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Comment: Re:Do some research first please? (Score 1) 258

Valid points within the science we know, but it is probably wise to consider aspects outside of settled scientific knowledge:

  • So far, Ebola outbreaks were confined primarily to tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa; we will only just now be able to study how "well" the virus spreads "airborne", i.e. by commercial airlines, and we do not yet know what happens when the virus encounters a completely different set of hosts/environments/influences it wasn't exposed to so far.
  • While Gorillas are often associated with Ebola outbreaks, bats are considered the most likely natural reservoir of the EBOV. You'll probably have a hard time finding gorillas in your neighborhood, but bats ... . I'm not sure how relevant this might be, but once you have a rising number of infected people on a global scale, the buildup of new reservoirs is not unlikely.

In the 100 or so years we have been really studying viruses, we have seen a virus mutate and change its infection vector exactly ZERO times.

While this is probably true, the science we acquired during these 100 or so years is often based on epidemiological conditions and assumptions that no longer apply, or have changed dramatically, or which have been made considerably more complicated because of the way the world changed since the Spanish Flu -- not talking about those things we just kinda missed. Point being: aside from hemorrhagic fever making clickbait headlines right now, it's the same with influenza: we'd better not underestimate it, be it airborne, avian or whatnot.

Comment: Re:What's actually going on (Score 1) 579

by whathappenedtomonday (#47706117) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

And in other, completely unrelated news, MS has announced that it's moving it's German HQ to.... yes, you guessed it.... Munich!

While you are correct, it's rather old news: the lease agreement was signed back in 2013, and the building will be finished 2016. Still, interesting fact to keep in mind.

Comment: Re:It's tinfoil time! (Score 1) 232

Also, remember that this is an arms race. A few more similar cases and press coverage, and those people you target will know that a false identity only works if it comes with plastic surgery. And: whatever benefits they say face recognition has, they are dwarfed by the potential abuses. But we don't talk about those, we're busy thinking of the children, while trying not to think too hard of the children, because that would put us in a different camp.

Comment: Russia sponsoring environmental groups? (Score 1) 461

by whathappenedtomonday (#47327821) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

They might be, but the "sophisticated information and disinformation" game works both ways, you know.

Russia in secret plot against fracking Nato chief says. "I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations - environmental organisations working against shale gas - to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.

I have met neighbors who said they know someone who is sure that Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen is full of shit, but I prefer to rely on facts instead of hearsay.

Anti fracking groups have AFAIK demanded that Rasmussen provide evidence for his "interpretation" or else apologize. Ah, here's the open letter.

It is interesting, though, Nato doing some product placement for the fracking industry, lashing out at Putin and saying: the devil hates fracking, so it must be a good thing. If you oppose it, you're obviously bought by the Kremlin, because everybody in the EU but Gazprom just loves fracking.

Next thing you know, we'll see some sort of a global Foreign Agent Law ... no, treaty, I mean treaty! Not a law, a treaty. My bad. Let's call it an agreement. And always remember: you can't trust the ... Russians.

Comment: Re:U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records. (Score 1) 269

I find this case particularly amazing - in just three paragraphs you'll find a dozen reasons to be outraged -- or to dispair. After the first sentence you wonder if it is a parody, but it gets even better:

Recently, the Tallahassee police department revealed it had used stingrays at least 200 times since 2010 without telling any judge because the device's manufacturer made the police department sign a non-disclosure agreement that police claim prevented them from disclosing use of the device to the courts.

The ACLU has filed numerous records requests with police departments around the country in an effort to uncover how often the devices are used and how often courts are told about them.

In the Sarasota case, the U.S. Marshals Service claimed it owned the records Sarasota police offered to the ACLU because it had deputized the detective in the case, making all documentation in the case federal property. Before the ACLU could view the documents Sarasota had put aside for them, the agency dispatched a marshal from its office in Tampa to seize the records and move them to an undisclosed location.

Comment: Re:purchase time (Score 1) 405

by whathappenedtomonday (#46527303) Attached to: Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

I might with the next one, but this one is still running fine after > 22.000 km, consumes around 2 l/100 km of gas (7 l tank, excellent cruising radius) and ~ 300 ml/1000 km of 2-stroke oil. Plus, I don't have to worry about the rather huge distance between my electrical outlets and the scooter's parking space. Also, I'd have to spend ~ 4.000 EUR for a decent electric model, which I don't currently have to spare.

Additionally, the direct injection engines are quite powerful. I have yet to test an electric scooter (other than a Segway, which is fun to drive, but no alternative), but I guess that an equally powerful electrical engine would have a considerably lower mileage. Things might look different at the time when I have to consider a new purchase.

Comment: Re:purchase time (Score 5, Interesting) 405

by whathappenedtomonday (#46511291) Attached to: Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road
Granted, 2-strokes can be and usually are annoying and a source of serious pollution. They don't have to be, though. I drive a direct injection 2-stroke, and while it still does burn oil, [t]he amount of oil is so small that it has no noticeable effect on emissions, and it has none of the pass-through problems with oil as in a carbureted 2-stroke. It is a rather silent, efficient, low-cost and comparatively eco-friendly means of transportation. So, while carbureted 2-stroke scooter engines are annoying, that does not mean that all scooter suck.

Comment: retributive justice? (Score 1) 326

by whathappenedtomonday (#46363525) Attached to: The Science of Solitary Confinement

I'd call it torture. Do it to your dog and people will say you are torturing it.

Solitary Confinement is Torture:

The devastating psychological and physical effects of prolonged solitary confinement are well documented by social scientists: prolonged solitary confinement causes prisoners significant mental harm and places them at grave risk of even more devastating future psychological harm.

Researchers have demonstrated that prolonged solitary confinement causes a persistent and heightened state of anxiety and nervousness, headaches, insomnia, lethargy or chronic tiredness, nightmares, heart palpitations, and fear of impending nervous breakdowns. Other documented effects include obsessive ruminations, confused thought processes, an oversensitivity to stimuli, irrational anger, social withdrawal, hallucinations, violent fantasies, emotional flatness, mood swings, chronic depression, feelings of overall deterioration, as well as suicidal ideation

Comment: Re:Sort of Weird (Score 1) 169

by whathappenedtomonday (#46289249) Attached to: High Court Rules Detention of David Miranda Was Lawful
No, not a bullshit concept, and not that hard to understand: Fundamental human rights are not "a privilege society around you grants you"; you can buy a car and drive it, or buy land - those are privileges. You need to follow some rules to do either. Not so your human rights: as you -- hopefully -- are a human being, you possess certain rights; if society or any government for that matter does not grant you those rights, you are deprived from what civilized humanity has agreed to be the most basic things each and every human being posseses. Not so much a concept, it's rather a state, and you entered it simply by being born. There is no debate whether those rights exist. They just do. You did not just miss a memo here.

What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying. -- Nikita Khruschev