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Comment Busy work (Score 4, Informative) 123

This is all being driven by a 2010 US Law requiring companies to track and disclose where they acquire gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten. These are primarily mined in the Congo region, and are believed to be run by warlords using the public as basically slave labor.

While a good in principle law, it doesn't currently list "bad" suppliers, and really doesn't do anything but make companies track their suppliers. No penalty for buying from the worst of the worst, you just have to report it. And the "worst of the worst"? They're not stupid - they're reverting to well thought out money laundering techniques to hide their product behind "clean" companies.

So this ends up being another needless law that requires companies to to extensive work reporting something that the bad guys have already found a way around.

Comment Re:"miniscule" (Score 2) 190

And then lied about it. That's the kicker. Of the five that were caught.one was given a warning, one was banned for the first four AC races, and three were banned from this AC.

Further, three of the offenders are being sent to their national sailing organization with a recommendation of no further action, but two of them are being sent back for further punishment with the declaration of lying and knowingly modifying the boats. Because each of these sailors sails under the international racing rules, and are being charged with "[a] gross breach of a rule and good sportsmanship" they are going to get the hammer. There is precedence in sailing (sorry, no linkage) that these two guys could be banned from competing for years. And this is *all* racing, from the AC and Olympics and club beer can racing. This is the equivalent of A-Rod being told he can't play ball anywhere in the world, including his church softball league. The closest analogy is the banning for life of the Chicago Black Sox.

So don't think this is a trivial situation, these guys will probably never race professionally ever again in their lives.

Comment Re:just google it (Score 1) 293

I got my wife one of these http://www.zomm.com/ for her phone and it works great - saved her phone at least 3 or 4 times, but it does go off occasionally for non-losses. Its a bluetooth device that when activated, alarms when the bluetooth disconnects with some error correction for occasional disconnects. You could attach it to your luggage and it would alarm if the luggage was beyond range. Its small enough that it wouldn't attract attention, and would certainly work. I'd make sure it was securely attached i.e. use a strong key ring or clip.

Comment Re:I approve (Score 4, Interesting) 805

Actually, in Chicago it's against the law to sleep on public transportation, but not illegal to talk on a cell phone (at a resonable volume).

Best quote I ever heard on the train: "Honey, I've got to hang up - everyone's looking at me like I'm 'That Guy' ". Got quite a laugh out of the other riders.

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1.79 x 10^12 furlongs per fortnight -- it's not just a good idea, it's the law!