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Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 1) 215

by Sique (#47429679) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart
The U.S. never enacted the Indian Removal Act, stole the land from the Native Americans and never forced them into reservations, which would be considered ethnic cleansing by today's standards (and thus the Bureau of Indian Affairs never formally apologized). The U.S. never forced the Cherokee to leave Georgia in the Trail of Tears. The U.S. never fought the Seminole Wars whose only reason was to subjugate the different seminole tribes and force them out of Florida. The U.S. never comitted Sand Creek Massacre nor the Washita Massacre or any of the other massacres. The U.S. abolished slavery already shortly after Zarist Russia ended it in 1861 (and all the other European countries ended it until 1815 on their territory and the South American states until 1822) The U.S. never followed the policy to take the children of Native Americans and have them adopted by white Americans until the late 1960ies.

Comment: Re:I found this article to be more informative (Score 5, Interesting) 215

by Sique (#47429531) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart
Germany had three regimes following each other which thought that wholesale spying on the population somehow keeps things in check. And the result was two World Wars and the breakdown of all three regimes.

The U.S. believes that spying on the whole world somehow gives them early warnings, and they managed to completely miss the Korean War, the German Wall, the Cuba Crisis, the reconquest of South Vietnam by the Vietcong, the end of the Somoza Regime in Nicaragua, the polish Solidarnosc, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the subsequent dissolution first of nearly all communist regimes and then the Soviet Union, the conquest of Kuwait by Iraq, 9/11, Somalia, the Arabian Spring, the turning of the Arabian Spring into a strengthening of the extreme wahhabitian Islam, the ISIL conquest of North West Iraq, the annection of Crimea, and the pro-russian uprising in the eastern Ukraine.

But they were pretty sure they find Weapons of Mass Destruction in post Gulf War Iraq.

Somehow the whole spying does not yield the expected results. I wonder if still more spying and mass surveillance will solve this. And more IT infrastructure to dig through the data. And still more money to pay more analysts. And do everything to weaken any attempt to make communication secure.

Comment: Re:I don't blame them for being mad. (Score 4, Informative) 215

by Sique (#47426799) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart
Actually, it's the German population which has a problem with being spied on. And they were pressuring the government again and again no longer to tolerate it. Being spied on is an issue that has grown in importance within one year that now the German government has to fear to lose the next elections if they don't do anything about it. And that's exactly how it is supposed to work.

Comment: Re:What if he refuses? (Score 2) 215

by Sique (#47426757) Attached to: After NSA Spying Flap, Germany Asks CIA Station Chief to Depart
First of all: Germany is no longer an occupied state, independently of what you think. Second: Of course Germany can do it. What will the U.S. do to retaitiate? Occupy Germany again? To what result? And is it worth it? Losing all the business in Germany? Losing all the taxes the U.S. earns from doing business with german companies?

Comment: I doubt the albatross. (Score 1) 54

by Sique (#47405595) Attached to: Ancient Bird With Largest Wingspan Yet Discovered
As far as I know the largest ever measured wingspan of an albatross was 3.2 meters, 3.5 meters so far are unconfirmed. But the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) has a confirmed wingspan of up to 3.45 metres, making it the recent bird with the largest wingspan. (The heaviest flying bird seems to be the Great bustard (Otis tarda), with up to 21 kilograms.)

Comment: Re:the length of a 10-passenger limousine (Score 2) 54

by Sique (#47405481) Attached to: Ancient Bird With Largest Wingspan Yet Discovered
Right. Crocodiles, Birds, Pterosaurs and Dinosaurs all belong to the Archosauria, of which the crocodiles together with some extinct groups form the Crurotarsi, while the three others are grouped together into the Ornithodira. This group is then split into the Pterosaurs and Dinosaurs, the later include today's Aves (birds).

Comment: Re:Is this new? (Score 1) 685

I travelled with a large external hard disk as well, once - which also got taken to one side and swabbed for stuff. Internal monologue: OH NO MY PRECIOUS DATA ... Oh, it's just the possibility of it being a bomb they're worried about.

On another occasion, I had fun with my home-made, Arduino-powered dSLR timelapse gadget - it got thoroughly inspected by the TSA. I'd already opted out of the backscatter X-ray whatsit, only for a swab-for-explosives test to give a (false-)positive. Eek. Cue being taken to one side, where they looked in my bag and found the timelapse-o-tron...

To give the screeners their due, they let me go after a few minutes - after I'd heard their complaints about the potential radiation doses they and the passengers were receiving from the backscatter X-ray thingers, and after I'd provided advice on what sort of camera to look into buying for a budding photographer.

Security fun elsewhere: carrying a plastic bag of loose change through the Eurostar security in Brussels (it basically looked like an amorphous, completely opaque lump on the X-ray) - and a random customs check at a UK airport giving a (false-)positive swab for some sort of illicit drugs. Eek.

Of course you can't flap your arms and fly to the moon. After a while you'd run out of air to push against.