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Comment Re:Pollution stops at US border (Score 1) 115

You will also see that many towns or cities are shown on the map that appear to have lower pollution (yellow) than the surrounding region (orange or red). For instance in northern Thailand and Burma, southern India, northern China. I suspect this means that they actually have measuring points in those cities which showed relatively low pollution, but they used their model for the surrounding area, even though the model appears to be faulty from the available measurements.

Comment Don't get complacent (Score 1) 217

The EFF's chief technologist revealed that he doesn't run an anti-virus program, partly because he's using Linux, and partly because he feels anti-virus software creates a false sense of security. ("I don't like to get complacent and rely on it in any way...")

He's quite right. We lull ourselves into a false sense of security all the time. I try to avoid it, complacency is a killer.

I drive at night without any lights on, because then if I'm in an accident it will probably be my fault. This keeps me wide awake and aware of all possible hazards.

During the day this doesn't work of course. Hence I have to drive in bare feet, so if there is an accident I'm not going to get very far trying to run away.

Comment Re:Me too (Score 2) 215

These things are not actually getting easier, the countries doing them are (usually) getting more capable. The first Soviet human flight was in a small craft less than 3 tonnes, the US one not much different, because they wanted to be first and were willing to take risks. The Chinese by contrast almost half century later had no reason to take any similar risks; they would have only looked stupid if something went wrong. Hence they used a much larger and more sophisticated craft that had been tested carefully before, and in these terms it could be considered the most successful of the 'first' space flights.

But I'm sure the North Koreans might take silly risks though.

And the Chinese space programme was started after the first Sputnik launch in the 50's and was solidly in place in the early 60's; it just didn't enter general consciousness in the west until their first satellite. The first stages of the Indian programme were also in place in the early 60s and it was established fully by the end of the 60s as the Chinese successes became clear.

Comment Re:Nuclear weapons aren't the deterrent (Score 0) 321

It matters because it shows that the writer is thinking entirely from his / her perspective. Assuming that the writer is American, it suggests that they see emigrants from other countries only as immigrants into theirs, (and if they're not American, similar attitudes exist in most other countries). It shows no consideration for the viewpoint of the subject which is North Korea and North Koreans. It thus makes the argument poor, weak, and downright irritating to those who try to see both sides.

Comment Higher salaries (Score 1) 137

Another idea for a weapons system - more pay for the top brass.

You could justify it in the same way that in many / most companies, senior management claims that higher pay and bonuses for directors motivates them to make more profit. Could you depend on a general who does not get at least, say, twenty times as much as the ordinary airman?

Comment Re:Makes me appreciate the English alphabet (Score 1) 315

I hope you also appreciate the huge effort that English speakers have to make to be able to become literate with those few characters. The 26 letters were designed for Latin. Almost all modern European languages have a more complex sound system, and English more so than most, coupled with a whole collection of contradictory spelling rules inherited from French, Latin, Greek, et.c.. The result is an effort put into literacy that is only comparable with Chinese and its ideograms. In fact, many English words are comparable to ideograms in having little relation to the letters that go into them.

Comment Re:You forgot to add... And to their DEATHS! (Score 1) 143

You miss the point; why should one country prescribe how foreigners name it, especially to this detail? It is natural for speakers of English and other western European languages to speak of 'the Ukraine', and the equivalent in German, et.c.. Since you say that 'Republic of the Sudan' is the official name of that country (I really don't know, and I wasn't referring to official names anyway), does then the Ukrainian government use an invented article when translating the 'Republic of the Sudan' into Ukrainian? How will the Filipino ambassador find his country described in Ukrainian government documents?


Who knows more about the name of Ukraine, some random English speaker on the internet or the Ukrainians? - well, actually the random English speaker knows the name of the country in English as well as any random Ukrainian.

Comment Re:You forgot to add... And to their DEATHS! (Score 1) 143

You really need to become less sensitive about a western European naming convention which is not used in Ukrainian. When people say 'the Ukraine', they are not saying the country is now 'the borderlands of Russia' or the 'borderlands of the principality of Rus', or whatever it was originally. No one worries about the southeast Asian country being often referred to in English as 'the Philippines', or about the country south of Egypt being sometimes called 'the Sudan'. Numerous other non-country uses exist for various non English names across the world, including 'the Levant' (the east) of the Mediterranean coast, the Deccan (the south) of India, the Pampas (the plains) of Argentina, et.c.. It is just a recognition that the user knows the original meaning of the name, it is perfectly normal and correct in English.

Comment Are the hosts all in the US? (Score 1) 72

It's not clear who the actual hosts are, but I'm guessing from the report that they are Americans, of diverse origin. If the people 'of African descent' (for instance) are actually Americans of African descent, with the long contact with the majority European population, can we be sure they are not partly European? The caption for the map says '... distributed around the world'. I know it is a first investigation, but they apparently haven't investigated across the world.

Comment Re:The history of Musa is key (Score 1) 199

"Bananas were discovered by the Portuguese on the Atlantic coast of Africa. They cultivated the fruit on the Canary Islands. From there it was introduced to the Americas by Spanish missionaries. ...."

That is the recent, European and American history of the fruit, and what they 'discovered' in west Africa was that Africans were already cultivating it. Bananas had been discovered and used by others a whole long time before that. As can be seen in any wider treatment of the subject.

Comment Re:Doubt that I would be able (Score 1) 258

I'm sometimes in the same situation, and currently cannot get into an old PC despite knowing that it uses a variation of a current password, and there being a big clue present. If faced by the police and the law however, I suspect this will be seen as refusal to cooperate. In the same way that people have been tasered by the police for not being quiet and still.

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