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Submission + - Young Climate Activists Sue Obama over Climate Change Inaction (

EmagGeek writes: I'm just going to leave this here: A recent lawsuit against Obama alleges he has a legal duty to act against the rock-solid proven fact of climate change, and these young climate activists are taking him to task on it.

Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh became a climate change activist at age 6 when he saw an environmental documentary. He asked his mom to find a way for him to speak at a rally. Now 15, the long-haired, hip-hop-savvy Coloradan is one of 21 young activists joining climate scientist James Hansen in suing the Obama administration for failing to ditch fossil fuels. "It's basically a bunch of kids saying you're not doing your job," he told me here at the U.N. COP21 climate change summit in Paris." You're failing, you know. F-minus.

Comment Re:Anonymity and modern convenience (Score 1) 48

Does any of that really work when massive facial recognition systems exist and cameras are everywhere.

As long as nobody takes an interest it you anonymity is possible. The moment a three letter or other LEO does take an interest they can probably track you and uniquely identify around town easily.

Submission + - Italy Invests 150 Million Euros In Surveillance, With Emphasis on PS4 Comms (

An anonymous reader writes: Italian Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando has revealed that Italy is spending 150 million euros ($157mn) on new technology and staff to improve surveillance capabilities, and emphasised that the 'new instruments' (it's not clear whether this means new technology or new requisitions) will also target the Sony PlayStation network which fell under suspicion as a possible forum of organization for the Paris attacks (though no evidence was found to support this).

Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 156

Now to proceed with my answer, have you probably read "Guns, germs and steel" by Jared Diamond? In that book the author asks a question why different civilizations have developed differently by the time the world became global, and his answer is that very basically it boils down to geographic factors.


In a similar manner it can be argued that for the foreseeable future Russia won't be a lucrative place to live for a young aspiring adult, because it is cheaper to produce new fantastic gadgets in the South Asia and it's more profitable to design them in the U.S. Russia falls in between, with the climate which increases the costs of production and the economy which does not allow for serious levels of irrecoverable costs (i.e. engineering labor). This pretty much means that the economy of Russia won't boom, and as a boomerang effect its middle class won't rise economically and aspire to claim political leadership.

Your analysis ignores the existence of states in similar, if not worse, predominant climatic conditions, that fare much better in terms of economy and (arguably, more importantly) quality of life. Canada, Finland, Sweden, Iceland... which of these have a problem with outflow of skilled labor?

Then again, the harshness of climate in Russia is also often overstated for effect. A good chunk of European Russia (basically, the lower 2/3 or so) has very reasonable climate. There are plenty of geographic benefits, too, such as a vast network of large rivers that can be readily used for transportation, significant number of natural resources (even in the European part), forests, and quality soil. In fact, the latter could easily enable homesteading, if you're keen to follow the American example.

IMO, for the past few centuries at least, the constraints on development in Russia (or lack thereof, which has been a rare occasion indeed) largely originate from poor governance rather than climatic conditions or that elusive "national mentality". It has everything that is needed to be a very successful, strong country economically - indeed, this shows up in some of the successes that USSR has enjoyed despite everything - but it either squanders those opportunities outright, or when they're actually used for something good, the wealth thus produced goes right past the majority of the populace, in a manner that is more blunt and unfair than even the most income-unequal liberal democratic capitalist countries (such as US).

Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 156

As it happens, I'm also a Russian, and my current whereabouts are close to Seattle... ~

And yes, I'm pretty sure that the US economy can accommodate us all - or at least the kind of people that you have listed. We have valuable skill sets, and we actually produce wealth - and we pay more in taxes off our income than most natural-born citizens, not to mention all the spending that also creates jobs. Furthermore, we integrate readily: we often marry locals, our kids usually speak English better than they speak Russian (esp. with American moms!), and their kids often don't speak Russian at all; and our cultures are close enough that 1-2 generations is sufficient to get thoroughly Americanized without any conscious efforts effort.

So the bottom line of your cautionary tale is really more of a caution to your country: if it's so easy to convince so many that their country is shit, not just to the point where they nod, but to the point where they pack up their belongings and leave on an expensive and uncertain one-way trip, perhaps there's readily observable truth to the accusation? Should you, perhaps, be doing something to remedy that (and by remedy I mean fix the issues that make people leave, as opposed to, say, closing down the border and instituting exit visas, which seems to be the way the wind is blowing currently - we all know how it ends)?

Comment Re:The law is ridiculous anyway (Score 2) 196

It takes more than just flag-planting to make a territorial claim. A nation has to be able to demonstrate some sort of permanent control of the territory, usually in the form of colonization or economic exploitation. That's like trying to say that we need to ask the Danish, Norwegians and Swedes if Canadians can live in Newfoundland.

Before any nation can make claim to any extraterrestrial territory, it's going to have to be able to actually hold that territory, and we're still decades away from that.

Comment Re:The treaty says no such thing. (Score 4, Insightful) 196

And when we get to that point, we'll worry about it. Heck, various nations claim chunks of Antarctica, in one way or another, and thus far it's been meaningless flag planting.

But when we do get to the point where we can mine other bodies in the solar system, we'll have to come up with some sort of system of claims. The UN isn't going to be mining, it's going to be commercial and state players doing the mining, and we'll have to come up with a new treaty that will inevitably recognize the rights of those players to make what amount to territorial claims.

Probably the biggest concern, in my view, is privately-owned entities making claims independent of any national or international body.

Comment Re:Obama: "What a powerful rebuke to ISIS..." (Score 1) 85

Except, there is little oil and little petrol processing facility in Syria. The valuable stuff is in Iraq. Which for political reasons we can't bomb. We have to maintain the face that the current Iraqi government is something besides Iran's puppet and that the Iranians are any less radical and dangerous than ISIS. Because Obama has a legacy to protect.

Then there is the problem of our "allies" like Turkey who buy that oil and fund ISIS. The Turks are not our friends. They have no real interest if eliminating ISIS, they like this conflict because its an excuse for them to kill a lot of Kurds and for a lot of Kurds to otherwise be killed by ISIS. The refugee issue does not concern them, its irritating but they know the US will lose interest eventual and which point they will just have those people killed or drive them back over the boarder. There is a reason they keep them in camps rather than be absorbed into a culturally similar enough place where they could probably successfully integrate.

Meanwhile again primarily because Obama has his nose out of joint not having gotten his way in Ukraine, we have to have some on going feud with Russia. Who actually does have a vested interest in seeing Islamic terror and ISIS dealt within, AND the good sense to realize that there are no good actors. These 'moderates' no longer exist in any kind of useful numbers there if they ever did. There isn't a good reason to pick one radical expansionist ideology over another. Its just a different kind of bad news. Assad actually IS the best of bad choices he is secular and by all accounts was pretty well content to be a big fish in his small pound. Much like Qaddafi was in Libya before we kicked that bees nest over. These people are nasty but containable. The Islamists are not! They seem moderate because the down and out groups are pragmatic they set achievable goals, those in turn sound reasonable to us but the truth is once their power grows so will their ambition. They won't be any less dangerous than ISIS.

Comment Re:Missing the point a bit? (Score 1) 115

Dude have you not be on the Internet lately? there is a billion and one articles extolling using these Pi style boards for HTPCs which as GP pointed out and I agreed with is some serious dumb shit, but its the Internet so there is no lack of dumbshit.

That said I have a buddy that does car PC installs and uses boards like I linked to and for THOSE kinds of embedded projects? They work VERY well, top draw on them boards when playing media is sub 12w, they are fanless, and as I pointed out all the I/O you could need is baked right in.

So again unless your project has a specific requirement to be the size of a stick of gum? The X86 units would probably be a better choice.

"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek