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Comment: Trolling is a very broad term (Score 2) 334

by Beeftopia (#48183249) Attached to: In UK, Internet Trolls Could Face Two Years In Jail

Imprecise laws give authorities a great deal of discretion about the threat of prosecution. And discretion here is another name for arbitrary power.

Do they mean targeted harassment or libel? Or theft or fraud? Or do they mean playing devil's advocate?

Conflating the harassment of the McCanns with "trolling", a broad term, is just a power grab by an opportunist. It might sound politically beneficial right now but curbs on basic freedoms have blowback. Consequences.

The article reads like satire. I'd expect it out of a backward or totalitarian regime, but not the UK.

Comment: Re:Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 1) 376

by Beeftopia (#48155209) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

This war is a muslim war, if we charge in now boots and all it will revert to a muslim vs the west war which is precisely what ISIS wants, they want us to try and root them out because they believe that would line up the tribes behind them (better the devil you know and all that).

There were few more provocative ways to lure us into a brutal and expensive war of attrition than to start beheading American hostages on film. After public resistance to putting heavy infantry on the ground in Syria and Iraq again, this seemed like an excellent way to change the public's mind. But then what you stated would once again be the outcome. Insightful.

If you want the Americans to leave you alone, and they want to leave you alone, you produce slick films showing you cuddling puppy dogs and planting flowers. Not beheading hostages. It seemed so obvious, and I thought, is ISIS that stupid? No, they're not.

Comment: Re:Designed in US, Built in EU, Filled in Iraq (Score 1) 376

by Beeftopia (#48153627) Attached to: Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq

More from the NYT:

"Then, during the long occupation, American troops began encountering old chemical munitions in hidden caches and roadside bombs. Typically 155-millimeter artillery shells or 122-millimeter rockets, they were remnants of an arms program Iraq had rushed into production in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war.

All had been manufactured before 1991, participants said. Filthy, rusty or corroded, a large fraction of them could not be readily identified as chemical weapons at all. Some were empty, though many of them still contained potent mustard agent or residual sarin. Most could not have been used as designed, and when they ruptured dispersed the chemical agents over a limited area, according to those who collected the majority of them.
[...]
But nearly a decade of wartime experience showed that old Iraqi chemical munitions often remained dangerous when repurposed for local attacks in makeshift bombs, as insurgents did starting by 2004.
[...]
Participants in the chemical weapons discoveries said the United States suppressed knowledge of finds for multiple reasons [...]"

Comment: We empathize with that which is like us (Score 3, Interesting) 481

by Beeftopia (#48066471) Attached to: Is an Octopus Too Smart For Us To Eat?

We empathize with that which we perceive to be like us. People who look and act like me from my tribe? The halest, heartiest of the bunch, worthy of respect and honor. People who don't look like me but act like me... still, hearty mates. Animals which have emotions like me? Puppies, dogs, cats? Can't hurt them. Chickens? Well... they seem to be pretty different. They're okay to eat. Cows. Wow they're dumb and utterly unlike me - they're okay to kill. Fish? Utterly unlike me. No question, okay to kill. Octopi... wait, you're telling me they're like me? Hmmm, let me consider this.

Comment: Re:is anyone really surprised here (Score 5, Informative) 201

by Beeftopia (#48006307) Attached to: The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

Comment: Re:is anyone really surprised here (Score 3, Insightful) 201

by Beeftopia (#48006229) Attached to: The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

Banning revolving door employment deals isn't a good solution either. The government already has enough trouble attracting good people. If you want people that know how the system works, you need to hire people that have worked in the system. After their stint in government is over, those people expect to continue in their profession.

This is a common misconception. The financial system is mathematical but nowhere near rocket science. The majors of Wall Street executives clearly indicate this (I knew a fellow who became a senior executive at GS. A hypercompetitive jock with average intelligence).

Another case in point: Hank Paulson, former Goldman Sachs CEO, and former Treasury Secretary who crafted the bailouts. His undergraduate major? English.

End the revolving door. And firewall regulators from politicians.

Comment: Re:is anyone really surprised here (Score 4, Interesting) 201

by Beeftopia (#48006195) Attached to: The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

Banning revolving door employment deals isn't a good solution either. The government already has enough trouble attracting good people. If you want people that know how the system works, you need to hire people that have worked in the system. After their stint in government is over, those people expect to continue in their profession.

This is a common misconception. The financial system is mathematical but nowhere near rocket science. The majors of Wall Street executives clearly indicate this (I knew a fellow who became a senior executive at GS. A hypercompetitive jock with average intelligence). Obfuscation has been the shield behind which Wall Street hid for many years during the 2000s. There are plenty of sharp people who can work as regulators. It is a different mindset from the money-at-any-cost Wall Street executive and they don't understand it. But it's there.

End the revolving door. With it, regulation becomes ineffectual. A farce.

Additionally, regulators need to be firewalled against politicians' retribution. The big donors give big money to politicians. They don't complain to the regulator, they complain to the politicians who defund and reassign departments pursuing the donor.

Comment: Net neutrality: good and bad points (Score 1) 132

by Beeftopia (#47964459) Attached to: Nobody's Neutral In Net Neutrality Debate

1) On the one hand, it seems to be fair to force users - be they companies or individuals - to pay based on usage. Based on how many packets they put on the network. Currently they do not do that. What they do is to pay for their connection. If you want a very high speed connection, you pay for that. The ISP won't guarantee that speed, except in bursts. Kind of like how a 2 x 4 piece of lumber is really 1.5 x 3.5. Conflicts arise when people try to use the full connection bandwidth in a sustained manner.

2) On the other hand, lack of net neutrality would open the floodgates for corporations to manipulate traffic. To create slow and fast lanes, to favor content, to create yet another pricing tier for American consumers who already pay among the highest prices in the world for high speed internet.

Based on the fact the government is already under regulatory capture (head of FCC is a telecom executive, head of FDA is a Monsanto executive, 2nd in command at the central bank is a Citigroup executive, etc, etc), allowing net neutrality to be defeated will result in a bad outcome for consumers.

Net neutrality is not perfect, but it's much better than ceding more control to cable companies.

Comment: The less you understand it... (Score 2) 191

by Beeftopia (#47951855) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

The less you understand the company, the more attractive it is. I suspect the opacity of its operations are a draw.

I remember the tech bubble: "Two guys with a server and a dream" could make millions (on paper). If they cashed out quickly enough, they could turn it into currency.

Comment: There are other factors that influence weight (Score 2) 588

by Beeftopia (#47806463) Attached to: Low-Carb Diet Trumps Low-Fat Diet In Major New Study

I track my calories quite closely. Have for a few years now. Late last year, I went off meds - steroid-based - that I'd taken for decades for a chronic condition which had gone away. In the course of about 2 months, I gained ten pounds without changing my caloric intake. Freaked me out because I'd worked so hard to lose the weight.

That strongly suggested to me that there are in fact, other factors at play than just calorie balance. Calorie balance is a significant component but there seem to be other significant factors at play as well.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

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