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Comment Re:it's too wide (Score 1) 323

A drop in the bucket, considering Latin America is well over half a billion people in a vast, emerging market. Coke and other US companies make far more than a billion a year in this market alone. The aid you give does end up coming back to you in terms of new markets. As for latin politics, I don't think an American has any grounds from which to criticize. Democrat or Republican? American politics don't matter because the result is always the same. Spend spend spend. War war war. Bully bully bully.

Comment Re:it's too wide (Score 1) 323

They would not be missed. Because it also means we wouldn't have to "Americanize" our laws - especially IP laws (impossible to enforce). And drug laws (which are expensive/impossible to enforce). Aid from the US today is given with strings attached, because the American ego thinks that everyone needs fabulous relations with the US and is willing to bend over backwards. Aid from China is given as aid, in the hope that China will gain fair treatment at the border for the goods it sells. You know. Like countries used to be when they weren't so interested in violating the sovereignty of their neighbors.

Comment Re:it's too wide (Score 5, Interesting) 323

Of course China is being strategic. I live in Costa Rica, where Xi Jinping just visited before going to the US, and right next to Nicaragua. China has been very generous to these small latin countries, donating stadiums, highways and bridges. Like the US used to do back in the bad old days. The US nowadays though only threatens. Threatens will sanctions, threatens with cutting aid programs, etc. Guess who is popular and who isn't in latin America now? China has pretty much bought Africa and S. America. I wonder where the US seeks to expand its economy in the future - oh yeah, they don't make anything anymore anyway.

Comment Re:Competition (Score 1) 323

Costa Rica owns 1/2 of the San Juan river. Minor technical detail, since navigation on this river has been in dispute for at least 100 years between Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Throwing a lucrative Chinese canal into the works will just make things more complicated, since Nicaragua does not have exclusive rights to the river they don't have the authority to make such a deal with China. Unless of course they build it entirely on the Nicaraguan half of the river.

Comment Re:imports? (Score 1) 93

Human bodies have always been a morality issue, and in the case of medical waste, a legal issue. Contrary to popular belief, human bodies do not "transmit disease" directly. Of course I don't recommend you get on all fours and start drinking any rainwater washing off of one that's been out in the sun a few days. But they stink. They upset people. Therefore vast amounts of precious, limited human resources are always wasted during disaster situation dealing with "the bodies" when that labor could be employed in a far more useful and beneficial manner.

Comment I hate Microsoft as much as the next slashdotter, (Score 1) 497

But I think the numbers are misleading. Yeah ok Microsoft has gone from neat total dominance of the PC market to 50%. But the "Personal Computer market" now includes cell phones, smart phones, etc. Microsoft still dominates the traditional "computer" market, and has a very slim share of all the new stuff. But that's more due to the rapid growth of that sector than actual failure by Microsoft. If you want to count that way you also have to be sure to mention how successful Android and iOS have been at growing their share of the traditional "Microsoft" market - the PC. Not too many PC's running Android or Mac software. Probably more are running some linux distro.

Comment Re:Basica (Score 1) 623

Yup, I started with BASICA on an IBM PC, took a course at my high school's brand new modern "computer lab" (it had 6-7 PC's and a couple of them even had CGA monitors!). A few years later I taught myself C, ASM, Pascal. With that basic foundation I have no trouble understanding any new language, from Java to Lua to Python. Oh, and I program strictly as a hobby.

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