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Comment Re:I don't think I agree with this statement... (Score 1) 447

It's not remotely close to revoking citizenship. It's removing your permission to travel through other countries pursuant to treaties to recognize passports as official documents for specific purposes. It's used all the time when fugitives go abroad to trap them in a situation where they can be brought back for trial, usually after being detained for not having a valid passport. It does nothing on its own to remove your rights to vote, hold office, or anything else that citizens can do, and a nation can choose to ignore the lack of a passport if it so chooses. And in case you're thinking it limits the right to travel, nations have long held sovereignty over who crosses their border, whether entering or leaving, and that can include blocking its own citizens from leaving the country for any or no reason.

Comment Re:I don't think I agree with this statement... (Score 1) 447

Stateless means something very specific, and this isn't it. Passports are revoked for fugitives on a fairly regular basis, and have to be turned over to prevent people who have been indicted from leaving the country. Neither case revokes citizenship. Much as I agree with what Snowden did, he's playing up hist current circumstances. The US is simply narrowing his options, just as they would any other fugitive. Odds are that he's going to come back to face trial, because as much as Russia is enjoying tweaking the US, it's not going to do that forever as Snowden will become a sticking point in unrelated negotiations.

Comment Favorite Sid Meier Encounter (Score 4, Interesting) 208

Well, really my only Sid Meier encounter, if you don't count sitting in an audience.

So, I'm at . . . COMDEX? CES? One of those big-ass electronics trade shows. Might have been Chicago, might have been Las Vegas.

I got away from my booth for an hour, and I head for the area where computer games are being shown. I'm totally jazzed to see a dummy box and demo of Colonization. I look over the material about it, and to another totally jazzed gamer next to me say something like "Cool, it's like someone did a decent remake of Seven Cities of Gold!"

A voice at my shoulder says "Good, that's what I had in mind."

SQUEEE!

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 2) 251

Microsoft does a fairly good job at maintaining a generally usable driver set available through Windows Update. It's usually not the latest version (and often is a generic driver from a few years ago), but it works. They have an additional problem if it comes from their servers, they get blamed if something goes wrong. Hence the testing and stability requirements before it goes into the repository, because if they break a million systems with a bad driver update, it hits the news even if it is a comparatively rare impact.

I tend to agree with your other points, though if Linux actually reached a critical level of use, its security practices would start getting tested, too. Attackers love to see Linux systems because they're trusted to be secure, a trust which is often violated. You seem to know what you're doing, but the corporate Linux uses that I've seen have relied on poor understanding of how they should be maintained, often based on arrogant declarations from the sysadmins who do things like boast of not having rebooted the web server in two years.

Comment Re:From a citizen's standpoint (Score 1) 1073

On the contrary. Harm to society can trump freedom, and it does regularly. It's why people go to prison for rape, murder, etc. Their freedom is abridged because of the risk of them causing further harm to society both directly (raping and killing more people) and indirectly (causing people to shelter in place, lash out, start vigilante groups).

However, harm to society should not be the only factor involved in determining whether and to what degree a freedom should be abridged.

Comment Re:Not cooling, global waming! (Score 0) 158

I've seen some questions raised on how much pollution in the 20th century masked global warming. I think this study shows just how much a relatively small change to a regional temperature can cause comparatively large changes in the area's climate. It should help support the potential changes that could come from a change of only a couple of degrees over the next century.

Comment Re:Five minutes after Monsanto Protection Act sign (Score 1) 679

Every one of those cases that I've seen has involved someone who knew that they were using a Monsanto product and were fully aware of the patents at hand. I'm not fond of Monsanto's practice, but the farmers were on shaky legal ground to start with.

In this case, one of Monsanto's (presumably patented) development products got out. I wonder if there's a case for invalidation based on negligent behavior allowing it out into the wild. Some level of doubt can be applied to products brought to market, but for those that never should have left a controlled environment, there may be other legal issues at hand.

I also wonder if there's not a chance of this being a random mutation. Does Monsanto put markers in its products that could be used to determine this?

Comment Re:India ? (Score 1) 273

I agree that culture changes are necessary. Gawande has written in the past about how introducing a simple checklist to prevent line infections at Johns Hopkins--widely seen as one of the premier hospitals in the country, if not the world--and giving nurses the power to call doctors on a missed step while also having the administration back the nurses cut the infection rate from 11% to zero, likely saving at least eight patients and dozens of infections per year.

But Gawande also notes that doctors have egos, and easily bruised ones at that. This kind of thing doesn't go over well with a lot of them who see nurses as interfering or overstepping if they call out a missed step. Given the shortage of doctors, I expect that it will be a while before most hospital administrations are willing to back their nurses in mandating that every step be followed.

Comment Re:India ? (Score 1) 273

You're thinking of the washing that you do in the bathroom. I looked up Gawande's words and found that I understated the time to wash. Here's how he describes it.

First, you must remove your watch, rings, and other jewelry (which are notorious for trapping bacteria). Next, you wet your hands in warm tap water. Dispense the soap and lather all surfaces, including the lower one-third of the arms, for the full duration recommended by the manufacturer (usually fifteen to thirty seconds). Rinse off for thirty full seconds. Dry completely with a clean, disposable towel. Then use the towel to turn the tap of. Repeat after any new contact with a patient.

Almost no one adheres to this procedure. It seems impossible. On morning rounds, our residents check in on twenty patients in an hour. The nurses in our intensive care units typically have a similar number of contacts with patients requiring hand washing in between. Even if you get the whole cleansing process down to a minute per patient, that’s still a third of staff time spent just washing hands.

And it's not always possible to hire more staff, especially when strict adherence to washing means you have to hire half-again as many staff to do rounds. While there are some private hospitals making a healthy profit, not all of them do, and there are a lot of hospitals that are run by governments, churches, or non-profits and their margins are thin to non-existent. The need to purchase new equipment just to keep up with other hospitals can obliterate that margin in a single purchase. Doctors tend to send their patients to whichever hospital has the shiniest toys and patients want it that way. Failure to keep up with the newest technology puts revenue at risk and may mean cutbacks that further damage the hospital's ability to effectively treat its patients.

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