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Comment Re:Missing the big picture (Score 1) 304 304

The truth is not a defense if the truth is damaging. I.e. yes you may tell everyone the truth about someone, but if that person suffers damage as a result of that, you are still liable for the damage.

The judge can decide that *if* there was a compelling reason for the truth to be stated (such as the public interest), you aren't liable for the damage. But it's not a solid 100% defense, no.

In 2013 the libel laws were reformed as described above with the Defamation Act of 2013 - before that, yes, things were awful.

"The Defamation Act 2013 has introduced new protections for publishers. In particular, the public interest defence at s.4 of the Act offers a defence in libel when the publisher believed that the matter was in the public interest. The legislation should give publishers new confidence and reduce the occurrence of self-censorship." - from http://www.libelreform.org/

Comment Re:Missing the big picture (Score 1) 304 304

And if the Japanese subsidiary was selling drugs to the EU, because where they are based it is legal? Or sending arms?

The EU can claim jurisdiction because they are publishing information on EU citizens to others. So the EU claims jurisdiction and Google Japan's management can be extradited if they don't obey the law, if the Japanese courts agree.

Comment Re:Missing the big picture (Score 1) 304 304

Actually, that's not quite the point here.

The reason this law was passed in the first place is because countries assume jurisdiction over what happens in their country, and also, over people and companies who interact with their citizens. That is the reason that gambling companies based in the EU can be fined for trying to sell their gambling services to Dutch citizens - where it is illegal - even when it's legal to do so in the country they have their headquarter in.

So, the EU as a whole is asserting that Google should not be able to provide information *about its citizens* to anyone, when requested to do so. And since Google is doing business in the EU, the EU has jurisdiction.(*)

Free speech however is a different matter. While Google would be liable for showing speech critical of the King in Thailand, they would not be so liable outside Thailand since that speech does not interact with Thai citizens.

The cases may look similar, but they are not: it's a jurisdiction issue, IMO.

Disclaimer: IANAL.

(*) It's well known that there have been cases where the USA claimed jurisdiction because one of the parties involved had used a US mail server, like gmail. So jurisdiction is what you have (or try to have) when the case touches remotely on one of your citizens or any asset based on your soil.

Comment Re:Negotiating salaries is for the birds. (Score 2) 429 429

Yes, they can. There's nothing stopping a company from replacing an employee but its a lot more difficult for an employee to replace their employer.

Ever since I started working as a freelancer I found that it was suddenly the other way round. I avoid working too long for any one employer so I built up a rather large network of satisfied customers. That's what they are now: customers. Completely replaceable by other customers if I don't like their terms.

Comment Re:Um, fire suppression anyone? (Score 1) 69 69

Well... apparently, not always. In 2010, "the National Transportation Safety Board had asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to install automatic fire extinguisher systems in the holds of cargo aircraft. UPS Airlines followed FAA regulations, which stated that pilots should depressurize the main cabin and climb to an altitude of at least 20,000 feet (6,100 m) upon detection of a fire so as to deprive the flames of oxygen."

In other words, the procedure was to climb to high altitude and depressurize the main cabin. For UPS Airlines flight 6, that didn't work out. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... ).

However, they had a whole container with thousands of Li-Ion batteries going up. That was the reason passenger flights are now banned from taking on such cargo. It's very dangerous. On july 29, 2011, another cargo flight (an Asiana Airlines B747) with a similar cargo was lost at sea after the pilot put out a mayday shouting "cargo fire" and "emergency". They were carrying Li-Metal and Li-Ion batteries in the hold as well.

Since then, recommendations are that: containers with batteries should be declared; such containers should be put in a class C hold or another hold with alternative fire suppression (not Halon because that is ineffective against Li-Metal fires) and people would have to be aware what to do in case of a cargo hold fire.

I'm not sure those recommendations are now mandatory.

Comment Re:The logic escapes me, (Score 1) 69 69

From http://batteryuniversity.com/l... (I looked it up because I was thinking the same as you did):

"If the fire occurs in an airplane, the FAA instructs flight attendants to use water or pop soda. Water-based products are most readily available and are appropriate since Li-ion contains very little lithium metal that would react with water. Water also cools the adjacent area and prevents the fire from spreading. Many research laboratories and factories also use water to put out Li-ion battery fires."

This doesn't work on Lithium Metal batteries, so:

"When encountering a fire with a lithium-metal battery, only use a Class D extinguisher as water would react with the lithium metal and make the fire worse. With all battery fires, allow ample of ventilation while the battery burns itself out."

I translate that as "fumes will still kill every passenger on board, but at least we can recover the bodies."

Comment Re: Phablet? (Score 1) 184 184

My main requirements for my new phone a few weeks ago were:
- should run Android
- should not be worse than my old phone (in terms of performance, android version and storage)
- should be smaller than my old phone (Samsung Galaxy S2)

I went with the Samsung S4 mini because it was on sale. But a lot of phones qualify. Just not the big flagship ones. Apparently they double as e-peens, so I predict that they will keep increasing in size until we get to size "ludicrous".

A shield strap would be nice on the bigger ones. Or they should make it like a gauntlet, like you see in some movies.

Comment Re:Your data held hostage in Oracle cloud (Score 3, Informative) 184 184

I'm using SQL Server 2012 now (first time I ever used SQL Server for serious data loads) and I have to say it performs pretty good as a data warehouse for a moderate size organisation. We're loading 500 million lines and it seems to hold up well on a single mid-range server. Querying the whole set is not a pleasant experience if you do a full scan, but if the index is selective enough we get okay performance out of that as well.

Over the last decade most of my deployments were on Oracle but I think that for almost any business I know, SQL Server is a pretty good alternative. I'm not so impressed with the query performance but update/insert performance is much better that I know of Oracle.

However... if you need decent materialized views, or analytical functions, or really low-level control over the database, Oracle is still the first contender. Statistics are easier to manage on SQL Server, though.

However... the SQL Server pricing is not as low as it once was, and climbing steadily into Oracle territory. So unless Microsoft can keep the price down, it may not offer much of an alternative.

Comment Re: How much you got? (Score 1) 184 184

It's not just buggy as hell, it's also slow as molasses due to their insistence on using Java everywhere, and not particularly well-written Java at that. Add to that a really weird method of using the database and you have a horrible experience.

I like Apex and Oracle SQL Developer though. Still somewhat buggy, but at least they're free.

Never appeal to a man's "better nature." He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you more leverage. -- Lazarus Long