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Comment: Re:Security clearance (Score 1) 420 420

In fact, holding another citizenship in addition to your US citizenship is normally disqualifying. I do wonder what they do with military personnel from friendly countries engaged in liaison activities, some of whom seem to be embedded in ways that give them access to secret information.

Comment: Re: We Remember things which Affect Us (Score 1) 301 301

While the full extent of atrocities was not known until after the war, that massive atrocities focussed on Jews were being committed was in fact known to the allies by the end of 1942. For example, the Polish government in exile submitted a report on the extermination of the Jews to the United Nations in December, 1942.

Comment: Re:Disturbing. (Score 1) 106 106

Not true. In Japan statements that are harmful are actionable even if they are true, if they are not in the public interest. If you reveal defects in a product, for example, that's in the public interest. If you say that the CEO wets his bed, even if true, that's just gratuitously embarassing him - it doesn't have anything to do with whether people should buy the company's products, so it is actionable.

+ - Yet another government software failure, nominated for award

belmolis writes: The Victoria Times-Colonist reports that British Columbia spent C$182 million on a new case management system for social services, whose system was so bad that in 2012 Judge Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, Special Representative for Children and Youth, issued a public safety warning. According to a report by the Auditor General, the system only performs 1/3 of the functions of the systems it is intended to replace and fails to protect private information or monitor inappropriate usage. The defective system was nominated by its managers for the Premier's Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Civil Service.

Comment: Re:Helping Castro (Score 1) 166 166

Israel has NEVER restricted the supply of staple foods to Gaza and presently imposes no restrictions whatever on the supply of food to Gaza. Nor do humanitarian organizations, such as the UN, not exactly Israel's best friend, say that the blockade has caused any humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In any case, were there restrictions on the transfer of supplies from Israel, the Gazans could get them via Egypt.

Comment: Re:Taken to the cleaners... (Score 1) 132 132

As best I could tell from the video, he didn't deliberately damage the machine. He was checking it out in the same way a consumer who had had experience of shoddy construction would. Also, I wonder about the idea that those machines were to be used at the trade show. According to the article, the machines were located in retail stores, in the same city as the trade show, but not at the trade show location. So it isn't the case that he got onto the trade show floor in advanced and messed with the machines that they had set up for the show.

Comment: Re:Cigar Prices (Score 1) 166 166

They probably have computers, but I wonder what the state of the art is. There isn't much of a market for programmers of archaic Soviet machines via paper tape. Have they had sufficient access to modern computers and software to be able to compete for jobs in the US or write software anyone wants?

Comment: Re:How could they? (Score 1) 179 179

That isn't really true. There are specific rights that you can't give up. You can't, for example, submit to assault except in limited circumstances (e.g. surgery). But, in general, you can contract away all sorts of rights. Lots of contracts require disputes to be settled by arbitration, for example, which forces you to vie up your right to go to court. Such contracts are, in general, valid and enforced.

Comment: nothing like Star Trek (Score 1) 122 122

Google's current effort is nothing like the Star Trek Universal Translator, and it is exceedingly unlikely that anything ever will be. The STUT is supposed to be able to translate languages that it has not been programmed to translate and has never been exposed to before. Existing translators, including Google's, can only work with languages that they already know.

Comment: Re:what China should do is (Score 4, Interesting) 288 288

That isn't entirely true. North Korea is not well suited for agriculture, and due to the war and mismanagement the economy is a mess, but it has large ore deposits. Mining is a significant component of the economy even now, and with good management and investment for infrastructure (such as adequate electrical power) could grow considerably.

[We] use bad software and bad machines for the wrong things. -- R.W. Hamming

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