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Comment: Re:Recycling Personalities (Score 1) 446

by iksrazal_br (#46736097) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Different topic. A war gone badly is a mistake -- not a crime. But you simply don't know what the alternative would have been. Saddam was taking shots at US fighter planes all throughout the Clinton administration. You simply don't know that keeping him in power would not have proven more costly (in terms of lives) than what has happened. The was didn't turn a good situation into a bad one. It turned a bad situation into a different bad situation. But before calling it a mistake you'd have to show that the alternative would have been better.

You really think that with Saddam it was even remotely possible, under severe sanctions and no WMD, that he could have caused more deaths and cost more than the Iraq war started by W?

Instead of "containment" and no threat really besides the starving of kids in Iraq, we borrowed money from China to make Iran stronger. Do you like how that turned out?

One helluva mistake. But my mind was made up years ago. Its called war mongering by hook and crook, with the ends justifying the means. Scott Ritter may be a pedophile, but read what he said before the war. He was right on the money - there was no WMD and it was obvious to everyone who had been there. So W lied - there is no doubt about that to me.

This article by a USA general in 1935 makes me skeptical of your argument:

http://www.ratical.org/ratvill...

Comment: Re:The protesters should brace themselves ... (Score 1) 446

by iksrazal_br (#46735969) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

I think what this boils down to is you want to punish DropBox for some things that Rice did 10 years ago that you disagree with.

People are judged on their credit reports and criminal history, why should using her past history in government to predict future behavior be any different? In this case that means questionable behavior on private data, as she has shown in the past. if its legal then anything goes and the ends justifies the means. And yes, I don't want to associate with people like that.

She is a very high profile lightning rod - unlike most board of directors - and hiring her shows very poor judgement, rightly or wrongly, on Dropbox's part. I expect they will go the way of MySpace. Therefore I'd be making a poor choice imho on betting on their future.

Have a nice evening!

Comment: Re:Recycling Personalities (Score 1) 446

by iksrazal_br (#46735305) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

4.3 trillion. And he had to fight a war and deal with post-dot-com crash of the economy. And that 4.3 trillion included the 700+ billion of the bank bail out that both Obama and Hillary voted for (as senators).

Um, the war is what we are talking about and it and most people now think it was a mistake. Bush owns that legacy. There would have been no Obama and Affordable health care act without it, so you can thank the Iraq war supporters for that. And it was Bush who signed the law. I'm a libertarian and I was against all that from day one.

And the stock market was lower when he left than when he came in - the only president in history to accomplish that. The crash at the end of his term was do to his "ownership society" and hostile actions to regulation, and that will be his legacy too.

Comment: Re:The protesters should brace themselves ... (Score 1) 446

by iksrazal_br (#46734849) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

I very much doubt that Rice thought waterboarding was a nifty idea, and it wasn't her call in any event. Even if she did, the US has waterboarded probably tens of thousands of people, all of whom were US soldiers except for three (3) terrorists, the most recent of which was 11 years ago. If that is the basis for your decision I think you are on very shaky ground.

Google has been going after increasing amounts of government business, including intelligence agencies. Google has been sanctioned by several governments for privacy violations. If appearances matter then I think you should look twice.

Your knowledge, respectfully, on these matters are on shaky ground.

Google for "Rice approved CIA waterboarding" . In her memoir she states " ''I do not regret the decisions we made. I would never have engaged in - or encouraged the President to undertake - activities that I thought to be illegal.''

Alright then, I guess she was never bothered by mere moral questions, so I hesitate to give her my data.

Also, Human Rights Watch has higher numbers than 3. How many were tortured by Jordan, Egypt etc under extraordinary rendition may never be known.

Google is not perfect and the lesser of two evils is still evil. However, it is possible to opt out of most of the privacy invading data collection. There are legal challenges to them on privacy and that is a good thing. There are other options besides Google too if you are so inclined.

Comment: Re:Recycling Personalities (Score 1) 446

by iksrazal_br (#46734569) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

No, actually the Iraq war was very economical in monetary terms. The entire cost of the war FOR ALL THE YEARS is less than the "stimulus" that Democrats stole under Obama in the 1st year of Obama administration.

You seem happy that we borrowed money from China to make Iran stronger, but the 90% who supported the war at the time is smarter now.

The Iraq war is estimated to have already cost over $1 trillion, and will likely cost $3 trillion when the vets are taken care of over their lifetime.

The increase of debt so far under Obama is around 6.5 trillion. I expect it to drop as the economy improves, but that is admittedly speculation.

Bush increased the debt by about 5 trillion in his two terms.

Use whatever reasonable sources you like for these numbers.

The more important issue is that over 100K Iraqis died, with 4486 US soldiers dead and 32,223 wounded. And for what? We now have another dictator and Badgad is #1 on the most violent city list. There were no WMD so I fail to see what we really gained that was worth the costs in blood and treasure.

Comment: Re:The protesters should brace themselves ... (Score 1) 446

by iksrazal_br (#46734353) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Allow me to commend you on your decision to switch to another American company that does large amounts of business with the US government and which is growing more involved with robotics and autonomous navigation of interest to the US Defense Department. Did you know that there are rumors that Google has ties in with the CIA and NSA?

Have a great day!

There is a difference, at least in appearance, from have your poster girl as some one who thinks water boarding is a nifty idea.

And Google is suing the NSA, rather than announcing that a former National Security Advisor who was part of the problem, is now controlling your data. So instead of fighting the governments worst practices, the actions of Dropbox suggest that the NSA raiding your data is just fine by them.

I am well aware that Google will hand over to the NSA whatever they have to per USA law. And the USA government is one of their biggest check writers. But I doubt they think handing over data in violation of the 4th amendment is a good business practice. And if you are not a USA citizen or an expat, you have no standing at all - not nice for the rest of the world.

Rather, the NSA is likely causing them to lose business overall. Google's lawsuits may be just for show, but like I said, appearances matter. Would you trust RSA at this point?

Have great day likewise!

Comment: Re:The protesters should brace themselves ... (Score 1) 446

by iksrazal_br (#46733285) Attached to: Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Ankle biting

More like "ankle grabbing" for the lovers of the NSA and water boarding. Going back as far as Napoleon, torture was already dismissed as ineffective, so its sad to me that some people are glad to regress a few centuries. And the "everybody does it" theme neglects that few others countries, ie none, have 30,000 employees and a $10 billion a year budget.

I'm switching to Google Drive since their theme of "do no evil" is still intact enough to avoid high publicity idiocy like politicising their business. Why the fuck do these companies think their political agenda is a part of their business plan? Part of this idiocy alone is a good reason to switch.

Comment: ANY delay destabilizes the system (Score 1) 342

by mangu (#46685089) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

If you need to sell some stock or commodity within a second of buying it, then something is wrong

Oh, yeah? Then, please, tell me in your infinite wisdom how long I should wait? Ten years? Twenty?

The fact is that ANY delay in a feedback system tends to destabilize it. In mechanical systems this is called "backlash" and there is extensive research on how to eliminate it and cope with the problems it causes. Anyone who proposes to artificially introduce backlash in a feedback system know nothing about what he is talking about.

In a market it would be trivially easy to manipulate prices if an artificial delay were involved, especially for the bigger traders. Put a buy order for a million shares and watch the prices rise, then sell at the higher price that would result a half second later. The same principle would work no matter how long the delay is.

Markets work so well because there is negative feedback in many different loops all over the economy. Some of these loops have shorter response times, other are slower to respond. If you invent an artificial delay that overlaps everything, this creates a well defined eignevalue that anyone with the proper technical knowledge could exploit.

Comment: Tax == Arbitrage (Score 2) 342

by mangu (#46684831) Attached to: Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Imposing a tax only means the profit threshold is raised. That creates the market distortion called "arbitrage", where the relative costs between different transactions are not symmetric.

A .01% tax per transaction would mean that for me, a small trader, there would be a net loss unless my own profit per trade is lower than .01%. For a bigger trader, the cost per trade is lower, therefore they would gain and advantage over us, the smaller guys.

The true solution? Let it be, do not change anything.

Apart from some guys who get a lot of profit selling books claiming HFT is bad, no one actually makes very much on HFT. The margins are very low, extremely low, so you need to invest a lot of capital to get any profit from it.

Getting a small profit from economy of scale is something that hurts no one, it happens in every sector of the economy. As a small investor, I have an indirect gain from the higher liquidity when the big investors go into HFT.

The economy is not a zero-sum game, there are situations where everyone profits and situations where everyone loses. With HFT everyone gains, with taxes everyone loses.

Comment: Re:Greatest, but maybe not the most damaging (Score 1) 102

by mangu (#46642021) Attached to: Book Review: How I Discovered World War II's Greatest Spy

The US didn't need to use the bomb again, the mere knowledge that it existed was enough.

Anyhow, it was several years until the Soviets got their own bomb, and even longer until they had some way to deliver them. Until the mid-1950s at least the Soviets had no bomber planes or missiles capable of dropping atom bombs on the USA.

Crime

Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences 914

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the miles-was-never-the-same dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Like something out of the movie Inception, Rhiannon Williams reports in the Telegraph that Dr. Rebecca Roache, in charge of a team of scholars focused upon the ways futuristic technologies might transform punishment, claims the prison sentences of serious criminals could be made worse by distorting prisoners' minds into thinking time was passing more slowly. 'There are a number of psychoactive drugs that distort people's sense of time, so you could imagine developing a pill or a liquid that made someone feel like they were serving a 1,000-year sentence,' says Roache. Roache says when she began researching this topic, she was thinking a lot about Daniel Pelka, a four-year-old boy who was starved and beaten to death by his mother and stepfather.

'I had wondered whether the best way to achieve justice in cases like that was to prolong death as long as possible. Some crimes are so bad they require a really long period of punishment, and a lot of people seem to get out of that punishment by dying. And so I thought, why not make prison sentences for particularly odious criminals worse by extending their lives?' Thirty years in prison is currently the most severe punishment available in the UK legal system. 'To me, these questions about technology are interesting because they force us to rethink the truisms we currently hold about punishment. When we ask ourselves whether it's inhumane to inflict a certain technology on someone, we have to make sure it's not just the unfamiliarity that spooks us,' says Roache. 'Is it really OK to lock someone up for the best part of the only life they will ever have, or might it be more humane to tinker with their brains and set them free? When we ask that question, the goal isn't simply to imagine a bunch of futuristic punishments — the goal is to look at today's punishments through the lens of the future.'"
United Kingdom

UK Government Wants "Unsavory" Web Content To Be Removed 250

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The UK minister for immigration and security, James Brokenshire has called for the government to do more to deal with 'unsavoury', rather than illegal, material online. 'Terrorist propaganda online has a direct impact on the radicalisation of individuals and we work closely with the internet industry to remove terrorist material hosted in the UK or overseas,' Brokenshire told Wired.co.uk in a statement."
Businesses

Visual Effects Artists Use MPAA's Own Words Against It 131

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-daily-schadenfreude dept.
beltsbear sends a story about the struggles of visual effects artists against the Motion Picture Association of America. The VFX industry in the U.S. has been slowly dying because movie studios increasingly outsource the work to save money. The visual effects industry protested and fought where they could, but had little success — until the MPAA filed a seemingly innocuous legal document to the International Trade Commission two weeks ago. In it, the MPAA argues that international trade of intellectual property is just like international trade of manufactured goods, and should be afforded the same protections. This would naturally apply to visual effects work, as well. Thus: "[E]mboldened by the MPAA’s filing, the visual effects workers are now in a position to use the big studios’ own arguments to compel the government to slap trade tariffs on those studios’ own productions in high-subsidy countries. Those arguments will be especially powerful because the MPAA made them to the very same governmental agencies that will process the visual-effects workers’ case. Additionally, the workers can now take matters into their own hands. ... If visual effects workers can show the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission that an import is benefiting from foreign subsidies and therefore illegally undercutting a domestic industry, the federal government is obligated to automatically slap a punitive tax on that import. Such a tax would in practice erase the extra profit margins the studios are gleaning from the foreign subsidies, thereby leveling the competitive playing field for American workers and eliminating the purely economic incentive for the studios to engage in mass offshoring."
Medicine

Egg-free Flu Vaccines Provide Faster Pandemic Response 64

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-that-we'll-stop-panicking-every-time-a-new-flu-comes-around dept.
eggboard writes "Jen A. Miller has an egg allergy of a variety that her doctor has told her could produce a severe reaction if she were vaccinated for the flu, as flu vaccines are grown from viral strains incubated in chicken eggs. But, she explains, two new approaches have been approved by the FDA and are in production that don't use eggs at all; they're on the market in small amounts already, but will be available in much larger quantities soon. It's not just about egg allergies: the new vaccine types (one relying in insect proteins and the other on animal proteins) provide a much faster turnaround time in response to flu pandemics — as little as two to three months from isolation of a strain to mass production instead of at least six months with eggs."

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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