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Comment: Re:Sweden's case won't really matter (Score 1) 73 73

There is one thing where the UK would have had a role even if he hadn't fled bail, in that the UK would have been the EAW "sending state". Under an EAW surrender, the sending state has certain rights and responsibilities - for example, if a request comes for extradition to a third party, it has to not only go through the receiving state's judiciary system, but also the sending state's judiciary system; the receiving state can't just hand off someone that they received under an EAW at will. Which is one of the things that makes the whole thing even more ridiculous - Assange had so much faith in Sweden's independence against the UK (such as their ban on extradition for intelligence crimes and 2006 Swedish special forces raids to shut down the US's rendition flights secretly moving through their territory) that he called it his "shield" and was applying for a residence permit there. But suddenly, practically overnight, Sweden transformed into Evil US Lackeys(TM) when he was accused of rape. So then he went to the UK where he talked about his great respect for their independence and impartiality and promised to abide by whatever rulings their judicial system made. Until he ran out of appeals, wherein the UK also turned into Evil US Lackeys(TM). Funny how he felt just fine walking around freely in both of these countries all this time, having only one of the two countries as barriers against US extradition, but adamantly fought the situation that would make them both be barriers to extradition.

Comment: Re:Competent Authorities (Score 2) 73 73

Which is, of course, false. AA has accused Assange of lesser sexual crimes, and SW has accused him of rape. There are no counts of rape against Assange concerning AA on the EAW, only three lesser counts (2x molestation and 1x unlawful sexual coersion). There is one count of rape on the EAW (count #4) concerning SW, in line with what the women have accused him of and also in line with what the Svea Court of Appeals has found probable cause for. Both women sought and retained legal representatives who have pushed the case forward for them (initially, both of them retained Claes Borgström, who was the one whose appeal got the closed portion of the investigation re-opened. More recently AA fired Claes because she thought he wasn't doing a good enough of a job with the case and was more focused on self aggrandizement; her new legal representative since started a new push to get Assange handed over to Sweden).

There's a lot more detail on these topics and more here.

The Assange-echo-chamber meme "Neither of the women involved have ever accused Assange of rape" is based on a simple distortion of a key element. SW (the one who the rape charge is concerned) didn't want to have to file charges - she only wanted to force Assange to take a STD test. She didn't want the thing to turn into a giant media circus that basically ruined her life and forced her into hiding from angry Assange fans. But there's a difference between not wanting to file charges and not accusing Assange of rape. She did accuse Assange of rape - first in conversations with her friends while coming to grips with what happened, and then went to the police station, where they told the officer on duty that they wanted advice on how to report a rape (see the statement by Linda Wassgren, the on-duty officer on the 20th). They were then interviewed separately where she described being raped, and after the interview she took a rape kit and sought a legal advocate (getting, ultimately, Claes). Since the leak of the Memoria file (a scummy act on Assange's side, I should add, as it's full of identifying personal details about his accusers and their families that have been used to harrass them - and we know it came from Assange's side because the cover page has a note to Assange's attorney telling him that it's confidential and must not be released), there have been a number of other followup interviews and investigations, and at no point have any objections from AA or SW been recorded. There is absolutely nothing in the record supporting a claim "Neither of the women involved have ever accused Assange of rape". SW has pretty much had to disappear after the event; AA went into hiding for a while but has since resumed taking part in some of the old forums that she used to; last fall she mentioned the case for the first time since the one brief statement she had given to the press after going to the police, mentioning offhand in an unrelated thread that a couple years ago she was the victim of a sex crime and that the perpetrator still hasn't been brought to justice, but rather she's still attacked by his fans for daring to report it. She didn't mention Assange by name, but it's obvious who she was referring to.

Most people who are raped don't want to file charges. They don't want the viscious attacks that come with it and want to shove the event in the past and not have to keep reliving it. A hundred times over when the accused is someone famous who has a lot of loyal fans. But claiming "not wanting to file charges" means "wasn't raped" is a massive distortion.

Comment: Re:Competent Authorities (Score 3, Insightful) 73 73

It's not an "IF" as to whether Assange cherry picks things for political reasons. He does. There are lots of things he's deliberately kept back with threats to release if certain things happen that he doesn't want (unredacted cables, files against NewsCorp, etc). The most famous was his "insurance file" which was to be released "should anything happen to him", which was left vague enough that it wasn't clear whether he was talking about "being killed" or simply "being sent to Sweden" (the statement being made during his fight to avoid surrender to Sweden). The scummiest blackmail on his part, IMHO, was his threatening to release unredacted documents that could get various aid/human rights organizations' employees killed if said organizations didn't provide him money (most famously his $700k shakedown of Amnesty International).

He refers to the leaks in Wikileaks' possession as his "property", and made all Wikileaks staffers sign an onerous NDA imposing ridiculous fines if they do anything to reduce the monetary value of said property, such as by leaking it.

Comment: Re:I hate bloatware as much as the next person... (Score 1) 69 69

Why not? Suing them seems totally appropriate unless they are making adequate pre-purchase disclosure, and ensuring that the prospective purchaser is aware of the characteristics of the thing they are purchasing.

Disagree? Re-read Adam Smith.

Comment: Re:Indeed (Score 2) 317 317

Yes, but remember, in those days "Cookie Monster" was a typical virus. And internet communities were relatively homogenous.

There are, there must be, limits to free speech. Shouting down someone else doesn't count as free speech. At most it's a reasonable reaction to their stifling of your own speech.

In this case it appears (as an outside observer) that this is the silencing of an honest, truthful, and respected voice. If she is an employee of Rededit, then I suppose that is their right, but the proper response is to refuse to deal with or support Rededit in any way. Which is what this protest appears to be doing.

Comment: Re:Indeed (Score 2) 317 317

What you say is clearly reasonable, but I've got to believe that you are mischaracterizing this event. Censorship is always questionable, even when done for the highest of motives. So are you asserting that the folk on Rededit were inciting to violence? Taken literally it appears that this is what you are saying. I'm sufficiently unfamiliar with the events that this could even be a true and accurate characterization. But I think I'd need to have seen some proof before I believed it.

Given the way that people often behave, I have to admit that defending incitements to violence isn't something I have a hard time believing. What I have a hard time believing is a massive outcry in support of defending incitements to violence (without considerable prior propaganda).

Comment: Re:It's that time... (Score 1) 313 313

It's important. The times that it's critical are rare. So... add if's it's in the middle of the road you prefer to stop rather than run over it. If it's up-right it's proper to dodge dangerously rather than to hit it. The number of crawling kids in the middle of the road is quite small, but it's larger than the number of infants, so add in something that smoothly increases the probability of human as it's (estimated) weight approaches 90 pounds and decreases it as it exceeds 300 pounds. Or 400. So you have a flattened bell curve with a smooth top.

But really, all this fiddling is just to handle corner cases. Usually you just stop or avoid the thing on the road without wondering much what it is. Only if you can't do either of those do you need the fancy figuring, which is a pain, because that's when you need the fast decision, so you "corner case handler" need to be something simple.
Rule 1: If it's standing up, it's a human. Don't hit, even if you must take damage. (This yields several false positives, but too bad. We need a quick decision.)
Rule 2: Estimate it's weight. (Ouch! That looks like a slow process...so while you're doing it, slow and start dodging.) If it's above 25 pounds, avoid even if you must take damage. (Note that hitting something heavy at a fast speed will damage you no matter what.) Continue slowing and preparing to dodge. If it's following a ball, dodge even if you must take damage.

Sorry, time's up.

This isn't a perfect approach, but it's simple, and doable. The hard step is estimating weight. There is a problem with false positives. A paper mache statue would count as human. But it should handle all common cases. And there should also be a distinction between streets where the traffic is slow and rare and streets where the traffic is fast and common. Freeways are much less likely to have humans walking in the road.

Additionally, there should be a rule about not overdriving your reaction time, especially on slow streets, but nothing can stop a kid from running out right in front of you from between two parked cars. And nobody, neither automaton nor human, can reliably deal with that. Which is why that first rule about "upright" is made to yield a lot of false positives. If you have time, then you can refigure things and perhaps decide that "that's a paper mache statute", so you may start to dodge in a way that will damage yourself, and then refigure to avoid damaging yourself when you, more slowly, decide that such action isn't needed.

Comment: Re:The Apollo Engine (Score 4, Interesting) 45 45

Not to mention that each piece of hardware is built with the assumption of there being extant suppliers for its component parts. For Apollo hardware, this is rarely true, so you'd have to retool and test for each part. The sad thing is it'd actually be cheaper to build a brand new Saturn-V equivalent than to make an exact duplicate.

This is actually one of the sorts of cases where 3d printing (no, generally not things like plastic filament extruders... meaningful printing, like laser sintering, laser spraying, etc, as well as CNC milling, hybrid manufacture techniques and lost wax casting on a 3d-printed moulds) has the potential to really come into its own: all of these sort of parts that you only ever need half a dozen of them made but might some day suddenly want some more a couple decades down the road. Another interesting advantage on this front is also that of incremental testing - I know of one small rocketry startup that has set themselves up to sinter out aerospikes in an evolutionary fashion - they print one out, connect it straight to test, measure its performance, scrap it and feed that performance data back into the generation of the next printout, in a constant model-refining process. Combustion simulations can be tricky to get right, but real-world testing data doesn't lie ;)

Comment: Re:Americans setting off fireworks... snicker (Score 1) 37 37

Whoops, I was wrong - it's nearly 2 kilograms per person here, not 1. But you've still got us beat :) (Also, it looks like America is up to 207 million pounds of fireworks per year, a big increase... so 285 grams per capita per year).

I just think it's really weird how Americans see themselves as a major-fireworks nation when they set off so few.

Comment: Re:Americans setting off fireworks... snicker (Score 2) 37 37

Oh come on, what's New Years without an ER visit? ;) But yeah, I know some of your places have fireworks bans due to drought and the like.

In case you're curious, here's what New Years looks like here. It goes on at that intensity for at least half an hour, half intensity for maybe an additional hour or so, quarter intensity for another hour, etc. All this comes after the "brennur", which is about a dozen house-sized bonfires scattered all over town.

Basically, if one can make it burn or explode and there's nobody who objects, we'll set it on fire. Often while drinking heavily ;)

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