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pugugly (152978) writes "In what seems to me to be missing the entire point, the granddaughter of a friend of Franz Kafka was endeavoring to sell a collection of documents rising form their collaboration.
The State of Israel disagree, and believes the estate was not bequeathed to her but merely held in trust, and wants to seize those assets as part of the cultural heritage of Israel.
Unsure if it's Ironic that Israel believes the state can simply seize private collections like that, or if the irony is completely nullified that it's seizing the collaborations of Franz Kafka." Link to Original Source top
pugugly (152978) writes "That Mortgage that you originally got from Acme, which was bought by almalgamated mortgages, a subsidiary of Dewey Screwem and Howe, LLC, which went bankrupt in 2007 and was sold piecemeal to Super-Duper mortgages group, who says you're behind on your payments (And maybe you really are?)
Well, it turns out Super-Duper Mortgages may actually have to produce the paperwork showing they own your mortgage, rather than just saying "Trust us, we do", and if they can't the debt may be vacated entirely. Since they've actually been running the mortgage industry based on exactly those kind of honor-system claims, the industry is a bit concerns at being held to the actual letter of the law.
pugugly (152978) writes "I had actually noticed that the credit card offers were not coming in the mail like they had even a few months ago, but hadn't quite foreseen this happening.
Numerous stories just within the last day about Credit Card Companies raising interest rates — sometimes more than doubling the interest while simultaneously dropping credits limits.
Issuers are adding Universal Default clauses (Late on one card, watch all your interest rates go up simultaneously) in those 'notice to cardholders' agreements, raising interest rates based on where you live rather than any actual mistake on your part, even on their best customers.
Oh — and in the meantime, the San Francisco DA disclosed 150 accounts and passwords in a court filing. One wonders why Mr. Childs would have any concerns regarding the competence of his management to simply walk in and start handling network security without consulting him. Obviously a paranoid man, we should probably lock him up.
Given Mr. McPherson's bona fides as a veteran of the Florida Department of Corrections, one wonders if he was as respectful of the concept of "Innocent until a confession can be obtained" working there as he was here, or if he has mellowed out in his old age. Perhaps we can soon get to a point when publicly advocating torture is considered at the same level of decency as holocaust denial and white supremacy — or will "I wasn't *serious*" always be allowed as a weaseling cop-out afterwords?" Link to Original Source top
pugugly (152978) writes "In a Vanity Fair Article and accompanying video, Christopher Hitchens describes the physical and emotional reactions to waterboarding, as done under controlled conditions by former S.E.R.E. (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape) Instructors.
From the Video — "They told me that when I activated the 'dead man's handle' — which is a simple process, you simply release something, let it go — I didn't do that. I practically, even though my hands were bound, I...as near as I could...I threw the thing out of my hand. I mean, I really wanted it to stop.
I could swear I shouted the code word, but I hadn't."" Link to Original Source top
pugugly (152978) writes "The NYtimes and NPR are both covering the recent decoding of the Platypus genome. Among other topics of interest, at 150 million years, evidently the Platypus is an older mammal than I realized.
Lesson Learned: Make sure they're strange when they're young, and they will be strange forever." Link to Original Source top
pugugly (152978) writes "Wired Magazine has a seven page review Wired of a program known as SuperMemo and it's creator Piotr Wozniak. The program is designed (as I understand it) to evaluate when the best time is to refresh ones memory to facilitate memorizing information. I'm still evaluating this in my own mind, but the principle doesn't seem to be inherently pseudo-scientific.
As someone that scores highly on every aspect of IQ tests *except* rote memorization, I am perhaps too hopeful of a cheap, easy way to support my weaknesses — has anyone had the chance to evaluate this themselves? Shall we become uber-geniuses together? What Would Luthor Do?" Link to Original Source top
pugugly (152978) writes "Going by past history, it is safe to assume the the Democrats will fold, and all avenues for legally holding the U.S. Government accountable for illegally listening to calls and reading e-mail will be closed.
I know how to use PGP, although I've never done so. I *use* truecrypt, basically on the theory that it's a simple prophylactic procedure that insures neither loss of my laptop nor seizure of it can result in the complete publication of everything I have. For one password — well worth it. But I have not, typically, bothered to be all that paranoid.
What else. If I am the ex-wife/husband of an FBI agent who I don't trust not to peek on my internet connection in the name of 'national security', and my ISP has to pretty much assume he's telling the truth, how do I set up personal privacy, encrypted connections, and everything else to minimize the information he can compromise my privacy with." top
pugugly writes "While we humans are still (barely) on top at Chess, we appear to have lost at Checkers. Chinook the worlds most powerful Checkers (Draughts) programs has been proven to be invincible in it's current incarnation — at best it can be drawn, not beaten. It's previous version had lost to Checkers Champion Dr. Marion Tinsley with two wins, four losses, and 33 draws — the two wins brought Dr. Tinsleys total loss record since 1950 to 7.
The article from the NY Times, registration and sacrifice of first born req'd."