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Comment: Objoke (Score 2) 212

Bunch of astrophysicists walk into a bar. First one orders a gin and tonic, and gets it. Second one orders a red wine, and gets it. Third one orders a Mexican beer, at which point the bartender yells "all right, that's it, everybody out!" Another bar customer asks the first astrophysicist "what's going on?" He responds "Coronal mass ejection."

Comment: Re:The real problem here... (Score 2) 353

by jratcliffe (#47410469) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

Except that credit score is actually quite a good predictor of car insurance risk. Not saying that it's causal, but, overall, people who pay their bills on time also tend to drive more cautiously and get into fewer accidents.

Yup - the beauty of actuarial tables is that they contain all those non-politically-correct correlations we're not supposed to talk about. We can hate what is in the tables, but they are cold hard statistics. Certainly they are open to over-interpretation, but the correlations are what they are.

Yup - there are some criteria that we've explicitly decided NOT to let people use (i.e. even if you could show that race and auto insurance costs were correlated, and that the relationship was statistically significant, you still couldn't charge people more for being black/white/Asian/whatever), but credit score isn't one of those.

Comment: Re:Hm... (Score 3, Informative) 176

by jratcliffe (#47408563) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

Since when did the US got power to arrest people in Maldives? Does that mean they can just go into arbitrary countries and arrest people arbitrarily?

Not unless the country in question authorizes it. If the Maldives didn't, then it's kidnapping. If they did, then it's deportation, and entirely kosher.

Comment: Re:Kidnapping. (Score 1) 176

by jratcliffe (#47408557) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

1. The US and Russia don't have an extradition treaty. Russia, in fact, doesn't extradite their citizens, period. So, that option is moot.
2. If the Maldives decided to hand him over to the US, that's the Maldives' call. They can deport people to wherever they please. Again, no violation of treaty, since the Maldives and Russia (and the Maldives and the US) don't have an extradition treaty.
3. If he was grabbed without the consent of the Maldivian (?) government, then that would constitute kidnapping there (presumably, I'm not an expert on the law of the Maldives).

Comment: Re:Secret Service job description (Score 3, Insightful) 176

by jratcliffe (#47408533) Attached to: US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

The US Secret Service is chartered with two utterly unrelated duties:
1) Investigation of financial crimes such as counterfeiting and fraud.
2) Protection of the US protected class of untouchable leaders, as well as visiting foreign dignitaries.

I don't see violation of the rights of third party nationals in foreign lands anywhere in their charter. Surely there are normal cooperative channels to bring the case to the attention of the law enforcement agencies of the foreign lands and also the third party governments.

Violation of the sovereignty of the US by attacking it or its citizens does not seem to be a part of this case.

1. This falls clearly under #1, investigation of financial crimes.
2. He was indicted in 2011. If he were, say, a UK citizen (for example), the US would have put in an extradition request, and the UK would have (following a hearing, assuming there was credible evidence) extradited him. Same if the alleged crime had taken place in the UK, and he were a US citizen in the US.
3. Russia doesn't extradite their citizens, period, and, even if they did, there's no extradition treaty between the US and Russia. Therefore, no, there aren't any "normal cooperative channels" involved.
4. If the Maldives government (and I have to assume he was arrested there, otherwise he'd be a complete idiot, knowing that he had been indicted in the US, to visit Guam) consented to his arrest and transfer to the US, that's entirely kosher. The Maldives doesn't have an extradition treaty with the US (they don't have one with anyone, as far as I know, which might have been a reason that Mr. Seleznev decided to vacation there), but that doesn't mean that they're not allowed to extradite people, just that they're not obliged to.

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