused on the "military industrial complex"...

The lost "War on Poverty", for example, has cost $22 trillion — three times more than all of America's military wars combined (inflation-adjusted). If the overhead costs (pay and other expenses of the government officials doing the wealth-redistribution) was at the idealistic 23% of that, we paid them about $5 trillion dollars over the 50 years.

If it is acceptable for 15% to remain on the dole, is it really that much of a stretch, that the 100% need to be told, when to stay home a few days (weeks, months) per year?

3 days ago
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"Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

mi Re:jessh (396 comments)

At worst, people lose a day's worth of work, some businesses are affected.

The annual economic output of New York metro area alone (leaving Philadelphia aside for a minute) is about $1.4 trillion dollars — or about $4billion per day (weekdays such as today produce more than weekends). If even a mere 10% of that figure was lost today because of our rulers' failures, the cost is $400 million (for New York alone).

Possible severe damage to infrastructure

Little of such damage can be meaningfully prevented by shutting the infrastructure down. But even if it could be — and even the entire $60 million cost of the "Christmas Blizzard of 2010" could've been prevented by shutting the city down, it would've still been a pretty stupid thing to do — even if the storm actually lived up to the hype.

possible death toll

The "Christmas Blizzard of 2010" is imputed with 7 fatalities — or, in dollar terms, $63 million dollar, tops.

The best course of action by far is to shut the city down.

Hundreds vs. tens of millions of dollars lead to the exact opposite conclusion.

But there is more — individuals and businesses, made aware of the risks, can (and are supposed to!) make their own decisions. Governor declaring driving on a public road a crime is something else — they violate our freedom.

and who really expects a cabaret singer to have any knowledge of risk assessment

So, where do you sing?

3 days ago
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Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

mi Re:Radical Left allowed to run a country... (327 comments)

Shit like this [Chile coup, Pinochet -mi]

Chile's Pinochet, upon stepping down (show me one Left-dictator to have done that!), has left his country as the top Latin American economy. And their homicide-rate today is 3.7 per 100K people — compare that to Venezuela's 67!

And how would you propose to disallow the radical left from running a country, when that country is a democracy and the people vote for it?

By not voting for the assholes — and by persecuting them wherever they appear with the same vigor as the other brand of collectivists is being persecuted already.

3 days ago

Submissions

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A mattrass adjusts ambiance, starts coffeemaker, when you wake-up

mi mi writes  |  2 days ago

mi (197448) writes "A smart mattress-cover will turn off lights when you go to sleep, get coffee ready when you’re waking up. Luna’s new device fits around the mattress like a cover, and monitors whether those sleeping on it are asleep. When it senses that they are, it can power down lights or change heating settings. And when it detects that they’re waking back up, it can start brewing coffee or turn the lights back on.

And while you’re asleep, it will track the room temperature and how much sleep you get, creating the perfect conditions. The bed has “dual zone temperature”, which means that it can monitor differnet sides of the bed separately.

The only disturbing piece about it comes at the very end of the article:

Data is stored on the smart mattress cover itself, and then sent to Luna for storage and analysis.

"

Link to Original Source
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Russian oil tycoons behind US "greens"?

mi mi writes  |  3 days ago

mi (197448) writes "A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

With oil prices plunging as a result of a fracking-induced oil glut in the United States, experts say the links between Russian oil interests, secretive foreign political donors, and high-profile American environmentalists suggest Russia may be backing anti-fracking efforts in the United States."

Link to Original Source
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The "mammoth snow storm" falls flat

mi mi writes  |  3 days ago

mi (197448) writes "You heard the scare-mongering, you heard the governors and mayors closing public transit and declaring driving on public road a crime . But it turned out to have been a mistake. Boston may have been hit somewhat, but further South — NYC and Philadelphia — the snowfall was rather underwhelming. Promised "2-3 feet" snow, NYC got only a few inches.

Is this an example of "better safe than sorry", or is government's overreach justified by questionable weather models exceeding the threshold of honest mistake?"

Link to Original Source
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Ecuador President uses DMCA to shut down critics online

mi mi writes  |  about two weeks ago

mi (197448) writes "A vocal adversary of Washington, Ecuador's leftist president has also made a name for sheltering WikiLeaks' Julian Assange in his country's London Embassy, and briefly offering asylum to U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

So, it might come as a surprise to learn that Ecuadoreans who dare to post content critical of Correa and his government on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook say they are finding their images and videos systematically targeted and taken down.

The posters are accused of copyright violations — which causes the sites to automatically remove them in compliance with DMCA. Although appeals are possible, they take days and weeks, by which time many postings lose all relevance.

Human Rights Watch says, this would be the latest move in Ecuador's "deplorable free speech record.""

Link to Original Source
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Police nation-wide use wall-penetrating radars to peer into homes

mi mi writes  |  about two weeks ago

mi (197448) writes "At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside.

The device the Marshals Service and others are using, known as the Range-R, looks like a sophisticated stud-finder. Its display shows whether it has detected movement on the other side of a wall and, if so, how far away it is — but it does not show a picture of what's happening inside. The Range-R's maker, L-3 Communications, estimates it has sold about 200 devices to 50 law enforcement agencies at a cost of about $6,000 each.

Other radar devices have far more advanced capabilities, including three-dimensional displays of where people are located inside a building, according to marketing materials from their manufacturers. One is capable of being mounted on a drone. And the Justice Department has funded research to develop systems that can map the interiors of buildings and locate the people within them."

Link to Original Source
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Congress passes 'Unlimited Access to Communications of Every American'

mi mi writes  |  about a month and a half ago

mi (197448) writes "A provision of "Intelligence Authorization Act for FY 2015" passing through Congress would create an Executive government's right to collect all communications of Americans. The Executive is already doing it claiming "executive authority", but they will no longer need to. In "exchange" the bill mandates deleting all such records within five years, which is the current practice anyway. Congressman Justin Amash (R-Michigan) is raising awareness."
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US Navy authorizes use of laser in combat

mi mi writes  |  about 1 month ago

mi (197448) writes "The U.S. Navy is has declared an experimental laser weapon on its Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB) in the Persian Gulf an operational asset and U.S. Central Command has given permission for the commander of the ship to defend itself with the weapon.

The 30 kilowatt Laser Weapon System (LaWS) was installed aboard USS Ponce this summer as part of a $40 million research and development effort from ONR and Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to test the viability of directed energy weapons in an operational environment.

No word yet on a smaller, shark-mounted version."

Link to Original Source
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Supersonic passenger jets are coming

mi mi writes  |  about 2 months ago

mi (197448) writes "It's been more than ten years since Concorde made its final transatlantic flight. But there's a new generation of supersonic passenger aircraft beginning to emerge, boasting speeds at least twice as fast as current commercial planes.

Available — like most things — for the rich initially, the plans call for supersonic travel to become available to the poorly washed masses in early 2020-ies."

Link to Original Source
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Liars, damned liars, and Michael Brown witnesses

mi mi writes  |  about 2 months ago

mi (197448) writes "

Some witnesses said Michael Brown had been shot in the back. Another said he was face-down on the ground when Officer Darren Wilson "finished him off." Still others acknowledged changing their stories to fit published details about the autopsy or admitted that they did not see the shooting at all. An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements made during the shooting investigation that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. For one, the autopsies ultimately showed Brown was not struck by any bullets in his back.

All of these witnesses testified under oath. Will any of them be now prosecuted for perjury?"
Link to Original Source

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Court allows police to force you to unlock your phone with fingerprint

mi mi writes  |  about 3 months ago

mi (197448) writes "A Circuit Court judge in Virginia has ruled that fingerprints are not protected by the Fifth Amendment. Says the judge: "while a criminal defendant can't be compelled to hand over a passcode to police officers for the purpose of unlocking a cellular device, law enforcement officials can compel a defendant to give up a fingerprint."

Don't know about you, but I'll stick to using a code, thank you very much."

Link to Original Source
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Obama Administration argues for backdoors in personal electronics

mi mi writes  |  about 4 months ago

mi (197448) writes "

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said on Tuesday that new forms of encryption capable of locking law enforcement officials out of popular electronic devices imperil investigations of kidnappers and sexual predators, putting children at increased risk.

Seriously. Would somebody, please, think of the children?!"
Link to Original Source

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Facebook's Ukrainian office is in Russia. Blocks Ukrainians...

mi mi writes  |  about 5 months ago

mi (197448) writes "Ukrainian media are reporting (link in Ukrainian), that Facebook is getting increasingly heavy-handed blocking Ukrainian bloggers. The likely explanation for the observed phenomenon is that Facebook's Ukrainian office is located in Russia and is headed by a Russian citizen (Catherine Skorobogatov). For example, a post calling on Russian mothers to not let their sons go to war was blocked "Due to multiple complaints". Fed up, Ukrainian users are writing directly to Zukerberg to ask him to replace Catherine with someone, who would not be quite as swayed by the "complaints" generated by Russian bots. The last link (in both Ukrainian and English) is also on Facebook. Will it survive for long?"
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Certified "green" buildings consume more energy than regular structures

mi mi writes  |  about a year 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  |  1 year,22 days

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 a year 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 and a half 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 and a half 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 5 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 5 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

Journals

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Who could possibly defend taxis from Uber-like companies?

mi mi writes  |  about three weeks ago

Suppose for a second, a scientific breakthrough comes up with a pill or a procedure, which prevents humans from ever falling sick. Will we be seriously listening to people arguing, it should not be made available, because its introduction would put doctors and hospitals out of business?

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