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Comment Re:what about nagging? (Score 4, Insightful) 95

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: US wide spectrum is in the national interest (Score 2) 98

I take it you don't spend much time in rural America? The number of times you get a "I can see a tower but can only use it for 911 because your Telco and the tower owner don't have a roaming agreement" is fairly high and highly infuriating, and that's with large license blocks, with lots of podunk ISPs it would be worse because they would try to extract as much as possible from their license and so would jack fees to the point where the Nationals would just block them.

Comment Re: US wide spectrum is in the national interest (Score 1) 98

Or we could spend the hundred billion once to wire every property in the country and let ISPs offer services instead of being rent seekers on cherry picked local monopolies. Fiber is even more durable than copper telephone line and we made the investment in that technology, why can't we seem to function as a country to do big projects that will help everyone today?

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 Given restrictions on US side, this is good (Score 5, Interesting) 250

From the viewpoint that the US is not highly welcoming of highly educated US-educated PhDs and Masters from other nations, unlike most EU nations and Canada, it makes sense that they would return to China, where they don't prop up failing fossil fuel industries and have high speed rail, instead of trying to remain in a country in denial that it's the 21st Century already.

Now, this does point out that it would be in America's interest to encourage highly-educated US-educated PhDs and Masters recipients to remain, via expedited citizenship procedures, as occurs in the EU, UK, and Canada. But that's just an objective viewpoint.

Submission + - Uber's Secret Tool for Keeping the Cops in the Dark (bloomberg.com)

schwit1 writes: In May 2015 about 10 investigators for the Quebec tax authority burst into Uber Technologies Inc.’s office in Montreal. The authorities believed Uber had violated tax laws and had a warrant to collect evidence. Managers on-site knew what to do, say people with knowledge of the event.

Like managers at Uber’s hundreds of offices abroad, they’d been trained to page a number that alerted specially trained staff at company headquarters in San Francisco. When the call came in, staffers quickly remotely logged off every computer in the Montreal office, making it practically impossible for the authorities to retrieve the company records they’d obtained a warrant to collect. The investigators left without any evidence.

Most tech companies don’t expect police to regularly raid their offices, but Uber isn’t most companies. The ride-hailing startup’s reputation for flouting local labor laws and taxi rules has made it a favorite target for law enforcement agencies around the world. That’s where this remote system, called Ripley, comes in. From spring 2015 until late 2016, Uber routinely used Ripley to thwart police raids in foreign countries, say three people with knowledge of the system. Allusions to its nature can be found in a smattering of court filings, but its details, scope, and origin haven’t been previously reported.

The Uber HQ team overseeing Ripley could remotely change passwords and otherwise lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, and desktops as well as shut down the devices. This routine was initially called the unexpected visitor protocol. Employees aware of its existence eventually took to calling it Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver’s flamethrower-wielding hero in the Alien movies. The nickname was inspired by a Ripley line in Aliens, after the acid-blooded extraterrestrials easily best a squad of ground troops. “Nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

Comment Re:Political tax (Score 2) 433

Not really. You're already paying carbon taxes. You're just not aware that they're included in the total price to buy or sell goods and services to many states (with carbon taxes), countries (with carbon taxes), and provinces (with carbon taxes).

Most trade agreements allow you to deduct the carbon taxes assessed locally first from the total carbon taxes assessed in the country you buy/sell to, so in practice, you reduce the carbon taxes you pay the foreign government, other state, or other province and the carbon taxes you pay locally go into your local economy.

It's a fiction that you don't already pay carbon taxes. You are. Every car you buy made in Germany, S Korea, China, India, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, etc already includes carbon taxes. You just don't "see" them. Your dealer and the importer pay them for you, but you ARE paying them.

Even when you buy a US car, or US oil, you are probably already paying carbon taxes. For cars it's probably imposed on between 30 and 80 percent of the final sale value. For US oil, the services used to find, process, and distribute the oil all have parts that go to carbon taxes. Maybe the drill was made in Mexico, but you don't "see" it in your final cost, but it is in fact collected and paid.

Submission + - NYC Sues Oil Companies Over Climate Change (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a sue the world’s most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming. City officials have set a goal of divesting New York’s $189 billion pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five years in what they say would be “among the most significant divestment efforts in the world to date”. Currently, New York City’s five pension funds have about $5 billion in fossil fuel investments. New York state has already announced it is exploring how to divest from fossil fuels. New York's Mayor, Bill de Blasio, said that the city is taking the five fossil fuel firms – BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell – to federal court due to their contribution to climate change.

Court documents state that New York has suffered from flooding and erosion due to climate change and because of looming future threats it is seeking to “shift the costs of protecting the city from climate change impacts back on to the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat." The court filing claims that just 100 fossil fuel producers are responsible for nearly two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution, with the five targeted companies the largest contributors. The case will also point to evidence that firms such as Exxon knew of the impact of climate change for decades, only to downplay and even deny this in public.

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