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Comment Teletext by BBC (Score 1) 160

Ceefax was Teletext.

Teletext (or "broadcast teletext") is a television information retrieval service developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. It offers a range of text-based information, typically including national, international and sporting news, weather and TV schedules. Subtitle (or closed captioning) information is also transmitted in the teletext signal.


Comment Those Days Are Indeed Over (Score 1) 160

I'm quite happy those days are over myself, the teletext subtitles were hardly perfect. They performed their function well enough, however the rendering, timing and positioning was often a problem.

In my opinion that sort of feature ought to be taken care of automatically by your viewing apparatus (TV, PC, phone or tablet). The information should either be available as a hidden data stream or interpreted live (speech-to-text). Subtitles should naturally adapt to your display's size and resolution, perhaps even your environment, and the font choice should be user customizable.

On the one hand the BBC isn't made for you specifically, it's supposed to be public broadcasting in the UK. On the other hand the BBC is one of the UK's greatest sources of influence and cultural distribution. The world has realized the potential and value, just look at the Arab world, Russia, France and China's recently launched English and/or multi-lingual offerings!

Comment Law of War (Score 1) 480

Act of war? Withdrawing from trade is not an act of war according to International Law, it may however become that.

To quote a learned source:

Sanctions seem to lend themselves well to international governance. They seem more substantial than mere diplomatic protests, yet they are politically less problematic ... They are often discussed as though they were a mild sort of punishment, not an act of aggression ...

The economic sanctions may violate Just War principles:

  • Jus ad bellum requires that a belligerent party have valid grounds for engaging in warfare, ...
  • To engage in warfare at all, the belligerent party must have a just cause ... requires "a real and certain danger," such as protecting innocent life, preserving conditions necessary for decent human existence, and securing basic human rights.
  • Under the requirement of proportionality, the damage inflicted "must not be greater than the damage prevented or the offense being avenged."


Comment The What World? (Score 1) 480

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are part of "The West"?

As far as I can tell, unless you actually believe the biased and unreliable Russian sources, the weapons come from the above mentioned countries... That's hardly the United States and Europe, or "the West" as its collectively known.

The US claims that:

"The United States is not sending arms directly to the Syrian opposition. Instead, it is providing intelligence and other support for shipments of secondhand light weapons like rifles and grenades into Syria, mainly orchestrated from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The reports indicate that the shipments organized from Qatar, in particular, are largely going to hard-line Islamists."


Comment Libya < Muslim World (Score 1) 678

The violence in Libya was indeed pre-planned, that's not evidence that the violence across the Muslim world was!? You're taking that incident too far.

I fully support the freedom of expression, and I have no interest in Saudi Arabia's suggestion. You however have to give credit where credit is due. That silly movie created a spontaneous reaction across the Muslim world which is far more than simply Libya!

Comment Global Seed Vault (Score 1) 40

I almost forgot the most interesting counter-argument to your joke! If the world experiences a major catastrophe where agriculture is severely affected it probably would be quite useful to be able to reach the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, hehe.

Try finding the seed bank without GPS and keeping an eye out for the very hungry polar bears that roam there!

Comment Svalbard to GPS (Score 1) 40

Interestingly they control satellites from Svalbard, not the other way around :)

Kongsberg Satellite Services operates both SvalSat in Norway's Arctic regions and TrollSat at the Norwegian Antarctic base on the opposite pole. It is the largest commercial ground station in the world. The first customer was NASA, which uses it for its EOS satellites, NEN and SLR. The European, Japanese and Indian Space Agencies also use it extensively. The business idea for Svalbard satellite station is to provide cost-effective services to polar satellite operators.

The SvalSat system is used for Near real-time (NRT) Maritime Situational Awareness services, including vessel detection and oil spill monitoring, and producing images on demand from Earth using data acquired by satellites in orbit. With stations near both poles and at mid-latitudes, KSAT can access satellites at many positions in orbit and download almost any conceivable mix of data from them.

NASA's Satellite Laser Ranging network (SLR) is a fundamental measurement technique used to support both national and international programs in Earth dynamics, ocean and ice surface altimetry, navigation, and positioning. SLR utilizes a global network of stations [including Svalbard] to measure distances by bouncing very short pulses of laser light off special reflectors installed on satellites orbiting the earth, and also left on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts and Soviet rovers. By accurately timing the round-trip time of flight of these pulses, distances can be computed and precise orbits determined. This data is then used to acquire fundamental information about the geophysical processes of the Earth and the Earth-Moon system.

To supply NASA, United States Department of Defense, NOAA, ESA and others with this data they even laid a dedicated submarine cable to Svalbard from mainland Norway (1400 km).

Comment Quid Pro Quo (Score 1) 37

This isn't a case of gaining the EU's permission simply for show, it's all about keeping the European Union's inner market open and competitive. This is the core mission of the EU(!) Free and unhindered trade amongst the members. It's a two-way street.

If the British government(s) want to spend their money on rural broadband, that's just great, but they can't simply hand the money to their own preferred partners (BT). That would be illegal state subsidies. There has to be free and open competition for the contracts!

That's all there is to this case. All the other EU member states have the exact same scrutiny from Brussels, where equally eager British representatives are watching out for their own interests.

The real issue however is the fact that such subsidies would be illegal even without the EU. I'm pretty sure it would run afoul of the World Trade Organization (WTO). I will just mention the Boeing and Airbus cases.

Comment Europe > EEA > EU (Score 1) 81

Even within the EU's economic area (EEA), as per your original comment, includes countries that are not members of the EU itself. The same laws apply in the whole EEA-region.


It is in fact amongst this group of countries you will the few registrars that [still] require a local entity. I see now that there are very few left...

NORID of Norway's requirements are as follows:

Main requirements
To register a domain name within .no, you need to:
- have a local presence in Norway
- be an organization. At present this is defined as being one of certain forms of organization registered in the Brønnøysund Register Centre
- ensure that the domain is technically operative


Comment Local Entity Still Required (Score 1) 81

This does not apply to all European countries, there are still European countries that require that you have a local corporation and registration number to apply for domains [under the national TLD]. I assume you're wrongly using EU as a synonym for all of Europe(?)

The EU only requires that you don't put barriers in place, in any form, that hinder inter-European trade. French and Italian TLDs require a European address, but nothing beyond that.

Comment Testing On Rattus Norvegicus (Score 1) 322

Thanks for replying, it's an interesting subject and I welcome opposing views.

Are rats poor models? I'm not sure if they are in this case, as it's not my area, but almost all human genes known to be associated with diseases have counterparts in the rat genome, confirming that the rat is an excellent model for many areas of medical research.

There are reasons for why we sequenced the rat and mice genome after decoding the [complete] human genome.

While I won't claim the fact that the United States is the "fattest" country in the world is evidence for any link between HFCS and obesity it's certainly worth noting. Whatever is to blame it's having a large-scale impact. Technically the US is 3rd place in 2012 behind two insignificant, micro-nations where the Pacific Islander population is genetically predisposed to obesity, diabetes etc.

Comment Scientific Discourse on HFCS (Score 1) 322

That's unfair, it's not a "non-issue". There is some hysteria as usual, but there are valid reasons for avoiding HFCS. It's not just another sugar, but it does depend on who you listen to. I'm by no means a fanatic, but I have read my fair share of research on the subject. According to research from one the world's most prestigious Universities, Princeton;

"A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same. "

"These rats aren't just getting fat; they're demonstrating characteristics of obesity, including substantial increases in abdominal fat and circulating triglycerides," said Princeton graduate student Miriam Bocarsly."

"Rats on a diet rich in high-fructose corn syrup showed characteristic signs of a dangerous condition known in humans as the metabolic syndrome, including abnormal weight gain, significant increases in circulating triglycerides and augmented fat deposition, especially visceral fat around the belly.

The central issue being the amount of adipose tissue (fat around the belly).

Adipose tissue or body fat is loose connective tissue composed of adipocytes. It is technically composed of roughly only 80% fat; fat in its solitary state exists in the liver and muscles. Adipose tissue is derived from lipoblasts. Its main role is to store energy in the form of lipids, although it also cushions and insulates the body.

Far from hormonally inert, adipose tissue has in recent years been recognized as a major endocrine organ, as it produces hormones such as leptin, estrogen, resistin, and the cytokine TNF. Moreover, adipose tissue can affect other organ systems of the body and may lead to disease. Obesity or being overweight in humans and most animals does not depend on body weight, but on the amount of body fat—to be specific, adipose tissue.

However I did read a recent report from Harvard (2012) that stated there was no difference in how the human body digested sugars (HFCS or not). The case is certainly not clear, but I do not want to be a "guinea pig" to increase some corporation's profit.





Comment Food for Thought (Score 1) 322

Hello neighbour! Wie geht's? Sometimes I think we should have national flag icons next to our usernames :) I much prefer my Norwegian Lutefisk anyway, that Surströmming can stay in Sweden, hehe ;)

The problem is obviously spreading and becoming class based, so we're likely to see the same sort of problems here in Europe eventually. It is scary to imagine a future where people only know supermarket "ready meals". Food prices may be higher here where I live, but at least it's produced in my country to acceptable standards. I can only hope that you, the members of the EU, manage to keep the American GM foods and their additives out of your/our products. Tschüß!


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