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Comment Re:Stupidity on a Massive Scale is still Stupidity (Score 4, Informative) 81

This is a country where family members might, and occasionally do, bribe the local clerk to have you declared dead of natural causes, so they can take over your land and other belongings. Biometrics can't solve that...

WTF? That's the problem biometrics were designed to solve. Say my family asserts I'm dead and goes to court to claim their rightful inheritance. I turn up, press a grimy thumb on the judges notepad and say "match that", case closed! The idea that better identification makes it easier for someone to steal your identity is pure nonsense. The reason your example scenario doesn't happen regularly in the west is precisely because we already have well established systems to uniquely identify individuals, a practice that goes at least as far back as William the Conquer and his Doomsday book

If you don't have a reliable way to identify property owners then you can't have reliable property law. If you don't have reliable property law then you can't have capitalism. Of course, outside the west the unwashed masses often do not have any officially recognised ownership of the land they have lived on for centuries/millennia. That lack of legal recognition is the reason multi-nationals can and do buy/lease huge chunks of land from third world governments and then hire mercenaries to rid "their property" of "lawless vandals and trespassers".

Comment Re:terrorists and traitors (Score 1) 84

Your incorrect, the Queen does not pick them, she simply rubber stamps their appointment, in the same way she rubber stamps a general election and a new parliment. Tell me, when was the last time the Queen refused to use that stamp, when did she actually "choose" to do anything other than her cerimonial duties? Aside from that, I was talking about Australlia where senators are elected rather than appointed by the government of the day.

One of the very few exception to the monarchy staying "hands off" the government is her role in breaking the "double dissolution" senarion. If the PM refeused to call an election the Queen can sack them and call an election herself. That exact senario played out here in the 1970's when Gough Whitlam refused to call an election after his budget was rejected twice by the senate.

Comment Re:The total number of these journals is irrelevan (Score 2) 194

A paper should stand or fall on its own merits.

Yep, and quality papers is what they should be competing for. The journal ranking systems used by univisities (not just in Norway) are designed to give more weight to journals that have a long track record of doing that. This is why the Nature and Science journals at at the top of the list, their long publishing history and track record of quality papers speaks for itself. A low ranked journal will stay a low ranked until it's track record is such that it can be deemed a reliable source. If it does nothing to improve it's record then it follows it will never be respected.

A good article that pushes science forward, even if published in a minor journal, should weigh significantly in your favor for tenure, and a lousy article, even if published in a major journal, should not.

The "impact factor" of individual papers is generally weighed by the number of citations, not the name of the journal.

Comment Re:Zombies. (Score 1) 608

The more they get paid, the easier they are to bribe. Money becomes less of a thought, they don't see the problem with getting a trivial sum from someone, it isn't helping them much.

Mate, read the logic in what you wrote - how the hell do you bribe someone with something you say they don't want? Having said that I actually agree that most politicians don't care about money, they care about power. Money is a powerful tool but political power trumps it.

Comment Re:bitcoin value (Score 1) 294

True, but if your an honest speculator, it's likely BC's will be dirt cheap in the short term, how badly the exchange rate is hurt in the long term depends on how public this guy's flogging becomes. Silk Road was THE "leading brand" in the online black market, their successful branding campaign was their biggest PR problem, their demise will be noted briefly, the market will return to BAU, if it has not done so already.

Comment Re:terrorists and traitors (Score 4, Interesting) 84

In the Westminster system the same dead locked funding scenario is called a "double dissolution". It's a constitutional trigger for a general election, the theory being that if the government of the day can't get their agenda funded by a hostile senate, then we pick a new government/senate that can at least keep the fucking lights on. What's the point of electing a bunch of public servants if they stubbornly insist on derailing the delivery of public services?

Comment Re:NOT News For Nerds (Score 1) 286

Probably a loan guarantee, it's the same thing as military 'aid' to Israel/Egypt, the 'aid' goes directly from the US government to the US arms supplier. The recipient country pays the money back to the US government. If the recipient nation is run by a strategically cooperative dictator then non-payment may be overlooked/forgiven.

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