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Comment Re:Should Have be Charged With Treason (Score 1) 442

b) If he has given aid or comfort to enemies, then you should be able to name those and state the aid and/or comfort given them.

If you can spin either of those into a charge that will hold up in court, I'll be impressed.

Had he stopped at saying "The US government is spying on its own citizens!" you might have a point. But he told the Hong Kong press that the US was spying on both Hong Kong and China. You could make a legal case that informing China of this secret information was "giving them aid". It certainly weakened Obama's "Stop hacking us and stealing our stuff! We're victims of agression!" argument to Xi. And whether you like/agree with Snowden or not, and I for one do not, he admitted stealing 4 laptops full of data that I am 100% sure his employment contract denied him the ability to take. Whether he's found guilty of treason or not is unsure. My gut feeling is he'll beat that charge, if he ever faces it. But he will for sure be convicted for taking the 4 laptops with him. It'll be interesting to see what happens. Some analysts think that China will just let the Hong Kong courts handle this and live with their decision. I think it will be tied up in the courts for years in Hong Kong. He'll ask for political asylum and those cases take many years to resolve.

Comment No problem (Score 2) 532

Never had any issues with LED displays of any kind. My TVs and PC screens have been LED for years now. I don't have a problem with the question, but I think this is getting into an issue where the person asking the question is in the minority and would like believe that almost everybody else is in the same boat so maybe they get something going to "fix" the problem. For example, based on personal observation, I'd say that about 10% of the population has some kind of vision issue where they cannot see 3D videos at all. Trying to watch those gives them headaches or makes them ill. Those people always complain the loudest about how 3D "sucks" and insist that it's going to fail because they think that everybody on earth has the exact same problem. I'm willing to admit that the original poster may have a very real problem, but is it common enough to attract attention from the manufacturers? Probably not.

Comment Re:Look up Sweden's prison pictures on google.... (Score 1) 168

It's about rehabilitation. Seems to be more effective than punishment (see USA PMITA prison system).

Oh yea. An Anonymous Coward posts an opinion.

As an American, I'm going to give you some ideas on how things are here. First of all, yes, some people in prison in the US are there under dubious circumstances. When I was younger I was more of a "Lock up the druggies" kind of guy, but now I feel that imprisoning people for simply using drugs is counterproductive and harmful to them and society as a whole. So yes, we certainly do have people locked up for stuff they probably shouldn't be locked up for.

Second, I'm not even going to pretend that in general the US justice system does more than give paychecks to lawyers and judges. For sure there are times when it really does serve justice and do the right thing, but a lot of times the quality of what you get out of it is directly related to how much you can afford to pay into it in terms of your lawyers rather than how right or wrong the case against you is.

As someone who lives here, I want those of you who don't to know that we are a violent society and have always been one. We have a lot of bad people here, much more than you would ever imagine if you don't live here. One of the things we actually do well is we punish those who are really bad and maybe lock them up forever (or in rare circumstances execute them) so they don't hurt others again. This not Norway where the wimpy Norwegians are probably going to have to release mass murderer Anders Breivik TWICE more in his lifetime so he can get out and attempt to break his own record for violence. I can promise you that some people are just bad, everybody can't be rehabilitated, and countries that don't have the kind of unending violence we have here really just cannot judge us. Say what you will, but as an example serial killer Ted Bundy can never harm another human being whereas if he lived in some wimpy country like Brazil, Norway or Italy the justice system would feel sorry for him and release him so he was free to kill again at some point.

Comment Re:at what point do we stop kidding ourselves. (Score 1) 541

the US denies any "witch-hunt" is being undertaken but this is coming from a country that practices rendition, operates torture camps, and executes its own citizens without trial. So its safe to say the opinion of the government targeted by Assanges leaks is wholly unqualified to comment upon their response.

Do note that the executed citizens were promoting terrorist activities against the USA from countries unable to arrest them. Had these people surrendered themselves they would have been brought to trial. As an American I have no problem with the outcome.

For what it's worth, I actually think Assange should be left alone by the US and I have no sympathy at all for him. I feel that what he did falls under freedom of the press and we can't really blame him for "printing", so to speak, the information he was given. Bradley Manning on the other hand I have nothing but contempt for and whatever sentence he gets will not be sufficient to satisfy me that he's been punished for what he did. I'm already seeing troubling signs that the judge in his case has seriously lost perspective. I suspect that Manning will get some time, but I'd put it at a very insufficient 10 years at most when his trial finally ends.

Comment Why? To create a ton of sys admin jobs (Score 1) 151

Each building will need a dedicated system administrator, so while this theoretically benefits Brazilian society, the main purpose is to provide employment for these new system administrators. Based on what I know about Brazil, I wouldn't bet very much on this working out as planned.

Comment What to do? Don't worry about it (Score 0) 364

Personally, I really do not care if the government is listening to my phone calls. I seriously doubt that they are, but I have nothing to hide. Frankly my phone calls are just not all that exciting to outside parties. The only "danger" from someone listening to them is that they might get bored into a slumber.

I love how some people think that they are personally so important that the government has nothing better to do than pay attention to everything that they do. A few years ago during the "We're going to have a flu pandemic!" scare that was recommending special flu vaccinations for children, a guy I know who works for the US government (he is a low ranking employee perhaps somewhat equivalent to a computer operator) was convinced that Uncle Sam was literally going to send armed troops to his house to force him to agree to getting a flu shot. I love how logic never figures into this. If the NSA has about 40,000 employees as Wikipedia claims and all of them are forced to monitor the entire US population, that is about 7875 people per NSA employee to monitor. Yes, I'm sure that the NSA can keep up with that.

Comment Re:Why the hell are people accepting this? (Score 1) 622

Someone tell me why the threat of terrorism gets so much attention.

Easy. For the most part handguns and traffic accidents as single events kill low numbers of people. If 2 passenger cars crash into each other and everybody dies, only so many people can fit into each vehicle. Bullets are not infinite so the number of people killed in such attacks is limited. Terrorism has the ability to kill large numbers of people indiscriminately at one time. Believe me, if Al Queda had the ability to kill millions at one time, they would not hesitate to do so.

Comment Re:So, an action only in one country is a crime .. (Score 2) 304

Why the fuck do countries have laws that allow them to prosecute people who are did their criminal activity in another jurisdiction?

Many EU countries have such laws. Your post is mostly anti-US, but many EU countries assert legal authority over actions that never happened in their countries. I hate to resort to Godwin's Law but it does provide a great example. For instance, in the USA it is quite legal to own and sell Nazi memorabilia. Such violates French law. In fact, if it were up to the French they would prevent everybody in the world from doing this. They've sued Ebay in the past and other companies to force them to not show US listings of such to French citizens. I want to be sure I'm clear here - they don't want French citizens to see US listings intended only for US residents on such transactions. In the past Spain has prosecuted human rights violations that didn't occur in Spanish territory and didn't involve Spanish citizens. These are but a few cases.

The actions in this case are not as clear cut as some might like to think. The perp was engaged in software piracy or violations of copyright. The US government's official position is that software and media piracy is destroying the US economy and putting people out of work. It's an irrational argument, but it's what they say. So crimes like these are viewed as something like direct economic warfare against the USA, hence the overreaction in the penalty, which is meant to serve as a deterrent. Since the perp apparently sold his wares to US citizens, this provided the justification to go after him.

Just as a point of interest, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan is here) have special visa rules that don't apply to most US territories and Chinese citizens with a machine readable passport who fill out certain forms in advance are allowed visa free travel to the Northern Mariana Islands (they cannot travel to Guam without a visa though). Since the perp didn't need a visa to go to Saipan, that made it really easy to trick him into going there.

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

I've read articles about how some places in Africa wish the Chinese would either stop giving them anything or at least make it of better quality because the "new" roads they built them have already broken down and there's no local money to fix them. Let us know if people are still happy if those stadiums, bridges and highways collapse or break, killing unwary people. And anybody who expects that China does this stuff for "free" out of good will is just delusional. China exacts a price for it's "help". Maybe it's just telling the government (I'm looking at you South Africa) to deny a visa to the "evil splitist" Dali Lama. Maybe it's just that the Chinese military just happened to be in the area and they might, oh I don't know, stop people from getting access to certain sites. That's already happening in the disputed waters of Southeast Asia. Or ask India about what their "buddy" next door a few weeks ago in casually occupying a disputed piece of territory that was previously under Indian control, all the time calling for peace and restraint. It's a miracle that nobody got killed in that one. Lots of countries are China's bitches for sure, but that teat has poisoned milk. One day they'll find out.

Comment Re:Units in the summary (Score 1) 307

Learn to guesstimate big numbers. It will help reduce your apparent anxiety when confronted with American imperial units of measurement.

I totally agree. I'm American and having done some international travel and having worked for an international company, I have some friends around the world who I stay in touch with from time to time and I've just learned how to do rough conversions in my head from imperial units to metric so I can tell them things like "I live about 40 km from my office" instead of saying "I live 25 miles from my office" and having them wonder whether that is a lot or not. Temperature conversions are not too difficult either. By the way, the source article appears to come from the USA, so the summary was just made on what the submitter read and I don't blame him/her for not bothering to convert. Had it been in metric units, the submitter probably would have just reported that.

Comment Re:Can't fault China on this one (Score 2) 209

Heh... actually, that wouldn't be a bad official response. Puts the Chinese in the position of either accepting responsibility for hacking, or admitting that their state firewall is actually pretty porous.

Not really. They can do any of the following, including perhaps more than one of these.
1) The Beavis and Butthead defense - "Those were some other kids, sir" meaning non-Chinese people leaving a trail pointing back to China to deflect blame to there.
2) The Bart Simpson defense (denial) - "I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything."
3) "Evil Chinese hackers did do it and yes, they got around our precious firewall. But we won't admit it to our own citizens. That's for external knowledge only."
4) "The Chinese military did it, but unfortunately they operate without our oversight." I guarantee you that no government person in the US or China wants that to be true. The Chinese military is a bit of a loose canon and the fear on the US side is that the civilian government in China may be not be as much in control of them as they would like. The Chinese government probably fears that they don't control them as much as they are supposed to either. The problem is that according to the Chinese constitution, the PLA (People's Liberation Army) swears allegiance not to China or the government but to the Chinese Communist Party. That's a really important distinction. The government is a subset of the CCP so in theory it could be possible that the government's interests could run counter to the CCP's interests if the CCP was under the control of some non-government whack job.

Comment Re:Is MS *trying* to commit suicide? (Score 3, Informative) 578

Remember, Microsoft has always been reactionary rather than inventive. They wait to see where the market is going and then jump in, pretending to be the guys who invented. This worked well for years. Also, they have so much money that they can (unfortunately) afford to fail big and shrug it off. Vista was a disaster for sure, but it's just a historical footnote now. When you don't have to be right and have the money to just restart from the ground floor, you can gamble. So Windows 8 is the result of Microsoft incorrectly reading the marketplace, specifically in believing that nobody wants to buy PCs and that 100% of the world wants tablets and almost nobody on earth will ever buy or use a true PC again. Never in the past have they been held accountable and lost market share for being disastrously wrong, so I can't really fault them for expecting that to continue. I don't remember his name, but one tech writer wrote recently that Microsoft will continue to misread the market place and try to extract more and more revenue from the segments where in the past they had a stranglehold but are actually dying now (ie. Windows and Office). The Xbox thing is them being reactionary ("Kids use Tivo and we need to get us some of that money!") and trying to hold onto cash by making it unfriendly to play used games on. I don't claim to be a gamer or understand or know that market, so we'll see what happens. But their Windows and Office strategy is flawed because the push for more money out of Office is already driving people to cheaper alternatives and making Windows unfriendly to the businesses who need it to work reasonably well on true PCs is going to be a failure too.

Comment Re:I was born in the wrong era... (Score -1, Troll) 163

People got paid to play chess even in your day. What's the difference?

Where do I begin with this kind of ignorance?

The number of people who actually make a true living playing chess (and they still get paid today to do so) is really small. Probably not all that much different than the number of "gamers" who live by playing games. But I see a difference between getting paid to be good at a mentally challenging game and being good at playing a game where you "blow stuff up". Not sold on the "difference" there, bucko? Then tell me, exactly how many millions of dollars has IBM or a similar company invested to design a computer that can beat the best human players at what 4Kings plays? Yeah, I thought so.

Comment Whale meat = McRib (Score 1) 311

There's a lot of truth to SmallFurryCreature's post, but I'd also say that to some extent in Japan whale meat is like McRib is in the USA. This is what I mean by the comparison. Most Americans who I know refuse to eat McRib (it's a heavily processed pork sandwich that McDonald's sells in the USA at random times - most of the time it's unavailable) and consider it to be bad even by McDonald's low standards. I will never forget a co-worker saying "That's disgusting!" when someone else in the office talked about how much they liked to eat it. The people who like McRib are few, but they are hard core addicts. There are websites about the sandwich and they update them when someone reports a restaurant that has it available again. Some people have been known to drive for hundreds of miles to get one. Most people in Japan hate whale meat, but there are some hard core weirdos who love it. They make a lot of noise in Japan. Whales basically get hunted because these weirdos are large enough in number, despite being a minority in the country, that the market responds to their demand by making it available.

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