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Comment US intervened with Netanyahu election (Score 1) 412

"The Ecuador government respects the principle of non-intervention in other countries' affairs, it does not meddle in election processes underway, nor does it support any candidate specially."

Yet the world was silent when the Obama Administration provided US funds to Israeli opposition election campaigns to oust Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Comment Re:Mobile phone access? (Score 3, Informative) 412

He isn't in Ecuador, he's in a flat in London

Embassies on foreign soil are considered sovereign territories according to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Assange may be physically located on UK soil, but as long as Ecuador grants him asylum he is effectively in the domain of Ecuador while inside the Embassy and no arresting party can enter the compound without Ecuador's permission. Once Assange steps outside the embassy property then he is subject to UK authority and can be apprehended.

In the event of hostilities or soured diplomatic relations, it's a different story.

Comment Novice YT videos (Score 1) 552

Have to pipe in with a pet peeve with YouTube. Too many times when surfing for videos of a band, I click on a novice phone or palm device video from a live concert. The quality of the audio from a palm device at a live concert is atrocious and the volume is WAY TOO LOUD in my headphones. The shaky fuzzy video makes them unbearable to watch. There are a humorous few that capture a goof in performance, they are the rare exceptions.

Comment Re:They earn that in 16 minutes (Score 1) 116

Comcast had $19.269 billion in revenues last quarter. (Source [cmcsa.com]) This equates to about $211 million per day or $8.8 million per hour. They'll earn back the $2.3 million fine in about 15 minutes and 42 seconds.

Likely the maximum that the FCC can fine the company. The NHTSA is another agency that was hampered with petty maximum fines, until the DoJ stepped in with a wire fraud criminal lawsuit that resulted in far stiffer penalties. "Cramming" could very well constitute wire fraud.

Comment Re:These guys called me last week. (Score 1) 212

I won't pick up any unknown caller IDs and I let the answering machine deal with it. If it is a friend trying to reach me, they can leave a voicemail. For the past two months, an unknown number with same area code has been calling my home phone every day, at different times of the day - but never leaving a message. Same caller ID. Reverse phone lookup doesn't flag it as malicious (scam, telemarketer) but scammers have been notorious for caller ID spoofing. Scam artists do not care when you tell them they have reached an unpublished phone number. By calling at different times of the day, they are trying to identify a time window when a live person is there. Unpublished phone numbers are no longer a good solution.

I plan on building my retirement home soon, and I am looking into ways to protect my phone number (like prefixing the SIT right before the greeting message) to keep these scum away.

Comment Government abuse = Increased sales (Score 1) 198

Having witnessed the Obama Administration spying on AP reporters and exploiting government agencies as political intimidation tools, encryption suddenly became a prime must-have for my computers. Government should NOT be intimidating political opposition and I don't want to be targeted for my lawful communications. When government cites criminal monitoring as a justification to hack into devices, I am skeptical knowing their history of intimidating lawful citizens. When Apple flipped the bird at the FBI over encryption back doors, I happened to be ready to upgrade so like so many others I bought an iPhone and a MacBook Pro.

Same thing happens when government is pushing gun control - lawful gun owners rushed out to purchase guns.

Comment Counterfeit Electronic Parts (Score 1) 166

Export of e-waste is a major source of counterfeit parts. Counterfeit operations in Asia identify parts in the market that are of value, then scavenge parts of similar appearance from e-waste, wash them to make them appear as unused, put new markings on them, then sell them as NOS or new. They have been found in the supply chain of critical electronics such as aerospace and medical electronics and have cost industries a lot of money. From this article:

Counterfeits can come from trashed or recycled products as well as inexpensive products that are spiffed up and made to look like the new, higher-end products on the market.

More and more counterfeit parts are showing up in consumer, automotive, industrial, and any other industry that relies on electronic components. Federal law has been passed to confront the problem at the supplier end, but only for the military industry.

Comment Rhodes pianos (Score 2) 195

Harold Rhodes was famous for his electric pianos made in the 1960s to 1985, until digital keyboards rendered every electric piano obsolete. By the late 1990s, Rhodes pianos were becoming popular again and Harold was looking to put them back in production. Joseph Brandstetter took over the company and assets after Harold died of Alzheimers in 2001, and new Rhodes pianos went back into production under his watch.

Unfortunately Brandstetter turned out to be an aggressive trademark bully, suing any website or musical instrument company using the "Rhodes" trademark. He made the fatal mistake of making infringement threats against the largest collection of potential Rhodes customers - the website fenderrhodes.com where fans of the "vintage era" Rhodes piano hang out to discuss all things Rhodes. Brandstetter managed to p!ss off the members and site owners so much that no discussion of Brandstetter's pianos are permitted at all. In an act of defiance, the website never changed its name. News got around the web and sales dropped off. A few years later, Brandstetter was seeking buyers for his company. I don't know what became of it, but the outcome of that fiasco was that few of the new pianos ever made it out of the factory.

Comment US Environmental Regulations (Score 1) 275

Environmental regulations in the US (and likely the UK) has effectively shut down vacuum tube production in the US by the 1980s. Fabricating the heater/plate/grid/cathode elements is a toxic process. Besides acquiring the equipment, a hobby operation needs some way for disposal of the waste and the local landfill won't accept them. That's why vacuum tubes are made in countries with lax environment regulations (China, Russia, etc).

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