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Comment: Re:Depends on China (Score 2) 325

by uffe_nordholm (#46276449) Attached to: N. Korea Could Face Prosecution For 'Crimes Against Humanity'
I think China's support of NK started out as supporting a political ally: China and NK had vaguely similar political ideas and government. After the Korean War China and NK developed into different countries, and I think China no longer sees NK as a political ally.
However, they probably still see USA as a potential enemy. And if NK were to collapse and get absorbed into South Korea, there could be US troops right on the Chinese border (there are a number of US troops in South Korea right now). If I were a Chinese general, I would not like that possibility. The cheap and easy way to see to it that it doesn't happen is to keep the NK govenrment in power.
As for NK having nukes, I don't see why China would worry: they are not the target. They might very well suffer some consequences of NK nuking SK, but even NK ought to realise that nuking SK would mean open war with a country (USA) that could wipe them off the map. NK might therefore actually have nukes, but using them seems very improbable. At least until they can be successfully delivered to mainland USA...

Comment: Internal politics? (Score 5, Interesting) 377

by uffe_nordholm (#46236851) Attached to: Assange's Lawyers: Follow Swedish Law, Interrogate Him In the UK
There may very well be good reason for JA to not want being extradited to Sweden, but there may be other reasons than discussed previously here that explain why the Swedish authorities are acting the way they are.

One reason is that the prosecutor in charge of the case may have found herself a useful tool that she can use to further her own ambitions in something completely unrelated: she is known to be a feminist and has stated in at least one interview that it must be possible to punish men even after a court has found them to be innocent. She is also a member of the same political party as one of the (possible) victims. Which just happens to be the same political party to which the defense attorney belongs! My conclusion is that the suspicion of internal politics cannot be put to rest until more evidence appears.

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Just to point out a few strange facts in this sordid case:
- JA found out he was wanted for questioning not by being told be the authorities, but by being told be the media. I cannot remember another case where this has happened.
- the prosecutors office called a press conference to announce JA was wanted for questioning. I have never heard of them doing anything similar in any other case.
- the two (possible) victims of rape have the same lawyer. Also this is a first: it does not matter how many victims are involved in a court case, they get their own lawyer and do not share this lawyer with anybody else involved in the same case.

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Full disclosure: I live in Sweden and it is my personal opinion that the prosecutor handling this case at the moment is doing so for personal reasons and should be removed from her position.

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 2) 202

One thing I wonder about the "takes full responsibility" bit is this: if it is proven in the future (and I'm sure it will) that some drone strike has killed only innocent people and no 'legitimate target', would the friends and families of the killed people be allowed to kill Obama? If yes, then he is indeed taking full responsibility. If not, then he is not taking full responsibility. Settling the matter with money does not count.

Personally I could settle for having Obama (or the president of the day) put on trial for premeditated murder if/when it is proven that a drone strike only killed innocent people, but it's a more interesting discussion taken to the limit.

Comment: Seasonal variance (Score 1) 635

by uffe_nordholm (#46005617) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why
In winter I drive more now than I did ten years ago, simply because I live further away from my jobs. But in summer I hardly drive at all, preferring to take my bicycle. Even if I know I can find cheap (or free) parking instantly, I prefer cycling 15-20 kms to taking the car. And as I get better and better bicycles, the distance I an willing to cycle instead of driving increases.

Comment: Re:Microsoft is fine (Score 1) 497

by uffe_nordholm (#43906583) Attached to: Can Microsoft Survive If Windows Doesn't Dominate?
Microsoft is fine. I agree with you, but with an important addition: for the moment. Microsoft is fine, for the moment. There are two things that, given enough time, will be a serious headache for Microsoft.

One of them is the abundance of smartphones and dead-cheap computers running any non-Microsoft OS: people will start to see that other manufacturers can make decent OSes. And if you want to make a dead-cheap computer you can't afford to pay Microsoft any money, so you use eg Linux.

The other thing Microsoft must think about is the fastest computers. The kind of computer that appears on top500.org. Linux, Unix and various versions of BSD have a crushingly large market share here, whereas Windows is hardly noticeable. (I can't seem to get any numbers from the site right now, so I am quoting from my memory of the last time I checked).

Since a large portion of supercomputers run something other than Windows, I think things will trickle down from them: you might buy a second-hand supercomputer for your company, and find that it comes with BSD. Or you notice that the computer lab you use to crunch numbers for you will give you a better experience if you use Linux to connect to it. Or some other event makes you realize there are other OSes than Windows. Whatever the reason, some people will sooner or later realize that it is cheaper for them to convert their entire organisation to something other than Windows than to convert their newly-bought servers/supercomputer.

With these two things I think Microsoft will be feeling pressure from the cheapest computers and from the number-crunching monsters. Given enough time they will have to do something to counter these threats, or they will find themselves reduced to one competitor among many. And the transition could potentially be very quick: Altavista disappeared in a matter of years because Google offered something better. Microsoft could end up the same way, though I don't think it could ever be that fast.

Comment: Re:Things have changed? (Score 1) 978

by uffe_nordholm (#43130093) Attached to: Game Site Wonders 'What Next?' When 50% of Users Block Ads
I agree exactly with you: I will tolerate non-moving ads if the delivery of the ads is such that I will not be tracked.

But quite honestly, I don't really see why the advertising community (and those that get money from it) is making a fuss. I can take myself as an example: when I watch the TV and the ads come on, I either change the channel or go and do something other than watch the TV. Thus all the advertising broadcast by the TV-channel I was watching is, in essence, blocked by me. The mechanism is different to that I use on my computer, but the end result is still that I don't see the advertising. What is so different?

Comment: Re:I = International (Score 3, Informative) 127

by uffe_nordholm (#43126653) Attached to: U.S. ISBN Monopoly Denies Threat From Digital Self-Publishing
More or less the same applies here in Sweden: I applied for a few ISBNs, and was given two with no fuss. The total cost to me was I had to write two emails, and read some instructions. No money was involved in the transaction. I don't see why this should change should I need more ISBNs in the future.

Comment: Re:50/50 (Score 2) 566

by uffe_nordholm (#40443945) Attached to: I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by:
I can't speak about Canada, but in Sweden (where I live) things vary a little.

Most cities and towns have provisions to keep cyclists and cars separate, and many (maybe even most) make a genuine attempt at making it possible to commute by bicycle. Unfortunately, this does not mean all.


In the town I live, there are some long stretches of bike path that go downhill. Excellent, even a bad cyclist can pick up some speed. And at the bottom of the hill you find yourself staring at a 90-degree turn either left or right! The only reason for many of these turns is that some architect decided to put a 90-degree turn there...

In other places, the bike path just peters out into nothing, and you find yourself among the cars and lorries not really knowing how you got there.

In one specific place things have been organised so nicely that for a car driver leaving the car park, the most natural thing to do is to stop with half the car blocking the bike path next to the car park...

In a number of places the bike paths are so uneven I cannot keep any semblance of high speed. Maybe it's by design (I don't think so), but anything over 15 km/h feels like it's going to convert my bike into a pile of metal parts.

My favourite complaint has been fixed though. It used to be that when cycling from out of town via one specific route you were legally obliged to do a suicidal lane change in a heavily trafficked roundabout in order to get to the bike path (where the law requires you to be, as a cyclist).

If these complaints where fixed I would find commuting by bike a great idea. The one thing that would still need fixing is slightly harder: the attitude some car drivers have towards bikes: since it's a bike, I in my car have the right of way...

Comment: Re:First, kill all the laywers (Score 1) 181

by uffe_nordholm (#35451290) Attached to: US Lawyers Target Swedish Pirate, and His Unicorn
And in Sweden in particular, you yourself can go bankrupt by suing someone: in a civil case (copyright infringement is a civil matter, as opposed to criminal) the loser pays _all_ attorneys/lawyers involved. On top of that, if you have had to get any expert witnesses the loser will have to pay them as well. Granted, while the case is under progress in court, both parties pay their own costs, but the loser is forced to pay the winner when the matter is settled.

Comment: Details please! (Score 1) 407

by uffe_nordholm (#35392280) Attached to: Canadian Songwriters Propose $10/mo Internet Fee
There has been some discussion about having a similar system in Sweden. However, the finer details made it clear that while it would be legal to download via BT, it would still be illegal to upload, so you could still be dragged to court for doing something you are paying to be allowed to do. I didn't see any mention of whether or not the Canadian version would allow people to upload as well. Does anybody know?

And let's face it: if you are only allowed to download there is no point is paying the fee since you can be busted for having uploaded the files via BitTorrent.

Comment: Re:Pot calling kettle black... (Score 1) 277

by uffe_nordholm (#35373558) Attached to: 13 Countries On US "Priority Watch List" For Copyright Piracy
True: I have got the details wrong, but to me it looks like I can't get anywhere without registering my work. It appears I need a lawyer to get payed for the use of my picture, and without registering it I can only get payed what I would have charged had I been asked before hand. IE I cannot get payed for the extra expense of having a lawyer. To me that adds up to making a loss by looking after my rights. By registering the work I seem to be able to get a whole lot more than I would have charged had I been asked before hand.

I might try the DMCA-route, I haven't thought of that possibiliy before.

Comment: Pot calling kettle black... (Score 1) 277

by uffe_nordholm (#35367200) Attached to: 13 Countries On US "Priority Watch List" For Copyright Piracy
From my strictly personal point of view, this list is of little importance (actually no importance at all). At least until the US cleans up it's act.

Let me explain: at the moment US copyright laws demand that you register your work with some federal agency (or similar), if you want to have a decent chance of getting any money should someone inside the USA infringe on your copyright. This is all fine and well. EXCEPT for people who live and work outside the USA! I see no reason why I, neither living nor working in USA, should have to pay the USA money to get the same level of protection for my work that inhabitants of the USA get for free in my country.

Just to prove my point: use Google to search for a picture with the description "footprints in the snow". Add "site:wordpress.com" to narrow the search. One of the pictures in the result is mine (currently picture number six on page two). Now change the search to "footprints snow mentor". You will get another result, but one with my picture on it, in a cropped version (currently number one in the results). This is not hosted on any server where I have put it, and it is used as decoration on a website used to advertise the services sold by an individual (or small company). The way the law seems to work I cannot get this particular individual to either stop using my image or pay me for its use. (I have contacted Apple, who seem to own the server the offending webpage is located on, with little result).

Therefore, as long as the USA expects foreign residents to pay for the protection afforded for free to "americans" in other countries, the USA is not credible in matters of copyright infringement.

Note to readers: although I use myself as an example here, I very much doubt I am the only one in similar circumstances. Further: I have nothing against Google indexing my websites, no matter where they are hosted. I have nothing against Google making and serving thumbnails of my pictures. It is when my pictures are used to advertise the products/services of other people/companies I think I should be payed.

Comment: Reasons? (Score 1) 901

by uffe_nordholm (#35277012) Attached to: German Foreign Office Going Back To Windows
I find the article very light on details, other than very general things. Could it be because most of the "issues" the users have with the Linux systems and programs is that they look different than what they were used to? If this is the case, I wonder what they do when they buy a new car, do they retake their driving licence?

Comment: Re:Postcode (Score 2) 461

by uffe_nordholm (#35171726) Attached to: Court Says California Stores Can't Ask Customers For ZIP Codes
I was into a store in Canada, and was asked a bunch of questions about my satisfaction with the store, and one along the lines of "How likely are you to visit an XXX-store again?". Quite honestly I answered "Highly unlikely, in fact it's quite possible this will be my only visit ever to an XXX-store". I got a surprised look from the clerk (I had indicated I was quite satisfied with the store), and felt I should explain: I have several thousand kilometres between home and the closes XXX-store.

On topic: what's the problem with memorising a ZIP-code to somewhere other than where you live? Granted, you shouldn't have to, but if you feel the store is asking for info they don't actually need, just lie to them. When enough people lie to them, they will stop asking for this info, as it doesn't get them anything usefull.

Comment: Re:Where's the Mystery? (Score 1) 431

by uffe_nordholm (#34915078) Attached to: The Fall of Wintel and the Rise of Armdroid
In a company the size of MS and Intel there must be somebody who can see it. That's not the problem. The problem is convincing your boss that doing something that will severely damage another branch of the company is a good thing. If I were an executive and wanted to advance in my career, I would find it very hard to take that step.

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