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+ - Brazilians Launch "Squeaky-Clean" Facebook Competitor, 100k Join First Month->

An anonymous reader writes: The Telegraph reports, "It all started three years ago when Mr Barros and three other devout Christian colleagues working at the mayor's office in Ferraz de Vasconcelos, near Brazil's financial capital Sao Paulo, decided there was a market for a squeaky-clean version of Facebook. ... With help from the Ferraz de Vasconcelos mayor's own pocket, they set up a business with about $16,000 in start-up money and Facegloria was born. Anyone can sign up to, but if they do, they better mind how they behave. Swearing is banned ... as is any violent or erotic content ... "We want to be morally and technically better than Facebook. ... Behind the scenes, more than 20 volunteers patrol online to weed out bad language and to decide whether or not to allow potentially risqué selfies and bikini shots. ... But the morality police don't have a hard job. "Our public doesn't publish these kinds of photos," said one of the volunteers ... Mr Barros expects Facegloria to become online Brazil's go-to site. "In two years we hope to get to 10 million users in Brazil. In a month we have had 100,000 and in two we are expecting a big increase thanks to a mobile phone app," he said. Acir dos Santos, the mayor of Ferraz de Vasconcelos, says there's no limit. "Our network is global. We have bought the Faceglory domaine in English and in all possible languages. We want to take on Facebook and Twitter here and everywhere," he said. "
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Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 664 664

That bears repeating with regards to Germany's debts: What happened after WWI was the winning countries said "You have to pay us back for all the costs of the war." Never mind any of the other problems, something like that was totally unsustainable. Germany was being made to pay the (often inflated) costs incurred by other countries in the war. That was devastating economically. Forgiving that is really a no brainer as it should not have happened int eh first place.

Also let's not forget the other part of the post war issues: Germany got occupied and told what was what (same with Japan). It isn't like this was a negotiation where they said "Can you forgive some of our debt?" and the allies said "Oh ok." No, they surrendered, unconditionally, and the country was occupied and split. On the East side it was straight out annexed and made part of the USSR, and on the West side there was heavy allied military presence and participation in running the country.

I mean I guess if Greece wants the same, they want someone else to come in and take over their country and dictate how things are going to be for years, or decades, then ok. However seems a little silly to say you want the kind of financial consideration that happened in wartime, but none of the rest of what came with it.

Comment: Plenty of differences (Score 2) 664 664

A big one is just that the US controls both its currency and its monetary policy (meaning taxing and spending). That manes that it can take the steps it feels necessary to deal with loan repayments, such as increased inflation and/or a weaker currency. It doesn't have to convince other countries of it, it runs the currency.

An even bigger one at this point is that the dollar is the world's reserve currency. Things are settled in dollars on the international stage, meaning that the US can't have a current account crisis. It makes the dollars, things are paid for in dollars, so it can make more dollars to pay for things. It is unique in that situation. While it could change, that is how it stands.

In fact, that is part of the reason the US is able to borrow so much, and in some ways needs to. People and nations want to put their money in what they see as a safe reserve, and the dollar is one they seek. To make that possible, the US has to issue debt instruments. They have to be able to buy US dollars.

Yet another difference is that the US has high tax compliance. Most people in the US pay their taxes. There are those that cheat or outright evade, but they are the minority. That, combined with a generally quite low tax burden (compared to most first world nations the US has very low taxes), means that raising taxes in the US is a very valid strategy. People won't be happy, but they'll pay. Greece has real issues with tax avoidance which makes tax increases problematic.

Still another difference is in what the economy produces. Despite what you may have heard on whiny online sites, the US makes a lot of stuff. It is the #2 producer of durable goods after China, and only slightly. It builds lots of things that others in the world want. A good example would be microprocessors. Both Intel and AMD are US companies, and Intel fabs most of their newest CPUs in the US. The chips that run most computers in the world come from the US. Makes the economic situation rather different than a place that relies heavily on tourism.

Finally there's the issue of who owns the debt. Most of the US's debt, about 65%, is owned by the US itself. Of that a large part is intragovernmental holdings, and then debt held by the federal reserve. Of the nations that do hold US foreign debt the two largest, Japan and China, do so for strategic reasons to keep their currency cheap compared to the dollar and thus have a strategic interest in keeping that debt. Greece on the other hand, owes most of its debt to other countries.

It is far to simplistic to look and say "Oh this is all the same!" Public debt is actually a pretty complex issue.

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 1) 214 214

Evangelical originally referred to protestant churches in general, excepting those that were Catholic in all but name - that is, the ones without assigned "sales territories" were evangelical. This meant successful churches had to "evangelize" in order to grow the flock, and in a nation where almost everyone was already attending one church or another, this meant churches became successful by attracting people away from other churches, often of the same faith. Much marketing, entertainment, and socializing ensued. When "hellfire and brimstone" sermons were in fashion, evangelical churches might seem very conservative if you judged by their sermons, but that was just the fashion. The term has become non-technical over time, but still means "working to attract new membership" as it's core. That's the sense in which people speak of "an evangelical Pope" - no longer an oxymoron as it once would have been.

Here's a long-winded piece on the distinctions. I think the following captures the distinction well:

The distinctive hallmarks of post-1925 fundamentalism are 1) adding to those essentials of Christianity non-essentials such as premillennial eschatology, 2) âoebiblical separationâ as the duty of every Christian to refuse fellowship with people who call themselves Christians but are considered doctrinally or morally impure, 3) a chronically negative and critical attitude toward culture including non-fundamentalist higher education, 4) emphatic anti-evolution, anti-communist, anti-Catholic and anti-ecumenical attitudes and actions (including elevation of young earth creationism and American exceptionalism as markers of authentic Christianity), 5) emphasis on verbal inspiration and technical inerrancy of the Bible as necessary for real Christianity (including exclusion of all biblical criticism and, often, exclusive use the KJV), and 6) a general tendency to require adherence to traditional lifestyle norms (hair, clothes, entertainment, sex roles, etc.).

My grandparents were fundies in that sense. The perhaps surprising thing was, they weren't all that devout - they never really talked about church except on Sundays, and while their morals were certainly set by this, it wasn't their main hobby. Still, in any discussion of religion, they had great certainty, and they went to a church that emphasized literal interpretation, witnessing to spread the faith, and the like. Really creeped me out when I would go there as a kid when visiting them.

Fundamentalists point to Lakewood Church as the example of the distinction from their side. A church that most would consider evangelical, that "rarely mentions Jesus, and never mentions sin" (to quote from a fundie rant), that is incredibly successful by any objective measure, mostly by avoiding everything quoted above and focusing on an entertaining and uplifting social experience. It's a pattern followed by many evangelical churches, often described as "up with people! and, by the the way, Jesus". This is religion with solid mainstream appeal. Fundies are generally a subset of evangelicals, but they don't like to see it that way, as separation from churches like Lakewood is a big deal to them.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 112 112

Unfortunately, by your definition I don't believe that there *are* any civilized nations. It's not that I disagree with you, exactly. But I believe that your idealized definition of civilized doesn't map to any country in the world either at the present time or at any previous time.

Comment: Re:Not kill the messenger ... (Score 1) 112 112

Plenty of excuses, but sorry, if we're using English "kill the messenger" essentially means to act in such a way as to discourage others with the same (or sufficiently similar) message.

You may use the excuses to claim that the intent was other than "killing the messenger", but not to argue that that isn't what they did. To argue that that isn't what they did you would (probably) need to show that their action did not serve to discourage others with similar communications.

OTOH, perhaps in Spanish the phrase would be taken literally, as it once was in English. But in modern English "kill" has many figurative uses, such as "kill the spotlight" (though I think that's now more commonly "strike the spot", which also doesn't involve hitting the light).

Comment: Re:The reason is more simple (Score 1) 585 585

Consider also your climate-related road conditions:

Recently I talked to someone here in Montana who drives a late-model hybird... and they plan to trade the damn thing in ASAP, because in ice/snow conditions, it has no torque. Get it the least bit stuck, either in snow or an ice rut (a common situation under icy winter conditions) and it won't climb out, and it can't be rocked out. It is STUCK until someone with a non-electric vehicle comes along and pushes or pulls them out.

Comment: Re:You don't understand the universe (Score 1) 214 214

And why do you think they'll out compete people taught to be flexible and open minded?

Because in practice, that default position morphs into "incapable of critical thinking about objective reality and causality, and spending your life trying to make sense of the world while being poisoned with a crippling case of mixed premises and moral relativism" - that's why. Being open to new facts is important and wonderful. But being an intellectual invertebrate is unfortunately what's generally being indoctrinated.

Comment: Re:obligatory Good Luck With That (Score 2) 132 132

they spend all this time on writing DRM code... which will be blown out within a week anyway why not better spend that money and time working on actually making the browser better????

No one's going to bother breaking the DRM on a video stream. Why bother? If you want the content without paying, torrent it, rather than messing with streams with quality/bitrate that can change for reasons outside your control.

Plus, since normal people don't care at all about DRM nerdwhining, they just want it to play when they click, arguably MS is improving the user experience here. Ideally, they'd include a native module letting you right-click on any DRMd stream and automatically torrent it while you watch, but I somehow doubt they're that forward thinking.

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 1) 214 214

Have you ever heard a evangelical Christian Bible study or lesson? They will focus to an incredible degree on each word of the verse they are studying. They will talk about the word in the original Greek (or Aramaic, etc.) and its connotations, how it compares to other Biblical accounts, etc. We're talking nitty gritty minutia and some interesting historical analysis. BUT, they also start with the inviolable precondition that the Bible is the literal word of God and divinely inspired.

You might try learning the difference between evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity. Nothing of what you said is a good generalization of evangelicals, which is why the fundamentalists don't like them much. Evangelicals are about the church (and especially the financial success of it), while fundies are often as you describe. It's fun to remind fundies that they are also, technically, evangelicals (an evangelical church is simply one that does not have an exclusive territory assigned, but must compete with other churches of the same faith for followers and tithes).

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