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Comment: Re:Meta-corruption? (Score 1) 94 94

It's even simpler - they have a new chief of the space agency, two spectacular failures to reach an orbit in one month and the new cosmodrome which was promised to Putin to be able to launch its first rocket by the end of this year (which is clearly impossible). So, it's time to sacrifice some person or two.

Comment: It is probably business as usual (Score 1) 146 146

They used to launch satellites and then call them debries or test missions or something like this if they aren't behave well from Soviet times. It could be one of these satellites which responded in some limited way after launch, but guys at the mission control still tweaking with it.

Comment: Rather vice versa (Score 1) 197 197

Ukrainian coups (exactly two in 23 years) were unique and effective measure to stop typical for ex-USSR countries creeping into some sort of gulag. It's quite sad that almost every one of former Soviet republics (except Baltic states and maybe Georgia) has abandoned their checks and balances and early attempts to build functional free market rule of law democracies and went into 'strict power vertical' aka dictatorship of variable mildness. But not Ukraine. It's chaotic, yes, but free and democratic as hell.

Comment: Re: Communist revolution is needed (Score 2) 548 548

If you read in Russian, you should google , and 1960. In short, being a civilian in the USSR, you could get strictly a hunting rifle. There was no Castle doctrine, so you couldn't realistically use it for own protection. Such action would make yourself a criminal almost automatically. The registering process and regular checks were quite strict, and you were bound to sell or abandon weapons if you have failed to renew your license in term. Hunters were watched over quite carefully, and a case of bad behavior could make their license revoked (there was a kind of civil watch program in the USSR). The '10 in 100' number posted above seems not very realistic for me. In my own town of birth (with plenty of forests with sporting game around) there were less than a thousand of registered hunters out of the 130,000-strong population. Disclosure: my father was a hunter for a few years in 1970s, even before my birth, then get rid of his rifle.

Comment: Re:From Wikipedia (Score 1) 110 110

Of course, but I see a problem with statistics here: just 3 out of 9 persons in the group which I expected should die by freezing, have more or less 'natural' picture of injuries. Others have very heavy traumas — broken skulls, broken rib cages (not single ribs but entire cages), missing tongues etc. At least three of them couldn't move after being hit by lethal force — the death was instant or close to it. But not a single of them was found on the clear scene of such action, not under a big rock, not under a cliff and so on. It's strange when you expecting to find two broken ancles, three broken wrists, injured knees, bruised heads but have such a treasure trove of really heavy injuries.

Comment: Re:Yes, I read it before (Score 1) 110 110

The avalanche version is quite unrealistic— the terrain is actually low hills with gentle slopes, and the tent, of course, was erected on a flattest spot around. The 'tan' as far as I remember, was described not like a sun tan, but rather a reddish or purple dye, and I can remember the conclusion that it's because of thawing waters running through the rocks with inclusions of some dyeing minerals — so, nothing mysterious here. The traces of radioactivity on some clothes were documented in the materials of the investigation. The level was not very high but still significant to be detected with quite a crude device detecting just gamma rays (with no further analysis of contamination, so no data on which isotope was involved). Also you shouldn't forget that it was few months later, when isotopes were partially decayed and rinsed by water from the thawing snow. The investigation was closed a day or two later after that finding, so it could be actually the reason to stop the efforts (or just a coincidence). The thing is, at least one of the group was an engineer working for the absolutely secret facility producing nuclear bomb grade materials (Mayak in Chelyabinsk-40).

Comment: Re:Why Ukraine is a mess (Score 1) 233 233

The divide between the parts of the country is not that big actually. As far as I remember, in the last more or less adequate poll before Yanukovich's U-turn about integration with the EU, the numbers were like 35% for joining the EU (as a strategic goal maybe 10 or 15 years later, not about the current agreement on association, which was nearly signed couple of months ago), 28 against, and the rest is undecided or not care about it. So, it's not the case of 90% in the East strictly for Russia, 90% in the West for the Europe, the difference between them is slightly more than 10%.

Comment: Checks and balances and automated killer robots (Score 1) 514 514

Probably I have an idea how to change public perception of this kind of robots. The initial batch should be deployed to oversee the government(s). Each public servant trying to knowingly act against the Constitution (not saying to usurp the power) should be executed automatically. The laws these days are written in quite formal language; any decent neural network will parse through them with minor troubles if any. I guess, such program could bring some public support to the idea.

Comment: Re:MLK and friends went to jail as well (Score 3, Insightful) 243 243

It's more complicated — those who practice civil disobedience are actually appealing to the higher instance: the social contract. If the state is not willing to walk along their part of the contract, citizens can proclaim yourself free from the law as well.

+ - Google Adds Site-Filtering Feature to Search Google Search: Block Sites Read mo->

ebenzunlimited writes: "Ever wish you could keep certain sites from showing up in your Google search results? Thanks to a new feature being rolled out right now, you can.
Google announced the debut of a site-blocking search tool via its official company blog on Thursday. The tool is simple to use: When you click on a site in a Google search and then go back to Google — presumably because you weren't satisfied with what you found — you'll see a new option on the results page to block the site from future searches. All you have to do is click it, and the site will never show up for you again.
Your search site-blocking preferences are saved in your Google account, so you'll have to be logged in for the feature to work."

Link to Original Source

+ - DARPA Director Calls for Change in Tech Industry | Intel Free Press->

kenekaplan writes: "The man who oversees information innovation at the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency took to the stage in Silicon Valley and implored technology researchers to bring the world to a new era of wonder by focusing on making things and actually publish their failures."
Link to Original Source

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