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Comment: Cost (Score 2) 78

by wired_parrot (#49330711) Attached to: Better Disaster Shelters than FEMA Trailers (Video)
How much do these cost compared to FEMA trailers? As maligned as the FEMA trailers are, I suspect the reason they are widely used in disasters is because they are cheap and can therefore be deployed in large quantities. Sure you could do something of higher quality, but if it raises their unit cost it will significantly affect the ability to widely deploy enough shelter in an affected area. Having a low cost solution that can be deployed in large numbers may be more important than quality in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

+ - Uber shut down in multiple countries following raids->

Submitted by wired_parrot
wired_parrot (768394) writes "Worldwide raids were carried out against Uber offices in Germany, France and South Korea. In Germany, the raids followed a court ruling banning Uber from operating without a license. In Paris, raids followed an investigation into deceptive practices. And in South Korea, 30 people, including Uber's CEO, were charged with running an illegal taxi service."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:well.. (Score 1) 759

We sort of cover this in the US with points; you can't just drive recklessly and pay for it out of petty cash forever because you'll lose your license. But the day fine concept seems like a decent way to instill the same kind of aversion in everyone, fairly. Points are ephemeral but your money is obvious.

Except that rich people usually have drivers, and so whether you instill points or day fines they'll be mostly unaffected. At most, their driver may lose their license, in which case they'll just hire another one.

Rich people drive only as a form of entertainment and pleasure, and they can always take out their supercars to private racing tracks where a driving license is not a requirement.

Comment: Concept itself is flawed (Score 2) 169

The concept itself is deeply flawed. If you were a crewmember, would you entrust your safety to fellow crewmembers whose primary qualification is that they are willing to die (i.e. exhibit suicidal tendencies) ? There is a reason NASA carries out extensive psychological testing among its applicants. If you're going to entrust a multi-year multi-multi-billion dollar mission in the hands of a select group of people, you want those people to have strong survival insticts that will push them to do everything possible to overcome adversity to come out alive. You do not want people who are willing to give up on life.

Comment: Each method has its use (Score 1) 115

by wired_parrot (#49214705) Attached to: Preferred way to communicate with co-workers?

It depends on the situation....

When I have an issue to discuss, I prefer to start off with email. Email allows me to give a more detailed description of the problem than other methods, and being assymetrical gives time for the other side to review and consider the issue carefully before responding.

I then like to follow that up with a phone call and/or instant messaging to ensure the other side received my message, and understands the issue. Communication at this stage is to ensure the other person is engaged in my issue.

Only after all I'm sure the other person is engaged, and has had time to review the issue at hand, do I hold a face-to-face meeting. Face-to-face can be very effective, but I need to ensure the person is up to speed on the issue first, otherwise face-to-face will be a waste of both of our times.

And in any case, dealing with a lot of coworkers who are off-site, face-to-face has been increasingly substituted by online meetings and teleconferences.

Comment: Re:basically how the UAE works (Score 1) 247

by wired_parrot (#49190439) Attached to: Facebook Rant Lands US Man In UAE Jail
Slander laws exist in almost every country, including the United States. And what the contractor said went beyond a simple rant - he implored other contractors not to work with the firm in question (thereby causing commercial harm to the company) and used racist language in his diatribe. If I went on a similar rant against an American company that resulted in a substantial loss of revenue for that company because of my allegations, I would very likely also be sued. The difference is that US courts have a higher standard to meet in a defamation suit, but given the loss of revenue and the racist diatribe even under US standards this contractor would be in hot water.

+ - Man charged for not giving up phone password at border->

Submitted by wired_parrot
wired_parrot (768394) writes "Canadian customs official charged a 38-year old man with obstruction of justice after he refused to give up his Blackberry phone password while crossing the US-Canada border. As this a question that has not yet been litigated in Canadian courts, it may establish a legal precedent for future cases."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ubisoft's newest video game requires a prescription->

Submitted by wired_parrot
wired_parrot (768394) writes "Ubisoft, in partnership with McGill university, has developed a game designed to treat lazy eye. The game works as a treatment by training both eyes using different levels of contrast of red and blue that the patient sees through stereoscopic glasses. It is hopeful that the new treatment will bring a more effective way of addressing a condition that affects 1-5% of the population."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:I have a hard time accepting the argument made. (Score 4, Insightful) 144

by wired_parrot (#49181291) Attached to: Technology's Legacy: the 'Loser Edit' Awaits Us All

You're misconstruing the argument in the article. They're not saying that we should try to whitewash people who have done bad things, and a person's bad reputation may often be well deserved. They're warning against falling into the trap of, once someone happens into bad circumstances, of creating a narrative for that person that tries to assign their circumstances as a predestined result of fate. The most insidious example I see of this is when someone contracts a serious disease such as cancer. Often the first questions asked by medical staff are regarding their lifestyle choices, which builds into the narrative that they're sick because of the way they lived.

During the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic, for example, the first questions asked to those diagnosed were often whether they lived a promiscuous lifestyle, took drugs, or engaged in gay sex. All activities which were frowned upon, and fed into the dominant societal narrative at the time that the people who were contracting AIDS were losers who contracted the disease because of their loser lifestyle. I'd argue in that case the loser edit was applied to a whole category of people, and held back progress in addressing a serious health issue.

Comment: Re:Bad idea (Score 1) 671

by wired_parrot (#49175699) Attached to: Snowden Reportedly In Talks To Return To US To Face Trial

If he can get a guarantee that the trial will be an public and open trial, and not done through a closed and secret military court, I think it can actually be a brilliant tactic. An open trial would force the government to air its eavesdropping activities out in the open. It could perhaps bring some judicial accountability by forcing them to defend the constitutionality of their activities.

However, that's all a big if, and I'm doubtful the government would agree to have Snowden tried in public court outside of a military court.

Comment: Laser metal sintering (Score 1) 58

by wired_parrot (#49148219) Attached to: Researchers Create World's First 3D-Printed Jet Engines
Isn't the process used laser metal sintering? There's no need to use trendy buzzwords ("3-d printing") that give the false impression that this is a new technique that a hobbyist could do in his basement, when really this is just a variation of a well established industrial process, that requires large industrial tooling.

Comment: A decade behind the rest (Score 2, Insightful) 77

by wired_parrot (#49073171) Attached to: OpenStreetMap.org Gets Routing
So OpenStreetMaps is only now adding a basic mapping feature that's been available in other sites for over 10 years now, and somehow we're supposed to get excited about it? To me this is only highlighting how far behind a lot of the open source software is compared to commercially available applications.

Comment: Re:In the name of Allah ! (Score 1) 1350

by wired_parrot (#48756755) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ

You be real. One religion in recent history has been responsible for the vast vast majority of religious inspired violence

While this may be true for events of the last 15 years, this hasn't always been the case for even very recent history

During the 90s, most suicide bombings worldwide were being carried out by a primarily Hindu group (Tamil Tigers) and christian-on-christian religious violence in Northern Ireland would go on to kill more people than died in the 9/11 attacks

During the 70s, terrorism was mostly politically motivated, with far-right and far-left groups carrying out hundreds of bombings. Italy suffered through the Years of Lead, with several thousand people dying in bombings. In Germany, far-left groups like the Red Army Faction and the Revolutionary Cells carried out more than 300 bombings alone.

During the 50s, it was primarily nationalist and anti-colonial in nature. Guerrila groups resisting colonialism in Asia and Africa were the primary instigators then.

And go back to the 1920s, and you see radical Anarchists as the main culprits (e.g. see the 1919 Anarchist bombings in the US)

Saying that muslims are responsible for a majority of terrorism is a myopic view of contemporary history - the nature of terrorism has varied greatly with each generation. In another generation we'll likely be looking at another ideology or group to lay blame on.

Comment: Doesn't replace digging (Score 1) 166

by wired_parrot (#48745717) Attached to: Finding Genghis Khan's Tomb From Space

Using satellite and radar images to identify archaeological sites from space isn't new. But while this method may help in identifying sites of interest, actually identifying Genghis Khan's tomb would require archaeologists to dig at each of those sites. And until an archaeologist is on the ground, the images may just be a peculiarly shaped hill mound.

So if the concerns is identify Genghi's tomb while respecting Mongolian reverence for burial sites, I don't see how this does that, as you'd still need archaeological digging to get useful science from the field.

Comment: Will be completely ignored (Score 1) 134

by wired_parrot (#48580845) Attached to: Facebook Offers Solution To End Drunken Posts

they'll be using photo analysis algorithms to detect how intoxicated you were in the photo and suggest that you not post it

... Except that most of the time the people taking those photos are posting them while they are intoxicated, and therefore the suggestion not to post won't have any effect

My impression is the regret in taking these drunken pictures happens years after the fact, when the drunken college scene has been left behind, and the poster now has a family and a 9-to-5 job and they want to distance themselves from that past. Trying to tell college students that they shouldn't be posting inappropriate pictures of themselves drinking is futile, the warning will be completely ignored.

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