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Comment: Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (Score 1) 536

by isilrion (#47957029) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

So your argument is that Cuba can make it illegal for the US Government to hire people?

Not at all. I haven't seen the "US government" jailed for hiring people. Therefore, whether the Cubans have the right to outlaw certain actions of the US government or not is irrelevant. In this case, they didn't even try. How do you imagine that would work?

He chose to do things while in the US that are completely legal under US Law. In fact most of them are actually required by US Law.

And he chose to do them in Cuba, where US law doesn't apply, and, *gasp*, Cuban law applies.

And again, you're bringing up the strawman of unconditional release. I have never argued that Cuba's only choice was unconditional release.

So, what conditions is Cuba allowed to request before the release? Because you insist on releasing him even before negotiations have taken place. Do you want them to demand conditions after they release him? If that is not unconditional, I don't know what it is.

As I said before, if they wanted to release him the time for negotiations would have been back in early 2010.

Because NicBenjamin says so? I gave you an example of a guy who wasn't released by the US until around five years after the arrest. And as you said earlier, very eloquently, there are not a lot of comunications channels between Cuba and the US. I really doubt Cuba turned down any oportunity for (meaningful) negotiation.

the objective standard used is "what did those other guys do when they had a similar spat four years ago?"

Oh, good, then. The closest case to this between Cuba and the US have been the Cuban Five. And we know what the US did. If there is another more similar case where the US acted differently, please enlighten me.

Read the charges against him. He got 30 years for transmitting classified information, and five for failing to register as a foreign agent.

Goalposts moved. I read the charges. So, your contention is that he was charged under two laws for the same action, and Gross was charged under only one? As far as I know, Cuba has no law requiring the registration of foreign agents, but it has one forbidding crimes against the state by foreign agents. Go figure.

Also, I doubt that the russian guy did his planning in US soil. As per your first argument in your reply, are you saying that the US can make it illegal for the Soviet Government to hire people?

Comment: Re:Business (Score 2) 249

by mrchaotica (#47951645) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

JSON is a pretty significant force behind modern Web design. Without it, the Web would still be a pretty static place.

Nah, we'd just be putting actual XML in our XMLHTTPRequests instead. (All JSON does is represent the same data as the XML would, in a less verbose format.) We'd still have all the Asynchronous Javascript And XML.

Comment: Re:Business (Score 2) 249

by mrchaotica (#47949737) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Software isn't always better because it's new.... So, color me unimpressed by Powershell, Agile, objective C, json and Azure.

What is Objective C doing in that list? Did you forget that it was invented more than 30 years ago (and not by Apple)? It predates both .NET and Java, and is almost as old as C++.

Objective C isn't the newfangled replacement; it's the thing that ain't broke!

Comment: Re:GIMP, Ubuntu, Xfce (Score 1) 241

by mrchaotica (#47949227) Attached to: TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

What better name would you suggest for the GNU Image Manipulation Program?

GNUImage?

Or, what's the Zulu word for "Photoshop?" ; )

How is Blender (English for "food processor", referring to a 3D modeling app) any better than Ubuntu (Zulu for "humankind", referring to a Linux distribution)?

1. Artists blend colors and shapes. 2. Blenders and food processors are not the same appliance -- the former liquifies; the latter dices. 3. I agree that Ubuntu isn't a bad name.

Xfce (XForms Common Environment) used to be descriptive

Any new user: "WTF does 'common environment' mean, and why would I want one made out of 'Xforms' (whatever those are)?!"

Aside from that, you could do a lot worse than a random unpronounceable but short acronym when trying to come up with a name for something these days...

Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 1) 333

We've never been to Asia. I've been thinking about going on vacation abroad with them. In your opinion, is Baekdu Mountain worth the trip? They always go to Florida, I would expect them to be bored by now. Maybe I can convince them to go elsewhere... but I don't think they are big fans of mountains.

Comment: Re:Dial up can still access gmail (Score 1) 333

Wow, thanks. Saving that page now. I'm feeling tempted to send them an autorun.reg attachment. I'll try it in my computer first, though. (Also, I didn't realize how braindead window's autorun "feature" is. I really hope gnome/kde devs don't want to imitate that).

Actually, if I can send them a .reg file by email, I could try to add a few more things (like showing extensions). I wonder if I can also send them some kind of group policy update to prevent their do-gooder friends from re-enabling the extension hiding "feature". In any case, thanks!

Comment: Re:$1.1 Trillion over 54 years... (Score 1) 536

by isilrion (#47942077) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

enter as a tourist while (not so) secretly being an american agent [Status as an American Agent is determined by the American government, and is therefore something "the US decided to do"]

No, it isn't, unless your claim is that Gross was a slave of the US government. He had a choice. He chose to accept several millions in exchange for the risk. And now he is paying for his choice.

If your conclusion that Cuba clearly had jurisdiction for every charge you mention was in any way valid, don't you think you could come up with a single example of a non-citizen being sent to prison for years for being a foreign agent?

How other countries choose to deal with the threats is irrelevant to what makes sense for Cuba to do, and ignoring the particular context of Cuba's actions is naive at best. Most, if not all of those you claim to have been released, have been released after negotiations have taken place, not unconditionally. Every single case that ended with an agent swap necessarily serves as the example you ask for (the agents arrested by the first country are held until the second country has something to offer in return). So far, that's also the case with Gross, only that, because the US refuses to negotiate, the negotiations have not yet taken place.

Also, Vilyam Genrikhovich Fisher, russian agent captured by the US, tried, convicted, sentenced to 30 years, served several years in prison before he was exchanged. Yu Xin Kang, Chinese, convicted by the US to 18 months. I suppose that now you are going to move the goalposts and demand some other conditions. It will be very easy to demand a condition that I cannot satisfy, after all, non-citizens don't make very good spies, and it is even rarer for a country to outright refuse to negotiate for the release of their agents. I'm curious to see what new demands you come up with.

Comment: Re:It doesn't make sense (Score 1) 333

by isilrion (#47936143) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

That is an enlightened reply. I appreciate the time you took in writing it. You made me realize a few issues I had forgotten in the original post that makes part of this unworkable (they wont accept having to be at home to check the email, they usually dial-up from other places, I had forgotten about that). You are correct that from their perspective, everything is working (when something fails, e.g., they manage to erase a password or delete/reorder an icon, they blame it to the "computer being old"). I readily forget that... I must not.

Comment: Re:It doesn't make sense (Score 2) 333

by isilrion (#47934107) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

Hmm, so you are saying it is not really an ISP. It is only an email provider. And so we are not really talking about something like a 3rd world country, it is not so much a matter of infrastructure but of control (Cuba perhaps?).

Correct (with some nuances irrelevant for the situation being discussed). I'd rather avoid satellite solutions, just to ensure that I (and my family) stay entirely within the law. I used that email service for years and that ISP was pretty decent (given the restrictions). If you are savvy enough, you can do with those 15Mb much more than what one would expect. The breakdown is just the combination of my family being "not savvy" with the restrictions. If they had TCP conectivity but were illiterate, I could try to leave the some "backdoor" (vnc, ssh, remote desktop, whatever) and coordinate with them to "fix" their issues. Most of the issues, btw, are "the [ISP name] went away", meaning "I deleted or moved the desktop icon". I have done that with relatives not in Cuba. Or, if they lacked a TCP connection but were savvy, I could just communicate with them and tell them what to fix.

This slashdot topic was a long shot. I had some ideas in mind, most too complex / brittle to be worth implementing and I wanted a opinions from a savvy crowd. I should have asked years ago! There was a suggestion of a Wifi-dial-up modem combo device + a tablet that I hadn't thought of, and while it doesn't cover all my "requirements", it may be a sufficient improvement over the current situation to be worth trying. In any case... I have almost a year to think about it and prepare, and now that I was given some ideas worthy of consideration, I'm grateful. I hope at least one comes to fruition.

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