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Comment *Cackle*, *cackle*, *cackle*, ... (Score 4, Informative) 386

This whole diversity/gender debate thing is getting and more into an absurd territory of epic proportions. It's quite some time ago that I've been able to take larger parts of mainstream contributions to this debate seriously.

To me a very welcome addition of reason and level-headedness was the open letter of ~100 women of influence and fame in France speaking out against #MeToo, it's totalitarianism and a false pretense of feminism published two days ago in Le Monde (basically the French nyt) that went largely unnoticed/uncovered by mainstream media. These ladies deserve a medal or something and they deserve to be heard, despite mainstream media trying to ignore them.

Comment Re:what about nagging? (Score 4, Insightful) 94

I'd put up with that if they'd go back to the days before they assumed that all of their users are 12 years old. I can't begin to express how annoying it is when I'm in a chat display and the screen gets flooded with animated hearts, or I hold down too long when scrolling and the interface tries to make me randomly insert an emoji. My phone has accidentally sent way too many emojis, often in completely inappropriate contexts. FB has also entirely thrown out the notion of "screen real estate", deciding that the goal is to fit as *little* info onto the screen as possible.

Oh, and let's not forget the incredible "walled garden" annoyance wherein they try to make you use Facebook as your web browser on cell phones.

And as for the "public content" reduction, sounds like they're just trying to encourage providers of "public content" to pay them, otherwise their posts get hidden. I "like"d various public content pages because I *want* to see their posts; if I didn't, I wouldn't have liked them :P

Comment Re:What if he actually WAS an ambassador? (Score 5, Informative) 252

Where does this notion come from that a nation can "force" another nation to grant a particular individual diplomatic status? Diplomatic status is requested by the sending state, and then the nation in question either approves or denies their request.

The exact same thing applies to asylum. You can say whatever you want about a person "having asylum". Nobody else has to listen to your declaration. Some states have treaties mutually recognizing each other's asylum cases, but the vast majority do not.

And it's a damn good thing that international law works like this.

Comment Re:Not black and white (Score 1) 348

Neo-Nazi charged with terrorism in attempt to wreck Amtrak train, complaint says

A white man who was involved with neo-Nazi groups and who attended a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville has been charged with terrorism for attempting to wreck an Amtrak train, according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court.

I also made a helpful graphic for determining when something is "terrorism":

Comment Not black and white (Score 1, Interesting) 348

The question, as always, is whether the good outweighs the bad.

If we could somehow create magical impenetrable *physical* fortresses that cannot be opened or accessed by the duly-empowered law enforcement and judicial powers of a democratic society, would we say that's just the way it is?

Or would we have a discussion about it on the context of public good and the rule of law?

There is no one "right" answer to a question like this save the ones we collectively and imperfectly come to as a society. Absolutist assertions that it is either unbreakable, impenetrable encryption for all, or nothing, are false.

I wrote this on an earlier matter:

Apple believes it is protecting freedom. It's wrong. Here's why:

Comment This is so obvious. (Score 1) 215

This is technology that basically has been around since the steam age. In terms of "feasible and mature" it's way off the carts compared to anything else. I remember building battery-less radio receivers as an 8 year old. Adding radio receivers to modern smartphones is trivial and I personally wouldn't mind if lawmakers made it mandatory for vendors to do this. For people in distress and desaster zones we can only hope that vendors come to some sort of gentleman's agreement to build radios in by default. That would be cool.

My 2 eurocents.

Comment It is *NOT* bricking! (Score 5, Insightful) 233

Bricking is the equivalent of applying a killpoke. A software action that makes the hardware henceforth unusable.

This just screws up the kernel and requires you to set up a fresh one, perhaps reinstalling the core system. On Linux this is usually nothing more than a minor annoyance.

Again: it's not bricking. Bricking is when a software update or piece of code renders my smartphone not more useful than a brick and irreversibly so.

Stop using the word just because it's new and describes something significant. It doesn't make your news more interesting, it makes your news false.

Thank you.

Comment Re:It may be lost .. it may be not (Score 4, Interesting) 171


Right now the focus is being put on the payload adapter, which mates the spacecraft to the stage. Normally SpaceX provides their own adapters, but for this mission, Northrop created a custom adapter for the spacecraft (makes you wonder what the unusual requirements were?)

If the satellite was to be some sort of "stealth" payload, capable of hiding from ground observation, then "faking a separation failure" might be a perfectly prudent course of action. However, for most satellites, it would be immediately obvious whether it had separated or not, to any nation paying attention. And I'm sure lots of nations were paying attention to this.

Comment Well, ... it depends. Some ideas: (Score 1) 229

The EEE is way underpowered for todays standards, no doubt. However, IIRC, you can replace it's battery which is a feature todays handheld/ultraportable computers don't have.

Look into Microsofts Surface Line of products and look at the Windows Tablets Samsung has to offer. One current Windows Notebook I find intrigueing is the Huawei Matebook. Very neat device. Like a rippoff of the MacBook but built around Windows. Definitely check that one out.

Comment Re:Facts please? (Score 1) 103

A more important aspect is that NASA's costs don't inflate with the CPI. They inflate with the NNSI (Nasa New Start Index), which is a much steeper rate. Why? The CPI is based on a "grab bag" of consumer goods. Consumer goods have in general become much cheaper to produce over time, moving from domestic hand labour to varying combinations of mass production and overseas production. NASA, however, still builds things in small quantities with labour from a highly trained workforce. So it's natural that their inflation index would be higher than the CPI.

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