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Comment Re:abysmal human rights records (Score 1) 30

Maybe the US should stop torturing people, oppressing certain minority groups, fix the corruption in its politics etc. All countries have problems, and one of the best ways to address them is to work with them on neutral projects like space exploration so that there can be a cultural exchange. All the time the two cultures are seen as incompatible and unable to work together, it is easy to reject ideas about human rights as something western and non-universal.

Submission + - 'Too hot to be an engineer' - women mark Ada Lovelace Day

AmiMoJo writes: On Ada Lovelace Day, four female engineers from around the world share their experiences of working in male-dominated professions. When Isis Anchalee's employer OneLogin asked her to take part in its recruitment campaign, she didn't rush to consult the selfie-loving Kardashian sisters for styling tips. "I was wearing very minimal make-up. I didn't brush my hair that day," she said. But the resulting image of Ms Anchalee created a social media storm when it appeared on Bart, the San Francisco metro. Lots of people questioned whether she really was an engineer. "It was not just limited to women — it resonates with every single person who doesn't fit with what the stereotype should look like," she said.

"My parents, my brother, my community, all were against me," said Sovita Dahal of her decision to pursue a career in technology. "I was going against traditional things. In my schooldays I was fascinated by electronic equipment like motors, transformers and LED lights. Later on this enthusiasm became my passion and ultimately my career," she said.

Roma Agrawal has worked as a structural engineer for 10 years, and was part of the team that designed London skyscraper The Shard. But the argument that women have a biological struggle with maths and science subjects is infuriating, Ms Agrawal said. Ms Agrawal would like to see more parents and teachers supporting the message that engineering is an achievable career for girls — but also believes that Britons in particular have an attitude problem to address as well. "People easily say, 'I'm terrible at maths,' or 'I'm awful at numbers.' If you said that kind of thing in India people would look at you funny," she said. "It's like saying, 'Oh, I can't read,' and being proud of that fact."

For Dolphin Guan, currently working with mobile phone company Seeed Studio in China, the difference between men and women is very much still an issue. Ms Guan finished university last year. She studied computer science with 40 students, of whom just four or five were women — but in her industrial design class the gender ration was 50:50. "These years in China, I can see more and more women working in tech/engineering jobs," she said. "And a good thing about being a tech/engineer is when we have a good idea, we are able to make it happen."

British Police Stop 24/7 Monitoring of Julian Assange At Ecuadorian Embassy ( 165

Ewan Palmer writes with news that police are no longer guarding the Ecuadorian Embassy where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been taking refuge for the past three years. According to IBTImes: "London police has announced it will remove the dedicated officers who have guarded the Ecuadorian Embassy 24 hours a day, seven days a week while WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seeks asylum inside. The 44-year-old has been holed up inside the building since 2012 in a bid to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges. He believes that once he is in Sweden, he will be extradited again to the US where he could face espionage charges following the leaking of thousands of classified documents on his WikiLeaks website. Police has now decided to withdraw the physical presence of officers from outside the embassy as it is 'no longer proportionate to commit officers to a permanent presence'. It is estimated the cost of deploying the officers outside the Embassy in London all day for the past three years has cost the British taxpayer more than $18m."

Comment Re:So the taxes were collected from salaries inste (Score 2) 220

The point is that the UK government gets its taxes either way

No, the point is that they gave their staff massive bonuses and then funnelled the rest of the profit out of the country so that they could avoid paying corporation tax on it. The government lost out on tax due on that profit because they used a loophole to avoid it.

It's legal but morally dubious and there are international efforts to stop it happening.

Comment Re: Competition with Gas Cars (Score 1) 484

Destination chargers are usually 230V at 16A or 32A in Europe. Presumably in the US you would want something similar with two phase. That is what a normal domestic electric cooker uses, or an electric shower, or an electric water heater. It's nothing out of the ordinary or difficult to handle. Okay, a new wire must be installed, but it really isn't that bad at all. Most car parks are next to a building with a heavy duty commercial grid tie anyway, e.g. a shop or venue.

Comment Re:TLDR, were any laws broken? (Score 1) 220

The tax system is broken, that's the problem. Facebook, like most multi-national companies, uses loopholes to avoid paying tax. A loophole is, by definition, an unintended way to get out of paying what the law intended you to pay. So the scandal is really that the tax system is broken, and also that Facebook, like every other big corporation, likes to make massive profits out of our society and then stiff us by subverting the spirit of the law.

Just being technically not illegal isn't really much of a moral defence, even if it is a legal one.

There are moves afoot to fix the law, but unfortunately many of our government ministers benefit from these loopholes so they may resist. The plan is to make corporations pay tax in the jurisdiction where they generate revenue, so Facebook's trick of moving all profit to Ireland or some island nation or whatever it is they are up to won't work any more.

Comment Re:Trek Still had money. (Score 1) 479

Would there be any menial jobs in Star Trek? Food prep and cleaning are all taken care of by robots. It's reasonable to assume that even minor surgery can be performed by robots or anyone who can point a medical tool at a burn or cut, i.e. you could do it yourself. It seems like the majority of jobs would be entirely voluntary, done by people wanting to better themselves. We see people doing things like peeling potatoes, but only because they want to do it in the same way some people today use traditional crafting and cooking methods that are labour intensive simply for the joy of using them.

Star Fleet is a bit different, because you basically buy in to the military structure where rank is rewarded, but it's voluntary. It's not like a job where if you quit you have a serious problem and need to find another or be out on the street. Crew sign up to be part of something, which is the line that many modern militaries use for recruitment since the wages and benefits are generally crap. Learn a skill, do something exciting.

Space isn't a big problem on earth in Star Trek, as the population has fallen massively and there are many other desirable worlds to live on. It's likely that world culture has homogenised with the development of transporters and the universal translator, and if you want a nice view just tell the computer to change the holographic projection outside your window. Anyway, why would you want a big house? The only possessions you want to keep are ones with sentimental value, everything else comes out of a replicator and goes back in when you are finished. Holodecks are probably pretty common too. Your job would basically be your hobby. No-one seems to have a TV even, and family crew quarters on ships don't seem to have many internal doors even to bedrooms.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 479

We could give everyone a holodeck with a million acre estate in it.

Why would you want a million acre estate anyway? Once material things become meaningless and society judges a person on their accomplishments, merely owning land is pointless. If you want to have a vast farm or something, okay, holodeck or find a large group of people to do it with and make a proposal. If you want to do it alone, seek psychiatric help.

Comment Re:Hipsters fight over limited supplies of juice (Score 1) 484

You would think, wouldn't you? In the UK we have several different, mostly incompatible charging networks. Some are free, but the ones that charge are really stupid systems that are basically designed to stop anyone using them. I think they are just after grant money to install infrastructure, but don't want to pay to maintain it so set prices to keep people away.

As an example one network charges about £10/month for "membership", and then a per kWh rate on top. So even if you don't use it, you pay £10/month just to have the option. Unless you are able to get a lot of time on a charger every month and can't just use home charging, it's never worth it.

Comment Re:Merry pranksters (Score 1) 484

Most cars have a lock. The Leaf lets you select from unlocked, locked until fully charged and always locked on the slow/fast charge port. On the rapid charge port the charger itself controls the lock and always releases at the end of charging, and are usually limited to 1 hour max per charge anyway since most cars only need 30 minutes on them.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 479

Bingo. In Star Trek society has evolved beyond the point were people measure themselves by their possessions, or constantly want for more stuff. Part of it is education, a realization that self improvement is the ultimate fulfilment. Part of it is having access to replicators from birth, so that material things have little value beyond what you put on them for sentimental reasons, and holodecks that let you live out your fantasies any time.

There is simply no point to having money. It can't get you anything worth having that you can't just ask the computer for. The only difficult to obtain stuff, like say ancient relics or non-replicated foods, are not for sale anyway. You might be able to barter for them, but people tend to just give them away as gifts or for the simple joy of giving (e.g. restaurant owners). Population is under control and there is plenty of space on Earth or other worlds.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan