Yes, it's highly urbanised, but (1) those urban zones are low density - the "quarter acre block" is a common residential size - and (2) the rural areas contribute a great deal to Australia's GDP - for example, northern Australia has only about 6% of the population but produces around 30% of its exports. The rural folk thus get PO'd when they miss out on the cheap fast internet that their city cousins - particularly their metropolitan city cousins - get.
That some people confuse their cultural conditioning to be the same as ethics does not give engineers - or anyone else - a free pass to not consider the implications of their work. For example, I don't agree with abortion, but that doesn't mean there aren't situations where it's the least bad choice (and if someone can't think of any, they aren't trying). Ethical behaviour is, in part, asking yourself "what if I'm wrong?" and truly weighing that possibility rather than glibly assuming that you can't be.
The point of the article is that we should (a) think about the long-term consequences of our work and (b) think about the motivations and history of who we are working for. Do the positives outweigh the negatives of the known and likely applications?
Interesting that you fixate on the Middle East and oil, considering there's no mention of either in the article and "Mr. El-Zein" is an "Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the School of Civil Engineering of the University of Sydney".
The University of Sydney is in Australia by the way. I checked, and he is indeed an AP there, since 2004.
Are your prejudices showing, or do you have something you'd like to share with the audience?
The average download speed in Australia is 4.8Mbit. Upload speed is nowhere near that.
And yeah, sure, VDSL2 can do 100Mbit for short distances. In ideal conditions. Um, you did notice the location is Australia, right?
That same existence of nuclear bombs has also repeatedly come damn close to ending those lives.
Let's be blunt: MAD was a strategy of desperation, based on the fact that the sociopaths we continue to let rule us would continue sending us off to die in counter-productive wars of invasion and conquest if it wasn't for the fact that our biggest weapons would with absolute certainty kill them too, despite the significant risks of it biting the entire human race in the ass.
Did you read the article? If so, you might have noticed the author is actually calling for engineers to to exercise their own morality over their own actions, rather than leave it up to some "higher" authority to decide.
In other words, exactly what you claim to do and the complete opposite of what you claim the author believes.
The dirty bomb, as a weapon of mass destruction, is a myth. Disperse the radioactive material far enough to affect a large number of people, and you disperse the radiation as well. The concentration of radioactive material decreases as the square of the radius of the area of dispersal.
Except of course bombs don't disperse their material with perfect uniformity. Otherwise, would anyone object to standing 50 feet away from the detonation of a US M67 fragmentation grenade? After all, according to the documentation, the "effective range" is only 49.5 feet.
Oh, wait, there's this warning further down, which for some reason they've put in capitals: "FRAGMENTS CAN DISPERSE AS FAR AWAY AS 230 METERS."
It might be a firecracker on the WMD scale, but it's still an instant radioactive minefield deployment (that can follow you home) with a bonus "do you feel lucky, punk?" for anyone downwind.
The only requirement is that he judges fairly and by the law.
That's the point: fairly. Jesus was saying that stoning someone for adultery might be "legal" but it was not fair (nor merciful, nor just). The United States even has the concept in the Eighth Amendement: "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
By its own records, in the last decade (2001-2010) the US legal system had a "known false positive" rate in death sentences of roughly eight percent (551 executions, plus 48 exonerations on appeal). I emphasize, that's the _known_ false positive rate.
It is possible to protest without damaging anyone or anything
Yes. Yes it is. And implicit in such protests is the message that you ignore them at your future peril, and that you should consider your response with care.
"De minimis non curat lex" is the principle that the law should not concern itself with trifles: in a sane and rational world, this particular DDoS protest was akin to throwing a blanket over a billboard for fifteen minutes. The authorities responded with federal charges and a $183000 criminal judgement.
What message does that response send back to the protestors?
Cool. But we should be clear, the site in question is not a store, it's a billboard boasting about a store, and the protesters threw a blanket over it for fifteen minutes.
Irony: the site map's link to its section on economic freedom is broken.
Not even that you prevented their friends from entering their house. The site in question is a glorified PR poster (kochind.com). It's more like you helped throw a blanket over a poster so people couldn't see what the owner was boasting about. For fifteen minutes.
(and oh gods, the irony of the site having a section on economic freedom - compounded by the irony of the site map's link to it being broken)
Dear AC, did you mean to paste a different link? That one supports your opponent.
The trouble is that if you don't also keep your poor healthy etc, at some point "keep your rich healthy" will involve funding the rich's private armies to keep the rebellion at bay.
From the link: But the degrading microbes are difficult to isolate because they do not exist in high numbers in nature.
Like you said, "favorable conditions". Not guaranteed in a landfill, where the specific bacteria that degrade plastic bags still have to compete with all the other bacteria.
What part of "freedom for you to choose your life" did you miss?