If you're interested in the current state of the art, read this article from the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (April 2013). It describes the hardware and software used by the Pan-STARRS team to detect asteroids automatically in data taken with their 1.8-meter telescope on Hawaii and its 1.4-gigapixel CCD camera.
In the rush to kumbaya and make it out to be "the sisterhood versus the patriarchy," a lot of women and male feminists don't notice that there is a sizeable contingent of technically qualified women who by and large have little respect for most women. I saw this in college with the women who took CS seriously feeling like they had to work twice as hard because half of the girls were getting by, in their minds by "flipping their skirts and smiling the guys" to get them to do their work for them. A good friend of mine who was a mechanical engineering major observed the same thing in his department at a different university. In fact, our oldest female professor was notorious for being ruthless on the girls because she literally wanted to drive out any girl who had in her mind that women in CS should be allowed to get by in any fashion that even resembled "advancing on their backs."
So if anything, I would say be careful about letting female engineers interview other potential candidates unless they are known to be genuinely fair-minded. You very well may find that it's actually the women, not the men, who are discriminating.
Ideally the people of Ukraine. It really should be for foreign powers to say. I mean you realize many government have provisions to handle ousting members and reforming, right? Particularly many parliamentary systems, but others as well. Even the US has something via the 25th amendment. The vice president and either a majority of the cabinet or congress can declare the president unable to discharge his duties and oust him (go read it if you want more specifics). It isn't a situation of "Well they were elected, now they are there and there's nothing you can do until the next election!" There are processes for removal/recall in pretty much all political systems.
I don't know anything about Ukrainian law, but really, it is for them to decide internally. Their courts need to rule on their law. It is really up to the US or Russia to come and say "No we don't think you should have done it that way, you do it our way instead."
And not shilling, go educate yourself. Vice News has some good coverage, split in 5 pieces, on it:
The most important things to note:
1) The Russian forces are not wearing insignias, or identifying themselves as Russian military. They either refuse to identify themselves at all, or identify themselves as being from the non-existent "Ukrainian Self Defense Force."
2) They Russian units are surrounding and/or capturing Ukrainian military installations. They are not moving to their bases, they are taking over Ukrainian bases. The Ukrainian commanders have been keeping things very cool, to avoid Russia being able to say they were provoked, so there hasn't been any violence, but it is a military attack on military targets, make no mistake.
3) Speaking of provocation, the Russian military has been trying it. They've been moving in and taking over Ukrainian bases, then withdrawing, only to do it again later. They are trying to goad the Ukrainian military in to firing on them.
4) Russia has been importing other non-governmental groups like Serbian Paramilitary forces to do, well who knows, but it isn't likely anything good.
So no, it is nothing like the US in Japan. Now if suddenly troops showed up in Maizuru and blocked off the military port there, troops wearing American uniforms, speaking English, armed with American weapons but wearing no insignias, no identifiers, and refusing to answer questions. If they blockaded the base, and then later went in and took it over, well ya, I'd be saying that the US was invading Japan and that it was clearly underhanded and illegit.
Having bases in a country doesn't mean free run to do as you please.
But then you can't really complain about their goal to have more powerful weapons.
The thing is we come back to the question of what really is a country, what makes a nation a nation? Well there can be two situations:
The first and oldest is just the ability to act as one, the strength such that nobody can realistically question your status. This is what you see with something like the US. Even if another nation doesn't like the US, or doesn't think it should be valid, they can't question that it is because they can't do anything about it. They can't attack or threaten the US's status in any way, the US is in control of its territory because nobody can say otherwise. Obviously this is the kind of thing that changes sometimes, and countries have indeed been conquered, reformed, etc, etc.
The other is international recognition and protection. There are a number of countries with little to no military, they couldn't hold off an attack from even a fairly small force, yet they are secure as countries. The reason is that they are recognized by international treaties, and thus the big boys, as being countries. They agree they are sovereign and won't interfere, and further often agree to defend them if someone does. Iceland is like that. They have no real military, but they are a NATO member, due to their strategic location. So they have some NATO bases, and the commitment of all NATO members to defend them if they are attacked.
Now, as this applies to Ukraine. They've been invaded by Russia. Russia has sent in troops, who are not wearing any identification, to take over Ukrainian military bases in Crimea. They really can't do much about it. If they fire on the Russian soldiers. Russia will just use that as an excuse to go all out on an invasion (Russian soldiers have been trying to provoke them in to firing) and Ukraine lacks the troops to push that back.
So they have two choices for independence: Either the international community steps in and helps, or they get more powerful weapons, the kind Russia doesn't want to fuck with.
Thus regardless of if you think the US or other countries have any specific obligation to them, that is the general state of things.
If you asked most people with a TS clearance if they'd rather this or face a periodic lifestyle polygraph they'd probably call this a no-brainer alternative to the latter.
It's well-established by now that one of the most significant factors in destroying the lives of the unskilled and semi-skilled workers across the country has been the influx of similar immigrants from around the world. Legal versus illegal, its immaterial. The invisible hand doesn't give a damn whether they hold a green card or not and giving legal status to the illegals won't suddenly drive wages up because their mere presence in the economy provides at least implicit price competition.
Here's how you enact a sensible immigration policy. You crack down on the employers of illegals such that no one will hire them. You then offer a contingent amnesty to the illegals that allows them to come forward and face no charges if they leave the country of their own volition, and you even let them keep all of the money and property they've earned if they self-deport. Then, you only allow immigrants with provable skills to immigrate as singles or with their immediate family if they're married with children. None of this "let's bring the whole extended family" over. Grandma, the aunts and uncles and cousins have no business piggybacking on that green card. That's just a recipe for waking up one day and finding a large ethnic enclave in an American city (oh wait, that's precisely what's happened in many areas because of this, silly me).
I got four letters for you:J-U-R-Y
I got some letters for you, too: Voir dire. This is the process wherein lawyers weed out all your peers in favor of compliant idiots. That's not what it's supposed to do, of course, but that's how it's used. It's then almost always followed by admonishment by the judge to the effect that the jury has to apply the law as written, with nothing at all about the jury's actual duty to evaluate the law -- in fact, if that's brought up, likely you'll have a mistrial.
If you go to court in the US, you can pretty much look forward to success in ratio with the money you spend on your lawyer, and how well your lawyer manages to pass that largesse along to the judge. And too bad if the judge thinks public opinion means more than your money.
The blockchain is currently about 15GB, and grows every time there's a transaction. That's a problem. Most phones don't have 15GB of free space. You'd have to get an SD card, just to hold it and that is only a temporary solution, since it'll keep growing.
Also this would be a real problem if BTC was actually used like a major currency and not just played with by speculators as the number of transactions would be orders of magnitude higher, and thus so would the growth.
So it would be totally unrealistic to just store it on mobile devices, which is something you'd probably want to do if you were going to use it as a general purpose kind of payment system, security issues aside and those are not minor.
In general, a citizen and only make an arrest if they witness a felony being committed. Also the same sort of idea with drawing a gun. A good way I heard it put is "If you pull a weapon on someone, one of you committed a felony so you'd better be sure ti was them."
Police have a more relaxed standard. They can arrest based on the suspicion of a crime, and can arrest for misdemeanors. Also they have wider latitude as to when they can draw a weapon.
Stuff like this is why universities have police forces. I work on a campus and we have both security (we call them police aides) and police. The security guards are cheaper, yet we have police offers too. There are good reasons, and the university has clear guidelines for who does what. The security guys more or less just lock buildings and call in problems. The police actually deal with the problems.
Someone here doesn't keep up with philosophy.
A good deal of philosophy is mythology, trendy mythology, which is why I tend to ignore the signals coming from that direction. It's not even a soft science: it's not science at all. So yes, you're quite right, and thank you for noticing I'm not taking part in that mostly-bewildered sideshow.
There is nothing -- repeat, absolutely nothing -- to indicate, in any way, that there is anything going on in brains that isn't mundane physics. Further, not anywhere in the body, not anywhere in the world, not anywhere in the entire universe. The tendency of certain personality types to attribute the unknown to various imaginary basics without bothering with objective fact, measurable cause and effect, and the inconvenience of presenting a falsifiable proposal is what got us gods, elves, banshees, ghosts, chupacabras, and so forth.
Me, I'll wait to assert that force X is making something happen until someone demonstrates that there is a force X. In the interim, we already know the living brain is replete with electrical, chemical and physical activity (by which I mean the actual physical configuration is known to change over time... I'm not just talking about niceties like oxygen transport.) We don't know what it all does in any kind of holistic sense; that makes it far too early to be presuming the existence of further activity of another order. If, however, we look into all the known activities and find that they cannot account for the end result, that's the time to look further -- that, or if someone builds an X detector and demonstrates that X is, in fact, going on -- as it were. I must point out to you that no such thing has occurred.
In the interim, the way to bet is clearly that it's all mundane, in the sense that we already understand the underlying physics principles. Everything from Occam's Razor to basic statistics tells us the probable solution lies in the set of solutions we've determined describe everything else; for one, we know of nothing else, for another, there's no evidence whatsoever that points to something else. There's simply no path from here to Dualism. Chalmer's assertions are baseless at this point in time, as they were when made. There's simply no evidence for consciousness as "it's own thing"; it exists in the mundane world, odds are that it is of the mundane world -- just like everything else we've ever looked into.
c'mon. Every indication says your brain is you. Chemical reactions, electrical impulses, stored states, massive, active and dynamic connectivity. That's what "you" arise from. When your brain stops, you stop. Your head contains a most effective EM shield consisting of wet, conductive layers that are sufficient to prevent huge RF and EM fields from getting into your brain tissue. The tiny, minuscule events going on inside your head can't get out under any circumstance for the same reason, unless you (a) punch a hole in your skull or (b) scan it with instruments so sensitive you can hardly comprehend the idea, or (c), you effectuate your mind's activity in some manner by moving your body via the nerves that connect your muscles and other parts to the brain through the base of your skull. Your brain is not an interface. Your brain is the computer. Everything we know about physics points this way; nothing points the way you suggest. It's simply not the way to bet. What you're talking about has basis only in mythology at this point in time.
o we don't know what "thinking" is -- at all -- not even vaguely. Or consciousness.
o so we don't know how "hard" these things are
o and we don't know if we'll need new theories
o and we don't know if we'll need new engineering paradigms
o so Alan Winfield is simply hand-waving
o all we actually know is that we've not yet figured it out, or, if someone has, they're not talking about it
o at this point, the truth is that all bets are off and any road may potentially, eventually, lead to AI.
Just as a cautionary tale, recall (or look up) the paper written by Minsky on perceptrons (simple models of neurons and in groups, neural networks.) Regarded as authoritative at the time, his paper put forth the idea that perceptrons had very specific limits, and were pretty much a dead end. He was completely, totally, wrong in his conclusion. This was, essentially, because he failed to consider what they could do when layered. Which is a lot more than he laid out. His work set NN research back quite a bit because it was taken as authoritative, when it was actually short-sighted and misleading.
What we actually know about something is only clear once the dust settles and we --- wait for it --- actually know about it. Right now, we hardly know a thing. So when someone starts pontificating about dates and limits and what "doesn't work" or "does work", just laugh and tell 'em to come back when they've got actual results. This is highly distinct from statements like "I've got an idea I think may have potential", which are interesting and wholly appropriate at this juncture.
If the answer is "Well his life is in danger because he has lots of money in Bitcoins that can be stolen!" well, then there's another flaw in Bitcoins, or at least in keeping Bitcoins on your own hardware, which is what BTCheads have been advocating since the Mt. Gox 'asploded.
This isn't an issue for a normal rich people, because they don't keep their money in something like paper currency that can be easily stolen. It is in banks. So you break in to their house and kill them... well you don't get any of their money. The bank doesn't say "Oh hey you killed the guy, so by RPG loot rules you get his money!" If that's a concern with Bitcoin because it is like keeping lots of cash on hand, well that's another disadvantage now isn't it?