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Comment Reasons Piracy Continues (Score 3, Insightful) 262

Piracy exists in Somalia because the government lacks sufficient ability and influence to stop it.
It continues largely because the international community that has the ability to stop it, doesnt have the reason to. Modern warships can sink targets they cant visually see. The Gulf of Aden is large, but its not that large.

Most ships, even if owned by a western company, are flagged in a Convenient state - Panama, Liberia etc. these countries love the revenue form being a flag state but have no means of protecting their flagged ships. Most ships are crewed by non western crews.. many from the Philippines, Bangladesh, etc. again countries with limited abilities to protect their nationals internationally.

The west has many ships in the area, however they are reluctant to act for political reasons, if no nationals are involved, or its not a home flagged ship, its really not the concern of the country. The pirates get their million dollar ransom, which to a pirate is a wind fall, but to a shipping company, used to paying $60000/day fuel bills, really isnt that big a deal. Furthermore the risks to the pirates are relatively small - the French raided a la Poinete, a yacht that was taken by pirates and was crewed by french nationals, and the Indians sunk a Pirate mother ship last week. So for the pirates 2 out of over 100 incidents ended badly. To stop the pirates, the western world needs to actively seek them out, hunt them down and stop them from taking ships, as well as recapturing ships by force. When pirates begin to face the consequences - to this point there have been almost none, then they will cease their actions, because taking a ship no longer results in a quick profit for the prirates, and the risk of death goes up significantly for the actual takers of the ship.

Incidentally, the IMO is now recommending ships hire private security to protect them in troubled waters. Blackwater international has also purchased ships. The 18th century tales of piracy make a difference between a Privateer and a pirate a privateer was a mercenary ship working for a nation, to harass enemy shipping - they could take prizes, but paid a percentage to the crown, and wouldn't attack friendly shipping. a pirate had no Letter of Marque, paid no commissions, and attacked who he wanted when he wanted...

everything old is new again.

One final aside, those whom complain about copyright infringement by referring to it as piracy do a great disservice to the victims of piracy, imagine having your office attacked by men armed with machine guns and RPG's and your only defense is to run, and spray the attackers with a fire hose. from the floor above..

Wireless Networking

Submission + - Canadian wireless carrier number portability

maxrate writes: March 14 2007 in Canada marks the start of mandatory wireless cellular carrier number portability. If you are in Canada you will be happy to know that the CRTC mandated that cellular customers may move their cellular numbers from one carrier to another. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_number_portabil ity It will be interesting to see how quickly carriers are able to facilitate transfer requests. For the moment I am happy with my carrier and have no desire to move, however I can recall on a few occasions where this would have been an excellent option.
Toys

Submission + - Knex Machine Gun

edmandu writes: "Here's an impressive machine gun made out of K'nex that fires off 10 shots per second. The gun's creator writes: "It uses a bullet-type design i made 4 years ago and i put them all on a chain; so it can shoot as many times as you want, it just takes a while to make more bullets. The one i made shoots about 30 Ft at 10 shots per second and has 40 "bullets" on its chain." Here is a link to some instructions on instructables and a link to a video of the machine gun in action."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Bizarre IT setups.

MicklePickle writes: I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the history of our company, (which shall remain nameless), and he started reminiscing about some of the IT hacks that our company did. Like running 10BaseT down a storm water drain to connect two buildings, using a dripping tap to keep the sewerage U-bend full of water in a computer room, (huh?). And some not so strange ones like running SCSI out to 100m, and running a major financial system on a long forgotten computer in a cupboard.
I know that there must be a plethora of IT hacks around. What are some you've seen?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - UFO Above Chicago O'Hare International Airport

Aglassis writes: On Nov 7, 2006 at about 4:30 p.m. several United Airlines employees including several pilots observed a 6 to 24 ft diameter flying saucer-like object above Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. After hovering for several minutes without displaying any lights it then shot straight up and punched a hole in the 1,900 ft cloud ceiling. No explanation has been given nor did the air traffic control tower detect the purported craft on radar. One controller did note that "to fly 7 million light years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Connector pinout site reborn as a wiki

An anonymous reader writes: Hardware Book has been around for more than 10 years. Full with 500+ pinouts and cable descriptions for the poor students or hardware enthusiasts. Now reborn as a Wiki and updated with new pinouts. You'll find everything for your old C64 and your new Nintendo Wii.
Software

Journal Journal: Ten Must Have Free Software Packages for 2007

Having worked for Microsoft Corporation for a portion of my career, with stats such as 95% of the world uses Microsoft. I was in for a real eye opener on the number of different software packages available in the Open Source world.I have put together a list of the top top ten free tools for any internet professional. The first five are devoted to your desktop and the next five are for you
Windows

Submission + - Free Windows XP to Vista Transformation Pack!

xt writes: If you think Vista is just a visually glorified version of XP, not worthy of your money, rejoice; using the free Vista Transformation Pack, you can transform your Windows user interface to ultimate Windows Vista! The project has no ties with Microsoft. It's a clever hack, replacing various resources and files to achieve the Vista look. Details and downloads at the project's forum and various other sites!
The Internet

Submission + - typo takes tourist 13,000 km off-course

jfeldredge writes: A 21-year-old German tourist, who intended to visit his girlfriend in Sydney, Australia, instead ended up close to Sidney, Montana, USA, 13,000 km away (over 8000 miles) after mistyping his destination in a flight-booking web site. He was routed through Portland, Oregon to Billings, Montana, and realized his error when he was about to board a commuter flight to Sidney, Montana. He ended up having to stay in the Billings, Montana airport for three days until his family and friends sent him 600 Euros to buy a new ticket to Australia. http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/12/29/germany .tourist.reut/

The old saying applies, "Be careful what you ask for. You may get it."
User Journal

Journal Journal: it didnt go off, and its not a dud

an update on my last entry. i am stil alive, and nothing blew up. i really quite unexpectedly met someone. its going great. it seems you allways find what you want when you stop looking for it. i havent been this happy in a while..

User Journal

Journal Journal: hmmmm

choices, choices, so many choices. all apealling, most of them likely to blow up in my face. i really guess i have to pick one, and pick the peices out of me if it goes off.

In other news i had two great days with my friend marybeth. we say a movie (free with gift certs :) and skied the next day.

Today i installed fog lights in my car. it went well, but we had issues finding a hole to run the wire through, and one of the connectors was miss wired.

FIN

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