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Comment: Re:die by taser or gas? (Score 1) 145

by dargaud (#48219079) Attached to: Incapacitating Chemical Agents: Coming Soon To Local Law Enforcement?
You can't tase 500 people at once (which is what you'd need in cases of mass hostage situation where you can't tell hostages from hostage takers).

Also for once the summary is spot on: "these weapons rely on exact dosage to prevent fatality, and that the ability to deliver the right agent to the right people in the right dose without exposing the wrong people, or delivering the wrong dose' is a near-impossible expectation". Maybe you should have read it. Or remembered that in the russian vs Chechen situation a decade ago, most of the hostages died because of the incapacitating agent. Also, if all it takes is a few gas mask, expect the next hostage takers to use gas masks.

Comment: Re:The good news (Score 1) 688

by dargaud (#48212283) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

It appears that FTDI have reverse engineered the fake chips and found that they can be reprogrammed. When their driver detects a fake chip, it uses the internal configuration commands to erase the EEPROM memory containing the Vendor Unique ID.

So this goes well and beyond the simple "Let's have our driver refuse to talk with the chip in case we detect it's compatible/counterfeit" and completely into "Let's destroy somebody else's property whenever we want". Completely unacceptable.

Comment: Re:I'm betting on balloons (Score 4, Informative) 99

by dargaud (#48201897) Attached to: Internet Broadband Through High-altitude Drones
I mountain areas coverage is very spotty, even in densely populated mountains like the Alps: in deep twisted valleys you have to install too many antennas, and north faces (in the northern hemisphere) impede the use of geosync satellites by blocking line-of-sight. And there's never an irridium above you when you are in a valley. When I was in Himalaya we had a chart of time windows when satellites were above us and we could make quick calls or SMS. Balloons/drones can improve on that.

Comment: Now this pisses me off (Score 2) 81

by dargaud (#48201585) Attached to: Fiber Optics In Antarctica Will Monitor Ice Sheet Melting
Over a decade ago I submitted a project to carry data in Antarctica by a 1500km fiber for a large project. It was shut down by the Americans because according to the Antarctic Treaty you cannot leave anything in Antarctica permanently. Now the US has this project (how are they gonna get it out of the Ice ?), Ice Cube (which has thousands of detectors under km of ice) and others...
United Kingdom

Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK 472

Posted by timothy
from the we-know-what-you-were-thinking dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this news from the UK, as reported by Ars Technica: A 39-year-old UK man has been convicted of possessing illegal cartoon drawings of young girls exposing themselves in school uniforms and engaging in sex acts. The case is believed to be the UK's first prosecution of illegal manga and anime images. Local media said that Robul Hoque was sentenced last week to nine months' imprisonment, though the sentence is suspended so long as the defendant does not break the law again. Police seized Hoque's computer in 2012 and said they found nearly 400 such images on it, none of which depicted real people but were illegal nonetheless because of their similarity to child pornography. Hoque was initially charged with 20 counts of illegal possession but eventually pled guilty to just 10 counts.
Communications

How English Beat German As the Language of Science 323

Posted by timothy
from the allgegenwart-und-einfachkeit dept.
HughPickens.com writes German was the dominant scientific language in 1900. Today if a scientist is going to coin a new term, it's most likely in English. And if they are going to publish a new discovery, it is most definitely in English. Look no further than the Nobel Prize awarded for physiology and medicine to Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard Moser. Their research was written and published in English. How did English come to dominate German in the realm of science? BBC reports that the major shock to the system was World War One, which had two major impacts. According to Gordin, after World War One, Belgian, French and British scientists organized a boycott of scientists from Germany and Austria. They were blocked from conferences and weren't able to publish in Western European journals. "Increasingly, you have two scientific communities, one German, which functions in the defeated [Central Powers] of Germany and Austria, and another that functions in Western Europe, which is mostly English and French," says Gordin.

The second effect of World War One took place in the US. Starting in 1917 when the US entered the war, there was a wave of anti-German hysteria that swept the country. In Ohio, Wisconsin and Minnesota there were many, many German speakers. World War One changed all that. "German is criminalized in 23 states. You're not allowed to speak it in public, you're not allowed to use it in the radio, you're not allowed to teach it to a child under the age of 10," says Gordin. The Supreme Court overturned those anti-German laws in 1923, but for years they were the law of the land. What that effectively did, according to Gordin, was decimate foreign language learning in the US resulting in a generation of future scientists who came of age with limited exposure to foreign languages. That was also the moment, according to Gordin, when the American scientific establishment started to take over dominance in the world. "The story of the 20th Century is not so much the rise of English as the serial collapse of German as the up-and-coming language of scientific communication," concludes Gordin.

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