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Comment Re:Youtube next? (Score 2) 147

Facebook has strict rules how the buttons have to be implemented, and thus they are liable for anything caused by those buttons.

It would be different if Facebook didn't have those rules in place, then they could claim innocence for the data arriving at their servers.

And if would be different if EU law didn't explicitly forbid collecting data without the consent of the ones creating the data. And no, it's not the responsibility of the users to take care to not create the data in the first place. It's always the fault of the one collecting it afterwards without consent. "But it is out there and can easily be collected" is not a valid argument in the view of EU law.,

Comment Re:yes, or simply try to imagine what sort of dama (Score 1) 212

The Volkswagen Beetle is an original design of Ferdinand Porsche. Yes, that guy Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche, whose engineering company was called Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche G.m.b.H., and which later turned into the Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft or Porsche AG for short. The Porsche AG at first was building performance versions of the VW Beetle with newly shaped car bodies and improved engines, which were called Projekt 356 or Porsche 356.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 459

There have been similar attempts in other legislations, which all failed, because somehow the people who elected the current legislation for some reason wanted it to be that way, and they were still the majority. So I doubt, 20,000 voters will make a difference even in New Hampshire. If they want to vote for something too different, there will always be 20,000 others voting against.

We will see how this works out, but I remain doubtful.

Comment Re:No privacy for Americans? (Score 3, Informative) 29

When you data gets mined by the FBI (and in theory also by the NSA), you have means of bringing that to court. Europeans not being citizens of the U.S. didn't even have this, as their privacy is not protected by the U.S. constitution. This was the main argument why the European Court ruled that the Safe Harbour Agreement does not provide sufficient protection to E.U. citizens and thus is invalid.

Comment Re:Well, we will be using JRE 8 for a while then (Score 2) 165

Does not necessarily work that way. I have some systems to support whose administration website uses Java 1.4 (luckily the last of the Java 1.3 ones was scrapped lately). So I have to keep some VMs ready if I have to do something there because no one will ever invest in updating the management frontend. Those machines were deployed somewhen in the 1990ies, and they are still humming along, no immediate pressure for the actual operator of them to replace them with anything more recent, as none of the newer features is important to him.

Comment Re:Gibberish (Score 1) 121

Also do not forget, that "non-predictability" can be a good model for something. Quantum physics has some effects that are "random", like tunneling. Calling them "random" basically means "we do not know how they work, but they seem to follow a certain statistical model".

What you are referring to is the idea of hidden variables. But it seems that there are no hidden variables in Quantum Theory. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, God appearently really plays dice.

Comment Re:I guess it's easier... (Score 1) 425

And here lies the problem with your simple solution: "proper portions". What is a proper portion seems to vary from person to person, even if they have the same exercise regime. And there are many factors involved in determining what the the proper portions are, from your gut bacteria to the expression of several genes.

As the experiment of Mark Haub has shown (the famous Twinkie diet), even a very loop sided diet taken for several months can be ok and actually improve your health if you take care of what "proper portions" are.

Comment Re:More than five centuries (Score 4, Informative) 235

The christian churches never proclaimed officially that the Earth was flat. Only some quite obscure mysticists from the 3th and 4th century AD did, but they never got much attention. To most people, it didn't matter what size or shape the Earth had, as they never moved around very much, and for those, who did, they knew the Earth was round, and the more astute ones even knew the estimated size. Henry the Navigator, Infante of Portugal in the first half of the 15th century, organized many explorative expeditions around Africa and the Atlantic, which then mounted in a quite correct map of the coasts of Africa, the discovery of Madeira and the Azores, and during the time of Columbus, the discovery of the sea route to India around the Cape of Good Hope. The Portuguese of the 15th century definitely knew decades before Columbus that the Earth is round, and that its circumfence is about 26,000 mls. And there was no religious dogma hindering them to state so.

Comment Re:What about the Manhattan conspiracy? (Score 1) 303

The difference is that the British Enigma program was active just for a few years, short enough for the conspiracy to survive. After that, the daily importance of the program was nil, as there were no new messages to decode. There was no one actively working on the Enigma program anymore, no new people to bring in, all others being retired and working on new projects. It was a thing of the past, and it is much easier to keep the mouth shut about something that does not influence your daily life anymore.

It's quite different if you are working in an ongoing conspiracy and have to lie about your daily life and invent new cover up stories all the time. Once it's a thing of the past, all the questions were already asked once, and sufficient answers were found, and you just keep reiterating them.

Comment Re: I have a simpler method ... (Score 2) 303

Actually, there is a difference between occupying a territory and annecting it. And Israel makes sure that it never fully defines which of which it actually does. Because if they are just occupying, any settlements built after the occupation would be illegal. If they are annecting, then any person living in the annected territory would be entitled to full citizen rights. Israel is dancing a fine line between annecting and occupying, the settlements are somehow built on land which belongs to Erez Israel since ages, while the towns and villages of the palestinians are just occupied.

Comment Re:This model excludes tacit conspiracies (Score 1) 303

It's often just a question of creation vs. evolution. Why does some development go into one direction instead of another one? Is there some conspiracy going on, or is it just a natural course of events in which the circumstances define the most likely behaviour of the acting persons?

For instance, is there some cabal going on to lower wages, reduce workforce and erode the middle class? Is a company leader required to appear before a secret board of conspirators where he has to sign in blood his commitment to the goals of the conspiracy? Or is it just that companies which don't lower wages and reduce workforce will be bought by the competing companies which do, and which then reduce the workforce and lower the wages for the remaining employes?

We like to see someone being responsible for our (perceived or real) misery, and thus we often try to find someone who intentionally acted against our interest to put us there. And if we can't find them, or if the persons we find are not the ones we suspected, we like to explain the difference between our expectations and the perceived reality with a conspiracy which has the goal and the means to taint our perception. In general, this is a healthy way of looking at things. There are real conspiracies going on all the time (and be it just the conspiracy of our friends organizing a surprise party for our birthday). And our perception is easily misled. But there is always Ockham's Razor: If we have to invent more and more entities to maintain our conspiracy theory to explain the course of events, there has to be a point when we have to accept that our theory might not be the best possible explanation. In most cases, the course of events really was about the way it got reported, and most omissions, false reports and misleading statements are just innocuous human errors.

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