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Comment Re:Seems easy (Score 2, Informative) 228

There's "Everyman's Right" in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Austria. They allow hiking and camping on areas that aren't obviously someone's backyard. Scotland allows walking in the wilderness freely, but with some heavier restrictions (though what I have seen of the country, they couldn't really enforce if somebody would decide to set up a camp for few days). England and Wales allows hiking, but apparently camping is frowned upon.

From experience, I also note that while camping in forests may not be exactly allowed by law, it isn't really frowned upon in Germany and Denmark, at least if you try to stay out of the way. At least, nobody bugged me when I was too cheap to make a camp at the backyard of a boarding house (I like to travel carrying a tent on a bike).

In a nutshell; the denser the population, the more likely you are to be bothered (if you camp somewhere without asking permission).
Earth

Dinosaur Feather Color Discovered 219

anzha writes "Do you remember being a kid and told we'd never know what colors the dinosaurs were? For at least some, that's no longer true. Scientists working in the UK and China have closely examined the fossils of multiple theropods and actually found the colors and patterns that were present in the fossilized proto-feathers. So far, the answer is orange, black and white in banded and other patterns. The work also thoroughly thrashes the idea that fossils might not be feathers, but collagen fibers instead. If this holds up, Birds Are Dinosaurs. Period. And colorful!"
Privacy

Net Users In Belarus May Soon Have To Register 89

Cwix writes "A new law proposed in Belarus would require all net users and online publications to register with the state: 'Belarus' authoritarian leader is promising to toughen regulation of the Internet and its users in an apparent effort to exert control over the last fully free medium in the former Soviet state. He told journalists that a new Internet bill, proposed Tuesday, would require the registration and identification of all online publications and of each Web user, including visitors to Internet cafes. Web service providers would have to report this information to police, courts, and special services.'"

Comment Re:If True, Fascinatingly Bizarre Logic (Score 1) 720

Think about it - can you feasibly run a car on compressed air?

What I read from wikipedia, the technology seems far better than for electric car. Range of 100 km with a tank, charging the tank costs about EUR 2, and in emergency situation you can probably use manual pump to get enough pressure to get to the next station.

The only problem is that a car with a full tank would be rather dangerous in an accident, but I guess they could work around that. Link. The article (and the related articles) are rather badly written though, going from EUR to USD inside one sentence as comparisons, but I guess we can manage.

Comment Re:EU law (Score 1) 455

Well, the statement didn't pass with a really narrow margin - the chairperson decided. One MEP less on the right, and the statement would have went through.
While Parliament couldn't have forced Berlusconi to step down nor sell his newspapers OR ask him to stop using them as political weapon, it would have been a statement on what the other countries think of Italy's politics - which also affect the other states. Berlusconi has, among other things, tried to block all EU communication from minister councils and commission without the approval of all member states - effectively making it even harder for citizens to know and affect upon up an coming legislation and directives.
If the statement had passed, Berlusconi would have had much harder time trying proceeding on this venue, but.. you know..

"As long as it wasn't Berlusconi.."
If you didn't vote at all, you effectively gave your right to decide to others - who voted Berlusconi (supposing you're Italian). If you aren't Italian, there are quite many bad people you could vote. Remember, the previous EU Parliament was against 138, while the new one much less so. Did you vote? Who did you vote? EU is behind many things.. both good and bad. Most of the "bad things" spring from the Council of Ministers, who are fervently pushing for the good of their own states. Strong parliament is generally a good thing (while examples to the contrary could perhaps be found), and balances things out.

Comment Re:Allrightium (Score 1) 134

The summary doesn't mention that Patria builds military ordnance. Those patches are meant for soldiers, not civilians (though civilian models might be forthcoming). Imagine how useful that patch would be on the field. It weights less than GPS/radio units, it's easier to wield etc.

When people mention that this is akin to Star Trek-military uniforms, they are completely right. This is for the armed forces.

Comment Re:Geek funeral? (Score 1) 479

While you are right, Alcor themselves don't seem to have built up any gold reserve to ensure their survival (maybe I'm wrong, I didn't spend too much time checking). On the topic of their finances, their FAQ states: "The rest of the Trust investments are held at the investment firm of Morgan Stanley."

In other words, they have the money invested, probably in low-risk form as we are talking of hundreds of years. It isn't bound to be melting away in a few moments :)

Banks often move money to gold in times such as this, and I'm sure banks (being smart players as they are!) are doing just this. This is why the market price of gold has gone up lately, even though historically it always averages on the same price.

But as mentioned, that money is held by Trust, probably just so that the company can not use the money for operating costs. The company itself can still collapse, while the Trust would be bursting in money. I wonder what would happen to the funds then?

Comment Re:Geek funeral? (Score 4, Interesting) 479

Then there's your certainty that the company will survive for the hundreds or thousands of years it will take for technology to be at the point where they can revive you. That's incredibly unlikely, since no company in history has survived for that long (your arguments about financial stability are laughable, since there will almost certainly be several currency devaluations and government, society, and world upheavals in that period). I put the chances of you actually staying frozen for 1000 years at basically zero.

The oldest company in the world reached well over 1400 years before it fell to hard times. Link. Other old companies can be found here.

And even if we were to accept your argument of losing money over long-term (which history has shown to be false, even during turbulent times such as these), the value of gold has stayed fairly same for most of the human existence.

However, I'm not sure about the chances of getting resurrected, but that's a whole other subject right there.

Comment Re:Calling bullshit on this one! (Score 1) 447

There are expections. Lots of them. However, the ones you mentioned are rather easily explained, and ones to which I can most probably find comparisons within other nations.

Croatia and Western Balkans are not members of EU, and the situation is similar to how Canadians and Mexicans are (I assume) handled differently at the border of the United States. Norway and Iceland are part of Nordic Union, which has worked toward Nordic integration till late 40s (as I recall). As the Nordic states that are members of EU have heavy ties to the non-members, it would have been unappeasable to cut these ties - particularly as (as one Norwegian mentioned me) the non-members are nations of good standing, who in effect have to change their own laws as not to be cut out from their brothers, thus making them "EU-states with no representatives". Anyway, the Sweden/Norway border would be impossible to patrol, so better not even to try. And Iceland is so small that it doesn't really weight much.. to one direction or another.

The Sweden/Finland thing is just about taking care of local laws. Don't American states have different limits for what's acceptable and what not? Something about "border controls" is well illustrated that the towns of Tornio and Haparanda have merged together, to the point that the towns are usually discussed as one entity, and are often administered as such. The border is apparently next to impossible to detect in nature, as jogging roads etc. criss-cross the border.

And don't security get tightened in parts of America now and again? And as I understand, in China (and maybe in Russia?) you need your passport even when you travel from province to province (or state to state) as a citizen.. though I might be mistaken.

Comment Re:Calling bullshit on this one! (Score 1) 447

You are talking of EU directives. What you say is true, but there are also so-called community laws; where community law and state law are at odds, the EC-law takes precedence. A case in Germany has shown that community law overrides even constitutional laws of the member states. Link. The directives are something else.

In this case, Schengen is something else entirely. You have to implement the criteria before you are allowed to join (it's not tied to membership of EU, though membership requires you make an effort to join Schengen as well). Thus there are no half-assed implementations.

Also, while I am not familiar with American system, I somewhat suspect that Washington, California, New Mexico and Florida don't have completely similar practises concerning borders and airports as well. The TSA staff aren't trained in one central location, after all (or are they?).

Comment Re:Calling bullshit on this one! (Score 1) 447

I would like to introduce you to a thing called the "Schengen Area". Wikipedia (the Internet Encyclopaedia that's always right) says this about Schengen area;

The Schengen Area is a group of twenty-five European countries which have abolished all border controls between each other.[...]Implementing the Schengen rules involves eliminating border controls with other Schengen members while simultaneously strengthening border controls with non-member states. The rules include provisions on common policy on the temporary entry of persons (including the Schengen visa), the harmonisation of external border controls, and cross-border police and judicial co-operation.

Regulation of external border controls Schengen also requires member countries to apply strict checks on people entering or exiting the area. These checks are co-ordinated by the European Union's Frontex agency, and subject to common rules. The details of border controls, surveillance, and the conditions under which permission to enter into the Schengen area may be granted are exhaustively detailed in a European Union regulation called Schengen Borders Code.

It can be found here.
As Schengen is an EU-project with inclusion of additional countries due to earlier agreements, we can talk about "EU Airports". Also; EU might not be a state, but it's a confederation (de facto, if not de jury), no matter how certain people would like to claim otherwise.

Comment Re:Story meaning? (Score 1) 313

1) Usually pro-filesharers try to make it sound like filesharing is usual activity and try go for most or 70-90% user share

It probably is 70-90% in certain age groups. The biggest file-sharers would be people without money and with good computer skills. This means mostly people under 25, as older people have less need to obtain their entertainment illegally. After all, to get the population to 90% file-sharers, it means that grannies and tottlers both would have to take part!

As far as the usability of the report goes... even as we can assume that 1176 people is big enough group (apparently with around 5% margin of error), they basically tweaked every possible figure upwards. Instead of 33 million users of Internet, let's say 40 million (I'm sure there's official records for this), people will lie, so let's adjust to that (why would people lie in anonymous poll?) and lastly, YOU DON'T SHORTHAND THE +/- PART INTO POSITIVE AND ADD TO THE RESULTS.

Not to mention that some of the sourced research was reported wrong. The same author, but different funding and parametres.

Comment Re:Sounded good ... never tried it (Score 1) 1345

Just want to point out that I was able to read "proper" sentences that weren't prepared for me beforehand when I was 8. I was only slightly slower than my peers (I'm a product of Finnish school system).

Point is; being able to read is not the most important thing about school. Sure, it's a basic skill, but so is hand-coordination (which along with alpabets was one of the most important things the previous year) and basic maths, how to survive in nature etc.

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