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Comment No shit. (Score 3, Interesting) 184

Besides the fact that the DoD already incorporates climate change in their threat assessments (see and, there's the bleedingly obvious conclusion that if an area goes through enough environmental changes that mass migration is better than staying put, conflict with the surrounding areas is guaranteed.

I mean, when New Orleans was evacuated during Katrina, that already sparked enough conflict. Now imagine that the change is permanent and that it's not just a major city evacuating, but an entire geographical area. We'll find out just how far we have evolved from chimps (hint: not very much).

Comment Re:Empirically determined to be survivable ... (Score 1) 506

"Cruel" is fairly subjective (though the concept of "causes pain" isn't terribly subjective, which is a major component), but "unusual" is just a matter of statistics ; if you're the 300th person to be flogged to death in your country this year, and it's only August, then it may well be cruel, but it's hardly unusual.

Comment Re: North Korean Tech at it's best (Score 1) 125

That comment is in editorial text, written by a blogger and therefore dismissed as likely to be crap. The relevant quoted speech from the "Michael" person is :

"I asked if it was for sale, as more of a joke than anything, and I was surprised to have the woman behind the counter tell me it was for sale for just US$200,"

Which doesn't claim that he actually purchased it. Or indeed, if he did purchase it, it isn't at all clear if he'd have got an export license for it. I wouldn't assume that he'd have been allowed to leave the country with such equipment - and I'm decidedly unlikely to spring $200 on a casual temporary purchase. (I'm also quite annoyed at fucking politicians getting in the way of one of my clients sending me to work in DPRK ; would have been marvellous for the CV. But ... Fucking politicians!)

All of the tests described could have been done in a few minutes with a modern smart phone set up as a WiFi hotspot (even if it had no mobile phone service connection), you'd expect an internet-capable device to be able to connect, even if it couldn't resolve anything off it's local (WiFi) network.

Comment Re:Too late (Score 1) 510

ensures (usually) that everything is kept fair for the multiple cab companies with contracts to serve the airport

I don't understand this concept of "multiple cab companies" at an airport. What happened to the good old monopoly as a tool for gouging customers? Good enough for Julius Caesar and Crassus ; good enough for me!

Comment Re:150 lashes? (Score 1) 506

Distant past" would be 140 years ago in 1881 for flogging with a cat of nine tails and 77 years ago in 1936 for caning in the British navy.

... and about 55 years for flogging in British prisons.

When one was last carried out, I'm not so sure. Probably not long before then. They used to use a wonderful whipping horse with a leather sheet to control the victim's vision so that they could not see either the identity of the prison officer administering the lash, or see when the hit was going to come.

Comment Re:150 lashes? (Score 1) 506

Practices have certainly varied at different times. Depending on the recruitment state of the British Navy, it was often considered bad practice to actually kill sailors while disciplining them (because you might not be able to kidnap a replacement for some time), so when the 'cat' was being applied the person would be flogged into unconsciousness, then cut down, taken to the surgeon to be treated until the surgeon considered him well enough to resume his punishment.

What Saudi practice is, I don't know, nor do I really want to find out.

Comment Re:You're too cynical (Score 1) 78

tax write off

A tax write off benifits the charity not the donor. Say my company has $1,000. If I give it all away to charity the taxman asks for nothing, if I keep the $1,000 in my own pocket then the taxman will demands his cut (around $300 in the US). What that does is ensure that charitable donations go to the charity in full and is not counted as income by the taxman. From the company's POV, it makes no difference to the what the taxman does, they are still down $1,000.

Comment Re:You see! (Score 2) 78

Businesses, at least corporations, are required by law to maximize profits

I hear this often but have never seen such a law. In simplistic terms the board of publicly traded companies are required to do what the shareholders (ie: the owners) tell them to do, normally they say "maximise profits" but not because it's required by law.

Comment Re:Premptive STFU to GPL haters (Score 1) 228

You've got to know and own the product you sell.

Ideally you would know your product that well. In practice often you don't. For example, our software line at work is protected by use of hardware dongles ; in theory we should know the detailed ins and outs of that product, but in practice we don't. It's a tool that we use, but we really don't care how it works in detail ; it's not our core business ; we're not interested in it ; if it stops working, we go and find a different supplier of a comparable product.

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