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Comment: FAO auditors the information + company regulator? (Score 2) 221 221

If the company is in any sort of regulated sector, this should be reported to their regulator

If the company is big enough to have an auditor - and that's pretty small - they should be informed

If it's a European company, then the Information commissioner or the equivalent should be notified. This is clearly unsatisfactory behaviour

Comment: Really? (Score 1, Troll) 361 361

The 'they would like to be our friends but X' argument wore very thin during the Cold War, and in retrospect, given what we now know about the actual behaviour of the Soviet Union and its treatment of its conquests, it's clear that we needed to carry a very big stick to keep them quiet. Sadly the same siren call to be nice to our enemies is being heard again, on the core assumption that their priorities and values are essentially similar to our own. Once you remove that assumption - which is certainly NOT evidenced by the history of Islam on which Iran seeks to model its behaviour - you are forced to conclude they are a very dangerous country.

It's always nice to nice and live in a comfortable bubble believing that all is well. Unfortunately it ain't, and pretending otherwise is how a country gets itself into big trouble.

Khomeni in 1942 argued: 'Islam’s jihad is a struggle against idolatry, sexual deviation, plunder, repression, and cruelty. The war waged by [non-Islamic] conquerors, however, aims at promoting lust and animal pleasures. They care not if whole countries are wiped out and many families left homeless. But those who study jihad will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. All the countries conquered by Islam or to be conquered in the future will be marked for everlasting salvation. For they shall live under [God’s law].... Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those [who say this] are witless.'1

The 13th century Ibn Taimiya articulates a more comprehensive theological justification for the marauding, arguing that the property of non-Muslims must revert legitimately to the followers of the true religion; Jihad is the means to recover these illegally usurped possession, offering a justification for any Muslim to steal from an infidel. This legitimation of their earlier practice suggests that independent Arab marauders descending on villages to steal did do so with religious sanction. This, occurring in advance of the formal expansion of the Islamic Empire, softens up the target for actual conquest.2

1 Barry M. Rubin and Judith Colp Rubin, eds. Anti-American terrorism and the Middle East: A documentary reader. (Oxford: OUP), 2004), 29.
2 Ye'Or, The decline of eastern Christianity under Islam: from jihad to dhimmitude. (Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, US: 1996) 39-40.

Comment: Aspiration v reality (Score 1) 939 939

Thank you for reminding of what should be the ideal in the property world; as a major in Economics I've spent too long looking at the current situation and lost sight of where we should be aiming. It's interesting to note that the Hebrew Bible has the concept of 'Jubilee' when all productive land is returned to its original owner, though not houses. Tony Benn, the maverick left wing Labour MP and even cabinet minister in the 60s and 70s later proposed a replacement of all freehold property rights with a 50 year lease; strangely enough it's not an idea that has been picked up by anybody ;)

As ever with law and economics, the problem is that any rules you introduce will be gamed to the benefit of the seriously rich and the wider general interest tends to get lost; the problem is that most people who think like you propose solutions that have very negative consequences in practice. I suspect a steady increase in property taxes combined with a move towards a citizen's income may be the right solution, but the pain of such a property tax probably makes it impossible to impose.

Comment: Some people can only be tenants (Score 1) 939 939

1) Students 2) People doing a short term job in a location 3) People who have been bankrupt

That's before we get to those who will never afford their own property.

Given the existence of all these groups, a rental market must exist. The only question is what institution is going to be the owner of those properties that are up for rent.

Beyond that however is the issue of how the next generation gets to own the house that they are going to live in. The Soviet solution was to reinvent serfdom, requiring people to stay on the collective farm they were born on. Is that your solution?

Comment: These days the waves are smaller (Score 1) 939 939

Compared with the minor hiccough of 2008, previous downturns have been PAINFUL. The many actors in the system have acted highly effectively to reduce the amplitude of the waves, not increase them. Remember that in 2008 the economy of China kept growing - as did Australia and Poland; that's in marked contrast to the past slumps.

+ - Car hacking - it's FAR too easy...->

Bruce66423 writes: "Consumer Reports got an eye-opener during a visit to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) laboratory. The publication’s editors were surprised when a technician turned off the engine of a test car they were driving using nothing more than a mobile phone. NHTSA has found ways of tampering remotely with door locks, seat-belt tensioners, instrument panels, brakes, steering mechanisms and engines—all while the test cars were being driven.

"Last summer, for instance, during a meeting of automotive engineers and security experts, a 14-year-old schoolboy showed industry experts how to take control of a car remotely using circuitry he had lashed up overnight with $15 worth of parts bought from Radio Shack the day before. The youngster turned the windscreen wipers on and off, locked and unlocked the doors, engaged the engine-start mechanism, and had the headlamps flash to the beat of a tune on his iPhone."

There is hope: "This being litigious America, the automakers concerned quickly found themselves in the legal cross-hairs, as owners sought financial compensation for their vehicles’ perceived vulnerabilities."

Link to Original Source

+ - TED lecturer Taylor Wilson at 21 - having created fusion at 14->

Bruce66423 writes: "For his fifth birthday, he demanded a crane – a real one. So Kenneth called a friend who owned a construction company and on the day of the party a six-tonne crane duly arrived, the operator letting Wilson sit in his lap and work the controls."

For his 10th birthday his grandmother bought him The Radioactive Boy Scout, a book about a teenager in Michigan called David Hahn, who tried to build a nuclear breeder reactor in a back-yard shed in 1994. His experiment ended badly: arrest, disgrace and cleanup workers in hazmat suits. Naturally, Wilson saw the story as a challenge rather than a cautionary tale. His grandmother lived to regret the gift.

"On one occasion when Tiffany poked her head into the garage and saw her son, in his canary yellow nuclear technician’s coveralls, watching a pool of liquid spreading across the concrete floor.

“Tay, it’s time for supper.”

“I think I’m going to have to clean this up first.”

“That’s not the stuff you said would kill us if it broke open, is it?”

“I don’t think so. Not instantly.”

Link to Original Source

Comment: Oh please, not another law for them to ignore (Score 3, Interesting) 91 91

As the revelations about the failure of the IRS to fulfil the requirements of email archiving law showed, the executive branch doesn't do things just because it's told to. Let's hope this one's got teeth; a breach of a system that has not been secured according to the regulations will result in the loss of pension of all those in the chain of command above the person responsible? Sadly, hanging, drawing and quartering isn't allowed any more...

+ - Germany abandons investigation into NSA hacking of Merkel etc->

Bruce66423 writes: A lack of evidence means that the investigation has now ended. Our congratulations to the NSA for covering their tracks so well. Note that it was announced on a Friday evening, which is universally recognised as the time to release the news you don't want to get attention.
Link to Original Source

The rule on staying alive as a forecaster is to give 'em a number or give 'em a date, but never give 'em both at once. -- Jane Bryant Quinn