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Comment: Re:Cultural Differences (Score 1) 110

Is it ever okay to "grease" an official's palm?
If the payment is only intended and only results in an official carrying out his or her job duties a bit faster (without breaking any other rules), then it MAY be legal. If the payment speeds up the process by ignoring the local laws or regulatory process, then the payment is still an illegal bribe. So in addition to the FCPA, you must check written laws of the host country.

You can find many other sources, the case law around it is a bit nuanced, but basically if you're just trying to get stuff off someones desk that should be moving along under local law then you're probably ok. Congress obviously didn't mean to make it impossible for US based companies to do business around the world so the courts have to take that into account. Since most folks aren't lawyers practicing in that area of law corporate training tends to be very black and white on the issue (this also works to absolve the company if their employees tread into areas that are dark shades of grey).

Comment: Re:Cultural Differences (Score 1) 110

No, this is much more than the tip style bribery, in fact the foreign corrupt practices act specifically excludes payments to officials who are just doing their normal function (your tips to get paperwork moved), this was out and out corruption to get sweetheart deals. Nobody is paying one official $600k to get paperwork moved along, they're doing that to get millions in contracts with little oversight and hence tons of profit margin. Trust me, nobody in DOJ is going to upset powerful multinationals over some greased palms.

Comment: Re:Is this the new emulator story for Android devs (Score 1) 128

by afidel (#47889877) Attached to: Chrome OS Can Now Run Android Apps With No Porting Required

You can get a refurb 2013 Nexus 7 for less than $150, it will run 4.4.4 today and is guaranteed to get L. Asus MemoPad 7 is available for $124 new at and runs 4.4, though for a developer the Atom might not work (it depends on if you're using native code, though if you're going there you shoudl probably get a sample of the top x devices you plan to support)

Comment: Re:Of course they don't need the full spectrum (Score 2) 79

by afidel (#47889307) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

The problem is that a 6MHz channel only allows ~18Mbps of usable bandwidth using 8VSB (current ATSC standard OTA encoding) which isn't a lot if you're using MPEG2 for 1080i/720p @30fps, cutting it down to ~9Mbps means you're getting worse than DVD bandwidth for what's supposed to be an HD signal.

Comment: Re:I don't see how MS can comply (Score 1) 122

by afidel (#47871773) Attached to: Microsoft Agrees To Contempt Order So It Can Appeal Email Privacy Case

I imagine that criminal law has been updated to the same standards as civil law, under FRCP you can no longer bury the opponent with paper, if they make a request for digital records in a digital format then you must supply the records in that format if it is at all reasonable to do so (ie if you ask for PDFs from email that is reasonable, as would be TIFF, but .123 files would probably not be reasonable unless the source documents were in that format)

Comment: Re:Fracking takes water out of action (Score 1) 191

by afidel (#47862467) Attached to: US Rust Belt Manufacturing Rebounds Via Fracking Boom

and """contiminated""" frac water isn't any more polluted.

Really, you say that with such conviction. Would you drink untreated, or lightly treated fracking water every day for a year? Because AFAIK nobody but the fracking companies knows exactly what they're putting into their mixtures (and often not even then, many wildcaters buy from Halliburton and friends). The companies have fought extremely hard against any attempt to have them disclose what they are using, or at having and independent scientific analysis of the safety of the fracking effluent. One of the few scholarly articles I've found shows significant risks:

The analysis of effluent samples collected prior to the PADEP’s request supports our first hypothesis that concentrations of analytes in effluent were above water quality criteria (Table 1). Ba, Sr, and bromides are of particular public health concern. For the metals strontium and barium, both surpassed the federal MCL for drinking water

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie