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Comment Re:No evidence for censorship (Score 1) 152

Venezuela is just about the safest place for dissidents in Latin America, not the worst. For a start, consider "reporters without borders", they're a US-funded "freedom" lobby group. Very anti-communist. Read their headlines about Colombia: Now read their headlines for Venezuela: The Colombian journalists problems are all murder, threats, intimidation by pro-government fascist death-squads. The Venezuelan journalists problems are more along the lines of politics and bureaucratic red tape. And those are the WORST abuses that Reporters without Borders can highlight about Venezuela. Now, ask yourself since Colombia is so much WORSE than Venezuela in protecting journalists, why do you never hear a peep in the media about how bad it is? Perhaps because there is no oil there?

Comment No evidence for censorship (Score 1) 152

OpenNet tested a large number of country's internet set-ups back in 2006 and couldn't find any filtered IPs in venezuela at all: "The OpenNet Initiative conducted tests of Internet censorship in late 2006 on the two major ISPs in Venezuela. The testing covered a wide range of potentially sensitive content, including sites dedicated to political opposition, freedom of expression, and general anti-Chávez media, as well as sites centered on controversial social issues such as minority religions, indigenous peoples, gambling, and pornography. This assessment turned up no evidence of filtering." This was back when claims were rife that Venezuela was censored to hell and back. Then, and now, there is no evidence. Or you would hear more than a temporary glitch in Twitter as hard evidence. What sort of censorship stops only twitter images loading on some machines and completely locks other users out of the page? In more recent reports, this has already been fixed apparently just a few hours after it started and was reported as a technical problem. I see no reason to assume such a random set of technical symptoms is due to some as yet unknown censorship system.

Comment Re:En Venezuela hay mucho PETROLEO... (Score 1) 152

How did they rack up 72% GDP debt back in 1994 in the Pre-socialist days? they were 72% GDP in debt in 1994, well before they became socialist. then they got that down to 25% by 2008 (under, you know, socialism), then the GFC hit and oil prices tumbled and they had to borrow money again. But this doesn't change the fact that THEY WERE HIGHER IN DEBT BEFORE SOCIALISM. Before socialism = MORE DEBT. it's something called context.

Comment Re:You start by acknowledging Islam as a threat (Score 1) 564

How would you know what voice they raise? You're getting it filtered through the American press, and the voices of those normal citizens in other countries are also being filtered by their own media. Anyway, a huge chunk of the American population went along with the Bush Wars, and believed outright propaganda (many still cling to it). Sure there were dissenters, but the didn't get so much airtime as the war hawks, if you recall. Prior to rise of the internet, US Forces conducted some totally brutal campaigns in Latin America and very few Americans dissented or ever knew the details - it didn't go with the official statements which the TV and newspapers reported - this is stuff you can research now very easily, but the vast majority of Americans are still oblivious. Given the general American lack of consciousness or caring about the history of American atrocities, how can you criticize residents of a third world country - many of whom do not have even electricity, TV or internet access, and many who are under oppressive regimes who censor their speech with disappearance, jail or death - for not "raising their voice".

Comment Venezuela years ahead on auditable voting machines (Score 1) 221 Here are some details on the checks and balances, audit trail on Venezuelan voting machines. All that, at a minimum should be part of any standard: All machines use open source code which is published and checkable. All machines produce 3 records of each vote cast: internal storage, transmitted via secure lines to central servers, and a paper ballot to be placed in a box, and counted manually to check against both the machines internal hard-drive and data in the servers for that machine. The hard-drive data for each machine is also encrypted, by a combined key that each political party plus the electoral commission provides a partial piece for each machine that only they know. This means that no one party can add fake votes to a machine, after the election the drives can be backed up on cloned drives, the parties swap their encryption keys and can independently audit the machines to check that they match the paper ballots.

Comment Re:kind of a subjective point (Score 1) 111

In fact WoW or MMO's in general are NOT the targets of Bartle's complaints. He's taking aim at facebook flash games which are hyped as "multi-player" but are really just repetitive single-player games with a thin veneer of linkage to your "facebook friends". They really blackmail you to keep logging back in, i.e. "log in at 4pm or we'll kill your crops"

Comment Re:so, what's he playing today? (Score 1) 111

You should read the article. He did say specifically "games played on social network sites", i.e. Facebook flash and Java Applet games is what we're talking here. Boot up Frontierville, Baking Life, Chocolatier, Cafe Life. That sort of thing. Play those for a few weeks, then get back to me. You'll know what he's talking about then. Or, if you want something more "manly" try Battle Stations, Kingdoms of Camelot, Legacy of a Thousand Suns. Those are a little better, but not as "popular" as the type listed above.

Comment Re:Source on Gamification (Score 1) 111

Have you played any number of "social games" on Facebook? I have, mainly at the behest of my girlfriend. Normally I play FPS, RTS, RPG type games, starting from the late 1980's. And I've played a fair few MUDs since the telnet days. Facebook games are OK-ish for a while, but the "social" is only skin deep, and every game uses the same types of interaction. There's little attempt to really explore the possibilities of multi-player. It's like every player creates their own little single-player farm/bakery/city/castle and you get to peek at each other's work and send network "pokes", gifts and requests. That is all you do. How's that really social? At least MUDs or MMO's have a shared world, your avatars can interact, rather than lots of single-player games, only pretending to be linked together. There seems to be a real lack of creativity in the Facebook/flash game making community, they copy each others systems too much. Maybe it's due to technical limitations of the facebook platform, but once proper MUDs/MMOs can run inside facebook, I think they will take off in a big way.

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Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage. -- Ambrose Bierce