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Comments

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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

Please stop misquoting Orwel, he was talking about war not about abusing prisoners.

First of all, whoever Orwel was talking about, I did not "misquote" him — the quote is perfectly accurate.

As for who he was talking about — you are attempting to make a distinction without difference. The idea remains the same — you can abjure waterboarding as "stooping low" all you want, but you are only able to do that, because others are waterboarding your enemies on your behalf.

Hope you're feeling all snug and cozy under your blanket of US exceptionalism.

Yes, thank you, the only drawback of the US exceptionalism is the nasty butthurt it is causing among citizens of lesser countries...

Christopher Hitchens changed his tune afterwards.

I'm sure, Mr. Hitchens, whoever he is, did not like it — by all descriptions, it feels horrible. It does not change the facts I stated: waterboarding works by fear, rather than pain. That sets it aside from "torture".

It may still be "bad", or even "outside any civilized standard", but that's not what I was saying: it is not torture.

Your opinion in the matter is completely irrelevant

Why, thank you, why didn't you say so from the beginning? Until now I labored under assumption, that I'm facing a good faith opponent...

That you happily put yourself there

Happily? Where did you get the "happily" part? Of course, I'm very much unhappy, that we — the US — had to apply the questionable procedures to the captured enemies in order to save ourselves from actions of their still-at-large comrades. But we had to — broken spirits of the handful of bona-fide terrorists aren't worth the lives of Americans, civilians or otherwise, and I'm glad, the Bush Administration had "the minerals" to act as it did.

makes my point in highlighting how far the US has fallen.

You are displaying a fantastic naivette, if you believe, the US — like all others — have not used this and similar methods in the past. That we are now more open about it, rather than being "shocked, shocked, waterboarding is going on here", is a good sign.

2 days ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

mi Re:"use of force" (286 comments)

what was breaking Kosovo from Serbia than? "use of out-of-this-world-force"?

Kosovo was torn away from Serbia to become independent — not to be annexed by one of the powers doing the tearing away. That's the major difference.

NATO fucked up when it broke sovereign state by use of ... flowers?

NATO intervened in Yugoslavia after the Belgrade regime committed serious crimes against humanity — and only after the UN-forces demonstrably failed to end the abuses. Now Russian propaganda keeps repeating the same accusations against Ukraine's current government — except Russia is obviously lying.

But, no doubt, Putin will thank you for this rhetorical cover. He needs every sympathizer (or even a neutral) in the West he get...

2 days ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

mi Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (287 comments)

Kosovo comes to mind

Kosovo did not vote to join the US — nor any of the others, whose military was occupying the land.

Finally, would the British Empire accept a referendum by residents of it's colonies in the new world

As a matter of fact, India left the British empire without war. Look up Ghandi...

Those sorts of things are not achieved by throwing roses at your enemies.

We'll never know, what roses (or stones) Crimeans would've thrown at Kyiv on their own — had it been so clear-cut, Russia would not have had the need to occupy the peninsula before the referendum — nor would they have had the need to shut off Ukrainian TV rebroadcasts over it, replacing them with Putin's lying propaganda.

What we do know is that the fraudulent vote took place under the guns of the occupiers.

2 days ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

mi Re:Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (287 comments)

And yes I think if Texas voted to join Mexico the USA would accept it.

American Constitution does not provide for territories leaving the Union. At the least, it would require a Constitutional Amendment. Interestingly, Ukrainian law does provide for such border-changes — they can happen by nationa-wide referendum...

I can't imagine the USA holding millions of people and hundreds of square miles of territory by force.

You have a very limited imagination then.

Now try imagining Russia letting Kurils Islands go... However hard you may try, you'll see only the same reaction, Russia has shown to Chechnya's vote for independence 20 years ago. We know, how that played out, don't we?

2 days ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

mi Re:is this seriously (286 comments)

in due time all websites will list it under Russia.

Only the Russian websites will do so. The rest will list it as "Ukrainian territory under Russian occupation". Unwieldy, perhaps, but reflecting the truth.

Or, as they keep saying about Jerusalem, it will go something like this: "Annexed by Russia in a move not recognized internationally."

2 days ago
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Is Crimea In Russia? Internet Companies Have Different Answers

mi Ukraine's borders were changed by use of force (286 comments)

Russia annexed the province by use of force. Any and all counter-arguments like "but they voted" are meaningless: first, the voting took place under the "gentle" guidance of Russian military. Then, even if you think, it is legitimate for a referendum on whether to join a foreign power to take place while under occupation by that same power, the vote was fraudulent. For example, in Sevastopol the number of people showing up for vote was 123% of the eligible voters.

And, finally, even without the above two arguments, would Russia accept a referendum by residents of the Kuril Island, for example, on breaking away from the Motherland and joining Japan? Would the US accept the results of Southern California (or Southern Texas) voting to break away and join Mexico?

Neither would, of course. The Crimean referendum is a joke. A sad joke perpetrated by Russia-the-bully on Ukraine weakened by internal strife and years of mismanagement (to which Russia heartily contributed just for this purpose, BTW).

2 days ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

Some of the nastier conflicts saw their share of atrocities, but there was never an attempt to redefine and legalize torture.

And how do you know, that there was not? Because foreign democracies aren't as open as ours?

But, for the umpteenth + first time: waterboarding is not torture. Torture works via pain. Waterboarding causes not pain, but fear. Calling it "psychological torture" does not make it "torture" any more, than a guinea pig is a pig.

Stooping low is bad

Those who 'abjure' violence can do so only because others are committing violence on their behalf.George Orwel

3 days ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

mi Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

Yeah, I see that argument a lot. I am a heterosexual man in a 28 year marriage in which we have not, and never intended, to "produce children".

So by your logic, my marriage is no better than that of two men.

Yes, indeed, your "marriage" is a fraud — had you honestly declared your intentions to whoever issued you the marriage-license, they would not (or should not) have issued one to you.

You are, of course, entitled to love, cherish, and have sex with whoever you please, but for the rest of the society to consider your union as something particularly noteworthy and privileged (such as marriage), simply living together and having sex is not enough. If the State has any legitimate reasons to recognize unions, instead of simply considering the union-members individually before the law, the unions must be producing children.

Go read about the origins of marriage

No, why don't you present the points you wish to argue, rather than send me collecting them for you?

which is more like slavery and men's property rights

That may be (or has been) the contract between the partners. Our argument here is about the society's recognition of the partnerships — whether or not to bestow the respect and the legal privileges traditionally granted to children-producing unions to all other cohabitating couples (and why not groups, BTW? or will that come later?) having (or having had at some point) sex?

3 days ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

Your mind can be shredded in a day. It wouldn't even be 'you' walking away.

Perhaps, it could. But it did not, by all accounts, happen to the four or five thugs, who were subjected to waterboarding.

3 days ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

Waterboarding is regarded as torture by any other civilized country of the world.

Only until they find it necessary to use it in order to defend their citizenry.

3 days ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

Asshole.

Insults... Ran out of arguments so quickly? How pathetic, yet how typical...

3 days ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

It was torture when the North Koreans were doing it to US prisoners of war.

Citation needed.

Please tell me what has changed.

You can not do even that (whatever it is called) to POWs, Geneva Conventions are quite explicit about it.

3 days ago
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Photo Web Site Offers a Wall of Shame For Image Thieves

mi Re:So, copying is stealing after all? (126 comments)

But, see, I am not trying to do business as the owner of said file copy and profit therein.

A distinction without difference to the point I was making. You copied a file created by someone else. That someone else's own copy is still in place and just the same, therefor, the prevailing logic went, your copying can not be called "theft". What you do with the copy your created after you created it (enjoy it yourself, show to others, attempt to profit) is completely irrelevant to whether your act is eligible for the sordid title...

Now, I had always held the opinion, that if the 10 Commandments were the same sort of "living and breathing document" that certain folks would like our Constitution to be, the Scripture would've by now included an injunction against such file copying together with the more general "Though Shall Not Steal". Unfortunately, mine was not the prevailing opinion — not around here. Not since the Napster infamy — until now, when, suddenly, the majority is realizing, the victims of such thefts can be perfectly relatable humans.

3 days ago
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$250K Reward Offered In California Power Grid Attack

mi Re:WHO's the REAL threat? hmmmmmm?! (111 comments)

1000 imaginary terrerists [sic]

According to TFA, the terror attack included snipers shooting at the electrical equipment. That's not "imaginary", that's as real as it gets.

A hard-working and benevolent (as opposite to "lazy and greed") corporation would've been just as helpless against a determined group of attackers like that.

3 days ago
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$250K Reward Offered In California Power Grid Attack

mi Re:FIND THEM (111 comments)

the criminally shoddy work of a corporation that managed to explode an entire neighborhood.

I don't think, it is fair to accuse a corporation of "shoddy work", when it took an armed group — sophisticated enough to be still at large — to cause the mayhem.

Or do you want each power-transmission mast to be guarded by soldiers? What about fiber-optic cables, which were cut — should that too be patrolled by the military — the alternative to "corporations" you despise so much? To me the "cure" you are implicitly proposing — nationalization of power- and Internet-infrastructure and heavily armed guards for all facilities — is worse than the disease.

about a week ago
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$250K Reward Offered In California Power Grid Attack

mi Putting toothpaste back into tube? (111 comments)

Meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Thursday was brought before the Senate Energy Committee to explain why the FERC disseminated via insecure media a sensitive document describing where all the nation's power grids are particularly sensitive to a physical attack. FERC responded with assurances that databases are currently being scrubbed and procedures being implemented to safeguard critical data."

A little late to be scrubbing them now that the information is out there... Better begin addressing the enumerated problems ASAP instead.

about a week ago
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Photo Web Site Offers a Wall of Shame For Image Thieves

mi So, copying is stealing after all? (126 comments)

For years highly-moderated posts on this very site kept repeating, that, because by copying a file one has taken nothing from the owner of the original, such copying can not be called "theft"...

And now this... What happened? Could we really be so shallow in our convictions, that they change to opposite as soon as the victim of a crime is someone we find easier to relate to? A small-time photographer vs. a large studio or a music label? Why is it Ok to steal from the latter, but not from the former?

about a week ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

Gonzales who said habeus corpus wasn't really a right

So did Abraham Lincoln...

Who said that torture was OK?

For the umpteenth time: waterboarding is not torture. At most, it is "torture-lite" — anything, from which the subject walks away without bodily harm, does not qualify.

Sorry, but pretty much anybody from the Bush era (and quite honestly a bunch who are still in Washington) has no business working at a place which has a privacy policy.

First of all, Obama's era is only worse in this regard. I understand — and share — your contempt for all government officials, because, regardless of the party they all tend to buy into the "government knows better" concept. But a company with a privacy policy must be able to balance users' privacy with the government's requests (and demands) for cooperation.

about a week ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

Whats worse, a AG who doesn't know or AG who knows and ignores it anyways.

Definitely the former. Absolutely. Because the law-enforcer ignorant of the law is likely to violate far more laws — in a worse manner — than the knowledgeable one, who'll only break those he must.

And, BTW, it remains rather arguable, whether Gonzales has broken any laws...

about a week ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

mi Re:Force her out! (313 comments)

I am disconnecting anything which I have which still points to DropBox since I haven't used it in a while anyway.

And I am going to install their app on my parents' phones too now, whereas before I only had it my own.

You might as well appoint Alberto Gonzales as a Constitutional scholar and privacy expert.

I'll certainly take Mr. Gonzales over Mr. Holder, who, without being much of an expert in anything (not even manners or sense of decorum), presided over dramatic expansion of warrant-less surveillance.

about a week ago

Submissions

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Certified "green" buildings consume more energy than regular structures

mi mi writes  |  about a month and a half 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 3 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 6 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 8 months 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 8 months 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  |  about 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 4 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  |  more than 5 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  |  more than 5 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  |  about 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 6 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 6 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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